Promotion With and Without Learning: Effects on Student Enrollment and Dropout Behavior

35 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Elizabeth King

Elizabeth King

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Peter F. Orazem

Iowa State University and IZA; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Elizabeth M. Paterno

Government of Ontario

Date Written: September 1, 2008

Abstract

Many educators and policymakers have argued for lenient grade promotion policy - even automatic promotion - in developing country settings where grade retention rates are high. The argument assumes that grade retention discourages persistence or continuation in school and that the promotion of children with lower achievement does not hamper their ability or their peers'ability to perform at the next level. Alternatively, promoting students into grades for which they are not prepared may lead to early dropout behavior. This study shows that in a sample of schools from the Northwest Frontier Province of Pakistan, students are promoted primarily on the basis of merit. An econometric decomposition of promotion decisions into a component that is based on merit indicators (attendance and achievement in mathematics and language) and another that is uncorrelated with those indicators allows a test of whether parental decisions to keep their child in school is influenced by merit-based or non-merit-based promotions. Results suggest that the enrollment decision is significantly influenced by whether learning has taken place, and that grade promotion that is uncorrelated with merit has a negligible impact on school continuation.

Keywords: Tertiary Education, Education For All, Secondary Education, Primary Education, Teaching and Learning

Suggested Citation

King, Elizabeth and Orazem, Peter Francis and Paterno, Elizabeth M., Promotion With and Without Learning: Effects on Student Enrollment and Dropout Behavior (September 1, 2008). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper Series, Vol. , pp. -, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1272298

Elizabeth King (Contact Author)

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Peter Francis Orazem

Iowa State University and IZA ( email )

260 Heady Hall
Ames, IA 50011
United States
515-294-8656/515-294-7740 (Phone)
515-294-0221 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Elizabeth M. Paterno

Government of Ontario ( email )

Legislative Building
Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1A1
Canada

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