How Do Instructor's Attendance Policies Influence Student Achievement in Principles of Microeconomics?

12 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2013

See all articles by Todd Broker

Todd Broker

Murray State University - Department of Economics and Finance

Martin I. Milkman

Murray State University - Department of Economics

Victor Raj

Murray State University - Department of Computer Science & Information Systems

Date Written: March 1, 2013

Abstract

This paper examines the question of how an instructor’s attendance policy influences student performance in Principles of Microeconomics. This study asked students in several different microeconomics classes at a medium sized regional university what sort of attendance policy they were subject to: was there a grade incentive for coming to class (i.e. bonus points), was there a grade punishment for not coming to class (i.e. deduction of points, missed assignments, etc.), was there some combination of the previous two or was there simply no attendance policy. We expected a variety of results because the six classes surveyed were taught by five different instructors, each with slightly different attendance policies. While there are a few papers showing a positive correlation between required attendance and course performance, this paper seeks to understand more about the impact from the type of attendance policy employed. Data is collected from a student survey and from the university’s registrar. The main empirical evidence is gathered from a two-stage regression analysis with student absenteeism as the dependent variable in the first equation and a student’s final grade (using a 4.0 scale) as the dependent variable in the second equation. We find that, everything else equal, students seem more motivated to come to class when they expect a positive reward and they are more likely to miss class if they expect a negative punishment. Also, student attendance is a small, but significant determinant of a student’s course performance after controlling for other relevant factors.

JEL Classification: A20, A22, A29

Suggested Citation

Broker, Todd and Milkman, Martin I. and Raj, Victor, How Do Instructor's Attendance Policies Influence Student Achievement in Principles of Microeconomics? (March 1, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2243082 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2243082

Todd Broker (Contact Author)

Murray State University - Department of Economics and Finance ( email )

Murray, KY 42071-0009
United States

Martin I. Milkman

Murray State University - Department of Economics ( email )

307 Business Building
Murray, KY 42071-0009
United States
270-762-4282 (Phone)
270-762-3788 (Fax)

Victor Raj

Murray State University - Department of Computer Science & Information Systems ( email )

Murray, KY 42071-0009
United States

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