Academic Achievements: Grades versus Duration

50 Pages Posted: 8 Oct 2014 Last revised: 24 Sep 2018

See all articles by Agar Brugiavini

Agar Brugiavini

Ca Foscari University of Venice - Dipartimento di Economia

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM)

Matija Kovacic

Ca Foscari University of Venice - Dipartimento di Economia

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 7, 2014

Abstract

This paper investigates the determinants of academic achievements of post-reform undergraduate students of Ca' Foscari University of Venice. Academic achievements are measured by using the students' grade point averages and time to graduation. The set of independent variables contains information on students' personal characteristics, prior academic achievements, family background, academic track at university, and several "peer-group" effects. The novelty of this paper is threefold: i) we use a rich data set obtained by matching the University's administrative data records with the data drawn from the AlmaLaurea questionnaires, ii) we pay particular attention to the effects of academic track regularity on students' performance which we observe in the academic records, and iii) we propose a theoretical model of a trade-off between grades and time to graduation, and test empirically its validity by taking into account the problem of endogeneity between grades and time to graduation. The model suggests that grades and time to graduation are inversely related. While there is an unambiguous effect of students' ability and financial condition on grades, these effects are less straightforward in the case of time to graduation. The sign and the magnitude of the effects of ability and financial condition on time to graduation depends on students' academic track regularity. Moreover, the relative importance of grades and time to graduation depends, in addition to ability and financial situation, also on the external economic conditions in the labor market. Our empirical exercise confirms the predictions of the model.

Keywords: Academic Achievements, Academic Track Regularity, Trade-off between Grades and Time to Degree, Endogeneity, Simultaneous Equations

JEL Classification: I21, I23, D91

Suggested Citation

Brugiavini, Agar and Eni Enrico Mattei, Fondazione and Kovacic, Matija, Academic Achievements: Grades versus Duration (October 7, 2014). University Ca' Foscari of Venice, Dept. of Economics Research Paper Series No. 13/WP/2014, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2506602 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2506602

Agar Brugiavini (Contact Author)

Ca Foscari University of Venice - Dipartimento di Economia ( email )

Cannaregio 873
Venice, 30121
Italy

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM) ( email )

C.so Magenta 63
Milano, 20123
Italy
00390412700411 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.feem.it

Matija Kovacic

Ca Foscari University of Venice - Dipartimento di Economia ( email )

Cannaregio 873
Venice, 30121
Italy

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