Follow the Leader: Student Strikes, School Absenteeism and Persistent Consequences on Educational Outcomes

56 Pages Posted: 20 Jun 2017 Last revised: 9 May 2018

Gonzalo Gaete

University of Warwick, Faculty of Social Studies, Department of Economics

Date Written: April 2018

Abstract

The 2011 Chilean student strikes, led by university students but promptly joined by hundreds of thousands of secondary school students, triggered a significant drop in public secondary school attendance (a decline of about 15 percentage points in all four grades). Attendance returned to normal levels in 2012. Using the type of school that students attended in 2011 as an instrument for school absenteeism, I show that school absenteeism has negative effects on secondary school students’ results in a post-secondary high-stakes math exam and university enrollment rates. Instrumental variables estimations suggest that a 10 percentage point decrease in attendance during secondary school is related to a 9.5 percent of a standard deviation decline in the math exam score, and a 3.2 percentage point reduction in the associated probability of university enrollment. I do not find any significant effect on the high-stakes language exam at the 5 percent level. A key finding is the persistent negative effect of school absenteeism on students' academic performance: this negative effect is present even for those students who sat the high-stakes exams three years after the strikes had ended, that is, after three years of regular schooling following the negative shock to their attendance. These results are not driven by inputs to the education production function that might have been affected by the student strikes, such as disruptiveness at the time of the high-stakes exams, school environment, teachers, class instruction, or class size.

Keywords: Student Strikes, School Absenteeism, Secondary School, Educational Attainment

JEL Classification: I20, I21

Suggested Citation

Gaete, Gonzalo, Follow the Leader: Student Strikes, School Absenteeism and Persistent Consequences on Educational Outcomes (April 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2988825 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2988825

Gonzalo Gaete (Contact Author)

University of Warwick, Faculty of Social Studies, Department of Economics ( email )

Coventry, CV4 7AL
United Kingdom

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
29
Abstract Views
270
PlumX