DP4381 Targeted Remedial Education for Underperforming Teenagers: Costs and Benefits

Author(s): Victor Lavy, Analia Schlosser
Publication Date: May 2004
Keyword(s): natural experiment, remedial education
JEL(s): I20, J24
Programme Areas: Labour Economics, Public Economics
Link to this Page: www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=4381

There is renewed interest in ways to enhance secondary education, especially among disadvantaged students. This study evaluates the short-term effects of a remedial education programme that provided additional instruction to under-performing high school students in Israel. The programme targeted 10th–12th graders who needed additional help to pass the matriculation exams. Using a comparison group of schools that enrolled in the programme later and implementing a differences-indifferences estimation strategy, we found that the programme raised the school mean matriculation rate by 3.3 percentage points. This gain reflects mainly an effect on targeted participants and the absence of externalities on their untreated peers. The programme was found to be less cost-effective than two alternative interventions based on incentives for teachers and students.