Student Absences and Academic Achievement

Eric R Eide, Ian Fillmore, Mark H Showalter

Abstract


We use nationally representative data on students in the United States who are enrolled in grades 7-12 together with the statistical techniques of Ordinary Least Squares (OLS), Quantile Regression (QR), and Instrumental Variables (IV) to explore how various types of student absences are related to test scores. Using a variable that measures total absences, the OLS results suggest that missing two weeks of school is associated with a one-tenth standard deviation reduction in math score. Estimates vary widely when allowing the relation to differ by type of absence and by quantile of the conditional test score distribution. Using absence due to injury as an IV for total absence leads to larger coefficients than OLS.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jse.v7i4.12119

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