NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Olga Rodriguez

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Working Papers and Chapters

August 2012Development, Discouragement, or Diversion? New Evidence on the Effects of College Remediation
with Judith Scott-Clayton: w18328
Half of all college students take at least one remedial course as part of their postsecondary experience, despite mixed evidence on the effectiveness of this intervention. Using a regression-discontinuity design with data from a large urban community college system, we extend the research on remediation in three ways. First, we articulate three alternative models of remediation to help guide interpretation of sometimes conflicting results in the literature. Second, in addition to credits and degree completion we examine several under-explored outcomes, including the initial decision to enroll, grades in subsequent college courses, and post-treatment proficiency test scores. Finally, we exploit rich high school background data to examine heterogeneity in the impact of remedial assignment b...

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