Better Luck Next Time: Learning Through Retaking
In this paper we provide some evidence that repeat taking of competitive exams may reduce the impact of background disadvantages on educational outcomes. Using administrative data on the university entrance exam in Turkey we estimate cumulative learning between the first and the nth attempt while controlling for selection into retaking in terms of observed and unobserved characteristics. We find large learning gains measured in terms of improvements in the exam scores, especially among less advantaged students.
We are grateful to the Center for University Selection and Placement (O SYM) for providing the data. We would also like to thank Dilara Bakan Kalaycıoglu for answering all our questions about the data and Quang Vuong and Susumu Imai for extremely useful conversations. We are also indebted to participants of the Pacific Conference for Development Economics 2011, the 10th Journees Louis-André Gérard-Varet Conference in Public Economics, the LACEA 2012 Annual Meeting, the 2012 Seminar Series at the Copenhagen Business School, the 8th Annual Conference on Economic Growth and Development at ISI Delhi, and the 2012 Asian Meeting of the Econometric Society for suggestions and comments. Kala Krishna would like to thank the Human Capital Foundation (www.hcfoundation.ru), and especially Andrey P. Vavilov, for support of the Department of Economics at Penn State University. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
I am grateful to the Human Capital Foundation(www.hcfoundation.ru), and especially Andrey P. Vavilov, for support of the Department of Economics, the Center for the Study of Auctions, Procurements, and Competition Policy (CAPCP, http://capcp.psu.edu/), and the Center for Research in International Financial and Energy Security (CRIFES, http://crifes.psu.edu/ ) at Penn State University, and to the World Bank for support on a related paper and the project as a whole.
Veronica Frisancho & Kala Krishna & Sergey Lychagin & Cemile Yavas, 2016. "Better luck next time: Learning through retaking," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, vol 125, pages 120-135. citation courtesy of