Does Remedial Education at Late Childhood Pay Off After All? Long-Run Consequences for University Schooling, Labor Market Outcomes and Inter-Generational Mobility

Victor Lavy, Assaf Kott, Genia Rachkovski

NBER Working Paper No. 25332
Issued in December 2018
NBER Program(s):Program on Children, Development Economics Program, Economics of Education Program, Labor Studies Program

We analyze in this paper the long term effect of a high school remedial education program, almost two decades after its implementation. We combine high school records with National Social Security administrative data to examine longer-term outcomes when students were in their early 30s. Our evidence suggest that treated students experienced a 10 percentage points increase in completed years of college schooling, an increase in annual earnings of 4 percentage points, an increase of 1.5 percentage points in months employed, and a significant increase in intergenerational income mobility. These gains are reflecting mainly improvement in outcomes of students from below median income families. Therefore, we conclude that remedial education program that targeted underachieving students in their last year of high school had gains that went much beyond the short term significant improvements in high school matriculation exams. A cost benefit analysis of the program suggests that the government will recover its cost within 7-8 years, implying a very high rate of return to this remedial education program.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w25332

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