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An Analysis of the Effectiveness of supplemental Instruction: The Problem of Selection Bias and Limited Dependent Variables

Tyler Bowles and Jason Jones ()

No 2002-14, Working Papers from Utah State University, Department of Economics

Abstract: Single equation regression models have been used rather extensively to test the effectiveness of Supplemental Instruction (SI). This approach, however, fails to account for the possibility that SI attendance and the outcome of SI attendance are jointly determined endogenous variables. Moreover, the standard approach fails to account for the fact that these two endogenous variables are categorical. This paper presents and applies a simultaneous equation, limited dependent variable model of SI effectiveness. Our analysis suggests that results from applying this type of model may differ markedly from the traditional statistical models applied in SI research. Specifically, our results suggests that students with below average academic ability are more likely to attend SI and that common measures of student ability included in single equation models fail to adequately control for this characteristic. Therefore, single equation OLS models may underestimate SI effectiveness.

Pages: 19 pages
Date: 2002-06
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