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TAKS-ing students? Texas exit exam effects on human capital formation

Economics of Education Review Volume 62, Number 1, ISSN 0272-7757 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


High-stakes exit exams are pervasive in the American education system and have the ability to affect students far beyond their earned scores. This paper considers how exit exams in Texas affect student motivational responses and classroom behavior before the end of high school. Employing a regression discontinuity framework, I examine the impact of failing the exam the first time it is administered. Considering behavioral responses to the administration of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS), I study the impact on students’ courses taken, attendance, and disciplinary actions after the exam in the final year of high school. I find that, in line with a model of motivation with heterogeneous effects, some students who fail respond through an increase in the number of courses taken in their senior year, and find a smaller increase in disciplinary infractions.


Polson, C. (2018). TAKS-ing students? Texas exit exam effects on human capital formation. Economics of Education Review, 62(1), 129-150. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved January 27, 2020 from .

This record was imported from Economics of Education Review on March 1, 2019. Economics of Education Review is a publication of Elsevier.

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