EduQuant seminar: Absence and Completion among students in Vocational Education
We analyze the effect of school absence on program completion among students in Vocational Education in Denmark. We use data collected on daily student attendance in combination with register data on graduation and background characteristics. Using different meteorological weather observations as instruments for student absence we find that rain and wind predict student absences. We further introduce a new instrument for absences that uses variation over time in absences but cross-sectional variation in outcome for the individual student to support our results.
Under certain assumptions, the instrument is independent of the unobserved individual-specific fixed effects, such as ability, that might otherwise affect both absence and completion. We find that absences during the first two weeks of a 20-week Vocational School introductory program has large and significant causal effects on the probability of graduation from the program.