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Table 7 presents ITT estimates representing the effect of a lottery offer on credits attempted in ninth grade and a binary variable indicating whether the student failed any courses during ninth grade. The point estimates in panel A do not reveal and statistically significant effects on credits attempted, although the point estimates in panel B do reveal substantial reductions in the likelihood of any course failure. The point estimate in column 3 indicates that lottery winners in the full sample are around 8.6 percentage points less likely to fail any courses relative to their lottery loser counterparts. The point estimates in columns 4 and 5 make clear that this effect is entirely driven by lottery winners with low baseline achievement, who are 20.4 percentage points less likely to fail any courses during ninth grade. This contrasts with the small and statistically insignificant point estimate among lottery winners with high baseline achievement. The p-value from a statistical test of the difference between these coefficients is p = 0.008, which means that I can reject the null hypothesis of equality. For completeness, I present TOT estimates for the same outcomes in online appendix table A9. These results are qualitatively similar to the reduced-form effects.

Table 7.

The Effects of StudentU on Student Course-Taking and Completion (Intent-to-Treat)

All StudentsBaseline Achievement
LowHighp-value
(1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6)
Panel A. Credits attempted       
 0.132* 0.130* 0.119 0.167 0.072 0.464 
 (0.074) (0.074) (0.074) (0.102) (0.094)  
Control mean 7.692 7.692 7.692 7.633 7.759  
Observations 279 279 279 136 143  
Panel B. Course failure (0/1)       
 −0.081 −0.096* −0.086* −0.204*** 0.031 0.008 
 (0.053) (0.052) (0.051) (0.069) (0.065)  
Control mean 0.265 0.265 0.265 0.398 0.115  
Observations 279 279 279 136 143  
Demographic controls No Yes Yes Yes Yes  
Baseline achievement No No Yes Yes Yes  
All StudentsBaseline Achievement
LowHighp-value
(1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6)
Panel A. Credits attempted       
 0.132* 0.130* 0.119 0.167 0.072 0.464 
 (0.074) (0.074) (0.074) (0.102) (0.094)  
Control mean 7.692 7.692 7.692 7.633 7.759  
Observations 279 279 279 136 143  
Panel B. Course failure (0/1)       
 −0.081 −0.096* −0.086* −0.204*** 0.031 0.008 
 (0.053) (0.052) (0.051) (0.069) (0.065)  
Control mean 0.265 0.265 0.265 0.398 0.115  
Observations 279 279 279 136 143  
Demographic controls No Yes Yes Yes Yes  
Baseline achievement No No Yes Yes Yes  

Notes: The dependent variable in panel A is the number of credits attempted during ninth grade, and the dependent variable in panel B is an indicator that takes on the value of one if the student received at least one failing course grade during ninth grade. The sample is composed of the 2012—14 StudentU cohorts (lottery winners and losers). Specifications with demographic controls include female, black, Hispanic, economically disadvantaged in fifth grade, age (at the beginning of fifth grade), charter enrollment in fifth grade, gifted in fifth grade, special education in fifth grade, and English learner in fifth grade. Specifications with baseline achievement controls include math achievement in fifth grade and reading achievement in fifth grade. Models estimated on the full sample and by separately baseline achievement include cohort fixed-effects and cohort fixed-effects interacted with student gender. Robust standard errors are reported in parentheses.

Asterisks denote statistical significance: *p < 0.10, **p < 0.05, ***p < 0.01.

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