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The Cost-Effectiveness of Active School Attendance Interventions to Tackle Dropout in Secondary Schools - A Dutch Pilot Case

Sofie J. Cabus & Kristof De Witte

 

Abstract
Unauthorized truancy is considered as one of the earliest signals of a prospective school dropout decision. This paper evaluates the cost-effectiveness of an active school attendance intervention tackling school dropout in Dutch secondary education. The intervention consists of increased care for, and interaction with, at-risk students by, for example, visits at home. It relies on professional mentors, teachers, case managers, social workers and compulsory education age consultants. We analyze the effect of the intervention by a difference-in-differences analysis in combination with matching estimation techniques. The results indicate that the intervention schools signi…cantly reduced school dropout with -0.54 percentage points in the school year 2009-10 compared to the control schools and the school year 2008-09. The highest impact (-1.4 percentage points) of the intervention was estimated for the least ability students. A cost-bene…t analysis suggests that a postive net bene…t for the intervention schools.
Keywords: Cost-effectiveness; Dropout Prevention; Truancy
Jel-classi…cation: I21, I28

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