Absence and Completion among Students in Vocational Education

Fane Naja Groes, Edith Madsen, Tróndur Møller Sandoy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


We analyze the effect of school absence on program completion among a group of students in Vocational Education in Denmark. According to human capital theory, being present in class and participating in class activities is an important determinant of human capital formation and therefore the casual effect of absence on educational performance is of interest. To identify this effect we use data on daily student attendance from the administrative systems of VET schools in combination with register data on ompletion and student background characteristics. There is a very strong correlation between absence and ompletion. In order to identify the casual effect of absence in completion, we introduce a new panel data instrument for absence the uses variation over time in absence for the individual student. We have observations of absence over time but we only have cross-sectional information on completion. under certain assumptions, the proposed instrument is independent of unobserved individual-specific fixed effects, such as ability, that might affect both absence and completion. However, the conditions for validity of the panel data instrument do not hold when many students have zero absence and that is the case in the setup considered in this presentation. In a different approach, we use certain weather conditions (rain and wind speed) as instruments for absence. We face the challenge that there is only little variation in weather conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSymposium i anvendt statistik 2023
EditorsPeter Linde
Place of PublicationFrederiksberg
PublisherØkonomisk Institut. Copenhagen Business School
Publication date2023
ISBN (Print)9788798937036
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Event44. Symposium i Anvendt Statistik - Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg, Denmark
Duration: 23 Jan 202324 Jan 2023
Conference number: 44


Conference44. Symposium i Anvendt Statistik
LocationCopenhagen Business School
Internet address


  • Economics of education
  • Vocational education and training
  • Adsence
  • Instrumental variables

Cite this