Compulsory class attendance versus autonomy

Sofoklis Goulas, Silvia Griselda, Rigissa Megalokonomou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


We estimate the effect of an increased autonomy policy for higher-performing students on short- and longer-term school outcomes. We exploit an institutional setting with high demand for autonomy. Identification comes from a nationwide natural experiment that allowed higher-achieving students to miss 44 percent more classes with parental approval. Using a difference-in-difference-in-differences approach, we find that allowing higher-achieving students to skip more classes increases their performance in subjects that matter for university admission and improves the quality of their enrolled college degree. Top-performing students and students in more academically diverse classrooms demand more autonomy when it is offered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)935-981
Number of pages47
JournalJournal of Economic Behavior and Organization
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023


  • Learning autonomy
  • Natural experiment
  • Returns to education
  • School attendance

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