Does taking additional Maths classes in high school affect academic outcomes?

Andrea Priulla, Martina Vittorietti, Massimo Attanasio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Several studies in the mathematical education literature show the effect of students’ high school skills in maths on their success at higher levels of education and work. In particular, the importance of maths course taking in US high schools is highlighted to be important for college enrollment and completion. The choice of taking additional maths courses or, as in Italy, of choosing a high-school curriculum with more maths, is not random: it depends on several substantial factors such as gender and socio-economic status. This selection bias implies that the differences in the academic outcomes might be traceable not only to mathematics ability and knowledge. In this paper, the aim is to estimate the treatment effect of attending a relatively new high school curriculum in Italy with more maths, with respect to the traditional track of the scientific “liceo”, on two academic outcomes: university enrollment and first-year university performance. After having reduced the selection bias using a caliper multi-level propensity score matching procedure, a multi-state Markov model is used to study the treatment effect on the joint educational outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101674
JournalSocio-Economic Planning Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Does taking additional Maths classes in high school affect academic outcomes?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this