The impact of online technical education on schooling outcomes: Evidence from Brazil

Accesible PDF image
Oct 2021
This paper studies the impact of online technical education offered to complement regular academic instruction in high school on student schooling outcomes. Using a regression discontinuity design with an oversubscribed large-scale online technical course in Brazil, we find that students who score above the cutoff on the online technical education admission exam are less likely to drop out of high school, while their performance on standardized tests in math and Portuguese is similar to that of students just below the admission exam cutoff. Overall, we provide evidence that complementing high school regular instruction with technical education in an online format can be an effective public policy to increase students work readiness as it reduces the dropout rate from secondary education without negatively affecting students academic proficiency.