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In this paper, we provide evidence suggesting that class attendance significantly improves student
performance. We relied on variation induced by a mandatory attendance policy, where students scoring
below the median on the midterm were required to attend lecture during the second half of the course.
This has potential policy implications for faculty looking for ways to improve student performance. First,
our results suggest that attendance can be improved by instituting a mandatory attendance policy.
Second, this improved attendance has the potential to boost learning, at least by moderately
underperforming students, without adversely affecting their performance on other classes. However, it is
worth noting that our results are a local estimate of class attendance returns, and it is likely that the return
to class attendance varies across the distribution of students. Attending lecture may have less of an
impact on very exceptional or very poor performing students.

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