Virtual learning, real effects: does delivery mode influence students' attainment?

Fabio Yoshio Suguri Motoki, Valdemar Pinho Neto, Victor Rodrigues

Research output: Working paperPreprint


We examine the impact of online teaching on the academic performance of undergraduate students in Brazil. We focus on the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Exam, which offers an interesting setting: (a) accountants need to pass it to practice the profession, (b) it did not suffer any methodological adaptations due to the pandemic shock, and (c) it separates results from online and in-person students. We employ a difference-in-differences (DiD) approach and find that transitioning to online teaching negatively impacts the performance of in-person students. Our findings reconcile prior conflicting evidence on undergraduate students and contribute to informing policy discussions and the literature on the effects of digital technologies on education.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sep 2023


  • online education
  • standardized test
  • certification exam
  • certified public accountant
  • Covid-19

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