nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2008‒09‒05
nine papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Classroom peer effects and student achievement By Mary A. Burke; Tim R. Sass
  2. Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Peer Effects in Early Education By Matthew Neidell; Jane Waldfogel
  3. Mismatch in Law School By Jesse Rothstein; Albert Yoon
  4. Assessing the Impact of the ECB's Monetary Policy on the Stock Markets : A Sectoral View By Konstantin Kholodilin; Alberto Montagnoli; Oreste Napolitano; Boriss Siliverstovs
  5. Do Gender Differences in Preferences for Competition Matter for Occupational Expectations? By Kristin Kleinjans
  6. Affirmative Action in Law School Admissions: What Do Racial Preferences Do? By Jesse Rothstein; Albert H. Yoon
  7. Girl Farm Labour And Double-Shift Schooling In The Gambia: The Paradox Of Development Intervention By Pamela Kea
  8. Why do Part-Time Workers invest less in Human Capital than Full-Timers? By Nelen Annemarie; Grip Andries de

  1. By: Mary A. Burke; Tim R. Sass
    Abstract: In this paper we analyze the impact of classroom peers on individual student performance with a unique longitudinal data set covering all Florida public school students in grades 3-10 over a five-year period. Unlike many previous data sets used to study peer effects in education, our data set allow us to identify each member of a given student’s classroom peer group in elementary, middle, and high school as well as the classroom teacher responsible for instruction. As a result, we can control for individual student fixed effects simultaneously with individual teacher fixed effects, thereby alleviating biases due to endogenous assignment of both peers and teachers, including some dynamic aspects of such assignments. Our estimation strategy, which focuses on the influence of peers' fixed characteristics—both observed and unobserved—on individual test score gains, also alleviates potential biases due to error in measuring peer quality, simultaneity of peer outcomes, and mean reversion. Under linear-inmeans specifications, estimated peer effects are small to non-existent, but we find some sizable and significant peer effects within non-linear models. For example, we find that peer effects depend on an individual student’s own ability and on the ability level of the peers under consideration, results that suggest Pareto-improving redistributions of students across classrooms and/or schools. Estimated peer effects tend to be smaller when teacher fixed effects are included than when they are omitted, a result that suggests co-movement of peer and teacher quality effects within a student over time. We also find that peer effects tend to be stronger at the classroom level than at the grade level.
    Keywords: Education
    Date: 2008
  2. By: Matthew Neidell; Jane Waldfogel
    Abstract: We examine peer effects in early education by estimating value added models with school fixed effects that control extensively for individual, family, peer, and teacher characteristics to account for the endogeneity of peer group formation. We find statistically significant and robust spillover effects from preschool on math and reading outcomes, but statistically insignificant effects on various behavioral and social outcomes. Of the behavioral and social effects explored, we find that peer externalizing problems, which most likely capture classroom disturbance, hinder cognitive outcomes. Our estimates imply that ignoring spillover effects significantly understates the social returns to preschool.
    JEL: I21 I28 J13
    Date: 2008–08
  3. By: Jesse Rothstein; Albert Yoon
    Abstract: An important criticism of race-based higher education admission preferences is that they may hurt minority students who attend more selective schools than they would in the absence of such preferences. We categorize the non-experimental research designs available for the study of so-called "mismatch" effects and evaluate the likely biases in each. We select two comparisons and use them to examine mismatch effects in law school. We find no evidence of mismatch effects on any students' employment outcomes or on the graduation or bar passage rates of black students with moderate or strong entering credentials. What evidence there is for mismatch comes from less-qualified black students who typically attend second- or third-tier schools. Many of these students would not have been admitted to any law school without preferences, however, and the resulting sample selection prevents strong conclusions.
    JEL: I21 J15 K30
    Date: 2008–08
  4. By: Konstantin Kholodilin; Alberto Montagnoli; Oreste Napolitano; Boriss Siliverstovs
    Keywords: Higher Education, Financial Incentives, Competing Risk Model
    JEL: H52 H24 I28
    Date: 2008
  5. By: Kristin Kleinjans (School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus, Denmark)
    Abstract: Occupational segregation by gender is prevalent and can explain some of the gender wage gap. I empirically investigate a possible explanation for this segregation: the gender difference in preferences for competition, which in recent experimental studies has been found to affect economic outcomes. I find that women’s greater distaste for competition decreases educational achievement. It can also explain part of the gender segregation in occupational fields. Specifically, accounting for distaste for competition reduces gender segregation in the fields of Law, Business & Management, Health, and Education.
    Keywords: competition, gender differences, occupational choice, expectations
    JEL: D84 J24 J16 I21
    Date: 2008–09–01
  6. By: Jesse Rothstein; Albert H. Yoon
    Abstract: The Supreme Court has held repeatedly that race-based preferences in public university admissions are constitutional. But debates over the wisdom of affirmative action continue. Opponents of these policies argue that preferences are detrimental to minority students -- that by placing these students in environments that are too competitive, affirmative action hurts their academic and career outcomes. This article examines the so-called "mismatch" hypothesis in the context of law school admissions. We discuss the existing scholarship on mismatch, identifying methodological limitations of earlier attempts to measure the effects of affirmative action. Using a simpler, more robust analytical strategy, we find that the data are inconsistent with large mismatch effects, particularly with respect to employment outcomes. While moderate mismatch effects are possible, they are concentrated among the students with the weakest entering academic credentials. To put our estimates in context, we simulate admissions under race-blind rules. Eliminating affirmative action would dramatically reduce the number of black law students, particularly at the most selective schools. Many potentially successful black law students would be excluded, far more than the number who would be induced to pass the bar exam by the elimination of mismatch effects. Accordingly, we find that eliminating affirmative action would dramatically reduce the production of black lawyers.
    JEL: I2 J15 K30
    Date: 2008–08
  7. By: Pamela Kea (Poverty Research Unit at Sussex, Department of Economics, University of Sussex)
    Abstract: This article examines the intensification of Gambian girls’ domestic and farm labour contributions as a result of the introduction of double-shift schooling. Drawing on fieldwork among female farmers and their daughters in Brikama the article puts forth the following arguments: double shift schooling facilitates the intensification and increased appropriation of surplus value from girls’ household and farm labour because girls are more readily able to meet gendered labour obligations that are central to the moral economy of the household and to the demands of agrarian production; secondly, double shift schooling highlights the paradoxical nature of development intervention where, on the one hand, legislation and policy call for a reduction in child labour by increasing access to school and, on the other, neo-liberal educational policy serves to facilitate the intensification of girls’ domestic and farm labour. It maintains that the intensification of girls’ work must be placed within a wider context where children’s, particularly girls’ cheap, flexible and/or unremunerated labour is central to the functioning of local and global processes of accumulation.
    Keywords: Inequality, Poverty, Labour, Schooling
    Date: 2007–10
  8. By: Nelen Annemarie; Grip Andries de (ROA rm)
    Abstract: We analyze whether lower investments in human capital of part-time workers are due to workers’ characteristics or human resource practices of the firm. We focus on investments in both formal training and informal learning. Using the Dutch Life-Long-Learning Survey 2007, we find that part-time workers have different determinants for formal training and informal learning than full-time workers. The latter benefit from firms’ human resource practices such as performance interviews, personal development plans and feedback. Part-time workers can only partly compensate the lack of firm support when they have a high learning motivation and imagination of their future development.
    Keywords: education, training and the labour market;
    Date: 2008
  9. By: yamamura, eiji
    Abstract: This paper attempts to analyze the results of Japan’s new bar examination, so far held in 2006 and 2007, and to investigate why the new bar examination had unanticipated outcomes. The major findings from regression analysis are: (1) The ratio of professor committee members affects the pass rate. Further, committee members specializing in the compulsory common subjects have a more significant effect than those specializing in the selective subject areas. (2) The high pass rate for prestigious national law schools is mainly to the result of the high ratio of professor committee members, while the pass rate of private law schools is partly related. (3) Ratios of committee members from prestigious law schools at 8-22% is significantly higher than for non prestigious law schools. The unexpected outcomes that stem from the shortcomings of the new bar examination are in line with concept that high-powered incentive schemes are likely to induce behavior distortions (Jacob and Levitt, 2003). To prevent professorial cheating and to achieve fairness in the new bar examination, the Ministry of Justice should at least take steps not to appoint law schools professors as committee members.
    Keywords: Competitive pressure; Japanese bar examination
    JEL: K40 K23 I23 I28
    Date: 2008–05–08

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