nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2009‒12‒05
four papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Polytechnic Institute of Portalegre and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Evidence of neighborhood e?ects on educational performance in the chilean school voucher system By Dante Contreras; Patricia Medrano
  2. Individual Teacher Incentives, Student Achievement and Grade Inflation By Pedro S. Martins
  3. Parental Investment in Children: Differential Pathways of Parental Education and Mental Health By Chikako Yamauchi
  4. Religion, Religiosity and Educational Attainment of Immigrants to the USA By Sankar Mukhopadhyay

  1. By: Dante Contreras; Patricia Medrano
    Abstract: This paper uses alternative measures of neighborhood quality to study its impact on student performance in school. The Chilean voucher-based education system allows us to test separately for neighborhood and traditional in-classroom peer effects, which have been traditionally empha- sized by the literature. We use the Human Development Index reported by United Nations, and the relative number of books in public libraries at the county level, to measure neighborhood quality. We ?nd that a 5 basis point increase in the HDI Index, is related to an increase of 1 to 4 points in the SIMCE test, depending on the speci?cation. The e?ect is equivalent to half a year increase in mothers education (one additional year achieves a 7 point increase in SIMCE scores). Interestingly, the e?ect remains when we look at the sample of random movers.
    JEL: O18 Z13 J18
    Date: 2009–11
  2. By: Pedro S. Martins
    Abstract: How do teacher incentives affect student achievement? Here we examine the effects of the recent introduction of teacher performance-related pay and tournaments in Portugal's public schools. Specifically, we conduct a difference-in-differences analysis based on population matched student-school panel data and two complementary control groups: public schools in autonomous regions that were exposed to lighter versions of the reform; and private schools, which are subject to the same national exams but whose teachers were not affected by the reform. We find that the focus on individual teacher performance decreased student achievement, particularly in terms of national exams, and increased grade inflation.
    Keywords: Tournaments, Public Sector, Matched School-Student Data
    JEL: I21 M52 I28
    Date: 2009–12
  3. By: Chikako Yamauchi
    Abstract: This paper examines pathways through which parental characteristics might affect children’s cognitive and behavioural outcomes. Using the 2004 LSAC, I show that more educated and mentally healthier parents are likely to have children with better outcomes. While educated parents are more frequently engaged in education-oriented activities with their children, mentally healthier parents exhibit more favourable parenting practices. To the extent that these results reflect causal relationships, they suggest that parental education and mental health affect children’s outcomes through different pathways.
    Keywords: parental education, parental mental health, test score, behavioural outcome, parenting
    JEL: D1 I2 J2
    Date: 2009–09
  4. By: Sankar Mukhopadhyay (Department of Economics, University of Nevada, Reno)
    Abstract: This paper quantifies the association between religions, religiosity and educational attainment of new lawful immigrants to the U.S. This paper considers a broad set of religions that includes most of the major religions of the world. Using data from the New Immigrant Survey (2003), we show that affiliation with religion is not necessarily associated with an increase in educational attainment. Muslim and “Other religion” immigrants have less education compared to the immigrants who are not affiliated with any religion. However, affiliation with the Jewish religion is associated with higher educational attainment for males. With regard to religiosity, our results show that high religiosity is associated with lower educational attainment, especially for females. We also outline alternative frameworks that provide insight about the mechanisms that link religion and religiosity with educational attainment.
    Keywords: Immigration; Religion; Religiosity; Education
    JEL: I21 Z12
    Date: 2009–11

This nep-edu issue is ©2009 by Joao Carlos Correia Leitao. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.