nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2013‒01‒26
six papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Tracing the Effects of Guaranteed Admission through the College Process: Evidence from a Policy Discontinuity in the Texas 10% Plan By Jason Fletcher; Adalbert Mayer
  2. The College Choice Problem with Priorities By Alexandra Litsa; Jean-François Maguet
  3. Explaining Educational Attainment across Countries and over Time By Diego Restuccia; Guillaume Vandenbroucke
  4. Publicizing the results of standardized external tests : does it have an effect on school outcomes? By Brindusa Anghel; Antonio Cabrales; Jorge Sainz; Ismael Sanz
  5. A two-country model of high skill migration with public education By Naiditch, Claire; Vranceanu, Radu
  6. Math and Gender: Is Math a Route to a High-Powered Career? By Juanna Schrøter Joensen; Helena Skyt Nielsen

  1. By: Jason Fletcher; Adalbert Mayer
    Abstract: The Texas 10% law states that students who graduated among the top 10% of their high school class are guaranteed admission to public universities in Texas. We estimate the causal effects of this admissions guarantee on a sequence of connected decisions: students’ application behavior, admission decisions by the university, students’ enrollment choices conditional on admission; as well as the resulting college achievement. We identify these effects by comparing students just above and just below the top 10% rank cutoff. While this design is in the spirit of a regression discontinuity, we note important differences in approach and interpretation. We find that students react to incentives created by the admissions guarantee - for example, by reducing applications to competing private universities. The results also suggest that the effects of the admissions guarantee depend on the university and the type of students it attracts, and that the law is binding and alters the decisions of the admissions committees. We find little evidence that the law increases diversity or leads to meaningful mismatch for the marginal student admitted.
    JEL: I21 I23 I28
    Date: 2013–01
  2. By: Alexandra Litsa (University of Caen Basse-Normandie - CREM UMR CNRS 6211); Jean-François Maguet (University of Caen Basse-Normandie - CREM UMR CNRS 6211)
    Abstract: In traditional school choice theory, the assignment mechanisms of students to schools suppose preferences for students and priorities for schools. In this paper, interested in the admission of students to colleges, we assume that all agents have priorities over the members of the opposite side. By considering that students have priorities over colleges, we reduce the incoherence and unfairness of assignments in order to respect the best possible students' educational needs.
    Keywords: Matching, Preference, Priority, Coherence, Fairness, Mechanism
    JEL: C78 D03 D63 I20
    Date: 2012–12
  3. By: Diego Restuccia; Guillaume Vandenbroucke
    Abstract: Consider the following facts. In 1950 the richest ten-percent of countries attained an average of 8.1 years of schooling whereas the poorest ten-percent of countries attained 1.3 years, a 6-fold difference. By 2005, the difference in schooling declined to 2-fold. The fact is that schooling has increased faster in poor than in rich countries. What explains educational attainment differences across countries and their evolution over time? We develop an otherwise standard model of human capital accumulation with two novel but important features: non-homotetic preferences and an operating labor supply margin. We use the model to assess the quantitative contribution of productivity and life expectancy differences across countries in explaining educational attainment. Calibrating the parameters of the model to reproduce the historical time-series data for the United States, we find that the model accounts for 96 percent of the difference in schooling levels between rich and poor countries in 1950 and 89 percent of the increase in schooling over time in poor countries. The model generates a faster increase in schooling in poor than in rich countries consistent with the data. These results highlight the role of development in education and thus have important implications for educational policy.
    Keywords: schooling, productivity, life expectancy, education policy, labor supply
    JEL: O1 O4 E24 J22 J24
    Date: 2013–01–10
  4. By: Brindusa Anghel; Antonio Cabrales; Jorge Sainz; Ismael Sanz
    Abstract: We study the effect of standardized external tests on students’ academic outcomes. We exploit the fact that only one of the 17 Spanish regions started doing and publishing the results of standardized tests in 2005 to apply a difference-in-difference methodology, using outcomes of the PISA study from 2000 to 2009. We later confirm our results using synthetic control methods. Using data from a single country allows us to minimize biases arising from differences in legal frameworks, social or cultural environments. Our econometric analysis lends plausibility to the hypothesis that this type of test significantly improves student outcomes. A key novelty is that our exams do not have academic consequences for the students, so that effects have to come directly from the impact on teachers and administrators
    Keywords: External and standardized tests, PISA, Difference-in-difference, Synthetic control methods
    Date: 2012–12
  5. By: Naiditch, Claire (ESSEC Business School); Vranceanu, Radu (ESSEC Business School)
    Abstract: This paper proposes a two-country model of migration in a transferable skill sector, where workers'education is provided free of charge by governments. We study firstly the non-cooperative equilibrium where the poor country decides on the education level and the rich country decides on the quota of skilled migrants. Additional migration raises earnings prospects in the source country and attracts more talented people to that profession, what we refer to as the sector-specific brain gain effect. This game presents a single stable equilibrium with positive migration. Compared to the cooperative equilibrium, in the noncooperative equilibrium the poor country systematically under-invests in education. Whether migration is too strong or too weak depends on the size of the brain gain effect. Furthermore, the size of the welfare gain to be reaped by moving from non-cooperative to the cooperative organization of migration also depends on the strength of the sector-specific brain gain.
    Keywords: High-skill migration; Brain-gain; Public education; Human capital; Government
    JEL: F22 H11 I25
    Date: 2013–01
  6. By: Juanna Schrøter Joensen (Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden); Helena Skyt Nielsen (Department of Economics and Business, Aarhus University, Denmark)
    Abstract: There is a large gender gap in advanced math coursework in high school that many believe exists because girls are discouraged from taking math courses. In this paper, we exploit an institutional change that reduced the costs of acquiring advanced high school math to determine if access is, in fact, the mechanism - in particular for girls at the top of the math ability distribution. By estimating marginal treatment effects of acquiring advanced math qualifications, we document substantial beneficial wage effects from encouraging even more females to opt for these qualifications. Our analysis suggests that the beneficial effect comes from accelerating graduation and attracting females to high-paid or traditionally male-dominated career tracks and to CEO positions. Our results may be reconciled with experimental and empirical evidence suggesting there is a pool of unexploited math talent among high ability girls that may be retrieved by changing the institutional set-up of math teaching.
    Keywords: Math, gender, career choice, high school curriculum, instrumental variable
    JEL: I21 J24
    Date: 2013–01–18

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