nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2013‒04‒06
nine papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. The Effect of Teach for America on the Distribution of Student Achievement in Primary School: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment By Antecol, Heather; Eren, Ozkan; Ozbeklik, Serkan
  2. Life-cycle effects of age at school start By Fredriksson, Peter; Öckert, Björn
  3. How to Improve Economic Understanding? Testing Classroom Experiments in High Schools By Gerald Eisenkopf; Pascal Sulser
  4. The College Type: Personality and Educational Inequality By Lundberg, Shelly
  5. Opportunities in Higher Education: An Application in France By Magali Jaoul-Grammare; Brice Magdalou
  6. A Comparative Analysis of the Diversification of University Admissions Systems: A labor market-based assessment (Japanese) By URASAKA Junko; NISHIMURA Kazuo; HIRATA Junichi; YAGI Tadashi
  7. Class-Size Effects on Adolescents’ Mental Health and Well-Being in Swedish School By Niklas, Jakobsson; Persson, Mattias; Svensson, Mikael
  8. What explains schooling differences across countries? By Cordoba, Juan Carlos; Ripoll, Marla
  9. Mincer Equation, Power Law of Learning, and Efficient Education Policy By Richter, Wolfram F.

  1. By: Antecol, Heather (Claremont McKenna College); Eren, Ozkan (University of Nevada, Las Vegas); Ozbeklik, Serkan (Claremont McKenna College)
    Abstract: Using data from a randomized experiment and fixed effect quantile regression (FEQR), we look at the effects of having a TFA teacher on test scores across the entire achievement distribution of primary school students in disadvantaged neighborhoods. While we find that TFA teachers neither help nor hurt students in terms of reading test scores, we find positive and statistically significant effects of TFA over the entire math achievement distribution for the full sample and the effects are fairly uniform. We find a similar effect of TFA across the math test score distribution irrespective of student gender, although the FEQR estimates for female students are two to three times larger than for male students. In addition, we find that there is significant heterogeneity in the effects of TFA for Hispanic and black students and for students taught by novice teachers. Finally, we find that the effect of TFA is homogeneous across the math achievement distribution irrespective of certification type. Taken together, these patterns suggest that allowing highly qualified recent college graduates and mid-career professionals, who in the absence of TFA would not have taught in these disadvantaged neighborhoods, should have a positive influence not just on students at the top of the math achievement distribution but across the entire math achievement distribution.
    Keywords: student achievement, random assignment, fixed effect quantile regression
    JEL: C21 I21 I28 J24
    Date: 2013–03
  2. By: Fredriksson, Peter (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm University); Öckert, Björn (Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy (IFAU))
    Abstract: In Sweden, children typically start compulsory school the year they turn 7. Individuals born around the new year have about the same date of birth but enter school at different ages. We exploit this source of exogenous variation to identify effects of age at school entry on educational attainment and long-run labor market outcomes. Using data for the entire native population born 1935-55, we find that school entry age raises educational attainment. We show that the comprehensive school reform (which postponed tracking until age 16) reduced the effect of school starting age on educational attainment. We also trace the effects of school starting age on prime-age earnings, employment, and wages. On average, school starting age only affects the allocation of labor supply over the lifecycle; prime-age earnings is unaffected, and there is a negative effect on discounted life-time earnings. But for individuals with low-educated parents, and to some extent women, we find that prime-age earnings increase in response to age at school start.
    Keywords: School starting age; educational attainment; life-time earnings; regression discontinuity
    JEL: C31 I21 I28 J24
    Date: 2013–03–22
  3. By: Gerald Eisenkopf (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany); Pascal Sulser (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany)
    Abstract: We present results from a field experiment at Swiss high schools in which we compare the effectiveness of a classroom experiment against conventional economics teaching. We randomly assigned classes into different teaching environments or a control group. Our results suggest that both teaching methods improve economic understanding considerably in contrast to classes without prior training. We do not observe a significant overall effect of the classroom experiment, but more able students benefit from the experiment while others lose out. Furthermore there is no robust impact of economic training on social preferences, measured as both individual behavior in incentivized decisions or political opinions.
    Keywords: Education of Economics, Classroom Experiments, Field Experiments, Indoctrination
    JEL: A21 C93 I21
    Date: 2013–02–15
  4. By: Lundberg, Shelly (University of California, Santa Barbara)
    Abstract: I examine the effects of cognitive ability and personality traits on college graduation in a recent cohort of young Americans, and how the returns to these traits vary by family background, and find very substantial differences across family background groups in the personality traits that predict successful completion of college, particularly for men. The implications are two-fold. First, the returns to noncognitive traits may be highly context-dependent. Second, policy discussion concerning educational inequality should include, not just the possibilities for remediating the skill levels of poor children, but also approaches to changing the environments that limit their opportunities.
    Keywords: education, personality, inequality
    JEL: I24
    Date: 2013–03
  5. By: Magali Jaoul-Grammare; Brice Magdalou
    Abstract: This paper first sets out criteria to evaluate the inequality of opportunity in higher education. We propose a two-level classification, by distinguishing the categorial and the counterfactual approaches. For each approach, we consider dominance quasi-orderings and inequality measures. We then apply these criteria to the French higher education system, by comparing the situation in 1992 and 2004. Our main findings reveal that: (i) there is inequality of opportunity in each of the two years; (ii) even if we cannot say that the situation was unambiguously better in 1992, we can nevertheless state that the inequality of opportunity haven’t decreased significantly in the meantime.
    Date: 2013–03
  6. By: URASAKA Junko; NISHIMURA Kazuo; HIRATA Junichi; YAGI Tadashi
    Abstract: This paper examines all types of admissions systems currently in place in Japan, and evaluates their relative performance in the labor market using graduate income. In particular, by comparing the relative performance of admission systems requiring academic testing against that of those that do not, the consequences of the rapid diversification of university admission systems seen from the mid-1980s onwards are evaluated. The analysis of the survey responses indicates that the average income for graduates who had enrolled in universities via systems requiring academic testing is statistically significantly higher than for graduates of universities not requiring academic testing as part of the admissions system. Moreover, the income difference was greater among science graduates than humanities graduates. It is without doubt that the impact of the diversification of university admissions systems should be examined from multiple angles, but the findings of this research suggest that graduates who were subject to academic testing as part of the admission system to their respective universities are assessed higher in the labor market.
    Date: 2013–03
  7. By: Niklas, Jakobsson (Dept. of Economics); Persson, Mattias (Örebro University); Svensson, Mikael (Dept. of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes whether class size has an effect on the prevalence of mental health problems and well-being among adolescents in Swedish schools. We use cross-sectional data collected in year 2008 covering 2,755 Swedish adolescents in 9th grade from 40 schools and 159 classes. We utilize different econometric approaches to address potential between- and within-school endogeneity including school-fixed effects and regression discontinuity approaches. Our results indicate no robust effects of class size on the prevalence of mental health problems and well-being, and we cannot reject the hypothesis that class size has no effect on mental health and well-being at all.
    Keywords: mental health; well-being; class size; adolescents; Sweden.
    JEL: H75 I12 I21
    Date: 2013–03–22
  8. By: Cordoba, Juan Carlos; Ripoll, Marla
    Abstract: This paper provides a theory that explains the cross-country distribution of average years of schooling, as well as the so called human capital premium puzzle. In our theory, credit frictions as well as differences in access to public education, fertility and mortality turn out to be the key reasons why schooling differs across countries. Differences in growth rates and in wages are second order.
    Keywords: human capital; life expectancy; per capita income di§erences; public education spend- ing; life cycle model
    JEL: I J O
    Date: 2013–03–01
  9. By: Richter, Wolfram F. (TU Dortmund)
    Abstract: The basis for the empirical research on earnings determination is the Mincer equation. Individuals are assumed to make schooling decisions by maximizing earnings. Leisure costs of schooling and labour supply are neglected which has some empirically implausible implications. This paper shows a way of deriving a Mincer-type earnings function from the more standard assumption of utility maximization. The implications are less questionable. The approach allows one to analyse the efficiency of education policy in Ramsey's tradition. Distortive wage taxation is shown to provide reason for subsidizing education in effective terms. Second-best policy is confronted with empirical evidence on OECD countries.
    Keywords: Mincer equation, earnings determination, maximizing utility vs. earnings, power law of learning, second-best taxation in Ramsey's tradition, education elasticity rule
    JEL: J24 H21 I28
    Date: 2013–03

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