nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2013‒12‒15
27 papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Universidade da Beira Interior and Universidade de Lisboa

  1. Student mobility in low quality schools. Segmentation among the most vulnerable students By Marcela Perticara; Marcela Roman
  2. School meets street: exploring the links between low achievement, school exclusion and youth crime among African-Caribbean boys in London By Scott, James; Spencer, Liz
  3. Impact of Duration of Primary Education on School Outcomes: A Cross-Country Analysis By Diaz-Serrano, Luis; Pérez, Jessica
  4. School inputs and skills: complementarity and self-productivity By Nicoletti, Cheti; Rabe, Birgitta
  5. Efficiency Aspects of Government Secondary School Finances in New South Wales: Results from a Two-Stage Double-Bootstrap DEA at the School Level By Alfred A. Haug; Vincent C. Blackburn
  6. Independent Schools and Long-Run Educational Outcomes Evidence from Sweden´s Large Scale Voucher Reform By Böhlmark, Anders; Lindahl, Mikael
  7. Do Men and Women Respond Differently to Competition? Evidence from a Major Education Reform* By Louis-Philippe Morin
  8. Is the relationship between schooling and disability pension receipt causal? By Taryn Ann Galloway; Christian N. Brinch
  9. Widening Educational Disparities Outside of School: A longitudinal study of parental involvement and early elementary schoolchildren's learning time in Japan By MATSUOKA Ryoji; NAKAMURO Makiko; INUI Tomohiko
  10. Revisiting the Educational Eects of Fetal Iodine De ciency By Bengtsson, Niklas; Petersen, Stefan; Sävje, Fredrik
  11. Overeducation at a Glance: Determinants and Wage Effects of the Educational Mismatch, Looking at the AlmaLaurea Data By Caroleo, Floro Ernesto; Pastore, Francesco
  12. "High"-School: The Relationship between Early Marijuana Use and Educational Outcomes By Cobb-Clark, Deborah A.; Kassenböhmer, Sonja C.; Le, Trinh; McVicar, Duncan; Zhang, Rong
  13. Is There an Educational Penalty for Being Suspended from School? By Deborah A. Cobb-Clark; Sonja C. Kassenboehmer; Trinh Le; Duncan McVicar; Rong Zhang
  14. Students' Social Origins and targeted Grade Inflation By Alessandro Tampieri
  15. Teaching Practices and Social Capital By Yann Algan; Pierre Cahuc; Andrei Shleifer
  16. Education and Human Capital Development to Strengthen R&D Capacity in the ASEAN By Tereso S. TULLAO, Jr.; Christopher James CABUAY
  17. Acquiring Human Capital through the Generations by Migration By Smith, James P.; Delaney, Liam
  18. The Composition of Exports and Human Capital Acquisition By William W. Olney
  19. Impact of Duration of Primary Education on School Enrollment, Graduation and Drop-outs: A Cross- Country Analysis By Díaz Serrano, Lluís; Pérez, Jessica Helen
  20. Who Merits Financial Aid?: Massachusetts' Adams Scholarship By Joshua Goodman
  21. Who gets the Top Jobs? The role of family background and networks in recent graduates' access to high status professions By Lindsey Macmillan; Claire Tyler; Anna Vignoles
  22. Education, Complaints, and Accountability By Juan Botero; Alejandro Ponce; Andrei Shleifer
  23. Assessing productivity performance of basic and secondary education in Tunisia: a Malmquist analysis By António AFONSO,; Mohamed AYADI,; Sourour RAMZI
  24. Jailer of Freedom and Enemy of Growth? The Role of Personal and Social Identities in Educational Choices By Autiero, Giuseppina; O'Higgins, Niall
  25. The Costs of Early School Leaving in Europe By Brunello, Giorgio; De Paola, Maria
  26. Schooling Matters: Opportunity to Learn in PISA 2012 By William H. Schmidt; Pablo Zoido; Leland Cogan
  27. Are Females Scared of Competing with Males? Results from a Field Experiment By De Paola, Maria; Gioia, Francesca; Scoppa, Vincenzo

  1. By: Marcela Perticara (Facultad de Economía y Negocios, Universidad Alberto Hurtado); Marcela Roman (CIDE, Universidad Alberto Hurtado)
    Abstract: This study addresses the phenomenon of permanence for long years of low performance (urban) schools, measured by SIMCE. We also analyze mobility of students to other schools of same or better quality. The results show that student´s mobility rates in these schools is almost 11%. Almost 30% of the students who change school go to a school of the same or worse quality. Students with greater probabilities of changing to better performance (higher quality) schools are those pertaining to groups with greater economic resources and cultural capital or better academic performance, which could account for strong segmentation that exists in the Chilean educational system.
    Keywords: Election of schools, Determinants of the change for low quality schools, outflow of students, Chile
    JEL: I2 O54
    Date: 2012–10
  2. By: Scott, James; Spencer, Liz
    Abstract: This paper explores the process that links low achievement, school exclusion and involvement in crime among African-Caribbean boys and young men. Based on qualitative interviews with pupils and teachers at a pioneering secondary school in London and also with African-Caribbean young men who had dropped out of or been excluded from other schools in the area, we identify key aspects of trouble at school and ways in which this can lead to trouble on the street. When students experience academic or behavioural problems they may drop out of or be formally excluded from school. Although schools are responsible for arranging alternative provision, in practice, once out of mainstream education, students are unlikely to gain academic qualifications and the problem of low achievement is exacerbated. They are then at a disadvantage in the job market, and their perceived lack of legitimate opportunities for making money may lead them to engage in crime. A complex interplay of factors appears to influence this low achievement school exclusion crime sequence, including the young persons family background, their neighbourhood, and the culture in which they are embedded. According to the students who took part in school interventions the main benefits of participation were seen as: being part of a community of support; improved motivation; higher academic achievement; the ability to express emotions constructively; and a greater sense of responsibility and self- worth. Our research suggests that by adopting an inclusive rather than exclusive policy, schools can buy time, retaining vulnerable young men within the educational system, keeping their options open until they have a chance to mature, rather than leaving them to the uncertainty of the street.
    Date: 2013–11–25
  3. By: Diaz-Serrano, Luis (Universitat Rovira i Virgili); Pérez, Jessica (Universitat Rovira i Virgili)
    Abstract: Using panel data for non-OECD countries covering the period 1970-2012, this paper analyzes the impact of the duration of primary education on school enrollment, drop-outs and completion rates. The empirical results show that for children in elementary school one additional grade of primary education has a negative impact on enrollment rate, while the effect on drop-outs is positive. Analogously, we also observed that an additional grade in primary education reduces the enrollment rate in secondary education. These results are in line with the fertility model approach; that is, in developing and underdeveloped countries parents do not have incentive to send children to school given the high perceived present economic value of children.
    Keywords: primary education, school achievement, political institutions, educational reforms
    JEL: I21 I25 I28
    Date: 2013–12
  4. By: Nicoletti, Cheti; Rabe, Birgitta
    Abstract: Using administrative data on schools in England, we estimate an education production model of cognitive skills at the end of secondary school. We provide empirical evidence of selfproductivity of skills and of complementarity between secondary school inputs and skills at the end of primary school. Our inference relies on idiosyncratic variation in school expenditure and child fixed effect estimation that controls for the endogeneity of past skills. The persistence in cognitive ability is 0.22 and the return to school expenditure is three times higher for students at the top of the past attainment distribution than for those at the bottom.
    Date: 2013–12–04
  5. By: Alfred A. Haug (Department of Economics, University of Otago, New Zealand); Vincent C. Blackburn (Finance and Investment New South Wales, Department of Education and Communities)
    Abstract: This study measures the efficiency of government secondary schools in New South Wales, Australia, using a recently developed methodology of two-stage semi-parametric modeling. In contrast to previous research comparing school performance, we control for prior academic achievement of students by looking at the changes in academic achievements over a two year period, at the school level, from 2008 to 2010, and employ detailed financial data for deriving the envelope for the production frontier of the schools. Using Simar and Wilson's (2007) double bootstrap procedure for data envelopment analysis (DEA), the study finds that schools with higher student retention rates, higher total student numbers, boys or girls only, and selective admissions do better than other schools. On the other hand, a negative influence comes from a school's location in provincial and outer metropolitan areas, a higher ratio of disadvantaged students at a school, and a school's specialization in areas such as languages, performing arts, sports, etc. A surprising result is that the socio-economic characteristics of the families of students attending the school has no significant effect on their academic performance, nor does the average of the years of service of the teachers at a specific school.
    Keywords: Two-stage data envelopment analysis; double-bootstrap; efficiency of high schools in New South Wales, Australia.
    JEL: C44 C61 H53 I21 I22
    Date: 2013–11
  6. By: Böhlmark, Anders (Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University); Lindahl, Mikael (Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University)
    Abstract: -
    Keywords: school choice; independent schools; educational performance; external effects
    Date: 2013–12–04
  7. By: Louis-Philippe Morin (Department of Economics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON)
    Abstract: This paper provides new evidence of gender differences in response to increased competition, focusing on important life tasks performed in a regular social environment. The analysis takes advantage of a major education reform in Ontario that exogenously increased competition for university grades. Comparing students pre- and post-reform using rich administrative data, I find that male average grades and the proportion of male students graduating `on time' increased relative to females. Further, the evidence indicates that these changes were due to increased relative effort rather than self-selection. The findings have implications for the delivery of education and incentive provision more generally
    Keywords: competition, gender differences, higher education, performance, selection
    JEL: J16 I21
    Date: 2013
  8. By: Taryn Ann Galloway; Christian N. Brinch (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: We examine the potential causal effect of years of schooling on the use of public disability pensions by studying the extension of compulsory schooling introduced in Norway in the 1960s. Simple regressions of disability pension receipt on schooling suggest a very strong negative relationship between education and disability pension use, particularly in the lower tail of the educational distribution. Given the strength of this observed relationship, one might suspect that improvements in educational attainment would lower disability receipt and alleviate the public finance burden from such social security benefits. Our analysis of the extension of compulsory education from 7 to 9 years in Norway in the 1960s shows essentially no effects on disability pension use at age 50, with a confidence interval suggesting that at best only a minor part of the observed relationship between schooling and disability pension receipt can be explained by a causal effect of schooling on disability.
    Keywords: Education; Health; Disability
    JEL: I18 I21 J14 J24
    Date: 2013–06
  9. By: MATSUOKA Ryoji; NAKAMURO Makiko; INUI Tomohiko
    Abstract: This study attempts to further our understanding of social-class-based differences of school-aged children's effort levels by shedding light on the beginning of the inequality. Using four waves (from 1st to 4th grade students) of the Longitudinal Survey of Babies in the 21st Century collected in Japan, this study investigates how the effort gap emerges and widens in the first four years of compulsory education. The results of hierarchical linear model (HLM) growth curve analyses indicate that college-educated parents demonstrate "concerted cultivation" (Lareau 2003, 2011). Parental education background, a proxy of social class, relates to the usage of shadow education (i.e., cram schools and long distance learning), the length of a child's time spent on television viewing/video gaming, and the degree of parents' involvement in the child's learning at home. Findings of a hybrid fixed effects model show that these social-class-related parenting practices are associated with the levels and changes in children's learning time.
    Date: 2013–12
  10. By: Bengtsson, Niklas (Department of Economics); Petersen, Stefan (Department of Public Health Sciences); Sävje, Fredrik (Department of Economics)
    Abstract: Recent research has reported positive effects on schooling due to in utero protection from iodine deficiency resulting from iodized oil capsule distribution in Tanzania. We revisit the Tanzanian experience by investigating how these effects differ over time and across surveys; across different treatment specifications; and across additional educational outcome measures. Contrary to previous studies, we find that the estimated effects tend to be small and not robust across specifications or samples. Using all available data and a medically motivated iodine depletion function, we find no evidence of a positive long-run effect of iodine deficiency protection on educational attainment.
    Keywords: Iodine de ciency; Education; Prenatal exposure; Multiple outcomes; Replication; Field; Robles and Torero
    JEL: I12 I21 J16 O15
    Date: 2013–10–25
  11. By: Caroleo, Floro Ernesto (University of Naples Parthenope); Pastore, Francesco (University of Naples II)
    Abstract: This paper provides the first available evidence on overeducation/overskilling based on AlmaLaurea data. We focus on jobs held 5 years after graduation by pre-reform graduates in 2005. Overeducation/overskilling are relatively high – at 11.4 and 8% – when compared to EU economies. Ceteris paribus they tend to be more frequent among children of parents with lower educational levels, through school tracking. Most arts degrees and social sciences, but also Geology and Biology are associated to both types of the educational mismatch. The quality of education is also a factor, suggesting that in addition to the low demand for skills, one should also reckon the inability of the educational system to provide work-related skills. Moreover, we find a non-conditional wage penalty of 20% and 16% and a conditional one of about 12% and of 7%, respectively. Heckit returns a sample selection corrected penalty slightly higher, supporting not only the job competition and job assignment models, but also the human capital model.
    Keywords: university-to-work transition, overeducation, overskilling, sample selection bias, AlmaLaurea, Italy
    JEL: C25 C26 C33 I2 J13 J24
    Date: 2013–11
  12. By: Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. (University of Melbourne); Kassenböhmer, Sonja C. (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research); Le, Trinh (University of Waikato); McVicar, Duncan (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research); Zhang, Rong (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research)
    Abstract: We use unique survey data linked to nearly a decade of administrative welfare data to examine the relationship between early marijuana use (at age 14 or younger) and young people's educational outcomes. We find evidence that early marijuana use is related to educational penalties that are compounded by high-intensity use and are larger for young people living in families with a history of welfare receipt. The relationships between marijuana use and both high school completion and achieving a university entrance score appear to stem from selectivity into the use of marijuana. In contrast, early marijuana use is associated with significantly lower university entrance score for those who obtain one and we provide evidence that this effect is unlikely to be driven by selection. Collectively, these findings point to a more nuanced view of the relationship between adolescent marijuana use and educational outcomes than is suggested by the existing literature.
    Keywords: educational attainment, educational achievement, cannabis, marijuana, socioeconomic disadvantage, welfare receipt
    JEL: I20 I24 I10 I18
    Date: 2013–12
  13. By: Deborah A. Cobb-Clark (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne; and Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)); Sonja C. Kassenboehmer (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne; and Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)); Trinh Le (Department of Economics, The University of Waikato); Duncan McVicar (Queen's University Management School, Queen's University, Belfast); Rong Zhang (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)
    Abstract: Suspension from school is a commonly-used, yet controversial, school disciplinary measure. This paper uses unique survey data to estimate the impact of suspension on the educational outcomes of those suspended. It finds that while suspension is strongly associated with educational outcomes, the relationship is unlikely to be causal, but rather stems from differences in the characteristics of those suspended compared to those not suspended. Moreover, there is no evidence that suspension is associated with larger educational penalties for young people from disadvantaged family backgrounds compared to those from more advantaged family backgrounds. These results hold regardless of whether self-reported suspension or mother-reported suspension is considered. The absence of a negative causal impact of suspension on educational outcomes suggests that suspension may continue to play a role in school discipline without harming the educational prospects of those sanctioned.
    Keywords: School suspension, school discipline, educational achievement, educational attainment, causal effect
    JEL: I24 I28
    Date: 2013–10
  14. By: Alessandro Tampieri (CREA, University of Luxembourg)
    Abstract: Grade inflation or soft grading is acommon feature of the educational systems of many countries. In this paper I analyse grade inflation in a setting where students differ in social background, a firm decides its hiring strategy and the schools grading policy can be targeted according to student type. A targeted grade inflation may exacerbate the job opportunities of disad- vantaged students compared to advantaged students. This result emerges since the school has an incentive in inflating grades for a larger proportion of students coming from an advantaged social background,
    Keywords: soft grading, social background, signalling
    JEL: D82
    Date: 2013
  15. By: Yann Algan; Pierre Cahuc; Andrei Shleifer
    Abstract: We use several data sets to consider the effect of teaching practices on student beliefs, as well as on organization of firms and institutions. In student level data, teaching practices (such as teachers lecturing versus students working in groups) exert a substantial influence on student beliefs about cooperation both with each other and with teachers. In cross†country data, teaching practices shape both beliefs and institutional outcomes. The relationship between teaching practices and student test performance is nonlinear. The evidence supports the idea that progressive education promotes social capital.
  16. By: Tereso S. TULLAO, Jr. (Angelo King Institute for Ecohomic Business Studies De La Salle University); Christopher James CABUAY (Angelo King Institute for Ecohomic Business Studies De La Salle University)
    Abstract: The role of education is crucial in process of economic development. Initially, investments in training and education produce the necessary technical workers. At higher levels of economic development, the formation of highly skilled technicians, engineers, and professionals are made through advanced levels of education. The accumulation of sophisticated types of human capital is a major factor in creating the research and innovation infrastructure of a mature economy. Looking at the research and development (R&D) capacity of the ASEAN region, we see that most countries still have ways to go in order to fully develop their innovative capacity. Engineering, which is a significant source of innovations in a country, needs to have its curriculum revamped to adapt to global competition as well as to cater to the need of countries to innovate. This study recommends the improvement of technical competence of engineering education, the exploration of possible cooperation among engineering schools and professionals, learning from advanced economies on the development of advanced skills, the development of the soft skills of engineering students, and adopting an innovation perspective in the development of a nation.
    Keywords: Education, human capital, research and development, innovation, engineering education.
    JEL: I23 I25 J24 O31 O32
    Date: 2013–12
  17. By: Smith, James P. (RAND); Delaney, Liam (University of Stirling)
    Abstract: Our focus will be on the role of migration to the United States from a set of important European sending countries as a device for improving the human capital of the children and grandchildren of migrants as measured by their education. In this paper, we derive a new and conceptual more appropriate measure of the generational gains in schooling attributable to migration by taking into account the correct counter-factual – the generational education gains that would have taken place if these migrants had remained in their sending countries. We find that the two European countries where the descendants gained the most in terms of human capital are Italy and Poland.
    Keywords: human capital, education, migration
    JEL: I24 I25
    Date: 2013–11
  18. By: William W. Olney (Williams College)
    Abstract: This paper investigates whether the composition of a country's exports affects educational attainment. A simple model shows how trade affects the relative wages of skilled and unskilled labor which in turn changes the incentives to go to school. These predictions are tested using data spanning forty years and over a hundred countries. The results confirm that exporting unskill-intensive goods depresses average years of schooling, while exporting skill-intensive goods increases years of schooling. Endogeneity is address by using bilateral trade data and the gravity model to identify variation in exports that is unrelated to domestic factors. The results provide insight into which types of exports are most beneficial for human capital formation and how trade can exacerbate initial differences in factor endowments across countries.
    Keywords: Exports; Education; Human Capital
    JEL: F14 F16 J24
    Date: 2013–11
  19. By: Díaz Serrano, Lluís; Pérez, Jessica Helen
    Abstract: Using a panel data for non-OECD countries covering the period 1970-2012, this chapter analyzes the impact of the duration of primary education on school enrollment, drop-out and completion rates. The empirical results show that for children in elementary school one ad- ditional grade of primary education have a negative impact on the enrollment rate, while the e ect on drop-outs is positive. Analogously, it is obtained that an additional grade in primary education reduces the enrollment rate in secondary education. These results are in line with the fertility model approach, that is, in developing and underdeveloped countries parents do not have incentive to send children to school given the high perceived economic value of children.
    Keywords: Educació primària, Rendiment escolar, Fracàs escolar, 37 - Educació. Ensenyament. Formació. Temps lliure,
    Date: 2013
  20. By: Joshua Goodman
    Abstract: Most states now fund merit-based ï¬nancial aid programs, the effects of which depend on how strongly students react to changes in college costs. I estimate such reactions using quasiexperimental aspects of a recent Massachusetts merit scholarship program intended to attract talented students to the state's public colleges. Despite its small monetary value, the Adams Scholarship induced 6% of winners to choose four-year public colleges instead of four-year private colleges, suggesting an elasticity of demand for public college enrollment above unity. Nonetheless, most funds flowed to students who would have enrolled in public colleges absent the scholarship and the aid had no effect on winners' overall college enrollment rate, which already exceeded 90%. Regression discontinuity estimates are larger than those from difference-in-difference speciï¬cations because winners with relatively low academic skill, and thus nearest the treatment threshold, reacted much more strongly to the price change than did highly skilled winners. Conditional on academic skill, low-income winners reacted similarly to their higher income peers, suggesting that previous research may have mistaken income heterogeneity for skill heterogeneity.
  21. By: Lindsey Macmillan (Department of Quantitative Social Science, Institute of Education, University of London); Claire Tyler (Department of Quantitative Social Science, Institute of Education, University of London); Anna Vignoles (Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge)
    Abstract: There is currently a debate in policy circles about access to "the upper echelons of power" (Sir John Major, ex Prime Minister, 2013). This research seeks to understand the relationship between family background and early access to top occupations. We find that privately educated graduates are a third more likely to enter into high status occupations than state educated graduates from similarly affluent families and neighbourhoods. A modest part of this difference is driven by educational attainment with a larger part of the story working through the university that the privately educated graduates attend. Staying on to do a Masters and higher degree is also a (smaller) part of the picture. We explore one potential mechanism which is often posited as a route in accessing top jobs: the role of networks. We find that although networks cannot account for the private school advantage, the use of networks provides an additional advantage over and above background and this varies by the type of top occupation that the graduate enters. A private school graduate who uses personal networks to enter into a top managerial position has a 1.5 percentage point advantage (on a baseline 6.1%) over a state school graduate who uses other ways to find their job.
    Keywords: intergenerational mobility, social mobility, networks
    JEL: J62 L14
    Date: 2013–12–04
  22. By: Juan Botero; Alejandro Ponce; Andrei Shleifer
  23. By: António AFONSO,; Mohamed AYADI,; Sourour RAMZI
    Abstract: We analyze the productivity changes in basic and secondary education for 24 governorates in Tunisia over the period 2004-2008. In methodological term, we employ the Malmquist index, to estimate changes in total factor productivity which can be decomposed into two main components namely, technological change and technical efficiency change. We use four input variables (number of teacher per students, number of classes per students, number of schools per inhabitants, and expenditure in education per student) and two output variables measuring success rate of baccalaureate exam and rate of non-doubling in the 9th year. Our results show that on average, changes in TFP growth during the period 2004-2008 has been more linked to the changes in technology. The managerial efficiency does not have an important effect on the variation of TFP change. Generally, productivity is associated with technological innovations
    Keywords: basic and secondary education, productivity change, efficiency change, DEA, Malmquist index.
    JEL: C61 D24 I21
    Date: 2013–12
  24. By: Autiero, Giuseppina (University of Salerno); O'Higgins, Niall (University of Salerno)
    Abstract: This paper develops a theoretical and empirical model on the influence of identity on educational choices which extends the existing literature in several directions. The theoretical model proposed here allows schooling choices to be independently influenced by both personal and social identities and, in contrast to previous work, the proposed empirical counterpart is derived directly from the theoretical model. The use of UK's British Cohort Study on individuals born in 1970 allows us to identify with precision the relevant explanatory factors and to appropriately control for potentially confounding factors. Both social and personal identities are found to have substantial and statistically significant effects on educational participation decisions and these impacts are robust to a variety of specifications. The key implication is that socio-psychological factors play an important role in children's school performance through their direct influence on the utility derived from studying.
    Keywords: identity, educational choice, locus of control
    JEL: D01 I21 J24
    Date: 2013–12
  25. By: Brunello, Giorgio (University of Padova); De Paola, Maria (University of Calabria)
    Abstract: The reduction of early school leaving to less than 10 percent of the relevant population by 2020 is a headline target in the Europe 2020 strategy and one of the five benchmarks of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training. Designing adequate policies to combat early school leaving is a difficult task that requires both the identification of causal links and the measurement of costs and benefits. In this paper, we review the issues surrounding the measurement of the costs of early school leaving to individuals and societies, and examine several implemented policies that are expected to affect early school leavers. These include broad policies – such as changes in minimum school leaving age, tracking and school resources – as well as more targeted policies. While our focus is mainly on Europe, we also consider important evidence from across the Atlantic.
    Keywords: early school leaving, Europe, policy evaluation
    JEL: J24
    Date: 2013–12
  26. By: William H. Schmidt; Pablo Zoido; Leland Cogan
    Abstract: Many international comparisons of education over the past 50 years have included some measure of students’ opportunity to learn (OTL) in their schooling. Results have typically confirmed the common sense notion that a student’s exposure in school to the assessed concepts, operationalized in some sort of time metric, is related to what the student has learned as measured by the assessment. What has not been demonstrated is a connection between the specifics of what students have encountered through schooling and their performance on any sort of applied knowledge assessment such as PISA. This paper explores this issue in 2012 PISA which, for the first time, included several OTL items on the student survey. OTL demonstrated a significant relationship with student performance on both the main paper-and-pencil literacy assessment as well as the optional computer-based assessment at all three levels – country, school and student. In every country at least one if not all three of the constructed OTL indices – exposure to word problems, formal mathematics topics, and applied mathematics problems – demonstrated a significant relationship to the overall PISA measure of mathematics literacy as well as the four sub areas of change and relationships, shapes and space, quantity, and uncertainty and data. Additionally, results indicated that variability in OTL was related to student performance having implications for equality of opportunity. Ces 50 dernières années, nombre de comparaisons internationales de l'éducation ont inclus, sous une forme ou une autre, une mesure des possibilités d'apprentissage (opportunity to learn, OTL) des élèves au cours de leur scolarité. Les résultats ont généralement confirmé la notion de bon sens selon laquelle l'exposition des élèves dans la cadre scolaire aux concepts évalués, matérialisée sous forme de mesure temporelle, présente une corrélation avec les connaissances apprises par les élèves, telles que mesurées par l'évaluation. Ce qui n'a pas été démontré, en revanche, c'est le lien qui existe entre la nature des éléments spécifiques auxquels les élèves ont été exposés au cours de leur scolarité et leur performance à tout type d’évaluation des connaissances appliquées, telle que le PISA. Le présent document de travail étudie cette question dans le cadre de l’enquête PISA 2012 qui, pour la première fois, faisait figurer plusieurs items relatifs aux possibilités d’apprentissage dans son questionnaire destiné aux élèves. Il en ressort qu'il existe une corrélation significative entre les possibilités d'apprentissage et les résultats des élèves, tant dans l’évaluation papier-crayon principale que dans l’évaluation informatisée proposée à titre d’option, et ce à tous les niveaux – national, établissements d’enseignement et élèves. Dans tous les pays, au moins l'un des trois indices composites des possibilités d’apprentissage, si ce n'est tous (exposition aux problèmes lexicaux, exposition aux mathématiques formelles et exposition aux problèmes de mathématiques appliquées), présente une corrélation significative avec le niveau de compétence sur l’échelle PISA globale de culture mathématique, ainsi que sur les quatre sous-échelles variations et relations, espace et formes, quantité et incertitude et données. En outre, les résultats indiquent que la variation des indices des possibilités d’apprentissage influe sur la performance des élèves, laissant donc entrevoir des implications en termes d'égalité des chances.
    Date: 2013–12–06
  27. By: De Paola, Maria (University of Calabria); Gioia, Francesca (University of Calabria); Scoppa, Vincenzo (University of Calabria)
    Abstract: We conducted a field experiment involving 720 Italian undergraduate students to investigate the existence of gender differences in performance in competitive settings and whether performance is affected by one's opponent gender. The experimental design was aimed at disentangling gender differences in taste for competition from other differences in psychological attitudes, such as self-confidence and risk aversion. Students were invited to undertake a midterm exam under a tournament scheme having as a prize some bonus points to add to the final grade. Students competed in pairs of equal predicted ability but different gender composition. We find that females are as likely as males to take part in the competition and to obtain a good performance. The gender of one's competitor does not play any role in shaping students' behavior. Men and women perform similarly both in the competitive and in the non-competitive environment.
    Keywords: gender differences, attitude toward competition, psychological differences, tournaments, field experiment, student achievements
    JEL: J16 J24 J70 C93
    Date: 2013–12

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