nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2014‒02‒08
twelve papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Universidade da Beira Interior and Universidade de Lisboa

  1. Information, Market Incentives, and Student Performance By Camargo, Braz; Camelo, Rafael; Firpo, Sergio; Ponczek, Vladimir
  2. "I wish I knew ..."– Misperceived Ability, School Track Counseling Services and Performances in Upper Secondary Education By Bernardi, Martino; Bratti, Massimiliano; De Simone, Gianfranco
  3. Does malaria control impact education? A study of the Global Fund in Africa By Maria Kuecken; Josselin Thuilliez; Marie-Anne Valfort
  4. The impact of a comprehensive school reform policy for failing schools on educational achievement; Results of the first four years By Roel van Elk; Suzanne Kok
  5. Education and Intergenerational Mobility: Help or Hindrance? By Jo Blanden; Lindsey Macmillan
  6. Does Longer Compulsory Education Equalize Schooling by Gender and Rural/Urban Residence? By Kirdar, Murat G.; Dayioglu-Tayfur, Meltem; Koc, Ismet
  7. Do "Child-Friendly" Practices affect Learning? Evidence from Rural India By Sushmita Nalini Das
  8. The Impact of Apprenticeship Training on Personality Traits: An Instrumental Variable Approach By Thomas Bolli; Stefanie Hof
  9. Conditionalities, School Performance and Progression of Bolsa Família Programme Recipients By Flavio Cireno; Joana Silva; Rafael Proença
  10. War and the Destruction of Human Capital By Jorge M. Agüero; Muhammad Farhan Majid
  11. Discriminação Contra os Estudantes Obesos e os muito Magros nas Escolas Brasileiras By Luis Claudio Kubota
  12. Armed conflict and schooling in Rwanda: Digging deeper By Andrea Guariso; Marijke Verpoorten

  1. By: Camargo, Braz (Sao Paulo School of Economics); Camelo, Rafael (Sao Paulo School of Economics); Firpo, Sergio (Sao Paulo School of Economics); Ponczek, Vladimir (Sao Paulo School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper uses a discontinuity on the test score disclosure rules of the National Secondary Education Examination in Brazil to test whether test score disclosure affects student performance, the composition of students in schools, and school observable inputs. We find that test score disclosure has a heterogeneous impact on test scores, but only increases average test scores in private schools. Since test score disclosure has no impact on student composition and school observable inputs in both public and private schools, our results suggest that test score disclosure changes the behavior of teachers and school managers in private schools by affecting the market incentives faced by such schools. We also develop a model of school and student behavior to help explain our empirical findings.
    Keywords: test score disclosure, market incentives, public and private schools
    JEL: I20 I21
    Date: 2014–01
  2. By: Bernardi, Martino (Fondazione Giovanni Agnelli); Bratti, Massimiliano (University of Milan); De Simone, Gianfranco (Fondazione Giovanni Agnelli)
    Abstract: Previous research shows that, in tracked school systems, enrollment decisions are strongly associated with future outcomes both in education and on the labour market. Yet few studies explicitly investigate whether students (and their parents) have all the relevant information they need to make proper decisions. We address this issue by exploiting the data collected within the Arianna Project, an independent school track counseling service run by the municipality of a large city in Northern Italy (Turin). Virtually all students in the final year of lower secondary education participate into the program and they receive advices based on standardized cognitive and non-cognitive tests. Our dataset is uniquely enriched by information on students' pre-test enrollment intentions, their final track choices and their performances in the upper secondary school. We show that students' enrollment intentions are very often inconsistent with their actual potential as revealed by Arianna. However, students (and their parents) are likely to revise their initial choice when new information on their true abilities is made available to them. Moreover, we find that students who eventually make track choices in line with Arianna's suggestions are less likely to be retained in the first year of the upper secondary education.
    Keywords: ability, information, school track choice, grade retention
    JEL: I21 I24
    Date: 2014–01
  3. By: Maria Kuecken (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris); Josselin Thuilliez (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne); Marie-Anne Valfort (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)
    Abstract: We examine the middle-run eff ects of the Global Fund's malaria control programs on the educational attainment of primary schoolchildren in Sub-Saharan Africa. Using a quasi-experimental approach, we exploit geographic variation in pre-campaign malaria prevalence (malaria ecology) and variation in exogenous exposure to the timing and expenditure of malaria control campaigns, based on individuals' years of birth and year surveyed. In a large majority of countries (14 of 22), we find that the program led to substantial increases in years of schooling and grade level as well as reductions in schooling delay. These countries are those for which pre-campaign educational resources are the highest. Moreover, although by and large positive, we nd that the marginal returns of the Global Fund disbursements in terms of educational outcomes are decreasing. Our findings, which are robust to both the instrumentation of ecology and use of alternative ecology measures, have important policy implications on the value for money of malaria control eff orts.
    Keywords: Malaria, Sub-Saharan Africa, Education, Quasi-experimental
    Date: 2014–01–06
  4. By: Roel van Elk; Suzanne Kok
    Abstract: This CPB Discussion Paper estimates the effects of a comprehensive school reform program on high-stakes test scores in Amsterdam. The program implements a systematic and performance-based way of working within weakly performing primary schools and integrates measures such as staff coaching, teacher evaluations and teacher schooling, and the use of new instruction methods. Difference-in-differences estimates show substantial negative effects on test scores for pupils in their final year of primary school. The program decreased test scores with 0.17 standard deviations in the first four years after its introduction. A potential explanation for this finding is the intensive and rigorous approach that caused an unstable work climate with increased teacher replacement.
    JEL: E32 E52 E62
    Date: 2014–01
  5. By: Jo Blanden; Lindsey Macmillan
    Abstract: Evidence on intergenerational income mobility in the UK is dated. This paper seeks to update our knowledge by introducing new estimates of mobility for later measures of earnings in the 1958 and 1970 birth cohorts. Given poor or non-existent data on more recent cohorts we adopt an indirect approach to assessing more recent mobility trends. This exploits the close link between income persistence across generations and the gap in educational achievement by family background (referred to as educational inequality). We gather a comprehensive set of data which measures educational inequality for different cohorts at different points in the education system. We conclude that educational inequality has declined for cohorts born after 1980, and this is associated with rising average educational achievement. In contrast, evidence on high attainment does not reveal that educational inequality has declined; this suggests that policy seeking to promote equality of opportunity should encourage students to aim high.
    Keywords: intergenerational income mobility
    JEL: J31
    Date: 2014–01
  6. By: Kirdar, Murat G. (Middle East Technical University); Dayioglu-Tayfur, Meltem (Middle East Technical University); Koc, Ismet (Hacettepe University)
    Abstract: This study examines the effects of the extension of compulsory schooling from 5 to 8 years in Turkey in 1997 – which involved substantial investment in school infrastructure – on schooling outcomes and, in particular, on the equality of these outcomes between men and women, and urban and rural residents using the Turkish Demographic and Health Surveys. This policy is peculiar because it also changes the sheepskin effects (signaling effects) of schooling, through its redefinition of the schooling tiers. The policy is also interesting due to its large spillover effects on post-compulsory schooling as well as its remarkable overall effect; for instance, we find that the completed years of schooling by age 17 increases by 1.5 years for rural women. The policy equalizes the educational attainment of urban and rural children substantially. The urban-rural gap in the completed years of schooling at age 17 falls by 0.5 years for men and by 0.7 to 0.8 years for women. However, there is no evidence of a narrowing gender gap with the policy. On the contrary, the gender gap in urban areas in post-compulsory schooling widens. The findings suggest that stronger sheepskin effects for men, resulting from their much higher labor-force participation rate, bring about this widening gender gap.
    Keywords: compulsory schooling, gender, rural and urban, equality in education, regression discontinuity design
    JEL: I21 I24 I28 J15 J16
    Date: 2014–01
  7. By: Sushmita Nalini Das (Department of Quantitative Social Science, Institute of Education, University of London)
    Abstract: This paper examines the effects of "child-friendly" practices on learning in rural India. These are a set of pedagogical practices intended to improve education outcomes by increasing children’s inclusion in their learning environment. They are widely promoted in international development circles, and are an increasingly important plank of Indian education policy. This paper offers the first quantitative evidence of their impact. Data is drawn from a survey of 12,576 primary school pupils in government schools in rural India. Incidence levels of six pedagogical practices, each representing a different aspect of child-friendliness described in Indian policy documents, are drawn from high-quality classroom observations. Estimates of their impact on low-stakes reading and maths test-scores are then generated using a school fixed effects value-added model. The main finding is that child-friendly practices, while well-intentioned, generally have insignificant effects on test-scores. Even in circumstances where the practices show some effects, they do not always have the positive impact which would be expected based on their popularity in policy discourse. Further, no strong evidence emerges that the practices differentially affect the test-scores of high and low ability pupil groups. These findings highlight substantial flaws in the content of the publically available evidence base which underlies important elements of Indian education policy, and the gains which could be made from more rigorous analysis at the policy formulation stage.
    Keywords: Child-Friendly practices, National Curriculum Framework, test-scores, primary education, value-added models, India
    JEL: I21 I28
    Date: 2014–02–06
  8. By: Thomas Bolli (KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich, Switzerland); Stefanie Hof (Swiss Coordination Centre for Research in Education, Switzerland)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes how apprenticeship training, i.e., work-based secondary education, affects personality traits compared to full-time school-based vocational or general education. Employing an instrumental variable approach that exploits the regional differences in the relative weight of school- and work-based secondary education across Switzerland and Europe, we determine that apprenticeship training reduces neuroticism and increases agreeableness and conscientiousness, while openness and extraversion remain unaffected. These results validate the socializing function of work-based education. However, heterogeneous treatment effects are found, indicating positive effects for students with less favorable personality traits but insignificant or even reducing effects in the case of extraversion for those with already high values in personality traits.
    Keywords: Apprenticeship, work-based education, VET, Big Five, personality traits
    JEL: C26 D01 I20 J24
    Date: 2014–01
  9. By: Flavio Cireno (Ministry of Social Development and Fight against Hunger, Brazil); Joana Silva (World Bank); Rafael Proença (World Bank)
    Abstract: Cireno et al. (2013) compare the school performance and progression of recipients and non-recipients of the Programa Bolsa Família (PBF) using administrative data obtained from the Ministry of Education (MEC), specifically the Sistema Presença, which monitors the school attendance of PBF recipients, and the Prova Brasil (results of individual pupils from the 5th to 9th years). This information is cross-referenced to administrative data from the Single Registry of the Ministry of Social Development and Fight against Hunger (MDS). Based on this data set, we analysed data on PBF recipients and non-recipients and assessed how it relates to performance in the Prova Brasil, failure rates, school drop-out rates and age-grade distortion rates.
    Keywords: Conditionalities, School Performance and Progression of Bolsa Família Programme Recipients
    Date: 2013–12
  10. By: Jorge M. Agüero (University of Connecticut); Muhammad Farhan Majid (University of Pennsylvania)
    Abstract: The identification of the effect of wars on human capital tends to focus on the population of school age children at the time of the conflict. Our paper introduces a methodology to estimate the effect of war on the stock of human capital by examining the changes in the presence of educated people after the Rwanda genocide. We find that the genocide reduced the stock of human capital in Rwanda severely. The before-and-after results show that highly educated individuals (i.e., those with primary education or more) are “missing” at a rate that is 19.4% higher than the less educated. Moreover, Rwanda's average years of schooling is lower by 0.37 years. When comparisons with Uganda are made, these estimates more than double suggesting that, if anything, the previous finding were biased downwards. Interestingly, when the cross-sectional variation within Rwanda variation in intensity of genocide is exploited there is no evidence of statistically significant differences. This suggests that the losses in the stock of human capital due to the Rwandan genocide were aggregate in nature.
    Keywords: Civil war, Mortality, Education, Human capital, Education, Genocide, Africa
    Date: 2014–01
  11. By: Luis Claudio Kubota
    Abstract: A Pesquisa Nacional de Saúde do Escolar (PeNSE) 2012, realizada pelo Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (IBGE), em parceria com o Ministério da Saúde (MS), abrange um amplo leque de assuntos, com destaque para comportamentos de risco. Este artigo tem o objetivo de analisar a discriminação contra estudantes obesos e muito magros, utilizando microdados da PeNSE. Os dados indicam que alunos que se autoclassificam “muito gordos” ou “muito magros” são muito mais propensos a comportamentos de risco, como o consumo de drogas ilícitas, álcool, cigarros e laxantes (ou indução ao vômito), quando comparados com alunos “normais”. Eles também são muito mais sujeitos a sofrer bullying frequente (BF) – especialmente aquele motivado por sua aparência corporal, a serem bullies ativos, a sentirem solidão, a sofrerem de insônia, violência familiar, agressões e lesões. Um elevado percentual está envolvido em brigas e avalia que seus pais raramente, ou nunca, entendem seus problemas e preocupações. O modelo econométrico implementado mostra que estudantes “não normais” têm mais chance de sofrer BF que os “normais”. Os alunos do sexo masculino têm maior chance de ser discriminados em relação às alunas. Não há diferença estatisticamente significativa entre escolas públicas e privadas. Alunos pretos, amarelos e indígenas têm maior chance de sofrer BF em relação aos brancos. Estudantes cujas mães não estudaram têm maior chance de sofrer BF em relação àqueles cujas mães têm ensino médio completo. PeNSE 2012 is a survey conducted by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), in partnership with the Ministry of Health. PeNSE covers a broad range of subjects, especially risk behavior. This article has the aim of analyzing discrimination against obese and very thin students using PeNSE microdata. Data indicate that students that classify themselves as “very fat” or “very thin” are much more prone to risk behaviors like consumption of illicit drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and laxatives (or vomit inducing), when compared to “normal” pupils. They are also much more likely to suffer from frequent bullying (FB), especially that motivated by their body appearance, to be active bullies, to feel frequently lonely, to suffer from insomnia, family violence, aggressions and injuries. A great percentage was involved in fights and feel that their parents rarely or never understand their problems and preoccupations. Econometric model shows that non “normal” students have a greater chance of suffering FB than “normal” pupils. Male students have greater chance of being frequently discriminated when compared to the female ones. There is no statistical difference between public and private schools. Black, yellow and Indian students have greater chance of suffering FB than white pupils. Students whose mothers didn’t study have greater chance of suffering FB than those whose mothers have completed high school education.
    Date: 2014–01
  12. By: Andrea Guariso (University of Leuven); Marijke Verpoorten (University of Antwerp)
    Abstract: Investigating the impact of armed conflict on schooling in Rwanda, we present four key findings. First, we find a strong drop in schooling, both when using DHS data and when relying on two waves of population census data bracketing the violence. Second, in contrast to previous findings, we show that there is no leveling off, i.e. the drop is not stronger for non-poor and boys. Third, we demonstrate that the armed conflict caused a drop both in primary and secondary schooling attainment, be it through different channels; the drop in primary schooling driven by slower grade progression and increased drop-outs, while the drop in secondary schooling mostly due to a decline in school initiation. Finally, our results reveal a spatial mismatch between commune-level genocide intensity and the drop in schooling. We test for several potentially confounding factors, but find that none of these factors can fully account for the mismatch. We conjecture that the impact of armed conflict on schooling in Rwanda was nationwide, both because the disruption caused by the genocide affected every corner of the country and because - besides the genocide - other forms of violence took place in Rwanda in the nineties.
    Date: 2014–01

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