nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2014‒06‒02
seventeen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Universidade da Beira Interior and Universidade de Lisboa

  1. What Can Latin America Learn from Rigorous Impact Evaluations of Education Policies? By Murnane, RJ; Ganimian, A. J.
  2. School choice, segregation, and forced school closure By Witte K. de; Ong C.
  3. The Efficiency of Australian Schools: Evidence from the NAPLAN Data 2009-2011 By Nghiem, Son; Nguyen, Ha; Connelly, Luke
  4. Education and Household Welfare By Fafchamps, Marcel; Shilpi, Forhad
  5. Spillover effects of studying with immigrant students; a quantile regression approach By Ohinata, Asako; van Ours, Jan C
  6. Financing Higher Education: a contributory education scheme By David Flacher; Hugo Harari-Kermadec; Léonard Moulin
  7. Education Promoted Secularization By Becker, Sascha O.; Nagler, Markus; Woessmann, Ludger
  8. Landownership Concentration and the Expansion of Education By Cinnirella, Francesco; Hornung, Erik
  9. Improving College Access and Success for Low-Income Students: Evidence from a Large Need-based Grant Program By Fack, Gabrielle; Grenet, Julien
  10. Gender Gaps in Primary School Achievement: A Decomposition into Endowments and Returns to IQ and Non-cognitive Factors By Golsteyn, Bart H.H.; Schils, Trudie
  11. The Illusion of School Choice: Empirical Evidence from Barcelona By Calsamiglia, Caterina; Güell, Maia
  12. Tuition fees as a commitment device By Ketel, Nadine; Linde, Jona; Oosterbeek, Hessel; van der Klaauw, Bas
  13. Education, training and skill development policies in Arab Gulf countries: Macro-micro overview By Nour S.
  14. Time preferences, study effort, and academic performance By Tempelaar D.T.; Non J.A.
  15. Loose Knots:Strong versus Weak Commitments to Save for Education in Uganda By Karlan, Dean S.; Linden, Leigh
  16. Funding and Research Outcomes in PhD Programs By Roberto Nisticò
  17. Heterogeneous Peer Effects in Education By Patacchini, Eleonora; Rainone, Edoardo; Zenou, Yves

  1. By: Murnane, RJ; Ganimian, A. J.
    Abstract: This PREAL Working Paper by Richard J. Murnane and Alejandro J. Ganimian distills four main lessons for pre K-12 education policy in Latin America from impact evaluations in developing countries throughout the world. First, reducing the costs of going to school and expanding schooling options increase attendance and attainment, but do not consistently increase student achievement. Second, providing information about school quality, developmentally appropriate parenting practices, and the economic returns to schooling affects the actions of parents and the performance of private schools. Third, more or better resources improve student achievement only if they result in changes in children’s daily experiences at school. Finally, well-designed incentives increase teacher effort and student achievement from very low levels, but low-skilled teachers need specific guidance to reach minimally acceptable levels of instruction.
    Date: 2014–01
  2. By: Witte K. de; Ong C. (UNU-MERIT)
    Abstract: We exploit the forced closure of three segregated primary schools in Amsterdam to establish the determinants of school choice of ethnic minority pupils. The schools were closed due to mismanagement and poor assessment from the Education Inspectorate. Most of the affected students were of socially disadvantaged and non-western migrant background. Our analysis contrasts the respective school choice decisions of the early movers who had voluntarily changed schools within two years before the forced closure and the forced movers who had to move to other schools after the closure. Using a conditional logit model and a nested logit framework, we find that i students of segregated schools tend to re-concentrate into the same schools rather than disperse into different schools; ii primary school choice is nested upon school type; and iii the forced movers prefer schools with more peers of own non-western and low socioeconomic background, less peer truancy, and shorter residence-to-school distance. Keywords School choice; Ethnic segregation; School closure; School mobility, Nested logi
    Keywords: Education and Research Institutions: General; Education: Government Policy; Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics: Government Policy;
    JEL: I20 I28 R28
    Date: 2014
  3. By: Nghiem, Son; Nguyen, Ha; Connelly, Luke
    Abstract: This study examines the technical efficiency of schools in Australia and its determinants using NAPLAN test results of about 6,800 schools in 2009-2011 and other information from the “My School” website. For each school, we use the average growth of test scores for the same students between 2009 and 2011 as the measure of the school's output and four input measures: the student-teacher ratios, student-non-teaching staff ratios, recurrent income per student and (averaged) capital expenditure per student. We are also able to compare schools by type: including whether or not the school is a public school or a private school, a single sex or co-educational schools, a primary or secondary school, or a school that provides both primary and secondary schooling. In addition we control for several other environmental indicators for each school including: an index of social and educational advantage, the proportion of school children who identify as an Aborigine or Torres Strait Islander, the proportion of students from a non English-speaking background, the proportion of students female, as well as the region, state and territory in which the school is located. We estimate that the average technical efficiency score of Australian schools is 59 per cent and find evidence of input congestion for all of the inputs studied. On average, the growth target for schools in the sample to reach the efficiency frontier is 100 NAPLAN points. Our results suggest that eliminating inputs congestion could, in theory, reduce expenditure per school student by A$2,000. At the primary level, Catholic and independent schools are less efficient than public schools, but this story is reversed at the secondary level. We also find that schools with students from more advantageous social and economic backgrounds and schools with higher ratios of students from non-English speaking backgrounds tend to be more efficient. The results are robust to the choices about how to construct the frontier (e.g., in aggregate or for disaggregates by school type) and to our treatments of output and super-efficiency.
    Keywords: Efficiency, Australia, data envelopment analysis, double bootstrap
    JEL: D24 I21
    Date: 2014–05–27
  4. By: Fafchamps, Marcel; Shilpi, Forhad
    Abstract: Using census data from Nepal we examine how the partial derivatives of predicted household welfare vary with parental education.We focus on fertility, child survival, schooling, and child labor. Female education is not as strongly associated with beneficial outcomes as is often assumed. Male education often matters more, and part of the association between female education and welfare is driven by marriage market matching with more educated men. Controlling for the average education of parental cohorts does not change this finding. But when we use educational rank to proxy for unobserved ability and family background, the positive association between female education and beneficial outcomes becomes weaker or is reversed. For women the association between educational rank and outcomes is strong: women who obtain more schooling than their peers in school have fewer children and educate them better. In contrast, for men the statistical association between education and household welfare remains strong even after we control for educational rank within their birth cohort.
    Keywords: child welfare; marriage market; Nepal; parental education; South Asia
    JEL: I25
    Date: 2013–11
  5. By: Ohinata, Asako; van Ours, Jan C
    Abstract: We analyze how the share of immigrant children in the classroom affects the educational attainment of native Dutch children in terms of their language and math performance at the end of primary school. Our paper studies the spill-over effects at different parts of the test score distribution of native Dutch students using a quantile regression approach. We find no evidence of negative spillover effects of the classroom presence of immigrant children at the median of the test score distribution. In addition, there is no indication that these spill-over effects are present at other parts of the distribution.
    Keywords: Educational attainment; Immigrant children; Peer effects
    JEL: I21 J15
    Date: 2013–11
  6. By: David Flacher (CEPN - Centre d'Economie de l'Université Paris Nord - Université Paris XIII - Paris Nord - CNRS : UMR7234 - Université Sorbonne Paris Cité (USPC)); Hugo Harari-Kermadec (IDHE - Institutions et Dynamiques Historiques de l'Economie - CNRS : UMR8533 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne - Université Paris VIII - Vincennes Saint-Denis - Université Paris X - Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense - École normale supérieure (ENS) - Cachan); Léonard Moulin (CEPN - Centre d'Economie de l'Université Paris Nord - Université Paris XIII - Paris Nord - CNRS : UMR7234 - Université Sorbonne Paris Cité (USPC))
    Abstract: In this paper, we study the higher education financing based on the classical contributory versus self-funded pension funding scheme. We provide a brief discussion of how a system based on student debt can be seen 'funded' and why it fails to ensure equity and efficiency and funding for the longer term. We also define a contributory financing scheme for higher education based on income tax and social security contributions, and study its strengths and weaknesses. By contributory, we mean a scheme that ensures free access to university, providing for students' expenses and the costs of research and teaching. We show that such a system would be efficient and equitable, and we discuss under what conditions it would be efficient. We show also that it would prevent polarization in the higher education system. We conclude with an implementation of our contributory financing scheme in the case of France (it increases university funding by €5bn and provides €19bn for students' expenditure) and illustrate the effect of such a scheme on some typical households.
    Keywords: Universal Autonomy Allowance, contributory scheme, funded education scheme, financing higher education, equity, efficiency.
    Date: 2013–09–16
  7. By: Becker, Sascha O.; Nagler, Markus; Woessmann, Ludger
    Abstract: Why did substantial parts of Europe abandon the institutionalized churches around 1900? Empirical studies using modern data mostly contradict the traditional view that education was a leading source of the seismic social phenomenon of secularization. We construct a unique panel dataset of advanced-school enrollment and Protestant church attendance in German cities between 1890 and 1930. Our cross-sectional estimates replicate a positive association. By contrast, in panel models where fixed effects account for time-invariant unobserved heterogeneity, education – but not income or urbanization – is negatively related to church attendance. In panel models with lagged explanatory variables, educational expansion precedes reduced church attendance.
    Keywords: Education; Germany; History; Secularization
    JEL: I20 N33 Z12
    Date: 2014–03
  8. By: Cinnirella, Francesco; Hornung, Erik
    Abstract: This paper studies the effect of landownership concentration on school enrollment for nineteenth century Prussia. Prussia is an interesting laboratory given its decentralized educational system and the presence of heterogeneous agricultural institutions. We find that landownership concentration, a proxy for the institution of serfdom, has a negative effect on schooling. This effect diminishes substantially towards the end of the century. Causality of this relationship is confirmed by introducing soil texture to identify exogenous farm-size variation. Panel estimates further rule out unobserved heterogeneity. We present several robustness checks which shed some light on possible mechanisms.
    Keywords: Education; Institutions; Land concentration; Peasants' emancipation; Prussian economic history; Serfdom
    JEL: I25 N33 O43 Q15
    Date: 2013–11
  9. By: Fack, Gabrielle; Grenet, Julien
    Abstract: Using comprehensive administrative data on France’s single largest financial aid program, this paper provides new evidence on the impact of large-scale need-based grant programs on the college enrollment decisions, persistence and graduation rates of low-income students. We exploit sharp discontinuities in the grant eligibility formula to identify the impact of aid on student outcomes at different levels of study. We find that eligibility for an annual cash allowance of 1,500 euros increases college enrollment rates by up to 5 percentage points. Moreover, we show that need-based grants have positive effects on student persistence and degree completion.
    Keywords: college enrollment; degree completion; Need-based grants; student persistence
    JEL: H52 I22 I28
    Date: 2013–10
  10. By: Golsteyn, Bart H.H. (Maastricht University); Schils, Trudie (Maastricht University)
    Abstract: In elementary school, girls typically outperform boys in languages and boys typically outperform girls in math. The determinants of these differences have remained largely unexplored. Using rich data from Dutch elementary schools, we decompose the differences in achievement into gender differences in endowments and returns to IQ and non-cognitive factors. This descriptive analysis is a thought experiment in which we show the consequences for school performance if girls and boys would have similar resources and take similar advantage of these resources. Our findings indicate that gender differences in resources with respect to social and instrumental skills and need for achievement can explain part of the differences in performance. Boys seem to be better equipped with these resources. Additionally, boys and girls employ their skills differently. Girls take more advantage of their IQ than boys. Yet, the largest part of this parameter effect is left unexplained by IQ and non-cognitive factors.
    Keywords: decomposition, achievement, education, gender, personality
    JEL: I21 I24
    Date: 2014–05
  11. By: Calsamiglia, Caterina (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona); Güell, Maia (University of Edinburgh)
    Abstract: School choice aims to improve (1) the matching between children and schools and (2) students' educational outcomes. Yet, the concern is that disadvantaged families are less able to exercise choice, which raises (3) equity concerns. The Boston mechanism (BM) is a procedure that is widely used around the world to resolve overdemands for particular schools by defining a set of priority points based on neighborhood and socioeconomic characteristics. The mechanism design literature has shown that under the BM, parents may not have incentives to provide their true preferences, thereby establishing a trade-off between preferences and perceived safety. However, the set of possible Nash equilibria arising from the BM is large and has varying properties, and what will actually happen is an empirical question. We exploit an unexpected change in the definition of neighborhood in Barcelona, which provides an exogenous change in the set of schools perceived as safe and allows us to separate housing and schooling decisions to assess the importance of this trade-off in the data. We find that safety carries a large weight in family choice. The huge majority of parents opt for schools for which they have the highest priority – the neighborhood schools – excluding other preferred schools. Similar to the previous literature, we also find that some parents seem naive, but using school registry data, we find that a significant fraction of them have the outside option of private schools, which allows them to take higher risks to access the best public schools. At the other extreme, some of the naive are not matched to any of the schools they applied for. Our results suggest that when allowing school choice under the BM with priorities: (1) the gains in terms of matching seem limited, because the equilibrium allocation is not very different from a neighborhood-based assignment, (2) estimating the effect of choice on outcomes by implementing such a mechanism may lead to a lower bound on the potential effects of having choice, and (3) important inequalities emerge beyond parents' naivete found in the literature.
    Keywords: school choice, Boston mechanism, priorities
    JEL: C78 D63 I24
    Date: 2014–05
  12. By: Ketel, Nadine; Linde, Jona; Oosterbeek, Hessel; van der Klaauw, Bas
    Abstract: This paper reports on a field experiment testing for sunk-cost effects in an education setting. Students signing up for extra-curricular tutorial sessions randomly received a discount on the tuition fee. The sunk-cost effect predicts that students who receive larger discounts will attend fewer tutorial sessions. For the full sample, we find little support for this hypothesis, but we find a significant effect of sunk costs on attendance for the 45% of students in our sample who are categorized as sunk-cost prone based on hypothetical survey questions. For them higher tuition fees can serve as a commitment device to attend classes.
    Keywords: Field experiment; Higher education; Sunk-cost effect
    JEL: C93 D03 I22
    Date: 2014–03
  13. By: Nour S. (UNU-MERIT)
    Abstract: This paper uses a combination of secondary and primary data to provide a more comprehensive analysis of education, training and skill development policies in the Gulf countries. Different from earlier studies an interesting element in our analysis is that we discuss both the supply and demand sides of educational policies in the Gulf countries. A novel element in our study is that we present and compare the macro and micro views/perspectives concerning plans and policies implemented to improve skill upgrading through enhancing educational system, provision of training, transfer of knowledge/external schooling effect, using the macro and firm surveys 2002 data. Keywords Education; training; skill; skill upgrading policies; Gulf countries
    Keywords: National Government Expenditures and Education; Education and Research Institutions: General; Analysis of Education; Education and Inequality; Education: Government Policy; Personnel Economics: Training; Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration;
    JEL: H52 I20 I21 I24 I28 M53 O15
    Date: 2014
  14. By: Tempelaar D.T.; Non J.A. (GSBE)
    Abstract: We analyze the relation between time preferences, study effort, and academic performance among first-year Business and Economics students. Time preferences are measured by stated preferences for an immediate payment over larger delayed payments. Data on study efforts are derived from an electronic learning environment, which records the amount of time students are logged in and the fraction of exercises completed. Our third measure of study effort is participation in an on-line summer course. We find that impatient students show weaker performance, but the consequences are relatively mild. Impatient students obtain lower grades and fail first sit exams more often, but they do not obtain significantly fewer study credits, nor are they more likely to drop out as a result of obtaining fewer study credits than required. We find a weak negative relationship between impatience and study effort. Differences in study effort therefore cannot explain impatient students lower academic performance.
    Keywords: Behavioral Economics: Underlying Principles; Intertemporal Choice and Growth: General; Analysis of Education;
    JEL: D03 D90 I21
    Date: 2014
  15. By: Karlan, Dean S.; Linden, Leigh
    Abstract: Commitment devices offer an opportunity to restrict future choices. However, if severe restrictions deter participation, weaker restrictions may be a more effective means of changing behavior. We test this using a school-based commitment savings device for educational expenses in Uganda. We compare an account fully-committed to educational expenses to an account in which savings are available for cash withdrawal but intended for educational expenses. The weaker commitment generates increased savings in the program accounts and when combined with a parent outreach program, higher expenditures on educational supplies. It also increases scores on an exam covering language and math skills by 0.14 standard deviations. We find no effect for the fully-committed account, and we find no effect for either account on attendance, enrollment, or non-cognitive skills.
    Keywords: Commitment Savings; Educational Resources; Micro-Savings; School Participation
    JEL: D12 D91 I21 O12
    Date: 2014–02
  16. By: Roberto Nisticò (University of Essex, Università di Napoli Federico II and CSEF)
    Abstract: This paper explores to what extent the receipt of funding during Ph.D. encourages post-degree research career and influences research productivity after graduation. Using novel data on new Ph.D. graduates from Italian universities, I estimate the causal effect of funding on either the likelihood to enter a research profession (extensive margins) or the early research productivity (intensive margins). Results uncover a positive impact of funding on early research outcomes at both margins and are robust to different model specifications and outcomes. Additional estimates show that funded students invest more in research-oriented activities and spend less time working part-time while studying.
    Keywords: Funding, PhD Graduates, Research Outcomes.
    JEL: H52 I21 I22 I23 J24
    Date: 2014–05–10
  17. By: Patacchini, Eleonora; Rainone, Edoardo; Zenou, Yves
    Abstract: We develop a network model looking at the role of different types of peers in education. The empirical salience of the model is tested using a very detailed longitudinal dataset of adolescent friendship networks. We find that there are strong and persistent peer effects in education but peers tend to be influential only when their friendships last more than a year and not a shorter period of time. In the short run, however, both types of ties have an impact on current grades.
    Keywords: education; efficient 2SLS estimation; long-term peer effects; Social networks; spatial autoregressive model
    JEL: C31 D85 I21 Z13
    Date: 2014–02

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