nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2014‒08‒09
fifteen papers chosen by
João Carlos Correia Leitão
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Impact Evaluation of an Incentive Program on Educational Achievement of Indigenous Students By Uwe Dulleck; Juliana Silva-Goncalves; Benno Torgler
  2. Middle School Math Acceleration and Equitable Access to 8th Grade Algebra: Evidence from the Wake County Public School System By Dougherty, Shaun; Joshua Goodman; Darryl Hill; Erica Litke; Lindsay Page
  3. Resits in Higher education: Merely a bar to jump over, or do they give a pedagogical `leg up’? By Steven Proud
  4. Does regional ethnic diversity moderate the negative effect of school ethnic diversity on educational performance? By Sjaak Braster; Jaap Dronkers
  5. A community college instructor like me: Race and ethnicity interactions in the classroom By Fairlie, Robert
  8. Age at Immigration and High School Dropouts By Sarit Cohen Goldner; Gil S. Epstein
  9. Education and Cross-Country Productivity Differences By Alok Kumar; Brianne Kober
  10. Family Structure and the Education Gender Gap: Evidence from Italian Provinces By Graziella Bertocchi; Monica Bozzano
  11. Research Funding and Academic Output: The Case of Agricultural University of Athens By Kyriakos Drivas; Athanasios T. Balafoutis; Stelios Rozakis
  12. Do Acquaintances and Friends Make Us Learn?: Social Capital and Lifelong Learning in Germany By Anna-Elisabeth Thum; Miroslav Beblavy
  13. On the Radio: Effectiveness of the Viva Seguro Financial Education Program By Catherine Rodríguez; Fabio Sánchez; Sandra Zamora
  14. Affirmative Action Bans and Black Admission Outcomes: Selection-Corrected Estimates from UC Law Schools By Danny Yagan
  15. The elite in economics By Pedro Albarrán; Raquel Carrasco; Javier Ruíz-Castillo

  1. By: Uwe Dulleck; Juliana Silva-Goncalves; Benno Torgler
    Abstract: This article introduces the Fogs Artie program that attempts to close the gap in educational attainment between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, and provides an evaluation of its effectiveness. The program is of special interest as it uses in-kind incentives conditional on achievement of a specific target for academic grades, behaviour and attendance, coupled with information sessions on the importance of educational achievement. In 2012, all Indigenous students enrolled in 21 high schools in Queensland were invited to take part in the program. Using a differences-in-differences strategy, we find that the program improved behavioural and academic grades and reduced the number of unexplained absences for female students, but not for male students. In contrast, the program improved scores on a standardized national assessment test for male students. Moreover, we find that the program is only effective for students from intact families.
    Keywords: Education; Incentives; Indigenous; Program Evaluation; Policy
    JEL: I24 I25 I28
    Date: 2014–07
  2. By: Dougherty, Shaun; Joshua Goodman; Darryl Hill; Erica Litke; Lindsay Page
    Abstract: School districts across the country have struggled to increase the proportion of students taking�algebra by 8th grade, thought to be an important milestone on the pathway to college�preparedness. We highlight key features of a research collaboration between the Wake County�Public School System and Harvard University that have enabled investigation of one such effort�to solve this problem. In 2010, the district began assigning middle school students to accelerated�math coursework leading to 8th grade algebra on the basis of a clearly defined measured of prior�academic skill. We document two important facts. First, use of this new rule greatly reduced the�relationship between course assignment and student factors such as income and race while�increasing the relationship between course assignment and academic skill. Second, using a�regression discontinuity analytic strategy, we show that the assignment rule had strong impacts�on the fraction of students on track to complete algebra by 8th grade. Students placed in�accelerated math were exposed to higher-skilled peers but larger class sizes. We describe future�plans for assessing impacts on achievement and high school course-taking outcomes.
  3. By: Steven Proud
    Abstract: When students fail an examination at the end of their first year, they are offered a free resit examination, which they merely need to pass to progress into the second year. These resits anecdotally provide a dual purpose of testing that students have achieved the required level of attainment to progress, and to incentivise additional effort from these low attaining students. This paper uses regression discontinuity design to attempt to estimate the effect of resits in first year statistics with econometrics examinations on future outcomes. Whilst resits alone appear to make zero significant effect on outcomes, students who perform well on the resit examination perform 0.7 standard deviations better in second year microeconomics than similar students who do not receive resit examinations. These effects, if replicated more widely, could be worth up to £48,000 across the lifetime of each student.
    Keywords: resits, examinations, economics.
    JEL: A22
    Date: 2014–07
  4. By: Sjaak Braster (Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam); Jaap Dronkers (University Maastricht)
    Abstract: This paper address the question whether ethnic diversity in school classes in the context of major cities and metropolises, where children from an early age grew up with the phenomenon of ethnic diversity, has a positive effect on the educational performance of migrant pupils. We use PISA 2006 data with 8,521 immigrant students from 35 origin countries, living in 15 destination countries, and all 72,329 native students in these countries. Native students and students with an immigrant background have been analyzed separately, using a multilevel analysis. We find that the effect of school ethnic diversity outside cities is quite negative on the educational performance of migrant and native pupils. In cities the effect of school ethnic diversity is smaller but still negative for both migrant and native pupils. But in large cities the effect of school ethnic diversity on educational performance is positive for both migrant and native pupils.
    Date: 2014–07
  5. By: Fairlie, Robert
    Abstract: Administrative data from a large and diverse community college are used to examine if underrepresented minority students benefit from taking courses with underrepresented minority instructors. To identify racial interactions we estimate models that include both student and classroom fixed effects and focus on students with limited choice in courses. We find that the performance gap in terms of class dropout rates and grade performance between white and underrepresented minority students falls by 20 to 50 percent when taught by an underrepresented minority instructor. We also find these interactions affect longer term outcomes such as subsequent course selection, retention, and degree completion.
    Keywords: Social and Behavioral Sciences, minority, college, community college, affirmative action, diversity
    Date: 2014–08–06
  6. By: Patrizia Ordine; Giuseppe Rose; Daniela Sposato (Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza, Università della Calabria)
    Abstract: This paper provides a comprehensive analysis of the effect of early school entry on educational outcomes using standardized test score data on Italian pupils. The empirical procedure is designed to disentangle the effect of regular entry (Gift of Time) from possible unobserved confounding factors (Family Gift) affecting both enrollment decision and schooling outcome. We tackle the issue of selection on unobservables by using a Regression Discontinuity Design so that exogenous age thresholds are used to compare children with similar age but different educational choices. Our estimates suggest that anticipated school entry may generate severe penalties in test scores which persist during primary school. Our fi?ndings have policy implications for parents, which struggle with the question of whether they should send their children to school as soon as they are eligible, and for governments, which can change cutoff birth date for ?first enrollment into school.
    Keywords: Age at school entry, primary school, standardized test scores
    JEL: I20 H52
    Date: 2014–07
  7. By: Patrizia Ordine; Giuseppe Rose (Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza, Università della Calabria)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the process driving graduate workers in undergraduate jobs. Micro and macro perspectives are considered so that the interrelationships between individual mismatch and over-education at the aggregate level are analyzed. The theoretical model highlights that individual mismatch does not necessarily imply that the share of graduates exceeds what is optimally required at the aggregate level. The empirical investigation tests to what extent the individual probability of mismatch is related to the availability of graduates in the labor market. A structural estimation is implemented using a quasi-natural experiment ideally provided by an exogenous expansion of higher education that took place in some Italian regions in the mid ?'90s. Difference-in-Differences models show that in this country an increase in the supply of graduates has actually reduced the individual probability of mismatch which is an effect rationalized by the theory.
    Keywords: Overeducation, mismatch, matching models, difference-in-differences
    JEL: J24 J64 I23
    Date: 2014–07
  8. By: Sarit Cohen Goldner (Bar-Ilan University); Gil S. Epstein (Bar Ilan University)
    Abstract: We focus on high school dropout rate among male and female immigrant children. We consider the relationship between the dropout rate and age of arrival of the immigrants. Using repeated cross sectional data from the Israeli Labor Force Surveys of 1996-2011 we show that the share of high school dropouts among immigrant children who arrived from the Former Soviet Union during 1989-1994 is at least as double than among natives in the same age group. Further, we show that among immigrant youth there is a monotonic negative relation between age at arrival and the share of high school dropouts. To understand our results we present a theoretical framework that links between age at arrival in the host country, language proficiency, quality of education and wages.
    Keywords: Immigrants, age at arrival, high-school dropouts
    JEL: I21 J24 J61
    Date: 2014–08
  9. By: Alok Kumar (Department of Economics, University of Victoria); Brianne Kober
    Abstract: In this paper, we study the effects of education on the total factor productivity (TFP) of a large number of countries. We estimate TFP using a variant of augmented Solow growth model in which health capital is one of the factors of production. We find that quantity of education significantly and positively affects TFP. This result is in contrast to the findings of the previous literature, that suggest that either the quantity of education does not matter for growth (e.g. Benhabib and Spiegel 1994, Caselli et al. 1996) or only the quality of education matters for growth (e.g. Hanushek and Kimko 2000). We also find that TFP differences explain about 1/3rd of per-capita real income differences across countries. This estimate is substantially lower than the existing estimates (e.g. Klenow and Rogriguez-Clare 1997, Hall and Jones 1999) which suggest that TFP differences are the dominant source of per-capita real income differences across countries.
    Keywords: Augmented Solow Growth Model, TFP, Quantity and Quality of Education, Health
    JEL: F43 E23 N10 N30 O47
    Date: 2014–07–25
  10. By: Graziella Bertocchi; Monica Bozzano
    Abstract: We investigate the determinants of the education gender gap in Italy in historical perspective with a focus on the influence of family structure. We capture the latter with two indicators: residential habits (nuclear vs. complex families) and inheritance rules (partition vs. primogeniture). After controlling for economic, institutional, religious, and cultural factors, we find that over the 1861- 1901 period family structure is a driver of the education gender gap, with a higher female to male enrollment rate ratio in upper primary schools being associated with nuclear residential habits and equal partition of inheritance. We also find that only the effect of inheritance rules persists over the 1971-2001 period.
    Keywords: Child Development; Time Allocation; Income Transfers; Conditional Cash Transfers
    Date: 2014
  11. By: Kyriakos Drivas (Agricultural University of Athens); Athanasios T. Balafoutis (Agricultural University of Athens); Stelios Rozakis (Agricultural University of Athens)
    Abstract: This paper uses detailed data on funding information and research output from Agricultural University of Athens to examine how each type of funding source is related to the quantity and quality of academic research output. Of special interest are the corporate sponsors, the Greek government and European Union funding. We find that after controlling for unobserved heterogeneity from each research lab, all types of research sponsors are similarly related to both the count of publications and citations. Further, we find that research labs that have filed for at least one patent application, produce on average more publications and citations and receive more funding both from corporate and public sponsors.
    Keywords: research sponsor, corporate funding, government sponsor, European Union funding, publications, patents.
    JEL: O32 O33 O34
    Date: 2014
  12. By: Anna-Elisabeth Thum; Miroslav Beblavy
    Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between social capital and adult learning. We test this association empirically using measures of various types of social capital and adult learning based on the German Socioeconomic Panel. We use predetermined measures of social capital to exclude social skills or friends encountered during the adult education class. Fixed e¤ects for latent underlying factors such as deep personality traits and instrumental variables account for changing personality traits. We …find that most of our social capital measures have a signi…cant and positive impact on the probabilities for investing in various types of adult learning. The size of the effect varies across the different measures between increasing the probability of participating in adult learning by 0.04% to increasing the probability by 17%. We find evidence that acquaintances are more likely to increase participation in adult learning than friends.
    Keywords: social capital, lifelong learning, informal learning, trust, reciprocity, sociability
    Date: 2014
  13. By: Catherine Rodríguez; Fabio Sánchez; Sandra Zamora
    Abstract: Through a novel randomized control trial this paper estimates the impact of Viva Seguro, a financial education program that covers topics on risks and insurance management, on knowledge, attitudes and actual behavior. The program was broadcasted in two Colombian radio stations that have low and medium income households as target audience. Listeners from these radio stations comprise our treatment group. The control group is comprised by listeners from other two radio stations of similar characteristics and from the same broadcasting company. Using panel data information on both the treatment and the control group we find that giving financial education through such mass media channel has a positive impact on the knowledge of risks individuals face, the number of insurance they know exist and their perceived capability of understanding and handling insurance. No effect however is found on the knowledge of specific concepts of insurance, or their attitudes towards it, in savings behavior or the number of insurance bought. In general results show that delivering financial education through radio is a cost effective alternative in order to improve knowledge on insurance related concepts.
    Keywords: financial education, radio, insurance, randomized control tral (RCT)
    JEL: I20 I25
    Date: 2014–05–22
  14. By: Danny Yagan
    Abstract: The consequences of banning affirmative action depend on schools' ability and willingness to avoid it. This paper uses rich application-level data to estimate the effect of the 1996 University of California affirmative action ban---the first and largest ban---on black admission advantages at UC law schools. Controlling for selective attrition from applicant pools, I find that the ban reduced the black admission rate from 61% to 31%. This implies that affirmative action ban avoidance is far from complete and suggests that affirmative action at law schools passes the constitutional test of not being easily replaced by non-racial alternatives. I further find that the affirmative action ban far from eliminated cross-sectional black admission advantages, which remained as high as 63 percentage points for applicants at the margin of being accepted or rejected. This suggests that UC schools were technologically able to sustain substantially higher black admission rates after the ban but were either unwilling or legally unable to do so.
    JEL: I0 J0 K0
    Date: 2014–07
  15. By: Pedro Albarrán; Raquel Carrasco; Javier Ruíz-Castillo
    Abstract: This paper analyzes a sample of economists from two sources: faculty members workingin 2007 in a selection of the 81 top Economics departments in the world, and fellows of theEconometric Society active at that date but working elsewhere in other institutions. Productivity ismeasured in terms of a quality index that weights the publications of each individual in four journalequivalent classes. We identify three elites consisting of the 123, 332, and 908 most productiveresearchers in a total sample of 2,605 scholars that have published at least one article in theperiodical literature up to 2007. We investigate the following six questions. (1) The "funnelingeffect" from countries where elite members obtain their first degree, to countries where theyobtain a Ph.D. and, finally, to countries where they work in 2007. (2) The extent of the researchgap between the U.S. and the EU. (3) The clustering of elite members in a few top U.S. EconomicsDepartments in order to pursue their Ph.D. and to work in 2007. (4) The geographical distributionof the elite into the following three groups: those who study and work in the same country (stayers),those who study the Ph.D. abroad but come back to the country where they obtained a first degree(brain circulation), and those who complete their education at home but move abroad after thePh.D., plus those who leave their country to study the Ph.D. and remain abroad in 2007 (twodifferent forms of brain drain). The last two groups of economists taken together are referred to asmovers. (5) The characteristics of the elites in Economics with the elites in other scientificdisciplines and, especially, with the elites in Mathematics and Physics for which we havecomparable data. (6) Finally, we investigate questions 1 to 4 above for subsets of "young people",defined as the economists in our original samples that obtained a Ph.D. at most 25 years before2007.
    Date: 2014–07

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