nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2015‒06‒27
twenty-two papers chosen by
João Carlos Correia Leitão
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. A Big Fish in a Small Pond: Ability Rank and Human Capital Investment By Elsner, Benjamin; Isphording, Ingo E.
  2. What Drives the Reversal of the Gender Education Gap? Evidence from Germany By Riphahn, Regina T.; Schwientek, Caroline
  3. In a Small Moment: Class Size and Moral Hazard in the Mezzogiorno By Joshua D. Angrist; Erich Battistin; Daniela Vuri
  4. Does the growth in higher education mean a decline in the quality of degrees? By Beblavý, Miroslav; Teteryatnikova, Mariya; Thum, Anna-Elisabeth
  5. Do Wage Expectations Influence the Decision to Enroll in Nursing College? By Schweri, Jürg; Hartog, Joop
  6. The Effects of Earnings Disclosure on College Enrollment Decisions By Justine Hastings; Christopher A. Neilson; Seth D. Zimmerman
  7. The Performance of School Assignment Mechanisms in Practice By de Haan, Monique; Gautier, Pieter A.; Oosterbeek, Hessel; van der Klaauw, Bas
  8. The Information Value of Central School Exams By Schwerdt, Guido; Woessmann, Ludger
  9. Extending the school day in Latin America and the Caribbean By Holland,Peter Anthony; Alfaro,Pablo; Evans,David
  10. Willing but Unable: Short-Term Experimental Evidence on Parent Empowerment and School Quality By Elizabeth Beasley; Elise Huillery
  11. Sustainable development of low income countries through investment in tertiary education By Kundu, Nobinkhor; Banu, Asma
  12. The education networks of Latin America. Effects on trade during and after the cold war By Marina Murat; María Luisa Recalde; Pedro Gabriel Degiovanni
  13. Peers' Composition Effects in the Short and in the Long Run: College Major, College Performance and Income By Anelli, Massimo; Peri, Giovanni
  14. Gender Biases in student evaluations of teachers By Anne Boring
  15. The Impact of Tertiary Study on the Labour Market Outcomes of Low-qualified School Leavers By Sarah Tumen; Sarah Crichton; Sylvia Dixon
  16. The Impact of Going to School at Night on Teenage Risky Behavior By Martín Rossi; Ana Reynoso
  17. Quality of Higher Education and the Labor Market in Developing Countries: Evidence from an Education Reform in Senegal By Boccanfuso, Dorothée; Larouche, Alexandre; Trandafir, Mircea
  18. Magical transition ? intergenerational educational and occupational mobility in rural China : 1988?2002 By Emran,Shahe; Sun,Yan - EAPCE
  19. Number of Siblings and Educational Choices of Immigrant Children: Evidence from First- and Second-Generation Immigrants By Meurs, Dominique; Puhani, Patrick A.; von Haaren, Friederike
  20. BAföG Plus: Deutschlands Hochschulfinanzierung neu. Nachgelagerte Studiengebühren können die soziale Schieflage in der Bildungsfinanzierung auflösen By Fels, Katja; Schmidt, Christoph M.; Sinning, Mathias
  21. School Meals and Children Satisfaction. Evidence from Italian Primary Schools By Maria Teresa Gorgitano; Ornella Wanda Maietta
  22. The causal effect of East Asian 'mastery' teaching methods on English children's mathematics skills? By John Jerrim; Anna Vignoles

  1. By: Elsner, Benjamin (IZA); Isphording, Ingo E. (IZA)
    Abstract: We study the impact of a student's ordinal rank in a high school cohort on educational attainment several years later. To identify a causal effect, we compare multiple cohorts within the same school, exploiting idiosyncratic variation in cohort composition. We find that a student's ordinal rank significantly affects educational outcomes later in life. If two students with the same ability have a different rank in their respective cohort, the higher- ranked student is significantly more likely to finish high school, attend college, and complete a 4-year college degree. These results suggest that low-ranked students under-invest in their human capital even if they have a high ability compared to most students of the same age. Exploring potential channels, we find that students with a higher rank have higher expectations about their future career, a higher perceived intelligence, and receive more support from their teachers.
    Keywords: human capital, ordinal rank, peer effects, educational attainment
    JEL: I21 I23 J24
    Date: 2015–06
  2. By: Riphahn, Regina T. (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg); Schwientek, Caroline (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg)
    Abstract: We study the mechanisms that are associated with the gender education gap and its reversal in Germany. We focus on three outcomes, graduation from upper secondary school, any tertiary education, and tertiary degree. Neither individual and family background nor labor market characteristics appear to be strongly associated with the gender education gap. There is some evidence that the gender gap in upper secondary education reflects the rising share of single parent households which impacts boys' attainment more than girls'. The gender education gap in tertiary education is correlated with the development of class sizes and social norms.
    Keywords: educational attainment, wage premium, gender gap
    JEL: I21 J16
    Date: 2015–06
  3. By: Joshua D. Angrist (MIT, IZA and NBER); Erich Battistin (Queen Mary University of London, IRVAPP and IZA); Daniela Vuri (University of Rome Tor Vergata, CEIS, CESifo and IZA)
    Abstract: An instrumental variables (IV) identification strategy that exploits statutory class size caps shows significant achievement gains in smaller classes in Italian primary schools. Gains from small classes are driven mainly by schools in Southern Italy, suggesting a substantial return to class size reductions for residents of the Mezzogiorno. In addition to high unemployment and other social problems, however, the Mezzogiorno is distinguished by pervasive manipulation of standardized test scores, a finding revealed in a natural experiment that randomly assigns school monitors. IV estimates also show that small classes increase score manipulation. Dishonest scoring appears to be a consequence of teacher shirking in grade transcription, rather than cheating by either students or teachers. Estimates of a causal model for achievement with two endogenous variables, class size and score manipulation, suggest that the effects of class size on measured achievement are driven entirely by the relationship between class size and manipulation. These findings show how consequential score manipulation can arise even in assessment systems with few NCLB-style accountability concerns.
    Keywords: Test scores, Education production, Regression discontinuity
    JEL: C26 C31 I21 I28 J24
    Date: 2015–06
  4. By: Beblavý, Miroslav; Teteryatnikova, Mariya; Thum, Anna-Elisabeth
    Abstract: In this paper the authors construct a theory about how the expansion of higher education could be associated with several factors that indicate a decline in the quality of degrees. They assume that the expansion of tertiary education takes place through three channels, and show how these channels are likely to reduce average study time, lower academic requirements and average wages, and inflate grades. First, universities have an incentive to increase their student body through public and private funding schemes beyond a level at which they can keep their academic requirements high. Second, due to skill-biased technological change, employers have an incentive to recruit staff with a higher education degree. Third, students have an incentive to acquire a college degree due to employers’ preferences for such qualifications; the university application procedures; and through the growing social value placed on education. The authors develop a parsimonious dynamic model in which a student, a college and an employer repeatedly make decisions about requirement levels, performance and wage levels. Their model shows that if i) universities have the incentive to decrease entrance requirements, ii) employers are more likely to employ staff with a higher education degree and iii) all types of students enrol in colleges, the final grade will not necessarily induce weaker students to study more to catch up with more able students. In order to re-establish a quality-guarantee mechanism, entrance requirements should be set at a higher level.
    Date: 2015–03
  5. By: Schweri, Jürg (Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training); Hartog, Joop (University of Amsterdam)
    Abstract: As Switzerland experiences a severe shortage of nurses, this paper investigates the impact of students' ex ante wage expectations on their choice to pursue a nursing college education. This analysis contributes to a small yet rapidly developing body of literature that uses subjective expectation data to predict educational choices. We surveyed a full cohort of healthcare trainees in their third year of training. The main result is that those trainees (in upper-secondary education) who expected a greater return from nursing college (tertiary education) were more likely to enroll in nursing college later on. This suggests that policies that increase returns from studying nursing can attract students to nursing. In addition, the results confirm that subjective wage expectation data are useful in modeling individual choice.
    Keywords: college choice, fractional regression, healthcare, human capital, nursing, subjective expectations, training, wage
    JEL: I11 I21 J24 J31 D84
    Date: 2015–06
  6. By: Justine Hastings; Christopher A. Neilson; Seth D. Zimmerman
    Abstract: We test the impact of information about institution- and major-specific labor market outcomes on college enrollment decisions using a randomized controlled trial administered within the online Chilean federal student loan application process. Using linked secondary and post-secondary education records and tax returns for fourteen cohorts of Chilean high school graduates, we created measures of past-cohort earnings for nearly all institution and major combinations in the Chilean higher education system. Applicants were asked a series of survey questions about their enrollment plans and their beliefs about earnings and cost outcomes. Following the survey questions, randomly selected applicants were given information on earnings and costs for past students at their planned enrollment choices, as well as access to a searchable database that allowed them to compare earnings and costs across degrees. Students have unbiased but highly variable beliefs about costs, and upward-biased beliefs about earnings outcomes. Poorer students have less accurate information and choose lower-earning degrees conditional on baseline ability and demographics. While treatment has no effect on whether students enroll in postsecondary education, it does cause low-SES students to enroll in degrees where earnings net of costs were higher for past enrollees. Though effect sizes are small, they substantially exceed the cost of implementing the disclosure policy.
    JEL: H0 H52 I22 I23 I24 J3
    Date: 2015–06
  7. By: de Haan, Monique (University of Oslo); Gautier, Pieter A. (VU University Amsterdam); Oosterbeek, Hessel (University of Amsterdam); van der Klaauw, Bas (VU University Amsterdam)
    Abstract: Theory points to a potential trade-off between two main school assignment mechanisms; Boston and Deferred Acceptance (DA). While DA is strategy-proof and gives a stable matching, Boston might outperform DA in terms of ex-ante efficiency. We quantify the (dis)advantages of the mechanisms by using information about actual choices under Boston complemented with survey data eliciting students' school preferences. We find that under Boston around 8% of the students apply to another school than their most-preferred school. We compare allocations resulting from Boston with DA with single tie-breaking (one central lottery; DA-STB) and multiple tie-breaking (separate lottery per school; DA-MTB). DA-STB places more students in their top-n schools, for any n, than Boston and results in higher average welfare. We find a trade-off between DA-STB and DA-MTB. DA-STB places more students in their single most-preferred school than DA-MTB, but fewer in their top-n, for n ≥ 2. Finally, students from disadvantaged backgrounds benefit most from a switch from Boston to any of the DA mechanisms.
    Keywords: school choice, Boston mechanism, deferred acceptance mechanism, strategic behavior, ex-ante efficiency, ex-post efficiency
    JEL: C83 I20
    Date: 2015–06
  8. By: Schwerdt, Guido (University of Konstanz); Woessmann, Ludger (Ifo Institute for Economic Research)
    Abstract: The central vs. local nature of high-school exit exam systems can have important repercussions on the labor market. By increasing the informational content of grades, central exams may improve the sorting of students by productivity. To test this, we exploit the unique German setting where students from states with and without central exams work on the same labor market. Our difference-in-difference model estimates whether the earnings difference between individuals with high and low grades differs between central and local exams. We find that the earnings premium for a one standard-deviation increase in high-school grades is indeed 6 percent when obtained on central exams but less than 2 percent when obtained on local exams. Choices of higher-education programs and of occupations do not appear major channels of this result.
    Keywords: central exit exams, labor-market sorting, earnings, measurement error, difference-in-difference, Germany
    JEL: I20 J24 J31
    Date: 2015–06
  9. By: Holland,Peter Anthony; Alfaro,Pablo; Evans,David
    Abstract: Countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean are reforming their education systems with the view of adding more hours to the school day. This paper examines the existing evidence on the relationship between instructional time and student learning, and reviews 15 studies measuring the effects of longer school days. It draws on examples throughout the region to characterize differences in the implementation of extended school day programs, and provides one detailed case study and cost-effectiveness exercise (for Uruguay). While the evidence suggests positive impacts across a range of outcome variables, including gains in student learning, reductions in repetition and dropout, and reductions in teenage pregnancy, there is considerable heterogeneity across programs and studies. Even using the most optimistic impact estimates, a cost-effectiveness exercise suggests that there are likely many more cost-effective reforms to achieve similar effects. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications for policy makers and practitioners considering an extension of the school day.
    Keywords: Education For All,Secondary Education,Tertiary Education,Effective Schools and Teachers,Primary Education
    Date: 2015–06–16
  10. By: Elizabeth Beasley; Elise Huillery (Département d'économie)
    Abstract: Giving communities power over school management and spending decisions has been a favored strategy to increase school quality, but its effectiveness may be limited by weak capacity and low authority. We examine the short-term responses of a grant to school committees in a context such a context and find that overall, parents increased participation and responsibility, but these efforts did not improve quality. Enrollment at the lowest grades increased and school resources improved, but teacher absenteeism increased, and there was no impact on test scores. We examine heterogeneous impacts, and provide a model of school quality explaining the results and other results in the literature. The findings of this paper imply that strategies to improve quality by empowering parents should take levels of community authority and capacity into account: even when communities are willing to work to improve their schools, they may not be able to do so.
    Date: 2015–01
  11. By: Kundu, Nobinkhor; Banu, Asma
    Abstract: To counterbalance the challenges of globalization, raising the superiority of our tertiary education to global standard is very significant. Tertiary education is the essential enabler of the human capital of the twenty-first century that demands a set of new competencies. It draws lessons for developing countries where policy makers have set out procedure to build a tertiary education in which higher priorities and future strategies would form the center of the sustainable development strategy. In the case of low-income economies, which are keen to invest in tertiary levels of education but the government budget is constrained, this study recommends the formation of financing sources. In addition, it is necessary to develop an effective lifelong learning system to provide continuing higher education and skill upgrading to persons after they have left higher education in order to provide the changing skills necessary to be competitive in the new global economy. This paper analyses the importance of investment in tertiary education with low-income economies to ensure a gradual sustainable development over the years. It is apparent that Bangladesh will acquire potential gains from investment in tertiary education.
    Keywords: Higher Education, Economic growth, Sustainable Development
    JEL: I21 O47 Q01
    Date: 2014–05–07
  12. By: Marina Murat; María Luisa Recalde; Pedro Gabriel Degiovanni
    Abstract: The friendship and social networks international students tend to build during their university studies can boost trade between the home country and that of the alma mater. This paper tests the effects of Latin American students on bilateral trade between eleven home economies and nine OECD countries during 1971-2012. We find education networks to positively and significantly affect both exports and imports. Also, the democratization and liberalization of Latin American political regimes following the end of the cold war slightly weaken the influence of networks, but directly and positively affect trade. Results are robust to different specifications and regressors.
    Keywords: bilateral trade, education networks, international students, Latin America.
    JEL: F14 F29 F59 I20
    Date: 2015–06
  13. By: Anelli, Massimo (University of California, Davis); Peri, Giovanni (University of California, Davis)
    Abstract: In this paper we use a newly constructed dataset following 30,000 Italian individuals from high school to labor market and we analyze whether the gender composition of peers in high school affected their choice of college major, their academic performance and their labor market income. We leverage the fact that the composition of high school classmates (peers), within school-cohort and teacher-group, was not chosen by the students and it was as good as random. We find that male students graduating from classes with at least 80% of male peers were more likely to choose "prevalently male" (PM) college majors (Economics, Business and Engineering). However, this higher propensity to enroll in PM majors faded away during college (through transfers and attrition) so that men from classes with at least 80% of male peers in high school did not have higher probability of graduating in PM majors. They had instead worse college performance and did not exhibit any difference in income or labor market outcomes after college. We do not find significant effects on women.
    Keywords: peer effects, high school, gender, choice of college major, academic performance, wages
    JEL: I21 J16 J24 J31 Z13
    Date: 2015–06
  14. By: Anne Boring (OFCE-PRESAGE- Sciences Po & LEDa-DIAL)
    Abstract: This paper uses a unique database from a French university to analyze gender biases in student evaluations of teachers (SETs). The results of generalized ordered logit regressions and xed-eects models suggest that male teachers tend to receive higher SET scores because of students' gender biases. Male students in particular express a strong bias in their favor: male students are approximately 30% more likely to give an excellent overall satisfaction score to male teachers compared to female teachers. The dierent teaching dimensions that students value in men and women tend to correspond to gender stereotypes. The teaching dimensions for which students perceive a comparative advantage for women (such as course preparation and organization) tend to be more time-consuming for the teacher, compared to the teaching dimensions that students value more in men (such as class leadership skills). Men are perceived as being more knowledgeable (male gender stereotype) and obtain higher SET scores than women, but students appear to learn as much from women as from men, suggesting that female teachers are as knowledgeable as men. Finally, I nd that if women increased students' continuous assessment grades by 7.5% compared to the grades given by their male colleagues, they could obtain similar overall satisfaction scores as men. Yet, women do not act on this incentive (men and women give similar continuous assessment grades), suggesting that female teachers are unaware of students' gender biases. These biases have strong negative consequences for female academics, who may spend more time on teaching to try to obtain high SET scores, reducing time available for research. The results suggest that better teaching is not necessarily measured by SETs.
    Keywords: Incentives, Teaching effectiveness, student evaluations of teaching, gender biases and stereotypes
    JEL: A22 I23 J16
    Date: 2015–04
  15. By: Sarah Tumen; Sarah Crichton; Sylvia Dixon (The Treasury)
    Abstract: This study examines the impacts of post-school education on the labour market outcomes of young people who leave school with few qualifications. Specifically, it estimates the effects of tertiary study on the employment rates, benefit receipt rates and earnings of young people who left school without completing NCEA level 2, who enrolled at a tertiary institution while they were aged 16–19. The benefits of the further education are measured by comparing the students’ post-study outcomes with those of matched comparison groups of other poorly qualified school leavers who did not undertake any tertiary education. We find that enrolling in a level 1–3 or level 4 certificate programme had a small positive impact on the employment of low-qualified school leavers, raising their employment rate by 3.4 percentage points on average, two years after they ceased studying. However, the benefits of tertiary study were confined to the 44% of students who completed a qualification and were not experienced by non-completers. Students who completed a level 1–3 certificate were 8.5 percentage points more likely to be employed and 6.4 percentage points less likely to be receiving a benefit than their matched comparisons two years after finishing. Slightly larger benefits were experienced by those who completed a qualification at level 4 or higher. The size of the employment impacts associated with gaining a qualification varied by gender and ethnicity, the type of tertiary provider and the subject area of the qualification. There was no evidence that tertiary study had a significant impact on participants’ level of earnings, after controlling for their employment status.
    Date: 2015–06
  16. By: Martín Rossi (Department of Economics, Universidad de San Andres); Ana Reynoso (Department of Economics, Yale University)
    Abstract: We study the relationship between attending high school at night and the probability of engaging in risky behavior, such as having unsafe sex or consuming substances. To address potential endogeneity concerns we take advantage of a random assignment of high school students to daytime and night shifts in the city of Buenos Aires. Using an original survey on students attending their last year of high school, we nd that girls attending high school in the evening start having sex at an earlier age and present a higher probability of getting an abortion. We find no significant differences for substance use. Our experimental approach suggests that the link between high school shift and risky behavior is causal. Results hold when we use an alternative sample of alumni.
    Keywords: school, teenage, behavior
    Date: 2015–04
  17. By: Boccanfuso, Dorothée (University of Sherbrooke); Larouche, Alexandre (Del Degan, Massé); Trandafir, Mircea (University of Southern Denmark)
    Abstract: While many studies examine the effect of primary education quality on labor market outcomes in developing countries, little is known about the effects at higher levels. We exploit the quasi-experiment provided by a large-scale education reform launched in Senegal in 2000 to investigate how quality improvements at the university level affect employment. Our difference-in-difference estimates suggest that young high-skilled workers experienced a nine percentage-point employment gain relative to older workers. They are also more likely to have "better" jobs (in the service industry or government), suggesting a reduction in the mismatch between the quality of high-skill labor demanded and supplied.
    Keywords: higher education, employment, impact analysis, quality mismatch
    JEL: I21 O15 O55
    Date: 2015–06
  18. By: Emran,Shahe; Sun,Yan - EAPCE
    Abstract: This paper presents evidence on intergenerational educational and occupational mobility in rural China over a period of 14 years (1988?2002). To understand whether the estimated inter-generational persistence can be driven solely by unobserved heterogeneity, biprobit sensitivity analysis and heteroskedasticity-based identification are implemented. The empirical results show that there have been dramatic improvements in occupational mobility from agriculture to nonfarm occupations; a farmer?s children are not any more likely to become farmers in 2002, although there was significant persistence in occupation choices in 1988. In contrast, the intergenerational mobility in educational attainment has remained largely unchanged for daughters, and it has deteriorated significantly for sons. There is strong evidence of a causal effect of parental education on a son?s schooling in 2002. The paper provides some possible explanations for the dramatic divergence between occupational and educational mobility in rural China from 1988 to 2002.
    Keywords: Education For All,Education and Society,Effective Schools and Teachers,Access&Equity in Basic Education,Primary Education
    Date: 2015–06–22
  19. By: Meurs, Dominique (University Paris Ouest-Nanterre); Puhani, Patrick A. (Leibniz University of Hannover); von Haaren, Friederike (NIW Hannover, Leibniz Universität Hannover)
    Abstract: We document the educational integration of immigrant children with a focus on the link between family size and educational decisions and distinguishing particularly between first- and second-generation immigrants and between source country groups. First, for immigrant adolescents, we show family-size adjusted convergence to almost native levels of higher education track attendance from the first to the second generation of immigrants. Second, we find that reduced fertility is associated with higher educational outcomes for immigrant children, possibly through a quantity-quality trade-off. Third, we show that between one third and the complete difference in family-size adjusted educational outcomes between immigrants from different source countries or immigrant generations can be explained by parental background. This latter holds true for various immigrant groups in both France and Germany, two major European economies with distinct immigration histories.
    Keywords: migration, integration, quantity-quality trade-off, decomposition
    JEL: J13 J15 J24
    Date: 2015–06
  20. By: Fels, Katja; Schmidt, Christoph M.; Sinning, Mathias
    Abstract: Die öffentliche Bildungsfinanzierung ist mit Blick auf soziale Gerechtigkeit und Chancengleichheit in Schieflage geraten: Eltern müssen pro Jahr anteilig höhere Kosten für einen Kita-Platz tragen als für das spätere Bachelor-Studium ihres Nachwuchses. Um dies zu beheben, sollten sich Studierende nach ihrem Abschluss an den Kosten des Studiums beteiligen, von dem sie über höhere Gehälter profitieren. Nachgelagerte Studiengebühren nach australischem Vorbild sind ein sinnvolles Modell, welches als "BAföG Plus" auch in Deutschland eingeführt werden könnte. Alle Studierenden erhielten unter diesem System ein zinssubventioniertes staatliches Darlehen zur Zahlung der Gebühren. Dieses würde nach Ende des Studiums einkommensabhängig als eine Art Graduiertensteuer zurückgezahlt. Das aufgrund einer Bedürftigkeitsprüfung zugestandene BAföG-Stipendium bliebe erhalten. Die Hochschulen erhielten damit eine zusätzliche Einnahmequelle in einer Zeit, in der die Länder die dringend benötigte weitere Aufstockung von Mitteln nur schwer allein bewältigen können. Gleichzeitig könnten die Länder die ordnungspolitisch zwingend erforderliche Reduzierung von Elternbeiträgen für Kitas verwirklichen, weil sie den zusätzlichen Aufwuchs an Hochschulmitteln nicht voll allein tragen müssten.
    Abstract: While many countries around the world recognize that the use of taxpayer money for financing higher education of students entails a redistribution of resources from the poor to the rich, university education in Germany is largely free, and tuition fees are even widely perceived as unfair. As a result, parents face a higher private share of expenses for the pre-school education than for the university education of their children. The design of a suitable financing mechanism for tuition fees constitutes an important first step towards reducing these imbalances. In this paper, we propose an extension of the publicly funded "BAföG" loan system. The extended system ("BAföG Plus") would provide student loans for financing tuition fees of all German students at a real rate of interest of zero percent, similar to the Australian student loan system. To provide default insurance and avoid consumption hardship, the repayment rate of these loans would depend on the taxable income of university graduates. The German tax office would administer the debt collection. Means-tested loans for financing living expenses of the current BAföG system could stay in place and would be complemented by a loan component for financing tuition fees that could be made available to all German students without means-testing. This would provide universities with urgently needed extra funding while widening the scope for the federal states (Bundesländer) to reduce fees for pre-school education.
    Date: 2015
  21. By: Maria Teresa Gorgitano (Università di Napoli Federico II.); Ornella Wanda Maietta (Università di Napoli Federico II and CSEF)
    Abstract: This paper aims to identify which variables affect the degree of primary pupils' satisfaction concerning the quality of school meals. A representative sample of 33 public primary schools offering meals was extracted for the metropolitan city of Naples. Two questionnaires were distributed, one to the headteachers concerned and the other to the pupils enrolled in the 5th grade. Information about the catering companies is mainly sourced from the AIDA database. Pupil satisfaction is measured by two key variables: pleasantness of eating at school and food tastiness. Controlling for pupil, family, school, foodservice and catering company characteristics, the paper shows that catering company size is negatively associated with pupil satisfaction with the foodservice, whereas meal average production cost is positively associated with satisfaction. The study could assist city boroughs in devising meal quality indicators to be taken into account in designing competitive tendering.
    Keywords: school meal quality, school foodservice satisfaction, catering companies, public procurement, tendering, quality-shading hypothesis.
    JEL: I21 H44
    Date: 2015–05–30
  22. By: John Jerrim (Department of Quantitative Social Science, Institute of Education, University College London); Anna Vignoles (Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge)
    Abstract: A small group of high-performing East Asian economies dominate the top of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) rankings. Although there are many possible explanations for this, East Asian teaching methods and curriculum design are two factors to have particularly caught policymakers' attention. Yet there is currently little evidence as to whether any particular East Asian teaching method actually represents an improvement over the status quo in England, and whether such methods can be successfully introduced into Western education systems. This paper provides new evidence on this issue by presenting results from two clustered Randomised Controlled Trials (RCT's), where a Singaporean inspired 'mastery' approach to teaching mathematics was introduced into a selection of England's primary and secondary schools. We find evidence of a modest but positive treatment effect. Moreover, even under conservative assumptions, the programme has the potential to offer substantial economic returns.
    Keywords: Maths Mastery; Randomised Controlled Trial; Singapore; PISA.
    JEL: I2
    Date: 2015–06–18

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