nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2015‒08‒07
seventeen papers chosen by
João Carlos Correia Leitão
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Improving Educational Outcomes in Developing Countries: Lessons from Rigorous Evaluations By Murnane, RJ; Ganimian, A. J.
  2. Early Math Coursework and College Readiness: Evidence from Targeted Middle School Math Acceleration By Shaun Dougherty; Joshua Goodman; Darryl Hill; Erica Litke; Lindsay C. Page
  3. Education Accelerating the Agricultural Transformation: Panel Data Analysis of Rural Mexico By Charlton, Diane
  4. Weak Markets, Strong Teachers: Recession at Career Start and Teacher Effectiveness By Markus Nagler; Marc Piopiunik; Martin R. West
  5. Does longer compulsory education equalize schooling by gender and rural/urban residence ? By K?rdar,Murat G.; Day?o?lu,Meltem; Koç,?smet
  6. The impact of bullying on educational performance in Ghana: A Bias-reducing Matching Approach By Kibriya, Shahriar; Xu, Zhicheng P.; Zhang, Yu
  7. Peer Effects in Middle School Students’ Test Scores with Accounting for Individual Heterogeneity By Jordan, Jeffrey L.; Munasib, Abdul; Castillo, Marco; Petrie, Ragan
  8. Impact of Farm to School Programs on Students’ Consumption of Healthful Foods: An Empirical Analysis in Georgia By Johnson, Simone; Berning, Joshua P.; Colson, Gregory J.; Smith, Travis A.
  9. Tracking Turnips and Other Measures of Food Literacy Education: The Impact of a School-based Intervention on Children’s Attitudes, Knowledge and Food Choices By Kiesel, Kristin; Stott, Amber
  10. Alternative Student Growth Measures for Teacher Evaluation: Implementation Experiences of Early-Adopting Districts By Moira McCullough; Brittany English; Megan Hague Angus; Brian Gill
  11. Understanding Participation in the USDA’s Farm to School Program: Results Integrating Information from the Farm to School Census and the Census of Agriculture By Botkins, Elizabeth Robison; Roe, Brian
  12. Education, Labor Quality and U.S. Agricultural Growth By Wang, Sun Ling; Somwaru, Agapi; Ball, Eldon
  13. Performance of Public-Private Partnerships in delivering social services: The Case of Universal Secondary Education Policy Implementation in Uganda By Mildred, Barungi; Ibrahim, Kasirye
  14. Determinants of Job Search Success of German Agricultural Sciences Graduates By Anonymous
  15. Child Maltreatment, Family Characteristics, and Educational Attainment: Evidence from Add Health Data By Fang, Xiangming; Tarui, Nori
  16. The impact of expanding access to early childhood services in rural Indonesia : evidence from two cohorts of children By Brinkman,Sally Anne; Hasan,Amer; Jung,Haeil; Kinnell,Angela; Pradhan,Menno Prasad
  17. Extension agents’ preferences on teaching methods: An ordered probit with selection model By Andrango, Graciela; Bergtold, Jason S.

  1. By: Murnane, RJ; Ganimian, A. J.
    Abstract: This paper describes four lessons derived from 115 rigorous impact evaluations of educational initiatives in 33 low- and middle-income countries. First, reducing the costs of going to school and providing alternatives to traditional public schools increase attendance and attainment, but do not consistently increase student achievement. Second, providing information about school quality and returns to schooling generally improves student attainment and achievement, but building parents? capacity works only when focused on tasks they can easily learn to perform. Third, more or better resources do not improve student achievement unless they change children?s daily experiences at school. Finally, well-designed incentives for teachers increase their effort and improve the achievement of students in very low performance settings, but low-skilled teachers need specific guidance to reach minimally acceptable levels of instruction.
    Date: 2014–01
  2. By: Shaun Dougherty; Joshua Goodman; Darryl Hill; Erica Litke; Lindsay C. Page
    Abstract: To better prepare students for college-level math and the demands of the labor market, school systems have tried to increase the rigor of students’ math coursework. The failure of universal “Algebra for All” models has led recently to more targeted approaches. We study one such approach in Wake County, North Carolina, which began using prior test scores to assign middle school students to an accelerated math track culminating in eighth grade algebra. The policy has reduced the role that income and race played in course assignment. A regression discontinuity design exploiting the eligibility threshold shows that acceleration has no clear effect on test scores but lowers middle school course grades. Acceleration does, however, raise the probability of taking and passing geometry in ninth grade by over 30 percentage points, including for black and Hispanic students. Nonetheless, most students accelerated in middle school do not remain so by high school and those that do earn low grades in advanced courses. This leaky pipeline suggests that targeted math acceleration has potential to increase college readiness among disadvantaged populations but that acceleration alone is insufficient to keep most students on such a track.
    JEL: I20 I24 J24
    Date: 2015–07
  3. By: Charlton, Diane
    Abstract: Economic theory shows that education is critical to economic development and to labor sector choice, yet there is little research to indicate the role school access plays in the agricultural transformation, the stage of development when the labor force shifts from primarily agriculture to non-agriculture. This paper identifies the impact of secondary school access on the probability of working in agriculture using 31 years of household panel data nationally representative of rural Mexico. The findings show that local secondary school access reduces the probability of working in agriculture at age 20 by 5.4 percentage points and the impacts grow as individuals age. The model shows that instrumenting for education using changes in school supply leads to inflated coefficient estimates when there are heterogeneous returns to education across labor sectors. This is consistent with the empirical literature, which typically finds greater returns to education using instrumental variables compared to OLS. Nevertheless, estimating the reduced form impacts of school supply on labor decisions has important implications for policy makers. The findings in this paper show that increased rural education is a significant contributor to the agricultural transformation, which leads to higher incomes in both the farm and non-farm sectors.
    Keywords: farm labor, agricultural transformation, education, International Development, Labor and Human Capital,
    Date: 2015
  4. By: Markus Nagler; Marc Piopiunik; Martin R. West
    Abstract: How do alternative job opportunities affect teacher quality? We provide the first causal evidence on this question by exploiting business cycle conditions at career start as a source of exogenous variation in the outside options of potential teachers. Unlike prior research, we directly assess teacher quality with value-added measures of impacts on student test scores, using administrative data on 33,000 teachers in Florida public schools. Consistent with a Roy model of occupational choice, teachers entering the profession during recessions are significantly more effective in raising student test scores. Results are supported by placebo tests and not driven by differential attrition.
    JEL: E32 H75 I20 J24
    Date: 2015–07
  5. By: K?rdar,Murat G.; Day?o?lu,Meltem; Koç,?smet
    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.
    Keywords: Education For All,Population Policies,Regional Economic Development,Secondary Education,Primary Education
    Date: 2015–07–24
  6. By: Kibriya, Shahriar; Xu, Zhicheng P.; Zhang, Yu
    Abstract: School bullying is a serious problem in academic settings all over the world. Using data from Ghana through the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study we show that bullying has a negative effect on academic performance. We also find evidence that female students are more affected by bullying. However, our analysis of the data reveals a female teacher in the classroom diminishes the negative effect of bullying on female students. The analysis uses a quasi-experimental propensity score matching and OLS methods followed by a series of robustness tests that validates the unconfoundedness and overlapping assumptions. The results of the study encourage policy makers to introduce gender sensitive anti-bullying program in academic settings.
    Keywords: Bully,academic performance,propensity score matching, International Development, Labor and Human Capital, Research Methods/ Statistical Methods,
    Date: 2015
  7. By: Jordan, Jeffrey L.; Munasib, Abdul; Castillo, Marco; Petrie, Ragan
    Abstract: We estimate economically significant peer effects in test scores in the population of eighth grade students from a typical county school district in the U.S. state of Georgia. For identification we utilize the variation across test scores within the individual student to account for individual unobserved heterogeneity.
    Keywords: Test score, peer effect, individual unobserved heterogeneity, Institutional and Behavioral Economics, Labor and Human Capital, I2, J01, C31,
    Date: 2015
  8. By: Johnson, Simone; Berning, Joshua P.; Colson, Gregory J.; Smith, Travis A.
    Abstract: Given the recent concerns over childhood obesity and the changes to the requirements set forth by the National School Lunch Program, Farm to School Programs (FTSPs) have become a popular way for schools to achieve the standards. This study examines FTSPs in Georgia, looking at panel data from 2008 through 2012 for each school district. We use Probit models to determine the characteristics of districts choosing to adopt these programs. We then use panel regression to examine the impact FTSPs have on student responses to the Georgia Student Health Survey to determine the effects of FTSPs on student consumption of healthful foods and their perception of the foods served in their schools. We find districts with a higher population and agricultural sales, and lower median incomes are more likely to adopt FTSPs. We also find FTSPs have no statistically significant impact on student consumption of healthful foods.
    Keywords: Farm to School Programs, school lunch, childhood nutrition, obesity, Probit models, panel data modeling, Agricultural and Food Policy, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Health Economics and Policy,
    Date: 2015–07
  9. By: Kiesel, Kristin; Stott, Amber
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety,
    Date: 2015
  10. By: Moira McCullough; Brittany English; Megan Hague Angus; Brian Gill
    Abstract: Throughout the country, school districts are scrambling to adhere to new state requirements for teacher evaluation. More than 40 states have mandated that some measure of student achievement growth be included in teacher evaluations.
    Keywords: teacher evaluation, teacher effectiveness, alternative assessment, high stakes test, student evaluation, curriculum based assessment, teacher expectations of students, teacher made tests, student educational objectives, case studies, student learning objectives, student growth measures, performance based assessment, value-added model
    JEL: I
    Date: 2015–07–21
  11. By: Botkins, Elizabeth Robison; Roe, Brian
    Abstract: Farm to School programs (FTS) have proliferated since the first FTS pilot projects in 1996-1997 (National FTS Network 2011). Research surrounding FTS programs has focused on quantifying the potential benefits for local economies and students’ nutrition, while little research has addressed factors that influence a school’s decision to participate in a FTS program. FTS is often narrowly defined as the use of local foods by the school. However, the extent of local food inclusion alters the local economic stimulus generated by the program and may also alter school meal participation by students and support by parents. In this study, we follow the USDA’s Farm to School Census approach and define FTS as any promotion of local foods or school gardens including fieldtrips to farms, maintenance of a school garden, taste tests, and other curriculum or promotional components. We also recognize that a school’s decision to participate depends heavily on the supply of and types of farms in the area, so we take supply-side factors into account. In addition to simple binary FTS participation, we assess what factors are associated with the intensity of participation, the types of FTS activities implemented, and the challenges faced by participating and non-participating schools. The results provide a nuanced understanding of FTS participation. Our models are estimated using data from the USDA’s Farm to School Census (2014), the USDA’s Census of Agriculture (2012) and the USDA’s database of farmers’ markets (2015). We find factors that influence the FTS decision include the supply of local food, school size, percent of students on free or reduced cost meals, federal reimbursements for the cafeteria programs, total school system expenditures, food cost, cafeteria sales, county population, race composition and urbanicity. The results suggest that both school characteristics and local farm production factors may influence FTS participation. The results will be useful in informing policy as well as providing insight into the nature of FTS programs for future studies of FTS benefits.
    Keywords: Farm to school, policy, local food, Agricultural and Food Policy, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety,
    Date: 2015
  12. By: Wang, Sun Ling; Somwaru, Agapi; Ball, Eldon
    Abstract: This study employs a Tὄrnqvist index approach to construct quality-adjusted labor index for the U.S. farm sector using the volume (hours worked) of 192 demographic components and their corresponding cost shares. We decompose labor input change into quality change and quantity change. The results show that between 1948 and 2011 the decline of total hours worked resulted in -0.58 percentage points of output growth per year while increasing labor quality contributed to 0.08 percentage points of annual output growth. We further decompose labor quality change into a change in the educational attainment of the labor force and a change due to other factors. Our results show that the education component contributed to most of the labor quality changes during the study period. However, the contribution of educational attainment is greater in earlier years than in later years.
    Keywords: Tὄrnqvist index, educational attainment, labor quality, labor productivity, U.S. agriculture, Agricultural and Food Policy, Labor and Human Capital, Productivity Analysis, O13, O15, Q10, Q16,
    Date: 2015–05
  13. By: Mildred, Barungi; Ibrahim, Kasirye
    Abstract: After implementing the Universal Primary Education policy for 10 years, Uganda initiated the Universal Secondary Education (USE) policy in 2007. The objective of the USE initiative was to equitably increasing access to secondary education. The policy is implemented by public secondary schools as well as through a Public-Private Partnership (USE PPP) between the Ministry of Education and Sports and selected private secondary schools—mainly in sub counties without any public secondary schools. Within USE PPP, the government provides a subsidy (capitation grant) to private schools to enrol UPE graduates. This brief examines the performance of the USE PPP. The focus on USE PPP is due to the fact that this type of arrangement never existed prior to the USE policy. Based on primary data collected by the authors in 2013, we show that the USE PPP is performing moderately well in terms of good accountability, relevance, effectiveness, impact and participation. However, the USE PPP is performing poorly in terms of efficiency and sustainability.
    Keywords: Community/Rural/Urban Development, Demand and Price Analysis, Environmental Economics and Policy, Institutional and Behavioral Economics, Labor and Human Capital, Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies, Resource /Energy Economics and Policy, Risk and Uncertainty,
    Date: 2015–04
  14. By: Anonymous
    Abstract: This paper shows how job search success, measured as search duration and entry salary, is affected directly or indirectly by personal and process as well as structural characteristics. A specific focus is on the relevance of practical experience which is claimed to be a key feature of employability. While self‐assessed practical and namely international experience is positively related to salary, but not to search duration, the number and duration of internships does not affect job search success. Results are relevant for higher education institutions to develop their curricula, for students to prepare for job search, and for employers to understand the genesis of employability and their potential means to impact it.
    Keywords: talent management, employability, practical experience, search behaviour, ordinal regression, Agribusiness,
    Date: 2015–05
  15. By: Fang, Xiangming; Tarui, Nori
    Abstract: Rationale: Child maltreatment, which includes both child abuse and child neglect, is widely regarded as a serious social and public health problem that affects large numbers of children in the United States. In 2012, U.S. state and local child protective services received an estimated 3.4 million referrals of children being abused or neglected. There is increasing evidence that exposure to child maltreatment can lead to many emotional, behavioral, and physical health problems. However, little is known about whether child maltreatment has a significant influence on the victim’s educational attainment, and whether child maltreatment mediates the effects of family background factors on the victim’s educational outcomes. This study is motivated by the high prevalence of child maltreatment in the United States and our limited knowledge about the long-term consequence of maltreatment on children’s human capital accumulation. Our central question is whether preventing child maltreatment helps reduce the number of high school dropouts. We focus on high school dropout because it poses one of the greatest threats to the nation’s economic growth and competitiveness. About 2,500 American high school students drop out every day. Dropouts are far more likely to spend their lives periodically unemployed, on government assistance, or cycling in and out of the prison system. Dropouts are far more likely to spend their lives periodically unemployed, on government assistance, or cycling in and out of the prison system. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average annual income of a high school dropout was about $22,000, while a person with a high school diploma averaged $33,000; that’s a difference of $11,000 a year. The economic consequences of leaving high school without a diploma are severe. Objective: The objective of this study is to use a nationally representative longitudinal sample of adolescents to examine the effects of family background factors and three forms of child maltreatment (neglect, physical abuse, and sexual abuse) on the risk of high school dropout, allowing for the potential endogeneity of experiencing child maltreatment. Methodology: Data describing family background characteristics from Wave I of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) study (1994 – 1995) were matched with retrospective reports of child maltreatment during Wave III (2001 – 2002) of the Add Health study and the exit statuses from high school appearing on Wave III respondents’ transcripts. The study sample included 6,422 participants who were in grades 7 through 10 during Wave I survey and reinterviewed in Wave III survey, and whose official high school transcripts were collected by the Adolescent Health and Academic Achievement study, an extension study of the Add Health study. A behavior decision model, which related high school dropout to child maltreatment and family background characteristics, was developed to guide our empirical analyses. A maximum simulated likelihood approach for a multivariate probit model was used to estimate a recursive system of equations for high school dropout, child maltreatment and family background. The estimations under other specifications of the empirical model—propensity score matching estimations, linear probability model specifications with instrumental variables, and models with alternative definitions of child maltreatment—were used to test the robustness of our findings. Results: Controlling for other variables, family size, family structure (two biological parents or not), parental education, and family poverty are all significantly associated with high school dropout. Hyperactivity/impulsive symptoms and low IQ also significantly predict high school dropout. The associations between family background characteristics and child maltreatment vary by type of child maltreatment experienced. Living with both biological parents is significantly associated with the lower risk of maltreatment for all three types of child maltreatment. Family poverty is only significantly associated with childhood neglect, while family size is only significantly associated with childhood physical abuse. Allowing for endogeneity, childhood neglect and physical abuse contributes significantly to the risk of high school dropout, while childhood sexual abuse is not significantly associated with the risk of high school dropout. Experiencing childhood neglect and physical abuse increase the probability of high school dropout by 7% and 6%, respectively. The estimations under other specifications of the empirical model indicate that the results regarding the significant effects of neglect and physical abuse are robust. Conclusions: The findings shed light on how parents’ attitudes and behaviors toward children influence their long-term human capital accumulation outcomes. Preventing childhood neglect and physical abuse in economically disadvantaged and/or non-two biological parent families may help significantly reduce the high school dropout rate.
    Keywords: Child maltreatment, family characteristics, high school dropout, Health Economics and Policy, Institutional and Behavioral Economics, Labor and Human Capital,
    Date: 2015
  16. By: Brinkman,Sally Anne; Hasan,Amer; Jung,Haeil; Kinnell,Angela; Pradhan,Menno Prasad
    Abstract: This paper uses three waves of longitudinal data to examine the impact of expanding access to preschool services in rural areas of Indonesia on two cohorts of children. One cohort was children aged 4 at the start of the project and was immediately eligible for project-provided services when they began operation in 2009. The other cohort was children aged 1 at the start of the project and became eligible for project-provided services two years later. The paper presents intent-to-treat estimates of impact in the short term (first year of the project) and medium term (three years after the project started), using experimental and quasi-experimental methods. For the cohort of 4-year-olds, while the magnitude of the enrollment impact is similar across children from different backgrounds, the impact on child outcomes is larger for children from more disadvantaged backgrounds in the short and medium terms. However, for this cohort of children, it seems that project-provided playgroups encouraged substitution away from existing kindergartens, suggesting that future interventions should incorporate such possibilities into their design. For the average child in the younger cohort, the project led to improvements in physical health and well-being as well as language and cognitive development. For this cohort, there is little evidence of differential impact. This can be explained by the fact that children who enrolled soon after the centers opened (the older cohort) were generally poorer, compared with children who enrolled later (the younger cohort). This may be because of fee increases in project centers as project funding ended.
    Keywords: Housing&Human Habitats,Health Monitoring&Evaluation,Educational Sciences,Youth and Government,Primary Education
    Date: 2015–07–21
  17. By: Andrango, Graciela; Bergtold, Jason S.
    Abstract: Outreach and Extension services are important to enhance human capital by providing with useful and practical research findings in a way that farmers can understand. A limited number of studies have been conducted to understand the methods Extension agents use to deliver information. The research to date has tended to primarily focus on identifying learning methods preferred by farmers and has compared them with the teaching methods used by Extension agents. However, little is known about how Extension agents decide the types of methods they use for outreach and why they prefer those methods. A clear understanding about these mechanisms could prove crucial in closing the existing gap between farmers’ needs for information and extension’ teaching preferences, and assuring the development and delivery of effective educational programs. Davis (2006) theorized that educators tend to teach the way they prefer to learn. This study attempts to provide quantitative evidence on how Extension educators’ personal preferences for learning methods impact their teaching methods decisions. Specifically, the goals of this study are: 1) to identify Extension agents’ characteristics that affect their selection of different types of educational methods, and 2) to explain how Extension agents’ perception of farmers’ reception affects this selection. Results from this study will help enhance learning among farmers by understanding educators’ preferences of learning and teaching methods. The data used in this study was collected through an electronic survey administered to Extension and other outreach agents in 10 western states of the U.S. on December, 2012. Statistical analysis indicates that Extension and other outreach agents work primarily with farmers and agribusiness groups. Extension agents surveyed for this study showed preference for learning and outreach methods such as: field days, seminars, face-to-face meetings with farmers, community educational events, and internet. Using an ordered probit model corrected for selection bias, this paper aims to explain the Extension educators’ characteristics that influence their decision of the type of educational methods they use to transfer agricultural information. Various factors are believed to explain the use of learning methods by Extension agents, including: education level, age, region, area of expertise, target group, perception on the farmers’ use of information, and years of experience. Results will shed light on the understanding of how Extension agents choose teaching methods will provide with tools to better design and conduct training activities and ultimately help farmers improve their productivity.
    Keywords: Extension, teaching methods, ordered probit with selection model, Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession,

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