nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2015‒08‒19
nineteen papers chosen by
João Carlos Correia Leitão
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. The Impact of Education on Personality - Evidence from a German High School Reform By Sarah Dahmann; Silke Anger
  2. Early Impacts of College Aid By Cáceres-Delpiano, Julio; Giolito, Eugenio P.; Castillo, Sebastián
  3. The impact of an accountability intervention with diagnostic feedback : evidence from Mexico By De Hoyos Navarro,Rafael E.; Garcia Moreno,Vicente A.; Patrinos,Harry Anthony
  4. School Quality and the Development of Cognitive Skills between Age Four and Six By Borghans, Lex; Golsteyn, Bart H.H.; Zölitz, Ulf
  5. Decentralizing education resources: school grants in Senegal By Pedro Carneiro; Oswald Koussihouèdé; Nathalie Lahire; Costas Meghir; Corina Mommaerts
  6. What are the advantages today of having an upper secondary qualification? By OECD
  7. Does malaria control impact education? Evidence from Roll Back Malaria in Africa By Maria Kuecken; Josselin Thuilliez; Marie-Anne Valfort
  8. The Effects of Longer School Days on Mothers' Labor Force Participation By Berthelon, Matias; Kruger, Diana; Oyarzún, Melanie
  9. Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital: Is It a One-Way Street? By Lundborg, Petter; Majlesi, Kaveh
  10. The distribution of school funding and inputs in England: 1993-2013 By Luke Sibieta
  11. Gender education gaps among indigenous and nonindigenous groups in Bolivia By Reimao,Maira Emy Nakayama; Tas,Emcet Oktay
  12. Determinants of completions and completion deficits in VET: Evidence from Australia By Fieger, Peter
  13. Performance Standards and Employee Effort: Evidence from Teacher Absences By Gershenson, Seth
  14. How Teachers Respond to Pension System Incentives: New Estimates and Policy Applications By Shawn Ni; Michael Podgursky
  15. Physical Activity in School Travel: A Cross-Nested Logit Approach By Alireza Ermagun; David Levinson
  16. Left‐Behind Children and Return Decisions of Rural Migrants in China By Sylvie Démurger; Hui Xu
  17. International graduate students' perceptions and interest in international careers By Nikos Bozionelos; Giorgos Bozionelos; Konstantinos Kostopoulos; Shyong Chwen-Huey; Yehuda Baruch; Wenxia Zhou
  18. Family Background, Academic Ability, and College Decisions in the 20th Century U.S. By Todd Schoellman; Christopher Herrington; Lutz Hendricks
  19. Preschools and early childhood development in a second best world: Evidence from a scaled-up experiment in Cambodia By Adrien Bouguen; Deon Filmer; Karen Macours; Sophie Naudeau

  1. By: Sarah Dahmann (German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)); Silke Anger (Volkswirtschaftslehre Otto-Friedrich Universität Bamberg)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the short-term effects of a reduction in the length of high school on students' personality traits using a school reform carried out at the state level in Germany as a quasi-natural experiment. Starting in 2001, academic-track high school (Gymnasium) was reduced from nine to eight years in most of Germany's federal states, leaving the overall curriculum unchanged. This enabled students to obtain a university entrance qualification (Abitur) after a total of only 12 rather than 13 years of schooling. We exploit the variation in the length of academic-track high school over time and across states to identify the effect of schooling on students' Big Five personality traits and on their locus of control. Using rich data on adolescents and young adults from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) study, our estimates show that shortening high school caused students on average to be more extroverted and less emotionally stable. Our estimates point to important heterogeneous effects. In addition to differences between East and West Germany, we find that male students and students from disrupted families showed stronger personality changes following the reform: they became more agreeable and more extroverted, respectively. We conclude that the educational system plays an important role in shaping adolescents' personality traits.
    Keywords: Non-cognitive Skills, Big Five, Locus of Control, Skill Formation, High School Reform
    JEL: I21 I28 J24
    Date: 2015–05
  2. By: Cáceres-Delpiano, Julio (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid); Giolito, Eugenio P. (Universidad Alberto Hurtado); Castillo, Sebastián (Universidad Miguel de Cervantes)
    Abstract: We analyze the impact of an expansion in government-guaranteed credit for higher education in Chile on a sample of elementary and high school students. Using students who had an alternative source of funding as a control group, and administrative records before and after the reform, we present evidence that students most likely to attend college in a future are affected in different ways. First, we show that parents of students who ex ante were more likely to be credit restricted became more likely after the reform to state that their child would end up completing college. Second, we find that relaxing credit restrictions reduces the probability of dropping out of high school, specifically among top students originally enrolled in low-performance schools and low-performance students attending better schools. Third, we find that the reform led to an increase in educational sorting. Best students switch to better schools while low-performance students go to lower-ranked schools. This sorting helps to explain why we observe a decrease (increase) in GPA and an increase (decrease) in grade repetition among better (worse) students. Then, for a sample of students that were in transition from elementary to secondary school, we show that good students are more likely to enroll in a college-oriented track. Finally, using household data and birth records aggregated at the municipal level, we find, consistent with previous findings, a reduction in teen pregnancy.
    Keywords: college credit, high school dropouts, teen pregnancy
    JEL: I28 J13
    Date: 2015–07
  3. By: De Hoyos Navarro,Rafael E.; Garcia Moreno,Vicente A.; Patrinos,Harry Anthony
    Abstract: In 2009, the Mexican state of Colima implemented a low-stakes accountability intervention with diagnostic feedback among 108 public primary schools with the lowest test scores in the national student assessment. A difference-in-difference and a regression discontinuity design are used to identify the effects of the intervention on learning outcomes. The two alternative strategies consistently show that the intervention increased test scores by 0.12 standard deviations only a few months after the program was launched. When students, teachers, and parents in a school know that their scores are low, and this triggers a process of self-evaluation and analysis, the process itself may lead to an improvement in learning outcomes. Information on quality, without punitive measures but within a supportive and collaborative environment, appears to be sufficient to improve learning outcomes.
    Keywords: Education For All,Secondary Education,Tertiary Education,Effective Schools and Teachers,Primary Education
    Date: 2015–08–13
  4. By: Borghans, Lex (Maastricht University); Golsteyn, Bart H.H. (Maastricht University); Zölitz, Ulf (IZA)
    Abstract: This paper studies the extent to which young children develop their cognitive ability in high and low quality schools. We use a representative panel data set containing cognitive test scores of 4-6 year olds in Dutch schools. School quality is measured by the school's average achievement test score at age 12. Our results indicate that children in high-quality schools develop their skills substantially faster than those in low-quality schools. The results remain robust to the inclusion of initial ability, parental background, and neighborhood controls. Moreover, using proximity to higher-achieving schools as an instrument for school choice corroborates the results. The robustness of the results points toward a causal interpretation, although it is not possible to erase all doubt about unobserved confounding factors.
    Keywords: cognitive skills, child development, school quality
    JEL: I2 I24 J24
    Date: 2015–07
  5. By: Pedro Carneiro (Institute for Fiscal Studies and cemmap and UCL); Oswald Koussihouèdé (Institute for Fiscal Studies); Nathalie Lahire (Institute for Fiscal Studies); Costas Meghir (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Yale University); Corina Mommaerts (Institute for Fiscal Studies)
    Abstract: The impact of school resources on the quality of education in developing countries may depend crucially on whether resources are targeted efficiently. In this paper we use a randomized experiment to analyze the impact of a school grants program in Senegal, which decentralized a portion of the country's education budget. We find large positive effects on test scores at younger grades that persist at least two years. We show that these effects are concentrated among schools that focused funds on human resources improvements rather than school materials, suggesting that teachers and principals may be a central determinant of school quality.
    Keywords: Quality of education; Decentralization; School resources; Child Development; Clustered Randomized Control Trials
    JEL: H52 I22 I25 O15
    Date: 2015–03
  6. By: OECD
    Abstract: In most OECD countries, the large majority of adults had at least an upper secondary qualification in 2013, making the completion of upper secondary education the minimum threshold for successful labour market entry and continued employability or the pursuit of further education. Young people who left school before completing upper secondary education face difficulty in the labour market but also have particularly low cognitive skills compared with upper secondary graduates. Those aged 15-29 who left school before completing upper secondary education are twice as likely to have low numeracy scores than those with an upper secondary education. On average across OECD countries, the unemployment rate among 15-29 year-olds not in education is 13 percentage points lower among those with an upper secondary education than for those without. Having a tertiary qualification reduces unemployment rates by a further five percentage points.
    Date: 2015–08
  7. By: Maria Kuecken (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics); Josselin Thuilliez (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS); Marie-Anne Valfort (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS)
    Abstract: Relying on microeconomic data, we examine the impact of the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) control campaigns on the educational attainment of primary school children in 14 Sub-Saharan African countries. Combining a difference-in-differences approach with an IV analysis, we exploit exogenous variation in pre-campaign malaria prevalence and exogenous variation in exposure to the timing and disbursements of the RBM campaign. In all 14 countries, the RBM campaign reveals itself as a particularly cost-effective strategy to improve primary school children’s educational attainment.
    Date: 2015–01–04
  8. By: Berthelon, Matias (Universidad Adolfo Ibañez); Kruger, Diana (Universidad Adolfo Ibañez); Oyarzún, Melanie (Universidad Catolica de Valparaiso, Chile)
    Abstract: Lack of adequate childcare is a main reason women cite for not participating in the labor force. We investigate the effect of a reform that lengthened school schedules from half to full days in Chile – essentially providing zero-cost childcare – on different maternal labor participation outcomes. We identify the effect of the policy from its implementation across municipalities over time and rule out alternative explanations, finding evidence of positive and important effects on participation and more permanent attachment to the labor force. Additionally, we also find results are driven by the provision of full day schooling in 1st and 2nd grades.
    Keywords: full day schooling, primary education, female labor participation, education reform, Chile
    JEL: H4 J2 J4 I2
    Date: 2015–07
  9. By: Lundborg, Petter (Department of Economics, Lund University); Majlesi, Kaveh (Department of Economics, Lund University)
    Abstract: Studies on the intergenerational transmission of human capital usually assume a one-way spillover from parents to children. But what if children also affect their parents’ human capital? Using exogenous variation in education, arising from a Swedish compulsory schooling reform in the 1950s and 1960s, we address this question by studying the causal effect of children’s schooling on their parents’ longevity. We first replicate previous findings of a positive and significant cross-sectional relationship between children’s education and their parents’ longevity. Our causal estimates tell a different story; children’s schooling has no significant effect on parents’ survival. These results hold when we examine separate causes of death and when we restrict the sample to low-income and low-educated parents.
    Keywords: Intergenerational transmission; Human capital; Longevity; Compulsory schooling; Education
    JEL: I10 I21 J14
    Date: 2015–08–10
  10. By: Luke Sibieta (Institute for Fiscal Studies)
    Abstract: School funding per pupil increased substantially between 1999-00 and 2012-13 in England. It also became more varied across schools with higher levels of funds targeted at more deprived schools. Real-terms increases in funding per pupil were much larger for the most deprived group of primary and secondary schools (83% and 93%, respectively) as compared with the least deprived primary and secondary schools (56% and 59%). In this paper, we decompose these increases in funding per pupil into the amount explained by quantities of different types of staff per pupil, their price and changes in non-staffing costs. We find that some of these increases in funding per pupil translated into larger numbers of teachers per pupil and a higher real-terms cost per teacher (about 20-30% of the increase in funding per pupil). However, a much larger portion of the increases in funding can be accounted for by higher levels and increased variation in the use of teaching assistants (largely lower skilled staff), other non-teaching staff and non-staff inputs (such as learning resources, professional services and energy). Furthermore, there is also evidence to suggest that differences in expenditure between the most and least deprived schools are smaller than differences in funding, with more deprived secondary schools running slightly larger surpluses. Increased use of non-teaching staff was partly an intended policy shift by policymakers at the time. However, we argue that the scale of the changes in inputs are more likely to reflect rigidities, the flexibility of contracts and uncertainty over future funding allocations.
    Keywords: School finance
    JEL: H52 I20 I22
    Date: 2015–03
  11. By: Reimao,Maira Emy Nakayama; Tas,Emcet Oktay
    Abstract: This paper studies gender education gaps among indigenous and nonindigenous groups in Bolivia. Using the National Census of Population and Housing 2012 and an estimation method analogous to difference-in-differences, the paper finds that the intersection of gender and indigenous identity confers cumulative disadvantage for indigenous women in literacy, years of schooling, and primary and secondary school completion. Although gender education gaps have become narrower across generations, there remain significant differences among indigenous groups. The Aymara have the largest gender gap in all outcomes, despite having high overall attainment rates and mostly residing in urban centers, with greater physical access to schools. The Quechua have relatively smaller gender gaps, but these are accompanied by lower attainment levels. The paper discusses the possible sources of these differentials and highlights the importance of taking gender dynamics within each indigenous group into greater consideration.
    Keywords: Education For All,Population Policies,Gender and Education,Access&Equity in Basic Education,Primary Education
    Date: 2015–08–10
  12. By: Fieger, Peter
    Abstract: Purpose Completion rates in Australian vocational education and training (VET) are notoriously low. While there are conventional reasons such as issues with course, health, institutional factors, financial and family problems and dissatisfaction with the training experience, more VET specific explanations have included that students may discontinue their studies when they have obtained the specific skills they were seeking or they have gained employment. This present study seeks to examine whether the original intention of students at the time of enrolment along with satisfaction and the benefit that could be obtained from completion have any bearing on completion patterns. Methodology This study utilises the 2011 Student Outcomes Survey and Student Intentions Survey and develops a data integration method to relate intention data to student outcomes. The concept of completion deficit is developed as the difference between the probabilities of intention to complete and probability to actually complete. Regression models and chi squared automated interaction detection are applied to evaluate the relationship between intentions, satisfaction, completion pay-offs and completion patterns. Findings Main findings of this study include the preponderance of part-time students enrolled in lower VET qualifications with high completion deficits. Furthermore, the completion pay-offs in respect to salary and improved employment conditions relate to increased completions and decreased completion deficits, while satisfaction plays only a minor role in shaping completion patterns. Originality This study contributes to the existing body of knowledge about completions in VET by including the original completion intention of students in the examination of completion patterns.
    Keywords: Education economics, vocational education, completions in education, econometrics
    JEL: C1 I21 I23
    Date: 2015–06–15
  13. By: Gershenson, Seth (American University)
    Abstract: The 2001 No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) increased accountability pressure in U.S. public schools by threatening to impose sanctions on Title-1 schools that failed to make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in consecutive years. Difference-in-difference estimates of the effect of failing AYP in the first year of NCLB on teacher effort in the subsequent year suggest that on average, teacher absences in North Carolina fell by about 10% and the probability of being absent 15 or more times fell by about 20%. Reductions in teacher absences were driven by within-teacher increases in effort.
    Keywords: performance standards, employee effort, teacher absences, accountability, NCLB
    JEL: J45 J48 J22 I2
    Date: 2015–07
  14. By: Shawn Ni (University of Missouri - Columbia); Michael Podgursky (University of Missouri - Columbia)
    Abstract: Rising costs of public employee pension plans are a source of ?scal stress in many cities and states and have led to calls for reform. To assess the economic consequences of plan changes it is important to have reliable statistical models of employee retirement behavior. The authors estimate a structural model of teacher retirement using administrative panel data. A Stock-Wise option value model provides a good ?t to the data and predicts well out-of-sample on the e?ects of pension enhancements during the 1990s. The structural model is used to simulate the e?ect of alternatives to the current de?ned bene?t plan.
    Keywords: teacher pensions, school staffing, school finance.
    JEL: I21 J26 J38
    Date: 2015–08
  15. By: Alireza Ermagun; David Levinson (Nexus (Networks, Economics, and Urban Systems) Research Group, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota)
    Abstract: This paper considers school access by both active (walk, bike), quasi-active (walk to transit) and non-active modes (car) in a two-level cross-nested logit framework. A sample of 3,272 middle and high school students was collected in Tehran. The results of the cross-nested logit model suggest that for people who choose walking, increasing a 1 percent in home-to-school distance reduces the probability of walking by 3.51 percent. While, this reduction is equal to 2.82 and 2.27 percent as per the multinomial and nested logit models, respectively. This is a direct consequence of the model specification that results in underestimating the effect of distance by 1.24 percent. It is also worth mentioning that, a one percent increase in home-to-school distance diminishes the probability of taking public transit by 1.04 among public transit users, while increases the probability of shifting to public transit from walking by 1.39 percent. Further, a one percent increase of the distance to public transport, decreases the probability of students' physical activity, approximately, 0.04 percent.
    Keywords: Public Transit; Active Mode of Travel; School Trips; Tehran
    JEL: C35 I12 J13 R14 R41 R42 R53
    Date: 2015
  16. By: Sylvie Démurger (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université Jean Monnet - Saint-Etienne - PRES Université de Lyon - CNRS); Hui Xu (Beijing Normal University / Beijing)
    Abstract: This paper examines how left-behind children influence migration duration in China. We first present a simple illustrative model that incorporates economic and non-economic motives to migration duration. Using individual data from a survey carried out in Wuwei county (Anhui province) in 2008, we find that migrant parents of children in primary school tend to delay their return, a result we interpret as illustrating the need for migrant parents to accumulate money for their offspring’s education. In contrast, parental time appears substitutable by coresiding grandparents who contribute to delay the parents’ return, especially mothers, when they have children below the age of 12.
    Date: 2015
  17. By: Nikos Bozionelos (Audencia Recherche - Audencia); Giorgos Bozionelos (General Hospital of Katerini - General Hospital of Katerini); Konstantinos Kostopoulos (Norwich Business School - University of East Anglia); Shyong Chwen-Huey (Durham Business School - Durham University); Yehuda Baruch (Southampton Management School - University of Southampton); Wenxia Zhou (Renmin University of China, Beijing)
    Abstract: This research developed and tested a comprehensive model of the antecedents of international graduate students' interest in an international career. Based largely on Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT), the model included elements that pertain to perceptions of external constraints (perceptions of the labor market, family pressure to return), international student experience (adjustment in the foreign country during graduate studies, exposure and immersion to the international context) and individual factors (self-efficacy with respect to working abroad and outcome expectancy). Participants were 139 international graduate students in the UK. Individual factors and perceived constraints were directly related to interest in an international career. The factors that comprised current international student experience were indirectly related to interest via their relationship with self-efficacy, while adjustment moderated the relationship between self-efficacy and interest. Although the hypothesized moderating role of family pressure to return did not materialize, the findings suggest that perceptions of constraints play a more substantial role in the formation of interest than has been assumed by SCCT theory thus far. The findings are discussed with respect to their implications for the literature and for the policies of host country stakeholders.
    Date: 2015
  18. By: Todd Schoellman (Arizona State University); Christopher Herrington (Virginia Commonwealth University); Lutz Hendricks (UNC Chapel Hill)
    Abstract: We harmonize the results of a number of historical studies to document changes in the patterns of who attends college over the course of the 20th century. We find that family income was twice as important in determining who went to college at the start of the century as compared to the end, while academic ability was half as important. The importance of income declined and of academic ability rose until roughly 1960, at which point the two are equally important. We construct and calibrate a model to understand what forces can explain the magnitude and timing of these changes, including changes in the skill premium, the financial environment, and the non-pecuniary benefits of college.
    Date: 2015
  19. By: Adrien Bouguen (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA) - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC), EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics); Deon Filmer (Banque Mondiale - Centre de recherche de la Banque Mondiale - Banque Mondiale); Karen Macours (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA) - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC), EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics); Sophie Naudeau (Banque Mondiale - Centre de recherche de la Banque Mondiale - Banque Mondiale)
    Abstract: Interventions targeting early childhood development, such as investment in preschools, are often seen as promising mechanisms to increase human capital and to reduce the intergenerational transmission of poverty and inequality. This paper presents results from a randomized evaluation of a large scale preschool construction program in Cambodia, and indicates a cautionary tale. The overall impact of the program on a wide set of children’s early childhood outcomes was small and not statistically significant, and for the cohort with highest exposure the program led to a negative impact on early childhood cognition. Moreover, for this group, the intervention increased inequality as the negative impacts are largest for children of poorer and less educated parents. The results can be explained by the frequent occurrence of underage enrollment in primary school in the absence of preschools, stricter enforcement of the minimum age for primary school entry after the intervention, substitution between primary and preschool following intervention, and difference in demand responses of more and less educated parents to the new preschools. These results indicate that the design of ECD interventions needs to start from a good understanding of parental and teacher decisions pre-program. More generally, they show how implementation and demand-side constraints might not only limit positive impacts, but could even lead to perverse effects of early childhood interventions.
    Date: 2014–10

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