nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2015‒11‒07
twenty-six papers chosen by
João Carlos Correia Leitão
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Computer Technology in Education: Evidence from a pooled Study of Computer Assisted Learning Programs among Rural Students in China By Huang, Weiming; Mo, Di; Shi, Yaojiang; Zhang, Linxiu; Boswell, Matthew; Rozelle, Scott
  2. The Long-Term Impacts of Low-Achieving Childhood Peers: Evidence from Project STAR By Bietenbeck, Jan
  3. Análisis y Propuestas en torno al Acceso a la Educación Superior chilena en el contexto de una reforma Educacional (Agosto 2015) By Larraín, Clemente; Valdés, Natalia
  4. A New Measure of College Quality to Study the Effects of College Sector and Peers on Degree Attainment By Jonathan Smith; Kevin Stange
  5. Where Does Voucher Funding Go? How Large-Scale Subsidy Programs Affect Private-School Revenue, Enrollment, and Prices By Daniel M. Hungerman; Kevin Rinz
  6. The Gift of Time? School Starting Age and Mental Health By Thomas S. Dee; Hans Henrik Sievertsen
  7. Carrot and Stick? Impact of a Low-Stakes School Accountability Program on Student Achievement By Woo, Seokjin; Lee, Soohyung; Kim, Kyunghee
  8. Mapping the Educational Attainment in Turkey By Alpay Filiztekin; Burhan Can Karahasan
  9. OpenCases: A Catalogue on Mini Cases of Open Education in Europe By Predrag Lažetić; Manuel Souto-Otero; Robin Shields
  10. Does Competition Matter? The Efficiency of Regional Higher Education Systems and Competition: The Case of Russia By Oleg V. Leshukov; Daria P. Platonova; Dmitry S. Semyonov
  11. Drought of Opportunities: Contemporaneous and Long-Term Impacts of Rainfall Shocks on Human Capital By Shah, Manisha; Millett Steinberg, Bryce
  12. Long-term Direct and Spillover Effects of Job Training: Experimental Evidence from Colombia By Adriana Kugler; Maurice Kugler; Juan Saavedra; Luis Omar Herrera Prada
  13. Catching Cheating Students By Steven D. Levitt; Ming-Jen Lin
  14. “Bilingual Schooling and Earnings: Evidence from a Language-in-Education reform” By Lorenzo Cappellari; Antonio di-Paolo
  15. The Educational Achievement of Pupils with Immigrant and Native Mothers: Evidence from Taiwan By Lin, Eric S.; Lu, Yu-Lung
  16. Speaking in Numbers: The Effect of Reading Performance on Math Performance among Immigrants By Isphording, Ingo E.; Piopiunik, Marc; Rodríguez-Planas, Núria
  17. Study on the effect of parents' migrating on the education of the rural left-behind children By Bian, Wei; Ye, Chunhui; Zhao, Yunin
  18. Peer Effects in Computer Assisted Learning: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment By Fafchamps, Marcel; Mo, Di
  19. The Analysis of Field Choice in College and Graduate School: Determinants and Wage Effects By Joseph G. Altonji; Peter Arcidiacono; Arnaud Maurel
  20. The Causes of Gender Inequality in College Education in Turkey By M. Kadir Doğan; Tolga Yuret
  21. Early effects of an early start: Evidence from lowering the school starting age in Poland By Herbst, Mikołaj; Strawiński, Paweł
  22. Explaining Cross-Cohort Differences in Life Cycle Earnings By Kong, Yu-Chien; Ravikumar, B.; Vandenbroucke, Guillaume
  23. The evolution of the gender test score gap through seventh grade: New insights from Australia using quantile regression and decomposition By Nguyen, Ha
  24. When Evidence is Not Enough: Findings from a Randomized Evaluation of Evidence-Based Literacy Instruction (EBLI) By Brian Jacob
  25. Pathways from School to Work in the Developing World By Manacorda, Marco; Rosati, Furio C.; Ranzani, Marco; Dachille, Giuseppe
  26. Do Students Know Best? Choice, Classroom Time, and Academic Performance By Theodore J. Joyce; Sean Crockett; David A. Jaeger; Onur Altindag; Stephen D. O'Connell; Dahlia K. Remler

  1. By: Huang, Weiming; Mo, Di; Shi, Yaojiang; Zhang, Linxiu; Boswell, Matthew; Rozelle, Scott
    Abstract: There is a great degree of heterogeneity among the studies that investigate whether computer technologies improve education and how students benefit from them – if at all. The overall goal of this study is to assess the effectiveness of computing technologies to raise educational performance and non-cognitive outcomes and identify what program components are most effective in doing so. To achieve this aim we pool the data sets of five separate studies about computer technology programs that include observations of 16,856 students from 148 primary schools across three provinces in China. We find that overall computing technologies have positive and significant impacts on student academic achievement in both math and in Chinese. The programs are found to be more effective if they are implemented out-of-school, avoiding what appear to be substitution effects when programs are run during school. The programs also have heterogeneous effects by gender. Specifically, boys gain more than girls in Chinese. We did not find heterogeneous effects by student initial achievement levels. We also found that the programs that help students learn math—but not Chinese—have positive impacts on student self-efficacy.
    Keywords: Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies, Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession,
    Date: 2015
  2. By: Bietenbeck, Jan (Lund University)
    Abstract: This paper evaluates how sharing a kindergarten classroom with low-achieving repeaters affects the long-term educational performance of regular first-time kindergarten students. Exploiting random assignment of teachers and students to classes in Project STAR, I document three sets of causal impacts: students who are exposed to repeaters (1) score lower on standardized tests at the end of kindergarten, an effect that fades out in later grades; (2) show persistent improvements in non-cognitive skills such as effort and discipline; and (3) are more likely to graduate from high school and to take a college entrance exam around the age of eighteen. I show that the positive spillovers from repeaters on long-term educational attainment are likely driven by the differential accumulation of non-cognitive skills by repeater-exposed students during childhood. The improvements in these skills are in turn a result of behavioral adjustments by teachers, students, or parents to the presence of low-achieving repeaters in the classroom.
    Keywords: peer effects, long-term outcomes, non-cognitive skills, Project STAR
    JEL: I21 J24
    Date: 2015–10
  3. By: Larraín, Clemente; Valdés, Natalia
    Abstract: The Chilean Ministry of Education has presented to the public a document that outlines the main guidelines of the higher education reform. Even though this document is just preliminary, we can’t let go unnoticed the insufficient development of one of the most important topics, being the access to the high education institutions. The thoughts presented in this report challenge the premises of the mentioned document and, at the same time, they bring in new initiatives and proposals recommended by experts, related to the access to high education. The topics that are addressed in depth are both the need to create a new framework in the admission system to the higher education and an analysis of the two main selection instruments: the ranking and the “PSU”. Finally, this paper approaches the need to strengthen the platforms that aim to keep the students within the high education institutions, like the mentoring and the preparation programs.
    Keywords: PSU, Acceso, Educación Superior, Reforma educacional, PACE, Ranking, Acompañamiento
    JEL: H00 I21 I23 I24 I25 I28
    Date: 2015–11–01
  4. By: Jonathan Smith; Kevin Stange
    Abstract: Students starting at a two-year college are much less likely to graduate with a college degree than similar students who start at a four-year college but the sources of this attainment gap are largely unexplained. In this paper we simultaneously investigate the attainment consequences of sector choice and peer quality among over 3 million recent high school graduates. This analysis is enabled by data on all PSAT test-takers between 2004 and 2006 from which we develop a novel measure of peer ability for most two-year and four-year colleges in the United States- the average PSAT of enrolled students. We document substantial variation in average peer quality at two-year colleges across and within states and non-trivial overlap across sectors, neither of which has previously been documented. We find that half the gap in bachelor’s attainment rates between students who start at two-year versus four-year institutions is explained by differences in peers, leaving room for structural barriers to transferring between institutions to also play an important role. Also, having better peers is associated with higher attainment in both sectors, though its effects are quite a bit larger in the four-year sector. Thus, the allocation of students between and within sectors, some of which is driven by state policy decisions, has important consequences for the educational attainment of the nation’s workforce.
    JEL: I21 I23
    Date: 2015–10
  5. By: Daniel M. Hungerman; Kevin Rinz
    Abstract: Using a new dataset constructed from nonprofit tax-returns, this paper explores how vouchers and other large-scale programs subsidizing private school attendance have affected the fiscal outcomes of private schools and the affordability of a private education. We find that subsidy programs created a large transfer of public funding to private schools, suggesting that every dollar of funding increased revenue by a dollar or more. Turning to the incidence of subsidies and the impact of subsidies on enrollment, our findings depend on the type of program introduced, with programs restricting eligibility to certain groups of students creating relatively large enrollment gains and small price increases compared to unrestricted programs. We calculate elasticities of demand and supply for private schools, and discuss welfare effects.
    JEL: H2 I2 I22
    Date: 2015–10
  6. By: Thomas S. Dee; Hans Henrik Sievertsen
    Abstract: In many developed countries, children now begin their formal schooling at an older age. However, a growing body of empirical studies provides little evidence that such schooling delays improve educational and economic outcomes. This study presents new evidence on whether school starting age influences student outcomes by relying on linked Danish survey and register data that include several distinct, widely used, and validated measures of mental health that are reported out-of-school among similarly aged children. We estimate the causal effects of delayed school enrollment using a "fuzzy" regression-discontinuity design based on exact dates of birth and the fact that, in Denmark, children typically enroll in school during the calendar year in which they turn six. We find that a one-year delay in the start of school dramatically reduces inattention/hyperactivity at age 7 (effect size = -0.7), a measure of self regulation with strong negative links to student achievement. We also find that this large and targeted effect persists at age 11. However, the estimated effects of school starting age on other mental-health constructs, which have weaker links to subsequent student achievement, are smaller and less persistent.
    JEL: I1 I2
    Date: 2015–10
  7. By: Woo, Seokjin (Myongji University); Lee, Soohyung (University of Maryland); Kim, Kyunghee (Korea Institute for Curriculum and Evaluation)
    Abstract: A key concern in the design of education policies relates to the structure of incentives in accountability systems. This paper examines a school accountability program that provides financial support to low-performing schools but has no direct punishment scheme for recipients who do not exhibit improvement. Although the program does not include high-stakes consequences, our estimates indicate that the program reduced the share of underperforming students by 18 percent. This paper's results suggest that to improve student achievement, a school accountability program does not need to set high-stakes consequences that potentially induce unwanted strategic behaviors on the part of school workers.
    Keywords: school accountability, student achievement, school performance, fuzzy regression discontinuity design
    JEL: C5 I2
    Date: 2015–10
  8. By: Alpay Filiztekin (Sabanci University, Department of Economics); Burhan Can Karahasan (Piri Reis University, Department of Economics & Finance)
    Abstract: This study demonstrates the distribution of educational attainment in Turkey based on district level data for 1990 and 2010. Focusing on the economically active working age population (25-64 age band) our results indicate that; even average years of schooling becomes spatially more alike, higher education levels witness an on-going divergence. Additionally our results indicate that different segments of the society realize different levels of improvement in education attainment. Female population and rural population are observed to be the most disadvantageous individuals. These results become even more remarkable once the spatial spill overs and the persistence of spatial heterogeneity is considered.
    Keywords: Education, Spatial Distribution, Turkey
    JEL: I24 I25 R11
    Date: 2015
  9. By: Predrag Lažetić (University of Bath, UK); Manuel Souto-Otero (University of Bath); Robin Shields (University of Bath)
    Abstract: This catalogue contains 50 mini cases that highlight the practices of universities and educational institutions around open education in Europe. It showcases the different strategies followed by institutions that are embracing the open education movement and opening up their content, research, recognition mechanisms and teaching practices. The catalogue provides a 'taster' of what is being done and can be done in open education in the EU, prompting the reader to look further into the initiatives that raise their interest.
    Keywords: open education, higher education, open educational resources, OER
    Date: 2015–10
  10. By: Oleg V. Leshukov (National Research University Higher School of Economics.); Daria P. Platonova (National Research University Higher School of Economics.); Dmitry S. Semyonov (National Research University Higher School of Economics.)
    Abstract: This paper explores the relationship between the degree of competition between higher education institutions (HEIs) and the efficiency of regional higher education systems using evidence from the Russian Federation. The choice of the regional system of higher education as a unit of analysis is explained by features of the Russian system of higher education, especially by “closeness” in the borders of regions. Using data envelopment analysis (DEA) we investigate the efficiency of higher education systems in the regions and compare the results with the extent of higher education competition within them. The analysis finds that within the overall sample the correlation is positive, but not striking. However the extent of competition correlates with the efficiency of regional sets of HEIs more in less socio-economically developed regions.
    Keywords: higher education, efficiency, competition, regions, Russia
    JEL: I23 I28
    Date: 2015
  11. By: Shah, Manisha (University of California, Los Angeles); Millett Steinberg, Bryce (Harvard University)
    Abstract: Higher wages are generally thought to increase human capital production, particularly in the developing world. We introduce a simple model of human capital production in which investments and time allocation differ by age. Using data on test scores and schooling from rural India, we show that higher wages increase human capital investment in early life (in utero to age 2) but decrease human capital from ages 5-16. Positive rainfall shocks increase wages by 2% and decrease math test scores by 2-5% of a standard deviation, school attendance by 2 percentage points, and the probability that a child is enrolled in school by 1 percentage point. These results are long-lasting; adults complete 0.2 fewer total years of schooling for each year of exposure to a positive rainfall shock from ages 11-13. We show that children are switching out of school enrollment into productive work when rainfall is higher. These results suggest that the opportunity cost of schooling, even for fairly young children, is an important factor in determining overall human capital investment.
    Keywords: human capital investment
    JEL: O12 I2 J1
    Date: 2015–10
  12. By: Adriana Kugler; Maurice Kugler; Juan Saavedra; Luis Omar Herrera Prada
    Abstract: We use administrative data to examine medium and long-term formal education and labor market impacts among participants and family members of a randomized vocational training program for disadvantaged youth in Colombia. In the Colombian program, vocational training and formal education are complementary investments: relative to non-participants, randomly selected participants are more likely to complete secondary school and to attend and persist in tertiary education eight years after random assignment. Complementarity is strongest among applicants with high baseline educational attainment. Training also has educational spillover effects on participants’ family members, who are more likely to enroll in tertiary education. Between three and eight years after randomization, participants are more likely to enter and remain in formal employment, and have formal sector earnings that are at least 11 percent higher than those of non-participants.
    JEL: J24 J38 J6 O17 O54
    Date: 2015–10
  13. By: Steven D. Levitt; Ming-Jen Lin
    Abstract: We develop a simple algorithm for detecting exam cheating between students who copy off one another’s exam. When this algorithm is applied to exams in a general science course at a top university, we find strong evidence of cheating by at least 10 percent of the students. Students studying together cannot explain our findings. Matching incorrect answers prove to be a stronger indicator of cheating than matching correct answers. When seating locations are randomly assigned, and monitoring is increased, cheating virtually disappears.
    JEL: K42
    Date: 2015–10
  14. By: Lorenzo Cappellari (Universitá Cattolica Milano); Antonio di-Paolo (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona)
    Abstract: We exploit the 1983 language-in-education reform that introduced Catalan alongside Spanish as medium of instruction in Catalan schools to estimate the labour market value of bilingual education. Identification is achieved in a difference-in-differences framework exploiting variation in exposure to the reform across years of schooling and years of birth. We find positive wage returns to bilingual education and no effects on employment, hours of work or occupation. Results are robust to education-cohort specific trends or selection into schooling and are mainly stemming from exposure at compulsory education. We show that the effect worked through increased Catalan proficiency for Spanish speakers and that there were also positive effects for Catalan speakers from families with low education. These findings are consistent with human capital effects rather than with more efficient job search or reduced discrimination. Exploiting the heterogeneous effects of the reform as an instrument for proficiency we find sizeable earnings effects of skills in Catalan.
    Keywords: bilingual education, returns to schooling, language-in-education reform, Catalonia JEL classification: J24, J25, I28.
    Date: 2015–10
  15. By: Lin, Eric S. (National Tsing Hua University); Lu, Yu-Lung (National Tsing Hua University)
    Abstract: This paper takes advantage of the Taiwan Assessment of Student Achievement data set to empirically evaluate whether the test score differentials between pupils with immigrant and native mothers are substantial across subjects, grades and years. Our results show that there exist test score differentials between the two groups after controlling for the students' individual characteristics and family background. The Chinese, Math and English subjects exhibit larger test score gaps relative to Science and Society. We also find that the academic gaps between native students and pupils with mothers from Southeast Asian countries tend to widen, while the students' performance is about the same as that for native students if their mothers are from mainland China, confirming that the language proficiency of immigrant mothers significantly affects pupils' learning. Our empirical results may suggest that remedial teaching (or an equivalent preferential policy) for the lower-grade pupils with immigrant mothers might be required to create a fair environment for learning, and such a policy should take the nationality of those foreign mothers into account.
    Keywords: academic performance, immigrants, foreign spouse
    JEL: A2 I2
    Date: 2015–10
  16. By: Isphording, Ingo E. (IZA); Piopiunik, Marc (Ifo Institute for Economic Research); Rodríguez-Planas, Núria (Queens College, CUNY)
    Abstract: This paper is the first to estimate a causal effect of immigrant students' reading performance on their math performance. To overcome endogeneity issues due to unobserved ability, we apply an IV approach exploiting variation in age-at-arrival and the linguistic distance between origin and destination country languages. Using four PISA waves, we find a strong influence of reading performance on math performance, highlighting the importance of early language support for immigrants for their educational career.
    Keywords: immigrants, language, math performance, linguistic distance, age-at-arrival, instrumental variable
    JEL: I21 I24 Z13
    Date: 2015–10
  17. By: Bian, Wei; Ye, Chunhui; Zhao, Yunin
    Abstract: With the increasing transfer of rural labor, the problems of the left-behind children attract extensive attention. This paper is based on a large sample random survey in Jiangxi Province and Anhui Province’s primary and high school in China, researching students and their guardians, head teachers, headmasters. The research applied a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods to study on the effect of parents’ migrant working on the education of the rural left-behind children in details. The study found that the effect changes with learning stages and subjects. The supervision of parents and teachers is helpful to the left-behind children at primary school stage, while it cannot show significant help to those at junior high school stage, which may even have the opposite effect. The number of siblings and living on campus do not have a negative effect on children’s study, which even have a positive effect in some respects. Children’s own prospect of their education have a significant positive effect on their learning performance, while parents’ prospect only have a positive effect on learning performance of the left-behind children at junior high school stage.
    Keywords: left-behind children, education, migrant working, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Consumer/Household Economics, International Development,
    Date: 2015
  18. By: Fafchamps, Marcel; Mo, Di
    Abstract: We conduct a large scale RCT to investigate peer e↵ects in computer assisted learning (CAL). Identification of peer e↵ects relies on three levels of randomization. It is already known that CAL improves math test scores in Chinese rural schools. We find that paired treatment improves the beneficial e↵ects of treatment for poor performers when they are paired with high performers. We test whether CAL treatment reduces the dispersion in math scores relative to controls, and we find statistically significant evidence that it does. We also demonstrate that the beneficial e↵ects of CAL could potentially be strengthened, both in terms of average e↵ect and in terms of reduced dispersion, if weak students are systematically paired with strong students during treatment. To our knowledge, this is the first time that a school intervention has been identified in which peer e↵ects unambiguously help weak students catch up with the rest of the class without imposing any learning cost on other students.
    Keywords: Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession,
    Date: 2015
  19. By: Joseph G. Altonji; Peter Arcidiacono; Arnaud Maurel
    Abstract: As the workforce has become more educated, educational decisions are no longer just about whether to acquire more, but rather what type of education to pursue. In college, individuals somewhat specialize through their choice of college major. Further specialization occurs in graduate school. This chapter investigates how majors and graduate school affect labor market outcomes as well as how the individuals make these potentially important decisions. To do so, we develop a dynamic model of educational decision-making. In light of the model, we examine the estimation issues associated with obtaining causal effects of educational choices on earnings. We then examine ways that authors have overcome the selection problem as well as the approaches authors have taken to estimate the process by which these educational decisions are made.
    JEL: I23 J24
    Date: 2015–10
  20. By: M. Kadir Doğan (Ankara University, Faculty Of Political Sciences, Department of Economics); Tolga Yuret (Istanbul Technical University, Faculty of Management, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: Participation in college education is lower for women than men in many developing countries including Turkey. In this paper, we explore the causes of lower participation rates of women in high education in Turkey by using the data set of student placement system (ÖSYS) which includes the data of approximately 1.8 million students for the year 2005. We determine seven reasons for lower participation rates of women in high education. Our findings are the following: (i) The women ratio among potential candidates for high education was lower than men, (ii) Women apply to student selection examination (LYS) less than men and, they are also less likely to apply LYS more than one compared to the men, (iii) Women prefer to attend to non–competitive programs less than men. Since it is easier to be accepted by non–competitive programs and women are less likely to prefer these programs, men’s placement is higher for those programs, (iv) Women are more successful than men in verbal and foreign language score categories. The programs respecting scores in categories which women are more successful than men have only 20.2% of total capacity, (v) Women ratio among LYS applicants are even lower in the under–developed regions compared to that in developed regions, (vi) The men are more mobile than women in participating in college education. Women are more restricted to attend a college in their hometown than men. In addition, they choose to attend to colleges in closer cities to their hometowns compared to men, (vii) Women chose fewer programs to enroll in than men in their preference forms. Consequently, they have less chance for placement than men. In the paper we also point out the issues that policies should focus on in order to increase the participation of women in college education.
    Keywords: Gender Inequality, College Education, Student Placement System, Turkey
    JEL: I23 I24 J16
    Date: 2015
  21. By: Herbst, Mikołaj; Strawiński, Paweł
    Abstract: This paper investigates some early outcomes of the reform to lower the school starting age in Poland. It explores data on the school performance of 6- and 7-year-old pupils, collected in the transitory period of the reform, when parents were welcomed to enroll their 6-year-old children in the first grade on a voluntary basis. It was found that the parental decision is largely based on a rational assessment of the child’s readiness for school. There is strong evidence of positive selection for early enrollment in the 1st grade. At the beginning of the school year early entrants perform worse than 7-year-old children, but after one year the gap between the two age cohorts becomes substantially reduced in all subjects tested. Older students do perform better, but the separately measured effect of an early school start also seems to be beneficial. We point out a selection of unobservables as a possible explanation of the results obtained.
    Keywords: school starting age, educational achievement, Poland
    JEL: H4 I21 I28
    Date: 2015–10–19
  22. By: Kong, Yu-Chien (La Trobe University, Australia); Ravikumar, B. (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis); Vandenbroucke, Guillaume (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis)
    Abstract: Earnings growth has been systematically decreasing from one cohort to the next, starting with the cohort that was 25-year-old in 1940. This cohort's labor earnings grew by a factor of 4 between the ages of 25 and 55. For the 1980 cohort the same calculation yields a factor of only 2.2. Why are the earnings profiles flatter for the recent cohorts? We build and calibrate a parsimonious model of schooling and human capital accumulation on the job. Our model accounts for more than 70 percent of the flattening in the earnings profiles between the 1940 and the 1980 cohorts. The flattening in our model is the result of a single exogenous factor: increasing aggregate productivity. Higher productivity faced by the recent cohorts implies a higher marginal return to human capital which in turn increases the college enrollment and affects the educational composition of workers.
    Date: 2015–10–01
  23. By: Nguyen, Ha
    Abstract: This paper documents the patterns of and examines factors contributing to a gender test score gap in five test subjects in early seven grades of schooling using a recent and nationally representative panel of Australian children. Regression results indicate that females excel at writing and grammar at later grades whereas males outperform females in numeracy in all grades, whether at the mean or along the distribution of the test score. Our results also reveal a widening gender test score gap in writing and numeracy as the students advance their schooling. Regression and decomposition results also highlight the importance of controlling for pre-school cognitive skills in examining the gender test score gap.
    Keywords: Gender, Education, Quantile regression, Decomposition, Australia
    JEL: I20 J16
    Date: 2015–07
  24. By: Brian Jacob
    Abstract: This paper reports the results of an experimental evaluation of Evidence Based Literacy Instruction (EBLI). Developed over 15 years ago, EBLI aims to provide teachers with instructional strategies to improve reading accuracy, fluency and comprehension. Sixty-three teachers in grades 2-5 in seven Michigan charter schools were randomly assigned within school-grade blocks to receive EBLI training or a business-as-usual control condition. Comparing students in treatment and control classrooms during the 2014-15 school year, we find no significant impact on reading performance. Teacher survey responses and interviews with program staff suggest that several implementation challenges may have played a role in the null findings.
    JEL: I0 I20 I21 I28
    Date: 2015–10
  25. By: Manacorda, Marco (Queen Mary, University of London); Rosati, Furio C. (University of Rome Tor Vergata); Ranzani, Marco (World Bank); Dachille, Giuseppe (University of Rome Tor Vergata)
    Abstract: This paper uses micro data from the ILO-STWT surveys to provide novel evidence on the duration, end point and determinants of the transition from school to work in a sample of 23 low and middle-income countries around the world. The negative effects of low levels of human capital and high levels of population growth on job finding rates, seems to be at least in part offset by widespread poverty and lack of unemployment insurance, leading to overall faster transitions in low income economies compared to middle income economies. By lowering reservation wages and speeding transitions these latter forces lead overall to worse matches, as measured by the probability of attaining stable employment in the long-run.
    Keywords: transition duration, hazard model, unemployment, developing countries
    JEL: J64
    Date: 2015–10
  26. By: Theodore J. Joyce; Sean Crockett; David A. Jaeger; Onur Altindag; Stephen D. O'Connell; Dahlia K. Remler
    Abstract: We compare student academic performance in traditional twice-a-week and compressed once-a-week lecture formats in introductory microeconomics between one semester in which students were randomly assigned into the formats and another semester when students were allowed to choose their format. In each semester we offered the same course with the sections taught at the same times in the same classrooms by the same professors using the same book, software and lecture slides. Our study design is modeled after a doubly randomized preference trial (DRPT), which provides insights regarding external validity beyond what is possible from a single randomized study. Our goal is to assess whether having a choice modifies the treatment effect of format. Students in the compressed format of the randomized arm of the study scored -0.19 standard deviations less on the combined midterm and final (p<.01) and -0.14 standard deviation less in choice arm (p<.01). There was little evidence of selection bias in choice of format. Future analyses of online learning formats employing randomization should consider DRPT designs to enhance the generalizability of results.
    JEL: I20 I23
    Date: 2015–10

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