nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2015‒11‒21
nineteen papers chosen by
João Carlos Correia Leitão
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Diferencias Educativas entre Escuelas Privadas y Públicas en Argentina By Facundo Albornoz; Melina Furman; María Eugenia Podestá; Paula Razquin; Pablo Ernesto Warnes
  2. Can schools help to integrate immigrants? By OECD
  3. Evaluating Progress Toward an Equal Opportunity Goal: Assessing the German Educational Reforms of the First Decade of the 21st Century. By Gordon Anderson; Thomas Fruehauf; Maria Grazia Pittau; Roberto Zelli
  4. Creating birds of similar feathers: Leveraging similarity to improve teacher-student relationships and academic achievement By Gehlbach, Hunter; Brinkworth, Maureen Elizabeth; King, Aaron; Hsu, Laura; McIntyre, Joe; Rogers, Todd T
  5. What the Annual National Assessments can tell us about learning deficits over the education system and the school career year By Servaas van der Berg
  6. Beyond Truth-Telling: Preference Estimation with Centralized School Choice By Fack, Gabrielle; Grenet, Julien; He, Yinghua
  7. Bilingual Schooling and Earnings: Evidence from a Language-in-Education Reform By Lorenzo Cappellari; Antonio Di Paolo
  8. The Major Decision: Labor Market Implications of the Timing of Specialization in College By Luc Bridet; Margaret Leighton
  9. Benefit or Burden? On the Intergenerational Inequity of Teacher Pension Plans By Ben Backes; Dan Goldhaberb; Cyrus Grout; Cory Koedel; Shawn Ni; Michael Podgursky; P. Brett Xiang; Zeyu Xu
  10. School Reputation and School Choice in Brazil: a Regression Discontinuity Design By Andrea Lépine
  11. Does current demographic policy in Russia impact on fertility of different educational groups? By Kalabichina, Irina E.; Tyndik, Alla
  12. Education Expansion and Decline in Tertiary Premium in Brazil: 1995-2013 By Yang Wang
  13. When do in-service teacher training and books improve student achievement ? experimental evidence from Mongolia By Fuje,Habtamu Neda; Tandon,Prateek
  14. Education and HIV incidence among young women: causation or selection? By Durevall, Dick; Lindskog, Annika; George, Gavin
  15. Educate or Adjudicate? Socio-Economic Heterogeneity and Welfare By Bilin Neyapti
  16. Peer Effects in Math and Science By Helena Nielsen; Juanna Joensen
  17. High-Achieving Minority Students Can Have More Friends and Fewer Adversaries - Evidence from Hungary By Tamás Hajdu; Gábor Kertesi; Gábor Kezdi
  18. Party Affiliation and Public Spending By Louis-Philippe Beland; Sara Oloomi
  19. Sorting Endogenous Types: The Insurance Role of Education in Labor Markets By Ilse Lindenlaub; Hector Chade

  1. By: Facundo Albornoz (Department of Economics, Universidad de San Andres & CONICET); Melina Furman (Universidad de San Andres & CONICET); María Eugenia Podestá (Universidad de San Andres); Paula Razquin (Universidad de San Andres); Pablo Ernesto Warnes (Department of Economics, Universidad de San Andres)
    Abstract: In this work we examine the differences in terms of outcomes between students who attend public and private schools in Argentina. To do this we use the results from the PISA standardized test exams conducted in the years 2009 and 2012 in Argentina. These exams asses 15 year old student's performance in Mathematics, Reading and Science Literacy. PISA also collects data on each student assessed, on his environment and on the type of school he assists. In Argentina students who attend private schools achieve on average significantly higher outcomes in the PISA exams than their counterparts in public schools.We find that in 2009 this difference can be explained by very strong disparities in educational resources between both types of schools. However, in 2012 these disparities in educational resources are reduced considerably, but the difference in outcomes persists.We find evidence that suggests that this persistence can be explained by the unchanging differences in socio-economic composition between both types of schools, indicating that the difference in outcomes between private and public schools may be explained at least in part by peer effects.
    Keywords: outcomes, public school, private school
    Date: 2015–09
  2. By: OECD
    Abstract: Only in some countries is a larger proportion of immigrant students in schools related to lower student performance – and this relationship is mostly explained by the concentration of disadvantaged students in these schools. Immigrant students from the same country of origin and similar socio-economic background often perform differently in different school systems. There is a strong connection between the performance of immigrants at school and their education and labour market outcomes as young adults.
    Date: 2015–11–16
  3. By: Gordon Anderson; Thomas Fruehauf; Maria Grazia Pittau; Roberto Zelli
    Abstract: The first Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) results on language literacy administered in Germany in 2000 shocked the nation bringing about some fundamental reforms in the education system. A e4 billion plan to reform the schooling system involved intensified parent and teacher training, increases in the number of schooling hours and changes in the way student performance was evaluated. By way of measuring the extent of the improvements, this paper proposes and implements new techniques for evaluating the effectiveness of the reforms in the context of a social justice imperative when outcomes before and after their introduction are not cardinally comparable. Fundamental changes in the structure of the dependency of child outcomes on circumstances were detected with some qualified improvements in equality of opportunity over the period.
    Keywords: Educational attainment, Equality of opportunity, PISA program
    JEL: I21 C14
    Date: 2015–11–20
  4. By: Gehlbach, Hunter; Brinkworth, Maureen Elizabeth; King, Aaron; Hsu, Laura; McIntyre, Joe; Rogers, Todd T
    Abstract: When people perceive themselves as similar to others, greater liking and closer relationships typically result. In the first randomized field experiment that leverages actual similarities to improve real-world relationships, we examined the affiliations between 315 ninth grade students and their 25 teachers. Students in the treatment condition received feedback on five similarities that they shared with their teachers; each teacher received parallel feedback regarding about half of his/her ninth grade students. Five weeks after our intervention, those in the treatment conditions perceived greater similarity with their counterparts. Furthermore, when teachers received feedback about their similarities with specific students, they perceived better relationships with those students, and those students earned higher course grades. Exploratory analyses suggest that these effects are concentrated within relationships between teachers and their “underserved†students. This brief intervention appears to close the achievement gap at this school by over 60%.
    Date: 2015
  5. By: Servaas van der Berg (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)
    Abstract: Much hope is placed on education systems to reduce socio-economic learning gaps. However, in South Africa, uneven functioning of the school system widens learning gaps. This paper analyses education performance using ANA data. Weak calibration and inter-temporal or inter-grade comparability of ANA test scores limit their usefulness for measuring learning gains. However, relative performance provides meaningful information on learning gaps and deficits. A reference group that is roughly on track to achieve the TIMSS average is used to estimate the performance required in each grade to perform at TIMSS’ low international benchmark. By Grade 4, patterns across quintiles of on-track performance approximate matric exemption patterns. Viewed differently, academic and labour market prospects may be bleak for children who are no longer on track. Improvement in outcomes requires greater emphasis on the Foundation Phase or earlier, before learning deficits have grown to the extreme levels observed by the middle of primary school. This statement is true whether deficits arise from weak early instruction, or simply because a disadvantaged home environment requires early remedial action. The emphasis on the early grades that this analysis of the ANAs suggests is contrary to the conclusions drawn from the ANA results by policy makers that weak test scores in Mathematics in Grade 9 require major interventions in that grade.
    Keywords: Education, inequality, quality of education
    JEL: I24 I28
    Date: 2015
  6. By: Fack, Gabrielle; Grenet, Julien; He, Yinghua
    Abstract: We propose novel approaches and tests for estimating student preferences with data from school choice mechanisms, e.g., the Gale-Shapley Deferred Acceptance. Without requiring truth-telling to be the unique equilibrium, we show that the matching is (asymptotically) stable, or justified-envy-free, implying that every student is assigned to her favorite school among those she is qualified for \emph{ex post}. Having validated the methods in simulations, we apply them to data from Paris and reject truth-telling but not stability. Our estimates are then used to compare the sorting and welfare effects of alternative admission criteria prescribing how schools rank students in centralized mechanisms.
    Keywords: Gale-Shapley Deferred-Acceptance Mechanism, School Choice, Stable Matching, Student Preferences, Admission Criteria
    JEL: C78 D50 D61 I21
    Date: 2015–10
  7. By: Lorenzo Cappellari (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore; Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore); Antonio Di Paolo
    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: J24 J31 I28
    Date: 2015–11
  8. By: Luc Bridet (University of St Andrews); Margaret Leighton (University of St Andrews)
    Abstract: College students in the United States choose their major much later than their counterparts in Europe. In this paper we estimate the benefits of flexible specialization: specifically, whether additional years of multi-disciplinary education help students make a better choice of specialization, and at what cost in foregone specialized skills. We first document that students who choose their major later are more likely to change fields on the labor market. We then build and estimate a dynamic model of college education where the optimal timing of specialization reflects a tradeoff between discovering comparative advantage and acquiring occupation-specific skills. Estimates suggest that delaying specialization is informative, although noisy. Working in the field of comparative advantage accounts for up to 20% of a well-matched worker’s earnings. While education is transferable across fields with only a 10% penalty, workers who wish to change fields incur a large, one-time cost. We use these estimates to compare the current system to one which imposes specialization at college entry. In this counterfactual the number of workers who switch fields drops from 24% to 20%; however, comparative advantage-occupation mismatch rises from 23% to 30%, resulting in an overall expected welfare reduction of approximately 1.5% of earnings.
    Keywords: "field of study" "occupation choice" productivity mis-match education "higher education" specialization "general education" "specialized education"
    JEL: J24 J31 J62 I23
    Date: 2015–10–16
  9. By: Ben Backes (American Institutes for Research); Dan Goldhaberb (American Institutes for Research and University of Washington); Cyrus Grout (University of Washington); Cory Koedel (University of Missouri); Shawn Ni (University of Missouri); Michael Podgursky (University of Missouri); P. Brett Xiang (University of Missouri); Zeyu Xu (American Institutes for Research)
    Abstract: Most teachers are enrolled in defined benefit (DB) pension plans, which facilitate various types of resource transfers between workers. Using administrative micro data from four states, combined with national pension funding data, we examine a specific type of resource transfer permitted by educator pension plans: intergenerational transfers. We show that for new cohorts of teachers, DB pension plans are driving a transfer of compensation to previous cohorts of teachers. Across state plans in the United States, current teachers pay an average of approximately 10 percent of their earnings to cover previously-accrued pension liabilities. This amounts to a significant reduction in real operating spending per student. If current teachers were not required to cover these liabilities, their salaries could be increased substantially without increasing the total budget for teacher compensation.
    Keywords: Pensions, teacher pensions, pension liabilities, pension debt, teacher quality
    JEL: I20 H55
    Date: 2015–11–01
  10. By: Andrea Lépine
    Abstract: The provision of information on schools' performance on standardized tests is expected to generate pressure on schools as students and their families can compare them and make more informed school choices. This paper uses administrative data from Brazil to explore whether the publication of grades obtained at a standardized high school test (the Enem) resulted in changes in enrollments in high and low performing schools, through a sharp regression discontinuity design. The results show that the disclosure of school grades did not result in students reallocating between both types of school, in neither private nor public schools. The findings remain unchanged when I control for the degree of competition faced by schools or their socio-economic environment.
    Keywords: School choice; Standardized tests; School accountability
    JEL: I25 I28 D83
    Date: 2015–10–30
  11. By: Kalabichina, Irina E.; Tyndik, Alla
    Abstract: This article is devoted to investigation current demographic policy in Russia impact on fertility of different educational groups. Authors use qualitative and quantitative data. Quantitative data for this analysis come from the Gender and Generation Survey in Russia (2004, 2007, 2011 waves). Semi-structured interview method (Moscow, 2010) was used to assess the cognitive and emotional aspects of fertility behaviour (to give birth the next child). One of the important results of this study that Russian population could not be satisfated with current demographic policy. Moreover, higher educated people have stronger demand for family-work measures to reach desired family size. People with higher education estimate influence of existing measures lower as a whole, but influence of potential measures (directed on combination of career and parenthood) the estimated higher.
    Keywords: demographic policy,fertility,Russia
    JEL: J13 J16 J18
    Date: 2014–02–10
  12. By: Yang Wang (Department of Economics, Tulane University)
    Abstract: According to the Brazil Naional Household Survey 1995-2013 data, the decline in the relative wage of tertiary-educated workers coincides with an education expansion that shifted the relative supply and might also change the quality composition of the tertiary group. This paper tries to decompose the change in the tertiary premium in Brazil during the 1995-2013 period into the "price effect", which refers to the change in educational premium caused by the shifts in suppl and demand, and the "composition effect", which refers to whether there was any significant decline in the average quality of tertiary-educated workers of the recent cohorts and how the changes in cohort quality had impacted the relative wage of the tertiary group. The results demonstrate that the growth in the relative supply had a significant negative impact on the decline of tertiary premium. The results also show that the average quality of the tertiary-educated workers of the recent cohorts declined, which also accounts for a substantial proportion of the decline in the relative wage.
    Keywords: earning inequality, education expansion, decline in tertiary premium, skill supply and demand, average cohort quality
    JEL: I24 J24 J31 O15
    Date: 2015–11
  13. By: Fuje,Habtamu Neda; Tandon,Prateek
    Abstract: This study presents evidence from a randomized control trial (RCT) in Mongolia on the impact of in-service teacher training and books, both as separate educational inputs and as a package. The study tests for the complementarity of inputs and non-linearity of returns from investment in education as measured by students'test scores in five subjects. It takes advantage of a national-scale RCT conducted under the Rural Education and Development project. The results suggest that the provision of books, in addition to teacher training, raises student achievement substantially. However, teacher training and books weakly improve test scores when provided individually. Students whose teachers have received training and whose classrooms have acquired books improved their cumulative score (totaled across five tests) by 34.9 percent of a standard deviation, relative to a control group. Students treated only with books improved their total score by 20.6 percent of a standard deviation relative to a control group of students. On the other hand, extra teacher training did not have a statistically significant effect on the total test score. In addition, providing both inputs jointly improved test scores in most subjects, which was not the case when either input was provided individually. This study sheds light on the relevance of supplementing teacher training schemes with appropriate teaching materials in resource-poor settings. The policy implication is that isolated education investments, in settings where complementary inputs are missing, could deliver minimal or no return.
    Keywords: Education For All,Secondary Education,Tertiary Education,Effective Schools and Teachers,Primary Education
    Date: 2015–11–09
  14. By: Durevall, Dick (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Lindskog, Annika (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); George, Gavin (HEARD, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville Campus, Private Bag X54001, Durban 4000 South Africa)
    Abstract: Several studies report that schooling protects against HIV infection in Sub-Saharan Africa. This study examines the effect of secondary school attendance on the probability of HIV incidence among young women aged 15-24, using panel data from rural KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. Three approaches are used to distinguish causation from selection: instrumentation to identify the causal effect, a fixed effects model to control for constant unobserved factors and assessments of the bias from selection on unobserved variables. Although there is a strong negative association between secondary school attendance and HIV incidence, we are not able to find support for a causal effect. Thus, there is no evidence that interventions that increase secondary school attendance in KwaZulu-Natal would mechanically reduce HIV risk for young women. Our focus on school attendance, in contrast to studies that analyze school attainment, might explain the negative finding.<p>
    Keywords: HIV/AIDS; Education; Schooling; South Africa
    JEL: I12 I29 O12
    Date: 2015–11
  15. By: Bilin Neyapti (Bilkent University)
    Abstract: This paper presents a model to explore the welfare effects of the government’s choice over two types of public goods provision: domestic regulatory and security spending (adjudication) versus education. Output is a function of physical and social capital, both of which can be heterogeneous across the regions. Local social capital is exposed to spillover effects of other regions. Education spending increases social capital, whereas adjudication spending increases total factor productivity. The solution in an OLG framework indicates that the welfare maximizing ratio of education spending is negatively related with the past levels of social capital stock and the degree of social cohesion, but positively related with the current levels of aggregate income and the tax rate. Simulations of the model’s temporal solution reveal the short-run and long-run difference, reversing the positive effects of the tax rate and the income level, which is a crucial point. Income and cultural homogeneity are associated positively with the level of aggregate income and social cohesion whereas the relationship between income distribution and social cohesion is non-linear in the short-run.
    Keywords: Economic Development; Income Equality; Public Spending; Social Capital; Social Cohesion.
    JEL: E02 E6 H11 H52 I24 I25 I31 Z18
    Date: 2015–11
  16. By: Helena Nielsen (Aarhus University); Juanna Joensen (Stockholm School of Economics)
    Abstract: In this paper, we specify and test a model of how the aggregate skill supply is shaped by institutions and social peer groups. First, we exploit a universal policy reform signaling less importance of advanced math-science in high school. We show how it amplified the fall in skill supply in peer groups with a stronger math-science norm. We also document a gender convergence in math-science skills. This is mainly triggered by boys strongly crowding in the policy reform as they face a higher social cost of not conforming. Second, we analyze the underlying mechanism by estimating causal sibling peer effects in the math-science choice. We exploit quasi-experimental variation stemming from a pre-reform pilot scheme. The pilot induced some older siblings to choose advanced math-science at a lower cost, while not directly affecting the course choices of younger siblings. Therefore, any influences of the pilot scheme on the younger siblings may be attributed to the peer influence of the older sibling. Our results suggest that peer effects among siblings are strongest among closely spaced siblings, in particular brothers. We argue that competition is likely the driving force behind younger siblings conforming to their older siblings' choices.
    Date: 2015
  17. By: Tamás Hajdu (Institute of Economics, Center for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences); Gábor Kertesi (Institute of Economics, Center for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences); Gábor Kezdi (Institute of Economics, Center for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences)
    Abstract: This study examines friendship and hostility relations between Roma students and the ethnically homogeneous non-Roma majority in Hungarian schools, where anti-Roma sentiments are strong. High-achieving Roma students have significantly more friends and fewer adversaries than low-achieving ones because of more non-Roma friends, fewer non-Roma adversaries, and the same number of Roma friends and adversaries. The associations are strong for publicly observable GPA but weak for unobserved test scores and may be the results of assignment to the same classes for many years. Simulations suggest that a mixed policy of desegregation and closing the achievement gap may best foster positive interethnic relations in this environment.
    Keywords: Social interactions, Minority students, Achievement gap
    JEL: J15 I24
    Date: 2015–11
  18. By: Louis-Philippe Beland; Sara Oloomi
    Abstract: This paper investigates whether the party affiliation of governors (Democrat or Republican) has an impact on the allocation of state expenditures. Exploiting gubernatorial election results from 1960 to 2012 and a Regression Discontinuity Design (RDD), we find that Democratic governors allocate a larger share of their budget to health/hospitals and education sectors. The results are robust to a wide range of controls and model specifications.
  19. By: Ilse Lindenlaub (New York University); Hector Chade (arizona state university)
    Abstract: Please see attached file
    Date: 2015

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