nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2015‒12‒28
thirty-one papers chosen by
João Carlos Correia Leitão
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Measuring Quality of Policies and Their Implementation for Better Learning: Adapting the World Bank’s SABER Tools School Autonomy and Accountability to Burkina Faso By Kengo, Igei; Takako, Yuki; Angela Demas
  2. Intergenerational Educational Mobility in Turkey By Aysit Tansel
  3. Access to Schooling and the Black-White Incarceration Gap in the Early 20th Century US South: Evidence from Rosenwald Schools By Katherine Eriksson
  4. The Option Value of Human Capital: Higher Education and Wage Inequality By Sang Yoon Lee; Yongseok Shin; Donghoon Lee
  5. Some determinants of Academic Exclusion and Graduation in three faculties at UCT By Christopher Rooney; Corne van Walbeek
  6. Understanding the trends in learning outcomes in Argentina, 2000 to 2012 By De Hoyos Navarro,Rafael E.; Holland,Peter Anthony; Troiano,Sara
  7. Teaching Styles and Achievement: Student and Teacher Perspectives By Ana Hidalgo-Cabrillana; Cristina Lopez-Mayan
  8. Predicting International Higher Education Students’ Satisfaction with their Study in Ireland By Finn, Mairead; Darmody, Merike
  9. Body Weight and Gender: Academic Choice and Performance By Barone, Adriana; Nese, Annamaria
  10. Testing Means-Tested Aid By Richard Murphy; Gill Wyness
  11. Parental responses to public investments in children: Evidence from a maximum class size rule By Fredriksson, Peter; Ockert, Bjorn; Oosterbeek, Hessel
  12. Economic Gains for U.S. States from Educational Reform By Eric A. Hanushek; Jens Ruhose; Ludger Woessmann
  13. Student Preconceptions And Learning Economic Reasoning By Isabel Busom; Cristina Lopez-Mayan
  14. Foreign aid, education and lifelong learning in Africa By Simplice Asongu; Vanessa Tchamyou
  15. The evolution of the gender test score gap through seventh grade: New insights from Australia using quantile regression and decomposition By Ha Trong Nguyen
  16. Parent's Participation, Involvement and Impact on Student Achievment: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in South Africa By Adrien Bouguen; Kamilla Gumede; Marc Gurgand
  17. Self-Selection in School Choice By Li Chen; Juan Sebastian Pereyra Barreiro
  18. Modeling the Effects of Grade Retention in High School By Bart Cockx; Stijn Baert; Matteo Picchio
  19. The effect of all-day primary school programs on maternal labor supply By Janina Nemitz
  20. Research Design Meets Market Design: Using Centralized Assignment for Impact Evaluation By Atila Abdulkadiroglu; Joshua D. Angrist; Yusuke Narita; Parag A. Pathak
  21. Heterogeneous impacts of an unconditioal cash transfer programme on schooling: evidence from the Ghana LEAP programme By Sudhanshu Handa; Richard de Groot; Luigi Peter Ragno; Mike Park; Robert D. Osei; Isaac Osei-Akoto; Garima Bhalla
  22. Improving College Access in the United States: Barriers and Policy Responses By Lindsay C. Page; Judith Scott-Clayton
  23. Implementation of Competency-Based Education in Community Colleges: Findings from the Evaluation of a TAACCCT Grant By Ann E. Person; Lisbeth Goble; Julie Bruch; Jessie Mazeika
  24. Academic Achievement among Immigrant Children in Irish Primary Schools By McGinnity, Frances; Darmody, Merike; Murray, Aisling
  25. Chasing After the Frontier in Agricultural Productivity By Jules-Daniel Wurlod; Derek Eaton
  26. Air Pollution and Criminal Activity: Evidence from Chicago Microdata By Evan Herrnstadt; Erich Muehlegger
  27. The impact of educational mismatches on wages: The influence of measurement error and unobserved heterogeneity By SELLAMI, Sana; VERHAEST, Dieter; NONNEMAN, Walter; VAN THIER, Walter
  28. Citations in Economics: Measurement, Uses and Impacts By Daniel S. Hamermesh
  29. Leveraging Lotteries for School Value-Added: Testing and Estimation By Joshua Angrist; Peter Hull; Parag A. Pathak; Christopher Walters
  30. Mismatch of Talent Evidence on Match Quality, Entry Wages, and Job Mobility By Fredriksson, Peter; Hensvik, Lena; Nordström Skans, Oskar
  31. Review of the Droichead Teacher Induction Pilot Programme By Banks, Joanne; Conway, Paul; Darmody, Merike; Leavy, Aisling; Smyth, Emer; Watson, Dorothy

  1. By: Kengo, Igei; Takako, Yuki; Angela Demas
    Abstract: This paper examines the quality of the policy intent with respect to the school-based management system in Burkina Faso. It discusses the difference between policy intent and policy implementation; focusing on the functionality of school councils and their synergies with decentralization and assessment policies to achieve better learning results. A new policy diagnostic tool, developed and revised by the World Bank and its partners including JICA was adapted to the context of Burkina Faso. This tool is based on international evidence of good practice collected under the System Approach for Better Education Results (SABER) program, relating to the policy domain of School Autonomy and Accountability (SAA). First, for the quality of policy intent, those policies that concentrate on the roles of school councils are assessed as advanced, and as emerging directions on school autonomy through decentralization to communes of operational budget management and teacher deployment, while policies on standardized student assessments are said to be advanced on their frequency of use. Differences among stakeholders in the degree of policy implementation were found using survey data collected in 2013 from various level actors, including rural school directors, school councils, and local administrations. Regarding school councils, called COGES (Comités de Gestion des Etablissements Scolaires), these differences are on whether such councils exist and on how functional they are. The degree of functionality, as measured by community and parental voluntary contributions to schools, is significantly associated with variables relating to implementation of procedures in COGES, such as organizing a general assembly and the Federation of COGES, while controlling for other community contexts. The level of functionality of COGES significantly explains the observed differences in the quality of education services and learning achievements in Burkina Faso. Moreover, the use of student assessments is also positively related to learning achievement. The indicator representing the common views of stakeholders on decentralization also shows a significantly positive association with the functionality of the COGES system, and the availability of supplementary lessons. These findings suggest that strengthening policy implementation within participatory COGES, along with decentralization and the use of assessment tools, is important for better learning results.
    Keywords: SABER , a systems approach , benchmarking , SBM (school-based management) , COGES (school councils) , community participation , assessment , decentralization , primary education , Burkina Faso , World Bank
    Date: 2015–12–18
  2. By: Aysit Tansel (Department of Economics, METU; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) Bonn, Germany; Economic Research Forum (ERF) Cairo, Egypt)
    Abstract: This paper aims to provide information on intergenerational educational mobility in Turkey over the last century (at least over the last 65 years). This is the first study explicitly on providing the association between parents’ and children’s education in Turkey over time unlike the previous studies of one point in time. Given the absence of longitudinal data, we make use of a unique data set on educational outcomes based on children recall of parental education. The data used is the result of Adult Education Survey of 2007. Several findings emerge from the analysis. First of all, children’s and parents’ educational outcomes are correlated. The intergenerational educational coefficient of the mothers is somewhat larger than that of the fathers. The intergenerational educational coefficients of both the mothers and the fathers decrease over the cohorts implying that intergenerational educational mobility increased significantly for the younger generations of children in Turkey. The chances of attaining a university degree for the children increases as fathers’ completed schooling level increases. Men’s chances of attaining high school or university education are substantially higher than that of women’s. The association between parent and child education is stronger when parent educational background is poor. The results imply that the policy makes should focus on children with poor parental educational background and on women.
    Keywords: Intergenerational mobility, Educational transmission, Turkey
    JEL: I21 I28 J11 J62
    Date: 2015–12
  3. By: Katherine Eriksson
    Abstract: A large gap in incarceration rates between black and white men has been evident since the early 20th century. This paper examines the effect of access to primary schooling on black incarceration in this period. I use the construction of 5,000 schools in the US South, funded by philanthropist Julius Rosenwald, as a quasi-natural experiment that increased the educational attainment of southern black students. I link individuals across Census waves in order to assign exposure to a Rosenwald school during childhood and to measure adult incarceration. I find that one year of access to a Rosenwald school decreased the probability of being a prisoner by 0.1 percentage points (seven percent of the mean). Using other data from archival and government sources, I find that Rosenwald schools affected juvenile crime and all categories of adult crime. I argue that most of the reduction in incarceration comes from increased opportunity costs of crime through higher educational attainment but also investigate school quality and migration responses. Effects are largest in counties which have less racist attitudes and which have a more literate population. These results contribute to a broader literature on racial gaps in social outcomes in the US throughout the 20th century.
    JEL: I20 N32
    Date: 2015–11
  4. By: Sang Yoon Lee; Yongseok Shin; Donghoon Lee
    Abstract: Going to college is a risky investment in human capital. However, we highlight two options inherently embedded in college education that mitigate this risk: (i) college students can quit without completing four-year degrees after learning about their post-graduation wages and (ii) college graduates can take jobs that do not require four-year degrees (i.e., underemployment). These options reduce the chances of falling in the lower end of the wage distribution as a college graduate, rendering standard mean-variance calculations misleading. We show that the interaction between these options and the rising wage dispersion, especially among college graduates, is key to understanding the muted response of college enrollment and graduation rates to the substantial increase in the college wage premium in the United States since 1980. Furthermore, we find that subsidies inducing marginal students to attend colleges will have a negligible net benefit: Such students are far more likely to drop out of college or become underemployed even with a four-year degree, implying only small wage gains from college education.
    JEL: E24 I24 J24
    Date: 2015–11
  5. By: Christopher Rooney (DPRU, School of Economics, University of Cape Town); Corne van Walbeek (SALDRU, School of Economics, University of Cape Town)
    Abstract: University graduation rates have become increasingly important for institutions and policymakers alike. Academic exclusion, or other forms of withdrawal from university, represents a loss to the individual, the institution and broader society. This paper investigates the determinants of graduation and academic exclusion in UCT's Commerce, Engineering and Built Environment and Science faculties using survival analysis. The sample consists of 11 959 students who registered for a degree in one of these three faculties between 2006 and 2013. The results suggest that there are large differences in graduation and academic exclusion rates between different groups of students. Factors which increased the likelihood of graduating were being female, white, ineligible for financial aid (suggestive of greater affluence), proficient in English, attending a Quintile 5 or independent school and having obtained good Grade 12 grades. On the other hand, students who are male, eligible for financial aid (indicative of coming from poorer backgrounds), non-English-speaking, have attended poorly resourced schools and achieved low school grades are more likely to be academically excluded. Relative to the Commerce faculty, the Science and EBE faculties exclude a substantially greater proportion of poorly performing students in the first and second years. The Commerce Faculty excludes relatively few students in the first two years, but the exclusion rate increases sharply in the third and subsequent years.
    Keywords: Academic Exclusion, Graduation, University of Cape Town, South Africa, Tertiary Education
    Date: 2015
  6. By: De Hoyos Navarro,Rafael E.; Holland,Peter Anthony; Troiano,Sara
    Abstract: This paper seeks to understand what drove the trends in learning outcomes in Argentina between 2000 and 2012, using data from four rounds of the Program for International Student Assessment. A year-specific education production function is estimated and its results used to decompose the changes in learning outcomes into changes in inputs, parameters, and residuals via microsimulations. Estimates of the production function show the importance of socioeconomic status, gender, school autonomy, and teacher qualifications to determine learning outcomes. Despite an important increase in the level of resources invested in public education, learning outcomes in public schools decreased vis-à-vis private schools. According to the results presented here, the increase in the number of teachers in the system, pushing the pupil-teacher ratio in Argentina to 11, had no effect on learning outcomes. The microsimulation further confirms that changes in the system?s ability to transform inputs into outcomes accounted for most of the changes in test scores. Overall, the study shows the ineffectiveness of input-based education policies to improve learning outcomes in Argentina.
    Keywords: Education For All,Secondary Education,Tertiary Education,Effective Schools and Teachers,Primary Education
    Date: 2015–12–17
  7. By: Ana Hidalgo-Cabrillana; Cristina Lopez-Mayan
    Abstract: Using data from a Spanish assessment program of fourth-grade pupils, we analyze to what extent using traditional and modern teaching styles in class is related to achievement in maths and reading. As a novelty, we measure in-class work using two different sources of information -teacher and students. Our identifcation strategy relies on between-class within-school variation of teaching styles. We find that modern practices are related to better achievement, especially in reading, while traditional practices, if anything, are detrimental. There are dif- ferences depending on the source of information: the magnitude of coefficients is larger when practices are reported by students. These findings are robust to considering alternative defini- tions of teaching practices. We obtain heterogeneous effects of teaching styles by gender and type of school but only when using students' answers. Our findings highlight the importance of the source of information, teacher or students, to draw adequate conclusions about the effect of teaching style on achievement.
    JEL: I20 I21 J24
    Date: 2015–12–18
  8. By: Finn, Mairead; Darmody, Merike
    Abstract: The internationalisation of higher education — a facet of broader processes of globalisation — has resulted in increased study-related travel, and the development of policies to attract international students. Nevertheless, in the context of a strong drive to recruit international students, little is known about how they are faring during their study abroad. This paper addresses the gap in research, analysing the experiences of international students studying in Irish Higher Education Institutions, drawing on nationally representative data from the Eurostudent IV study. The findings show that students’ satisfaction with study while abroad is shaped by a number of different factors including, first and foremost, students’ satisfaction with their education institution and subjective rating of their health.
    Date: 2015–12
  9. By: Barone, Adriana; Nese, Annamaria
    Abstract: This study examines the relationship between body weight and academic choice and performance, focusing on gender differences and using survey data from students at the University of Salerno in Italy.Our findings indicate a significant negative relationship between body weight and academic performance,particularly for female students.In our examination of BMI and field of study (i.e.,science vs.the humanities),our results indicate that overweight/obese females are less likely than those of average weight to pursue scientific studies, and hence, more remunerative careers.The asymmetry of the findings between males and females suggests that during late adolescence physicality plays different roles according to gender.
    Keywords: Human capital; Body weight; Educational economics; Microeconometrics
    JEL: C25 D01 I12 I21 J24
    Date: 2015–10
  10. By: Richard Murphy; Gill Wyness
    Abstract: Billions of pounds per year is spent on aid for poor students in HE systems around the world, yet there remains limited evidence on the causal effect of these payments, particularly on the intensive margin. This is an empirical challenge since student aid is correlated with characteristics which influence both college enrolment and achievement. We overcome these challenges by studying a unique form of non-linear means tested financial aid which is unadvertised, varies substantially across institutions, and is subject to shifts in generosity across cohorts. Using student-level administrative data collected from 10 English universities, we study the effects of aid receipt on college completion rates, annual course scores, and degree class, using fixed effects and instrumental variables methods. Our findings suggest that each £1,000 of financial aid awarded increases the chances of gaining a good degree by around 3 percentage points, driven by completion of the final year and course scores.
    Keywords: higher education, financial aid, degree completion
    JEL: I22 I23 I28
    Date: 2015–12
  11. By: Fredriksson, Peter (Stockholm University, IZA, IFAU, and Uppsala Center for Labor Studies (UCLS)); Ockert, Bjorn (Institute for Evaluation of Labor Market and Education Policy (IFAU) and UCLS); Oosterbeek, Hessel (University of Amsterdam)
    Abstract: We study differential parental responses to variation in class size induced by a maximum class size rule in Swedish schools. In response to an increase in class size: (i) only high- income parents help their children more with homework; (ii) all parents are more likely to move their child to another school; and (iii) only low-income children find their teachers harder to follow when taught in a larger class. These findings indicate that public and private investments in children are substitutes, and help explain why the negative effect of class size on achievement in our data is concentrated among low-income children.
    Keywords: Class size; parental responses; social background; regression discontinuity
    JEL: C31 I21 I28 J24
    Date: 2015–12–16
  12. By: Eric A. Hanushek; Jens Ruhose; Ludger Woessmann
    Abstract: There is limited existing evidence justifying the economic case for state education policy. Using newly-developed measures of the human capital of each state that allow for internal migration and foreign immigration, we estimate growth regressions that incorporate worker skills. We find that educational achievement strongly predicts economic growth across U.S. states over the past four decades. Based on projections from our growth models, we show the enormous scope for state economic development through improving the quality of schools. While we consider the impact for each state of a range of educational reforms, an improvement that moves each state to the best-performing state would in the aggregate yield a present value of long-run economic gains of over four times current GDP.
    JEL: I21 J24 O47
    Date: 2015–12
  13. By: Isabel Busom; Cristina Lopez-Mayan
    Abstract: Economic views held by the general public tend to differ significantly from those of economic experts. To what extent would these differences fade away if people were exposed to economic instruction? In this paper we identify first-year college students? initial preconceptions about economic issues, explore some cognitive biases behind them, verify their persistence, and test whether beliefs are correlated to course performance. We conduct a survey at the beginning and the end of the semester on a sample of students taking an economic principles course. We find evidence of preconception persistence, inconsistencies and self-serving bias. Most students do not incorporate the newly learned tools into their thinking process, even if they perform well. Many economics senior students have some beliefs that are contradicted in a principles course. Instruction in economics could be more efficient if it explicitly addressed students? preconceptions and biases, a path already taken in other disciplines.
    Keywords: Economic education; student beliefs; cognitive bias; psychology; teaching of economics
    JEL: A12 A20 I21 Y8
    Date: 2015–12–18
  14. By: Simplice Asongu (Yaoundé/Cameroun); Vanessa Tchamyou (Yaoundé/Cameroun)
    Abstract: This study investigates the effect of foreign aid on education and lifelong learning in 53 African countries for the period 1996-2010. Three main issues are assessed, notably: (i) the effect of aid on education; (ii) the incremental impact of aid on education and (iii) the effect of aid on lifelong learning. Lifelong learning is measured as the combined knowledge acquired during the primary, secondary and tertiary levels of education. Foreign aid dynamics include: Total aid, aid from Multilateral Donors (MD) and aid from the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) countries. The empirical evidence is based on an endogeneity-robust Generalized Method of Moments. The following findings are established. First, the aid variables have positive effects on primary school enrolment and lifelong learning, with the exception of aid from MD which positively affects only lifelong learning. Second, the positive effect on primary school enrolment consistently has a higher magnitude compared to the corresponding impact on lifelong learning. Third, the effects of aid dynamics on secondary and tertiary school enrolments are not significant. We also contribute to the literature by proposing an indicator of lifelong learning for developing countries.
    Keywords: Lifelong learning; Foreign aid; Development; Africa
    JEL: I20 I28 F35 O55 P16
    Date: 2015–10
  15. By: Ha Trong Nguyen (Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre, Curtin University)
    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: 2015–11
  16. By: Adrien Bouguen (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA) - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics); Kamilla Gumede (Aarhus University [Aarhus]); Marc Gurgand (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA) - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: This article investigates the role of parents by looking at the effect of a parental involvement program implemented in poor primary school in South Africa. Based on a random variation of the program assignment and on a partial population design, it allows to rigorously identify impacts on parental involvement, on the relationship between parents and teachers and on student outcomes. We find mixed results suggesting that parents who volunteer to attend the meetings changed their behavior toward more involvement at home and at school. Such behavioral change appears stronger for a subgroup of parents whose children is enrolled in the facilitating teacher's class, suggesting positive interactions between parents and teachers. Yet, no cognitive or non cognitive impact on students can be detected. We interpret these disappointing results as evidence that in a developing country context, parents face constraints that makes such program unable to have significant effects on student performances
    Keywords: Education,parental involvement,Development
    Date: 2015–12–11
  17. By: Li Chen; Juan Sebastian Pereyra Barreiro
    Keywords: school choice; incomplete information; self-selection; serial dictatorship; mechanism; strategy-proofness
    JEL: C40 C78 D63 I20 I21
    Date: 2015–12
  18. By: Bart Cockx (Ghent University (SHERPPA), Université catholique de Louvain (IRES), IZA and CESifo); Stijn Baert (Ghent University (SHERPPA), University of Antwerp, Université catholique de Louvain (IRES) and IZA); Matteo Picchio (Department of Economics and Social Sciences, Marche Polytechnic University; CentER, Tilburg University; Sherppa, Ghent University; IZA)
    Abstract: A dynamic discrete choice model is set up to estimate the effects of grade retention in high school, both in the short- (end-of-year evaluation) and long-run (drop-out and delay). In contrast to regression discontinuity designs, this approach captures treatment heterogeneity and controls for grade-varying unobservable determinants. A method is proposed to deal with initial conditions and with partial observability of the track choices at the start of high school. Forced track downgrading is considered as an alternative remedial measure. In the long-run, grade retention and its alternative have adverse effects on schooling outcomes and, more so, for less able pupils.
    Keywords: Education, grade retention, track mobility, dynamic discrete choice models, heterogeneous treatment effects
    JEL: C33 C35 I21
    Date: 2015–12–12
  19. By: Janina Nemitz
    Abstract: This study analyzes the effect of all-day (AD) primary school programs on maternal labor supply. To account for AD school selectivity and selection into AD primary school programs I estimate bivariate probit models. To identify these models I exploit variation in the allocation of investments to AD primary schools across time and counties. This variation results from the public investment program "Future Education and Care" (IZBB) which was introduced by the German federal government in 2003. My results indicate for mothers with primary school-aged children in Germany (excluding Bavaria) a significantly positive effect of AD primary school programs on labor supply at the extensive margin. On average, mothers who make use of AD primary school programs are 26 ppts more likely to be employed than mothers who do not make use of these programs. This large effect is robust to alternative specifications and estimation methods and mainly concentrated in states with AD primary school student shares of up to 20%. On the contrary, there is no evidence for an impact of these programs on maternal labor supply at the intensive margin (full-time vs. part-time).
    Keywords: All-day school programs, after-school care, maternal labor supply
    JEL: J13 J21 J22
    Date: 2015–12
  20. By: Atila Abdulkadiroglu; Joshua D. Angrist; Yusuke Narita; Parag A. Pathak
    Abstract: A growing number of school districts use centralized assignment mechanisms to allocate school seats in a manner that reflects student preferences and school priorities. Many of these assignment schemes use lotteries to ration seats when schools are oversubscribed. The resulting random assignment opens the door to credible quasi-experimental research designs for the evaluation of school effectiveness. Yet the question of how best to separate the lottery-generated variation integral to such designs from non-random preferences and priorities remains open. This paper develops easily-implemented empirical strategies that fully exploit the random assignment embedded in the widely-used deferred acceptance mechanism and its variants. We use these methods to evaluate charter schools in Denver, one of a growing number of districts that integrate charter and traditional public schools in a unified assignment system. The resulting estimates show large achievement gains from charter school attendance. Our approach expands the scope for impact evaluation by maximizing the number of students and schools that can be studied using random assignment. We also show how to use DA to identify causal effects in models with multiple school sectors.
    JEL: C26 I20
    Date: 2015–11
  21. By: Sudhanshu Handa; Richard de Groot; Luigi Peter Ragno; Mike Park; Robert D. Osei; Isaac Osei-Akoto; Garima Bhalla
    Abstract: The paper uses data from a quasi-experimental evaluation to estimate the impact of the Ghanaian Government’s unconditional cash transfer programme on schooling outcomes. It analyses the impacts for children by various subgroups – age, gender, cognitive ability – and finds consistent impacts. There are differences across gender, especially on secondary schooling, with enrolment significantly higher for boys 13 years or older. For girls, the effect of the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme is to improve current attendance among those who are already enrolled in school (across all age groups). The authors found a significant effect on the expenditure on schooling items such as uniforms and stationary for these groups, which helps to explain the pathway of impact because these out-of-pocket costs are typically important barriers to schooling in rural Ghana and most of Africa.
    Keywords: cash transfers; ghana; schooling;
    JEL: H52 I31
    Date: 2015
  22. By: Lindsay C. Page; Judith Scott-Clayton
    Abstract: Socioeconomic gaps in college enrollment and attainment have widened over time, despite increasing returns to postsecondary education and significant policy efforts to improve access. We describe the barriers that students face during the transition to college and review the evidence on potential policy solutions. We focus primarily on research that examines causal relationships using experimental or quasi-experimental methods, though we draw upon descriptive evidence to provide context. Our review is distinctive in three respects. First, in addition to the literature on financial aid, we examine the evidence on informational and behavioral interventions, academic programs, and affirmative action policies intended to improve college access. Second, we incorporate a wealth of recent research not included in prior reviews. Finally, we conceptualize college access broadly, as including not just whether but also where students attend and whether they have access to college-level courses. We conclude with a discussion of implications for policy and research.
    JEL: I22 I23 I24
    Date: 2015–12
  23. By: Ann E. Person; Lisbeth Goble; Julie Bruch; Jessie Mazeika
    Keywords: Competency-based education, community colleges, TAACCCT Grant
    JEL: I
    Date: 2015–11–23
  24. By: McGinnity, Frances; Darmody, Merike; Murray, Aisling
    Date: 2015–09
  25. By: Jules-Daniel Wurlod; Derek Eaton
    Abstract: This paper explores international productivity patterns in agriculture. We test whether countries higher productivity growth has been experienced by countries that were initially further from the technological frontier. Based on a panel of 84 countries at various levels of development, we find support for convergence among OECD countries but divergence in our sample at large over the period 1960-2010. We then test whether technological catch-up is conditional on absorptive capacities and domestic investments in R&D. While agricultural research intensity has a significant effect on labor productivity growth, the size of this effect decreases the further the country is from the frontier. We calculate a threshold level for the effectiveness of research intensity: increased R&D contributes to catching up to the frontier for those countries with a distance to the frontier less than 22. We also test for additional factors affecting productivity growth, and find that secondary education plays a strong role in less developed countries, while trade openness appears to have had a positive effect on productivity in middle income countries. On the other hand, there is little evidence of much effect, either positive or negative from IPR protection. Of perhaps greater interest is the apparent impact of economic growth outside of agriculture in driving agricultural productivity improvements.
    JEL: O13 O33 Q11 Q16 Q18
    Date: 2015–11
  26. By: Evan Herrnstadt; Erich Muehlegger
    Abstract: A large and growing literature documents the adverse impacts of pollution on health, productivity, educational attainment and socioeconomic outcomes. This paper provides the first quasi-experimental evidence that air pollution causally affects criminal activity. We exploit detailed location data on over two million serious crimes reported to the Chicago police department over a twelve-year period. We identify the causal effect of pollution on criminal activity by comparing crime on opposite sides of major interstates on days when the wind blows orthogonally the direction of the interstate and find that violent crime is 2.2 percent higher on the downwind side. Consistent with evidence from psychology on the relationship between pollution and aggression, the effect is unique to violent crimes – we find no effect of pollution on the commission of property crime.
    JEL: K42 Q53
    Date: 2015–12
  27. By: SELLAMI, Sana; VERHAEST, Dieter; NONNEMAN, Walter; VAN THIER, Walter
    Abstract: We investigate the differential impact of alternative combinations of horizontal and vertical educational mismatches on wages. By using panel data for Belgian graduates, we consider the role of unobserved worker heterogeneity. Random measurement error in both types of mismatches is accounted for by adopting instrumental variable techniques. We consistently find that overeducated individuals without field of study mismatch earn less than adequately educated workers with a similar educational background. However, for individuals who are working outside their field of study, such a wage penalty is not always observed once accounting for unobserved heterogeneity and random measurement error. In some cases, field of study mismatch even seems to be financially beneficial to the worker.
    Keywords: Returns to education, Field of study mismatch, Overeducation, Underemployment, Earnings inequality, Ability bias
    JEL: I24 J24 J31
    Date: 2015–11
  28. By: Daniel S. Hamermesh
    Abstract: I describe and compare sources of data on citations in economics and the statistics that can be constructed from them. Constructing data sets of the post-publication citation histories of articles published in the “Top 5” journals in the 1970s and the 2000s, I examine distributions and life cycles of citations, compare citation histories of articles in different sub-specialties in economics and present evidence on the history and heterogeneity of those journals’ impacts and the marginal citation productivity of additional coauthors. I use a new data set of the lifetime citation histories of over 1000 economists from 30 universities to rank economics departments by various measures and to demonstrate the importance of intra- and inter-departmental heterogeneity in productivity. Throughout, the discussion summarizes earlier work. I survey research on the impacts of citations on salaries and non-monetary rewards and discuss how citations reflect judgments about research quality in economics.
    JEL: A11 A14 J31
    Date: 2015–11
  29. By: Joshua Angrist; Peter Hull; Parag A. Pathak; Christopher Walters
    Abstract: Conventional value-added models (VAMs) compare average test scores across schools after regression-adjusting for students’ demographic characteristics and previous scores. The resulting VAM estimates are biased if the available control variables fail to capture all cross-school differences in student ability. This paper introduces a new test for VAM bias that asks whether VAM estimates accurately predict the achievement consequences of random assignment to specific schools. Test results from admissions lotteries in Boston suggest conventional VAM estimates may be misleading. This finding motivates the development of a hierarchical model describing the joint distribution of school value-added, VAM bias, and lottery compliance. We use this model to assess the substantive importance of bias in conventional VAM estimates and to construct hybrid value-added estimates that optimally combine ordinary least squares and instrumental variables estimates of VAM parameters. Simulations calibrated to the Boston data show that, bias notwithstanding, policy decisions based on conventional VAMs are likely to generate substantial achievement gains. Estimates incorporating lotteries are less biased, however, and yield further gains.
    JEL: I20 J24
    Date: 2015–11
  30. By: Fredriksson, Peter (Stockholm University, UCLS, IZA, and IFAU); Hensvik, Lena (Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy (IFAU), Uppsala Center for Labor Studies (UCLS), and CESifo); Nordström Skans, Oskar (Uppsala University, UCLS, IFAU and IZA)
    Abstract: We examine the direct impact of idiosyncratic match quality on entry wages and job mobility using unique data on worker talents matched to job-indicators and individual wages. Tenured workers are clustered in jobs with high job-specific returns to their types of talents. We therefore measure mismatch by how well the types of talents of recent hires correspond to the talents of tenured workers performing the same jobs. A stylized model shows that match quality has a smaller impact on entry wages but a larger impact on separations and future wage growth if matches are formed under limited information. Empirically, we find such patterns for inexperienced workers and workers who were hired from non-employment, which are also groups where mismatch is more pronounced on average. Most learning about job-specific mismatch happens within a year. Experienced job-to-job movers appear to match under much less uncertainty. They are better matched on entry and mismatch have a smaller eect on their initial separation rates and later wage growth. Instead, match quality is priced into their starting wages.
    Keywords: Matching; Job search; Comparative advantage; Employer learning
    JEL: J24 J31 J62 J64
    Date: 2015–12–16
  31. By: Banks, Joanne; Conway, Paul; Darmody, Merike; Leavy, Aisling; Smyth, Emer; Watson, Dorothy
    Abstract: The Droichead pilot programme is designed to provide whole-school support for teacher induction. The programme is innovative in being led at school level, by a Professional Support Team (PST) consisting of the principal, mentor(s) and other member(s). This working paper presents preliminary findings from a large-scale study of the programme, placing them in the context of previous international and national research on teacher induction.
    Date: 2015–11

This nep-edu issue is ©2015 by João Carlos Correia Leitão. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.