nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2016‒03‒17
eighteen papers chosen by
João Carlos Correia Leitão
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. The fiscal cost of weak governance : evidence from teacher absence in India By Muralidharan,Karthik; Das,Jishnu; Holla,Alaka; Mohpal,Aakash
  2. Increasing Retention in Mathematics Courses: The role of self-confidence in Mathematics on Academic Performanc By Adriana Espinosa; Aleksandr Tikhonov; Jay Jorgenson
  3. Sibling spillover effects in school achievement By Cheti Nicoletti; Birgitta Rabe
  4. Access to pre-primary education and progression in primary School : evidence from rural Guatemala By Bastos,Paulo S. R.; Bottan,Nicolas Luis; Cristia,Julian
  5. Gender, ethnicity and teaching evaluations : Evidence from mixed teaching teams By Wagner, N.; Rieger, M.; Voorvelt, K.J.
  6. The gender gap in mathematics achievements: evidence from Italian data. By Contini, Dalit; Di Tommaso, Maria Laura; Mendolia, Silvia
  8. Malaria and Education: Evidence from Mali By Josselin Thuilliez; Hippolyte D'Albis; Hamidou Niangaly; Ogobara Doumbo
  9. In brief... The rewards for getting a good degree By Robin Naylor; Jeremy Smith; Shqiponja Telhaj
  10. On the development of students’ attitudes towards corruption and cheating in Russian universities By Denisova-Schmidt, Elena; Huber, Martin; Leontyeva, Elvira
  11. Teachers’ Perceptions of High-Stakes Testing By Adel Al-Bataineh; Jessica Gunn
  12. Returns to Education in Criminal Organizations: Did Going to College Help Michael Corleone? By Campaniello, Nadia; Gray, Rowena; Mastrobuoni, Giovanni
  13. Educational poverty as a welfare loss: Low performance in the OECD according to PISA 2012 By Antonio Villar
  14. Learning about Infant and Toddler Early Education Services (LITES): Summarizing the Research and Gaps on Compelling Models By Patricia Del Grosso; Christopher Jones; Diane Paulsell; Shannon Monahan
  15. Impact of women’s education on the economic growth: An empirical analysis applied to Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Egypt By El Alaoui, Aicha
  16. Learning about Infant and Toddler Early Education Services (LITES): A Systematic Review of the Evidence By Shannon Monahan; Jaime Thomas; Dianne Paulsell; Lauren Murphy
  17. Modelling Education Dynamics with Cliometrics Foundations By Claude Diebolt
  18. Dimensions of internationalisation – universities at home and abroad By Luke Georghiou; Philippe Larédo

  1. By: Muralidharan,Karthik; Das,Jishnu; Holla,Alaka; Mohpal,Aakash
    Abstract: The relative return to input-augmentation versus inefficiency-reduction strategies for improving education system performance is a key open question for education policy in low-income countries. Using a new nationally-representative panel dataset of schools across 1297 villages in India, this paper shows that the large investments over the past decade have led to substantial improvements in input-based measures of school quality, but only a modest reduction in inefficiency as measured by teacher absence. In the data, 23.6 percent of teachers were absent during unannounced visits with an associated fiscal cost of $1.5 billion/year. There are two robust correlations in the nationally-representative panel data that corroborate findings from smaller-scale experiments. First, reductions in student-teacher ratios are correlated with increased teacher absence. Second, increases in the frequency of school monitoring are strongly correlated with lower teacher absence. Simulations using these results suggest that investing in better governance by increasing the frequency of monitoring could be over ten times more cost effective at increasing teacher-student contact time (net of teacher absence) than hiring more teachers. Thus, at current margins, policies that decrease the inefficiency of public spending in India are likely to yield substantially higher returns than those that augment inputs.
    Keywords: Education For All,Effective Schools and Teachers,Educational Populations,Tertiary Education,Primary Education
    Date: 2016–02–25
  2. By: Adriana Espinosa (The City College of New York); Aleksandr Tikhonov (The City College of New York); Jay Jorgenson (The City College of New York)
    Abstract: Underachievement rates in mathematics for the United States have been alarming for a long time. While the reasons have been studied at length, a large area pays close attention to self-confidence as predictor of academic performance. Most research on this area however, is based on high school students. This study extends this line of work by assessing self-confidence and its effect on academic performance among college students. Using quantile regression we show that self-confidence positively impacts class performance for the middle and bottom quantiles, but not the top 75th percent. These results imply that simple and costless confidence boosting exercises conducted in the classroom may have a positive impact on at risk students, and consequently retention. The results appear to be generalizable, rather than localized to summer school students.
    Keywords: Retention, self-confidence, mathematics, Fennema-Sherman, academic performance
  3. By: Cheti Nicoletti; Birgitta Rabe
    Abstract: This paper provides empirical evidence on direct sibling spillover effects in school achievement using English administrative data. We extend previous strategies to identify peer effects by exploiting the variation in school test scores across three subjects observed at ages 11 and 16 as well as variation in the composition of school mates between siblings. We find a statistically significant positive spillover effect from the older sibling to the younger but not vice versa. Spillover effects from high achieving older siblings are larger than from low achieving ones, but this relationship is weaker for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
    Keywords: Family effects, peer effects, social interaction, education
    JEL: I22 I24
  4. By: Bastos,Paulo S. R.; Bottan,Nicolas Luis; Cristia,Julian
    Abstract: Evidence on the impacts of a large-scale expansion in pre-primary education is limited and mostly circumscribed to high- and middle-income nations. This study estimates the effects of such an expansion on progression in primary school in rural communities in Guatemala, where the number of pre-primary schools increased from about 5,300 to 11,500 between 1998 and 2005. Combining administrative and population census data in a difference-in-differences framework, the analysis finds that access to pre-primary education increased by 2.4 percentage points the proportion of students that progress adequately and attend sixth grade by age 12. These positive although limited effects suggest the need for complementary actions to produce substantial improvements in adequate progression.
    Keywords: Education For All,Disability,Social Cohesion,Population Policies,Primary Education
    Date: 2016–02–22
  5. By: Wagner, N.; Rieger, M.; Voorvelt, K.J.
    Abstract: This paper studies the effect of teacher gender and ethnicity on student evaluations of teaching quality at university. We analyze a unique data-set featuring mixed teaching teams and a diverse, multicultural, multi-ethnic group of students and teachers. Co-teaching allows us to study the impact of teacher gender and ethnicity on students’ evaluations of teaching exploiting within course variation in an empirical model with course-year fixed effects. We document a negative effect of being a female teacher on student evaluations of teaching, which amounts to roughly one fourth of the sample standard deviation of teaching scores. Overall women are 11 percentage points less likely to attain the teaching evaluation cut-off for promotion to associate professor. The effect is robust to a host of co-variates such as course leadership, teacher experience and research quality. There is no evidence of a corresponding ethnicity effect. Our results point to an important gender bias and indicate that the use of teaching evaluations in hiring and promotion decisions may put female lectures at a disadvantage.
    Keywords: student evaluations of teaching, gender, ethnicity, bias, course fixed effects
    JEL: I21 J71
    Date: 2016–03–01
  6. By: Contini, Dalit; Di Tommaso, Maria Laura; Mendolia, Silvia (University of Turin)
    Abstract: This paper describes the Italian gender gap in math utilizing the National Test “Invalsi” for the year 2013, in which all Italian children in school year 2, 5, 6, 8 and 10 are tested. The magnitude of the gender gap is measured using OLS and a school fixed effect model. We find that the female dummy is negative for all years, even after controlling for a socio-economic indicator, parental education, maternal professional status, geographical areas, number of siblings, kindergarten attendance, math self-beliefs (only year 5 and 6), belief about the importance of math and the type of high school (only year 10). In order to check if the gap is increasing with the age of the child, lacking longitudinal data, we use a pseudo panel technique and find that the gap is increasing from age 7 to age 15 with a slight decrease at age 11. Finally, we study the distribution of the gap across test scores, using quantile regressions, and find that the gap is higher for top performing children. This result is confirmed using a metric-free technique.
    Date: 2016–02
    Abstract: For the past decade and longer there has been much activity and research involving the use of technology in education. This is especially true for diverse learners, who have difficulty learning with the traditional pedagogies used in teaching. Learners with autism syndrome have shown significant positive interactions when dealing with robots rather than human beings. Even though many of the anecdotes and suggested methods in this research paper are focused on applications for students with autism, these same strategies can be effectively applied to a variety of diverse learners. The specific information regarding students with autism not only enables students to learn the content in a variety of formats, but also helps to prepare them to have fruitful, productive lives after their schooling and for the rest of their days. Results of studies have indicated that students become more interested and actively engaged in their classes, and have a higher level of retention than students in traditional online and onsite classes. It is important to empower students to become active, involved learners, and provide them with the incentives to achieve academic success. This is a work in progress, and future renditions will include not only anecdotes dealing with youngsters with autism, but also with those diagnosed with deafness and those who are severely mentally challenged with down’s syndrome and other disorders.
    Keywords: autism, assistive technology, robots
    JEL: I29
  8. By: Josselin Thuilliez (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Hippolyte D'Albis (EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Hamidou Niangaly (MRTC - Malaria Research and Training Center - Faculté de Médecine de Bamako); Ogobara Doumbo (MRTC - Malaria Research and Training Center - Faculté de Médecine de Bamako)
    Abstract: This article examines the influence of malaria on human capital accumulation in the village of Diankabou in Mali. To account for malaria endogeneity and its interaction with unobservable risk factors, we exploit natural variations in malaria immunity across individuals of several sympatric ethnic groups – the Fulani and the non-Fulani – who differ in their susceptibility to malaria. The Fulani are known to be less susceptible to malaria infections, despite living with a similar malaria transmission intensity to those seen among other ethnic groups. We also use natural variation of malaria intensity in the area (during and after the malaria transmission season) and utilize this seasonal change as a treatment. We find that malaria has an impact on cognitive and educational outcomes in this village. We discuss the implications of this result for human capital investments and fertility decisions with the help of a quantity-quality model.
    Keywords: Immunity,Malaria,Education,Cognition,Fertility
    Date: 2016–01
  9. By: Robin Naylor; Jeremy Smith; Shqiponja Telhaj
    Abstract: It pays to study hard at university, according to research by Shqiponja Telhaj and colleagues. Their study finds that there is a significant hourly wage premium for getting a first or upper second. For graduates more than five years out of university, the wage premium for a good degree is 7-9%. Does an individual's educational achievement at university affect their pay later in life? This research looks at evidence on degree classes and UK graduate earnings during the period of expansion of higher education. It shows that as more young people get degrees, the premium for graduating with a good degree increases.
    Keywords: graduate returns, higher education participation, ability composition
    JEL: J31 J24 I23 D82
    Date: 2016–02
  10. By: Denisova-Schmidt, Elena; Huber, Martin; Leontyeva, Elvira
    Abstract: Based on empirical data from selected public universities in Khabarovsk, Russia, this paper compares first and fifth year students regarding their attitudes towards corruption in general and university corruption in particular. Even after making both groups of students comparable with respect to a range of socio-economic characteristics by a matching approach, the results suggest that fifth year students are more open to a range of informal and corrupt practices than first years. Our analysis therefore points to the possibility that the Russian higher education system might ‘favor’ compliance with corruption and informal practices, with potentially detrimental consequences for the Russian society as a whole.
    Keywords: Russia; University; Corruption; Ambivalence; Academic Dishonesty; Higher Education; Matching
    JEL: D73
    Date: 2016–02–22
  11. By: Adel Al-Bataineh (Illinois State University); Jessica Gunn (Illinois State University)
    Abstract: In recent years, the issue of high-stakes testing has been widely debated in the field of education. Studies have shown that high-stakes tests do little to promote learning in schools, yet there are still widely used. While many studies have examined how testing affects students, schools, and communities, little research has been done to determine how teachers perceive high-stakes tests. It is important for us to study not only how these tests impact our students, but how teachers feel about them as well. This study will use a structured survey to question elementary school educators from three Midwestern schools. The purpose of the study is to determine the viewpoints, opinions, and attitudes that teachers have regarding high-stakes tests. The results show that teachers feel there are some benefits to high-stakes testing, in that it allows students to be compared to their peers. The majority of teachers surveyed, however; felt the weakness of such testing outweighs the benefits. Teachers cite pressures from testing and feel that tests are not a valid way to assess what students know. Tests also shape curriculum in that more time is spent in tested subjects, while time spent in untested subjects is reduced or eliminated.
    Keywords: High-Stake Testing, Assessment, Teacher Perceptions
    JEL: I20 I29 I21
  12. By: Campaniello, Nadia; Gray, Rowena; Mastrobuoni, Giovanni
    Abstract: Is there any return to education in criminal activities? This paper is one of the first to investigate whether education has not only a positive impact on legitimate, but also on illegitimate activities. We use as a case study one of the longest running criminal corporations in history: the Italian-American mafia. Its most successful members were capable businessmen, orchestrating crimes that required abilities that might be learned at school: extracting the optimal rent when setting up a racket, weighting interests against default risk when starting a loan sharking business or organizing supply chains, logistics and distribution when setting up a drug dealing system. We address this question by comparing mobsters to a variety of samples drawn from the United States 1940 Population Census, including a sample of their closest (non-mobster) neighbors. We document that mobsters have one year less education than their neighbors on average. We find that mobsters have significant returns to education of 7.5-8.5 percent, which is only slightly smaller than their neighbors and 2-5 percentage points smaller than for U.S.-born men or male citizens. Mobster returns were consistently about twice as large as a sample of Italian immigrants or immigrants from all origin countries. Within that, those charged with complex crimes including embezzlement and bookmaking have the highest returns.We conclude that private returns to education exist even in the illegal activities characterized by a certain degree of complexity as in the case of organized crime in mid-twentieth century United States.
    Keywords: Returns to education; organized crime; mafia; Italian-American Immigration; Federal Bureau of Narcotics; 1940 Census
    JEL: L1
    Date: 2016
  13. By: Antonio Villar (OECD (Thomas J. Alexander Fellow) and Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the incidence and intensity of low performance between 15- year old students in the OECD countries, according to the last wave of PISA. Taking level 2 of proficiency as the baseline competence, we approach the measurement of low performance by applying a multidimensional poverty measure that permits interpreting educational poverty as a welfare loss. We use a conventional welfare evaluation function to derive an index that combines the incidence, intensity and inequality of educational poverty. The results show that OECD countries differ in educational poverty much more than in PISA average scores and also that they present different mixes of incidence and intensity.
    Keywords: educational poverty, welfare loss, low performance, PISA, OECD.
    JEL: I24 I32
    Date: 2016–03
  14. By: Patricia Del Grosso; Christopher Jones; Diane Paulsell; Shannon Monahan
    Keywords: Learning about Infant and Toddler Early Education Services, LITES, Compelling Models
    JEL: I
    Date: 2015–12–30
  15. By: El Alaoui, Aicha
    Abstract: This paper tries to examine if women’s education affects the economic growth. To illustrate this aim, four countries cases have been presented: Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, and Algeria, named MATE. The motive behind choosing them was because these countries have many common religious and cultural norms and values. The statistical analysis of data over the period 1960-2012 shows that the relationship between fertility rate and different measures of education is negative. Averages literacy rate and labour participation of the female are less than that of male. Two panel models are estimated over the period 2000-2012: a 'general' panel model and a 'gender' panel model. In the first model, the explanatory variables are introduced without gender’s characteristics in order to measure their impact on the economic growth. In the second model, the explanatory variables are introduced in the first model with gender’s distinguishing excluding variables that measure the quality of governance and institutional. The main findings are that women’s education, particularly, tertiary education, women’s labour force participation and institutional capital affect positively economic growth. On the contrary, the primary and secondary school enrolment are negatively linked to the economic growth. This paper concludes that women’s tertiary education is a master-key to economic growth and development accompanied by a healthy and good quality of institutional capital and by eliminating all forms of gender discrimination.
    Keywords: Economic growth, Panel analysis, Women’s education, Institutional capital
    JEL: C23 I25 O15
    Date: 2015–11
  16. By: Shannon Monahan; Jaime Thomas; Dianne Paulsell; Lauren Murphy
    Abstract: The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, in partnership with the Administration for Children and Families, funded Mathematica Policy Research and its partners to conduct the Learning About Infant and Toddler Early Education Services (LITES) project. LITES aimed to identify program models to support infant and toddler early learning in out-of-home early care and education settings to inform future research, policy, and program directions at the federal, state, and local levels.
    Keywords: systematic review, infant and toddler, early care and education
    JEL: I
    Date: 2015–12–30
  17. By: Claude Diebolt (BETA, University of Strasbourg Strasbourg, France)
    Date: 2016
  18. By: Luke Georghiou (The University of Manchester [Manchester], MIoIR - Manchester Institute of Innovation Research - MBS - Manchester Business School); Philippe Larédo (MIoIR - Manchester Institute of Innovation Research - MBS - Manchester Business School, LISIS - Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire Sciences, Innovations, Société - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA) - UPEM - Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - ESIEE Paris - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Educational activities have not been exempt from the trends towards globalisation of economic and cultural activity. The environment in which universities operate is characterised by finance, goods, services, knowledge and cultural activities flowing across borders in the context of worldwide markets, multinational organisations and competition. Most pertinent is the growing movement of people, temporary and permanent. Analysts of the international activities of universities regularly distinguish between internationalisation and the wider context of globalisation. In this chapter we shall define internationalisation as the sum total of the practices universities develop to adapt to this new context.
    Keywords: university,internationalization,higher education,distance education
    Date: 2015

This nep-edu issue is ©2016 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.