nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2016‒04‒09
thirty papers chosen by
João Carlos Correia Leitão
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Who Gained from the Introduction of Free Universal Secondary Education in England and Wales? By Hart, Robert A.; Moro, Mirko; Roberts, J. Elizabeth
  2. Education and equality of opportunity: what have we learned from educational reforms? By Holmlund, Helena
  3. Profile of second-level students exempt from studying Irish By Darmody, Merike; Smyth, Emer
  4. The More, the Better? The Impact of Instructional Time on Student Performance By Cattaneo, Maria Alejandra; Oggenfuss, Chantal; Wolter, Stefan C.
  5. The Education Consequences of Language Proficiency for Young Children By Yao, Yuxin; Ohinata, Asako; van Ours, Jan
  6. What You Don't Know... Can't Hurt You? A Field Experiment on Relative Performance Feedback in Higher Education By Azmat, Ghazala; Bagues, Manuel F.; Cabrales, Antonio; Iriberri, Nagore
  7. The Effect of Performance-Based Incentives on Educational Achievement: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment By Steven D. Levitt; John A. List; Sally Sadoff
  8. University differences in the graduation minorities in STEM fields: evidence from California By Peter Arcidiacono; Esteban M. Aucejo; V. Joseph Hotz
  9. Impact of funding targeted pre-school interventions on school readiness: Evidence from the Netherlands By Emre Akgunduz; Suzanne Heijnen
  10. Redistribution without distortion: Evidence from an affirmative action program at a large Brazilian university By Fernanda Estevan; Thomas Gall, Louis-Philippe Morin
  11. Dynamic Equality of Opportunity By John E. Roemer; Burak Unveren
  12. Cognitive Ability and the Mortality Gradient by Education: Selection or Mediation? By Bijwaard, Govert; Jones, Andrew M.
  13. Higher education and the fall and rise of inequality By Klaus Prettner; Andreas Schaefer
  14. Foreign aid, education and lifelong learning in Africa By Asongu, Simplice; Tchamyou, Vanessa
  15. The Educational Consequences of Language Proficiency for Young Children By Ohinata, Asako; van Ours, Jan C.; Yao, Yuxin
  16. Human Capital Sorting - the ‘when’ and ‘who’ of sorting of talents to urban regions By Ahlin, Lina; Andersson, Martin; Thulin, Per
  17. Education policy and intergenerational transfers in equilibrium By Brant Abbott; Giovanni Gallipoli; Costas Meghir; Gianluca Violante
  18. Interactions Between Family and School Environments: Evidence on Dynamic Complementarities? By Ofer Malamud; Cristian Pop-Eleches; Miguel Urquiola
  19. Higher Education Selection: Implications for Social Inequality By Smyth, Emer; Iannelli, Cristina; Klein, Markus
  20. Explicit vs. Statistical Preferential Treatment in Affirmative Action: Theory and Evidence from Chicago's Exam Schools By Umut Dur; Parag A. Pathak; Tayfun Sönmez
  21. Role of Parental Expectations in Determining Child Labour and Schooling By Mukherjee , Conan; Pal , Rama
  22. Academics vs. Athletics: Career Concerns for NCAA Division I Coaches By Christopher Avery; Brian Cadman; Gavin Cassar
  23. Does Financial Education Impact Financial Behavior, and if So, When? By Tim Kaiser; Lukas Menkhoff
  24. Does education increase political participation? Evidence from Indonesia By Parinduri, Rasyad
  25. The Distribution of Talent across Contests Feedback in Higher Education By Ghazala Azmat; Marc Möller
  26. Sleepwalking through School: New Evidence on Sleep and Academic Performance By Wang, Kurt; Sabia, Joseph J.; Cesur, Resul
  27. Attitudes to Irish as a School Subject among 13-year-olds By Darmody, Merike; Smyth, Emer
  28. The role of institutional arrangements for youth employment and empowerment in Sierra Leone By Molla Mekonnen Alemu
  29. Even at a Young Age: Exclusionary School Discipline and Children’s Physically Aggressive Behaviors By Wade Jacobsen Jacobsen; Garrett Pace; Nayan Ramirez
  30. BRIGHT Improves Girls' School Enrollment, Test Scores (Issue Brief) By Ali Protik; Matt Sloan

  1. By: Hart, Robert A. (University of Stirling); Moro, Mirko (University of Stirling); Roberts, J. Elizabeth (University of Stirling)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the introduction of free universal secondary education in England and Wales in 1944. It focuses on its effects in relation to a prime long-term goal of pre-war Boards of Education. This was to open secondary school education to children of all social backgrounds on equal terms. Adopting a difference-in-difference estimation approach, we do not find any evidence that boys and girls from less well-off home backgrounds displayed improved chances of attending selective secondary schools. Nor, for the most part, did they show increased probabilities of gaining formal school qualifications. One possible exception in this latter respect relates to boys with unskilled fathers.
    Keywords: family background, free secondary education, 1944 Education Act, school qualifications
    JEL: I21 I24 I28
    Date: 2016–03
  2. By: Holmlund, Helena (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy)
    Abstract: Equality of opportunity has been one of the central ideas governing education policy in the Nordic welfare state. This paper takes its starting point in the shared history of educational reform in the Nordic countries, and presents evidence that the comprehensive school reforms that implied a shift from selective two-tier schooling systems to unified compulsory schools were beneficial for equality of opportunity. This evidence is compared to a choice and voucher reform that in the 1990's introduced pedagogical as well as organizational variety in the education system in Sweden. The Swedish choice reform is unique in an international perspective, and has reshaped the education sector dramatically as a growing number of pupils attend non-public independent schools. The current education debate shows a widespread concern that the introduction of choice has led to a backlash for equality of opportunity. Parental background remains a strong determinant of pupil performance. However, recent research finds no indication that family background has become more important over time in explaining pupil outcomes. The Swedish education system nevertheless faces a number of challenges if it is to level the playing field and create equal opportunities for all pupils: schools are becoming increasingly more segregated, much as a consequence of immigration, and disadvantaged pupils are less likely to exercise school choice compared to their more advantaged peers.
    Keywords: educational reform; equality of opportunity
    JEL: I20 I24
    Date: 2016–03–14
  3. By: Darmody, Merike; Smyth, Emer
    Abstract: Drawing on curriculum differentiation theory, this paper discusses exemptions from learning Irish granted to Irish post-primary students. In order to explore the profile of students granted such exemptions, the study utilises data from a national longitudinal study, Growing Up in Ireland. Additional information is provided by administrative data collected by the Department of Education and Skills to show trends in the number of exemptions granted over time. The findings show that factors impacting on being exempt include gender, social class, having a special educational need at primary school and being born outside Ireland.
    Date: 2016–03
  4. By: Cattaneo, Maria Alejandra (Swiss Co-ordination Center for Research in Education); Oggenfuss, Chantal (Swiss Co-ordination Center for Research in Education); Wolter, Stefan C. (University of Bern)
    Abstract: Although instruction time is an important and costly resource in education production, there is a remarkable scarcity of research examining the effectiveness of its use. We build on the work of Lavy (2015) using the variance of subject-specific instruction time within Switzerland to determine the causal impact of instruction time on student test scores, as measured by the international PISA test (2009). We extend the analyses in two ways and find that students must differ considerably in the time needed to learn. This difference is supported by our findings that the effectiveness of instructional time varies substantially between different school (ability) tracks and that additional instruction time significantly increases the within-school variance of subject-specific test scores.
    Keywords: instruction time, PISA, fixed-effect models, tracking
    JEL: C21 I21 I25
    Date: 2016–03
  5. By: Yao, Yuxin (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research); Ohinata, Asako (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research); van Ours, Jan (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research)
    Abstract: This paper studies the educational consequences of language proficiency by investigating the relationship between dialect-speaking and academic performance of 5-6 year old children in the Netherlands. We find that dialect-speaking has a modestly negative effect on boys' language test scores. In addition, we study whether there are spillover effects of peers' dialect-speaking on test scores. We find no evidence for spillover effect of peers' dialect-speaking. The test scores of neither Dutch-speaking children nor dialect-speaking children are affected by the share of dialect-speaking peers in the classroom.
    Keywords: dialect-speaking; test scores; spillover effects
    JEL: J24 I2
    Date: 2016
  6. By: Azmat, Ghazala (Queen Mary, University of London); Bagues, Manuel F. (Aalto University); Cabrales, Antonio (University College London); Iriberri, Nagore (University of the Basque Country)
    Abstract: This paper studies the effect of providing feedback to college students on their position in the grade distribution by using a randomized control experiment. This information was updated every six months during a three-year period. In the absence of treatment, students' underestimate their position in the grade distribution. The treatment significantly improves the students' self-assessment. We find that treated students experience a significant decrease in their educational performance, as measured by their accumulated GPA and number of exams passed, and a significant improvement in their self-reported satisfaction, as measured by survey responses obtained after information is provided but before students take their exams. Those effects, however, are short lived, as students catch up in subsequent periods. Moreover, the negative effect on performance is driven by those students who underestimate their position in the absence of feedback. Those students who overestimate initially their position, if anything, respond positively.
    Keywords: relative performance feedback, ranking, randomized field experiment, school performance
    JEL: J71 J44
    Date: 2016–03
  7. By: Steven D. Levitt; John A. List; Sally Sadoff
    Abstract: We test the effect of performance-based incentives on educational achievement in a low-performing school district using a randomized field experiment. High school freshmen were provided monthly financial incentives for meeting an achievement standard based on multiple measures of performance including attendance, behavior, grades and standardized test scores. Within the design, we compare the effectiveness of varying the recipient of the reward (students or parents) and the incentive structure (fixed rate or lottery). While the overall effects of the incentives are modest, the program has a large and significant impact among students on the threshold of meeting the achievement standard. These students continue to outperform their control group peers a year after the financial incentives end. However, the program effects fade in longer term follow up, highlighting the importance of longer term tracking of incentive programs.
    JEL: C93 I24 I25
    Date: 2016–03
  8. By: Peter Arcidiacono; Esteban M. Aucejo; V. Joseph Hotz
    Abstract: We examine differences in minority science graduation rates among University of California campuses when racial preferences were in place. Less-prepared minorities at higher-ranked campuses had lower persistence rates in science and took longer to graduate. We estimate a model of students' college major choice where net returns of a science major differ across campuses and student preparation. We find less-prepared minority students at top- ranked campuses would have higher science graduation rates had they attended lower-ranked campuses. Better matching of science students to universities by preparation and providing information about students' prospects in different major-university combinations could increase minority science graduation.
    Keywords: STEM majors; minorities; college graduation
    JEL: A22 I2
    Date: 2016–03
  9. By: Emre Akgunduz; Suzanne Heijnen
    Abstract: We analyze the effectiveness of the early childhood programme (ECP) in the Netherlands. The programme is designed for 2.5 to 4 year olds from disadvantaged backgrounds. 37 municipalities received an additional subsidy to expand ECP programmes, which allows us to analyze the effects of the programme within a difference-in-difference-in-differences framework. Most children first enroll in primary schools at age 4 in the Netherlands, but pupils begin to learn reading and mathematics in grade 3 at age 6. We use grade repetition constructed from school registry data from 2008 to 2015 in the first two grades as an indicator of school readiness. Our results show significantly lower grade repetition rates for targeted boys who are in regions that receive the subsidy. Grade repetition drops by 1 to 3 percentage points from a mean of 10.5 percent for the disadvantaged group targeted by the programme.
    JEL: C21 I28 I21 J13
    Date: 2016–03
  10. By: Fernanda Estevan; Thomas Gall, Louis-Philippe Morin
    Abstract: In this paper, we examine an innovative affirmative action policy designed to increase the representation of underprivileged students at UNICAMP, a large and highly ranked Brazilian university. The university awarded bonus points to targeted applicants (i.e., public high school applicants) on their admission exam, as opposed to imposing a typical quota system. Using a rich set of administrative data from UNICAMP, we assess the effect of this policy on the composition of admitted students, and investigate for possible behavioral responses at the extensive (participation) and intensive (preparation effort) margins. We find that the admission probability of public high school applicants, the targeted applicants, significantly increased following the adoption of the affirmative action program. The policy was also associated with sizable redistribution in the composition of admitted students, with a shift towards students from families with lower socio-economic status. Surprisingly, we find little evidence of behavioral reactions to the affirmative action policy, in terms of test performance or application decision.
    Keywords: post-secondary education; affirmative action; university admission; inequality.
    JEL: I23 I24 I28 J15 J18
    Date: 2016–03–22
  11. By: John E. Roemer (Dept. of Political Science & Cowles Foundation, Yale University); Burak Unveren (Yildiz Technical University)
    Abstract: What are the long-term effects of policies intended to equalize opportunities among different social classes of children? To find out, we study the stationary states of an intergenerational model where adults are either White or Blue collar employees. Both adults and the state invest in their children’s education. Our analysis indicates that the major obstacle to equalizing opportunities in the long-run is private educational investment. Next we examine economies where only the state invests in education, motivated by the Nordic experience. In a majority of these economies, no child lags behind regarding future prospects, a theoretical result confirmed by simulations.
    Keywords: Equality of opportunity, intergenerational transfers, education, dynamic model
    JEL: H21 D63 I24
    Date: 2016–03
  12. By: Bijwaard, Govert (NIDI - Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute); Jones, Andrew M. (University of York)
    Abstract: Large differences in mortality rates across those with different levels of education are a well- established fact. This association between mortality and education may partly be explained by confounding factors, including cognitive ability. Cognitive ability may also be affected by education so that it becomes a mediating factor in the causal chain. In this paper we estimate the impact of education on mortality using inverse probability weighted (IPW) estimators, using either cognitive ability as a selection variable or as a mediating variable. We develop an IPW estimator to analyse the mediating effect in the context of survival models. Our estimates are based on administrative data, on men born in 1944-1947 who were examined for military service in the Netherlands between 1961-1965, linked to national death records. For these men we distinguish four education levels and we make pairwise comparisons. From the empirical analyses we conclude that the mortality differences observed by education are only attributable to education effects for highly educated individuals. For less educated individuals the observed mortality gain is mainly attributable to differences in cognitive ability.
    Keywords: education, mortality, inverse probability weighting, mediators, mixed proportional hazard
    JEL: C41 I14 I24
    Date: 2016–03
  13. By: Klaus Prettner (University of Hohenheim, Germany); Andreas Schaefer (ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
    Abstract: We investigate the effect of higher education on the evolution of inequality. In so doing we propose a novel overlapping generations model with three social classes: the rich, the middle class, and the poor. We show that there is an initial phase in which no social class invests in higher education of their children, such that the evolution of inequality is entirely driven by the level of bequests. Once a certain income threshold is surpassed, the rich start to invest in higher education of their children, which partially crowds out bequests and thereby reduces inequality in the short run. The better educated children of the rich, however, enjoy higher incomes and inequality starts to rise again. As time goes by, the middle class and eventually also the poor start to invest in higher education, but now the increase in inequality is driven by different levels of education. As the economy proceeds toward a balanced growth path, educational differences between social groups and thus inequality decline again. We argue that (1) the proposed mechanism has the potential to explain the Ushaped evolution of inequality in rich countries in the second half of the 20th Century and the first decade of the 21st Century and (2) the currently observed increase in inequality is rather a transitory phenomenon.
    Keywords: Higher education, inequality, growth regime switch, middle income trap, Piketty curve
    JEL: I23 I24 I25 O11 O41
    Date: 2016–03
  14. By: Asongu, Simplice; Tchamyou, Vanessa
    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: F35 I20 I28 O55 P16
    Date: 2015–10
  15. By: Ohinata, Asako; van Ours, Jan C.; Yao, Yuxin
    Abstract: This paper studies the educational consequences of language proficiency by investigating the relationship between dialect-speaking and academic performance of 5-6 year old children in the Netherlands. We find that dialect-speaking has a modestly negative effect on boys' language test scores. In addition, we study whether there are spillover effects of peers' dialect-speaking on test scores. We find no evidence for spillover effect of peers' dialect-speaking. The test scores of neither Dutch-speaking children nor dialect-speaking children are affected by the share of dialect-speaking peers in the classroom.
    JEL: I15 J24
    Date: 2016–03
  16. By: Ahlin, Lina (CIRCLE & Department of Economics, Lund University); Andersson, Martin (Department of Industrial Economics, Blekinge Institute of Technology (BTH), Karlskrona & CIRCLE, Lund University); Thulin, Per (Department of Industrial Economics and Management, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm & Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum, Stockholm)
    Abstract: Sorting of high-ability workers is a main source of urban-rural disparities in economic outcomes. Less is known about when such human capital sorting occurs and who it involves. Using data on 15 cohorts of university graduates in Sweden, we demonstrate significant sorting to urban regions on high school grades and education levels of parents, i.e. two attributes typically associated with latent abilities that are valued in the labor market. A large part of this sorting occurs already in the decision of where to study, because top universities are predominantly located in urban regions. Estimates from a selection model show that even after controlling for sorting prior to labor market entry, the ‘best and brightest’ are still more likely to start working in urban regions, and are also more likely to remain there over long time periods. We conclude that a) urban regions are true magnets for high-ability graduates, and that b) studies of human capital sorting need to account for selection processes to and from universities, because neglecting mobility prior to labor market entry is likely to lead to underestimation of the extent of sorting to urban regions.
    Keywords: human capital; university graduates; spatial sorting; migration; labor mobility; ability; geography of talent; spatial selection
    JEL: I23 J24 J61 R12
    Date: 2016–03–17
  17. By: Brant Abbott (Institute for Fiscal Studies); Giovanni Gallipoli (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of British Columbia); Costas Meghir (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Yale University); Gianluca Violante (Institute for Fiscal Studies)
    Abstract: This paper examines the equilibrium effects of alternative financial aid policies intended to promote college participation. We build an overlapping generations life-cycle, heterogeneous-agent, incomplete-markets model with education, labor supply, and consumption/saving decisions. Driven by both altruism and paternalism, parents make inter vivos transfers to their children. Both cognitive and non-cognitive skills determine the non-pecuniary cost of schooling. Labor supply during college, government grants and loans, as well as private loans, complement parental resources as means of funding college education. We find that the current financial aid system in the U.S. improves welfare, and removing it would reduce GDP by 4-5 percentage points in the long-run. Further expansions of government-sponsored loan limits or grants would have no salient aggregate effects because of substantial crowding-out: every additional dollar of government grants crowds out 30 cents of parental transfers plus an equivalent amount through a reduction in student’s labor supply. However, a small group of high-ability children from poor families, especially girls, would greatly benefit from more generous federal aid.
    Keywords: Education, Financial Aid, Intergenerational Transfers, Altruism, Paternalism, Credit Constraints, Equilibrium.
    JEL: E24 I22 J23 J24
    Date: 2016–03
  18. By: Ofer Malamud; Cristian Pop-Eleches; Miguel Urquiola
    Abstract: This paper explores whether conditions during early childhood affect the productivity of later human capital investments. We use Romanian administrative data to ask if the benefit of access to better schools is larger for children who experienced better family environments because their parents had access to abortion. We combine regression discontinuity and differences-in-differences designs to estimate impacts on a high-stakes school-leaving exam. Although we find that access to abortion and access to better schools each have positive impacts, we do not find evidence of significant interactions between these shocks. While these results suggest the absence of dynamic complementarities in human capital formation, survey data suggest that they may also reflect behavioral responses by students and parents.
    JEL: I00
    Date: 2016–03
  19. By: Smyth, Emer; Iannelli, Cristina; Klein, Markus
    Date: 2016–01
  20. By: Umut Dur; Parag A. Pathak; Tayfun Sönmez
    Abstract: Affirmative action schemes must confront the tension between admitting the highest scoring applicants and ensuring diversity. In Chicago's affirmative action system for exam schools, applicants are divided into one of four socioeconomic tiers based on the characteristics of their neighborhood. Applicants can be admitted to a school either through a slot reserved for their tier or through a merit slot. Equity considerations motivate equal percentage reserves for each tier, but there is a large debate on the total size of these reserve slots relative to merit slots. An issue that has received much less attention is the order in which slots are processed. Since the competition for merit slots is influenced directly by the allocation to tier slots, equal size reserves are not sufficient to eliminate explicit preferential treatment. We characterize processing rules that are tier-blind. While explicit preferential treatment is ruled out under tier-blind rules, it is still possible to favor certain tiers, by exploiting the distribution of scores across tiers, a phenomenon we call statistical preferential treatment. We characterize the processing order that is optimal for the most disadvantaged tier assuming that these applicants systematically have lower scores. This policy processes merit slots prior to any slots reserved for tiers. Our main result implies that Chicago has been providing an additional boost to the disadvantaged tier beyond their reserved slots. Using data from Chicago, we show that the bias due to processing order for the disadvantaged tier is comparable to that from the 2012 decrease in the size of the merit reserve.
    JEL: C78 I21
    Date: 2016–03
  21. By: Mukherjee , Conan (Department of Economics, Lund University); Pal , Rama (Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay)
    Abstract: The paper shows how parental expectations about child’s future income affect the incidence of child labour and schooling. We present a theoretical framework where parents decide on the optimal amount of time invested in child education in presence of uncertainty about returns to education. Here, the uncertainty is captured using the probability that parents attach to higher returns after education. Our theoretical findings underscore the need for policy interventions that affect time preferences of parents, for any wage regulations to enhance the extent of child education. On the empirical side, we use a longitudinal survey (Young Lives Survey) for children in Andhra Pradesh, India; to measure the effect of parental expectations on investment in schooling. This longitudinal survey allows us to first, estimate the probability that parents assign to the expectation that their child will get a skilled job in future. And then, we examine the impact of these parental expectations on probability of schooling decision as well as the amount of child’s time allocated for studies. Our findings suggest that child’s inherent ability, parental education and parents’ attitude towards education influence the parental expectations about child’s future job. Parental expectations in turn positively affect the investment in human capital. Interestingly, we find a negative impact of the average child wage in community, on both probability of schooling and the proportion of study hours only for boys. This result reflects the ambiguity predicted by our theoretical model, in the effect of child wage on child labour. Our empirical results also indicate that even free education may not encourage child education if parents lack faith in the society to provide skilled jobs.
    Keywords: Parental expectations; Uncertainty; Child labour
    JEL: D84 D91 J24
    Date: 2016–03–29
  22. By: Christopher Avery; Brian Cadman; Gavin Cassar
    Abstract: We analyze the promotions and firings of NCAA Division 1 college basketball and college football coaches to assess whether these coaches are rewarded for the academic performance of their players in promotion and retention decisions. We find that an increase in Academic Progress Rate, as measured by the NCAA, for a college team in either sport significantly reduces the probability that the coach is fired at the end of the season. We find little to no evidence that an increase in the Academic Progress Rate enhances the chances of advancement (in the form of outside job offers) for these coaches.
    JEL: I20 I23 J24 M51
    Date: 2016–03
  23. By: Tim Kaiser; Lukas Menkhoff
    Abstract: In a meta-regression analysis of 115 microeconometric impact evaluation studies we find that financial education significantly impacts financial behavior, and to an even larger extent financial literacy. These results also hold for the subsample of RCTs. However, intervention impacts are highly heterogeneous: Financial education is less effective in low- and medium income countries; some target groups, such as low-income clients, or specific behaviors, such as borrowing, are difficult to influence; also mandatory financial education appears to be less effective. Thus, it is even more crucial for success to increase training intensity and offer financial education at a “teachable moment”.
    Keywords: Financial education, financial literacy, financial behavior, metaanalysis, meta-regression, impact evaluation
    JEL: D14 I21
    Date: 2016
  24. By: Parinduri, Rasyad
    Abstract: I examine whether education increases voter turnout and makes better voters using an exogenous variation in education induced by an extension of Indonesia's school term length, which fits a fuzzy regression discontinuity design. The longer school year increases education, but I do not find evidence that education makes people more likely to vote in elections or changes whether they consider political candidates' religion, ethnicity, or gender important when they vote. If anything, education seems to make voters more likely to think candidates' development programs are important.
    Keywords: education, political participation, regression discontinuity design, Asia, Indonesia
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2016–03
  25. By: Ghazala Azmat (Queen Mary University of London and Centre for Economic Performance, LSE); Marc Möller (University of Bern)
    Abstract: Do the contests with the largest prizes attract the most-able contestants? To what extent do contestants avoid competition? In this paper, we show, theoretically and empirically, that the distribution of abilities plays a crucial role in determining contest choice. Complete sorting exists only when the proportion of high-ability contestants is sufficiently small. As this proportion increases, high-ability contestants shy away from competition and sorting decreases, such that, reverse sorting becomes a possibility. We test our theoretical predictions with a large panel data set containing contest choice over twenty years. We use exogenous variation in the participation of highly-able competitors to provide empirical evidence for the relationship among prizes, competition, and sorting.
    Keywords: Contests, Competition, Sorting, Incentives
    JEL: L20 M52 D02
    Date: 2016–03
  26. By: Wang, Kurt (San Diego State University); Sabia, Joseph J. (San Diego State University); Cesur, Resul (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: Policymakers advocating for later school starting times argue that increased sleep duration may generate important schooling benefits. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, this study examines the relationship between sleep duration and academic performance, while carefully controlling for difficult-to-measure characteristics at the family- and individual-levels. We find that increased sleep time is associated with improvements in classroom concentration as well as increased educational attainment. However, we also find evidence of diminishing returns to increased sleep. We estimate an "academic optimum" number of sleep hours of, on average, 8.5 hours per night. Turning to sleep quality, we find that the onset of insomnia-like symptoms is associated with diminished contemporaneous academic concentration, but little change in longer-run educational attainment.
    Keywords: human capital, schooling, insomnia, sleep
    JEL: I12
    Date: 2016–03
  27. By: Darmody, Merike; Smyth, Emer
    Abstract: The purpose of this study is to investigate the influence of background and school factors on second-level students’ attitudes toward Irish as a school subject drawing on the Growing Up in Ireland study. The study focuses on the perceptions of the core subjects, English, Mathematics and Irish, and presents a profile of students who find the Irish language interesting or difficult. The study enables us to investigate the attitudes of teenagers towards the language in a systematic way, including personal, school and other characteristics that may have an impact on attitudes towards the Irish language.
    Date: 2016–03
  28. By: Molla Mekonnen Alemu (IPC-IG)
    Abstract: "Youth is defined in Sierra Leone as people aged from 15 to 35 (Government of Sierra Leone 2003). They account for about 34 per cent of the total population. More than 80 per cent of the country's youth population lives on less than USD2 per day. Sixty per cent of young Sierra Leoneans are believed to be structurally unemployed (National Youth Commission of Sierra Leone and UNDP 2012)?as a result of poverty, the weak private sector as a legacy of the civil war, the low level of coordination to create employment opportunities in the country and the mismatch between the skills demanded by the private sector and those provided by the education system."(?)
    Keywords: institutional arrangements, youth employment, empowerment, Sierra Leone
    Date: 2016–03
  29. By: Wade Jacobsen Jacobsen (Pennsylvania State University); Garrett Pace (Princeton University); Nayan Ramirez (Pennsylvania State University)
    Abstract: Exclusionary school discipline has become an increasingly common experience among US children, with rates of suspension and expulsion highest among boys, minorities, and the poor. Although well documented among middle and high school students, less is known about the prevalence or consequences among younger children. We examine rates of school discipline across gender, race, and class for urban-born children by about age nine. We then estimate the effect of school discipline on physically aggressive behavior. Results reveal severe disparities, especially among poor children where 1 in 2 black boys and more than 1 in 3 black girls have been suspended or expelled, compared to fewer than 1 in 30 non-black non-Hispanic boys or girls. We find no evidence that school discipline reduces children’s physically aggressive behaviors. Indeed, it appears to be associated with increases in such behavior, with similar effects across gender, race, and class.
    Date: 2016–03
  30. By: Ali Protik; Matt Sloan
    Abstract: Mathematica Policy Research and its partners recently completed a mid-term evaluation of BRIGHT’s seven-year impact on enrollment, attendance, test scores, health, and child labor. This issue brief summarizes key findings from the evaluation and presents a preliminary benefit-cost analysis of the program, estimating its economic rate of return.
    Keywords: BRIGHT, CIPRE, evaluation, impact , school, “girl-friendly†, enrollment , achievement, education
    Date: 2016–03–08

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