nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2016‒10‒02
seventeen papers chosen by
João Carlos Correia Leitão
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Higher Education Access and Outcomes for the 2008 National Matric Cohort By Hendrik van Broekhuizen; Servaas van der Berg; Heleen Hofmeyr
  2. School leadership for developing professional learning communities By OECD
  3. The Distributional Consequences of Public School Choice By Avery, Christopher; Pathak, Parag A.
  4. Does Higher level of Education Reduce Poverty and Increase Inequality? Evidence from Urban India By Tripathi, Sabyasachi
  5. LATE for the meeting: Gender, peer advising, and college success By Jimmy R. Ellis; Seth Gershenson
  6. Peer Effects in Academic Performance By Ryohei HAYASHI
  7. Reimagining Accountability in K-12 Education: A Behavioral Science Perspective By Gill, Brian P.; Lerner, Jennifer S.; Meosky, Paul
  8. Malaria and Education: Evidence from Mali By Josselin Thuilliez; Hippolyte D'Albis; Hamidou Niangaly; Ogobara Doumbo
  9. Does it pay to move? Returns to regional mobility at the start of the career for tertiary education graduates By Maier, Michael F.; Sprietsma, Maresa
  10. Investing in Schools: Capital Spending, Facility Conditions, and Student Achievement (Revised and Edited) By Paco Martorel; Kevin Stange; Isaac McFarlin Jr.
  11. Getting an Honest Answer: Clickers in the Classroom By Levy, Dan; Yardley, Joshua; Zeckhauser, Richard
  12. The Returns to Preschool Attendance By Pirmin Fessler; Alyssa Schneebaum
  13. Academics vs. Athletics: Career Concerns for NCAA Division I Coaches By Avery, Christopher; Cadman, Brian; Cassar, Gavin
  14. Public School Quality Valuation Over the Business Cycle By Stuart Gabriel; Owen Hearey; Matthew E. Kahn; Ryan K. Vaughn
  15. Parental Resources and College Attendance: Evidence from Lottery Wins By George Bulman; Robert Fairlie; Sarena Goodman; Adam Isen
  16. Static versus Dynamic Deferred Acceptance in School Choice: Theory and Experiment By Flip Klijn; Joana Pais; Marc Vorsatz
  17. Student-loan debt, delinquency, and default: a New England perspective By Clifford, Robert

  1. By: Hendrik van Broekhuizen (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch); Servaas van der Berg (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch); Heleen Hofmeyr (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)
    Abstract: This study uses a unique dataset to investigate university access, throughput, and dropout for the 2008 national matric cohort. The findings show that university access in South Africa is limited, even among learners who perform relatively well in matric. In addition, those who do gain access to university often take a long time to complete their studies, with many never completing at all. As a result, only a select minority of matric learners manage to obtain university qualifications. Significant inequalities in university outcomes between race groups and across geographical space also remain evident. However, the results from the analysis suggests that observed patterns of university access and university success are strongly influenced by school results. The weak school system has a major influence on who reaches matric, and how they perform in matric. This, and particularly the achievement of Bachelor passes, explains much of the differences in university outcomes by race, gender and province.
    Keywords: higher education, university access, post-school transitions
    JEL: I21 I23 I24
    Date: 2016
  2. By: OECD
    Abstract: Instructional leadership is the set of practices that principals use in relation to the improvement of teaching and learning. It is a strong predictor of how teachers collaborate and engage in a reflective dialogue about their practice. In most countries and economies, the majority of principals act as instructional leaders, though one-third rarely engage in any of this type of action. Distributed leadership is the ability of schools to incorporate different stakeholders in their decisionmaking processes. This type of leadership appears to advance the creation of a shared sense of purpose within schools. Nearly all schools involve their staff in decision-making processes, but they differ concerning the opportunities that are offered to students and their parents/guardians to be involved in school decisions. Principals who acquired instructional leadership competencies through training, or in a separate course, are more engaged in instructional leadership actions in their school than principals who have not participated in such training.
    Date: 2016–09–20
  3. By: Avery, Christopher (Harvard University); Pathak, Parag A. (MIT)
    Abstract: School choice systems aspire to delink residential location and school assignments by allowing children to apply to schools outside of their neighborhood. However, the introduction of choice programs affects incentives to live in certain neighborhoods, which may undermine the goals of choice programs. We investigate this possibility by developing a model of public school and residential choice. We consider two variants, one with an exogenous outside option and one endogenizing the outside option by considering interactions between two adjacent towns. In both cases, school choice rules narrow the range between the highest and lowest quality schools compared to neighborhood assignment rules, and these changes in school quality are capitalized into equilibrium housing prices. This compressed distribution generates incentives for both the highest and lowest types to move out of cities with school choice, typically producing worse outcomes for low types than neighborhood assignment rules. Paradoxically, even when choice results in improvement in the worst performing schools, the lowest type residents may not benefit.
    Date: 2015–09
  4. By: Tripathi, Sabyasachi
    Abstract: By considering India’s 52 large urban agglomerations, this paper finds the relationship between higher level of education and poverty and inequality in urban India. Besides using city level education data from University Grants commission (UGC), the study uses two rounds of National Sample Survey (NSS) unit-level data on “consumption expenditure,” and “employment and unemployment” for the year 2011-12. An empirical analysis using OLS regression method has shown that city level education, proxied by city-wise total number of PhD students enrolled in the universities, has a negative impact on city level poverty rate as seen by poverty head-count ratio, poverty gap ratio, and squared poverty gap ratio. On the other hand, city level education has a positive impact on city level inequality. City-wise work force participation rate has a negative effect on city poverty rate. The article suggests that we need appropriate city level policy to promote higher level education for reduction in city level inequality and poverty rate for sustainable urban development in India.
    Keywords: Level of higher education, large agglomerations, poverty, inequality and Urban India
    JEL: I25 I32 R13
    Date: 2016–09–25
  5. By: Jimmy R. Ellis (American Un iversity); Seth Gershenson (American University)
    Abstract: Many male and first-generation college-goers struggle in their first year of postsecondary education. Mentoring programs have been touted as a potential solution to help such students acclimate to college life, yet causal evidence on the impact of such programs, and the factors that influence participation in them, is scant. This study leverages a natural experiment in which peer advisors (PAs) were quasi-randomly assigned to first-year university students to show that 1) male students were significantly more likely to voluntarily meet with their assigned PA when the PA was also male and 2) these compliers were significantly more likely to persist into the second year of postsecondary schooling. We find no effect of being assigned to a same-sex PA on female students’ use of the PA program, nor do we find any evidence that the PA program affected subsequent academic performance (GPAs).
    Keywords: higher education, peer advising, mentoring, gender gap, demographic mismatch, retention
    JEL: I21 I23 I28
    Date: 2016–09
  6. By: Ryohei HAYASHI
    Abstract: This paper deals with the data of dormitory students in National Institute of Technology, Kagoshima College to demonstrate the existence of peer effects in academic performance. The data have unique advantages to avoid the difficulties of the self-selection problem and reflection problem. The data shows freshmen’s academic performance and previous year’s junior high school records, and roommate’s previous year’s academic performance for using an instrumental variable method. The results of my findings suggest that peer’s academic performance does not have any effects on freshmen’s. In spite of considering the asymmetric relationship between roommates, self-selection bias when choosing subjects, and nonlinearities of effects, there is no significance in any models.
    Date: 2016–09
  7. By: Gill, Brian P. (Mathematica Policy Research); Lerner, Jennifer S. (Harvard University); Meosky, Paul (Harvard University)
    Abstract: The primary lever American policymakers have used to improve school performance is "accountability" in the form of high-stakes testing. But the behavioral literature, overlooked in the education policy debate, shows that accountability exists in a variety of forms that evoke different psychological mechanisms and can have positive or negative effects. Examining the psychological/behavioral literature alongside the education literature, we identify four forms of accountability relevant to K-12 schooling: outcome-based (high-stakes testing), rule-based, market-based, and professional accountability. Promoting continuous improvement in schools is likely to require multiple forms of accountability that not only offer rewards and sanctions but also increase the transparency of educational practice and provide mechanisms for improving practice. This suggests that professional accountability--which has historically been underutilized in schools--merits particular attention.
    Date: 2016–02
  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 (PSE - 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: Maier, Michael F.; Sprietsma, Maresa
    Abstract: Decisions taken at the start of one's career have long-term consequences and one important decision graduates have to make is whether to be regionally mobile when looking for the first job. We investigate whether being regionally mobile for the first job following graduation rather than to stay in the place of graduation pays off. Existing research on regional mobility mostly focuses on job-to-job mobility. We analyse the determinants of early career mobility and estimate a bivariate probit model to account for the dependency between the migration decisions for tertiary education and for the first job. In order to account for self-selection with respect to migration decisions, we exploit variation in the availability of university places at the regional level. Our results show that there is significant dependency between migration decisions made before and after tertiary education. Secondly, using an IV estimation strategy, we find significantly positive wage returns to regional mobility for the first job.
    Keywords: regional mobility,wages,university education,early career
    JEL: J31 J61
    Date: 2016
  10. By: Paco Martorel (University of California, Davis); Kevin Stange (University of Michigan); Isaac McFarlin Jr. (University of Michigan)
    Abstract: Public investments in repairs, modernization, and construction of schools cost billions. However, little is known about the nature of school facility investments, whether such investments actually change the physical condition of public schools, and the subsequent causal impacts on student achievement. We study the achievement effects of nearly 1,400 capital campaigns initiated and financed by local school districts, comparing districts where school capital bonds were either narrowly approved or narrowly defeated by district voters. Overall, we find little evidence that school capital campaigns improve student achievement. Our event-study analyses focusing on students that attend targeted schools and therefore are exposed to major campus renovations also generate very precise zero estimates of achievement effects. Thus, locally financed school capital campaigns - the predominant method through which facility investments are made - may represent a limited tool for realizing substantial gains in student achievement or closing achievement gaps.
    Keywords: School facilities, student achievement, school financing, school bonds
    JEL: I22 I24 H75
    Date: 2016–05
  11. By: Levy, Dan (Harvard University); Yardley, Joshua (Harvard University); Zeckhauser, Richard (Harvard University)
    Abstract: Asking students to raise their hands is a time-honored feedback mechanism in education. Hand raising allows the teacher to assess to what extent a concept has been understood, or to see where the class stands on a particular issue, and then to proceed with the lesson accordingly. For many types of questions, as the evidence here demonstrates, the tally from a public show of hands misrepresents the true knowledge or preferences of the class. The biases are predictable and systematic. Specifically, students raising their hands tend to herd and vote with the majority answer. Beyond impeding the teacher's ability to assess her class, such herding threatens to diminish learning by limiting the level to which a student engages with the questions posed by the teacher.
    Date: 2015–11
  12. By: Pirmin Fessler (Economic Analysis Division, Oesterreichische Nationalbank); Alyssa Schneebaum (Department of Economics, Vienna University of Economics and Business)
    Abstract: Preschool attendance is widely recognized as a key ingredient for later socioeconomic success, mothers' labor market participation, and leveling the playing field for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. However, the empirical evidence for these claims is still relatively scarce, particularly in Europe. Using data from the 2011 Austrian European Union Statistics of Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC), we contribute to this literature in all mentioned dimensions. In particular, we investigate the effect of preschool attendance on an individual's later educational attainment, the probability that they work full time and their hourly wages, the likelihood of the mother working when the child is 14 years old, and on the overall distribution of wages. We find strong and positive effects of preschool attendance on educational attainment, the probability of working full time, hourly wages, and the probability that the mother is in the labor market. Full time workers at the bottom and the top of the distribution tend to benefit less than those in the middle. Women in particular benefit more in terms of years of schooling and the probability of working full time. Other disadvantaged groups (second migration migrants; people with less educated parents) also often benefit more in terms of education and work.
    Keywords: returns to preschool/kindergarten, early childhood education, education, inequality
    JEL: I26 J62 I24 H52 I38
    Date: 2016–09
  13. By: Avery, Christopher (Harvard University); Cadman, Brian (University of Utah); Cassar, Gavin (INSEAD, Fontainebleau)
    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
  14. By: Stuart Gabriel; Owen Hearey; Matthew E. Kahn; Ryan K. Vaughn
    Abstract: Over the years 2000 to 2013, the Los Angeles real estate market featured a boom, a bust, and then another boom. We use this variation to test how the hedonic valuation of school quality varies over the business cycle. Following Black (1999), we exploit a regression discontinuity design at elementary school attendance boundaries to test for how the implicit price of school quality changes. We find that the capitalization of school quality is counter-cyclical. While good schools always command a price premium, this premium grows during the bust. Possible mechanisms for these findings include consumers "trading down" from private to public schools during contractions as well as the effects of reduced household mobility during downturns in raising the value of the public school option.
    JEL: R21 R3
    Date: 2016–09
  15. By: George Bulman; Robert Fairlie; Sarena Goodman; Adam Isen
    Abstract: We examine more than one million children whose parents won a state lottery to trace out the effect of additional household resources on college outcomes. The analysis draws on the universe of federal tax records linked to federal financial aid records and leverages substantial variation in the size and timing of wins. The results reveal modest, increasing, and only weakly concave effects of resources: wins less than $100,000 have little influence on college-going (i.e., effects greater than 0.3 percentage point can be ruled out) while very large wins that exceed the cost of college imply a high upper bound (e.g., wins over $1,000,000 increase attendance by 10 percentage points). The effects are smaller among low-SES households. Further, while lottery wins reduce financial aid, attendance patterns are not moderated by this crowd-out. Overall, the results suggest that households derive consumption value from college and, in the current policy environment, do not generally face binding borrowing constraints.
    JEL: I23
    Date: 2016–09
  16. By: Flip Klijn; Joana Pais; Marc Vorsatz
    Abstract: In the context of school choice, we experimentally study how behavior and outcomes are affected when, instead of submitting rankings in the student proposing or receiving deferred acceptance (DA) mechanism, participants make decisions dynamically, going through the steps of the underlying algorithms. Our main results show that, contrary to theory, (a) in the dynamic student proposing DA mechanism, participants propose to schools respecting the order of their true preferences slightly more often than in its static version while, (b) in the dynamic student receiving DA mechanism, participants react to proposals by always respecting the order and not accepting schools in the tail of their true preferences more often than in the corresponding static version. As a consequence, for most problems we test, no significant differences exist between the two versions of the student proposing DA mechanisms in what stability and average payoffs are concerned, but the dynamic version of the student receiving DA mechanism delivers a clear improvement over its static counterpart in both dimensions. In fact, in the aggregate, the dynamic school proposing DA mechanism is the best performing mechanism.
    Keywords: dynamic school choice, deferred acceptance, stability, efficiency
    JEL: C78 C91 C92 D78 I20
    Date: 2016–09
  17. By: Clifford, Robert (Federal Reserve Bank of Boston)
    Abstract: In 2009, student-loan debt became the largest non-housing-related consumer debt in the United States. By 2013, outstanding student debt balances had grown to exceed $1 trillion, and by the end of 2015, had reached $1.23 trillion. These milestones coincided with increasing rates of delinquency and default among borrowers, raising concerns about the affordability of this debt. In addition, researchers have recently found an array of adverse effects from such debt, including the impact on homeownership and vehicle purchases, small-business formation, and retirement preparedness. These factors have led many to call the extent of student-loan debt a “crisis.” For New England, with its highly educated population and large higher-education industry, student-loan debt is a salient economic and policy issue. All six New England states have formed subcommittees, fielded commissions, contracted studies, and proposed or passed legislation targeting student-loan debt. These actions have yielded diverse policy responses, including initiatives aimed at improving financial literacy, boosting child college savings accounts, increasing state aid to state colleges and universities, refinancing student loans, and offering tax credits or loan forgiveness to graduates.
    Date: 2016–09–01

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