nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2017‒01‒01
29 papers chosen by
João Carlos Correia Leitão
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Information matters, but it is not enough: a field experiment on the causal effect of information barriers for participation in Higher Education By Giovanni Abbiati; Gianluca Argentin; Carlo Barone; Antonio Schizzerotto
  2. Socioeconomic Gradient Literacy and Numeracy Skills of 15-year-olds across Canadian Provinces and Years using the PISA Surveys (2000-2012) By Pierre Lefebvre
  3. European Identity and the Learning Union By Ritzen, Jo; Haas, Jasmina; Neeleman, Annemarie; Teixeira, Pedro N.
  4. Social Mobility and Higher-Education Policy By Elisa S. Brezis; Joel Hellier
  5. Student Aid and the Distribution of Educational Attainment By Maggie Jones
  6. Tracking and the Intergenerational Transmission of Education: Evidence from a Natural Experiment By Simon Lange; Marten von Werder
  7. Developing Computational Thinking in Compulsory Education - Implications for policy and practice By STEFANIA BOCCONI; AUGUSTO CHIOCCARIELLO; GIULIANA DETTORI; ANUSCA FERRARI; KATJA ENGELHARDT
  8. A Passage to America: University Funding and International Students By John Bound; Breno Braga; Gaurav Khanna; Sarah Turner
  9. Are school-provided skills useful at work? Results of the Wiles test By Jacek Liwiński
  10. Higher education, career opportunities, and intergenerational inequality By Claire Crawford; Paul Gregg; Lindsey Macmillan; Anna Vignoles; Gill Wyness
  11. Can we select the right peers in Indian Education? Evidence from Kolkata By Paul Frijters; Asadul Islam; Debayan Pakrashi
  12. Where Do Students Go when For-Profit Colleges Lose Federal Aid? By Stephanie R. Cellini; Rajeev Darolia; Lesley J. Turner
  13. Subjective Completion Beliefs and the Demand for Post-Secondary Education By Johannes S. Kunz; Kevin E. Staub
  14. Assessing selection patterns and wage differential of high-skilled migrants. Evidence from the AlmaLaurea dataset on Italian graduates working abroad By Gilberto Antonelli; Sara Binassi; Giovanni Guidetti; Giulio Pedrini
  15. Empowering Mothers and Enhancing Early Childhood Investment: Effect on Adults Outcomes and Children Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Skills By Victor Lavy; Giulia Lotti; Zizhong Yan
  16. Digital Reading in PISA 2012 and ICT Uses: How do VET and General Education Students Perform? By Patricia Dinis Mota da Costa; Luisa De Sousa Lobo Borges de Araujo
  17. Estimating the Productivity of Community Colleges in Paving the Road to Four-Year Success By Scott E. Carrell; Michal Kurlaender
  18. Learning For Life? The Effects of Schooling on Earnings and Health- Related Behavior Over the Life Cycle By Lång, Elisabeth; Nystedt, Paul
  19. How are health and life satisfaction related to education? By OECD
  20. Retention Heterogeneity in New York City Schools By Amy Ellen Schwartz; Douglas Almond; Ajin Lee
  21. The Effects of Computers on Children’s Social Development and School Participation: Evidence from a Randomized Control Experiment By Robert W. Fairlie; Ariel Kalil
  22. Unawareness and Selective Disclosure: The Effect of School Quality Information on Property Prices By John Haisken-DeNew; Syed Hasan; Nikhil Jha; Mathias Sinning
  23. Does work harm academic performance of students? Evidence using propensity score matching By Tjasa Bartolj; Saso Polanec
  24. Self-Financing Education, Borrowing Constraints, Government Policies, and Economic Growth By Hoang D. Duong; Fernando Sánchez-Losada
  25. Fiscal Decentralisation, the Knowledge Economy and School Teachers’ Wages in Urban China By Yi Long; Chris Nyland; Russell Smyth
  26. A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Universal Preschool Education: Evidence from a Spanish Reform By T.M. van Huizen; E. Dumhs; J. Plantenga
  27. Overeducation among Italian graduates: do different measures actually diverge? By Luca Cattani; Giovanni Guidetti; Giulio Pedrini
  28. Report on the relative strengths and weaknesses of the United States in PISA 2012 mathematics By Andreas Schleicher
  29. Equity in Education in Europe By Ralph Hippe; Luisa De Sousa Lobo Borges de Araujo; Patricia Dinis Mota da Costa

  1. By: Giovanni Abbiati; Gianluca Argentin; Carlo Barone; Antonio Schizzerotto
    Abstract: Our contribution assesses the role of information barriers for patterns of participation in Higher Education (HE) and the related social inequalities. For this purpose, we developed a large-scale clustered randomised experiment involving over 9,000 high school seniors from 62 Italian schools. We designed a counseling intervention to correct student misperceptions of the profitability of HE, that is, the costs, economic returns and chances of success of investments in different tertiary programs. We employed a longitudinal survey to test whether treated students’ educational trajectories evolved differently relative to a control group. We find that, overall, treated students enrolled less often in less remunerative fields of study in favour of postsecondary vocational programmes. Most importantly, this effect varied substantially by parental social class and level of education. The shift towards vocational programmes was mainly due to the offspring of low-educated parents; in contrast, children of tertiary graduates increased their participation in more rewarding university fields. Similarly, the redistribution from weak fields to vocational programmes mainly involved the children of the petty bourgeoisie and the working class, while upper class students invested in more rewarding university fields. We argue that the status-maintenance model proposed by Breen and Goldthorpe can explain these socially differentiated treatment effects. Overall, our results challenge the claim that student misperceptions contribute to horizontal inequalities in access to HE.
    Keywords: randomised experiment, Higher Education, field of study, educational inequality
    Date: 2016–12
  2. By: Pierre Lefebvre (Department of Economics, University of Quebec in Montreal)
    Abstract: In 2000, the OECD began the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), a triennial survey of the knowledge and skills of 15-year-olds. For each survey, Canadian students placed well above the OECD average and remain among the top performers for each domain assessed (reading, math and science). Canada is unique by the very large size of students? samples because education policy is decided by each of ten provincial governments. This paper investigates neglected issues related specifically to 15-year-old students? educational achievement across Canadian provinces. The analysis estimates empirically across provinces the link between the family background, measured by socioeconomic status (SES), and educational skills measured by PISA test scores in reading and math. The SES used is more conventional then the arbitrary character of the index developed by PISA. First, average gaps in students? educational attainment between the lower and top SES quintiles, across provinces and years, provide evidence on the SES gradient in literacy and numeracy competencies. Second, gradients are estimated over the entire achievement distribution (SES gaps over nine deciles) for Canada and across provinces. The third research question relates to proficiency levels and socio-economic gradient, a forgotten subject but a decisive factor for later educational and economic success of young adults. The fourth research question assesses the trends in socio-economic inequalities from the lorgnette of skills measured over five PISA waves (2000 to 2012). Results show large socioeconomic differences in average PISA reading and math scores across provinces. There are wide-ranging variations in the size of score gaps in the SES family background, a proxy for the extent of inequality of opportunities. Quintiles regression estimates expound that the gaps move up and down over the achievement decile scores distribution, and across provinces and waves for both reading and math scores. The association between family background and proficiency levels in both main domain tests is strong, with estimates illustrating significantly large socioeconomic gradients. Summary statistics and estimates on scores changes in bottom and top SES quintiles across provinces suggest that children?s reading and math skills are still heavily linked to their family background.
    Keywords: socioeconomic inequalities, PISA, literacy and numeracy skills, proficiency scales, provincial education policy, education attainment gradient, Canadian provinces
    JEL: I20 I21 I28
    Date: 2016–12
  3. By: Ritzen, Jo (IZA and Maastricht University); Haas, Jasmina (Maastricht University); Neeleman, Annemarie (Maastricht University); Teixeira, Pedro N. (University of Porto)
    Abstract: Europe and the European Union are close in values, in culture and in attitudes. Yet the EU has made little attempt to jointly reinforce the emotional attachment to Europe. Member States stress their differences in national identity through education and language. When the EU made the borderlines between European countries less visible, the language boundary remained, standing in the way of easy communication between citizens of different EU countries. We advance the "Learning Union" as a necessary complement to the EU. The Learning Union has three components: contributing to a sense of European belonging, the "communication EU" as well as the "competency EU". Belonging should be reinforced by aiming the content of education at underlining the common heritage, history and the common future. In communication every EU citizen should learn in school to be competent in one common European language (English is the likely candidate), next to one's own language. Competency is essential for competitiveness. Competency is bred by learning in settings decided by pedagogics, not by (the whims of) well-meaning politicians. The Learning Union is at "arm's length" distance from Governments with autonomy and funding designed to incentivize learning goals as well as equality of opportunity. Universities are a special case with regard to increasing competitiveness, but also for their impact on identity. If anything has contributed to a European identity to this day, it has been the exchange of students in full or part time studies in the EU. This brought about far more than the understanding of subjects and the development of competences: it also has enriched inter-European understanding. As next steps, firstly European student mobility should be increased by more transparency on the value added in learning in Higher Education in different EU countries. Secondly, basic education could increasingly be a source of intra-European social cohesion, equality of opportunity and of economic growth if countries would follow the principles of effective schools, of school autonomy and allocate sufficient funding. This would be convergence in structure, not necessarily in content/curriculum.
    Keywords: european identity, european citizenship, student mobility, higher education, citizen education, language
    JEL: D7 H7 I2 O4
    Date: 2016–12
  4. By: Elisa S. Brezis; Joel Hellier
    Abstract: This paper relates social mobility and social stratification to higher education policy. We show that higher†education policy which leads to differences in quality and per†student expenditure as well as in admission procedures between standard and elite universities, is a key factor in generating permanent social stratification and social immobility. We develop an intergenerational model which shows that a two†tier higher education characterised by a division between elite and standard universities can be a key factor in generating permanent social stratification, social immobility and self†reproduction of the ‘elite’. In our approach, low mobility is essentially explained by the differences in quality and in selection between elite and standard universities. A key result is that the wider the quality gap and the difference in per†student expenditures between elite and standard universities, the less social mobility. This is because a larger quality gap reinforces the weight of family backgrounds at the expense of personal ability. Our simulations show that this impact can be large. These findings provide theoretical bases for the impact of higher education policy on social mobility.
    Keywords: Elite, Higher Education, Intergenerational mobility, Social stratification
    Date: 2016–12
  5. By: Maggie Jones (Queen's University)
    Abstract: I examine the effect of student aid on the distribution of educational attainment in the context of a post-secondary funding program for Indigenous students in Canada. I show that student aid programs targeted at marginalized groups can increase average educational attainment; however, these benefits are driven by an increase in college training, not in the number of university degrees. For students living in remote communities that face above average costs to graduating high school, the elimination of post-secondary funding programs can have adverse effects on high school graduation rates, highlighting the importance of considering the effect of student aid on the entire distribution of educational attainment.
    Keywords: education, post-secondary funding, student aid, education choice
    JEL: I21 I22 I28 J15
    Date: 2016–12
  6. By: Simon Lange; Marten von Werder
    Abstract: Proponents of tracking argue that the creation of more homogeneous classes increases effciency while opponents point out that tracking aggravates initial differences between students. We estimate the effects on the intergenerational transmission of education of a reform that delayed tracking by two years in one of Germany's federal states. While the reform had no effect on educational outcomes on average, it increased educational attainment among individuals with uneducated parents and decreased attainment among individuals with educated parents. The effect is driven entirely by changes in the gradient for males and to a large extent by an effect on the likelihood to complete the academic secondary track.
    Keywords: tracking; educational institutions; educational inequality; equality of opportunity; intergenerational mobility
    JEL: I21 I24 I28 J62
    Date: 2016
  7. By: STEFANIA BOCCONI (Institute for Educational Technology, CNR (Italy)); AUGUSTO CHIOCCARIELLO (Institute for Educational Technology, CNR (Italy)); GIULIANA DETTORI (Institute for Educational Technology, CNR (Italy)); ANUSCA FERRARI (European Schoolnet); KATJA ENGELHARDT (European Schoolnet)
    Abstract: In the past decade, Computational Thinking (CT) and related concepts (e.g. coding, programing, algorithmic thinking) have received increasing attention in the educational field. This has given rise to a large amount of academic and grey literature, and also numerous public and private implementation initiatives. Despite this widespread interest, successful CT integration in compulsory education still faces unresolved issues and challenges. This report provides a comprehensive overview of CT skills for schoolchildren, encompassing recent research findings and initiatives at grassroots and policy levels. It also offers a better understanding of the core concepts and attributes of CT and its potential for compulsory education. The study adopts a mostly qualitative approach that comprises extensive desk research, a survey of Ministries of Education and semi-structured interviews, which provide insights from experts, practitioners and policy makers. The report discusses the most significant CT developments for compulsory education in Europe and provides a comprehensive synthesis of evidence, including implications for policy and practice.
    Keywords: Computational Thinking, Coding, Programming, Algorithmic Thinking, 21st century skills, Innovation in Education, education policy, compulsory education, learning innovation
    JEL: I20 I21 I23 I28 I29
    Date: 2016–12
  8. By: John Bound; Breno Braga; Gaurav Khanna; Sarah Turner
    Abstract: The pool of students in the global economy prepared for higher education and able to pay tuition at U.S. colleges and universities has expanded markedly in the last two decades, with a particularly notable increase among potential undergraduate students from China. Given the concentration of high quality colleges and universities in the U.S., there has been a substantial increase in the demand for enrollment among students from abroad. At the same time, substantial declines in state support, driven by contractions in state budgets, have occurred at public sector universities. For such universities, declines in state appropriations force a choice between increasing tuition levels, cutting expenditures, or enrolling a greater proportion of students paying full out-of-state tuition. In this paper we present evidence showing that a significant set of public universities were able to take advantage of the expanding pool of potential students from abroad to provide a stream of tuition revenue that partially offsets declining state appropriations. Our analysis focuses on the interaction between the type of university experience demanded by students from abroad and the supply-side of the U.S. market. For the period between 1996 and 2012, we estimate that a 10% reduction in state appropriations is associated with an increase in foreign enrollment of 12% at public research universities and about 17% at the most resource-intensive public universities. Our results tell a compelling story about the link between changes in state funding and foreign enrollment in recent years. In the absence of the pool of foreign students, many universities would have faced larger cuts to expenditures and potentially greater increases in in-state tuition charges.
    JEL: I23
    Date: 2016–12
  9. By: Jacek Liwiński (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw)
    Abstract: Although it has been over 40 years since labour economists started testing human capital vs. signalling explanation of the wage premium from education, the debate is still going on and authors keep on proposing new methods of testing. The human capital theory postulates that investment in education enhances the productive capacity of individuals, while according to the signalling hypothesis the value of a graduation diploma follows from the fact that it signals innate abilities of its holder. We apply the approach proposed by Wiles to test for the signalling hypothesis and, in particular, to find out if there is a positive relation between education and productivity. For this purpose, we construct a job match index based on information if school provided knowledge and skills are useful at work and the job performed is relevant to the field of study. Then we check if the quality of job matching is related to wages of graduates in Poland. To answer this question, a wage equation was estimated using OLS on the basis of data from a representative, nationwide tracer survey of Poles who left secondary schools or graduated from higher education institutions over the period of 1998-2005. We find out that knowledge and skills acquired in the course of formal education bring wage benefits only to university graduates. Besides, this group receives a wage premium, which may be attributed to their high innate abilities. In sum, the outcomes are consistent with the weak signalling hypothesis, since they show that tertiary education signals a high level of innate abilities and at the same time it provides knowledge and skills which enhance individual productivity at work. However, the role of tertiary education differs significantly by fields of study – graduating from programs that provide soft skills has a positive impact on productivity, while hard-applied skills acquired in the course of university studies have a strong signalling nature. Besides, we find evidence of the strong signalling hypothesis with regard to the secondary vocational schools leavers.
    Keywords: education, human capital, signalling, job matching, wage equation
    JEL: I26 J24 J31
    Date: 2016
  10. By: Claire Crawford; Paul Gregg; Lindsey Macmillan; Anna Vignoles; Gill Wyness
    Abstract: The UK government has expressed a desire to increase social mobility, with policies to help achieve this aim focused on reducing inequalities in educational attainment. This paper draws together established and new information about the contribution that higher education can make to social mobility using a life-course approach, considering differences by family background in terms of university attendance and achievement, as well as occupation and earnings following graduation. We find substantial socio-economic differences at each stage. Young people from poorer backgrounds are, on average, less likely to go to university than their richer peers. Even among the selected group who do go to university, they are less likely to attend the highest status institutions, less likely to graduate, and less likely to achieve the highest degree classes. These differences in degree outcomes contribute to the lower average earnings of graduates from poorer families, but earnings differentials go well beyond those driven purely by degree attainment or institution attended. The evidence strongly suggests that, even after taking these factors into account, graduates from affluent families are more likely to obtain a professional job and to see higher earnings growth in the labour market. We discuss the implications of these findings for the prospects of higher education as a route to greater social mobility
    Keywords: higher education; social mobility; widening participation
    JEL: I23 J24
    Date: 2016–10–13
  11. By: Paul Frijters; Asadul Islam; Debayan Pakrashi
    Abstract: This paper studies the effects of random dormitory assignment in a tertiary level educational institution in India on students’ subsequent academic achievements. The effects of peer ability are around one-third as high as that of own ability, and strongly non-linear. We find that students from non-urban and non-English backgrounds do particularly better when assigned to higher-ability peers. Via policy simulations, we find that assortative matching maximises average grades and leads to higher grades than random matching for each group except for the most disadvantaged group (the backward social classes). We also examine channels and mechanisms through which peer effects work in our context.
    Keywords: peer effects, social class, ability, education
    JEL: I18 I23 I25
    Date: 2016–11
  12. By: Stephanie R. Cellini; Rajeev Darolia; Lesley J. Turner
    Abstract: Recent federal investigations and new regulations have resulted in restrictions on for-profit institutions’ access to federal student aid. We examine the enrollment effects of similar restrictions imposed on over 1,200 for-profit colleges in the 1990s. Using variation in regulations linked to student loan default rates, we estimate the impact of the loss of federal aid on the enrollment of Pell Grant recipients in sanctioned institutions and their local competitors. Enrollment in a sanctioned for-profit college declines by 53 percent in the five years following a sanction. For-profit sanctions result in negative spillovers on unsanctioned competitor for-profit colleges in the same county, which experience modest enrollment declines. These enrollment losses in the for-profit sector are offset by gains in enrollment in local community colleges, suggesting that the loss of federal student aid for poor-performing for-profit colleges does not reduce overall college-going but instead shifts students across higher education sectors. Finally, we provide suggestive evidence that students induced to enroll in community colleges following a for-profit competitor’s sanction are less likely to default on their federal loans.
    JEL: H52 I22 I23 I28
    Date: 2016–12
  13. By: Johannes S. Kunz; Kevin E. Staub
    Abstract: The outcome of pursuing an upper or post-secondary education degree is uncertain. A student might not complete a chosen degree for a number of reasons, such as insufficient academic preparation or financial constraints. Thus, when considering whether to invest in post-secondary education, students must factor their probability of completing the degree into their decision. We study the role of this uncertainty in education choices using representative survey data from Germany. Students' subjective beliefs about the probability of completing a post-secondary education were elicited prior to them finishing their secondary education. We relate these subjective completion probabilities to students' subsequent education choices and outcomes. We find that these early beliefs are predictive of intentions to invest in education, actual subsequent investments in education, and degree completion. A structural choice model of sequential investment further reveals that the association between completion beliefs and investment choices is strongest for students with low academic skills and low preferences for post-secondary education.
    Keywords: Subjective beliefs, subjective probabilities, completion uncertainty, post-secondary education, human capital investment
    JEL: I21 I26 J24
    Date: 2016
  14. By: Gilberto Antonelli (Department of Economics and SDIC, University of Bologna; AlmaLaurea Interuniverisity Consortium); Sara Binassi (AlmaLaurea Interuniversity Consortium); Giovanni Guidetti (Department of Economics and SDIC, University of Bologna); Giulio Pedrini (Interuniversity Research Centre on Public Services (CRISP) and SDIC, University of Bologna)
    Abstract: This paper aims at investigating the phenomenon of graduates’ migration from an OECD country at microeconomic level in order to offer an insight into the scholarly debate on migration decision of high-skilled workers living in a developed country. By merging data on working conditions on Italian graduates with the results of an ad-hoc survey on Italian graduates working abroad, the paper assesses the selectivity of migration choices, the wage premium associated to migration decision on their earnings, and the determinants of the earning function for those graduates that work abroad. Results partially confirms the applicability of the Borjas model on selectivity of migration choice. It also shows the existence of a substantial wage premium associated with the decision to work abroad in line with an extended human capital approach. However, it also suggests a greater complexity of both the selection and the earning function of high-skilled workers, due to their longer and differentiated educational career, the stronger weight attached to preference variables, the degree of skills’ portability attached to university’s location and fields of study, and, in general, to the capability of a tertiary education system to provide their graduates with the skills required by international labour markets.
    Keywords: higher education, migration, international labour markets, inequality
    JEL: J61 I26 J24
    Date: 2016–12
  15. By: Victor Lavy; Giulia Lotti; Zizhong Yan
    Abstract: Empowering women and enhancing children’s early development are two important goals that are often pursued via independent policy initiatives in developing countries. In this paper we study a unique approach that pursues both goals at the same time: empowering mothers through tools that also advance their children’s development. A program operated by AVSI, an Italian NGO, in a poor neighborhood of Quito, Ecuador, targets parents of children from birth to age 5. It provides family advisor-guided parent training sessions once every two weeks for groups of six to eight mothers and their children. We find that the program empowered women in various dimensions, including higher labor force participation and employment, higher likelihood of a full-time job in the formal-sector and higher wages. Treated mothers are also more likely to continue their education, make independent decisions regarding their own finances, have greater role in intra-household decisions, especially on issues involving children’s education and discipline and increase parental inputs into their children’s development. We find that treated children improve their cognitive and non-cognitive skills, for example, they are less likely to repeat a grade or temporarily drop-out from schooling, are less absent from and have improved behaviors in school, have better attitudes towards learning, and achieve higher scores on cognitive tests. Applying a recently suggested factor model of children's relative non-cognitive skills reaffirms our finding of significant gains in children non-cognitive skills. All results hold when we estimate aggregate treatment impacts, use summary indices instead of individual outcomes in order to account for multiple inference, when we use entropy balancing to adjust for differences in pre-treatment covariates, and when we use other robustness checks.
    JEL: I25 O15
    Date: 2016–12
  16. By: Patricia Dinis Mota da Costa (European Commission - JRC); Luisa De Sousa Lobo Borges de Araujo (European Commission - JRC)
    Abstract: The analyses presented in this report indicate that in several Member States (MS) 15 year-old students in vocational-oriented programmes (VET) perform better in digital reading than in print reading in PISA 2012. When differentiated by programme of study – VET versus general education programmes – VET students perform better in digital than in print reading in Belgium, France, Italy, Portugal and the Slovak Republic. Moreover, VET students display specific patterns of ICT-related practices. For example, they have more access to computers at school than at home and their engagement in frequent browsing of the internet for school work is associated with higher digital reading achievement. Results suggest that schools should help VET students develop further digital skills to support their learning.
    Keywords: Vocational Education, Digital Reading,PISA 2012
    Date: 2016–12
  17. By: Scott E. Carrell; Michal Kurlaender
    Abstract: The distinct mission and open-access nature of community colleges and the diverse goals of the students they serve make it difficult to assess differences in quality across community college campuses. In this paper, we investigate institutional differences in both the extensive and intensive margin of the transfer function across California's 108 community college campuses. Importantly, due to the richness of our dataset, we are able to adjust our estimates for a host of observed student differences, including scores on 11th grade math and English standardized tests. Results show there is significant variation in community college quality for both the probability of transfer as well as outcomes measuring how well students perform after transferring. Additionally, we examine whether any observable characteristics of the community college are significantly correlated with transfer productivity.
    JEL: I23
    Date: 2016–12
  18. By: Lång, Elisabeth (Division of Economics, Department of Management and Engineering, Linköping University); Nystedt, Paul (Jönköping University)
    Abstract: We analyze how education is associated with earnings and health-related behaviors (HRBs) over the adult life cycle using a sample of 18,000 twins. The underlying motive is to improve the understanding of to what extent schooling may contribute to increased human welfare over time and age through the intermediaries of earnings and HRBs. We find that one additional year of schooling is associated with around 5-6 percent higher earnings at ages 35-75 and generally improved HRBs for both men and women. Much of the estimated relationships between schooling, earnings and HRBs can be traced back to genetic inheritance. Controlling for such inheritance, the remaining education-earnings premium is non-linear and increasing with educational level, and the education premium in HRBs is mainly concentrated to smoking habits.
    Keywords: Schooling; Education; Health-Related Behavior; Life-Cycle
    JEL: J01
    Date: 2016–12–15
  19. By: OECD
    Abstract: Since 2009, Education at a Glance (EAG) has included an indicator on education and social outcomes using data from different surveys. The OECD Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) develops and conducts the Survey of Adult Skills which measures adults’ proficiency in literacy, numeracy and problem solving in technology-rich environments. Data collected through the Survey of Adult Skills were used in various editions of EAG as it gathered rich information on various social outcomes. In EAG 2016, Indicator A8 (How are social outcomes related to education?) used this source to measure the association between educational attainment and self-reported health. This indicator also analysed data from the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) on the prevalence of limitations that affect people’s ability to perform normal daily activities across the different educational attainment levels. Finally, it referred to the Gallup World Poll to analyse how life satisfaction varied across the different countries and educational attainment levels. The main findings are further developed in this paper.
    Date: 2016–12–20
  20. By: Amy Ellen Schwartz (Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University, 426 Eggers Hall, Syracuse, NY 13244); Douglas Almond (Columbia University and NBER); Ajin Lee (Columbia University)
    Abstract: Performance on proficiency exams can be a key determinant of whether students are retained or "held back" in their grade. In New York City, passing the statewide proficiency exam essentially guarantees promotion, while roughly 13% of those students who fail the exam are retained. Using regression discontinuity methods, we find that female students are 25% more likely to be retained in their grade due to exam failure than boys. Hispanic students are 60% more likely and Black students 120% more likely to be retained due to exam failure (relative to White students). Poverty and previous poor performance also increase the likelihood of retention, while being young for grade or short does not. We conclude that "patterned discretion" exists in how standardized test results are utilized.
    Keywords: Grade Retention; Promotion Policy; New York City; Public School; Regression Discontinuity Design
    JEL: I21 I28 J15 J16
    Date: 2016–11
  21. By: Robert W. Fairlie; Ariel Kalil
    Abstract: Concerns over the perceived negative impacts of computers on social development among children are prevalent but largely uninformed by plausibly causal evidence. We provide the first test of this hypothesis using a large-scale randomized control experiment in which more than one thousand children attending grades 6-10 across 15 different schools and 5 school districts in California were randomly given computers to use at home. Children in the treatment group are more likely to report having a social networking site, but also report spending more time communicating with their friends and interacting with their friends in person. There is no evidence that computer ownership displaces participation in after-school activities such as sports teams or clubs or reduces school participation and engagement.
    JEL: I20
    Date: 2016–12
  22. By: John Haisken-DeNew; Syed Hasan; Nikhil Jha; Mathias Sinning
    Abstract: The Australian Government launched the My School website in 2010 to provide standardised information about the quality of schools to the Australian public. This paper combines data from this website with home sales data for the state of Victoria to estimate the effect of the publication of school quality information on property prices. We use a difference-in-difference approach to estimate the causal effect of the release of information about high-quality and low-quality schools relative to medium-quality schools in the neighborhood and find that the release of information about high-quality schools increases property prices by 3.6 percent, whereas the release of information about low-quality schools has no significant effect. The findings indicate that many buyers are unaware of the relevance of school quality information and that real estate agents pursue a strategy of disclosing information about high-quality schools to increase the sales price. Results from a survey of Victorian real estate agents provide evidence in favor of this strategy.
    Keywords: School quality, housing markets, information asymmetry, public policy evaluation, difference-in-difference estimation
    JEL: D82 D84 I24 R31
    Date: 2016–12
  23. By: Tjasa Bartolj; Saso Polanec
    Abstract: In this article we analyze the effects of student work on academic performance for college students. In order to reduce the endogeneity bias due to selection into treatment, we use propensity score matching technique. This approach allows us to estimate the average treatment effects on the treated separately for different years of study, which is not possible when inside instruments are used to deal with endogeneity of student work. We find predominantly negative treatment effects for all measures of academic performance (GPA, exam attempts, exams passed, and likelihood of passing a year), although many of these are economically and statistically insignificant. We supplement existing studies that do not estimate separate treatment effects for different years of study by showing that work while in college harms study outcomes mostly in the first year of study—by passing smaller number of exams and thereby increasing the likelihood of failing a year. Our results are consistent with evidence on difficulty with adjusting to college studies of first-year students, who face many uncertainties that affect finding the optimal allocation of time between studies, work and leisure.
    Date: 2016–11
  24. By: Hoang D. Duong (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona); Fernando Sánchez-Losada (Universitat de Barcelona)
    Abstract: We analyze how public policies for self-financing education, public fund for loans and deferred deductibility of education expenses, affect growth in an overlapping generations economy where individuals can be borrowing-constrained on human capital investment. We show that public loans positively affect growth in the unconstrained economy, while how tax deductibility affects growth depends on the magnitude of both public loans and tax deductibility. In the borrowing-constrained economy, public loans positively affect growth, while tax deductibility does not affect growth. Both government policies affect the borrowing-constraint tightness and, therefore, can shift the economy from being borrowing-constrained to unconstrained or vice versa.
    Keywords: Self-financing education, public education fund, tax deduction.
    JEL: O40 H20 I22
    Date: 2016
  25. By: Yi Long; Chris Nyland; Russell Smyth
    Abstract: We examine how fiscal decentralisation and progress towards the development of a knowledge-intensive economy has impacted on teachers’ wages in China, utilising a panel dataset of 31 provincial administrations from 2001 to 2013. We find that fiscal decentralisation has a negative impact on teachers’ wages and this effect is further enhanced by a deepening of the knowledge intensity of the economy, while knowledge economy itself has no significant impact on teachers’ wages. The findings suggest that incentives being offered to local administrators need to be revisited if the national government is convinced of the need to increase teacher quality in ways suited to the knowledge economy China wishes to construct.
    Keywords: fiscal decentralisation, knowledge economy, teachers, wages, human capital, China
    JEL: H73 J31 J45
    Date: 2016–11
  26. By: T.M. van Huizen; E. Dumhs; J. Plantenga
    Abstract: This study provides a cost-benefit analysis of expanding access to universal preschool education. We focus on a Spanish reform that lowered the age of eligibility for publicly provided universal preschool from age 4 to age 3. We extrapolate the benefits in terms of maternal employment and child development using ‘natural experiment’ evidence on the causal effects of this reform. In our base line estimation the benefit-cost ratio is around 4, indicating sizeable net societal benefits of the preschool investment. Our results show that the child development effects are the major determinant of the cost-benefit ratio; the employment gains for parents appear to play a minor role. Sensitivity tests show that, although the size of the societal gains is rather uncertain, in most scenarios the expansion of preschool generates positive societal returns. Furthermore, as sufficient high quality levels of preschool are required to generate significant improvements in (non-)cognitive skills of children and thereby long-run benefits for society, our cost-benefit analysis provides support for investing in high-quality preschool.
    Keywords: preschool, cost-benefit analysis, child development, female employment
    Date: 2016
  27. By: Luca Cattani (Department of Economics and SDIC, University of Bologna); Giovanni Guidetti (Department of Economics and SDIC, University of Bologna); Giulio Pedrini (Interuniversity Research Centre for Public Services (CRISP), University of Milan-Bicocca, SDIC, University of Bologna)
    Abstract: In this paper, we explore three dimensions of educational mismatch among graduates: incidence, impact on earnings and possible determinants of overeducation. Our analysis focuses on Italian graduates and refers to the cohort that graduated in 2007 using data from the AlmaLaurea survey on graduates entering the labour market. A new measure of overeducation is introduced and jointly examined along with an alternative measure based on workers’ self-assessment. After having run estimates of the impact of overeducation on earnings and analyzed possible determinants of educational mismatch, we conclude that the two definitions of overeducation measure quite different things and in particular that "traditional” measures based on workers’ self-assessment are affected by individuals’ characteristics and by workers’ expectations and perceptions concerning the job post. However, effects on wages are very similar no matter what definition is adopted.
    Keywords: educational mismatches, human capital, graduate labour markets.
    JEL: I2 J31
    Date: 2016–12
  28. By: Andreas Schleicher
    Abstract: This paper aims to investigate the performance of the students in the United States in all 84 mathematics items that were administered in the United States as part of the PISA 2012 assessment. It compares the performance of the United States with the OECD average and with the performance of five reference countries/economies that were ranked higher on the PISA scale. The analysis reveals specific relative strengths and weaknesses of the 15-year-olds in the United States, referring to items in which they performed unexpectedly well or unexpectedly badly compared to their overall distance from the OECD average or from the reference countries/economies. On that basis, certain patterns – that means certain clusters – of items with similar cognitive requirements, are identified. There are seven altogether, three for strengths and four for weaknesses of the US students. An analysis of student solutions illustrates and further clarifies these strengths and weaknesses. The results show that the relative strengths are mostly revealed in easy items, whereas the relative weaknesses are mostly reflected in particularly demanding items. Cette étude s’intéresse aux performances des élèves aux États-Unis dans l’ensemble des 84 items de mathématiques qui ont été administrés aux États-Unis dans le cadre de l’évaluation PISA 2012. Elle compare les performances des États-Unis à la moyenne de l’OCDE et aux performances de cinq pays/économies de référence qui ont obtenu un meilleur classement à l’échelle du PISA. L’analyse révèle les forces et les faiblesses relatives spécifiques des élèves de 15 ans aux États-Unis, en se reportant aux items où ils ont obtenu des résultats les uns meilleurs et les autres pires que ceux auxquels on s’attendait, par rapport à leur classement global d’après la moyenne de l’OCDE ou les pays ou économies de référence. C’est sur cette base que sont relevés certains schémas, à savoir certains clusters, d’items présentant des exigences cognitives similaires. Il en existe sept au total, trois pour les forces et quatre pour les faiblesses des élèves américains. Une analyse des solutions trouvées par les élèves illustre et précise davantage ces forces et ces faiblesses. Les résultats montrent que les forces relatives se manifestent surtout au niveau des items faciles, tandis que les faiblesses relatives se reflètent surtout au niveau des items particulièrement exigeants.
    Date: 2016–12–20
  29. By: Ralph Hippe (European Commission - JRC); Luisa De Sousa Lobo Borges de Araujo (European Commission - JRC); Patricia Dinis Mota da Costa (European Commission - JRC)
    Abstract: This technical brief provides a literature review on equity in education in Europe. It updates a report produced for the European Commission in 2006 and provides insights into the research and policies that have been undertaken during the last decade. Its focus is on early childhood and care, primary and secondary education and on the different aspects related to equity in education that have surfaced during the last years. Therefore, this brief includes a broader set of topics concerning equity in education, such as regional asymmetries, gender inequality and immigrants’ integration. In this brief, equity “is viewed as the extent to which individuals can take advantage of education and training, in terms of opportunities, access, treatment and outcomes†(European Commission 2006, p. 2). Achieving equity in education is a particularly important policy priority, as the evolution, causes and consequences of social, educational and economic inequalities have been a hotly debated and controversial issue given the recent economic crisis in Europe. For these reasons, this brief provides an overview of recent evidence-based research and policy measures, which can inform future policy initiatives in Europe aimed at increasing equity in early childhood, primary and secondary education. In sum, the evidence reviewed indicates that, taking a life-cycle approach to education, equity has to be achieved at the earliest education stages. In other words, the provision of equitable and quality early childhood education and care needs to be a priority in any equity considerations. Furthermore, the quality of teachers plays a prominent role in achieving high and equitable educational results. The results for achieving equity through school choice depend heavily on its specific contextual implementation. Current indicators suggest that there are large differences in educational equity between and within EU Member States. Similarly, distinguishing among gender and immigrants’ status reveals significant gaps among various subpopulations, and these specific gaps have to be considered in future policies. The brief’s concluding message is that ‘one size fits all’ policies do not appropriately address the needs of diverse learners in different countries. Policies have to be tailored to specific contexts and populations. Just importing policies from other countries without further analysis may not work – the particular local contexts and stakeholders have always to be taken into account. Still, giving more priority to early childhood education and care and improving teacher quality in schools are certainly initiatives that contribute to achieving higher equity levels. However, more research and data are a necessary requirement to enhance future research-based policy actions.
    Keywords: equity, education, Europe,
    Date: 2016–12

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