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

  1. Evaluating Post-Secondary Aid: Enrollment, Persistence, and Projected Completion Effects By Joshua Angrist; David Autor; Sally Hudson; Amanda Pallais
  2. The Medium-Term Impacts of Girl-Friendly Schools: 7-Year Evidence from School Construction in Burkina Faso By Harounan Kazianga; Leigh Linden; Cara Orfield; Matt Sloan; Ali Protik
  3. Targeted Remedial Education: Experimental Evidence from Peru By Juan Saavedra; Emma Näslund-Hadley; Mariana Alfonso
  4. Social selection in higher education. Enrolment, dropout and timely degree attainment in Italy By Contini, Dalit; Cugnata, Federica; Scagni, Andrea
  5. Affirmative Action Outcomes - Evidence from a Law School in Brazil By Ana Ribeiro
  6. The impact of research collaboration on academic performance: An empirical analysis for Russian Universities By Aldieri, Luigi; Kotsemir, Maxim; Vinci, Concetto Paolo
  7. Heterogeneity of the educational system: an introduction to the problem By F. Aleskerov; I. Frumin; E. Kardanova
  8. Research Funding of Australian Universities: Are There Increasing Concentration? By Thi Mai Anh Nguyen; Alicia Rambaldi; Kam Ki Tang
  9. Do talented women shy away from competition? By Britta Hoyer; T.M. van Huizen; L.M. Keijzer; T. Rezaei Khavas; S. Rosenkranz; B. Westbrock
  10. Incentives for Effort or Outputs? A Field Experiment to Improve Student Performance By Sarojini Hirshleifer
  11. Evidence of the Impact of Children´s Domestic and Market Labor on Learning from School Census Data in Brazil By Ana L Kassouf; Luca Tiberti; Marcos Garcias; Ida Bojicic Ono
  12. Gender Bias in Educational Attainment in India : The Role of Dowry Payments By Jacob, Arun
  13. Does Temporary Interruption in Postsecondary Education Induce a Wage Penalty? Evidence from Canada By Bernard Fortin; Safa Ragued
  14. Unawareness and Selective Disclosure: The Effect of School Quality Information on Property Prices By John Haisken-DeNew; Syed Hasan; Nikhil Jha; Mathias Sinning
  15. Birth Order and Delinquency: Evidence from Denmark and Florida By Sanni N. Breining; Joseph J. Doyle, Jr.; David N. Figlio; Krzysztof Karbownik; Jeffrey Roth
  16. La dinámica reciente del bienestar de los niños en Uruguay. Un estudio en base a datos longitudinales By Elisa Failache; Gonzalo Salas; Andrea Vigorito

  1. By: Joshua Angrist; David Autor; Sally Hudson; Amanda Pallais
    Abstract: This paper reports updated findings from a randomized evaluation of a generous, privately-funded scholarship program for Nebraska public college students. Scholarship offers boosted college enrollment and persistence. Four years after award receipt, randomly-selected scholarship winners were 13 percentage points more likely to be enrolled in college. Enrollment effects were larger for groups with historically low college attendance, including nonwhite students, first-generation college-goers, and students with low high school GPAs. Scholarships shifted many students from two- to four-year colleges, reducing associate’s degree completion in the process. Despite their substantial gains in four-year college enrollment, award winners from the first study cohort were slightly less likely to graduate on time than control applicants, suggesting that scholarships delay degree completion for some students. Projected graduation rates using the last cohort of pre-experimental scholarship applicants indicate that scholarships are likely to increase bachelor’s degree completion within five years.
    JEL: I21 I22 I23 I24 I28 J24
    Date: 2016–12
  2. By: Harounan Kazianga; Leigh Linden; Cara Orfield; Matt Sloan; Ali Protik
    Abstract: We evaluate the long term effect of a "girl-friendly" primary school program in Burkina Faso, using a regression discontinuity design. The intervention consisted in upgrading existing three-classroom schools to six-classroom schools in order to accommodate more grades. After 6 years, the program increased enrollment by 15.4 percentage points and increased test scores by 0.29 standard deviations. Students in treatment schools progress farther through the grades, compared to students in non-selected schools. These upgraded schools are effective at getting children into school, at getting children start school on time and at keeping children in school longer. Overall, we find that the schools are able to sustain large impacts observed about 3 years earlier, with enrollment declining slightly from 18.5 to 14.9 for the cohorts of children who were exposed to both the first and second phases of the intervention.
    Date: 2016
  3. By: Juan Saavedra; Emma Näslund-Hadley; Mariana Alfonso
    Abstract: An outstanding challenge in education is improving learning among low-achieving students. We present results from the first randomized experiment of an inquiry-based remedial science-education program for low-performing elementary students in the setting of a developing country. At 48 low-income public elementary schools in Lima, Peru and surrounding areas, third-grade students scoring in the bottom half of their science classes were selected at random to receive up to 16 remedial sessions of 90 minutes each during the school year. Control-group compliance with assignment (no extra tutoring) was close to perfect. Treatment-group compliance was roughly 40 percent, or five to six remedial sessions—a 4 to 5 percent increase in total science instruction time over the school year. Despite the low-intensity treatment, students assigned to the remedial sessions scored 0.12 standard deviations higher on a science endline test. But all improvements were concentrated among boys, for whom gains were 0.22 standard deviations. Remedial education does not produce within-student spillovers to math, or spillovers on other students.
    JEL: I21 I25 O15 O54
    Date: 2017–01
  4. By: Contini, Dalit; Cugnata, Federica; Scagni, Andrea (University of Turin)
    Abstract: In this paper, we provide a picture of social selection throughout higher education in Italy, analysing a retrospective survey held in 2011 on the cohort of high school graduates 2007. We study enrolment, university system dropout and timely completion. Firstly, we model each outcome with separate logistic regressions, to examine the direct and indirect role of socioeconomic background via prior schooling. Secondly, we jointly analyse these results: by plotting the estimates of the retention probability (given enrolment) against the enrolment probability for subgroups of children by socio-demographic characteristics and prior schooling, we visualize the degree to which the disadvantage related to university enrolment also relates to retention, and acknowledge the existence of impressive inequalities. Thirdly, we jointly analyse retention and timely completion, and find that these two outcomes are affected differently by individual factors. Lastly, we examine the role of labour market conditions on higher education outcomes at the onset of the recent economic crisis: youth unemployment rates were negatively related to enrolment, timely completion and retention. The negative relation with retention suggests that there is little evidence in favour of explanations of dropout referring to labour market “pulling out” students from the university system.
    Date: 2016–05
  5. By: Ana Ribeiro
    Abstract: The main goal of affirmative action (AA) policies is to give opportunities otherwise nonexistent to minorities and underprivileged students. In this paper, I investigate whether the introduction of college affirmative action policy enables AA candidates to obtain a career in Law and to catch up with high scoring candidates who did not get admitted due to the policy (i.e., displaced candidates). To do so, I use a new dataset from a large university in Rio de Janeiro, the first in Brazil to adopt the quota system for both black and public school students. This dataset is combined with the OAB exam passage records, equivalent to the American Bar exam. Preliminary results suggest that the quota policy improves OAB passage rates for beneficiaries. I find that lawyer certification for underprivileged students increases by 33 p.p., even though they underperform by 7.68 p.p when compared to displaced candidates. I also present evidence that displaced candidates do not experience any drop on their OAB exam passage rates due to the policy. Furthermore, I find that public school quota beneficiaries who score close to the admittance cutoff score present an increase in the probability of passing the OAB exam by up to 52 p.p.
    Keywords: affirmative action; higher education; policy evaluation
    JEL: I28 I38 J78
    Date: 2016–12–20
  6. By: Aldieri, Luigi; Kotsemir, Maxim; Vinci, Concetto Paolo
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to investigate the impact of external research collaborations on the scientific performance of academic institutions. Data are derived from the international SCOPUS database. We consider the number of citations of publications to evaluate university performance in Russia. To this end, we develop a non-overlapping generations model to evidence the theoretical idea of research externalities between academic institutions. Moreover, we implement different empirical models to test for the effect of external scientific collaborations on the institutional research quality. The results confirm an important positive impact of co-authoring process
    Keywords: Academic institutions; Productivity; Research externalities
    JEL: D20 I21
    Date: 2017–01
  7. By: F. Aleskerov; I. Frumin; E. Kardanova
    Abstract: We analyze a heterogeneity of the educational system on the basis of one parameter: input grades of university students. We propose a mathematical model based on the construction of universities interval order. We use the Hamming distance to evaluate the heterogeneity of the educational system, and the Unified State Examination (USE) scores of Russian students to illustrate the application of the model. We show that institutions taking weak students turn the whole system of universities into a poorly structured nonhomogeneous system. In contrast, after deleting the weakest part, the remaining set of universities becomes a well-structured system
    Date: 2016–11
  8. By: Thi Mai Anh Nguyen (School of Economics, The University of Queensland); Alicia Rambaldi (School of Economics, The University of Queensland); Kam Ki Tang (School of Economics, The University of Queensland)
    Abstract: Australia’s higher education sector is facing a watershed moment of its research funding regime. The Federal Government has proposed to change from the long-standing funding model that heavily based on publication output, to one based on publication plus industry engagement. In this paper, we take stock of how research funding is raised and allocated within the sector over the past two decades. It is found that the share of total research funding by university groups have barely changed. But the discipline of Biological and Clinical Sciences has increasingly dominated competitive funding schemes..
    Keywords: Research funding, ARC, NHMRC
    Date: 2017–01–17
  9. By: Britta Hoyer; T.M. van Huizen; L.M. Keijzer; T. Rezaei Khavas; S. Rosenkranz; B. Westbrock
    Abstract: We study the willingness to compete in a cognitive task among an entire cohort of fresh man business and economics students. Combining data from a lab-in-thefield experiment with university admissions data, we trace the gender gap in competitiveness at different levels of high school performance. Our results confirm that, on average, men choose to compete more often. The gender gap disappears, however, among students with above average high school performance. Female high school top performers are equally competitive as their male counterparts. In fact, the overall gender gap is entirely driven by the group of female high school underperformers who shied away from competition, even when they performed well in our task. Overall, our findings suggest that high school grades are more than just a signal of cognitive abilities, because they seem to influence the receivers selfperception of his or her performance in a competitive environment involved in later on in life.
    Keywords: gender gap, competitiveness, performance feedback, high school grades, lab-in-the-field experiment
    Date: 2016
  10. By: Sarojini Hirshleifer (Department of Economics, University of California Riverside)
    Abstract: One key choice in designing an incentive is whether to reward outcomes directly (outputs) or to reward the actions and behaviors that lead to those outcomes (effort/inputs). I conduct a novel direct test of an input incentive designed to increase student effort against both an output incentive and a control that does not receive an incentive. The interventions were implemented in a classroom-level randomized experiment with school children in India. A math software curriculum is implemented in all classrooms regardless of which activity is incentivized. It includes learning modules (the incentivized input) that are completed throughout a unit as well as a test at the end of the unit (the incentivized output). The two incentives are both piecerate and announced at the beginning of each unit. Students who receive an input incentive perform .57 standard deviations better than the control group on a non-incentivized outcome test. This performance is statistically significantly larger than the impact of the output incentive (which .24 standard deviations and not significant relative to the control). The input incentive is also almost twice as cost-effective as the output incentive. These results provide evidence that there can be large returns to directly inducing student effort in the classroom. The input incentive works better for present-biased students along an incentive-compatible measure of time preferences collected at baseline, which provides evidence to support the hypothesis that more frequent payments can address time inconsistency. This study also provides direct evidence that piecerate input incentives can be more effective than piecerate output incentives.
    JEL: C93 D99 I21 M52 O15
    Date: 2017–01
  11. By: Ana L Kassouf; Luca Tiberti; Marcos Garcias; Ida Bojicic Ono
    Abstract: In this study we analyze the impact of domestic and market child labor on learning using Prova Brazil census data from 2007 and 2011. To do that, we created a large panel dataset with students in 5th and 9th Grades. To measure the impact of children working in the labor market and/or in their households on Portuguese and Mathematics test scores, we estimated fixed effect models. An instrumental variable approach, proposed by Lewbel, was applied to the models to control for the endogeneity of child labor. Possible attrition bias was taken into account through inverse probability weights. Results show that the work performed by children either in the household, or in the labor market was detrimental to their academic performance, with working only in the labor market showing the largest impact for both girls and boys, followed by working both in the market and inside the house, and by working in the house alone. The largest impact was for 5th Grade girls who suffered a reduction of 19% in their Portuguese test scores when they worked only in the labor market. The largest impact for boys was a reduction of 14% in their 5th Grade Portuguese test scores when they worked only in the labor market.
    Keywords: YI21, J13, C23, C26, C36
    JEL: I21 J13 C23 C26 C36
    Date: 2016
  12. By: Jacob, Arun
    Abstract: This paper explores the linkages between dowry payments and educational attainment of women. It formulates an unitary household model that captures how these linkages can potentially impact the educational investment decisions within a household. Based on existing literature and the theoretical model, the following three competing hypotheses arise, namely, (i) dowry do not affect educational attainment (ii) dowry favors educational attainment of women (iii) dowry hampers educational attainment of women. Using a national level household survey from India, we test between these three hypotheses. It adopts an instrumental variable estimation strategy to correct for endogeneity of the dowry measure. It finds strong empirical evidence for the hypothesis that expected dowry payments adversely affects female educational attainment. This is mainly driven by the hypergamous marriage custom, by which a bride is normally matched with a groom of higher educational level, which leads to the perverse outcome of dowry increasing with educational level of both bride and groom. We find that future dowry payments have a significant role in lowering educational attainment among women in India. To our knowledge, this is the first attempt at empirically estimating the impact of dowry system on the educational attainment of women. An Engel curve estimation using household expenses reveals significant ender bias in terms of educational expenses. The extension of the research also shows dowry contributes to the ‘missing women’ phenomenon, due to the positive influence of dowry on parents’ preference for male children.
    Keywords: Education; Gender bias; Marriage; Dowry
    JEL: I21 I24 I25 J12 J13 J16
    Date: 2016–08
  13. By: Bernard Fortin; Safa Ragued
    Abstract: Almost 40% of Canadian youth who left postsecondary education in 1999 had returned two years later. This paper investigates the extent to which schooling discontinuities affect post-graduation starting wages and whether the latter are influenced by the reasons behind these discontinuities. We use data from the 2007 National Graduate Survey. We apply Lewbel’s (2012) generated instruments approach. The source of identification is a heteroscedastic covariance restriction of the error terms that is a feature of many models of endogeneity. We also perform two-stage quantile regressions. We find a positive effect on wages of temporary interruption for men who held a full-time job during their out-of-school spell(s). Both men and women witness a wage decrease if their interruption depends on health issues. Women bear a wage penalty if their interruption is due to a part-time job, to lack of money, or is caused by reasons other than health, work, and money.
    Keywords: Schooling Interruption, Wages, Temporary Attrition, Postsecondary Education, Lewbel, IV, Two-Stage Quantile Regression, Box-Cox.
    JEL: C21 C26 C31 I21 I23 I26
    Date: 2016
  14. By: John Haisken-DeNew (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne; and Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)); Syed Hasan (Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University); Nikhil Jha (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne); Mathias Sinning (Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University; RWI; and Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA))
    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-indifference 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 neighbourhood 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: 2017–01
  15. By: Sanni N. Breining; Joseph J. Doyle, Jr.; David N. Figlio; Krzysztof Karbownik; Jeffrey Roth
    Abstract: Birth order has been found to have a surprisingly large influence on educational attainment, yet much less is known about the role of birth order on delinquency outcomes such as disciplinary problems in school, juvenile delinquency, and adult crime: outcomes that carry significant negative externalities. This paper uses particularly rich datasets from Denmark and the state of Florida to examine these outcomes and explore potential mechanisms. Despite large differences in environments across the two areas, we find remarkably consistent results: in families with two or more children, second-born boys are on the order of 20 to 40 percent more likely to be disciplined in school and enter the criminal justice system compared to first-born boys even when we compare siblings. The data allow us to examine a range of potential mechanisms, and the evidence rules out differences in health at birth and the quality of schools chosen for children. We do find that parental time investment measured by time out of the labor force is higher for first-borns at ages 2-4, suggesting that the arrival of a second-born child extends early-childhood parental investments for first-borns.
    JEL: J01
    Date: 2017–01
  16. By: Elisa Failache (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía); Gonzalo Salas (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía); Andrea Vigorito (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the evolution of multidimensional poverty and inequality between 2004 and 2011 in Uruguay, based on data from Estudio Longitudinal del Bienestar en Uruguay (ELBU), which follows a cohort of Uruguayan children enrolled in primary school in primary schools In 2004. Children trajectories are assessed in four basic domains: access to resources (durable goods and income), nutrition, education and housing conditions. Considering the multidimensional poverty indexes developed by Alkire and Foster and inequality indexes (Bourguignon and Maatsumi), we observe how the different deprivations within households are combined, with improvements in both groups of indicators, although improvements are notoriously slower thin the multidimensional case in relation to income. Specifically, the increased access to resources coexisted with a reduction in school attendance for the group of children studied. Disagreggations by sex and ethnicity of the household head uncover strong disparities: Afro-descendant children exhibit levels of income and multidimensional poverty that duplicate the rest of households. The study also revealed that approximately 28% of children remained in multidimensional poverty in both periods (with k = 1), while 50% did so in terms of income. Those who were able to overcome the poverty condition (income or multidimensional) were households with heads of non-Afro-descent, higher educational levels and fewer members.
    Keywords: inequality, poverty, children, Uruguay, panel-data
    JEL: D31 I31 I32
    Date: 2016–12

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