nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2017‒02‒26
thirty papers chosen by
João Carlos Correia Leitão
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Illusory Gains from Chile's Targeted School Voucher Experiment By Benjamin Feigenberg; Steven Rivkin; Rui Yan
  2. Top of the Class: The Importance of Ordinal Rank By Weinhardt, Felix; Murphy, Richard
  3. Family and Peer Social Identity Effects on Schooling Attitudes and Performance By Norris, Jonathan
  4. The effect of compressing secondary schooling on higher education decisions By Zambre, Vaishali; Marcus, Jan
  5. University Students and Entrepreneurship. Some insights from a population-based survey By Ferrante, Francesco; Federici, Daniela; Parisi, Valentino
  6. Sectoral Cognitive Skills, R&D, and Productivity: A Cross-Country Cross-Sector Analysis By Sasso, Simone; Ritzen, Jo
  7. Bank Branching Deregulation and High School Graduation By Patrick Reilly
  8. Does the economic crisis have an influence on the higher education dropout rate? By Fernandes, Graca; CHAGAS LOPES, MARGARIDA
  9. Stereotype Threat, Role Models, and Demographic Mismatch in an Elite Professional School Setting By Birdsall, Christopher; Gershenson, Seth; Zuniga, Raymond
  10. Knowledge Capital and Aggregate Income Differences: Development Accounting for U.S. States By Ruhose, Jens; Hanushek, Eric A.; Woessmann, Ludger
  11. Do Teaching Practices Impact Socio-emotional Skills? By Vaclav Korbel; Michal Paulus
  12. Cooperación académica e internacionalización de las universidades públicas colombianas By Alma Rodero Acosta; Gustavo Rodríguez Albor
  13. Classroom Peer Effects and Teachers: Evidence from Quasi-random Assignment in a Chinese Middle School By Leshui He; Stephen L. Ross
  14. Classroom Peer Effects and Teachers: Evidence from Quasi-random Assignment in a Chinese Middle School By Leshui He; Stephen L. Ross
  15. Factors Affecting College Attainment and Student Ability in the U.S. since 1900 By Kevin Donovan; Christopher Herrington
  16. The Effect of All-Day Primary School Programs on Maternal Labor Supply By Nemitz, Janina
  17. The Long Shadow of the Chinese Cultural Revolution: The Intergenerational Transmission of Education By Meng, Xin; Zhao, Guochang
  18. Sorting in public school districts under the Boston Mechanism By Caterina Calsamiglia; Francisco Martínez-Mora; Antonio Miralles
  19. What kind of careers in science do 15-year-old boys and girls expect for themselves? By OECD
  20. Actual and perceived financial sophistication and wealth accumulation: The role of education and gender By Neubert, Milena; Bannier, Christina E.
  21. Beyond the Classroom: The Implications of School Vouchers for Church Finances By Daniel M. Hungerman; Kevin J. Rinz; Jay Frymark
  22. A local idea space: the value of personal and thematic proximity in academic research By Lukas Kuld
  23. The International Epidemiological Transition and the Education Gender Gap By Klasing, Mariko Jasmin; Klasing, Mariko J.; Milionis, Petros
  24. Teacher Assessments versus Standardized Tests: Is Acting "Girly" an Advantage? By Di Liberto, Adriana; Casula, Laura
  25. The Cost of Decentralization: Linguistic Polarization and the Provision of Education By Cinnirella, Francesco; Schueler, Ruth
  26. Making it right? Social norms, hand writing and cognitive skills By Guber, Raphael
  27. Human Assets Index retrospective series: 2016 update By Sosso FEINDOUNO; Michaël GOUJON
  28. Choosing the optimal public choice scenario through a democratic educational procedure: A history from ancient Athens By Economou, Emmanouel/Marios/Lazaros; Kyriazis, Nicholas
  29. The Life-cycle Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program By García, Jorge Luis; Heckman, James J.; Leaf, Duncan Ermini; Prados, Maria José
  30. The formalization of organizational capabilities and learning: results and challenges By Giovanni Dosi; Marco Faillo; Virginia Cecchini Manara; Luigi Marengo; Daniele Moschella

  1. By: Benjamin Feigenberg; Steven Rivkin; Rui Yan
    Abstract: In 2008, Chile implemented a targeted voucher program that increased voucher values for disadvantaged students at participating schools by approximately 50%. Although disadvantaged students made substantial fourth grade test score gains that other studies have attributed to the program, our analysis raises serious doubts that the program had a substantial effect on cognitive skills. First, there was only a minor reduction in class size and little evidence of increases in any inputs. An audit showed that many schools were not using additional revenues for permitted expenditures, and estimates that exploit a discontinuity in the revenues allocated to schools show no evidence of positive effects of allocated funds on achievement growth. In addition, there is limited evidence of competitive or incentive effects on school quality or that disadvantaged students transitioned to higher quality schools. The much smaller gains made by disadvantaged students in low-stakes eighth grade test scores along with an increased rate of missing scores on fourth grade tests is consistent with extensive strategic behavior by schools. In contrast, increases in parental education and income among disadvantaged children indicate a primary role for improvements in family circumstances of tested students in explaining the meaningful decline in the achievement gap.
    JEL: I21 I24 I25 O15
    Date: 2017–02
  2. By: Weinhardt, Felix; Murphy, Richard
    Abstract: This paper establishes a new fact about educational production: ordinal academic rank during primary school has long-run impacts on later achievement that are independent from underlying ability. Using data on the universe of English school students, we examine a setting in which the same baseline score on a national tandardized test can correspond to different ranks among students situated in different primary school classes, where we calculate ranks using this baseline score. Institutional factors cause students to be re-assigned to a new set of secondary school peers and teachers that are unaware of the student’s prior ranking. We find large and significant positive effects on test scores and subject choices during secondary school from experiencing a high primary school rank, conditional on the underlying primary baseline score. The effects are especially large for boys, contributing to an observed gender gap in end-of-high school STEM subject choices. Merged survey data suggest that the development of confidence is a likely mechanism.
    JEL: I21 J24 I28
    Date: 2016
  3. By: Norris, Jonathan (University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: An adolescent’s family and peers, impart incentives on education through social identity shaping attitudes about school and performance. I model identity related mechanisms from family and peer ideals about education in a network model of adolescent effort in school and link it empirically with spatial econometrics. Both groups influence attitudes and changes in family ideals create spill-overs in attitudes. Attitudes impact performance in school, and changes in attitudes influence performance over the network. us, targeting family and peer ideals and attitudes about school can positively impact an adolescent’s educational traits and outcomes; effects that in turn ripple across a school.
    Keywords: Identity Economics; Peer Effects; Spatial Econometrics; Friendship Network
    JEL: C21 I21 J13 Z13
    Date: 2017–02–17
  4. By: Zambre, Vaishali; Marcus, Jan
    Abstract: A major education reform in Germany reduced the length of the academic high school track by one year, while leaving the number of overall instruction hours unchanged. Accordingly, the fixed number of instruction hours was distributed over fewer years of schooling, such that learning intensity and weekly workload increased. We investigate the consequences of this so-called G8 reform on students’ higher education decisions. Based on a difference-in-differences approach using high-quality, administrative data on all students in Germany, we find that the G8 reform not only resulted in delayed university enrollment, but also in decreased enrollment rates. Moreover, students are more likely to drop out of university and change their major. The results of our study are not only informative for the German context but also for policy makers in many other OECD countries, trying to increase the number of active labor market participants in order to address the challenges of an aging society.
    JEL: I28 J18 D04
    Date: 2016
  5. By: Ferrante, Francesco; Federici, Daniela; Parisi, Valentino
    Abstract: Start-ups founded by university students and graduates play a substantial role in bringing new knowledge to the market and in employment creation; a role that appears to be even more important than the one played by the typical technology transfer activities carried out by universities, i.e. patenting and licensing activities, or spin-offs founded by academic staff. Indeed, robust empirical evidence suggests that entrepreneurs’ education is a good predictor of firms’ performance. Unfortunately, data show that the share of Italian entrepreneurs with tertiary educations is quite small, and this is especially the case of the younger generation. In this paper, we use a population-based approach to explore entrepreneurship among 61,115 graduates, alumni of the 64 Italian universities that belong to the AlmaLaurea consortium, in the second half of 2014, at the time when they completed their academic experience. We detect various levels of engagement and intentions to be involved in entrepreneurship, and we assess which factors appear to weigh more in a positive or negative manner. The bad news is that also our analysis finds that the share of Italian graduates who have started a business after their enrolment at university (1.3%) or who have taken concrete actions to start a business (4.5%) is quite small. The good news is that the number of intentional, i.e. potential highly educated, entrepreneurs among university students is much larger (at least 23%). On the basis of our results, we argue that the provision by universities of entrepreneurial education and training, internships, and ICT skills can be effective tools with which to cultivate entrepreneurial attitudes and skills, thereby fostering entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship among university graduates and enhancing their employability.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship, university, start up, students, education
    JEL: I23 J21 J24 L26
    Date: 2017–02–20
  6. By: Sasso, Simone (Maastricht University); Ritzen, Jo (IZA and Maastricht University)
    Abstract: We focus on human capital measured by education outcomes (skills) and establish the relationship between human capital, R&D investments, and productivity across 12 OECD economies and 17 manufacturing and service industries. Much of the recent literature has relied on school attainment rather than on skills. By making use of data on adult cognitive skills from the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competences (PIAAC), we compute a measure of sectoral human capital defined as the average cognitive skills in the workforce of each country-sector combination. Our results show a strong positive relationship between those cognitive skills and the labour productivity in a country-sector combination. The part of the cross-country cross-sector variation in labour productivity that can be explained by human capital is remarkably large when it is measured by the average sectoral skills whereas it appears statistically insignificant in all our specifications when it is measured by the mere sectoral average school attainment. Our results corroborate the positive link between R&D investments and labour productivity, finding elasticities similar to those of previous studies. This evidence calls for a focus on educational outcomes (rather than on mere school attainment) and it suggests that using a measure of average sectoral cognitive skills can represent a major step forward in any kind of future sectoral growth accounting exercise.
    Keywords: sectoral cognitive skills, productivity, R&D, human capital, knowledge stock
    JEL: I21 J24 O47
    Date: 2016–12
  7. By: Patrick Reilly (West Virginia University, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper utilizes variation in timing of deregulation to investigate the relationship between bank branching deregulation and educational outcomes for individuals in 39 states over the period 1977 - 1999. In order to investigate the labor market channel, this paper focuses on the relationship between deregulation and high school graduation, as opposed to recent studies focusing on the relationship between deregulation and college attendance via the credit market channel. Results indicate increases in the likelihood of graduating high school after deregulation. Results also suggest heterogeneity in effects due to race and age at deregulation. Finally, models testing the relationship between bank deregulation and post-secondary education outcomes generate similar results to findings from previous studies.
    Keywords: Bank branching, education, bank deregulation
    JEL: G21 G28 I21 I24 J24
    Date: 2016–12
  8. By: Fernandes, Graca; CHAGAS LOPES, MARGARIDA
    Abstract: This research aims to identify the effects of the economic crisis on higher education (HE) dropout rates at Lisbon School of Economics and Management (ISEG) – Universidade de Lisboa, after having controlled for individual characteristics, family background, High School and HE trajectories. Our main hypothesis is that the economic crisis induces higher dropout rates. The research emphasizes that, in the context of the European crisis, social, economic and political context should be taken into account in the dropout analysis model, together with university and student behaviour determinants. To analyse the impact of the economic crisis on dropout rates, we use longitudinal data from the ISEG database, and apply statistical methodologies such as Chi-square tests for independence, and t-tests for the equality of means and proportions. Our main results point to the fact that the economic and social crisis has significantly affected the dropout rate of Portuguese students. Dropout during the crisis period spared neither younger students nor those with better High School trajectories. Moreover, during the crisis period, Portuguese students dropped out earlier during their HE trajectory. We believe that our conclusions can be extended to other European countries within a crisis context.
    Keywords: KEYWORDS: Economic crisis, higher education dropout, social and economic factors
    JEL: I23
    Date: 2016–09–16
  9. By: Birdsall, Christopher (Boise State University); Gershenson, Seth (American University); Zuniga, Raymond (American University)
    Abstract: Ten years of administrative data from a diverse, private, top-100 law school are used to examine the ways in which female and nonwhite students benefit from exposure to demographically similar faculty in first-year required law courses. Arguably causal impacts of exposure to same-sex and same-race instructors on course-specific outcomes such as course grades are identified using a two-way (student and classroom) fixed effects strategy. Impacts of faculty representation on long-run, student-specific outcomes such as graduation are identified using an instrumental variables (IV) strategy that exploits transitory variation in the demographic makeup of the faculty. Having an other-sex instructor reduces the likelihood of receiving a good grade (A or A-) by one percentage point (3%) and having an other-race instructor reduces the likelihood of receiving a good grade by three percentage points (10%). The effects of student-instructor demographic mismatch are particularly salient for nonwhite female students. The IV estimates suggest that the share of first-year courses taught by nonwhite instructors increases the probabilities that nonwhite students persist into the second year and graduate on time. These results provide novel evidence of the pervasiveness of role-model effects in elite settings and of the graduate-school education production function.
    Keywords: demographic mismatch, law school, gender, race
    JEL: I23 J15 J44
    Date: 2016–12
  10. By: Ruhose, Jens; Hanushek, Eric A.; Woessmann, Ludger
    Abstract: Although many U.S. state policies presume that human capital is important for state economic development, there is little research linking better education to state incomes. We develop detailed measures of skills of workers in each state based on school attainment from census micro data and on cognitive skills from state- and country-of-origin achievement tests. These new measures of knowledge capital permit development accounting analyses calibrated with standard production parameters. We find that differences in knowledge capital account for 20-35 percent of the current variation in per-capita GDP among states, with roughly even contributions by school attainment and cognitive skills. Similar results emerge from growth accounting analyses, emphasizing the importance of appropriately measuring worker skills. These estimates support emphasis on school improvement as a strategy for state economic development.
    JEL: O47 I25 J24
    Date: 2016
  11. By: Vaclav Korbel (Institute of Economic Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague, Smetanovo nabrezi 6, 111 01 Prague 1, Czech Republic); Michal Paulus (Institute of Economic Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague, Smetanovo nabrezi 6, 111 01 Prague 1, Czech Republic)
    Abstract: Recent studies emphasize the importance of socio-emotional skills for the success in school as well as for later economic outcomes. However, little is known how practices used by teachers everyday in classrooms impact socio-emotional skills. We show that modern practices such as working in small groups improve them. Especially intrinsic motivation and self-confidence are positively affected. Moreover, modern practices have no adverse effects on test scores. Standard practices such as lecturing or memorizing have no impact on socio-emotional skills. Splitting the sample reveals detrimental effects of standard practices on socio-emotional outcomes of boys and positive for high-achieving girls. On the contrary, both genders gain similarly from modern practices.
    Keywords: Teaching practices, socio-emotional skills, between-subject variation
    JEL: I21 C23
    Date: 2017–02
  12. By: Alma Rodero Acosta; Gustavo Rodríguez Albor
    Abstract: La urgencia de mejores indicadores de gestión de la educación superior colombiana, evidencia necesidad de mayor eficacia en los procesos de internacionalización. Las Instituciones de Educación Superior (IES) públicas presentan dificultades para enfrentar esos retos. Este artículo analiza la cooperación académica en dichas instituciones, como instrumento idóneo para mejorar los procesos de internacionalización. Los hallazgos muestran concentración de capacidades en pocas IES públicas, comprometiendo su contribución al desarrollo económico y social de las regiones. Asimismo, la internacionalización de estas instituciones, experimenta actualmente un estado de transición entre un modelo pasivo y organizacionalmente aislado, y uno de entendimiento estratégico y de ejecución dinámica y participativa del proceso. La cooperación académica no es adecuadamente asimilada en la mayoría de los casos. El estudio identificó significativa relación entre altos niveles de ejecución de la cooperación académica y el índice calculado de internacionalización; entre altos niveles de manejo del idioma inglés y altos índices de internacionalización. ****** The need for better management indicators in Colombian higher education is an evidence of the lack of greater efficiency in internationalization processes. Public higher education institutions present difficulties while facing these challenges. This article analyses the academic cooperation as an ideal instrument for improving internationalization processes in these institutions. Our findings show abilities concentration in few public universities committing their contributions to the economic and social development of the regions. In this regard, the internalization of these institutions is currently experiencing a state of transition between a passive and organizationally isolated model and a model about strategic understandings and dynamic and participative execution of the process. In most cases, academic cooperation is not properly assimilated. Throughout our study, we identified a significant relationship between the academic cooperation’s high levels of implementation and the calculated index of internationalization in high levels of English proficiency and internationalization.
    Keywords: Academic cooperation, internationalCooperation, internationalization, publicuniversities, higher education, development, Cooperación académica, cooperación internacional, internacionalización, universidades públicas, educación superior, Desarrollo.
    JEL: I21 I22 I28 I23 O19
    Date: 2015–09–01
  13. By: Leshui He (Bates College); Stephen L. Ross (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: This paper examines peer effects in a Chinese middle school where: 1. classes are randomly assigned to teachers, and 2. student quality across classes varies because student assignment is based on a noisy measure of student quality. Peer effects are concentrated primarily on math scores, as opposed to Chinese or English scores. Improvements in peers at the bottom of the distribution of ability leads to improvements in student performance both for the student’s own class and for sibling classes that share the same teachers, but are not connected in any other way. For middle and top tercile peers, improvements in peers appear to reduce student test scores. The positive effects of peers at the bottom of the distribution are primarily associated with the ability of boys in the class and the sibling class, while the negative effect of peers seems to be driven by same gender peers. Finally, the positive own class and sibling class peer effects arise primarily when the head teacher of the class or the sibling class, respectively, teaches math.
    Keywords: peer effects, teachers, middle school, Chinese education
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2017–02
  14. By: Leshui He (Bates College); Stephen L. Ross (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: This paper examines peer effects in a Chinese middle school where 1. classes are randomly assigned to teachers and 2. student quality across classes varies because student assignment is based on a noisy measure of student quality. Peer effects are concentrated primarily on math scores, as opposed to Chinese or English scores. Improvements in peers at the bottom of the distribution of ability leads to improvements in student performance both for the student’s own class and for sibling classes that share the same teachers, but are not connected in any other way. For middle and top tercile peers, improvements in peers appear to reduce student test scores. The positive effects of peers at the bottom of the distribution are primarily associated with the ability of boys in the class and the sibling class, while the negative effect of peers seems to be driven by same gender peers. Finally, the positive own class and sibling class peer effects arise primarily when the head teacher of the class or the sibling class, respectively, teaches math.
    Keywords: Peer Effects, Teachers, Middle School, Chinese Education
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2017–02
  15. By: Kevin Donovan (University of Notre Dame); Christopher Herrington (Virginia Commonwealth University)
    Abstract: We develop a dynamic lifecycle model to study long-run changes in college com- pletion and average ability of college students in cohorts born from 1900 to 1972. The model is disciplined in part by constructing a historical time series on real college costs from printed government documents covering this time period. The model captures nearly all of the increase in attainment for 1900 to 1950 cohorts. In counterfactual exercises we show that attainment would have been lower by almost half, on average, for 1925 to 1950 cohorts absent a large decrease in college costs relative to income. For post-1950 cohorts simultaneously rising college costs and education premia act in opposite directions to result in low college enrollment growth; however, endogenously declining average ability of college students lowers overall completion rates in the model. Furthermore, we find that economic factors have little impact on average student ability; rather, the precision of signals about true ability are the key driver of changes in average ability. We utilize historical data on the share of students who take SATs as a proxy for the increasing preci- sion of ability signals, and show that this allows the model to match the aggregate ability sorting patterns.
    Keywords: College attainment; student ability; borrowing constraints; college costs; education premia
    JEL: J24 N31
    Date: 2017–01
  16. By: Nemitz, Janina
    Abstract: This study analyzes the effect of all-day (AD) primary school programs on maternal labor supply. To account for AD school selectivity and selection into AD primary school programs I estimate bivariate probit models. To identify these models I exploit variation in the allocation of investments to AD primary schools across time and counties. This variation results from the public investment program “Future Education and Care” (IZBB) which was introduced by the German federal government in 2003. My results indicate for mothers with primary school-aged children in Germany (excluding Bavaria) a significantly positive effect of AD primary school programs on labor supply at the extensive margin. On average, mothers who make use of AD primary school programs are 26 ppts more likely to be employed than mothers who do not make use of these programs. This large effect is robust to alternative specifications and estimation methods and mainly concentrated in states with AD primary school student shares of up to 20%. On the contrary, there is no evidence for an impact of these programs on maternal labor supply at the intensive margin (full-time vs. part-time).
    JEL: J13 J21 J22
    Date: 2016
  17. By: Meng, Xin (Australian National University); Zhao, Guochang (Southwest University of Finance and Economics, Chengdu)
    Abstract: Between 1966 and 1976, China experienced a Cultural Revolution (CR). During this period, the education of around 17 birth cohorts was interrupted by between 1 and 8 years. In this paper we examine whether, and by how much, this large-scale schooling interruption affected their children's education. We find a strong effect: more interrupted education for parents, less completed education for their children. On average the CR cohort had 2.9 years interrupted education. If they failed to catch up after the CR, this translates to a reduction of 0.87 years of schooling and a 9 percentage points (or 50%) reduction in the probability of completing a university degree for their children relative to the children whose parents did not have interrupted schooling. Our results have strong implications for developing countries prone to long-term conflicts which often adversely affect children's education. As human capital accumulation is one of the main drivers of economic development, these negative schooling shocks affecting current generation education levels will have an impact far beyond the immediate economic development of these war-torn economies and extend to the next generation.
    Keywords: Chinese Cultural Revolution, human capital, intergenerational education transmission
    JEL: I24 I25 N3
    Date: 2016–12
  18. By: Caterina Calsamiglia (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona); Francisco Martínez-Mora (University of Leicester); Antonio Miralles (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona)
    Abstract: We show that the widely used Boston Mechanism (BM) fosters ability and socioeconomic segregation across otherwise identical public schools, even when schools do not have priorities over local students. Our model includes an endogenous component of school quality--determined by the peer group--and an exogenous one. If there is an exogenously worse public school, BM generates sorting of types between a priori equally good public schools: an elitist public school emerges. A richer model with some preference for closer schools and flexible residential choice does not eliminate this effect. It rather worsens the peer quality of the non-elitist school. The existence of private schools makes the best public school more elitist, while reducing the peer quality of the worst school. The main alternative assignment mechanism, Deferred Acceptance, is resilient to such sorting effects.
    Keywords: School Choice, mechanism design, peer effects, local public goods
    JEL: I21 H40 D78
    Date: 2017–02
  19. By: OECD
    Abstract: On average across OECD countries, almost one in four students – whether boy or girl – expects to work in an occupation that requires further science training beyond compulsory education. This brief highlights the kinds of science careers 15-year-olds anticipate for themselves in the future.
    Date: 2017–02–27
  20. By: Neubert, Milena; Bannier, Christina E.
    Abstract: This study examines the role of actual and perceived financial sophistication (i.e., financial literacy and confidence) for individuals' wealth accumulation. Using survey data from the German SAVE initiative, we find first of all strong gender- and education-related differences in the distribution of the two variables: Whereas financial literacy rises in formal education, confidence increases in education for men but decreases for women. As a consequence, highly-educated women become strongly underconfident, while men remain overconfident. We then show that these differences influence wealth accumulation: The positive effect of financial literacy is stronger for women than for men and is increasing in women's education but decreasing in men's. For highly-educated men, however, overconfidence closes this gap by increasing wealth via stronger financial engagement. Interestingly, female underconfidence does not reduce current wealth levels though it weakens future-oriented financial engagement and may thus impair future wealth accumulation.
    JEL: D91 G11 D83
    Date: 2016
  21. By: Daniel M. Hungerman; Kevin J. Rinz; Jay Frymark
    Abstract: Governments have used vouchers to spend billions of dollars on private education; much of this spending has gone to religiously-affiliated schools. We explore the possibility that vouchers could create a financial windfall for religious organizations operating private schools and in doing so impact the spiritual, moral, and social fabric of communities. We use a dataset of Catholic-parish finances from Milwaukee that includes information on both Catholic schools and the parishes that run them. We show that vouchers are now a dominant source of funding for many churches; parishes in our sample running voucher-accepting schools get more revenue from vouchers than from worshipers. We also find that voucher expansion prevents church closures and mergers. Despite these results, we fail to find evidence that vouchers promote religious behavior: voucher expansion causes significant declines in church donations and church spending on non-educational religious purposes. The meteoric growth of vouchers appears to offer financial stability for congregations while at the same time diminishing their religious activities.
    JEL: H4 I2 Z12
    Date: 2017–02
  22. By: Lukas Kuld (Department of Economics, Trinity College Dublin)
    Abstract: While recent research has found no strong overall effects between colleagues in university departments, this paper shows a clear link between the success of individual research articles and local colleagues when their research is directly related. Using data from the CVs of around 1,000 academic economists, I study research links between department colleagues and their impact on citations. The novel focus on articles also addresses endogeneity concerns using differences in the scope of the effect for article quality and dissemination by publication type and peer group. The estimates show that articles in top 25 journals that draw on research of local colleagues receive significantly more citations than comparable work by the same authors. Conversely, the co-author network is primarily correlated with low-profile journals and arguably reflect widely the authors' field-specific standing.
    Keywords: Local research cluster, co-author network, tacit knowledge, scientific productivity, academic economic research
    JEL: A14 D83 I23 J24 O31 O32 O33
    Date: 2017–02
  23. By: Klasing, Mariko Jasmin; Klasing, Mariko J.; Milionis, Petros
    Abstract: We explore the impact of the international epidemiological transition on educational outcomes of males and females over the second half of the 20th century. We provide strong evidence that the large resulting declines in mortality rates from infectious diseases gave rise to differential life expectancy gains across genders, with females benefiting mostly from them due to their greater responsiveness to vaccination. We also document that these gender differences in life expectancy gains are subsequently reflected in similar differential increases in educational outcomes for males and females. Using an instrumental variables strategy that exploits pre-intervention variation in mortality rates across different infectious diseases we confirm the causal nature of these effects and show that the magnitude of the effects account for a large share of the reduction in the education gender gap that emerged over this period.
    JEL: I15 J16 O11
    Date: 2016
  24. By: Di Liberto, Adriana (University of Cagliari); Casula, Laura (University of Cagliari)
    Abstract: We study if Italian teachers do apply gender discrimination when judging students. To this aim, we use a difference-in-differences approach that exploits the availability of both teachers (non-blind) and standardized test (blind) scores in math and language that Italian students receive during the school year. Using data for all sixth graders, descriptives show that in both scores girls are better than boys in the language scores, while in math boys perform better than girls in the blind test. Moreover, our analysis suggest that boys are always discriminated by teachers in both subjects. This result holds also when we control for class fixed effects, students noncognitive skills, gender specific-attitude towards cheating and possible cultural differences towards gender attitudes in math or language.
    Keywords: schooling outcomes, discrimination, gender stereotypes
    JEL: L2 I2 M1 O32
    Date: 2016–12
  25. By: Cinnirella, Francesco; Schueler, Ruth
    Abstract: Decentralization is expected to improve the provision of public goods as it can better respond to people’s preferences. In this paper we argue that decentralization of education policy in a context of heterogeneous local preferences and with high coordination costs can lead to underprovision of education. To test this hypothesis we analyze the provision of public education in nineteenth-century Prussia which was characterized by a decentralized education system and a linguistically polarized society. Using unique county-level data on education expenditure we show that linguistic polarization had a negative impact on local spending. Instrumental variable estimates using distance to the eastern border suggest that the negative relationship can be interpreted as causal. Fixed-effect estimates exploiting a policy change in education spending show that centralization increased the provision of teachers in more linguistically polarized counties. Overall our results are consistent with the interpretation that decentralization can have heterogeneous effects.
    JEL: H75 N33 N13
    Date: 2016
  26. By: Guber, Raphael
    Abstract: Forcing a left-handed child to use the right hand for writing was long common practice in the Western world. Although it is rare now in these societies, it is still highly prevalent in developing countries and across various cultures. Forced right-hand writing is a rare early childhood intervention that was performed on a large scale and throughout history. In this paper we investigate how this intervention affected educational outcomes and cognitive skills in German adults in the mid and long run. To identify causal effects we use the decline of the right-hand writing norm across cohorts in a difference-in-differences first stage, where right-handers serve as counterfactual group. While OLS estimates indicate that treated individuals obtained more years of education and better math grades (compared to all others), our 2SLS coefficients suggest zero or negative effects for educational outcomes, and strong negative effects on cognitive skills. These findings are in line with brain scans that show reduced gray matter in the putamen of switched German adults, which is responsible for motor skills and cognitive functioning.
    JEL: J24 I10 I21
    Date: 2016
  27. By: Sosso FEINDOUNO (Ferdi); Michaël GOUJON (University of Auvergne)
    Abstract: Human capital, a broad concept including education and health, is considered as an essential driver of development patterns and human well-being. Undernourishment, poor health and low education attainment remain considerable obstacles to economic and social progress in Developing Countries (DCs) and particularly in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). The Millenium Development Goals adopted by the United Nations in September 2000, where five of the eight Goals relate to education or health, portray the outstanding importance of human development. This importance has been renewed with the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals in September 2015 that maintain the goals of “zero hunger”, “good health and well-being” and “quality education”..../.....
    Date: 2016–12
  28. By: Economou, Emmanouel/Marios/Lazaros; Kyriazis, Nicholas
    Abstract: In the present essay we argue that the Athenians were well aware that for a smooth functioning of democracy the citizens, who voted in the Assembly under direct democracy procedures, had to be educated. We argue that they had to find good solutions in the decision process of the Assembly. We analyse a public choice issue: the case of shipbuilding of the Athenian fleet that played a crucial defeat of the Persians in 480 BCE. The Athenians actually had to decide on a public choice set issue: sacrifice personal consumption in favour of the public good defence. We argue that the Athenians finally reached to the optimal choice, after having received at first undergone a process of democratic education.
    Keywords: Democracy, education, Classical Athens, policy measures
    JEL: N00 Z1 Z13 Z18
    Date: 2017–02–11
  29. By: García, Jorge Luis (University of Chicago); Heckman, James J. (University of Chicago); Leaf, Duncan Ermini (University of Southern California); Prados, Maria José (University of Southern California)
    Abstract: This paper estimates the long-term benefits from an influential early childhood program targeting disadvantaged families. The program was evaluated by random assignment and followed participants through their mid-30s. It has substantial beneficial impacts on health, children's future labor incomes, crime, education, and mothers' labor incomes, with greater monetized benefits for males. Lifetime returns are estimated by pooling multiple data sets using testable economic models. The overall rate of return is 13.7% per annum, and the benefit/cost ratio is 7.3. These estimates are robust to numerous sensitivity analyses.
    Keywords: childcare, early childhood education, long-term predictions, gender differences in responses to programs, health, quality of life, randomized trials, substitution bias
    JEL: J13 I28 C93
    Date: 2016–12
  30. By: Giovanni Dosi; Marco Faillo; Virginia Cecchini Manara; Luigi Marengo; Daniele Moschella
    Abstract: This work offers an overview of recent formalizations of organizational capabilities and learning. We first present the main characteristics both of NK models and of the approach based on Classifier Systems, focusing on their early applications to organization studies. We then discuss how the use of these models has contributed, in the recent years, to the formal analysis of the development and change of firmùs dynamic capabilities by improving our understanding of processes of organizational learning and adaptation, and of the relationship between cognitive and governance issues.
    Keywords: Capabilities, Decomposability, Organizational structure, Problem-solving
    Date: 2017–02–23

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