nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2017‒05‒28
twenty papers chosen by
João Carlos Correia Leitão
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Assessing the role of grammar schools in promoting social mobility By Simon Burgess; Claire Crawford; Lindsey Macmillan
  2. Swine Flu and The Effect of Compulsory Class Attendance on Academic Performance By Goulas, Sofoklis; Megalokonomou, Rigissa
  3. Evaluation of the Reggio Approach to Early Education By Biroli, Pietro; Del Boca, Daniela; Heckman, James; Koh, Yu Kyung; Kuperman, Sylvi; Moktan, Sidhardth; Pettler Heckman, Lynne; Pronzato, Chiara; Ziff, Anna
  4. China's Lost Generation: Changes in Beliefs and their Intergenerational Transmission By Roland, Gérard; Yang, David
  5. Intergenerational Effect of Education Reform Program and Maternal Education on Children's Educational and Labor Outcomes: Evidence from Nepal By Vinish Shrestha; Rashesh Shrestha
  6. Parental Work Hours and Childhood Obesity: Evidence using Instrumental Variables Related to Sibling School Eligibility By Charles Courtemanche; Rusty Tchernis; Xilin Zhou
  7. Does a satisfied student make a satisfied worker? By Whelan, Adele; McGuinness, Seamus
  9. Why So Slow? The School-to-Work Transition in Italy By Pastore, Francesco
  10. The Education Motive for Migrant Remittances: Theory and Evidence from India By Delpierre, Matthieu; Dupuy, Arnaud; Tenikue, Michel; Verheyden, Bertrand
  11. Early lead exposure and outcomes in adulthood By Grönqvist, Hans; Nilsson, J Peter; Robling, Per-Olof
  12. Brecha de género en orientaciones de bachillerato. Caso de Uruguay By Maia Brenner
  13. Education Systems and Foreign Direct Investment; Does External Efficiency Matter? By Elise Wendlassida Miningou; Sampawende J Tapsoba
  14. Lead and Juvenile Delinquency: New Evidence from Linked Birth, School and Juvenile Detention Records By Anna Aizer; Janet Currie
  15. How Do Peers Impact Learning? An Experimental Investigation of Peer-to-Peer Teaching and Ability Tracking By Erik O. Kimbrough; Andrew D. McGee; Hitoshi Shigeoka
  16. What are the Top Five Journals in Economics? A New Meta–ranking By Bornmann, Lutz; Butz, Alexander; Wohlrabe, Klaus
  17. Relative Performance Information Feedback and Just-Pass Behavior: Evidence from a Field Experiment By Shinya Kajitani; Keiichi Morimoto; Shiba Suzuki
  18. Settling for Academia? H-1B Visas and the Career Choices of International Students in the United States By Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes; Delia Furtado
  19. Medical-Demographic Differentiation According to Educational Level By Shulgin, Sergey; Scherbov, Sergey; Zinkina, Yulia; Novikov, Kirill
  20. Education as Protection? The Effect of Schooling on Non-Wage Compensation in a Developing Country By Dang, Thang

  1. By: Simon Burgess (Department of Economics, University of Bristol); Claire Crawford (Department of Economics, University of Warwick and Institute of Fiscal Studies); Lindsey Macmillan (Department of Social Science, University College London)
    Abstract: One of the main motivations given for the proposed new expansion of grammar schools in England is to improve social mobility. We assess the role of existing grammar schools in promoting social mobility by examining a) access to grammar schools, differentiating among the 85 per cent non-poor pupils, and b) the higher education outcomes of those who attend a grammar school relative to those who just miss out and relative to those who attend similar schools in non-selective areas. We find stark differences in grammar school attendance within selective areas by SES, even when comparing pupils with the same Key Stage 2 attainment. We also find that grammar school pupils are more likely to participate in higher education, and attend a high-status university than those who just miss out in selective areas. However, conditional on attendance and prior attainment, they do not perform as well at university. Worryingly, those who miss out on grammar places in selective areas who are high-attaining at primary school are significantly less likely to participate in university, attend a high-status university or achieve a good degree classification compared to equivalent pupils in non-selective areas. This highlights the harm that selective systems cause to those who do not make it into grammar schools. Taken together, these inequalities in access and outcomes suggest that grammar schools do not promote social mobility and actually work against it.
    Keywords: Grammar schools; Social mobility
    JEL: I20 I24
    Date: 2017–05–17
  2. By: Goulas, Sofoklis; Megalokonomou, Rigissa
    Abstract: We use a natural experiment that relaxed class attendance requirements for one school year to explore students' marginal propensity to skip class, and to examine the effects of their absences on scholastic outcomes. We exploit exogenous variation resulting from a one-time policy Greece implemented allowing high school students to miss 30 percent more class hours without penalty during the 2009-10 academic year, a period when officials feared outbreaks of swine flu. Using a new dataset, we analyze which students missed more classes, and the effect of these absences on scholastic outcomes across the distribution of student ability, income, and peer quality. We find that while the swine flu itself did not affect the student population, the relaxed class attendance policy caused an increase in absences of roughly 10 hours per student, with more absences taken by those who had higher academic performance records, have academically weaker peers in their classes, or who live in poorer neighborhoods. End-of-year exam results show a positive effect of the relaxed attendance policy on grades across the ability distribution. The magnitude of the positive effect of absences on grades increases as we move to right of the ability distribution. Our results suggest that students who may have the resources or the human capital accumulation to learn outside the classroom may have lower performance when a strict attendance policy forces them to stay in class.
    Keywords: human capital, returns to education, attendance, instrumental variables, natural experiment
    JEL: H75 I26
    Date: 2016–12–06
  3. By: Biroli, Pietro; Del Boca, Daniela; Heckman, James; Koh, Yu Kyung; Kuperman, Sylvi; Moktan, Sidhardth; Pettler Heckman, Lynne; Pronzato, Chiara; Ziff, Anna
    Abstract: We evaluate the Reggio Approach using non-experimental data on individuals from the cities of Reggio Emilia, Parma and Padova belonging to one of five age cohorts: ages 50, 40, 30, 18, and 6 as of 2012. The treated were exposed to municipally offered infant-toddler (ages 0-3) and preschool (ages 3-6) programs. The control group either did not receive formal childcare or were exposed to programs offered by the state or religious systems. We exploit the city-cohort structure of the data to estimate treatment effects using three strategies: difference-in-differences,matching, and matched-difference-in-differences. Most positive and significant effects are generated from comparisons of the treated with individuals who did not receive formal childcare. Relative to not receiving formal care, the Reggio Approach significantly boosts outcomes related to employment, socio-emotional skills, high school graduation, election participation, and obesity. Comparisons with individuals exposed to alternative forms of childcare do not yield strong patterns of positive and significant effects. This suggests that differences between the Reggio Approach and other alternatives are not sufficiently large to result in significant differences in outcomes. This interpretation is supported by our survey, which documents increasing similarities in the administrative and pedagogical practices of childcare systems in the three cities over time.
    Keywords: childcare; early childhood education; evaluation; Italian education; Reggio approach
    JEL: I21 I26 I28 J13
    Date: 2017–05
  4. By: Roland, Gérard; Yang, David
    Abstract: Beliefs about whether effort pays off govern some of the most fundamental choices individual make. This paper uses China's Cultural Revolution to understand how these beliefs can be affected, how they impact behavior, and how they are transmitted across generations. During the Cultural Revolution, China's college admission system based on entrance exams was suspended for a decade until 1976, effectively depriving an entire generation of young people of the opportunity to access higher education (the "lost generation"). Using data from a nationally representative survey, we compare cohorts who graduated from high school just before and after the college entrance exam was resumed. We find that members of the "lost generation" who missed out on college because they were born just a year or two too early believe that effort pays off to a much lesser degree, even 40 years into their adulthood. However, they invested more in their children's education, and transmitted less of their changed beliefs to the next generation, suggesting attempts to safeguard their children from sharing their misfortunes.
    Keywords: Changes in Beliefs; China; Cultural change; Cultural Revolution; Cultural Transmission
    JEL: I23 O53 P26 P48 Z1
    Date: 2017–05
  5. By: Vinish Shrestha (Department of Economics, Towson University); Rashesh Shrestha (Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University)
    Abstract: We examine a potential intergenerational determinant of child labor by investigating the effect of maternal education on children0 s educational and labor outcomes. To account for endogeneity of mother's education, we use the Nepal Education System Plan (NESP) (1971), one of the first education reforms in the country, as an exogenous source of variation. We find that NESP increased educational outcomes among females that were most likely affected by the reform due to their birth year and district of birth. Furthermore, an increase in mother's highest level of schooling increases a child's probability of finishing 5th grade only among mothers from a higher caste households. We find modest effects of mother's education on child labor outcomes, with the IV estimate indicating that a year increase in mother's education reduces a child's weekly work by approximately an hour. The IV estimates are about two-fold larger than the OLS estimates in most cases. We caution that exclusion based on social hierarchy should be considered when promoting maternal education as a medium to improve children's well-being in developing nations like Nepal.
    Keywords: Returns to Education, Maternal Education, Child Labor, Schooling.
    JEL: I26 J20 I30
    Date: 2017–05
  6. By: Charles Courtemanche; Rusty Tchernis; Xilin Zhou
    Abstract: This study exploits plausibly exogenous variation from the youngest sibling’s school eligibility to estimate the effects of parental work on the weight outcomes of older children in the household. Data come from the 1979 cohort of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth linked to the Child and Young Adult Supplement. We first show that mothers’ work hours increase gradually as the age of the youngest child rises, whereas mothers’ spouses’ work hours exhibit a discontinuous jump at kindergarten eligibility. Leveraging these insights, we develop an instrumental variables model that shows that parents’ work hours lead to larger increases in children’s BMI z-scores and probabilities of being overweight and obese than those identified in previous studies. We find no evidence that the impacts of maternal and paternal work are different. Subsample analyses find that the effects are concentrated among advantaged households, as measured by an index involving education, race, and mother’s marital status.
    JEL: I12 J22
    Date: 2017–05
  7. By: Whelan, Adele; McGuinness, Seamus
    Abstract: We investigate the effect of satisfaction at higher education on job satisfaction using propensity score matching, the special regressor method and a unique European dataset for graduates. Acknowledging that perceptions of satisfaction at higher education are endogenous to job satisfaction, we present models available to address this endogeneity. Our analysis confirms that a positive university experience is important for success in future employment and suggests that emphasis should be focused on the utility of participating in third-level education along with academic outcomes.
    Date: 2017–05
  8. By: Najichun, Mohamad; Winarso, Widodo
    Abstract: The purpose of this study was to know the relationship between student perception towards mathematics teacher with mathematics academic performace. The population of the study were all students of class VIII SMPN 8 Cirebon in the academic year 2014/2015, with the number of students 287 people. The sampling technique used proportional random sampling, and the sample size was 56 students. Data collection techniques used: 1) Questionnaire of Perceptions towards Mathematics teacher, and 2) The results of student mathematics learning test. The result of correlation analysis show no significant correlation between students perception towards teacher and academic performance (r= .155, p= .254).
    Keywords: student perception towards mathematics teacher; teachers; mathematic academic performance
    JEL: I2 I23 Z0
    Date: 2017–05–21
  9. By: Pastore, Francesco (University of Naples II)
    Abstract: This essay provides a comprehensive interpretative framework to understand the reasons why the school-to-work transition (SWT) is so slow and hard in Italy. The country is a typical example of the South European SWT regime, where the educational system is typically rigid and sequential, the labor market has been recently made more flexible through two-tier labor market reforms, and the family has typically an important role to absorb the individual and social cost of the passage to adulthood. The main thesis of this essay is that the traditional disorganization of the educational and training system coupled with slow economic growth, rather than the supposedly low degree of labor market flexibility explain high (youth) unemployment. Important reforms of several tiles of the Italian SWT regime – the Jobs Act, important fiscal incentives to hiring youth long term unemployed, the so-called Good School and the related introduction of work-related learning, the European Youth Guarantee and the reform of employment services – have been all recently implemented, which are causing a slow convergence towards the so-called European social model, but it is still too early to draw conclusions as to the impact of such reforms on youth labor market outcomes.
    Keywords: school-to-work transition, youth experience gap, human capital theory, dual principle, European Youth Guarantee, Italy
    JEL: H52 I2 I24 J13 J24
    Date: 2017–05
  10. By: Delpierre, Matthieu (IWEPS, Belgium); Dupuy, Arnaud (University of Luxembourg); Tenikue, Michel (LISER (CEPS/INSTEAD)); Verheyden, Bertrand (LISER (CEPS/INSTEAD))
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the impact of anticipated old age support, provided by children to parents, on intra-family transfers and education. We highlight an education motive for remittances, according to which migrants have an incentive to invest in their siblings' education via transfers to parents, in order to better share the burden of old age support. Our theory shows that in rich families, selfish parents invest optimally in children education, while in poor families, liquidity constraints are binding and education is fostered by migrant remittances. We test these hypotheses on Indian panel data. Identification is based on within variation in household composition. We find that remittances received from migrants significantly increase with the number of school age children in the household. Retrieving the effects of household characteristics shows that more remittances tend to be sent to poorer and older household heads, confirming the old age support hypothesis.
    Keywords: migration, remittances, education, old age support
    JEL: D13
    Date: 2017–05
  11. By: Grönqvist, Hans (Department of economics, Uppsala university, IFAU, UCLS); Nilsson, J Peter (Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University, IFAU, UCLS); Robling, Per-Olof (Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University,)
    Abstract: We exploit the phase-out of leaded gasoline to isolate the impact of early childhood lead exposure on outcomes in adulthood. By combining administrative data on school performance, high school graduation, crime, earnings, and cognitive and non-cognitive skills with a novel measure of lead exposure, we follow 800,000 children from birth into adulthood. We find that reduced lead exposure improves the adult outcomes, particularly among boys. Below certain thresholds, the relationship becomes much weaker. Non-cognitive traits (externalizing behavior, conscientiousness, and neuroti-cism) follow a similar non-linear dose response pattern and seem to be the key mediators between early lead exposure and adult outcomes.
    Keywords: environmental policy; human capital; crime; non-cognitive skills
    JEL: I18 K42 Q53
    Date: 2017–05–15
  12. By: Maia Brenner (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración.)
    Abstract: This paper constitutes a first attempt to investigate the factors that underlie the gender gap existing in the choice of upper secondary courses in Uruguay. The paper aims to contribute in the understanding of the factors that account for the underrepresentation of women in STEM fields and courses demonstrating that there is an existing leaky pipeline. Discrete choice models (probit) and multinomial logistic models have been estimated using a retrospective survey applied in 2014 to Uruguayan young students who took the PISA test in 2009; finding that academic achievements, socioeconomic characteristics, attitude toward education and self-reported motives, influence the rational choices of individuals in upper secondary education. In fact, after controlling for socioeconomic and academic variables, it is observed that being female decreases the probability of choosing scientific courses in 8.7 percentage points. Furthermore, having repeated a grade before the age of 15 decreases the likelihood that women will opt for scientific courses, while it is not significant in the choice of men. Moreover, high reading performance at PISA test at age 15 increases the likelihood that both men and women will choose scientific courses. Better understanding of the factors that underlie the gender gap in STEM fields is necessary to design public policies capable of promoting gender equality and economic growth.
    Keywords: Economics of Education, Gender, STEM, PISA
    JEL: I20 I21 J16
    Date: 2017–03
  13. By: Elise Wendlassida Miningou; Sampawende J Tapsoba
    Abstract: This paper examines the effect of the efficiency of the education system on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). First, it focuses on the external efficiency and applies a frontier-based measure as a proxy of the ability of countries to optimally convert the average years of schooling into income for individuals. Second, it shows the relationship between the external efficiency of the education system and FDI inflows by applying GMM regression technique. The results show that the efficiency level varies across regions and countries and appears to be driven by higher education and secondary vocational education. Similarly to other studies in the literature, there is no significant relationship between the average years of schooling and FDI inflows. However, this study shows that the external efficiency of the education system is important for FDI inflows. Improving the external efficiency of the education system can play a role in attracting FDI especially in non-resource rich countries, nonlandloked countries and countries in the low and medium human development groups.
    Keywords: Human capital;FDI, Education System, External Efficiency, Education and Economic Development
    Date: 2017–03–30
  14. By: Anna Aizer; Janet Currie
    Abstract: Using a unique dataset linking preschool blood lead levels (BLLs), birth, school, and detention data for 120,000 children born 1990-2004 in Rhode Island, we estimate the impact of lead on behavior: school suspensions and juvenile detention. We develop two instrumental variables approaches to deal with potential confounding from omitted variables and measurement error in lead. The first leverages the fact that we have multiple noisy measures for each child. The second exploits very local, within neighborhood, variation in lead exposure that derives from road proximity and the de-leading of gasoline. Both methods indicate that OLS considerably understates the negative effects of lead, suggesting that measurement error is more important than bias from omitted variables. A one-unit increase in lead increased the probability of suspension from school by 6.4-9.3 percent and the probability of detention by 27-74 percent, though the latter applies only to boys.
    JEL: I24 J15 Q53 Q58
    Date: 2017–05
  15. By: Erik O. Kimbrough (Simon Fraser University); Andrew D. McGee (University of Alberta); Hitoshi Shigeoka (Simon Fraser University)
    Abstract: Classroom peers are believed to influence learning by teaching each other, and the efficacy of this teaching likely depends on classroom composition in terms of peers’ ability. Unfortunately, little is known about peer-to-peer teaching because it is never observed in field studies. Furthermore, identifying how peer-to-peer teaching is affected by ability tracking—grouping students of similar ability—is complicated by the fact that tracking is typically accompanied by changes in curriculum and the instructional behavior of teachers. To fill this gap, we conduct a laboratory experiment in which subjects learn to solve logic problems and examine both the importance of peer-to-peer teaching and the interaction between peer-to-peer teaching and ability tracking. While peer-to-peer teaching improves learning among low-ability subjects, the positive effects are substantially offset by tracking. Tracking reduces the frequency of peer-to-peer teaching, suggesting that low-ability subjects suffer from the absence of high-ability peers to teach them.
    Keywords: Peer-to-peer Teaching, Ability Tracking, Peer Effects, Group Composition, Education and Inequality, Laboratory Experiment
    JEL: H32 H26 K42
    Date: 2017–05
  16. By: Bornmann, Lutz; Butz, Alexander; Wohlrabe, Klaus
    Abstract: We construct a meta–ranking of 277 economics journals based on 22 different rankings. The ranking incorporates bibliometric measures from four different databases (Web of Science, Scopus, Google Scholar and RePEc). We account for the different scaling of all bibliometric measures by standardizing each ranking score. We run a principal component analysis to assign weights to each ranking. In our meta–ranking the top five journals are given by: Quarterly Journal of Economics, Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Economic Literature (JEL), Journal of Finance, and Econometrica. Additionally, leaving out the JEL as a survey journal and the finance journals in our top 10 we confirm the perceived top-5 journals in the economics profession.
    Keywords: meta–ranking, Economics Journals, Aggregation, Citations, Web of Science, Scopus, Google Scholar, RePEc
    JEL: A10 A12 A14
    Date: 2017–05–17
  17. By: Shinya Kajitani (Meisei University); Keiichi Morimoto (Meisei University); Shiba Suzuki (Seikei University)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the relationship between the feedback of performance information and effort input by students under a relative grading scheme. By conducting a randomized experiment in an economics course at a Japanese university, we demonstrate that relative performance information feedback improves the performance of students with only intermediate scores in the midterm examination, but worsens the performance of high-scoring students. A theoretical interpretation suggests that a decrease in uncertainty in the relative ability of students is responsible, which we refer to as “just-pass†behavior.
    Keywords: education, experiment, relative performance information feedback, tournaments
    JEL: D03 D81 I21
    Date: 2017–04
  18. By: Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes (San Diego State University); Delia Furtado (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: The yearly cap on H-1B visas became binding for the first time in 2004, making it harder for college-educated foreigners to work in the United States. However, academic institutions are exempt from the cap and citizens of five countries (Canada, Mexico, Chile, Singapore, and Australia) have access to alternative work visas. We exploit those exemptions to gauge how immigrant career choices are affected by the binding visa cap. Among other impacts, the binding cap raises international students’ likelihood of employment in academia, even outside of their field of study, a result consistent with the notion of “settling for academia.â€
    Keywords: H-1B visas, high-skilled immigration, academic labor market, United States
    JEL: F22 J61 J68
    Date: 2017–05
  19. By: Shulgin, Sergey (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA)); Scherbov, Sergey (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA)); Zinkina, Yulia (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA)); Novikov, Kirill (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA))
    Abstract: In this paper, the relationship between the health status of people and the level of education is investigated. The main objective of the study is to analyze how the state of health depends on the level of education. The work evaluates the age functions of various medical and demographic factors, as well as their dependence on the level of education. Estimates of several models of the expected life expectancy (HALE) for Russia are made and an assessment of the survival tables for Russian men and women with different levels of education is done.
    Date: 2017–04
  20. By: Dang, Thang
    Abstract: This is the first paper identifying the causal effect of schooling on non-wage compensation using data from Vietnam. The paper takes an advantage of the establishment of the compulsory primary schooling reform that was introduced in Vietnam in 1991 to instrument for exogenous variations in years of schooling to surmount the endogeneity problem as a primary threat to idenfication facing the causal effect estimation. The paper finds that education is positively associated with non-wage benefits. In particular, the baseline 2SLS estimates indicates that one additional year of schooling is causally linked to a 6 percentage point increase in the likelihood of receiving monetary payments for public holidays, a 4.6 percentage point increase in the likelihood of receiving monetary employee benefits, a 7.3 percentage point increase in the likelihood of having annual paid leave and a 6.8 percentage point increase in the likelihood of having firm-provided social insurance. The baseline estimates are strongly robust to the estimates from some robustness checks. The paper also inspects that the causal associations between schooling and formal employment, skilled occupation and employee-friendly firm are three potential mechanisms through which schooling causally affects non-wage compensation.
    Keywords: Returns to schooling; Non-wage compensation; Developing countries
    JEL: I26 J24 J32 J33
    Date: 2017–05–19

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