nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2017‒06‒25
eighteen papers chosen by
João Carlos Correia Leitão
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. The Effect of Kumon Method on Motivation for Learning: Evidence from Junior High School Student in Japan By Yuko Okajima; Hisanobu Kakizawa; Wataru Senoh; Tomotaka Hirao; Hisakazu Matsushige
  2. Learning about Oneself: The Effects of Performance Feedback on School Choice By Matteo Bobba; Verónica Frisancho
  3. Conditional Cash Transfers and Schooling Decisions: Evidence from Urban Mexico By Maria Heracleous; Mario González; Paul Winters
  4. Who bears the cost of early childhood education and how does it affect enrolment? By Giovanni Maria Semeraro
  5. Can Gifted and Talented Education Raise the Academic Achievement of All High-Achieving Students? By Booij, Adam S.; Haan, Ferry; Plug, Erik
  6. The Effects of Financial Aid and Returns Information in Selective and Less Selective Schools: Experimental Evidence from Chile By Matías Busso; Taryn Dinkelman; Claudia Martínez; Dario Romero
  7. Empirical evidence in explaining the transition behaviour from school to studies - challenges in forecasting the number of first-year students in Germany By Stöver, Britta
  8. TVET as the last educational chance : employability and family background of Ethiopian urban youth By Demachi, Kazue
  9. Innovation and American K-12 Education By Aaron Chatterji
  11. Direct and Indirect Effects of Phonological Ability and Vocabulary Knowledge on Math Performance in Elementary School By Yulia V. Kuzmina; Alina E. Ivanova; Inna V.Antipkina
  12. Do students spend enough time learning? By OECD
  13. Guidelines for data fusion with international large scale assessments: Insights from the TALIS-PISA link By Gil-Izquierdo, María; Cordero, José Manuel
  14. The Effects of Schooling on Wealth Accumulation Approaching Retirement By Bingley, Paul; Martinello, Alessandro
  15. Is University Education More Important for a Boy than for a Girl? Social approval of unequal educational opportunity across 21 countries By Yekaterina Chzhen; Zlata Bruckauf; UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti
  16. An Advisor Like Me? Advisor Gender and Post-Graduate Careers in Science By Gaule, Patrick; Piacentini, Mario
  17. The Economic Value of Breaking Bad: Misbehavior, Schooling and the Labor Market By Papageorge, Nicholas W.; Ronda, Victor; Zheng, Yu
  18. The Impacts of Roll-On/Roll-Off Transport System in the Philippines By Francisco, Kris A.

  1. By: Yuko Okajima (Office of Management and Planning, Osaka University); Hisanobu Kakizawa (Center for Education in Liberal Arts and Sciences, Osaka University); Wataru Senoh (National Institute for Educational Policy Research); Tomotaka Hirao (Institute for Education and Student Support, EhimeUniversity); Hisakazu Matsushige (Osaka School of International Public Policy(OSIPP))
    Abstract: In this paper, we analyze the effects of the Kumon Method of Learning on junior high school students' attitude toward learning. Since the “National Assessment of Academic Ability” was implemented in 2007, the factors affecting the improvement of academic achievement has drawn attention among regional governments. This paper focuses on the case of a Japanese public junior high school, which was once considered to be a challenging school (konnan-ko). We investigated how students' learning behavior and non-cognitive skills changed after implementing the Kumon mathematics program as an extracurricular activity. The empirical results show that the Kumon studies had positive effects on students' learning attitude- i.e., an attitude to reason by analogy, an attitude to find solutions by trial and error, and having a goal image in the vicinity. Furthermore, we find that the aforementioned attitude has significant impact on certain non-cognitive skills, i.e., processing skills, correction skills and thinking skills,) as well as students' test scores. Our findings suggest that effectiveness of introducing Kumon learning method as a co-curricular activity in addition to the national curriculum.
    Keywords: Kumon Method of Learning, private tutoring, extracurricular activity, learning attitude, learning behavior, non-cognitive skills
    JEL: I21 I26 I28 R59
    Date: 2017–03
  2. By: Matteo Bobba; Verónica Frisancho
    Abstract: This paper designs and implements a field experiment that provides students from less advantaged backgrounds with individualized feedback on academic performance during the transition from middle to high school. The intervention reduces the gap between expected and actual performance, as well as shrinks the variance of individual ability distributions. Guided by a simple Bayesian model, the paper empirically documents the interplay between variance reductions and mean changes of beliefs in shaping curricular choices. The shift in revealed preferences on high school tracks enabled by the intervention affects schooling trajectories, with better-performing students being assigned into more academically oriented options.
    Keywords: Vocational Education and Training, School Attendance, High School, School Enrollment, Higher Education, Human Capital Investment, Labor markets, Academic achievement, School Choice, Academic Performance, information, Bayesian updating, biased beliefs, school choice
    JEL: J24 I24 I21 D83
    Date: 2016–11
  3. By: Maria Heracleous; Mario González; Paul Winters
    Abstract: Using administrative data from the urban Mexican Oportunidades program, this paper analyzes why poor households choose less education for their children, even when offered financial compensation for school attendance. Each school year, half of recipients forgo income for which they are eligible by failing to send children to school. Using a random effects probit and fractional response model, the analysis provides strong evidence that the poorest households, those with more dependents and high school students, recipients with limited education, and those living in large urban areas are less likely to have their children attend school and thus receive partial payments.
    Keywords: Conditional cash transfers, School Attendance, School Enrollment, Program evaluation, Human Capital Investment, school enrollment, schooling decisions
    JEL: I21 I32 J24
    Date: 2016–08
  4. By: Giovanni Maria Semeraro (OECD)
    Abstract: Local governments are the main contributors to the financing of early childhood education, particularly with regards to core goods and services such as staff salaries and school buildings. Households and other private entities bear a greater share of the cost than in other levels of education, particularly for ancillary services such as meals, school health services and transport. Public expenditure on educational institutions, transfers and subsidies to the private sector, and the way funds are allocated, can help increase participation in early childhood education. Increased spending on early childhood education does not always translate into higher enrolment, as funds may be used to improve the quality of learning, through raising teachers’ salaries, investing more in school facilities or prioritising a smaller number of teachers per student.
    Date: 2017–06–26
  5. By: Booij, Adam S. (University of Amsterdam); Haan, Ferry (University of Amsterdam); Plug, Erik (University of Amsterdam)
    Abstract: We conduct a study under 2,400 third grade students at three large secondary comprehensive schools to evaluate a gifted and talented (GT) program with selective program admission based on past achievement. We construct three complementary estimates of the program's impact on student achievement. First, we use the fragmented GT program implementation (in different tracks at different schools) to get difference-in-differences (DD) estimates for all students above the admission cutoff. Second, we use the GT admission rule to get regression discontinuity (RD) estimates for students near the admission cutoff. And third, we combine the DD and RD designs to estimate how the program's impact varies with past achievement. We find that all participating students do better because of the GT program. Students near the admission cutoff experience a 0.2 standard deviation gain in their grade point average. Students further away from the admission cutoff experience larger gains.
    Keywords: gifted and talented education, enrichment program, secondary education, difference-in-differences, regression discontinuity designs
    JEL: I22 I28
    Date: 2017–06
  6. By: Matías Busso; Taryn Dinkelman; Claudia Martínez; Dario Romero
    Abstract: Schools that provide higher education often belong to either a merit-based selective system or an open-access less selective system. This paper presents the results of a field experiment that provided Grade 12 students in Chile with tailored information about financial aid and average earnings and employment probabilities for schools and careers in both types of schools. No effect is found on the extensive margins of enrollment in the selective or in the less selective sector. Treated students change their intensive margin decisions: they choose careers and schools with lower expected wages and lower employment probabilities, but with higher quality relative to their baseline preferences.
    Keywords: Higher Education, Vocational Education and Training, School Choice, School Enrollment, School Attendance, High School, Human Capital Investment, Test scores, Student Loans, Scholarships, school choice, government loans, scholarships
    JEL: I22 I23 D83
    Date: 2016–11
  7. By: Stöver, Britta
    Abstract: The German education system is organised in a federal system, i.e. each of the 16 Federal States is solely responsible for the supply and financing of the university places. Offering a sufficient number of these places is important in achieving the aim of promoting academic education and increasing the participation opportunities in higher education. An elaborate planning and monitoring is hence necessary, that equally considers external factors such as demographic change as well as individual changes such as the propensity to study and the preferred starting point of the studies. While the reasons for the decision in favour of studies are well documented, the reasons for a delayed start of the study were less subject to empirical investigation. Using panel regressions with fixed effects the transition from school to studies can be explained for different time lags. It can be shown that the influences on the transition behaviour are manifold and vary with the kind of the admittance qualification (for university or for university of applied sciences) and the length of the time lag. Fast transitions are mainly supported by a high relative number of above average exams, a high share of people in need of long-term care as well as a high number of granted student loans. Maintaining the school reform G8 with a shortened schooling time, wage raises broadening the financial scope for a year abroad or a voluntary social year as well as an increase in the rate of vocational training tend to delay the start of studies by one year. A growing risk of unemployment especially enhance a later transition by prolonging the entrance in the job market with the related job hunt.
    Keywords: University enrolment; transition rates with time lags; empirical analysis; panel regressions with fixed effects
    JEL: I21 I23
    Date: 2017–06
  8. By: Demachi, Kazue
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the effect of TVET schooling of Ethiopian urban youth on their employability using the Urban Employment and Unemployment Survey (UEUS). In estimating the personal returns of TVET experience, we put special focus on family background of workers, with the hypothesis that family characteristics strongly influence on the employability of workers. We find general positive effects of TVET on employability in benchmark regressions as well as sample selection model. However once we controlled endogeneity of TVET choice and family background, the TVET positive effect disappeared. The results suggest the possibility that public vocational school is viewed and chosen as a last resort of education or alternative to general education, especially for those who were denied to proceed to further education, failed to enter upper secondary schools, and females, but only if they are financially fit.
    Keywords: Vocational education,Youth,Employment,Family,Urban societies,TVET,Ethiopia,Unemployment,Family background
    JEL: J21 I25 I26
    Date: 2017–05
  9. By: Aaron Chatterji
    Abstract: Economists have long believed education is essential to the acquisition of human capital and contributes to economic growth. However, education researchers, political and business leaders and other stakeholders have raised concerns about the quality and costs of the K-12 education system in the United States and the implications for the development of the nation’s future workforce. Some of these groups have called for more innovation in K-12 education, leveraging technology in the classroom and experimenting with different organizing models for schools, both as a means to lower costs and increase quality. To shed light on the prospects of this approach, I review the economics literature at the intersection between innovation and K-12 education from two different, but related, perspectives. First, I summarize the evidence about the efficacy of technological and other kinds of innovation in the classroom. Second, I discuss the state of research on how the American K-12 system influences the production of innovators and entrepreneurs. In both instances, I identify implications for policy and opportunities for future research to generate actionable insights, particularly around increasing the low levels of research and development in the education sector.
    JEL: H52 I20 I21 I28 O30 O32 O38
    Date: 2017–06
  10. By: Lois Miller (DePauw University); Humberto (Department of Economics and Management, DePauw University)
    Abstract: This paper explores factors explaining why so many high-achieving, low-income students apply to and enroll at universities with relatively low academic standards, despite generous financial aid packages and evidence that these students would be successful at colleges that are more selective. Amazon’s Mechanical Turk was used to gather data, and the entire file is freely available at A probit analysis confirms an established result that low-income students are more likely to undermatch. The key result is that as the distance between a student’s home and the university they attend increases, the probability that the student will undermatch decreases. At a distance of 500 miles between a student’s home and college, the difference in the probability of undermatching between low-income students and high-income students is 25.5 percentage points. At 3,000 miles, the gap is only 8.7 percentage points.
    Keywords: college application, Mechanical Turk, matching, sorting, education, inequality, social capital
    JEL: I21 I23 I24
    Date: 2017–06
  11. By: Yulia V. Kuzmina (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Alina E. Ivanova (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Inna V.Antipkina (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: The main aim of this study was to estimate direct and indirect effects of phonological ability and vocabulary knowledge on subsequent mathematics and reading performance. To achieve our goals we used two-wave longitudinal data from the international Performance Indicators in Primary Schools (iPIPS) data set, which was produced in Russia in 2015-2016. We used rhyming skills and ability to repeat words/pseudowords as indicators of phonological ability, and identified three types of mathematical skills (digit identification, number manipulations and formal math). The results of our analysis confirmed the predictive role of preschool phonological ability as a domain-general precursor of later achievements. Phonological ability had a positive direct and indirect effects on the subsequent reading and math performance. Moreover, the direct effect was higher than the indirect effect. Reading fluency mediated the effect of phonological ability and did not mediate the effect of vocabulary knowledge. Vocabulary knowledge had insignificant direct effect on math achievement and positive indirect effect via phonological ability
    Keywords: iPIPS; phonological abilities; vocabulary knowledge; mathematics; reading comprehension, elementary school
    JEL: Z
    Date: 2017
  12. By: OECD
    Abstract: In some countries and economies, such as Beijing-Shanghai-Jiangsu-Guangdong (China), Qatar,Thailand, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates, students spend at least 54 hours per week learning at and outside of school combined, whereas in others, like Finland, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and Uruguay, students spend less than 40 hours studying. Students in Australia, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden and Switzerland show the best balance between total learning time and academic performance. In school systems where students spend more time in regular science lessons, average science scores are higher; but when students spend more time studying science after school, average science scores are lower.
    Date: 2017–06–20
  13. By: Gil-Izquierdo, María; Cordero, José Manuel
    Abstract: The educational effectiveness research has experienced a substantial improvement in the last decades thanks to the refinement of large-scale international assessments. Those surveys provide researchers and policy makers with comparative micro data that can be exploited in cross-national studies in order to evaluate educational policies or determinants of educational achievement. This paper focuses on the potential uses and misuses that can be made with the so-called TALIS-PISA link created by the OECD. This is a recently developed instrument that allows for connecting data about teacher characteristics and practices collected in TALIS with students´ academic performance measured in PISA. However, the statistical and technical aspects regarding this link between both surveys are far from straightforward. In this paper we explore the main problematic issues of the data fusion process and provide some guidelines for researchers interested in performing empirical analyses using the resulting dataset.
    Keywords: Education, Teachers, International datasets, Large-scale assessments, PISA.
    JEL: H52 I21
    Date: 2017–06
  14. By: Bingley, Paul (SFI - The Danish National Centre for Social Research); Martinello, Alessandro (Department of Economics, Lund University)
    Abstract: Education and wealth are positively correlated for individuals approaching retirement, but the direction of the causal relationship is ambiguous in theory and has not been identified in practice. We combine administrative data on individual total wealth with a reform expanding access to lower secondary school in Denmark in the 1950s, finding that schooling increases pension annuity claims but reduces the non-pension wealth of men in their 50's. These effects grow stronger as normal retirement age approaches. Labour market mechanisms are key, with schooling increasing job mobility, reducing housing equity, increasing leverage, and improving occupational pension benefits.
    Keywords: Education; Wealth; Labour market mechanisms; Pensions; Housing equity; Portfolio composition; Instrumental variable
    JEL: D31 G11 I24 I26
    Date: 2017–06–12
  15. By: Yekaterina Chzhen; Zlata Bruckauf; UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti
    Abstract: The attitudes that we hold are shaped and nurtured by society, institutions, religion and family; they involve feelings, beliefs and behaviours and represent a form of judgement. These attitudes and values define the power relations, dynamics, opportunities and choices between men and women, boys and girls. Societies vary significantly in the scale of egalitarian attitudes and beliefs related to gender roles and opportunities in education, politics, the family, and the workforce. Progress towards more egalitarian gender values is crucial for achieving gender equality among children and young people, which in turn is a pre-condition for sustainable development.
    Keywords: education; education of girls; gender issues;
    Date: 2017
  16. By: Gaule, Patrick (CERGE-EI); Piacentini, Mario (OECD)
    Abstract: We investigate whether having an advisor of the same gender is correlated with the productivity of PhD science students and their propensity to stay in academic science. Our analysis is based on an original dataset covering nearly 20,000 PhD graduates and their advisors from U.S. chemistry departments. We find that students with an advisor of the same gender tend to be more productive during the PhD and more likely to become professors themselves. We suggest that the under-representation of women in science and engineering faculty positions may perpetuate itself through the lower availability of same-gender advisors for female students.
    Keywords: gender, PhD, postgraduate careers, science
    JEL: J24 J16 I23 O31
    Date: 2017–06
  17. By: Papageorge, Nicholas W. (Johns Hopkins University); Ronda, Victor (Johns Hopkins University); Zheng, Yu (City University of Hong Kong)
    Abstract: Prevailing research argues that childhood misbehavior in the classroom is bad for schooling and, presumably, bad for adult outcomes. In contrast, we argue that childhood misbehavior represents some underlying non-cognitive skills that are valuable in the labor market. We follow work from psychology and categorize observed classroom misbehavior into two underlying latent factors. We then estimate a model of educational attainment and earnings outcomes, allowing the impact of each of the two factors to vary by outcome. We find one of the factors, labeled in the psychological literature as externalizing behavior (and linked, for example, to aggression), reduces educational attainment yet increases earnings. Unlike most models where non-cognitive skills that increase human capital through education also increase labor market skills, our findings illustrate how some non-cognitive skills can be productive in some economic contexts and counter-productive in others. Policies designed to promote human capital accumulation could therefore have mixed effects or even negative economic consequences, especially for policies that target non-cognitive skill formation for children or adolescents which are aimed solely at improving educational outcomes.
    Keywords: labor, education, non-cognitive skills
    JEL: J10 J20 I20
    Date: 2017–06
  18. By: Francisco, Kris A.
    Abstract: It is well recognized in the literature that a country's transport system plays a central role in its development. This paper shows the economic impacts of improvements in the transport system by studying the experience of the Philippines with the roll-on/roll-off (Ro-Ro) policy that promotes the use of Ro-Ro ferry terminal system. Using difference-in-difference strategies in analyzing agricultural household income and children's education, the study finds that the operation of Ro-Ro ports largely benefited the households living near the Ro-Ro ports. More specifically, estimates suggest that agricultural households gained higher income from the operation of these ports because both agriculture- and nonagriculture-related activities were stimulated. Results also imply the boost in nonagriculture-related activities in the islands where the Ro-Ro ports are located. Meanwhile, analysis on children's education reveals an increase in school attendance of males and females in municipalities near the Ro-Ro ports. The study also confirms that there was an increase in family income in these areas, thereby suggesting the increased capacity of households to send children to school. As a whole, the study demonstrates some examples of short- and long-run impacts of improving a country's transport system. Likewise, it highlights the importance of an efficient and affordable transport system in an archipelagic country like the Philippines.
    Keywords: Philippines, education, agriculture, transport system, roll-on/roll-off policy, Ro-Ro
    Date: 2017

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