nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2017‒07‒23
nineteen papers chosen by
João Carlos Correia Leitão
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Risky Business? The Effect of Majoring in Business on Earnings and Educational Attainment By Rodney J. Andrews; Scott A. Imberman; Michael F. Lovenheim
  2. Does Education Empower Girls? Evidence from Mali By Marcella Vigneri; Paolo Berta
  3. The Impact of Schooling Intensity on Student Learning: Evidence from a Quasi-Experiment By Andrietti, Vincenzo; Su, Xuejuan
  4. Additional Career Assistance and Educational Outcomes for Students in Lower Track Secondary Schools By Bernd Fitzenberger; Stefanie Licklederer
  5. Unified Enrollment in School Choice: How to Improve Student Assignment in Chicago By Battal Dogan; Bumin Yenmez
  6. Educational Investment Responses to Economic Opportunity: Evidence from Indian Road Construction By Adukia, Anjali; Asher, Samuel; Novosad, Paul
  7. How much of a problem is bullying at school? By OECD
  8. The Impact of Economic Inequality and Gender Parity on Educational Assortative Mating: Evidence from the Luxembourg Income Study By David Monaghan
  9. What Sets College Thrivers and Divers Apart? A Contrast in Study Habits, Attitudes, and Mental Health By Graham Beattie; Jean-William P. Laliberté; Catherine Michaud-Leclerc; Philip Oreopoulos
  10. Does Compulsory Education Really Increase Life Satisfaction? By Andrew E. Clark; SeEun Jung
  11. Social protection investments, human capital, and income growth: Simulating the returns to social cash transfers in Uganda By Dietrich, Stephan; Malerba, Daniele; Barrientos, Armando; Gassmann, Franziska; Mohnen, Pierre; Tirivayi, Nyasha; Kavuma, Susan; Matovu, Fred
  12. Juvenile Punishment, High School Graduation and Adult Crime: Evidence from Idiosyncratic Judge Harshness By Ozkan Eren; Naci Mocan
  13. Long-Term Trends in Private School Enrollments by Family Income By Richard J. Murnane; Sean F. Reardon
  14. Inequality of opportunity and household education expenditures: Evidence from panel data in China By Yang Song; Guangsu Zhou
  15. Long-run Effects of Public Expenditure on Poverty By Marisa Hidalgo-Hidalgo; Iñigo Iturbe-Ormaetxe
  16. Human capital and urban growth in Italy, 1981-2001 By Francesco Giffoni; Matteo Gomellini; Dario Pellegrino
  17. Educational Impacts and Cost-Effectiveness of Conditional Cash Transfer Programs in Developing Countries: A Meta-Analysis By Sandra García; Juan Saavedra
  18. Pensions and Late-Career Teacher Retention By Dongwoo Kim; Cory Koedel; Shawn Ni; Michael Podgursky; Weiwei Wu
  19. Evaluating the Impact of Outsourcing Strategy on Procurement Performance of Selected Technical Universities in Ghana By Prempeh, Kwadwo Boateng; Nsiah-Asare, Evelyn

  1. By: Rodney J. Andrews; Scott A. Imberman; Michael F. Lovenheim
    Abstract: One of the most important decisions a student can make during the course of his or her college career is the choice of major. The field of study a student selects translates directly into the types of skills and knowledge he or she will obtain during college, and it can influence the type of career chosen after postsecondary education ends. Business is one of the most popular majors in the US, accounting for 19% of all college degrees granted. We study the impact of choosing a business major using a regression discontinuity design that exploits GPA cutoffs for switching majors in some Texas universities. Even though nearly 60% of marginal business majors would have majored in a STEM field otherwise, we find large and statistically significant increases in earnings of 80% to 130% 12+ years after college entry, driven mainly by women. These are considerably larger than OLS estimates that condition on a rich set of demographic, high school achievement, and high school fixed-effects controls, which is consistent with students choosing majors based on comparative advantage. We do not find statistically significant effects of majoring in business on educational outcomes, except for positive effects on male 6-year graduation rates.
    JEL: I23 I26 J24
    Date: 2017–07
  2. By: Marcella Vigneri; Paolo Berta
    Abstract: This paper brings new evidence on the importance of school interventions that target the wider environment of girls (school teachers, parents and community faith leaders) as the enabling mechanism to their empowerment. We show how supporting schooling promotes girls’ empowerment by illustrating the short-term impact of the ‘Girls Can’ project, a four-years intervention in Southern Mali which aimed to increase girls’ school retention rates and transition rates from the primary to the secondary cycle of school through a wide range of girl-friendly activities. Using original data collected at the end of the project, instrumental variables are applied to control for the potential endogeneity between project participation and girls’ empowerment after identifying comparable groups of ‘treatment’ and ‘control’ girls through coarsened exact matching. We find that the project has a statistically significant impact on girls’ empowerment, and that the intervention was an economically affordable investment at USD67 per girl per year. In addition to the effect on the aggregate measure of empowerment, and on achieving a higher transition rate to secondary school. the evaluation identifies the key domains of impact: girls’ awareness of the risks of early pregnancy, their ability to stay on track in school, their confidence in reporting acts of violence perpetrated on their peers, and girls’ positive perception of being part of an environment supporting their schooling.
    Keywords: Women’s Empowerment; Education; Impact Evaluation
    JEL: C14 D04 I24
    Date: 2017
  3. By: Andrietti, Vincenzo (University of Chieti-Pescara); Su, Xuejuan (University of Alberta, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper uses data from a quasi-natural policy experiment in Germany to examine the impact of schooling intensity on student achievement. The policy experiment, which we call the G8 reform, compresses secondary schooling for academic-track students from nine to eight years. At the same time, it keeps the amount of academic content required for graduation fixed, resulting in an increase in schooling intensity per school year. Using German extension of the PISA data, we find that the increased schooling intensity associated with the reform improves student test scores on average, but there is significant heterogeneity across students depending on their characteristics.
    Keywords: schooling intensity; instruction hours; student achievement; heterogeneity
    JEL: D04 I21 I28
    Date: 2017–07–10
  4. By: Bernd Fitzenberger (Humboldt-University Berlin, IZA, CESifo, IFS, ROA, ZEW); Stefanie Licklederer (University of Freiburg)
    Abstract: Based on local policy variation, this paper estimates the causal effect of additional career assistance on educational outcomes for students in Lower Track Secondary Schools in Germany. We find mostly insignificant effects of the treatment on average outcomes, which mask quite heterogeneous effects. For those students, who are taking extra coursework to continue education, the grade point average is unaffected and the likelihood of completing a Middle Track Secondary School degree falls. In contrast, educational outcomes improve for students who do not take extra coursework. Hence, the treatment causes a reversal of educational plans after graduation.
    Keywords: lower track secondary schools, career guidance, educational upgrading
    JEL: I20 J24
    Date: 2017–07
  5. By: Battal Dogan; Bumin Yenmez
    Abstract: The Chicago Board of Education is implementing a centralized clearinghouse to assign students to schools for 2018-19 admissions. In this clearinghouse, each student can simultaneously be admitted to a selective and a nonselective school. We study this divided enrollment system and show that an alternative unified enrollment system, which assigns each student to only one school, is better for all students. We also examine systems with two stages of admissions, which has also been considered in Chicago, and establish conditions under which the unified enrollment system is better than the divided enrollment system.
    Keywords: Market design, school choice, unified enrollment
    JEL: C72 C78 I21
    Date: 2017–07
  6. By: Adukia, Anjali; Asher, Samuel; Novosad, Paul
    Abstract: The rural poor in developing countries, once economically isolated, are increasingly being connected to regional markets. Whether these new connections crowd out or encourage educational investment is a central question. We examine the impacts on educational choices of 115,000 new roads built under India's flagship road construction program. We find that children stay in school longer and perform better on standardized exams. Treatment heterogeneity supports the predictions of a standard human capital investment model: enrollment increases are largest where nearby labor markets offer the highest returns to education and lowest where they imply high opportunity costs of schooling.
    Keywords: Education; Roads; India; Human capital; labor demand shocks; infrastructure; development
    JEL: I25 J24 O18
    Date: 2017–01
  7. By: OECD
    Abstract: For the first time, the 2015 round of PISA collected data on students’ exposure to bullying. These data show that bullying is widespread. On average across OECD countries, around 11% of students reported that they are frequently (at least a few times per month) made fun of, 8% reported that they are frequently the object of nasty rumours in school, and 7% reported that they are frequently left out of things. Being bullied can negatively affect academic achievement because it influences students’ capacity to focus on academic tasks. Schools where the incidence of bullying is high by international standards (more than 10% of students are frequently bullied) score 47 points lower in science, on average, than schools where bullying is less frequent (schools where less than 5% of students are frequently bullied). These relationships suggest that bullying can both stem from and may exacerbate students’ disengagement with school and underperformance.
    Date: 2017–07–18
  8. By: David Monaghan
    Abstract: Though extensive research has described the prevalence of educational assortative mating, the causes of its variation across countries and over time is not well understood. Using data from the Luxembourg Income Study Database, I investigate the impact on marital sorting of both inequality between educational strata and increasing gender parity in the labor and educational markets. I find that in countries with greater returns to education, the odds of any sort of union that crosses educational boundaries is substantially reduced. However, there is only modest evidence of a relationship between returns to education and marital sorting within countries. I find that across countries, gender parity in educational attainment is related to reduced odds of female hypergamy and to increased odds of male hypergamy. Labor market parity between males and females appears to explain little of the variance in marital sorting by education either between or within countries.
    Keywords: assortative mating, inequality, gender parity, returns to education, crossnational research
    Date: 2017–05
  9. By: Graham Beattie; Jean-William P. Laliberté; Catherine Michaud-Leclerc; Philip Oreopoulos
    Abstract: Students from 4-year colleges often arrive having already done very well in high school, but by the end of first term, a wide dispersion of performance emerges, with an especially large lower tail. Students that do well in first year (we call the top 10 percent Thrivers) tend to continue to do well throughout the rest of their time in university. Students that do poorly (we call the bottom 10 percent Divers) greatly struggle and are at risk of not completing their degree. In this paper we use a mandatory survey with open ended questions asking students about their first-year experience. This allows us to explore more closely what sets Thrivers and Divers apart, in terms of study habits, attitudes, and personal experiences. We find that poor time management and lack of study hours are most associated with poor academic performance, and that those who struggle recognize these weaknesses. Divers also report feeling more depressed and unhappy with their lives. We posit an 'academic trap', whereby initial poor performance is related to poor time management which in turn lowers expectations, which in turn leads to lower study time, and so on. Thrivers, in contrast, study significantly more and meet with course instructors.
    JEL: I20 I23 I26 J20
    Date: 2017–07
  10. By: Andrew E. Clark (Paris School of Economics); SeEun Jung (Department of Economics, Inha University)
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of the 1972 British education reform on life satisfaction using 1996-2008 British Household Panel Survey data. The education reform increased compulsory education by one year for those who were born after the 1st of September 1957, yielding an exogenous change in education for the treated group. Contrary to other work, we find no evidence that a one-year rise in compulsory education increased life satisfaction, even though it is often estimated to increase income. Many of our estimates suggest a negative relationship: the positive life-satisfaction effect found in research using earlier data does not then seem to have endured.
    Keywords: Life Satisfaction, Education Reform, Compulsory Schooling, RDD, BHPS
    JEL: C21 C82 I28 I31
    Date: 2017–07
  11. By: Dietrich, Stephan (UNU-MERIT, and Maastricht University); Malerba, Daniele (GDI, University of Manchester); Barrientos, Armando (GDI, University of Manchester); Gassmann, Franziska (UNU-MERIT, and Maastricht University); Mohnen, Pierre (UNU-MERIT, and Maastricht University); Tirivayi, Nyasha (UNU-MERIT, and Maastricht University); Kavuma, Susan (Makerere University); Matovu, Fred (Makerere University)
    Abstract: In this paper we assess the short- and mid-term effects of two cash transfer programmes in Uganda in terms of child underweight, school attainment, and the monetary returns to these indirect effects. Using a micro-simulation approach we test how the scale-up of these pilot interventions could affect human capital indicators and income growth. We first use panel data to estimate the links between income, child health, and school attainment. Thereafter we insert the estimates in a micro-simulation model to predict how cash transfer programmes could generate income returns through higher education attainment and compare programmes in terms of their rates of return.
    Keywords: Cash Transfer, Uganda, Education, Child Health, Simulation
    JEL: I25 I26 I15 H54 O15
    Date: 2017–06–22
  12. By: Ozkan Eren; Naci Mocan
    Abstract: This paper contributes to the debate on the impact of juvenile punishment on adult criminal recidivism and high school completion. We link the universe of case files of those who were convicted of a crime as a juvenile between 1996 and 2012 in a southern U.S. state to the public school administrative records and to adult criminal records. The detail of the data allows us to utilize information on the exact types of crimes committed, as well as the type and duration of punishment imposed, both as a juvenile and as an adult. We exploit random assignment of cases to judges and use idiosyncratic judge stringency in imprisonment to estimate the causal effect of incarceration on adult crime and on high school completion. Incarceration has a detrimental impact on high school completion for earlier cohorts, but it has no impact on later cohorts, arguably because of the school reform implemented in the state in the late 1990s. We find that incarceration as a juvenile has no impact on future violent crime, but it lowers the propensity to commit property crime. Juvenile incarceration increases the propensity of being convicted for a drug offense in adulthood, but this effect is largely driven by time spent in prison as a juvenile. Specifically, juvenile incarceration has no statistically significant impact on adult drug offenses if time spent in prison is less than the median, but longer incarceration increases adult drug conviction, arguably because longer prison stays intensify emotional stress, leading to drug use.
    JEL: I2 K40
    Date: 2017–07
  13. By: Richard J. Murnane; Sean F. Reardon
    Abstract: We use data from multiple national surveys to describe trends in private elementary school enrollment by family income from 1968-2013. We note several important trends. First, the private school enrollment rate of middle-income families declined substantially over the last five decades, while that of high-income families remained quite stable. Second, there are notable differences in private school enrollment trends by race/ethnicity, urbanicity, and region of the country. Although racial/ethnic differences in private school enrollment are largely explained by income differences, the urban/suburban and regional differences in private school enrollment patterns are large even among families with similar incomes. In particular, the 90-50 income percentile difference in private school enrollment rates in 2013 is more than three times as large in cities as in the suburbs, and these gaps are larger in the South and West than in the Northeast and Midwest. Factors contributing to these patterns may include trends in income inequality, private school costs and availability, and the perceived relative quality of local schooling options.
    JEL: I21 I24
    Date: 2017–07
  14. By: Yang Song (Renmin University of China); Guangsu Zhou (Nankai University, China)
    Abstract: This paper This paper offers the first empirical evidence on the impact of inequality of opportunity on household education investment by using the by using the by using the by using the by using the by using the panel data from China Family Panel Studies (CFPS) in three in three in three in three waves (2010, 2012 and 2014). Our result suggests that inequality of opportunity has a negative effect on household education expenditures. This result is robust to robustness checks. Furthermore, the disadvantaged households (whose householders with less education, income, and rural hukou status) seem to be affected more by inequality of opportunity within the county they live in. Higher inequality of opportunity in the comparison group may reduce their incentives to investment more on education. Policy suggestions to reduce inequality of opportunity may include reducing labor market discrimination based on gender and hukou, balancing education resources to create more equal educational opportunities, and offering children education subsidies in low-income families.
    Keywords: income inequality, inequality of opportunity, education expenditures, economic growth, China.
    JEL: J24 D33 O15 O53
    Date: 2017–05
  15. By: Marisa Hidalgo-Hidalgo (Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide); Iñigo Iturbe-Ormaetxe (Department of Economics, Universidad de Alicante)
    Abstract: Household characteristics may have long-run effects on individual outcomes in adulthood. For instance, individuals who lived when young in households experiencing financial problems are more likely to be poor when adults. Governments try to reduce these effects and to promote equality of opportunity. The objective of this paper is to check whether public expenditure has a long-run effect in reducing the probability of being poor when adult, and to what extent. Our main finding is that public expenditure in education has a strong long-run effect on reducing incidence of poverty in adulthood. We also find that this effect is concentrated mainly among individuals who have parents with a low level of education.
    Keywords: Public expenditure in education, poverty rate, intergenerational transmission of poverty
    JEL: C78 D61 D63
    Date: 2017–07
  16. By: Francesco Giffoni (CSIL); Matteo Gomellini (Bank of Italy); Dario Pellegrino (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the contribution of human capital, measured using the share of residents holding a college degree, to urban growth, gauged by the growth in employment, between 1981 and 2001. According to our estimates, starting with a ten per cent higher share of college-educated residents was associated with a higher growth in employment in the 0.5-2.2 per cent range. These results hold when considering both the municipal and the local labour market (LLM) levels, and they are robust to a wide set of urban characteristics. Our findings are confirmed using a measure of education dating back to 1931 as an instrument for human capital. Furthermore, we exploit a spatial localization model with human capital premiums to disentangle the estimated effect into two components related to productivity and life quality respectively. We find that productivity contributed to more than 60 per cent of the effect of human capital on urban growth at municipal level, and to over 90 per cent at the wider LLM level.
    Keywords: urban growth, human capital
    JEL: R11 N94 J24
    Date: 2017–07
  17. By: Sandra García; Juan Saavedra
    Abstract: We meta-analyze for impact and cost-effectiveness 94 studies from 47 conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs in low- and middle-income countries worldwide, focusing on educational outcomes that include enrollment, attendance, dropout and school completion. To conceptually guide and interpret the empirical findings of our meta-analysis, we present a simple economic framework of household decision-making that generates predictions, all else constant, for the association between certain program context and design characteristics, and impact estimates. We also present a simple model for the analysis of program costs, using it to compute cost-effectiveness estimates for a subsample of CCT programs. For all schooling outcomes, we find strong support for heterogeneity in impact, transfer-effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness estimates. Our meta-analytic results of impact and transfer-effectiveness estimates provide support to some – but not all – of the predictions from the household decision-making model.
    JEL: I25 I28 O15 O38 O57
    Date: 2017–07
  18. By: Dongwoo Kim (University of Missouri); Cory Koedel (University of Missouri); Shawn Ni (University of Missouri); Michael Podgursky (University of Missouri); Weiwei Wu (University of Missouri)
    Abstract: Public school teachers retire much earlier than comparable professionals. Pension rule changes affecting new teachers can be used to close this gap in the long run, but any effects will not be observed for decades and the implications for workforce quality are unclear. This paper considers targeted incentive policies designed to retain experienced high-need teachers, of retirement age, as instruments to extend current teachers’ careers. We use structural estimates from a dynamic retirement model to simulate the workforce effects of targeted late-career salary bonuses and deferred retirement (DROP) plans using administrative data from Missouri. The simulations suggest that such programs can be cost-effective, partly because long-term pension savings offset a portion of up front program costs. More generally, we demonstrate the utility of using structural retirement models to analyze fiscal and workforce effects of changes to public sector pension plans, since the effects of pension reforms cumulate over many years.
    Keywords: public pensions, retirement, worker retention, teacher retention
    JEL: J26 I28
    Date: 2016–07
  19. By: Prempeh, Kwadwo Boateng; Nsiah-Asare, Evelyn
    Abstract: Due to globalization, outsourcing has become one of the widely embraced strategies for delivering outstanding services in the educational sector. However, in spite of the increasing trend in outsourcing arrangements, there are inadequate literature underpinnings on how outsourcing activities affect the performance of educational institutions in Ghana. In order to bridge that gap, this research seeks to evaluate the effects of outsourcing strategy on procurement performance of some selected Technical Universities in Ghana. The main data collection instrument employed in this study is the structured questionnaire. The study employed the purposive and stratified sampling technique. The findings revealed that contracting, comprehensive outsourcing, licensing agreement and selective outsourcing strategies were main determinants of procurement performance of Technical Universities in Ghana. The study recommends that technical universities in Ghana should put more emphasis on training and information sharing in order to improve procurement performance. All procurement processes should be automated so as to reduce the error rates and discrepancies in the process and align the procurement procedures to the Public Procurement Act. This is because efficient procurement process could be used as a competitive advantage.
    Keywords: Outsourcing Strategy, Procurement Performance, Public Procurement Act, Technical Universities
    JEL: M11
    Date: 2017–07–14

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