nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2017‒08‒06
sixteen papers chosen by
João Carlos Correia Leitão
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Additional Career Assistance and Educational Outcomes for Students in Lower Track Secondary Schools By Fitzenberger, Bernd; Licklederer, Stefanie
  2. A model about the impact of ability grouping on student achievement By Kiss, David
  3. National Culture, Families, or Education Policies: What Determines National Test Scores? By Theodore R. Breton
  4. The effect of increased general education in vocational schools - Evidence from a Hungarian vocational school reform By Joris Ghysels; Zoltán Hermann; Iryna Rud; Melline Somers
  5. Choosing the future: economic preferences for higher education using discrete choice experiment method By Mikołaj Czajkowski; Tomasz Gajderowicz; Marek Giergiczny; Gabriela Grotkowska; Urszula Sztandar-Sztanderska
  6. Tailoring Instruction to Improve Mathematics Skills in Preschools: A Randomized Evaluation By Francisco Gallego; Emma Näslund-Hadley; Mariana Alfonso
  7. The Returns to Postgraduate Education By Fumihiko SUGA
  8. Which preferences associate with school performance? Lessons from a university classroom experiment By Daniel Horn; Hubert János Kiss
  9. Analysis of Gender Parity for Pakistan: Ensuring Inclusive and Equitable Quality Education By Umar, Maida; Asghar, Zahid
  10. Using Goals to Motivate College Students: Theory and Evidence from Field Experiments By Damon Clark; David Gill; Victoria Prowse; Mark Rush
  11. The Effect of Housing Assistance on Student Achievement: Evidence from Wisconsin By Deven Carlson; Robert Haveman; Sohyun Kang; Hannah Miller; Alex Schmidt; Barbara Wolfe
  12. Careers and Mismatch for College Graduates: College and Non-college Jobs By Andrew Agopsowicz; Chris Robinson; Ralph Stinebrickner; Todd Stinebrickner
  13. Collaborative learning as a tool for social innovation By Matei, Ani; Tirziu, Andreea-Maria
  14. Impact of a Work-Study Programme for Teenagers: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial By Federico Araya; José Ignacio Rivero
  15. Table Stakes: Education Quality and Immigrants’ Success in the Canadian Labour Market By Qing Li
  16. You get what you 'pay' for: Academic attention, career incentives and changes in publication portfolios of business and economics researchers By Omar Adam Ayaita; Kerstin Pull; Uschi Backes-Gellner

  1. By: Fitzenberger, Bernd (Humboldt University Berlin and ZEW Mannheim); Licklederer, Stefanie (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: 2017–07–27
  2. By: Kiss, David
    Abstract: This paper presents a small theoretical model to compare school systems that segregate students by ability ("tracking") with comprehensive ones, which allow for mixing of differently skilled students into same classes. The outcomes of interest are the achievement levels of weaker and better students, and the average achievement of all students. In the model, the instructional pace is tailored to the skill distribution of a class, and higher-achieving peers are an additional source of learning. The results show that differences in both the share of high-achievers and degree of interaction between student types can explain the mixed (quasi-)experimental evidence on the effect of de-tracking on student achievement. As changes in peer quality affect good and weak students' achievement in very different ways, the term "peer effect" should be used with caution.
    Keywords: tracking vs. mixing; decomposition of ability peer effects
    JEL: I24 J24 H52 I2
    Date: 2017–07
  3. By: Theodore R. Breton
    Abstract: Conventional analyses attribute cross-country differences in students’ average test scores to family characteristics, school resources, and school system characteristics, but institutional economists and cultural anthropologists argue that cultural beliefs and institutions are the fundamental determinants of a society’s level of human capital. I examine the effects of cultural beliefs, institutional characteristics, family characteristics, and various school and education policy characteristics on average PISA scores in mathematics. I find that national cultural and institutional characteristics explain over 80% of the variation in average scores across 58 countries. When family, school, and school system characteristics are included as causes, cultural and institutional characteristics continue to explain most of the variation in average scores. More financial resources for schools continue to raise average scores, the existence of a central exit exam has a small effect, and the share of private enrollment in the school system has no effect on these scores.
    Keywords: Test Scores, Culture, Institutions, Education, PISA, World
    JEL: I21 O15 Z19
    Date: 2017–06–18
  4. By: Joris Ghysels (Top Institute for Evidence Based Education Research, TIER-Maastricht University); Zoltán Hermann (Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences and ELTE University); Iryna Rud (Top Institute for Evidence Based Education Research, TIER-Maastricht University); Melline Somers (Top Institute for Evidence Based Education Research, TIER-Maastricht University)
    Abstract: This paper aims at the evaluation of the reform of vocational education introduced in 1998 in Hungary. The reform extended the duration of education by one year, and increased teaching time spent on non-vocational subjects. The reform affected two of the three tracks in upper-secondary education in Hungary, vocational secondary school and vocational school. We estimate the effect of the reform on educational attainment, employment and wages in a comparative interrupted time series (CITS) framework, using the academic track and secondary school drop-outs as control groups. The results suggest that the reform has had heterogeneous effects. First, we detect no effect for the vocational secondary track, while the reform has improved labour market outcomes of vocational school students. Second, in the vocational school group the reform has increased men’s wages, while not affected their employment. For women we found a positive employment effect, while wages have increased only for the younger cohorts.
    Keywords: vocational education, reform, employment, wages, skills
    JEL: J08 J01 D00
    Date: 2017–06
  5. By: Mikołaj Czajkowski (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw); Tomasz Gajderowicz (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw); Marek Giergiczny (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw); Gabriela Grotkowska (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw); Urszula Sztandar-Sztanderska (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw)
    Abstract: This study illustrates how respondents’ stated choices (the discrete choice experiment method) combined with the random utility framework can be used to model preferences for higher education. The flexibility offered by stated preference data circumvents limitations of other approaches, and allows quantifying young people’ preferences for selected attributes of higher education programs that are typically highly correlated in revealed preference data. The empirical study presented here is based on a survey of 20,000 Polish respondents aged 18-30, who stated their preferences for higher education programs in carefully prepared hypothetical choice situations. The attributes we considered include tuition fee, expected salary after graduation, quality of institution, interest in the field of study, distance from home, and mode of study. Using random parameters and latent class mixed multinomial logit models, we can formally describe young peoples’ preferences, and identify the financial trade-offs they are willing to make, that is, estimate their willingness to pay for specific attribute levels in terms of increased tuition fees or expected salary after graduation. Accounting for respondents’ observed and unobserved preference heterogeneity, we address a few research questions related to, for example, distinct preferences of students whose neither parent attained tertiary education, students from lower socio-economic groups, or students of a particular gender. Overall, we demonstrate how stated preference methods can be a useful tool for exploring economic preferences, better understanding the determinants of choices, forecasting, and designing the services offered by higher education institutions in an optimal way.
    Keywords: higher education institution choice, random utility model, stated preferences, discrete choice experiment
    JEL: I23 D12 H52
    Date: 2017
  6. By: Francisco Gallego; Emma Näslund-Hadley; Mariana Alfonso
    Abstract: Previous research suggests that tailoring instruction to each student needs can produce significant learning gains. However, few programs have successfully implemented this approach in practice. In this paper, we present the results of a randomized evaluation of a program that uses an individualized scaffolding approach during regular school hours to teach the basic elements of numbers and shapes to preschoolers using a sample of 107 preschool centers and almost 3,000 children in Peru. The program improves Math outcomes among all children (by 0.10 standard deviations) and has stronger impacts for students in the lower quintiles of the distribution of outcomes and for students with teachers with university degrees. The effect in the areas that were implemented in a more intense way persists even one year after the program ended. Interestingly, we find no evidence of effects that are different across gender, language-spoken at home, and proxies for SES, contrasting with results from previous research that suggest that effects of Math programs are biased along gender and socioeconomic lines.
    JEL: I21 I28 O15
    Date: 2017
  7. By: Fumihiko SUGA
    Abstract: This paper aims to estimate the returns to postgraduate education in Japan, taking potential self-selection bias due to the absence of information on academic ability and the business cycle into consideration. The effect of earning a master's degree on wages is estimated using Japanese Panel Survey of Consumers (JPSC) data that contains extensive information on individuals' undergraduate subjects and type of university (private or public). The estimates using ordinary least squares (OLS) and Heckman two-step estimation respectively indicate that postgraduate wage premiums in Japan are 25.0% and 26.4% for men and 23.7% and 24.7% for women. The estimation results suggest that workers’ undergraduate subject and type of university (private or public) explain only a small fraction of the postgraduate wage premium. Moreover, in order to account for the self-selection bias, graduate enrollment capacity is employed as an instrumental variable (IV). In the IV regressions, the estimated postgraduate wage premium is not statistically significant. The estimates are not significant even in the regression using Working Person Survey (WPS) data, which has a much larger sample size than the JPSC. Although IV regressions of log wage do not provide positive and statistically significant results, the estimated effect of postgraduate education for male workers on job satisfaction is positive and statistically significant. It indicates that Japanese males obtain a master’s degree not for higher wage, but for non-pecuniary benefits.
    Date: 2017–03
  8. By: Daniel Horn (Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences); Hubert János Kiss (Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences)
    Abstract: We attempt to link laboratory-based measures of preferences with measures of school performance. We measure in an incentivized way risk, time, social and competitive preferences and also cognitive abilities of university students and look for associations between these measures and two important academic outcome measures: exam results and GPA. We find consistently that cognitive abilities (proxied by the Cognitive Reflection Test (Frederick 2005)) are very well correlated with school performance. Regarding non-cognitive skills, we find suggestive evidence for many of our measured preferences. We use two alternative measures of time preference: patience and present bias. Present bias explains exam grades relatively better, while patience is better explaining GPA. Both measures of time preferences have a non-linear relation to school performance. Competitiveness matters, as students, who opt for a more competitive payment scheme in our experiments have a higher average GPA and better exam grades. We observe also that risk-averse students perform a little better than risk-loving students. That makes sense in case of multiple choice exams, because risk-loving students may want to try to pass the exam less prepared, as the possibility of passing as exam just by chance is not zero. Finally, we have also detected that cooperative preferences – the amount of money offered in a public good game – associates strongly with GPA, but in a non-linear way. Students who offered around half of their possible amounts had significantly higher GPAs than those, who offered none or all their money.
    Keywords: competititive preferences, experiment, non-cognitive skills, risk preferences, school performance, social preferences, time preferences
    JEL: C91 D91 I20
    Date: 2017–07
  9. By: Umar, Maida; Asghar, Zahid
    Abstract: Considering how much progress has been made in education, and how large an effort is needed to meet gender parity in primary education. Education is at the heart of sustainable improvement and the SDGs, a cause of action and hope. Educating girls as well as boys is an achievable goal and attainable in the near term if substantial resources are matched with comprehensive national strategies for education reform that include measures of accountability and a commitment to ensure every girl and boy in school. Additionally, the study signifies that how far away we are from accomplishing these SDGs. This results ought to set off alerts and prompt a noteworthy scale-up of activities to accomplish SDG 4 and ensuring gender parity. Moreover, it underlines the gaps that where the Pakistan stands today in education and where it has to establish reaching by 2030. Projections illustrate that how much additional exertion will be needed to accomplish gender parity. Such a comprehension could go some approach to have the anticipated evaluations in graphics significantly lifted. While challenges still exist, expected distance to achieve gender parity provides us guidance on to make significant progress. Punjab and urban areas have achieved gender parity for primary enrollments while other provinces need to learn lessons. An emphasis on equity is likewise be required over the full SDG motivation, as the objectives won't be achieved unless advancement is made for all least developed districts and provinces, and for a whole. In short, there may be no better investment for the health and development of Pakistan than investments to educate girls.
    Keywords: SDGs. Gender Parity, Data Revolution, Data Literacy, Evidence Based Strategies, Disaggregated Data, Leave No One Behind
    JEL: I2 I21 I24
    Date: 2017–07–29
  10. By: Damon Clark; David Gill; Victoria Prowse; Mark Rush
    Abstract: Will college students who set goals for themselves work harder and achieve better outcomes? In theory, setting goals can help present-biased students to mitigate their self-control problem. In practice, there is little credible evidence on the causal effects of goal setting for college students. We report the results of two field experiments that involved almost four thousand college students in total. One experiment asked treated students to set goals for performance in the course; the other asked treated students to set goals for a particular task (completing online practice exams). Task-based goals had large and robust positive effects on the level of task completion, and task-based goals also increased course performance. Further analysis indicates that the increase in task completion induced by setting task-based goals caused the increase in course performance. We also find that performance-based goals had positive but small effects on course performance. We use theory that builds on present bias and loss aversion to interpret our results. Since task-based goal setting is low-cost, scaleable and logistically simple, we conclude that our findings have important implications for educational practice and future research.
    JEL: C93 I23
    Date: 2017–07
  11. By: Deven Carlson (Department of Political Science, University of Oklahoma); Robert Haveman (La Follette School of Public Affairs, University of Wisconsin–Madison; Department of Economics, University of Wisconsin–Madison; and Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne); Sohyun Kang (Department of Educational Policy Studies, University of Wisconsin–Madison); Hannah Miller (Abt Associates); Alex Schmidt (Department of Sociology, University of Wisconsin–Madison); Barbara Wolfe (Department of Population Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin–Madison; and Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)
    Abstract: Drawing on a unique data set that links information on all Wisconsin households receiving means-tested benefits with the educational performance of all Wisconsin public school students in these households, we estimate the effect of a family’s initial receipt of housing assistance on students’ subsequent achievement outcomes. We estimate these effects using two different comparison groups. Our first comparison group consists of children living in households that receive housing assistance starting three years after our treatment group—we use observations from students’ pre-receipt years as the basis for the comparison. Our second comparison group consists of low-income students whose families never received housing assistance, but did receive other forms of means-tested benefits, such as SNAP, TANF, or Medicaid. The results of our analyses suggest small positive effects of housing benefit receipt on student achievement. We discuss the implications for research and policy.
    Keywords: Housing vouchers, public housing, student achievement, administrative data
    JEL: H53 O18
    Date: 2017–07
  12. By: Andrew Agopsowicz (University of Western Ontario); Chris Robinson (University of Western Ontario); Ralph Stinebrickner (Berea College); Todd Stinebrickner (University of Western Ontario)
    Abstract: A large literature studies the wage consequences of over-education in the sense of a worker, by some measure, having a higher level of education than is required for the job. We use unique new data to reexamine the common interpretation that initial over-education represents a harmful type of mismatch that arises due to information induced frictions. We contrast this with the alternative that college graduates are heterogeneous with respect to their human capital and that the labor market is appropriately allocating them to jobs, even when many are observed starting in jobs that do not require a college degree.
    Date: 2017
  13. By: Matei, Ani; Tirziu, Andreea-Maria
    Abstract: The innovative pedagogy is enhanced by learning and teaching or training programmes focused on social innovation and social entrepreneurship. In this context, the academic capacity building represents a fundamental element. This paper aims to present a framework of developmental traditions that have a great influence on collective learning in order to be used as a way to boost social innovation. It shows the literature that focuses on collaborative learning and how it can be used as an instrument to boost social innovation. The methodology used to carry out the research is both bibliographic – opting here to study the work of specialists in the field, authors from Romania and abroad, and empirical – thus the theoretical approach is supported through relevant case studies from the European context and conclusions. The present and future generations will make a difference in the society they live in, with the help of the academic learning and teaching courses, when more institutions oriented on education take into consideration this type of development process. The results of this paper will show that social media tools have an important role in this context, therefore educational institutions should build spaces adapted for community learning, by using platforms and fields to which students, local communities, different stakeholders, public and private organizations have access and through which they can have the possibility to organize meetings of common interest regarding the education issue. We have identified that although technology is a main element in all life’s activities, there should also be taken into consideration the capability and willingness of individuals and institutions to cooperate and innovate, not only by electronic means, but also through traditional ways of participating in the development process of a society.
    Keywords: Collaborative learning, social innovation, social entrepreneurship, education, digital era
    Date: 2017–07–03
  14. By: Federico Araya (Unidad Estadística del Trabajo y la Seguridad Social, Ministerio de Trabajo y Seguridad Social); José Ignacio Rivero (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República)
    Abstract: We present an impact evaluation of a labour programme oriented to young students called “Yo Estudio y Trabajo” (“I Study and Work”) carried out in Uruguay. It is one of the first such evaluations for this country. We estimate the programme’s effects on the probability of being formally employed and continuing to study. Impacts on the very short term (about three months after the programme ended), on the short term (15 months after programme finalisation) and on the medium term (27 months after the programme was completed) are analysed. We use administrative records provided by the public social security provider, the public education administration and the state university. We were able to match all candidates for selection into the programme (over 46,000) with their administrative records. Exploiting the programme’s random selection process, we apply experimental techniques to evaluate its effects through univariate models. In addition, we allow for interdependence between the decisions of working and studying through a bivariate probit model. Results indicate different effects depending on the characteristics of the individuals and the time span considered. In particular, for socially vulnerable youths we find that the programme increases their probability of being formally employed between 8 and 12 percentage points (depending on the particular model considered) in the medium term. These results are robust to different specifications and provide evidence in favour of increasing the programme’s coverage of socially vulnerable youth (a policy that has been under way since 2015).
    Keywords: impact evaluation, youth labour programme, randomized controlled trial
    JEL: D04 I28 J08
    Date: 2017–06
  15. By: Qing Li
    Keywords: Education, Skills and Labour Market
    JEL: J15 I26
  16. By: Omar Adam Ayaita (University of Tuebingen); Kerstin Pull (University of Tuebingen); Uschi Backes-Gellner (University of Zurich)
    Abstract: Since the 1990s, research on publication outputs in business and economics has almost exclusively focused on journal articles. While earlier work has shown that journal articles and other publications were indeed complements in the 70s and 80s, we find that this is no longer the case when we include the most recent decades. Apparently, the notable shift in the scientific community's attention in the 90s on journal articles and the corresponding incentives towards publications in internationally highly ranked journals led researchers to one-sidedly focus on journal publications at the expense of other publication forms. To see whether the aggregate result also holds for individual researchers, we perform a cluster analysis and find four different types of individual researchers: "Journal Specialists", "Book- Based Publishers", a small group of "Highly Productive All-round Publishers" and a large group of what we call "Inconspicuous" researchers, with a very modest publication productivity in all forms. In addition we find that the individual researchers' age matters for their publication patterns: in our sample more experienced researchers are less productive with respect to journal articles, but more productive with respect to other publication forms. This, however, is not the result of an individual career effect. Rather, it is to be attributed to a cohort effect: among today's active researchers the younger cohorts are more productive in journal articles than the older cohorts. Our explanation based on our personnel economics analysis is as follows: the younger cohorts were in their socialization and hiring phase more strongly affected by the newly introduced incentives towards only international journal publications - and have thus reacted more strongly to the "regime change" resulting from the scientific community's one-sided attention to publications in internationally highly ranked journals.
    Keywords: Research productivity; publication forms; journal articles
    JEL: A14 I23 J24
    Date: 2017–07

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