nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2017‒09‒03
thirty papers chosen by
João Carlos Correia Leitão
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Improving Learning Outcomes through Information Provision: Evidence from Indian Villages By Afridi, Farzana; Barooah, Bidisha; Somanathan, Rohini
  2. Engineering Educational Opportunity: Impacts of 1970s and 1980s Policies to Increase the Share of Black College Graduates with Major in Engineering or Computer Science By Catherine J. Weinberger
  3. Transition from school to work: How hard is it across different age groups? By OECD
  5. Date of Birth and Selective Schooling By Hart, Robert A.; Moro, Mirko
  6. Gender, Willingness to Compete and Career Choices along the Whole Ability Distribution By Buser, Thomas; Peter, Noemi; Wolter, Stefan C.
  7. Does the quality of learning outcomes fall when education expands to include more disadvantaged students? By OECD
  8. Understanding the Impact of Tuition Fees in Foreign Education: the Case of the UK By Michel Beine; Marco Delogu; Lionel Ragot
  9. Uncertainty in education: The role of communities and social learning By Ana Figueiredo
  10. Choice of Majors: Are Women Really Different from Men? By Kugler, Adriana; Tinsley, Catherine H.; Ukhaneva, Olga
  11. Tuition Fees and University Enrollment: A Meta-Analysis By Tomas Havranek; Zuzana Irsova; Olesia Zeynalova
  12. (How) Do Non-Cognitive Skills Programs Improve Adolescent School Achievement? Experimental Evidence By Martins, Pedro S.
  13. International Students, Immigration and Earnings Growth: The Effect of a Pre-immigration Canadian University Education By Hou, Feng; Lu, Yuqian
  14. The education motive for migrant remittances - Theory and evidence from India By Matthieu Delpierre; Arnaud Dupuy; Michel Tenikue; Bertrand Verheyden
  15. Determinants of Islamic Banking Growth: An Empirical Analysis By Cham, Tamsir
  16. Public Opinion on Education Policy in Germany By Lergetporer, Philipp; Werner, Katharina; Woessmann, Ludger
  17. First and Second Generation Impacts of the Biafran War By Akresh, Richard; Bhalotra, Sonia R.; Leone, Marinella; Osili, Una O.
  18. Excluded Generation: The Growing Challenges of Labor Market Insertion for Egyptian Youth By Assaad, Ragui; Krafft, Caroline
  19. Is there really a trade-off? Family Size and Investment in Child Quality in India By Mehtabul Azam; Chan Hang Saing
  20. The structure of priority in the school choice problem By Duddy, Conal
  21. Minimum Wages and Vocational Training Incentives in Germany By Kim Leonie Kellermann
  22. Goal Setting, Academic Reminders, and College Success: A Large-Scale Field Experiment By Christopher R. Dobronyi; Philip Oreopoulos; Uros Petronijevic
  23. (Non)Randomization: A Theory of Quasi-Experimental Evaluation of School Quality By Yusuki Narita
  24. Educational Quality along Multiple Dimensions: A Cross-Country Analysis By Stephen Yeaple; Chong Xiang
  25. The effects of test scores and truancy on youth unemployment and inactivity: A simultaneous equations approach By Steven Bradley; Robert Crouchley
  26. Higher Career Cost Can Actually Explain Why More Women Than Men Go to College By Hanzhe Zhang
  27. Housing Prices, Unemployment Rates, Disadvantage, and Progress toward a Degree By Stratton, Leslie S.
  28. Pre-Kindergarten Impacts Over Time: An Analysis of KIPP Charter Schools By Virginia Knechtel; Thomas Coen; Pia Caronongan; Nickie Fung; Lisbeth Goble
  29. Does it pay to be a doctor in France? By Brigitte Dormont; Anne-Laure Samson
  30. The Contribution of Educated Workers to Firms' Efficiency Gains The Key Role of the Proximity to Frontier By Vincent Vandenberghe

  1. By: Afridi, Farzana (Indian Statistical Institute); Barooah, Bidisha (International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie)); Somanathan, Rohini (Delhi School of Economics)
    Abstract: We study whether information provision improves the academic performance of primary school children in a setting where parents have incomplete information about their child's cognitive skills and there exist competing public and private providers of education. Contiguous village councils in the north Indian state of Rajasthan were randomly assigned to either a control or one of four treatment groups in which schools and/or parents were provided information through report cards on either intra or both intra and inter school performance of students in curriculum based tests. We find significant improvement in test scores of private school students by 0.31 standard deviations when information on both absolute and relative school quality is provided to households and schools. There are no significant improvements in the learning outcomes of public school children in any treatment. Close examination of the results suggest that private school students chose better quality schools in the new academic year. Public school parents did respond by exercising school choice and lowering student absenteeism but saw no improvements in learning outcomes possibly because of constrained school choice set. Overall, our results suggest that information on the relative quality of schools can be a cheap and effective tool for improving learning outcomes when households can exercise school choice.
    Keywords: report cards, test scores, school choice, India
    JEL: I20 I25 O15
    Date: 2017–08
  2. By: Catherine J. Weinberger
    Abstract: Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, U.S. institutions of higher education began to address long-standing patterns of exclusion. Initial efforts to improve the access of black students to engineering education focused on six historically black engineering colleges, and evolved into a truly nationwide movement. Later, a larger group of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) expanded educational opportunities in engineering, computer science and other technical fields, "to prepare their students for expanded career choices." Geographic and institutional features of the higher education infrastructure led to differential impacts of these policies on students born in different states. A data panel assembled for the project links changes in educational opportunities to current outcomes. The panel includes more than 30 years of complete counts of the number of bachelor's degrees conferred in each field by each U.S. institution of higher education (collected by the U.S. Department of Education and the Engineering Manpower Commission), merged to current labor force data. These data facilitate description of the geography and timing of changes in opportunities for black college students to choose engineering or computer science college majors, and current labor market outcomes among those born in the right place and time to pursue careers in these fields.
    JEL: J24 J31
    Date: 2017–08
  3. By: OECD
    Abstract: The transition from school to work can be a difficult period associated with spells of unemployment. Data show that those who leave school early have comparatively low skills and low educational attainment and face the greatest challenges in the labour market compared to their peers who stayed in education longer. Efforts should be made to ensure that people remain in education until they complete at least upper secondary education – considered the minimum threshold for successful entry into the labour market. Remaining in education not only leads to higher educational attainment, but also fosters the skills needed to ensure a successful transition into the labour market.
    Date: 2017–08–31
  4. By: Estelle Bellity (TEPP - Travail, Emploi et Politiques Publiques - UPEM - Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, ERUDITE - Equipe de Recherche sur l’Utilisation des Données Individuelles en lien avec la Théorie Economique - UPEM - Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée - UPEC UP12 - Université Paris-Est Créteil Val-de-Marne - Paris 12); Fabrice Gilles (LEM - Lille - Economie et Management - Université de Lille, Sciences et Technologies - Université Catholique de Lille - Université de Lille, Sciences Humaines et Sociales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, TEPP - Travail, Emploi et Politiques Publiques - UPEM - Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Yannick L'Horty (TEPP - Travail, Emploi et Politiques Publiques - UPEM - Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, ERUDITE - Equipe de Recherche sur l’Utilisation des Données Individuelles en lien avec la Théorie Economique - UPEM - Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée - UPEC UP12 - Université Paris-Est Créteil Val-de-Marne - Paris 12)
    Abstract: We evaluate the impact of encouraging students to practice literacy skills, as well as improvement in these skills, on academic performance in first-year university students. Several previous studies have attempted to understand drivers for academic success in university students. To our knowledge, none focus on directly analyzing the relations between such factors and students’ academic performance. We used a randomized experiment based on an encouragement design with a group of first-year students in Economics and Management in two French universities. For measuring the effects of encouragement, we included an innovative pedagogical tool for practicing literacy skills via a web platform, called Projet Voltaire. This tool also allowed us to get a good measure of the literacy skills of the students, both at the beginning and at the end of the first term of the academic year. During the entire semester, students had the opportunity to practice literacy skills using Projet Voltaire. To evaluate the impact of literacy on different final grades or final exam scores, and particularly on first-year grade averages, we distinguished between two randomly selected groups of students: some were encouraged to practice literacy skills, while others were only made aware of the option. As a measure of improvement in literacy skills, we use the difference between scores on the two literacy tests. Estimating intention to treat and local average treatment effect, we show that both encouragement to practice literacy skills and an improvement in literacy test scores over the first term are positively correlated with the academic performance of first-year university students, and in particular the probability that they will complete one or both semesters of the academic year.
    Keywords: orthographe, échec en licence, expérimentation
    Date: 2017–05–12
  5. By: Hart, Robert A. (University of Stirling); Moro, Mirko (University of Stirling)
    Abstract: We examine the effects of date of birth on state selective education using the 1944 Education Act in England and Wales as a natural experiment. We compare the probabilities of gaining selective school entry – which in our study period meant attending a grammar school – before and after the Act using a difference-in-difference approach. Before 1944, grammar school entry was achieved either noncompetitively through fee-paying or free based on a competitive 11+ exam. After 1944, all children were required to take a competitive 11+ exam and about one-third gained a grammar school place. Pre-1944 we find the children born in the middle or late in the school year (January to August) fared significantly worse in gaining a grammar school place than those born at the beginning of the school year (from September to December). Post-1944, the prospects of grammar school entry among children born in the middle of the school year (January to April) improved considerably. We argue that a greater recourse to age standardisation of 11+ test scores may well have accounted for this outcome. The youngest 'summer children' (those born at the end of the school year from May to August) remained significantly disadvantaged, however. A strong influence was the practice of streaming (or tracking) junior school children at age 7 into classes delineated by average ability.
    Keywords: 1944 Education Act, date of birth, selective schooling, class streaming
    JEL: I21 I24 I28
    Date: 2017–08
  6. By: Buser, Thomas (University of Amsterdam); Peter, Noemi (University of Groningen); Wolter, Stefan C. (University of Bern)
    Abstract: Men are generally found to be more willing to compete than women and there is growing evidence that willingness to compete is a predictor of individual and gender differences in career decisions and labor market outcomes. However, most existing evidence comes from the top of the education and talent distribution. In this study, we use incentivized choices from more than 1500 Swiss lower-secondary school students to ask how the gender gap in willingness to compete varies with ability and how willingness to compete predicts career choices along the whole ability distribution. Our main results are: 1. The gender gap in willingness to compete is essentially zero among the lowest-ability students, but increases steadily with ability and reaches 30–40 percentage points for the highest-ability students. 2. Willingness to compete predicts career choices along the whole ability distribution. At the top of the ability distribution, students who compete are more likely to choose a math or science-related academic specialization and girls who compete are more likely to choose academic over vocational education in general. At the middle, competitive boys are more likely to choose a business-oriented apprenticeship, while competitive girls are more likely to choose a math-intensive apprenticeship or an academic education. At the bottom, students who compete are more likely to succeed in securing an apprenticeship position. We also discuss how our findings relate to persistent gender differences in career outcomes.
    Keywords: willingness to compete, gender, career decisions, experiment
    JEL: C91 D03 J01 J16
    Date: 2017–08
  7. By: OECD
    Abstract: Globally, enrolment in secondary education has expanded dramatically over the past decades. This expansion is also reflected in PISA data, particularly for low- and middle-income countries. Between 2003 and 2015, Indonesia added more than 1.1 million students, Turkey and Brazil more than 400 000 students, and Mexico more than 300 000 students, to the total population of 15-year-olds eligible to participate in PISA. This welcome expansion in education opportunities makes it more difficult to interpret how mean scores in PISA have changed over time. Indeed, increases in coverage can lead to an underestimation of the real improvements that education systems have achieved. Household surveys often show that children from poor households, ethnic minorities or rural areas face a greater risk of not attending or completing lower secondary education. Typically, as populations that had previously been excluded gain access to higher levels of schooling, a larger proportion of low-performing students will be included in PISA samples.
    Date: 2017–08–29
  8. By: Michel Beine (CREA, Université du Luxembourg); Marco Delogu (Université du Luxembourg, Université catholique de Louvain); Lionel Ragot (Université Paris Nanterre, EconomiX and CEPII)
    Abstract: This paper studies the determinants of international students’ mobility at the university- level, focusing specifically on the role of tuition fees. We first develop an original Random Utility Maximization model of location choice for international students in the presence of capacity constraints of the hosting institutions. The last layer of the model gives rise to a gravity equation. This equation is estimated using new data on student migration flows at the university level for the U.K. We control for the endogeneity of tuition fees by taking benefit of the institutional constraints in terms of tuition caps applied in the UK to European students at the bachelor level. The estimations support a negative impact of tuition fees and stress the need to account for the endogenous nature of the fees in the empirical identification of their impact. The estimations also support an important role of additional destination-specific variables such as host capacity, the expected return of education and the cost of living in the vicinity of the university.
    Keywords: Foreign students; Tuition fees; Location choice; University Quality.
    JEL: F22 H52 I23 O15
    Date: 2017
  9. By: Ana Figueiredo (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)
    Abstract: This paper studies the role of information frictions and social learning as a novel channel through which neighbourhoods affect children educational outcomes. I write a model of educational choice with two novel features: (i) individuals are uncertain about the returns to education, and (ii) they learn about the them by observing nearby skilled neighbours. In contrast to prior models of human capital formation with local interactions, in a model with information frictions and social learning, it is not only about being exposed skilled neighbours, but also about their wage distribution: skilled neighbours only increase schooling investment if the labor market information they disclose leads to an increase in the perceived education premium. Using school-district data from Michigan over the period 2008-2014, I find evidence supporting the model’s pre- diction. I also calibrate the model to Detroit data in 2013 and through counterfactual experiments show that social learning plays an important role in reducing the underlying uncertainty about college returns, however it also increases inequalities across neighbourhoods.
    Date: 2017
  10. By: Kugler, Adriana (Georgetown University); Tinsley, Catherine H. (Georgetown University); Ukhaneva, Olga (Georgetown University)
    Abstract: Recent work suggests that women are more responsive to negative feedback than men in certain environments. We examine whether negative feedback in the form of relatively low grades in major-related classes explains gender differences in the final majors undergraduates choose. We use unique administrative data from a large private university on the East Coast from 2009-2016 to test whether women are more sensitive to grades than men, and whether the gender composition of major-related classes affects major changes. We also control for other factors that may affect a student's final major including: high school student performance, gender of faculty, and economic returns of majors. Finally, we examine how students' decisions are affected by external cues that signal STEM fields as masculine. The results show that high school academic preparation, faculty gender composition, and major returns have little effect on major switching behaviors, and that women and men are equally likely to change their major in response to poor grades in major-related courses. Moreover, women in male-dominated majors do not exhibit different patterns of switching behaviors relative to their male colleagues. Women are, however, more likely to switch out of male-dominated STEM majors in response to poor performance compared to men. Therefore, we find that it takes multiple signals of lack of fit into a major (low grades, gender composition of class, and external stereotyping signals) to impel female students to switch majors.
    Keywords: education gender gap, major choice, STEM field
    JEL: I23 I24 J16
    Date: 2017–08
  11. By: Tomas Havranek (Institute of Economic Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague, Smetanovo nabrezi 6, 111 01 Prague 1, Czech Republic; Czech National Bank, Na prikope 28, 115 03 Prague 1, Czech Republic); Zuzana Irsova (Institute of Economic Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague, Smetanovo nabrezi 6, 111 01 Prague 1, Czech Republic); Olesia Zeynalova (Institute of Economic Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague, Smetanovo nabrezi 6, 111 01 Prague 1, Czech Republic)
    Abstract: One of the most frequently examined relationships in education economics is the impact of tuition increases on the demand for higher education. We provide a quantitative synthesis of 443 estimates of this effect reported in 43 studies. While large negative estimates dominate the literature, we show that researchers report positive and insignificant estimates less often than they should. After correcting for this publication bias, we find that the literature is consistent with the mean tuition-enrollment elasticity being close to zero. Nevertheless, we identify substantial heterogeneity among the reported effects: for example, male students and students at private schools react strongly to changes in tuition. The results are robust to controlling for model uncertainty using both Bayesian and frequentist methods of model averaging.
    Keywords: Enrollment, tuition, demand for higher education, meta-analysis, publication bias, model averaging
    JEL: I23 I28 C52
    Date: 2017–08
  12. By: Martins, Pedro S. (Queen Mary, University of London)
    Abstract: Non-cognitive skills programs may be an important policy option to improve the academic outcomes of adolescents. In this paper, we evaluate experimentally the EPIS program, which is based on bi-weekly individual or small-group non-cognitive mediation short meetings with low-performing students. Our RCT estimates, covering nearly 3,000 7th and 8th-grade students across over 50 schools and a period of two years, indicate that the program increases the probability of progression by 11% to 22%. The effects are stronger amongst older students, girls, and in language subjects (compared to maths).
    Keywords: student achievement, non-cognitive skills, RCT, gender
    JEL: I20 I24 J08
    Date: 2017–08
  13. By: Hou, Feng; Lu, Yuqian
    Abstract: This study uses large national longitudinal datasets to examine cross-cohort trends and within-cohort changes in earnings among three groups of young university graduates: immigrants who are former international students in Canada (Canadian-educated immigrants), foreign-educated immigrants who had a university degree before immigrating to Canada and the Canadian-born population.
    Keywords: Education, training and learning, Education, training and skills, Ethnic diversity and immigration, Outcomes of education
    Date: 2017–08–22
  14. By: Matthieu Delpierre (IWEPS, Belgium); Arnaud Dupuy (CREA, Université du Luxembourg); Michel Tenikue (LISER, Luxembourg); Bertrand Verheyden (LISER, Luxembourg)
    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
  15. By: Cham, Tamsir (The Islamic Research and Teaching Institute (IRTI))
    Abstract: This paper examined the determinants of growth rate in Islamic banking using annual time series data. We apply several econometrics methods including Generalized Linear Model (GLM) and survey based indicators. We use the World Bank Enterprise Survey data to supplement our answers. Our results support the view that high oil prices, stable domestic prices, higher educated populace and greater presence of capital resources have positive effects on growth in Islamic banking. Our findings revealed that instability adversely affect Islamic banking growth. We found no clear conclusion on the impact of economic growth, greater presence of Muslim population and presence of sharia in the legal system of the country on Islamic banking growth. The major constraints impeding Islamic banking growth include regulations, tax rates, and skilled labor force. The findings call for urgent policy measures in the medium and longterm, which includes price stability, regional stability, tax reform, revamp the education system and increase sensitization of Islamic finance. Secondary school education should be encouraged to address skilled labor force. Women participation in the labor force needs to be encouraged in order to enhance greater sensitization.
    Keywords: Islamic Banking; Growth; Generalized Linear Model; World Bank Enterprise Survey
    JEL: F40 G21 G29
    Date: 2017–07–01
  16. By: Lergetporer, Philipp (Ifo Institute for Economic Research); Werner, Katharina (Ifo Institute for Economic Research); Woessmann, Ludger (Ifo Institute for Economic Research)
    Abstract: To better understand the political economy constraints of education policy, we have conducted the annual ifo Education Survey in Germany since 2014. This paper summarizes selected key findings on the German publics' preferences for education policies ranging from early childhood education and schools to the apprenticeship system, universities, and lifelong learning. While the emerging picture is complex and multifaceted, some general patterns emerge. The majority of Germans is surprisingly open to education reform and favors clear performance orientation. Survey experiments indicate that information can have substantial effects on public policy preferences. Overall, education policies seem important for respondents' voting behavior.
    Keywords: education policy, public opinion, political economy, survey experiments, Germany
    JEL: I28 D72 H52
    Date: 2017–08
  17. By: Akresh, Richard (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign); Bhalotra, Sonia R. (University of Essex); Leone, Marinella (University of Sussex); Osili, Una O. (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis)
    Abstract: We analyze long-term impacts of the 1967-1970 Nigerian Civil War, providing the first evidence of intergenerational impacts. Women exposed to the war in their growing years exhibit reduced adult stature, increased likelihood of being overweight, earlier age at first birth, and lower educational attainment. Exposure to a primary education program mitigates impacts of war exposure on education. War exposed men marry later and have fewer children. War exposure of mothers (but not fathers) has adverse impacts on child growth, survival, and education. Impacts vary with age of exposure. For mother and child health, the largest impacts stem from adolescent exposure.
    Keywords: intergenerational, conflict, human capital, fetal origins, Africa
    JEL: I12 I25 J13 O12
    Date: 2017–08
  18. By: Assaad, Ragui (University of Minnesota); Krafft, Caroline (St. Catherine University)
    Abstract: Youth in Egypt hold rising aspirations for their adult lives, yet face an increasingly uncertain and protracted transition from school to work and thus into adulthood. This paper investigates how labor market insertion has been evolving over time in Egypt and how the nature of youth transitions relates to gender and social class. We demonstrate that youth today face poorer chances of transitioning into a good job than previous generations, despite large increases in educational attainment. Social class is playing an increasing role in determining the success of the transition from school to work in Egypt. Whether youth successfully make transitions to formal jobs, embark on such transitions and fail, or pursue a traditional route to adulthood depends on a complex and changing interaction between their own educational attainment and the resources of their families. In light of these findings, we discuss the policies that can help facilitate successful transitions for struggling youth in Egypt.
    Keywords: transition from school to work, youth, adulthood, life course, Egypt
    JEL: I24 J24 J45 J62 O15
    Date: 2017–08
  19. By: Mehtabul Azam (Oklahoma State University); Chan Hang Saing (Cambodia Development Resource Institute)
    Abstract: We address the relationship between number of children and investment in child quality, known as Quantity-Quality (Q-Q) trade-off, for India. Using a number of investment and outcome measures, we find that the OLS estimates suggest presence of Q-Q trade-offs in 9 out of 10 measures considered. Using the gender of the first-born child as an instrument, the trade-offs in all measures disappear. Given the concerns about the exogeneity of the instrument, we apply Oster (2016) bounds to assess sensitivity of OLS estimates to omitted variables. We find robust trade-off estimates in only 3 measures---enrollment, years of schooling, and height-for-age. However, we find more robust trade-offs in rural areas. Trade- offs appear in ever enrolled, private school attendance, expenditure on education and private coaching in addition to the trade-offs in the 3 measures for all India sample.
    Keywords: Quantity-Quality trade-off, Investment, Educational Outcomes, India
    JEL: O11 J13
    Date: 2017–08
  20. By: Duddy, Conal
    Abstract: In a school choice problem each school has a priority ordering over the set of students. These priority orderings depend on criteria such as whether a student lives within walking distance or has a sibling already at the school. I argue that by including just the priority orderings in the problem, and not the criteria themselves, we lose important information. More particularly, the priority orderings fail to capture important aspects of the information from which they are derived when a student may satisfy a given criterion across multiple schools. This loss of information results in mechanisms that discriminate between students in ways that are not easy to justify. I propose an extended formulation of the school choice problem wherein a “priority matrix”, indicating which criteria are satisfied by each student-school pair, replaces the usual profile of priority orderings.
    Keywords: school choice; matching; priority ordering; deferred acceptance
    JEL: C78 H40 I28
    Date: 2017–05–24
  21. By: Kim Leonie Kellermann (University of Münster, Center for Interdisciplinary Economics, Münster, Germany)
    Abstract: We examine the impact of sector-specific minimum wages in Germany on the willingness of youths to undergo vocational training. The theoretical intuition on the impact of wage floors on education is ambiguous. On the one hand, they raise the opportunity cost of education and prevent further skill accumulation. On the other hand, they lower the employment probability of unskilled workers, promoting additional training. Employing a mixed logit model, we estimate the probability of opting for an apprenticeship for a GSOEP-based sample of youths aged 17 to 24. Unlike the evidence from other countries, we find that increasing sectoral wage floors have a positive effect on training probabilities. Due to binding minimum wages, the demand for unskilled workers declines which lowers the opportunity cost of education. High requirements with regard to professional skills reinforce the effect.
    Keywords: Minimum wages, education, vocational training, occupational choice, discrete choice
    JEL: C33 I21 I28 J24
    Date: 2017–08
  22. By: Christopher R. Dobronyi; Philip Oreopoulos; Uros Petronijevic
    Abstract: This paper presents an independent large-scale experimental evaluation of two online goal-setting interventions. Both interventions are based on promising findings from the field of social psychology. Approximately 1,400 first-year undergraduate students at a large Canadian university were randomly assigned to complete one of two online goal-setting treatments or a control task. Additionally, half of treated participants also were offered the opportunity to receive follow-up goal-oriented reminders through e-mail or text messages in an attempt to test a cost-effective method for increasing the saliency of treatment. Across all treatment groups, we observe no evidence of an effect on GPA, course credits, or second year persistence. Our estimates are precise enough to discern a seven percent standardized performance effect at a five percent significance level. Our results hold by subsample, for various outcome variables, and across a number of specifications.
    JEL: I23 J24
    Date: 2017–08
  23. By: Yusuki Narita (Cowles Foundation, Yale University)
    Abstract: Many centralized school admissions systems use lotteries to ration limited seats at oversubscribed schools. The resulting random assignment is used by empirical researchers to identify the effect of entering a school on outcomes like test scores. I first find that the two most popular empirical research designs may not successfully extract a random assignment of applicants to schools. When do the research designs overcome this problem? I show the following main results for a class of data-generating mechanisms containing those used in practice: One research design extracts a random assignment under a mechanism if and practically only if the mechanism is strategy-proof for schools. In contrast, the other research design does not necessarily extract a random assignment under any mechanism.
    Keywords: Matching Market Design, Natural Experiment, Program Evaluation, Random Assignment, Quasi-Experimental Research Design, School Eectiveness
    Date: 2016–12
  24. By: Stephen Yeaple (Pennsylvania State University); Chong Xiang (Purdue University)
    Abstract: The quality of a country's educational infrastructure is a crucial determinant of economic well-being. Historically, measurement of educational quality relied on crude output measures, such as average years of schooling. More recently, researchers have tried to measure the comparative quality of educational systems directly by comparing test scores on international tests. Aspects of educational quality that are ill-measured by exams, however, are neglected in such analyses. In this paper, we develop a general equilibrium framework that allow educational outcomes to vary in the extent to which they are readily quantified on exams. Our framework allows inference along multiple dimensions of educational quality and provides a method for aggregating over these dimensions to construct a single measure of institutional quality. Many countries that score well on international exams fair poorly according to our measure, and our comparative static results suggest important tradeoffs across eductional dimensions.
    Date: 2017
  25. By: Steven Bradley; Robert Crouchley
    Abstract: In this paper we analyse the interactions between, and determinants of, test scores, truancy and the risk of youth unemployment and NEET in a simultaneous equations framework. This approach allows us to disentangle the observable direct and indirect effects of truancy and test scores on the risk of unemployment and NEET from their unobserved effects. We use a unique data source, combining the Youth Cohort Study, the School Performance Tables, and the School’s Census, enabling us to control for a large number of personal, family, school, peer group and neighbourhood effects on the three response variables. Our findings suggest that models of the determinants of youth unemployment and NEET that ignore correlation between the unobservables of the determinants test scores and truancy will lead to misleading inference about the magnitude and strength of their direct effects. However, our findings also suggest that truancy has a indirect effect on labour market outcomes via its effect on test scores. Truancy does have an unobserved effect on the risk of unemployment and the risk of NEET insofar as the correlation between latent variables for truancy and labour market outcomes are positive and statistically significant. Test scores have a direct effect on labour market outcomes, and through the estimation of ATTs, we show a good performance in high stakes tests (i.e. GCSEs) can mitigate the effect of truanting from school on labour market outcomes.
    Keywords: Youth unemployment, truancy, test scores, Simultaneous equations
    JEL: I21 J64
    Date: 2017
  26. By: Hanzhe Zhang (Department of Economics, University of Chicago)
    Abstract: This paper shows how women’s relatively higher career cost can explain why in most of the developed countries women go to college at a higher rate than men and earn less on average. I assume men and women make costly college and career investments but women face an extra cost for career investment because such investment occurs during their fertile period. The extra career cost discourages women from investing in career but surprisingly encourages more women than men to go to college through a general-equilibrium marriage-market channel that results in an endogenously higher college marriage premium for women.
    Keywords: gender-differential career cost, college gender gap, college marriage premium
    JEL: C78 D10 I20
    Date: 2017–08
  27. By: Stratton, Leslie S. (Virginia Commonwealth University)
    Abstract: Rising unemployment and housing price appreciation are associated with increased college enrollment. Enrollment does not, however, guarantee completion. We use a discrete time, competing hazard function that accommodates individual-specific heterogeneity to assess the impact changing unemployment and housing prices have on progress toward a college degree in the United States for students interviewed for the 1996-2001 Beginning Post-Secondary Survey. The results indicate that rising unemployment rates have at best a modest effect on six year graduation rates. Both boys and girls are, however, more likely to not be enrolled and less likely to have graduated at the six-year mark when housing prices appreciate, and this effect is more pronounced for more disadvantaged youth.
    Keywords: higher education, graduation, housing prices, unemployment, disadvantage
    JEL: I21 I24
    Date: 2017–08
  28. By: Virginia Knechtel; Thomas Coen; Pia Caronongan; Nickie Fung; Lisbeth Goble
    Abstract: This study examines the impact of KIPP Pre-K programs and their persistence over time, finding that KIPP positively affects student achievement and that these impacts persist to some degree in grade 2.
    Keywords: KIPP, Charter School, Pre-K, Pre-Kindergarten,, Early Childhood Education
    JEL: I
  29. By: Brigitte Dormont (LEDa - Laboratoire d'Economie de Dauphine - Université Paris-Dauphine); Anne-Laure Samson (LEDa - Laboratoire d'Economie de Dauphine - Université Paris-Dauphine)
    Abstract: This paper examines whether general practitionersí(GPsí) earnings are high enough to keep this profession attractive. We set up two samples, with longitudinaldata relative to GPs and executives. Those two professions have similar abilities but GPs have chosen a longer education. To measure if they get returns that compensate for their higher investment, we study their career proÖles and construct a measure of wealth for each individual that takes into account all earnings accumulated from the age of 24 (including zero income years when they start their career after 24). The stochastic dominance analysis shows that wealth distributions do not differ significantly between male GPs and executives but that GP wealth distribution dominates executive wealth distribution at the first order for women.Hence, while there is no monetary advantage or disadvantage to be a GP for men, it is more profitable for women to be a self-employed GP than a salaried executive.
    Keywords: GPs,longitudinal data,earning profile,self-employed,executive,stochastic dominance
    Date: 2017–05–04
  30. By: Vincent Vandenberghe (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))
    Abstract: Vandenbussche et al (2006), Aghion et al. (2009) posit and show that when economies operate close to the technical frontier, their ability to generate efficiency gains rests on the contribution of workers with advanced forms of education (i.e. those who attended tertiary education). The main originality of this empirical paper is to revisit and improve the analysis of that assumption in the context of firms located in advanced economics, assuming that something that has been verified for OECD countries or US states is likely to be observed also at a much more desegregated level. To that purpose, we analyse a rich panel of Belgian firm-level data, covering the 2008-14 period. In the first step, we concentrate on properly estimating each firm’s distance/proximity to frontier. Step 2 consists in regressing each firm's efficiency growth rate on [1] the share of workers by education attainment [2] its (initial) distance/proximity to the frontier and [3] (the main variable of interest here) the interaction between [1] & [2], whose sign provides a direct test of the Vandenbussche/Aghion assumption. The main result of the paper supports the idea that the closer the firms are from the frontier, the more educated workers matter for efficiency gains.
    Keywords: Efficiency growth, Highly-educated workers, Frontier Firms, Proximity to frontier
    JEL: J24 I20 E24 O30 O40
    Date: 2017–08–21

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