nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2017‒09‒17
thirteen papers chosen by
João Carlos Correia Leitão
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Gender, Willingness to Compete and Career Choices Along the Whole Ability Distribution By Thomas (T.) Buser; Noemi Peter; Stefan Wolter
  2. High-Dosage Tutoring and Reading Achievement: Evidence from New York City By Roland G. Fryer, Jr; Meghan Howard Noveck
  3. Education Policies and Migration across European Countries By Ainhoa Aparicio Fenoll; Zoe Kuehn
  4. How do teachers teach?: Insights from teachers and students By OECD
  5. An Advisor Like Me? Advisor Gender and Post-graduate Careers in Science By Patric Gaule; Mario Piacentini
  6. Competition and Academic Performance: Evidence from a Classroom Experiment By Kelly Bedard; Stefanie Fischer
  7. Diverging destinies in international perspective: Education, single motherhood, and child poverty By Juho Härkönen
  8. High School Choices and the Gender Gap in STEM By David Card; A. Abigail Payne
  9. Factors Affecting the Intention to Become an Entrepreneur: A Study from Bangladeshi Business Graduates Perspective By S M Kabir; Ahasanul Haque; Abdullah Sarwar
  10. Do Teaching Practices Impact Socio-Emotional Skills? By Vaclav Korbel; Michal Paulus
  11. Niger NECS Impact Evaluation Report By Emilie Bagby; Kristine Bos; Anca Dumitrescu; Nicholas Ingwersen; Matt Sloan
  12. The Long-Run Effects of Recessions on Education and Income By Bryan A. Stuart
  13. Single-mother poverty: how much do educational differences in single motherhood matter? By Juho Härkönen

  1. By: Thomas (T.) Buser (University of Amsterdam; Tinbergen Institute, The Netherlands); Noemi Peter (University of Groningen); Stefan Wolter (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
    JEL: D91 J16 J24
    Date: 2017–09–05
  2. By: Roland G. Fryer, Jr; Meghan Howard Noveck
    Abstract: This study examines the impact on student achievement of high-dosage reading tutoring for middle school students in New York City Public Schools, using a school-level randomized field experiment. Across three years, schools offered at least 130 hours of 4-on-1 tutoring based on a guided reading model, which consisted of 1-on-1 read alouds, independent reading, vocabulary review, and group discussion. We show that, at the mean, tutoring has a positive and significant effect on school attendance, a positive, but insignificant, effect on English Language Arts (ELA) state test scores and no effect on math state test scores. There is important heterogeneity by race. For black students, our treatment increased attendance by 2.0 percentage points (control mean 92.4 percent) and ELA scores by 0.09 standard deviations per year – two times larger than the effect of the Promise Academy Middle School in the Harlem Children’s Zone and KIPP Charter Middle Schools on reading achievement. For Hispanic students, the treatment effect is 0.8 percentage points on attendance (control mean 92.0 percent) and 0.01 standard deviations per year on ELA scores. We argue that the difference between the effectiveness of tutoring for black and Hispanic students is best explained by the average tutor characteristics at the schools they attend.
    JEL: I20 J0
    Date: 2017–09
  3. By: Ainhoa Aparicio Fenoll; Zoe Kuehn
    Abstract: Two leading explanations as to why migration across European countries remains relatively limited are: (i) language barriers and (ii) lower educational attainment in Europe compared to the US. Both aspects are malleable via education policies which thus have the potential to affect migration. This paper tests whether and how (i) increasing the length of compulsory schooling and (ii) introducing foreign languages into compulsory school curricula, influence migration of ffected cohorts across European countries. We construct a novel data base that includes information on such education reforms for thirty-one countries spanning four decades. Combining this data with information on recent migration flows by cohorts, we find that an additional year of compulsory education reduces the number of migrants from affected cohorts by almost 14%. Increasing the length of compulsory schooling shifts educational attainment for a significant fraction of the population from low towards medium levels. Our findings are thus in line with the fact that in the majority of European countries medium educated individuals display lower emigration rates compared to low educated individuals. Introducing a foreign language into compulsory school curricula on the other hand, almost doubles the number of migrants from affected cohorts who move to the country where the language is spoken, and it increases the overall number of migrants from these cohorts by 23%.
    Keywords: migration, compulsory schooling, foreign language proficiency, education
    Date: 2016
  4. By: OECD
    Abstract: Almost all mathematics teachers across participating countries use clear and structured teaching practices, according to both teachers and students. A vast majority of teachers also use student-oriented practices and enhanced learning activities in their classroom. Cross-country differences are weak regarding the use of structuring practices, but moderate regarding the use of student-oriented practices and enhanced learning activities. Overall, mathematics teachers tend to report, more often than students, that they use a given teaching practice. The gap between teacher and student reports about the use of a given teaching practice varies across countries. Overall, the highest degree of convergence is observed for structuring practices, and the smallest is observed for student-oriented practices.
    Date: 2017–09–18
  5. By: Patric Gaule; Mario Piacentini
    Abstract: We investigate whether having an advisor of the same gender is correlated with the productivity of PhD science students and their propensity to stay in academic science. Our analysis is based on an original dataset covering nearly 20,000 PhD graduates and their advisors from U.S. chemistry departments. We find that students with an advisor of the same gender tend to be more productive during the PhD and more likely to become professors themselves. We suggest that the under-representation of women in science and engineering faculty positions may perpetuate itself through the lower availability of same-gender advisors for female students.
    Keywords: science, gender, universities, post-graduate careers
    JEL: J24 J16 O31
    Date: 2017–06
  6. By: Kelly Bedard (University of California, Santa Barbara and IZA); Stefanie Fischer (Department of Economics, California Polytechnic State University)
    Abstract: We examine the effect of relative evaluation on academic performance by implementing a classroom-level field experiment in which students are incentivized individually or in a tournament to take a microeconomics quiz. We focus on two aspects of competitive environments that may be particularly salient in academics: tournament size and one's perceived position in the ability distribution. At least in our setting, we find no evidence that effort responses to competition are sensitive to tournament size. However, in contrast to previous studies that examine effort responses to exogenously assigned competition, we find a large negative competition effect for students who believe they are relatively low in the ability distribution and no competition effect for those who believe they are relatively high ability. Using additional treatments, we further show that the divergence between our results and past results is driven by task type and not by differences in selection into participation between lab and field environments.
    Date: 2017
  7. By: Juho Härkönen
    Abstract: Educational differences in family demography have gained wide attention, not least due to arguments that they amplify existing inequalities in child well-being and life chances. Despite the interest, there has been a lack of comprehensive cross-national descriptions of trends in educational differences in family demography, and just a few quantifications of their importance to social inequality. In this study, I used data from the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) to describe trends in educational differences in single motherhood in 33 North American, European, and Asian countries, and to analyze whether these differences amplify differences in child poverty by maternal education. The prevalence of single motherhood has increased in almost all of the 33 countries. In many, educational differences in single motherhood have widened and single motherhood has increased particularly among the least educated. Educational differences in single motherhood can amplify differences in child poverty by maternal education, but only when both the educational gradient of single motherhood and the child poverty gap by single motherhood are large enough. These findings show that educational divergence in family demography is not limited to the United States, but that it is not a universal trend. Moreover, the study highlights the contingency of the inequality effects of these patterns and concludes that these effects can be countered by reducing the socioeconomic penalty of single motherhood.
    Keywords: education, single mothers, children, poverty
    Date: 2017–08
  8. By: David Card; A. Abigail Payne
    Abstract: Women who graduate from university are less likely than men to specialize in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM). We use detailed administrative data for a recent cohort of high school students in Ontario, Canada, combined with data from the province's university admission system to analyze the dynamic process leading to this gap. We show that entry to STEM programs is mediated through an index of STEM readiness based on end-of-high-school courses in math and science. Most of the gender gap in STEM entry can be traced to differences in the rate of STEM readiness; less than a fifth is due to differences in the choice of major conditional on readiness. We then use high school course data to decompose the gap in STEM readiness among university entrants into two channels: one reflecting the gender gap in the fraction of high school students with the necessary prerequisites to enter STEM, and a second arising from differences in the fractions of females and males who enter university. The gender gap in the fraction of students with STEM prerequisites is small. The main factor is the lower university entry rate by men – a difference that is due to the lower fraction of non-science oriented males who complete enough advanced level courses to qualify for university entry. We conclude that differences in course-taking patterns and preferences for STEM conditional on readiness contribute to male-female differences in the rate of entering STEM, but that the main source of the gap is the lower overall rate of university attendance by men.
    JEL: I20 J16
    Date: 2017–09
  9. By: S M Kabir (Department of Marketing - Rajshahi University); Ahasanul Haque (Department of Business Administration - International Islamic University Malaysia [Kuala Lumpur]); Abdullah Sarwar (Faculty of Management - Multimedia university of Cyberjaya)
    Abstract: The current stage of entrepreneurial culture in Bangladesh encourages rethinking about the content and approach of teaching in entrepreneurship education. Therefore, this study aimed at identifying the factors influencing Bangladeshi graduates' intention toward becoming entrepreneurs. A sample of 387 business graduate students was selected randomly from both private and public universities located in Dhaka and Rajshahi. Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modeling (PLS-SEM) has been employed to test the structural relationship among variables that influence respondent's entrepreneurial intention. This study has found that entrepreneurial education will provide skills and knowledge that might help the students to change their typical mind-set from searching job to creating jobs. Hence, focusing on developing entrepreneurial mind through education will have importance for the development of entrepreneurial culture as well as for the sustainable socioeconomic development in Bangladesh.
    Keywords: Intention,Entrepreneurial Education,Self-Efficacy,Attitude,Subjective Norm,Bangladesh
    Date: 2017
  10. By: Vaclav Korbel; Michal Paulus
    Abstract: Recent studies emphasize the importance of socio-emotional skills for the success in school as well as for later economic outcomes. However, little is known about how everyday classroom practices impact development of these skills. Using data from the Czech Republic, we show that modern practices such as working in small groups improve these skills. Intrinsic motivation and self-confidence are particularly positively affected. Moreover, modern practices have no adverse effects on test scores. On the other hand, standard practices such as lecturing or requiring memorizing have no impact on socio-emotional skills and test scores. Our results highlight that test score measures do not capture all skills developed in schools and suggest that changing slightly the composition of teaching practices can have a substantial positive impact on socio-emotional skills.
    Keywords: teaching practices; socio-emotional skills; between-subject variation;
    JEL: I21 C23
    Date: 2017–06
  11. By: Emilie Bagby; Kristine Bos; Anca Dumitrescu; Nicholas Ingwersen; Matt Sloan
    Abstract: This report documents the main findings from a rigorous evaluation of the NECS and IMAGINE projects in Niger. The projects included the construction of girl-friendly primary schools, local language reading instruction, and a set of complementary interventions to increase access to quality education.
    Keywords: Education, Niger, primary school, school infrastructure, reading
    JEL: F Z
  12. By: Bryan A. Stuart
    Abstract: This paper examines the long-run effects of the 1980-1982 recession on education and income. Using confidential Census data, I estimate generalized difference-in-differences regressions that exploit variation across counties in the severity of the recession and across cohorts in age at the time of the recession. I find that children born in counties with a more severe recession are less likely to obtain a college degree and, as adults, earn less income and experience higher poverty rates. The negative effects on college graduation are most severe and essentially constant for individuals age 0-13 in 1979, suggesting that the underlying mechanisms are a decline in childhood human capital or a long-term decline in parental resources to pay for college. I find little evidence that states with more generous or more progressive transfer systems mitigated these long-run effects. The magnitude of my estimates and the large number of affected individuals suggest that the 1980-1982 recession depresses aggregate economic output today.
    Keywords: human capital development, income, education, recessions
    JEL: E32 I20 I30 J13 J24
    Date: 2017–01
  13. By: Juho Härkönen
    Abstract: Recent research on family demography and social inequality has paid attention to the divergence in family structures by education. This research has shown how single motherhood prevalence has increased markedly among the low educated, while remaining stable at relatively low levels among the highly educated. Because single motherhood is associated with a host of economic disadvantages, these trends can amplify social inequalities. In this chapter, I use data for 15 countries from the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) Database to analyze whether educational differences in single motherhood increase single-mother poverty, and the poverty gap between single-mother and coupled-parent households. Single-mother poverty rates and the single-mother poverty gap would both be lower in the absence of educational differences in single motherhood. However, the importance of educational differences in single motherhood is conditional on how high single-mother poverty rates are in different educational groups; educational differences in single motherhood matter less when educational differences in single-mother poverty are smaller. I conclude that social policies should aim to reduce poverty among all families. As a side-effect, educational differences in single motherhood would be less important in shaping social inequality.
    Keywords: education, single mothers, children, poverty
    Date: 2017–08

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