nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2017‒09‒24
sixteen papers chosen by
João Carlos Correia Leitão
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Increasing Teachers’ Compensation or Building New Schools: How Do Different Types of School Expenditures Affect the Educational Attainment of Students? By Ali Enami
  2. Combining experimental evidence with machine learning to assess anti-corruption educational campaigns among Russian university students By Denisova-Schmidt, Elena; Huber, Martin; Leontyeva, Elvira; Solovyeva, Anna
  3. Bullied because younger than my mates? The effect of age rank on victimization at school By Ballatore, Rosario Maria; Paccagnella, Marco; Tonello, Marco
  4. The Great Recession and Public Education By Wagner, Kathryn L.
  5. The Effects of Graduation Requirements on Risky Health Behaviors of High School Students By Zhuang Hao; Benjamin W. Cowan
  6. Peer effects on perseverance By Buechel, Berno; Mechtenberg, Lydia; Petersen, Julia
  7. The Effect of Title IX on Gender Disparity in Graduate Education By Nayoung Rim
  8. The Contestable Marketplace of Ideas: Paul Samuelson’s Defense of Mainstream Economics through Textbook Making, 1967-1976 By Yann Giraud
  9. Is Lecture Capture benefiting (all) HE students? An Empirical Investigation By Carlos Cortinhas
  10. Can Financial Incentives Reduce the Baby Gap? Evidence from a Reform in Maternity Leave Benefits By Anna Raute
  11. The Evolution of Research Quality in New Zealand Universities as Measured by the Performance-Based Research Fund Process By Buckle, Robert A; Creedy, John
  12. Tertiary Education for All and Wage Inequality: Policy Insights from Quantile Regression By Andini, Corrado
  13. Minimum wages and vocational training incentives in Germany By Kellermann, Kim Leonie
  14. The “CHARM” Policy Analysis Framework: Evaluation of Policies to Promote Immigrant Students’ Resilience By Özge Bilgili
  15. Punishment and Inequality at an Early Age: Exclusionary Discipline in Elementary School By Wade Jacobsen; Garrett Pace; Nayan Ramirez
  16. Comparison of the Internet Literacy of Youths and Their Parents for Evidence-Based Youth Protection By Saito, Nagayuki; Aragaki, Madoka

  1. By: Ali Enami (Department of Economics, Tulane University)
    Abstract: Does the enormous variation in financial resources available to local schools affect student achievement? There is an intense debate over the inequality of opportunity in public schools due to differences in financial resources, but there is little empirical evidence that sheds light on this issue. The main purpose of this paper is to measure the impact of various types of school expenditures (i.e. operating, minor capital, and major capital expenditures) on the short- and long-term educational achievement of students. This paper also looks at various channels (i.e. class size, attendance, discipline, and teachers’ compensation) through which each type of expenditure could affect the performance of students. I use a dynamic regression discontinuity design that relies upon the exogenous variation in public school funding in Ohio that is created by marginally approved or failed local referenda to fund school districts. I find that only one type of expenditure, the approval of additional operating expenditures, has a positive effect in the short-term on the math proficiency of students subject to Ohio high school graduation tests, i.e. about 0.033 standard deviation (0.27 percentage points) for every additional $1000 extra per pupil operating expenditure. I also find that the subsequent increase in the average expenditure on instructional staff is the only channel that can explain this effect. I do not find any long-term effect for any type of school expenditures.
    Keywords: public school funding, operating expenditure, minor and major capital expenditures, student achievement, school district referendum.
    JEL: I20 H75 R51
    Date: 2017–09
  2. By: Denisova-Schmidt, Elena; Huber, Martin; Leontyeva, Elvira; Solovyeva, Anna
    Abstract: This paper examines how anti-corruption educational campaigns affect the attitudes of Russian university students towards corruption and academic integrity. About 2,000 survey participants were randomly assigned to one of four different information materials (brochures or videos) about the negative consequences of corruption or to a control group. Using machine learning to detect effect heterogeneity, we find that various groups of students react to the same information differently. Those who commonly plagiarize, who receive excellent grades, and whose fathers are highly educated develop stronger negative attitudes towards corruption in the aftermath of our intervention. However, some information materials lead to more tolerant views on corruption among those who rarely plagiarize, who receive average or above average grades, and whose fathers are less educated. Therefore, policy makers aiming to implement anti-corruption education at a larger scale should scrutinize the possibility of (undesired) heterogeneous effects across student groups.
    Keywords: Anti-Corruption Campaigns, Experiments, Corruption, Academic Integrity, University, Students, Russia
    JEL: D73 I23 C93
    Date: 2017–09–16
  3. By: Ballatore, Rosario Maria; Paccagnella, Marco; Tonello, Marco
    Abstract: Using census data on three cohorts of 5th grade Italian students we investigate how the ordinal rank in the within-school age distribution affects the probability of being bullied. Identification is achieved by exploiting within-school between-cohort variation in the age composition of different school cohorts, and through an IV strategy based on the discontinuity in the probability of enrolling in a given school year generated by an end-of-year cut-off rule. We find that being in the upper part of the school age distribution reduces the probability of being bullied: a one-decile increase in the within-school rank decreases the probability of being victimized by about one percentage point. The effects are stronger for females, children from disadvantaged backgrounds, and children spending the entire day at school; they do not depend on the choice of the reference group, as defined according to socio-demographic characteristics.
    Keywords: bullying,ordinal rank,relative age,school violence
    JEL: I21 J24 Z13
    Date: 2017
  4. By: Wagner, Kathryn L. (Department of Economics Marquette University)
    Abstract: We examine the impact of the Great Recession on K-12 education finance and employment and generate five key results. First, nearly 300,000 school employees lost their jobs. Second, schools that were heavily dependent financially on state governments were particularly vulnerable to the recession. Third local revenues from the property tax actually increased during the recession, primarily because millage rates rose in response to declining property values. Fourth, inequality in school spending rose sharply during the Great Recession. Fifth, the federal government’s efforts to shield education from some of the worst effects of the recession achieved their major goal.
    Keywords: great recession, public education, education finance, education employment
    JEL: I22 I24 I28
    Date: 2017–01
  5. By: Zhuang Hao; Benjamin W. Cowan
    Abstract: Previous studies have shown that years of formal schooling attained affects health behaviors, but little is known about how the stringency of academic programs affects such behaviors, especially among youth. Using national survey data from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBS), we study the effects of mathematics and science high-school graduation requirements (HSGR) on high school students’ risky health behaviors--specifically on drinking, smoking, and marijuana use. We find that an increase in mathematics and science HSGR has significant negative impacts on alcohol consumption among high-school students, especially males and non-white students. The effects of math and science HSGR on smoking and marijuana use are also negative but generally less precisely estimated. Our results suggest that curriculum design may have potential as a policy tool to curb youth drinking.
    JEL: I12 I24
    Date: 2017–09
  6. By: Buechel, Berno; Mechtenberg, Lydia; Petersen, Julia
    Abstract: Successful performance – be it in school, at the job, or in sports activities – requires perseverance, i.e., persistent work on a demanding task. We investigate in a controlled laboratory experiment how an individual’s social environment affects perseverance. We find evidence for two kinds of peer effects: being observed by a peer can serve as a commitment device, while observing a peer can be informative. In particular, we show that successful peers affect perseverance positively if they communicate their success in a motivating way and negatively otherwise, while perseverance is unaffected by unsuccessful peers. Our experimental results suggest that peers affect perseverance indirectly, via influencing self-confidence. We turn to field data from an educational setting and find that students seem to be able to harness the power of peer effects, by selecting into groups that help them reach their goals.
    Keywords: Self-control; Peer Effects; Social Networks; Experiment
    JEL: C91 D90 I21 J24
    Date: 2017–09–16
  7. By: Nayoung Rim (United States Naval Academy)
    Abstract: During the 1960s, there were essentially three career choices for women: nurse, secretary, or teacher. Graduate school admissions quotas largely prevented women from pursuing different career paths. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 removed this barrier by making gender discrimination in admissions illegal. This paper examines whether this policy was successful in reducing gender disparity in graduate education. I find a sharp and dramatic convergence of female versus male graduate degree fields coincident with the passage of Title IX. This distributional change occurred as females predominantly moved into male-dominated fields and does not seem to be driven by gender-specific preferences. Further, alternative explanations, including birth control pill access and abortion legalization, were gradual changes and cannot explain the large, national shift in graduate-field distribution that occurred immediately following Title IX. In addition to providing evidence of successful anti-discrimination legislation, this paper sheds new light on the factors responsible for the college gender gap reversal.
    Date: 2017–09
  8. By: Yann Giraud (Université de Cergy-Pontoise, THEMA)
    Abstract: Historians of economics rarely consider textbooks as more than passive receptacles of previously validated knowledge. Therefore, their active role in shaping the discipline and its image is seldom addressed. In this paper, I study the making of Paul Samuelson’s successive editions of Economics from 1967 to 1976 as an instance of how textbooks stand at the crossroads between disciplinary knowledge, pedagogy and larger political and societal concerns. In the mid-1960s, Economics, now at its sixth edition, was at the height of its success. Considered one cornerstone of modern economics, it was also the center of a number of criticisms dealing with the current state of the economic discipline and its teaching in the universities. While the profession expressed its concern over the lack of relevance of economics to address the pressing issues of the day and pleaded for a new “problem-solving” approach to economic education, the late 1960s witnessed the emergence of a new generation of “radical” economists criticizing the economics orthodoxy. Their contention that mainstream theory had neglected the issues of class struggle and capitalist exploitation, found a favorable echo among an increasingly politicized population. Using archival materials, I show how Samuelson, helped by his editorial team at McGraw-Hill, attempted to take into account these changes in order to ensure the continuing success of subsequent editions of his text in an increasingly competitive market. While this study emphasizes Samuelson’s ambiguous attitude toward his contenders, revealing on the one hand his belief in a free marketplace of ideas and, on the other hand, his attachment to mildly liberal politics and aversion to Marxism, unchanged through revisions, it also shows that the textbook is a collective endeavor, embodying different stakeholders’ views and market forces. Therefore, those who are interested in studying textbooks as a way to retrace the development of economic knowledge should not necessarily postulate authorial intent.
    Keywords: Paul Samuelson, economics textbooks, economic education, radical economics
    JEL: A14 B20 B3
    Date: 2017
  9. By: Carlos Cortinhas (Department of Economics, University of Exeter)
    Abstract: The arguments for and against lecture capture have been going for some time and the debate is far from being settled definitely either way. Most of the existing research about the impact of lecture capture on student attainment seems to show negligible or little effects while examples of a negative relationship between lecture capture and learning outcomes abound. The main purpose of this study is to add to the existing literature by conducting a large scale investigation (involving more than 2400 students in 26 modules offered by the economics department of a major British university) on whether lecture capture improves student performance. A secondary objective is to determine whether some groups of students use lecture capture more than others and whether lecture capture can lead to differing benefits for students in different types of subjects. The data shows, in line with previous studies, that certain groups of students use lecture recordings significantly more than their peers (e.g. female students, international students, students from a low socio-economic background and ethnic minorities). Other results were unexpected. Notably, disabled students (including the sub-group of dyslexic students) and mature students were found not to not use lecture recordings more than others. Also, students taking quantitative modules and students doing economics majors were found to use lecture recordings significantly less. The regression analysis showed that lecture recordings yielded (at most) a small positive effect on student performance.
    Keywords: hlecture capture, patterns of usage of lecture capture, online education.
    JEL: A20 I21 I24
    Date: 2017
  10. By: Anna Raute
    Abstract: To assess whether earnings-dependent maternity leave positively impacts fertility and narrows the baby gap between high educated (high earning) and low educated (low earning) women, I exploit a major maternity leave benefit reform in Germany that considerably increases the financial incentives for higher educated and higher earning women to have a child. In particular, I use the large differential changes in maternity leave benefits across education and income groups to estimate the effects on fertility up to 5 years post reform. In addition to demonstrating an up to 22% increase in the fertility of tertiary educated versus low educated women, I find a positive, statistically significant effect of increased benefits on fertility, driven mainly by women at the middle and upper end of the education and income distributions. Overall, the results suggest that earnings-dependent maternity leave benefits, which compensate women commensurate with their opportunity cost of childbearing, could successfully reduce the fertility rate disparity related to mothers’ education and earnings.
    JEL: J13 J16 J18
    Date: 2017–09
  11. By: Buckle, Robert A; Creedy, John
    Abstract: This paper examines how the research quality of staff within New Zealand universities has evolved since the introduction in 2003 of the Performance-based Research Fund (PBRF). The analysis uses a database consisting of an anonymous ‘quality evaluation category (QEC) for each individual assessed in each of the three PBRF assessment rounds. Emphasis is on the evaluation of organisational changes in performance. The paper examines the extent to which each university’s Average Quality Score (AQS) changed as a result of changes in the QECs of existing staff over time and from the exit and entry of staff with different scores. The sensitivity of university rankings to the cardinal scale used by the PBRF is also considered and the degree of convergence amongst the universities is assessed. The data also include information about the age of staff evaluated in PBRF, and this is used to evaluate changes in the age distribution of staff across universities, and the ages of those making transitions within universities and between grades. The results reveal a systematic ageing of university staff in NZ and a significant change in the grade distribution by age, and age distribution by grade. A number of hypotheses regarding organisation change in response to the introduction of PBRF are discussed and tested by comparing universities with different patterns of change.
    Keywords: Education, New Zealand universities, Performance-based Research Fund, Productivity, Research,
    Date: 2017
  12. By: Andini, Corrado (University of Madeira)
    Abstract: Wage inequality is a highly debated topic in policy and academic circles. Policy makers typically consider that a policy promoting the equalization of education levels among the individuals of a society – pushing everybody towards tertiary education – is a good strategy to fight wage inequality. Academics are more pessimistic. This article stresses that a policy of "tertiary education for all" does not necessarily reduce the overall level of wage inequality. It may reduce wage inequality due to differences in education levels among individuals, but it may also increase wage inequality due to differences in unobserved abilities among individuals.
    Keywords: education policy, wage inequality, quantile regression
    JEL: I24 I28 J31 C21
    Date: 2017–09
  13. By: Kellermann, Kim Leonie
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of sector-specific minimum wages in Germany on the willingness of youths to undergo vocational training. The theoretical impact of wage floors on educational incentives 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 which promotes additional training. We use a GSOEP-based sample of youths aged 17 to 24, covering a time period between 1994 and 2014 in order to estimate the probability of opting for an apprenticeship employing a mixed logit model. Contrasting with evidence from other countries, we find that increasing sectoral wage floors have a positive effect on already high training probabilities of youths. In case of binding minimum wages, demand for unskilled workers declines which lowers the opportunity cost of education. This effect is reinforced by high requirements concerning professional skills.
    JEL: C33 I21 I28 J24
    Date: 2017
  14. By: Özge Bilgili (OECD)
    Abstract: This paper focuses on children with a migration background and conceptualises their migration experience as adversity. The paper adapts the resilience framework to understand how immigrant children can overcome adversity. The paper discusses policy models that can be derived from adopting a resilience approach to the measurement of immigrant students' integration prospects and proposes a policy analysis framework. The "CHARM" framework helps to assess the extent to which destination country policies and practices support the educational and socioemotional well-being of immigrant children. Namely, it evaluates whether policies consider 1) Cumulative adversity; adopt a 2) Holistic approach; consider 3) Adjustment as a dynamic process; identify a 4) Relational development; and implement a 5) Multilevel approach. The paper finally applies the CHARM framework to the education policies of Ontario, Canada and underscores the relevance of applying the CHARM framework across countries and jurisdictions to evaluate education policies that can promote the resilience of immigrant children.
    Date: 2017–09–20
  15. By: Wade Jacobsen (Pennsylvania State University); Garrett Pace (University of Michigan); Nayan Ramirez (Pennsylvania State University)
    Abstract: We fill an important gap in prior research by assessing (1) the prevalence of exclusionary discipline in elementary school; (2) racial disparities in exclusionary discipline in elementary school; and (3) the association between exclusionary discipline and aggressive behavior in elementary school. Using the Fragile Families Study, we estimate that more than 1 in 10 children born 1998-2000 in large US cities were suspended or expelled by age nine (most in third grade). We also find extreme racial disparity; upwards of 30% of non-Hispanic black males were suspended or expelled, compared to 8% of non-Hispanic white or other-race males. Disparities are largely due to differences in children’s school and home environments rather than to behavior problems. Furthermore, we find suspension or expulsion associated with increased aggressive behavior in elementary school. These results are robust to a rich set of covariates, within-individual fixed-effects, matching methods, and sensitivity checks for reverse causality and selection. Our results imply that school discipline policies relying heavily on exclusionary punishment may be fostering childhood inequality.
    JEL: I21 I24 I29
    Date: 2017–03
  16. By: Saito, Nagayuki; Aragaki, Madoka
    Abstract: A contemporary problem in societies is that of youths becoming involved in various online troubles. For enhancing Internet literacy, providing support to not only youths but also their parents has become a major policy challenge. This study evaluated and analyzed the Internet literacy of youths and parents to discuss effective policy making, as defined in Article 3 of the supplementary provision of the “Act on Establishment of Enhanced Environment for Youth’s Safe and Secure Internet Use.” The results revealed that parents had significantly higher Internet literacy than youths did, according to the total score and subscores in each risk category. However, for questions related to “online game billing” and “understanding of the ‘Act on Regulation on Soliciting Children by Using Opposite Sex Introducing Service on Internet,’” high school students performed better than their parents did. Therefore, it is crucial to provide support for enhancing parents’ literacy regarding unfamiliar risks.
    Date: 2017

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