nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2018‒02‒19
twenty papers chosen by
João Carlos Correia Leitão
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Evaluating the Stability of School Performance Estimates for School Choice: Evidence for Italian Primary Schools By Tommaso Agasisti; Veronica Minaya
  2. Parents, Siblings and Schoolmates. The Effects of Family-School Interactions on Educational Achievement and Long-term Labor Market Outcomes. By Marco Bertoni; Giorgio Brunello; Lorenzo Cappellari
  3. Measuring Student Outcomes: The Case for Identifying Indigenous Students in Canada’s PISA Sample By John Richards; Parisa Mahboubi
  4. The Impact of Progressive Tuition Fees on Dropping Out of Higher Education: A Regression Discontinuity Design By José García-Montalvo
  5. Student Mobility in Tertiary Education: institutional factors and regional attractiveness By Mabel Sanchez-Barrioluengo; Sara Flisi
  6. Do Human Capital Decisions Respond to the Returns to Education? Evidence from DACA By Elira Kuka; Na’ama Shenhav; Kevin Shih
  7. Can rising instructional time crowd out student pro-social behaviour? Unintended consequences of a German high school reform By Krekel, Christian
  8. The effect of immigrant peers in vocational schools By Tommaso Frattini; Elena Meschi
  9. Higher education and economic development: can public funding restrain the returns from tertiary education? By Paola Azar Dufrechou
  10. A Regional Innovation Impact Assessment Framework for universities By Koen Jonkers; Robert Tijssen; Athina Karvounaraki; Xabier Goenaga Beldarrain
  11. Education, Lifelong learning, Inequality and Financial access: Evidence from African countries By Vanessa Tchamyou
  12. Higher Education for Smart Specialisation Towards strategic partnerships for innovation By John Edwards; Elisabetta Marinelli; Eskarne Arregui Pabollet; Louise Kempton
  13. If not now, when? The timing of childbirth and labour market outcomes By Matteo Picchio; Claudia Pigini; Stefano Staffolani; Alina Verashchagina
  14. Changing demand for general skills, technological uncertainty, and economic growth By Masashi Tanaka
  15. Continuous education and training of adults – purpose of an active life on the labour market By Mergeani, Nicea; Dănciulescu, Andreea-Gabriela; Romeo, Dănciulescu
  16. Reforming School Discipline Policy in Washington, DC By Johanna Lacoe
  17. Longevity, Education, and Income: How Large is the Triangle? By Hoyt Bleakley
  18. Current Challenges in Fostering the European Innovation Ecosystem By Cristiana Benedetti Fasil; Federico Biagi; Mark Boden; Peder Christensen; Andrea Conte; Francesco Di Comite; Xabier Goenaga Beldarrain; Mathieu Doussineau; Issam Hallak; Fernando Hervas; Koen Jonkers; Pietro Moncada Paterno Castello; Giuseppe Munda; Miguel Sanchez Martinez; Robert Marschinski; Valentina Montalto; Michela Nardo; Daniel Nepelski; Dimitrios Pontikakis; Katarzyna Szkuta; Daniel Vertesy; Thomas Zacharewicz
  19. The Economic Effects of Providing Legal Status to DREAMers By Ortega, Francesc; Edwards, Ryan; Hsin, Amy
  20. Electoral politics and the diffusion of primary schooling: evidence from Uruguay, 1914-1954 By Paola Azar Dufrechou

  1. By: Tommaso Agasisti (Politecnico di Milano School of Management); Veronica Minaya (Politecnico di Milano School of Management)
    Abstract: School performance estimates have been used worldwide for both high-and low-stakes accountability purposes. It is expected that by evaluating school performance and making these results public, parents will use them to choose schools and schools will be motivated to increase performance. An institutional debate of this kind is likely to start in the near future in Italy, given the growing availability of indicators obtained through standardized test scores in reading and mathematics. Using administrative data provided by INVALSI (National Evaluation Committee for Education), this paper explores the stability of performance estimates for Italian primary schools. We first construct school performance metrics using INVALSI standardized tests and quarterly teacher assessments, by taking advantage of a rich array of individual level variables (including prior achievement) that allow us to estimate a school-effect in a ‘value added’ perspective. We then explore how sensitive school ratings are to the choice of performance metric and the use of different models to account for compositional differences due to students’ socioeconomic background. We also assess both cross-sectional differences in performance across schools and the persistence of these differences across cohorts. We find that school performance estimates are very robust whatever the models employed to control for compositional differences, but they are inconsistent across metrics and cohorts. We conclude that before using this kind of school-effects’ estimates for school choice purposes, more data and research is needed to understand the factors that drives the impact of a specific school on students’ results.
    Keywords: accountability, school choice, school value-added
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2018–02
  2. By: Marco Bertoni; Giorgio Brunello; Lorenzo Cappellari (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore; Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)
    Abstract: We investigate whether the effects of schoolmates’ gender and average parental education on educational achievement, employment and earnings vary with individual family characteristics such as the gender of siblings and own parental education. We find that the benefits from exposure to “privileged” peers accrue mainly to “disadvantaged” students and decline when the dispersion of parental education in the school increases. We also show that boys with sisters who are exposed to a higher share of girls at school have poorer employment prospects. The opposite is true for girls who have sisters. Overall, the size of the estimated effects is small.
    Keywords: education peer effects, gender, parental background, human capital production, long term outcomes.
    JEL: I21 J16 J24
    Date: 2018–01
  3. By: John Richards (Simon Fraser University); Parisa Mahboubi (C.D. Howe Institute)
    Abstract: Collection of data on academic outcomes among Indigenous students is a necessary step towards bridging the education gap between Indigenous and non-indigenous students, according to a new report from the C.D. Howe Institute. In “Measuring Student Outcomes: The Case for Identifying Indigenous Students in Canada’s PISA Sample,” authors John Richards and Parisa Mahboubi encourage provinces to improve their understanding of native student outcomes by adding a question inviting Indigenous students to identify themselves for the forthcoming 2018 round of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA).
    Keywords: Education, Skills and Labour Market; Educational Outcomes;First Nations;Provincial Comparisons
    JEL: I21 I28 J15
  4. By: José García-Montalvo
    Abstract: In recent years, and under the pressure of increasing public deficits, a number of countries have decided to increase university fees to compensate for reductions in teaching subsidies financed by taxpayers. Perhaps the best known case is that of the UK. In this paper we analyze a similar policy adopted in Catalonia, Spain. Tuition fees increased 66 percent in the 2012-2013 academic year to compensate for the reduction in public subsidies used to finance Catalan university teaching activities. Interestingly, the increase in fees was progressive, meaning that there was a fee waiver in function of family income. We analyze the distributional impact of this policy change, showing that this progressive tuition fee does not have a differential impact on the dropout rate of students of different socioeconomic status. Since eligibility for the full tuition waiver is determined by a sharp cut-off on household income, we use a regression discontinuity design to analyze the effect of the new tuition fees around the full tuition waiver. We find no evidence of any adverse impact of the new fees on the drop out rates.
    Keywords: enrollment rate, dropout behavior, tuition fees, scholarships, regression discontinuity design
    JEL: I22 I23 I24
    Date: 2018–01
  5. By: Mabel Sanchez-Barrioluengo (European Commission - JRC); Sara Flisi (European Commission - JRC)
    Abstract: Member States have committed themselves to promoting the learning mobility of young people following the 2011 Communication on an agenda for the modernisation of Europe’s higher education system (COM(2011) 567). The Council conclusions on a benchmark for learning mobility (2011/C 372/08) specified that by 2020 ‘an EU average of at least 20% of higher education graduates should have had a period of higher education-related study or training abroad’. In this report, two types of mobility are distinguished, namely degree mobility and credit mobility, both of which are included in the benchmark. Little research has been carried out on international student mobility determinants in general and on Erasmus students in particular, especially taking into account the regional dimension of learning mobility. This report focuses on student mobility in the EU between 2011 and 2014, through the description of the main destinations of mobile students, as well as on inward mobility across and within countries (measured as the share of mobile students on total student population), with a particular focus on institutions and regions. It also analyses the main factors associated with degree and credit mobility, taking into account different tertiary education levels (i.e. undergraduate, master and PhD level), through the comparison between institutional factors (teaching and research activities of universities as well as their reputation) and regional attractiveness (level of urbanisation, employment opportunities and regional education systems). There are five main conclusions from this report. First, in relation to the most attractive destinations, degree mobility appears to be very concentrated in a few countries, while credit mobility tends to be more equally distributed across Member States. Second, degree mobility is higher than credit mobility across and within countries. Third, institutional characteristics tend to be associated with student mobility more than regional ones. Fourth, among institutional characteristics, better quality universities and those with a higher reputation are associated with a higher share of mobile students, while research orientation and excellence are more relevant for degree mobile PhD students. Fifth, among regional characteristics, the level of urbanisation of the region is an important factor in shaping students’ mobility: high-density regions have higher degree mobility rates, but a lower share of credit mobile students.
    Keywords: student mobility, university, institutional and regional attractiveness, teaching, research.
    JEL: I23 J69
    Date: 2017–12
  6. By: Elira Kuka (Southern Methodist University); Na’ama Shenhav (Dartmouth College); Kevin Shih (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)
    Abstract: This paper studies the human capital responses to a large shock in the returns to education for undocumented youth. We obtain variation in the benefits of schooling from the enactment of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy in 2012, which provides work authorization and deferral from deportation for high school educated youth. We implement a difference-in-differences design by comparing DACA eligible to non-eligible individuals over time, and we find that DACA had a significant impact on the investment decisions of undocumented youth. High school graduation rates increased by 15 percent while teenage births declined by 45 percent. Further, we find that college attendance increased by 25 percent among women, suggesting that DACA raised aspirations for education above and beyond qualifying for legal status. We find that the same individuals who acquire more schooling also work more (at the same time), counter to the typical intuition that these behaviors are mutually exclusive, indicating that the program generated a large boost in productivity.
    Keywords: Returns to education, schooling, fertility, amnesty, undocumented immigrants
    JEL: I20 J13 J1
    Date: 2018–02
  7. By: Krekel, Christian
    Abstract: We study whether raising instructional time can crowd out student pro-social behaviour. To this end, we exploit a large educational reform in Germany that has raised weekly instructional hours for high school students by 12.5% as a quasi-natural experiment. Using a difference-in-differences design, we find that this rise has a negative and sizeable effect on volunteering, both at the intensive and at the extensive margin. It also affects political interest. There is no similar crowding out of scholastic involvement, but no substitution either. Impacts seem to be driven by a reduction in available leisure time as opposed to a rise in intensity of instruction, and to be temporary only. Robustness checks, including placebo tests and triple differencing, confirm our results
    Keywords: instructional time; student pro-social behaviour; volunteering; scholastic involvement; political interest; quasi-natural experiment; “G8” reform; SOEP
    JEL: D01 I21 I28
    Date: 2017–08–01
  8. By: Tommaso Frattini (University of Milan); Elena Meschi (University of Venice Ca'Foscari)
    Abstract: This paper provides new evidence on how the presence of immigrant peers in the classroom affects native student achievement. The analysis is based on longitudinal administrative data on two cohorts of vocational training students in Italy’s largest region. Vocational training institutions provide the ideal setting for studying these effects because they attract not only disproportionately high shares of immigrants but also the lowest ability native students. We adopt a value added model, and exploit within-school variation both within and across cohorts for identification. Our results show small negative average effects on maths test scores that are larger for low ability native students, strongly non-linear and only observable in classes with a high (top 20%) immigrant concentration. These outcomes are driven by classes with a high average linguistic distance between immigrants and natives, with no apparent role played by ethnic diversity.
    Keywords: Immigration, education, peer effects, vocational training, language
    JEL: I20 J15
    Date: 2017–10–09
  9. By: Paola Azar Dufrechou (Departament d'Economia Aplicada, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona; Institute of Economics, Universidad de la República-Uruguay)
    Abstract: This paper examines whether the contribution of tertiary education to economic growth and income per capita depends on the structure of public education budgets. The analysis resorts to a panel of 41 countries over the period 1970-2010. The empirical approach is based on system GMM regressions and Hierarchical Linear Models, which allow dealing with endogeneity concerns and parameter heterogeneity. The estimates show that budget imbalances against basic schooling seem to undermine the achievement of productivity gains from higher education.
    Keywords: tertiary education, public spending, economic growth, income per capita
    JEL: H52 I25 O40 O50
    Date: 2018–01
  10. By: Koen Jonkers (European Commission - JRC); Robert Tijssen; Athina Karvounaraki (European Commission - JRC); Xabier Goenaga Beldarrain (European Commission - JRC)
    Abstract: This report provides a framework to assess the impact of universities on their regional innovation ecosystem. The policy context for this work is provided by: a) the Renewed EU agenda for higher education which argued that universities do not attain their full potential; and b) the report by the High Level Group chaired by Pascal Lamy which called for an additional funding stream to support universities to modernise and increase their innovation impact. This report explores what the assessment framework underpinning such an innovation performance based funding instrument could look like. However, it acknowledges that the final form of such a framework would heavily depend on the regional, national or EU level instrument through which it is implemented. The report proposes a system in which universities draft a case study supported by indicators, through which they present evidence of their contribution to regional innovation. It identifies four impact categories and identifies a list of associated indicators. In this "narrative with numbers the universities can both explain how they reach this impact and contextualise their performance with reference to the development level of their region.
    Keywords: universities, higher education, innovation, performance based funding, knowledge transfer
    Date: 2018–01
  11. By: Vanessa Tchamyou (Antwerp, Belgium)
    Abstract: This study investigates the role of financial access in modulating the effect of education and lifelong learning on inequality in 48 African countries for the period 1996 to 2014. Lifelong learning is conceived and measured as the combined knowledge gained from primary through tertiary education while the three educational indicators are: primary school enrolment; secondary school enrolment and tertiary school enrolment. Financial development dynamics are measured with financial system deposits (liquid liabilities), financial system activity (credit) and financial system efficiency (deposits/credit). Three measures of inequality are employed notably: the Gini coefficient; the Atkinson index and the Palma ratio. The estimation strategy is based on Generalised Method of Moments. The following findings are established. First, primary school enrolment interacts with all financial channels to exert negative effects on the Gini index. Second, lifelong learning has negative net effects on the Gini index through financial deposit and efficiency channels. Third, for the most part, the other educational levels do not significantly influence inequality through financial access channels. Policy implications are discussed.
    Keywords: Education; Lifelong Learning; Inequality; Financial development; Africa
    JEL: I28 I20 I30 O16 O55
    Date: 2018–01
  12. By: John Edwards (European Commission - JRC); Elisabetta Marinelli (European Commission - JRC); Eskarne Arregui Pabollet (European Commission - JRC); Louise Kempton
    Abstract: The Policy Brief analyses three elements: - S3 Platform survey data on institutions and smart specialisation - ESF programming data - HESS pilot case studies
    Keywords: Higher Education Institutions, Smart Specialisation, Innovation
    Date: 2017–12
  13. By: Matteo Picchio (Di.S.E.S. - Universita' Politecnica delle Marche); Claudia Pigini (Di.S.E.S. - Universita' Politecnica delle Marche); Stefano Staffolani (Di.S.E.S. - Universita' Politecnica delle Marche); Alina Verashchagina (Di.S.E.S. - Universita' Politecnica delle Marche)
    Abstract: We study the effect of childbirth and its timing on female labour market outcomes in italy. The impact on yearly labour earnings and participation is traced up to 21 years since school completion by estimating a factor analytic model with dynamic selection into treatments. We find that childbearing, especially the first delivery, negatively affects female labour supply. Women having their first child soon after school completion are able to catch up with childless women only after 12-15 years. The timing matters, with minimal negative consequences observed if the first child is delayed up to 7-9 years after exiting formal education
    Keywords: Female labour supply; fertility; discrete choice models; dynamic treatment effect; factor analytic model
    JEL: C33 C35 J13 J22
    Date: 2018–02
  14. By: Masashi Tanaka (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University)
    Abstract: We develop a simple endogenous growth model featuring individuals f choices between general and firm-specific skills, endogenous technological innovation, and a government subsidy for education. General skills are less productive than are specific skills, but they enable workers to operate all technologies in the economy. We show that demand for general skills increases as countries catch up to the world technology frontier. Further, using aggregated data for 12 European OECD counties, we calibrate the model and compare the theoretical prediction with the data. In cross-country comparisons, we find that the returns on general skills and the impact of general education expenditure on GDP are higher in countries with higher total factor productivity. These findings support our theoretical argument of the positive relationship between firms f demand for general skills and countries f stages of development.
    Keywords: General and specific skills, Technological uncertainty, Education policy, Distance to world technology frontier
    JEL: J24 O33 O40 I22
    Date: 2018–01
  15. By: Mergeani, Nicea; Dănciulescu, Andreea-Gabriela; Romeo, Dănciulescu
    Abstract: An active life on the labour market implies, besides the existence of jobs, continuous education and training of adults. Regardless of age, every person needs new knowledge, which one can obtain either by self-teaching or by attending training courses. The development of technology and information influences lifelong learning, which is why, in recent years, greater emphasis has been put on the education and training of adults. In this respect numerous Centers of Professional Training of Adults have been established, some of them attracting their learners through the implementation of projects financed from European funds, which meant free participation of adults to various courses of specialization, training or (re)qualification. The article highlights the importance of continuous education and training of adults related to the economic and social benefits deriving from it. The article analyzes some of the aspects of continuous education and training of adults that fosters active participation of adults in the labour market, concluding that, for an active professional life, the establishment of relationships between employers, employees, trainers and learners is required.
    Keywords: Education; adult lifelong learning; labour market; active life; training programmes; lifelong learning
    JEL: E24 I23 I25 J01 P46
    Date: 2017
  16. By: Johanna Lacoe
    Abstract: Johanna Lacoe testifies before the DC Council on reforming school discipline policy.
    Keywords: school discipline, suspensions, district of Columbia, expulsions, policy change, Philadelphia
    JEL: I
  17. By: Hoyt Bleakley
    Abstract: While health affects economic development and wellbeing through a variety of pathways, one commonly suggested mechanism is a "horizon" channel in which increased longevity induces additional education. A recent literature devotes much attention to how much education responds to increasing longevity, while this study asks instead what impact this specific channel has on wellbeing (welfare). I note that death is like a tax on human-capital investments, which suggests the use of a standard public-economics tool: triangles. I construct estimates of the triangle gain if education adjusts to lower adult mortality. Even for implausibly large responses of education to survival differences, almost all of today's low-human-development countries, if switched instantaneously to Japan's survival curve, would place a value on this channel of less than 15% of income. Calibrating the model with well-identified micro- and cohort-level studies, I find that the horizon triangle for the typical low-income country is instead less than a percent of lifetime income. Gains from increased survival in the 20th-century are similarly sized.
    JEL: J24 N3 O1
    Date: 2018–01
  18. By: Cristiana Benedetti Fasil (European Commission - JRC); Federico Biagi (European Commission - JRC); Mark Boden (European Commission - JRC); Peder Christensen (European Commission - JRC); Andrea Conte (European Commission - JRC); Francesco Di Comite; Xabier Goenaga Beldarrain (European Commission - JRC); Mathieu Doussineau (European Commission - JRC); Issam Hallak (European Commission - JRC); Fernando Hervas (European Commission - JRC); Koen Jonkers (European Commission - JRC); Pietro Moncada Paterno Castello (European Commission - JRC); Giuseppe Munda (European Commission - JRC); Miguel Sanchez Martinez (European Commission - JRC); Robert Marschinski (European Commission - JRC); Valentina Montalto (European Commission - JRC); Michela Nardo (European Commission - JRC); Daniel Nepelski (European Commission - JRC); Dimitrios Pontikakis (European Commission - JRC); Katarzyna Szkuta (European Commission - JRC); Daniel Vertesy (European Commission - JRC); Thomas Zacharewicz (European Commission - JRC)
    Abstract: The present report discusses innovation challenges under the following headings: The 3% R&D target and industrial structure: is it still a relevant goal? if we cannot achieve the 3% target, does it make sense to keep it? Technology diffusion: how can we combat its sluggishness and speed up adoption? Access to finance: is the large amount of liquidity being funnelled to "zombie" companies instead of highly innovative ones? Universities and skills: are higher education institutions adequately playing their role in driving innovation? The governance of the R&I system: how to remove administrative barriers and increase flexibility? Can SSH research contribute more to shaping R&I policies?
    Keywords: Innovation, research, policy
    Date: 2017–11
  19. By: Ortega, Francesc (Queens College, CUNY); Edwards, Ryan (University of California, Berkeley); Hsin, Amy (Queens College, CUNY)
    Abstract: This study quantifies the economic effects of two major immigration reforms aimed at legalizing undocumented individuals that entered the United States as children and completed high school: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the DREAM Act. The former offers only temporary legal status to eligible individuals; the latter provides a track to legal permanent residence. Our analysis is based on a general-equilibrium model that allows for shifts in participation between work, college and non-employment. The model is calibrated to account for productivity differences across workers of different skills and documentation status, and a rich pattern of complementarities across different types of workers. We estimate DACA increased GDP by almost 0.02% (about $3.5 billion), or $7,454 per legalized worker. Passing the DREAM Act would increase GDP by around 0.08% (or $15.2 billion), which amounts to an average of $15,371 for each legalized worker. The larger effects of the DREAM Act stem from the expected larger take-up and the increased incentive to attend college among DREAMers with a high school degree. We also find substantial wage increases for individuals obtaining legal status, particularly for individuals that increase their educational attainment. Because of the small size of the DREAMer population, legalization entails negligible effects on the wages of US-born workers.
    Keywords: immigration, DREAMers, legalization, undocumented
    JEL: D7 F22 H52 H75 J61 I22 I24
    Date: 2018–01
  20. By: Paola Azar Dufrechou (Departament d'Economia Aplicada, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona; Institute of Economics, Universidad de la República-Uruguay)
    Abstract: Based on the compilation of Uruguayan department-level data, this paper argues that the extent of fiscal commitment to primary education during the first half of the 20th century can be explained by the interests of tactically motivated politicians. The empirical test relies on panel data fixed effects models covering 18 Uruguayan departments over 40 years. The main findings reveal that political motivations have had a significant role in schooling provision across the territory. Throughout the period, the incumbent government seems to have used the resource allocation in primary education both to reward its core supporters and to persuade political opponents.
    Keywords: primary education, pork-barrel, economic history
    Date: 2018–01

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