nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2018‒03‒05
sixteen papers chosen by
João Carlos Correia Leitão
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Teacher Turnover: Does it Matter for Pupil Achievement? By Stephen Gibbons; Vincenzo Scrutinio; Shqiponja Telhaj
  2. Public spending in education and student’s performance in Colombia By Laura Heras Recuero; Eduardo Olaberría
  3. Family, Schools, or Culture: What Explains Differences in U.S. Student Achievement Across Ethnic Groups on PISA 2012? By Breton, Theodore R.
  4. Do Human Capital Decisions Respond to the Returns to Education? Evidence from DACA By Elira Kuka; Na'ama Shenhav; Kevin Shih
  5. The educational upgrading of Japanese youth, 1982-2007: Are Japanese youth ready for structural reforms? By Yoichi AraiAuthor-Name: Hidehiko Ichimura; Daiji Kawaguchi
  6. The Impact of Learning and Living Environment of Colleges on Dropout Rates: A Study Using Panel Data By Kunio Urakawa; Kyoko Anegawa
  7. The Smoking Epidemic across Generations, Gender and Educational Groups: A Matter of Diffusion of Innovations By Cinzi Di Novi; Anna Marenzi
  8. Immigrant background and expected early school leaving in Europe: evidence from PISA By Ralph Hippe; Maciej Jakubowski
  9. Decomposing the Racial Gap in STEM Major Attrition A Course-Level Investigation By Matthew D. Baird; Moshe Buchinsky; Veronica Sovero
  10. Returns to Education and Female Work Force Participation Nexus: Evidence from India By Kanjilal-Bhaduri, Sanghamitra; Pastore, Francesco
  11. The Distributional Effects of Early School Stratification - Non-Parametric Evidence from Germany By Marcus Roller; Daniel Steinberg
  12. Virtual Classrooms: How Online College Courses Affect Student Success By Eric P. Bettinger; Lindsay Fox; Susanna Loeb; Eric S. Taylor
  13. Reducing credit constraints to post-secondary technical education in developing countries : evidence from Colombia By Millán Quijano, Jaime Augusto; Gamboa, Luis Fernando
  14. Preparing Youth in Special Education for Life After High School (Fact Sheet) By Johanna Lacoe; Stephen Lipscomb; Joshua Haimson
  15. Do Dutch dentists extract monopoly rents? By Ketel, Nadine; Leuven, Edwin; Oosterbeek, Hessel; van der Klaauw, Bas
  16. If not now, when? The timing of childbirth and labour market outcomes By Picchio, Matteo; Pigini, Claudia; Staffolani, Stefano; Verashchagina, Alina

  1. By: Stephen Gibbons; Vincenzo Scrutinio; Shqiponja Telhaj
    Abstract: Recent research has established that teachers matter for student achievements, albeit because of dimensions of 'teacher quality' that are largely unexplained. A less closely investigated issue is whether teacher turnover directly harms student academic achievement. In this paper, we examine whether teacher turnover affects academic achievement of 16 year old state secondary school students using a unique data set of linked students and teachers in England. Identification comes from either: a school fixed effects design which exploits year-on-year variation in turnover in different subject groups, within schools; or student fixed effect design that where the variation comes from the cross sectional variation in turnover in different subjects, in the same school, experienced by a student. Both methods give similar results, suggesting that a higher teacher entry rate reduces students' test scores, albeit by small amounts.
    Keywords: teachers, turnover, student attainment, schools
    JEL: H4 I2 J24
    Date: 2018–02
  2. By: Laura Heras Recuero; Eduardo Olaberría
    Abstract: This paper investigates if higher public spending in education and better teacher qualifications are related to student’s performance, using data from Saber 11, a national standardized test conducted by Instituto Colombiano para la Evaluación de la Educación. The estimation exploits differences in both policy variables across regions and employs interactions to study if more investment in public education and higher teacher qualifications can help increase average performance and reduce the impact that socioeconomic factors, such as family income, have on student performance. The analysis proposes a model where student performance in Mathematics and Language are dependent not only on the variables of interest of this paper, but also on economic, social and cultural status, sex and age of students, and school characteristics. The results show that students’ characteristics and their environment, school features and departmental differences in the policy variables explain roughly 20% of the variation in education performance in Colombia, a relatively high percentage when compared to those found by other studies focusing on OECD countries and based on PISA. After controlling for students’ and school characteristics, the results show that in Colombia, public spending per student and teacher qualifications are positively related to better learning outcomes. For the first one, the results suggest that if all regions reach the level of spending per student of Bogota – the region with the highest spending – average math scores can increase by 3.8 to 4.3 points (around 8%), depending on the regions, with the highest improvement for low income students.
    Keywords: human capital, inequality, language scores, maths scores, public spending, Quality of education
    JEL: H0 I20 I24 J00 J1
    Date: 2018–02–23
  3. By: Breton, Theodore R.
    Abstract: U.S. students in different ethnic groups have very different average scores on the PISA 2012 mathematics and reading tests, with Blacks and Hispanics showing negative gaps relative to White students and Asians showing a positive gap. I investigate whether a student’s family characteristics or the school attended can explain these differences. I find that Hispanic parents’ low average education explains the largest share of the Hispanic achievement gap. In contrast, most of the larger negative gap for Blacks and the positive gap for Asians cannot be explained by family characteristics or the school they attend. Attendance at “bad” schools explains relatively little of the negative gaps, but Black students’ mathematics scores are substantially lower when they compose more than 50% of the class, which is not the case for Hispanic students. This evidence suggests that ethnic group culture is an important cause of Black and Asian student achievement gaps.
    Keywords: Cognitive skills; ethnic groups; family characteristics; schools; culture
    JEL: I21 J24
    Date: 2017–12–17
  4. By: Elira Kuka; Na'ama Shenhav; Kevin Shih
    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.
    JEL: I20 J1 J13
    Date: 2018–02
  5. By: Yoichi AraiAuthor-Name: Hidehiko Ichimura; Daiji Kawaguchi
    Abstract: Are Japanese youth ready for the structural reforms proposed as a supply-side policy of Abenomics? To answer this question, we assess how well Japanese youth have coped with the labor market's long-term structural changes, induced primarily by deepening interdependence with emerging economies and rapid technological progress over the last three decades. We feature the role of educational upgrading on the labor-market outcomes of youth between the ages of 25 and 29, using six waves of micro data from the Employment Status Survey spanning from 1982 to 2007. The analysis demonstrates that the secular demand growth for skilled labor has been met by the educational upgrading of youth through the expansion of tertiary education, including education in vocational schools. The educational upgrading of Japanese youth has helped keep the youth employment rate relatively high compared with that of other developed countries, even in the long-term economic malaise.
  6. By: Kunio Urakawa; Kyoko Anegawa
    Abstract: This paper attempts to analyze how the learning and living environment of college affects the control of students。ッ withdrawal and graduation within standard academic years, using panel data. The panel data analysis reveals the possibility that the conditions of the learning environment, such as the convenience of libraries provided by colleges and the ratio of instructors to students, have a certain effect on the control of dropout rates in addition to students。ッ academic skills before college entry. This result suggests that there are differences in dropout rates and graduation rates between those colleges that have an environment to encourage motivation for learning and those that do not, even if their deviation scores are the same.
  7. By: Cinzi Di Novi (Department of Economics and Management, University of Pavia); Anna Marenzi (Department of Economics, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice)
    Abstract: This study examines whether the temporal variations in smoking habits across generations and gender and among groups with differing levels of education fit the pattern proposed by the theory of the diffusion of innovations (TDI) (Rogers, 2003). We focus on the Italian case and employ a pseudo-panel derived from repeated cross-sections of the annual household survey, “Aspects of Daily Life,” that is part of the Multipurpose Survey carried out by the Italian National Statistical Office (ISTAT) for the period 1997 to 2012. The results confirm Rogers’ TDI and show that smoking prevalence has declined over time and across age cohorts: younger men of all educational levels and women with higher education are less likely to smoke than are those in other cohorts. On the other side, less-educated women, who entered the smoking-diffusion process later that others are more likely to smoke. Hence, socio-economic differences in smoking continue to persist, especially for women. According to Rogers’ TDI, smoking prevalence is expected to decline further, particularly among little-educated women.
    Keywords: Smoking habit, theory of diffusion, generations.
    JEL: J1 I1
    Date: 2018–02
  8. By: Ralph Hippe (European Commission - JRC); Maciej Jakubowski (University of Warsaw and Evidence Institute)
    Abstract: This technical brief analyses the relationship between immigrant status and educational expectations in PISA. Immigrants have become a very policy-relevant issue during the last recent years, in particular with the occurrence of the refugee crisis. Moreover, the freedom of movement in the EU has led to relevant migration flows across EU Member States. At the same time, the EU has set itself the Europe 2020 headline target of reducing the share of early school leavers to 10 % within the EU. Early school leavers are generally disadvantaged socially and economically in later stages in life, so that it is important to better understand their motivations and provide adequate policy solutions. The European Commission (2016, p. 3) indicates that early school leavers are more likely to come from immigrant student groups, as their “early school leaving rates are nearly twice as high as for the native population†. Yet it also emphasises that there is still a lack of evidence pointing to the underlying reasons. In consequence, this study considers jointly these two groups, immigrant students and early school leavers. More specifically, we analyse the factors that are most strongly related to disparities in the probability to leave school early, putting special attention to immigrant status (by differentiating among first and second generation immigrants and, where possible, among EU and non-EU immigrants). To this end, we use OECD’s PISA data, which are the most widely employed data on international student assessment. However, early school leavers cannot directly be considered with these data, but it is possible to analyse educational expectations, including the expectation to dropout early from school. As the related literature emphasises, these expectations are very closely linked to actually realised educational career patterns. Therefore, we can use these expectations to gain insights on the factors influencing early school leaving. In addition, we also employ data from Eurostat to complement the picture on early school leavers and immigrants. We analyse the issues at stake in various ways. First, we provide a range of descriptive data on immigrants and expected early school leavers. Second, we run a number of two-level logit regression models, including a range of student- and school-level variables. In particular, we consider all (available) EU Member States together, before providing results for each MS individually. Finally, we also distinguish more specifically between EU and non-EU immigrants in our regression models. The results show that immigrant students do mostly not structurally differ in their expected early dropout probability to natives across Europe. In other words, the reasons why students expect to leave school early are the same for both immigrant students and natives. This finding implies that it is more important to focus on the specific factors that lead to expected early school leaving common to all students, than to concentrate only on specific immigrant-related factors to decrease the occurrence of expected early school leaving among immigrant students. In particular, our results suggest that the factors most strongly increasing the probability of early school leaving at the student level are the socio-economic background of students, epistemological beliefs and grade repetition, while we find that the most consistent factor is to be found at the school level, being the school’s expected early school leavers probability. The school-environment thus appears to play a key role in shaping educational expectations. Among the student-related factors, grade repetition is the most amenable by policy, so that grade repetition practices may be reconsidered by national policy makers.
    Keywords: Regions, Europe, PISA, education, skills, multilevel analysis
    Date: 2018–02
  9. By: Matthew D. Baird; Moshe Buchinsky; Veronica Sovero
    Abstract: This paper examines differences in STEM retention between minority and non-minority undergraduate students. To do so, we use detailed student records of a student's courses, grades, and current major for every term the student was enrolled in a large public university. To examine the role of ability in the switching decision and timing, we estimate STEM and non-STEM ability, and then compare the joint distribution of students who switch out of STEM versus STEM stayers. Students with relatively greater non-STEM ability are more likely to switch out of STEM, but ability cannot completely account for the differences in switching patterns for Hispanic and Black students. In fact, Black and Hispanic students are more likely to persist in STEM after ability is taken into account. We also find evidence of switching behavior that appears motivated by a preference for graduation within four years.
    Date: 2016–11
  10. By: Kanjilal-Bhaduri, Sanghamitra; Pastore, Francesco
    Abstract: In this paper, we make an attempt to understand whether low labour market returns to education in India are responsible for low female work participation. The National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) Employment Unemployment Survey (EUS) unit level data of India for the year 2011-12 is used to examine the relationship between educational attainment and labour market participation through gender lens. Results show that women’s education has a U-shaped relationship with paid work participation. The probability to participate in the paid labour market shows an increasing trend with education levels higher than compulsory secondary schooling. The labour market returns to education are insignificant and low for lower levels of education. The returns increase significantly along with the increase in educational levels. However, females have a significant lower rate of return for each year of education as compared to men in rural and urban labour markets as well. Though it has been said that increase in female enrolment in schooling is one of the reasons of the recent declining phenomenon of female participation, but our study shows that the low returns to education is another reason for their less participation. The findings therefore suggest that, women need to be educated above secondary level to become visible in the labour market.
    Keywords: female labour force participation,market returns to education,development,India
    JEL: J16 J21 J82 O12 O15
    Date: 2018
  11. By: Marcus Roller; Daniel Steinberg (University of Basel)
    Abstract: The effects of early school stratification on scholastic performance have been subject to controversial debates in educational policy and science. We exploit a unique variation in Lower Saxony, Germany, where performance based tracking was preponed from grade 7 to grade 5 in 2004. We measure the long-run effects of early school stratification on in- dividual PISA test scores along the entire skill distriubution using the changes-in-changes estimator. Our results indicate that preponed school tracking increased test scores at the upper tail and lowered test scores at the lower tail of the skill distribution, compensating each other on average.
    Keywords: Analysis of Education, Education and Inequality, Tracking, Government Policy
    JEL: I21 I24 I28
    Date: 2017
  12. By: Eric P. Bettinger; Lindsay Fox; Susanna Loeb; Eric S. Taylor
    Abstract: Online college courses are a rapidly expanding higher education feature, yet little research identifies their effects relative to traditional in-person classes. Using an instrumental variables approach, we find that taking a course online, instead of in-person, reduces student success and progress.
    Keywords: Higher Education, Research Institutions, Returns to Education
    JEL: I
  13. By: Millán Quijano, Jaime Augusto; Gamboa, Luis Fernando
    Abstract: We assess the importance of credit constraints for post-secondary education using different discontinuities that affect enrollment in free-technical education and eligibility for educational grants in Colombia. Our strategy makes use of multiple RD estimators in order to identify the importance of covering the opportunity cost on enrollment, completion and access to formal labor market for poor young individuals who want to enter tertiary education. We find evidence of large increases in enrollment and graduation rates. Particularly, the probability of obtaining a certification in technical studies rises from 3% to 14%. We also find an important increase in formal labor market participation in the medium term, individuals who received monetary aid to enroll and finish technical education from 2014 to 2016 are 50% more likely to have a formal job in 2017. We find that reducing credit constraints has no differential effects with respect to educational variables but only affects the labor market of men.
    Date: 2018–02–15
  14. By: Johanna Lacoe; Stephen Lipscomb; Joshua Haimson
    Abstract: This fact sheet from the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2012 (NLTS 2012) presents new information on trends in the characteristics and experiences of youth in special education across the country.
    Keywords: special education, IEP, IDEA
    JEL: I J
  15. By: Ketel, Nadine (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Leuven, Edwin (Department of Economics, University of Oslo); Oosterbeek, Hessel (University of Amsterdam, School of Economics); van der Klaauw, Bas (Department of Economics, VU University, Amsterdam)
    Abstract: We exploit admission lotteries to estimate the payoffs to the dentistry study in the Netherlands. Using data from up to 22 years after the lottery, we find that in most years after graduation dentists earn around 50,000 Euros more than they would earn in their next-best profession. The payoff is larger for men than for women but does not vary with high school GPA. The large payoffs cannot be attributed to longer working hours, larger human capital investments or sacrifices in family outcomes. The natural explanation is that Dutch dentists extract a monopoly rent, which we attribute to the limited supply of dentists in the Netherlands. We discuss policies to curtail this rent.
    Keywords: Dentists; returns to education; monopoly rents; random assignment
    JEL: C36 I18 I23 J44
    Date: 2018–02
  16. By: Picchio, Matteo; Pigini, Claudia; Staffolani, Stefano; Verashchagina, Alina
    Abstract: We study the effect of childbirth and its timing on female labour market outcomes in Italy. The impact on yearly labour earnings and fraction of time at work 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 after about 10 years. The timing matters, with minimal negative consequences on yearly earnings (fraction of days at work) observed if the first child is delayed up to 7-12 (10-12) 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

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