nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2018‒06‒11
seven papers chosen by
Marco Novarese
Università del Piemonte Orientale

  1. The Last of the Lost Generations? Formal and Non-Formal Education in Ghana during Times of Economic Decline and Recovery By Blunch, Niels-Hugo; Hammer, Jeffrey S.
  2. Entry Through the Narrow Door: The Costs of Just Failing High Stakes Exams By Steve Machin; Sandra McNally; Jenifer Ruiz-Valenzuela
  3. Educator Incentives and Educational Triage in Rural Primary Schools By Gilligan, Daniel O.; Karachiwalla, Naureen; Kasirye, Ibrahim; Lucas, Adrienne; Neal, Derek
  4. Autonomous Schools and Strategic Pupil Exclusion By Machin, Stephen; Sandi, Matteo
  5. Labor Market Returns to Student Loans By Alonso Bucarey; Dante Contreras; Pablo Muñoz
  6. Impact of School Zoning: A Review of The Economic Literature By Sirin Zahra; Mohamad Fahmi; Ben Satriatna
  7. The Situation of English Language Education in the Faculty of Human Sciences in a Japanese University By Gavin Lynch

  1. By: Blunch, Niels-Hugo (Washington and Lee University); Hammer, Jeffrey S. (Princeton University)
    Abstract: Using a cohort approach, this paper examines educational attainment in Ghana and its potential determinants considering both educational attainment in the formal education system and participation in non-formal education in the form of adult literacy programs. The results indicate an overall substitution between formal and non-formal education across the generations, with participation in adult literacy programs decreasing as the formal education system expanded its coverage across space and time in Ghana. Individuals who completed any formal education were also much less likely to participate in adult literacy programs, by about 10 percentagepoints per year of formal education completed. Additionally, the generations subject to the declining education system during the 1970s were substantially disadvantaged, with the cohort that was roughly of primary school age at the time of the economic breakdown in 1983 and the first few years thereafter being the last of the disadvantaged cohorts – the "lost generations." This is especially true for the particularly vulnerable group of individuals who never received any formal education, where the crisis cohort peaked in terms of adult literacy program participation relative to later (and earlier) cohorts, possibly in response to a decrease in the quality of the formal education system as well as increased competition from returning refugees. We perform a simple test for the declining quality of the formal education system in the 1970s and find evidence consistent with a decrease in the quality in the education system during the 1970s, followed by an increase in quality thereafter.
    Keywords: human capital, formal and non-formal education, adult literacy programs, cohort analysis, Ghana
    JEL: I21 J24
    Date: 2018–04
  2. By: Steve Machin; Sandra McNally; Jenifer Ruiz-Valenzuela
    Abstract: In many countries, important thresholds in examinations act as a gateway to higher levels of education and/or good employment prospects. This paper examines the consequences of just failing a key high stakes national examination in English taken at the end of compulsory schooling in England. It uses unique administrative data to show that students of the same ability have significantly different educational trajectories depending on whether or not they just pass or fail this exam. Three years later, students who just fail to achieve the required threshold have a lower probability of entering an upper-secondary high-level academic or vocational track and of starting tertiary education. Those who fail to pass the threshold are also more likely to drop out of education by age 18, without some form of employment. The moderately high effects of just passing or failing to pass the threshold in this high stakes exam are therefore a source of educational inequality with high potential long-term consequences for those affected.
    Keywords: high stakes examinations, manipulation, English
    JEL: I20 I21 I24
    Date: 2018
  3. By: Gilligan, Daniel O. (International Food Policy Research Institute); Karachiwalla, Naureen (IFPRI, International Food Policy Research Institute); Kasirye, Ibrahim (Economic Policy Research Centre); Lucas, Adrienne (University of Delaware); Neal, Derek (University of Chicago)
    Abstract: In low-income countries, primary school students often fall far below grade level and primary dropout rates remain high. Further, in some countries, educators encourage their weaker students to drop out before reaching the end of primary school. These educators hope to avoid the negative attention that authorities direct to a school when its students perform poorly on the primary leaving exams that governments use to certify primary completion and eligibility for secondary school. We report the results of an experiment in rural Uganda that sought to reduce dropout rates in grade six and seven by offering bonus payments to grade six teachers that rewarded each teacher for the performance of each of her students relative to comparable students in other schools. Teachers responded to this Pay for Percentile (PFP) incentive system in ways that raised attendance rates two school years later from .56 to .60. These attendance gains were driven primarily by outcomes in treatment schools that provide textbooks for grade six math students, where two-year attendance rates rose from .57 to .64. In these same schools, students whose initial skills levels prepared them to use grade six math texts enjoyed significant gains in math achievement. We find little evidence that PFP improved attendance or achievement in schools without books even though PFP had the same impact on reported teacher effort in schools with and without books. We conjecture that teacher effort and books are complements in education production and document several results that are consistent with this hypothesis.
    Keywords: achievement, dropout, educational triage, incentives, Uganda, complements in education production, teaching at the right level
    JEL: I0 J3 O1
    Date: 2018–05
  4. By: Machin, Stephen (London School of Economics); Sandi, Matteo (University of Sussex)
    Abstract: This paper studies whether pupil performance gains in autonomous schools in England can be attributed to the strategic exclusion of poorly performing pupils. In England there were two phases of academy school introduction, the first in the 2000s being a school improvement programme for poorly per-forming schools, the second a mass academisation programme from 2010 for better-performing schools. Overall, exclusion rates are higher in academies, with the earlier programme featuring a much higher increase in the exclusion rates. However, rather than a means of test score manipulation, the higher exclusion rate reflects the rigorous discipline enforced by the pre-2010 academies.
    Keywords: academies, discipline, exclusion
    JEL: I20 I21 I28
    Date: 2018–04
  5. By: Alonso Bucarey; Dante Contreras; Pablo Muñoz
    Abstract: This paper studies the labor market returns to a state guaranteed loan (SGL) used to finance university degrees. Using administrative data from Chile and a regression discontinuity design, we show that nine years after high school graduation students who enrolled at a university thanks to the SGL attended it for 5 years, foregoing 3 years of vocational education and accumulating additional 14 thousand dollars in student debt. Strikingly, these students do not benefit in terms wages, employment, type of contract, or type of employer. The low quality of institutions attended by loan users may account for these results.
    Date: 2018–05
  6. By: Sirin Zahra (Department of Economics, Padjadjaran University); Mohamad Fahmi (Department of Economics, Padjadjaran University); Ben Satriatna
    Abstract: This study is using economic literature study, with purpose to see the impact of school zoning. From the literature author have found, in general school zoning have some impact : the decline in the quality of education but more equal, increasing housing price, equitable socio-economic, and increasing rates of walkers. This study also recommended the government to manage public schools and private schools in order to avoid a clashed.
    Keywords: shool zoning, school choice, education policy, urban development, housing prices, education quality, socio-economic, commuting.
    JEL: I2
    Date: 2018–05
  7. By: Gavin Lynch (Kanazawa Seiryo University)
    Abstract: This study investigates the situation of English language education in a Japanese university in Ishikawa, Japan, and is part of a larger research carried out over a number of years. The data gathered, reported, and analyzed in this paper includes a comparison of two academic years of data, showing results by/for different teachers? classes. The question of educational value for money, fair spread of teacher resources, and positive or negative discrimination is tackled. Findings show there tends to be both positive and negative discrimination within class levels, where students who initially score well on placement tests are assigned ?better? teachers, while lower level students tend to be assigned lower performing teachers, resulting in a ?low skill trap?, despite all students paying the same fees.
    Keywords: equal educational opportunities, low skill trap, English language education
    JEL: Z00
    Date: 2018–04

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