nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2018‒06‒18
ten papers chosen by
Marco Novarese
Università del Piemonte Orientale

  1. In which countries do the most highly qualified and experienced teachers teach in the most difficult schools? By Francesco Avvisati
  2. Students' Selection and Heterogeneous Effects of Classroom Gender Composition: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Switzerland By Damiano Pregaldini; Uschi Backes-Gellner; Gerald Eisenkopf
  3. How to Measure Research Efficiency in Higher Education? Research Grants vs. Publication Output By Sabine Gralka; Klaus Wohlrabe; Lutz Bornmann
  4. Trust-Based Evaluation in a Market-Oriented School System By Vlachos, Jonas
  5. Long-lasting effects of relative age at school By Lionel Page; Dipanwita Sarkar; Juliana Silva-Goncalves
  6. Financial Education for the Disadvantaged? A Review By Entorf, Horst; Hou, Jia
  7. Growing up in Ethnic Enclaves: Language Proficiency and Educational Attainment of Immigrant Children By Alexander M. Danzer; Carsten Feuerbaum; Marc Piopiunik; Ludger Woessmann
  8. Human Capital and Income Inequality By Lee, Jong-Wha; Lee, Hanol
  9. Investment in education and household consumption By C. Aina; D. Sonedda
  10. Parental Beliefs about Returns to Different Types of Investments in School Children By Orazio Attanasio; Teodora Boneva; Christopher Rauh

  1. By: Francesco Avvisati
    Abstract: Teachers are the most important school resource. In every country, teachers’ salaries and training represent the greatest share of expenditure on education; and this investment in teachers can have significant returns. Research shows that being taught by the best teachers can make a real difference in the learning and life outcomes of otherwise similar students.But not all students are equal when it comes to access to high-quality teaching. In fact, PISA data show that there are inequities in access to experienced and qualified teachers in many countries, and that they are related to the gap in learning outcomes between advantaged and disadvantaged students.
    Date: 2018–06–11
  2. By: Damiano Pregaldini (University of Zurich); Uschi Backes-Gellner (University of Zurich); Gerald Eisenkopf (University of Vechta)
    Abstract: This paper investigates how gender composition of classes impacts achievement of students who self-selected into different specialization tracks (STEM vs. Languages) according to their educational preferences. Based on administrative records from one of the largest high schools in the canton of Zurich (Switzerland), we are able to identify the causal effect of the gender composition of classes on student achievement by exploiting random assignment of students to classes. Compared to the previous literature, which mainly focused on average effects across all students, we find highly heterogeneous effects across students who self-selected into different specialization tracks. While the effect of a higher proportion of girls in the classroom is positive for girls and boys with an educational preference for languages, the effect is negative for girls in the STEM track. Our findings have important implications for the optimal organization of classes in schools and for the explanation of career trajectories after school. For instance, concentrating girls in few classes has a positive effect only on girls who favor languages over STEM.
    Keywords: classroom gender composition, heterogenous effects, sutdents' selection
    JEL: I21 J16
    Date: 2018–06
  3. By: Sabine Gralka; Klaus Wohlrabe; Lutz Bornmann
    Abstract: An ongoing debate in the literature on efficiency of higher education institutions concerns the indicator for research output in the empirical analysis. While several studies chose to use the number of publications, others rely on the overall amount of research grants. The present study investigates whether both lead to similar or different assessments of universities. Besides the amount of research grants and the absolute number of publications, the number of publications belonging to the 10% and 1% most frequently cited papers in the corresponding subject category and publication year are evaluated. We show that there is a high correlation of efficiency values between the estimations using these indicators; however, the concordance is partly lower. The results do not only provide a helpful guideline for researchers, but are also valuable for policy makers deciding which incentives to create through funding.
    Keywords: efficiency, data envelopment analysis, stochastic frontier analysis, higher education, universities, Germany
    JEL: A23 H52 I21 I23 D61
    Date: 2018
  4. By: Vlachos, Jonas (Department of Economics, Stockholm University)
    Abstract: In Sweden, a trust-based system of school performance evaluation meets a market-oriented school system with liberal entry conditions for voucher-funded private providers. National standardized tests are graded at the local school and what ultimately matters to students are teacher-set grades. This paper finds that privately run free schools systematically set higher grades than public schools when controlling for their achievement on national tests. The differences between municipal and free schools are larger when more reliable tests are used to account for achievement. Differences in grading standards between providers are substantial and most of the performance advantage in teacher-set grades that free schools enjoy can be attributed to more generous grading. The results also indicate that different private providers do not necessarily respond symmetrically when faced with similar market conditions and act under the same regulatory regime.
    Keywords: Private provision of public services; School performance evaluation; School vouchers
    JEL: H44 I28 L51
    Date: 2018–05–24
  5. By: Lionel Page; Dipanwita Sarkar; Juliana Silva-Goncalves
    Abstract: We investigate the long term effects on behaviour of relative age at school. We conduct an online experimental survey with a sample of 1007 participants aged 24 to 60 years old, who were born at most two months before or after the school entry cut-off date in four Australian states. We find that participants who were among the oldest in the classroom throughout their school years display higher self-confidence in the adult age compared to those who were among the youngest. They are also more willing to enter in some form of competition, declare taking more risk in a range of domains in their life and being more trusting of other people. These results offer important insights on the possible behavioural mechanisms underlying the differences in career outcomes between people who were relatively young and old at school. They are also relevant for the prospective design of policies to mitigate inequalities created by school entry cut-off dates.
    Keywords: Relative age, education, behavioural traits, online experiment
    JEL: D91 H75 I24
    Date: 2018–06–06
  6. By: Entorf, Horst (Goethe University Frankfurt); Hou, Jia (Goethe University Frankfurt)
    Abstract: In contrast to the popularity of financial education interventions worldwide, studies on the economic effects of those interventions report mixed results. With a focus on the effect on disadvantaged groups, we review both the theoretical and empirical findings in order to understand why this discrepancy exists. The survey first highlights that it is necessary to distinguish between the concepts of, and the relationships between, financial education, financial literacy and financial behavior to identify the true effects of financial education. The review addresses possible biases caused by third factors such as numeracy. Next, we review theories on financial literacy which make clear that the effect of financial education interventions is heterogeneous across the population. Last, we look closely at main empirical studies on financial education targeted at the migrants/immigrants, the low-income earners and the young, and compare their methodologies. There seems to be a positive effect on short-term financial knowledge and awareness of the young, but there is no proven evidence on long-term behavior after being grown up. Studies on financial behavior of migrants and immigrants show almost no effect of financial education.
    Keywords: financial education, financial literacy, inequality, program, evaluation
    JEL: G28 I24 I25 I28
    Date: 2018–04
  7. By: Alexander M. Danzer; Carsten Feuerbaum; Marc Piopiunik; Ludger Woessmann
    Abstract: Does a high regional concentration of immigrants of the same ethnicity affect immigrant children’s acquisition of host-country language skills and educational attainment? We exploit the exogenous placement of guest workers from five ethnicities across German regions during the 1960s and 1970s in a model with region and ethnicity fixed effects. Our results indicate that exposure to a higher own-ethnic concentration impairs immigrant children’s host-country language proficiency and increases school dropout. A key mediating factor for this effect is parents’ lower speaking proficiency in the host-country language, whereas inter-ethnic contacts with natives and economic conditions do not play a role.
    Keywords: immigrant children, ethnic concentration, language, education, guest workers
    JEL: J15 I20 R23 J61
    Date: 2018–06
  8. By: Lee, Jong-Wha (Asian Development Bank Institute); Lee, Hanol (Asian Development Bank Institute)
    Abstract: We investigate empirically how human capital, measured by educational attainment, is related to income distribution. We find that the regressions, using a panel data set covering a broad range of countries between 1980 and 2015, show that a more equal distribution of education contributes significantly to reducing income inequality. Educational expansion is a major factor in reducing educational inequality and thus income inequality. Public policies that improve social benefits and price stability contribute to reducing income inequality, while public spending on education helps to reduce educational inequality. In contrast, higher per capita income, greater openness to international trade, and faster technological progress tend to make both income and education distribution more unequal. Using the calibration of empirical results, we find that we can attribute the rising income inequality within East Asian economies in recent decades to the unequalizing effects of fast income growth and rapid progress in globalization and technological change, which have surpassed the income-equalizing effects from improved equality in the distribution of educational attainment during the period.
    Keywords: income distribution; inequality; human capital; education; globalization; technological change
    JEL: D31 H52 I24 O53
    Date: 2018–02–15
  9. By: C. Aina; D. Sonedda
    Abstract: We test whether household non-durable consumption and in years of schooling are related, by exploiting a university reform that mostly changes the marginal costs of educational investment. The empirical results suggest that education is a production rather than a normal consumption good, producing mainly potential life-time gains. This finding implies that such reform which achieves its goal, not only positively affects the individuals' human capital accumulation process but it also has the unintended positive effect to moderately boost consumption.
    Keywords: Education enrollment;Household consumption preferences
    Date: 2018
  10. By: Orazio Attanasio (University College London); Teodora Boneva (University of Cambridge); Christopher Rauh (University of Cambridge, INET Institute)
    Abstract: In this paper, we study parental beliefs about the returns to different types of investments in school children. Using a representative sample of 1,962 parents in England, we document how parents perceive the returns to parental time investments, material investments and school quality, as well as the complementarity/substitutability between the different inputs. Both parental investments and school quality are perceived to be important and returns are perceived to be diminishing with higher investments. We further find that parental material investments are perceived as more productive if the child attends a high quality school. We find no differences in perceived returns to investments by the child’s initial human capital or gender and, surprisingly, by the parents’ socioeconomic background. We document a high degree of heterogeneity in perceived returns across respondents and document that perceived returns are highly correlated with actual investment decisions made by parents.
    Keywords: parental investments, human capital, beliefs, Inequality
    JEL: I24 J13 J24 J62
    Date: 2018–05

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