nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2018‒07‒16
seven papers chosen by
Marco Novarese
Università del Piemonte Orientale

  1. Early Life Determinants of Cognitive Ability: A Comparative Study on Madagascar and Senegal By Kaila, Heidi; Sahn, David E.; Sunder, Naveen
  2. The Impact of Primary School Investment Reallocation on Educational Attainment in Rural Areas of the People’s Republic of China By Haepp, Tobias; Lyu, Lidan
  3. Instructional leadership and academic performance: Eastern Cape educators’ perceptions and quantitative evidence By Dumisani Hompashe
  4. Does education affect economic liberty? The role of information and the media By Papaioannou, Sotiris
  5. How does the earnings advantage of tertiary-educated workers evolve across generations? By OECD
  6. Motivation? The Effects of High-Impact Experiential Learning Activities on Political Science Students By Kimberly S. Adams
  7. How is participation in sports related to students’ performance and well-being? By Judit Pál

  1. By: Kaila, Heidi (World Bank); Sahn, David E. (Cornell University); Sunder, Naveen (Cornell University)
    Abstract: We study the determinants of educational and cognitive outcomes of young adults in Madagascar and Senegal employing a production function approach. Using unique and comparable long-term panel data sets from both countries, we find that cognitive skills measured using test scores in second grade are strong predictors of school attainment and cognitive skills of a cohort of individuals surveyed in their early twenties. The inclusion of early life household wealth, parental education and other household characteristics in the model does not diminish the impact of early cognitive ability on educational and cognitive outcomes in young adult life. Additionally, we find that both early life cognitive ability and health seem to have independent effects on educational attainment and adult cognition. In Senegal, both math and French scores are strong predictors of adult cognitive skills, whereas in Madagascar math plays a relatively stronger role. We find suggestive evidence that the association between early life cognitive ability and later life outcomes is stronger among girls as compared to boys. We also show significant differences in the relationship between early ability and later life test scores for those cohort members according to their height, which we consider a proxy for health status – shorter individuals show a stronger relationship between second grade performance and later life outcomes. These findings highlight the importance of how falling behind in early life may be critical in determining longterm outcomes, particularly for vulnerable groups, that is girls and shorter individuals.
    Keywords: education, cognitive ability, human capital, test scores, health, Africa
    JEL: I21 O12
    Date: 2018–05
  2. By: Haepp, Tobias (Asian Development Bank Institute); Lyu, Lidan (Asian Development Bank Institute)
    Abstract: We analyze the effect of removing village-level primary schools and effectively merging these into larger township-level schools on educational attainment in rural areas of the People’s Republic of China. We employ individual- and village-level information from the China Household Ethnic Survey, which covers regions that are intensively affected by the removal campaign. We find a negative effect of school removals on primary school and junior high school completion rates. However, we also find positive effects on educational attainment beyond junior high school for those students who began their education in the new merged primary schools. This effect can be attributed to resource pooling and higher teacher quality in the new schools. The adverse effects are more severe for girls, especially if the new schools do not provide boarding and are located far away from student residences, and for children whose parents have low educational attainment, thus exacerbating gender inequality and the intergenerational transmission of education inequality. Our findings provide an important reference for other developing countries that will need to reallocate primary school investment in the future.
    Keywords: primary education; school removals; educational attainment; People’s Republic of China
    JEL: H52 I21 I24 J62
    Date: 2018–03–13
  3. By: Dumisani Hompashe (Department of Economics, University of Fort Hare)
    Abstract: This study aims to explore the experiences and perceptions of school educators on how school principals monitor curriculum delivery. It investigates the principal-agent problem and accountability in education in the Eastern Cape. Two types of data are used: qualitative data from interviews with school principals and teachers, and quantitative data from an international educational evaluation. The interview data were collected in 2015 at selected primary schools within three Eastern Cape education districts. Respondents at each school included the school principal and three foundation phase teachers. To triangulate findings from interviews, the association between school leadership and student academic scores in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2015 dataset was examined for both Grade 5 and 9. The association between measures of instructional leadership (e.g. teachers’ understanding of curricular goals and teachers’ degree of success in implementing curricular goals) and student scores for mathematics and science was explored using linear probability models. Findings confirm the existence of the principal-agent problem in education, since many school respondents indicated that curriculum delivery monitoring was not conducted as expected. From the multivariate analysis, instructional leadership variables, such as teachers’ understanding of curricular goals and teachers’ degree of success in implementing the curriculum appear as important correlates of student achievement, though significance differs according to level of schooling and whether the questions were answered by principals or teachers. Policy implications point to a need to hire, empower and support principals to create a culture of accountability in schools.
    Keywords: instructional leadership, principal-agent problem, accountability, education production function, economics of education, student achievement
    JEL: I20 I21 I28
    Date: 2018
  4. By: Papaioannou, Sotiris
    Abstract: We explore whether education plays a key role in determining economic liberty. Baseline estimates suggest that the educational level of a country, as measured by the average years of total schooling, is a significant contributor to economic freedom. To isolate exogenous variation, we use historical information on primary school enrollment rates and also rely on genetic information. We show that the exogenous component of education is strongly correlated with economic liberty after controlling for the influence of a number of other relevant factors. We identify access to information and media freedom as two channels through which higher education is translated into less interventional government policy. We offer non parametric evidence and demonstrate that the impact of schooling is non linear. At low levels of education its influence is negative implying that economic policies in favor of government intervention are more likely to prevail when the educational level of a country is low. When moving to higher levels of schooling, this effect switches to positive.
    Keywords: Economic freedom, Education, Information, Media freedom, Non parametric analysis
    JEL: D83 I25 Z18
    Date: 2018–06–16
  5. By: OECD
    Abstract: The demand and supply of tertiary workers contribute to shaping their earnings advantage. The expansion of tertiary education has been accompanied by a decrease in the earnings advantage of tertiary-educated younger and older workers in many OECD and partner countries. Tertiary-educated workers reap the largest advantage in countries where few adults have completed tertiary education. Older tertiary-educated workers benefit from both their relative scarcity among their generation and their longer professional experience, resulting in a higher earning advantage than their younger counterparts. It is difficult to say whether younger tertiary educated workers will achieve the same earnings advantage over time that the older generation currently enjoys. However, a formal qualification is not the sole assurance of higher earnings: higher skills lead to positive financial outcomes across all educational attainment levels.
    Date: 2018–07–12
  6. By: Kimberly S. Adams (East Stroudsburg University)
    Abstract: This research examines whether high-impact experiential learning activities in politics motivate students positively in learning, personal development and establishing career goals? Using participant observations and student journals recorded during their participation in the Osgood Center for International Studies 2017 Presidential Inauguration Seminar and the Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminar’s 2016 Democratic and Republican Convention seminars, this research identifies specific outcomes related to the impact of such experiential learning opportunities on students of political science.
    Keywords: motivation, experiential learning, transformational opportunities, high-impact learning activities, the Washington Center, the Osgood Center
    Date: 2018–05
  7. By: Judit Pál
    Abstract: Sports play a vital role in students’ life. Playing sports on a regular basis can reduce the risks of obesity, anxiety disorders, low self-esteem and bullying among adolescents, and it can help them live a more active and healthy life as adults. But physical education classes and extracurricular sports activities compete for time with many other important pursuits, including homework and study. Educators and parents may ask whether their children spend enough time (or perhaps too much time) in physical activities, and to what degree participation in sports is associated with students’ academic performance and well-being.
    Date: 2018–07–10

This nep-edu issue is ©2018 by Marco Novarese. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
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