nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2018‒10‒08
five papers chosen by
Marco Novarese
Università del Piemonte Orientale

  1. Class Rank and Long-Run Outcomes By Jeffrey T. Denning; Richard Murphy; Felix Weinhardt
  2. Gender responses to competitive pressure in college: a regression discontinuity design By Pilar Beneito; Inés Rosell
  3. Achievement rank affects performance and major choices in college By Benjamin Elsner; Ingo E. Isphording; Ulf Zölitz
  4. The Impact of Tertiary Study on the Labour Market Outcomes of Low-qualified School Leavers: An update By Tumen, Sarah; Dixon, Sylvia; Crichton, Sarah
  5. Adult education, the use of Information and Communication Technologies and the impact on quality of life: a case study. By Elenka Brenna; Lara Gitto

  1. By: Jeffrey T. Denning; Richard Murphy; Felix Weinhardt
    Abstract: This paper considers a fundamental question about the school environment – what are the long run effects of a student’s ordinal rank in elementary school? Using administrative data from all public school students in Texas, we show that students with a higher third grade academic rank, conditional on ability and classroom effects, have higher subsequent test scores, are more likely to take AP classes, graduate high school, enroll in college, and ultimately have higher earnings 19 years later. Given these findings, the paper concludes by exploring the tradeoff between higher quality schools and higher rank.
    Keywords: Rank, education, subject choice
    JEL: I20 I23 I28
    Date: 2018
  2. By: Pilar Beneito (University of Valencia. ERI-CES); Inés Rosell (University of Valencia)
    Abstract: The proliferation of competitive college groups in Spain capturing highly qualified students has opened an interesting debate, motivating the study of how students react in such competitive environments. In this paper we provide empirical answers to this issue by comparing high achievement groups (in particular, International Business and Law and Business) with standard groups (Business Administration) at the University of Valencia, Spain. The co-existence of the two kind of groups sharing similar academic programs and the fact that they are separated by a particular value of the access-to-university score each year provide a suitable data source that allows us to identify the causal effect of peers by using a (fuzzy) regression discontinuity design. We implement this methodology to analyze peers’ influences in terms of learning externalities, competitive pressure, or requirement standards, making special emphasis in gender disparities. Our results suggest that peer effects in college are negative and significant for students at the threshold, that is, for those who are ranked at the bottom of the high achievement groups. These findings are more remarkable for women and in International Business, where the level of competitive pressure is expected to be the highest among the three groups considered. We conclude that competitive pressure exerts a negative impact on threshold student`s grades, particularly women, a result that contributes to the recent literature documenting the lower preference of women for competitive contexts.
    Keywords: college education, competitive pressure, gender, regression discontinuity
    JEL: C01 D9 I23 J16
    Date: 2018–10
  3. By: Benjamin Elsner; Ingo E. Isphording; Ulf Zölitz
    Abstract: This paper studies how a student's ordinal achievement rank affects performance and specialization choices in university. We exploit data from a setting where students are randomly assigned to teaching sections and find that students with a higher rank in their section achieve higher grades, become more likely to graduate, and are more likely to choose related follow-up courses and majors. These effects are stronger for men who, in contrast to women, respond to a higher rank with an increase in their study effort. Our results highlight that social comparisons with peers can have lasting effects on students' careers.
    Keywords: Rank, social comparisons, higher education, peer effects
    JEL: I21 J16 J31
    Date: 2018–09
  4. By: Tumen, Sarah; Dixon, Sylvia; Crichton, Sarah (The Treasury)
    Abstract: This paper is an update of a previous study by Treasury (Tumen et al, 2015). It assesses the impacts of post-school education on the labour market outcomes of young people who leave school without the NCEA level 2 qualification. Specifically, it estimates the effects of low-level tertiary study on the employment rates, benefit receipt rates and earnings of young people who left school without completing NCEA level 2 and then enrolled at a tertiary institution while they were aged 15–21. The benefits of the further education are measured by comparing the students’ post-study outcomes with those of matched comparison groups of other young people who also left school without NCEA level 2 but did not undertake any tertiary education. The current study differs from the previous one in that we allow the students in our study population a longer time period in which to start and complete their tertiary study and track their outcomes for a greater number of years after completion. The findings are similar to the findings of the previous study. Just over half (51%) of those who enrolled in a level 1–4 certificate programme had achieved a qualification by the time they were 22 years of age. Three years after finishing, the students who completed a qualification were 9.1 percentage points more likely to be employed and 4.8 percentage points less likely to be receiving a benefit than their matched comparisons. Five years after finishing, they were 9.2 percentage points more likely to be employed and 5.9 percentage points less likely to be on a benefit than their matched comparisons. While completion of a tertiary qualification was associated with positive employment impacts, we find no evidence of positive impacts on participants’ level of earnings, after controlling for their employment status. In addition, the employment benefits of tertiary study were confined to the students who completed a qualification and were not experienced by the 49% who did not.
    Keywords: Youth; foundation education; early school leavers; low qualifications
    Date: 2018–09
  5. By: Elenka Brenna (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore; Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore); Lara Gitto
    Abstract: In recent years, there has been a growing interest among scholars on Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and their beneficial effects on elderly wellbeing; almost all contributions support the positive impact of ICTs among older population because their use has been demonstrated to enhance social participation and psychosocial wellbeing. This paper contributes to the extant literature by using a specific and comprehensive measure of quality of life, the WHOQol-Bref, on a sample of 341 individuals attending the University of Third Age in an Italian town. Through different model specifications, we are able to demonstrate the positive impact of ICTs’ use on elderly quality of life. Results corroborate the findings of existing literature and provide insight on possible policy measures framed in an active aging approach.
    Keywords: ICT, active ageing policies, quality of life, WHOQol-Bref, OLS.
    JEL: I12 J14
    Date: 2018–09

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