nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2018‒12‒10
four papers chosen by
Marco Novarese
Università del Piemonte Orientale

  1. Can Education Reduce Traditional Gender Role Attitudes? By Noelia Rivera Garrido
  2. Does the Girl Next Door Affect Your Academic Outcomes and Career Choices? By Goulas, Sofoklis; Megalokonomou, Rigissa; Zhang, Yi
  3. Does It Matter When Your Smartest Peers Leave Your Class? Evidence from Hungary By Fritz Schiltz; Deni Mazrekaj; Daniel Horn; Kristof De Witte
  4. Experimental Estimates of the Student Attendance Production Function By Tran, Long; Gershenson, Seth

  1. By: Noelia Rivera Garrido (Dpto. Fundamentos del Análisis Económico)
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to identify if there is a causal relationship between education and traditional gender-role attitudes. In particular, if women have to leave the labor market to take care of the family, and if men have more rights to a job than women when jobs are scarce. In addition, I explore plausible mechanisms through which education affects these attitudes. I use data from the European Social Survey for 14 European countries. My identification strategy exploits educational reforms changing the number of years of compulsory education to obtain a source of exogenous variation that can be used as an instrument for education. The first stage results show that education reforms certainly increase years of schooling, but only for individuals from a low-educated family, in particular women. Results indicate that for this group, one additional year of education significantly reduces the probability of agreeing with women’s traditional gender role in more than 11 percentage points.
    Keywords: Education, Compulsory schooling reforms, Gender-role attitudes, Gender inequality, Europe.
    JEL: A13 I21 I24 J16 J24
    Date: 2018–11
  2. By: Goulas, Sofoklis (Stanford University); Megalokonomou, Rigissa (University of Queensland); Zhang, Yi (University of Queensland)
    Abstract: Gender peer effects are potentially important for optimally organizing schools and neighborhoods. In this paper, we examine how the gender of classmates and neighbors affects a variety of high school outcomes and choice of university major. Given that students are assigned to schools based on proximity from their residential address, we define as neighbors all same-cohort peers who attend any other school within a 1-mile radius of one's school. To control for potentially confounding unobserved characteristics of schools and neighborhoods that might be correlated with peer gender composition, we exploit within-school and -neighborhood idiosyncratic variation in gender composition share across consecutive cohorts in the 12th grade. Using data for the universe of students in public schools in Greece between 2004 and 2009, we find that a higher share of females in a school or neighborhood improves both genders' subsequent scholastic performance, increases their university matriculation rates, renders them more likely to enroll in an academic university than a technical school, and affects their choice of university study. In addition, we find that only females are more likely to enroll in STEM degrees and target more lucrative occupations when they have more female peers in school or neighborhood. Based on our back-of-the-envelope calculations, a 10 percentage point increase in the proportion of females in a school or neighborhood reduces the gender gap in STEM enrollments by 2% and 3%, respectively. We also find that (1) neighborhood peer effects are as large as school peer effects, and (2) the effects are nonlinear-namely, the effects are larger for school and neighborhood cohorts with a large majority of female peers.
    Keywords: gender peer effects, neighborhood effects, STEM university degrees
    JEL: J24 J21 J16 I24
    Date: 2018–10
  3. By: Fritz Schiltz (Faculty of Economics and Business, KU Leuven, Belgium); Deni Mazrekaj (Faculty of Economics and Business, KU Leuven, Belgium); Daniel Horn (Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences); Kristof De Witte (Faculty of Economics and Business, KU Leuven, Belgium and Top Institute for Evidence Based Education Research, Maastricht, the Netherlands)
    Abstract: Elite schools in Hungary cherry pick high achieving students from general primary schools. The geographical coverage of elite schools has remained unchanged since 1999, when the establishment of new elite schools stopped. We exploit this geographical variation in the immobile Hungarian society and estimate the impact of high achieving peers leaving the class on student achievement, behaviour, and aspirations for higher education. Our estimates indicate moderate but heterogeneous effects on those left behind in general primary schools.
    Keywords: peer-effects, early-selection, IV estimates, FE estimates
    JEL: I21 I24 P36
    Date: 2018–11
  4. By: Tran, Long (American University); Gershenson, Seth (American University)
    Abstract: Student attendance is both a critical input and intermediate output of the education production function. However, the malleable classroom-level determinants of student attendance are poorly understood. We estimate the causal effect of class size and observable teacher qualifications on student attendance rates by leveraging the random classroom assignments made by Tennessee's Project STAR (Student/Teacher Achievement Ratio) class size experiment. A ten-student increase in class size raises the probability of being chronically absent by about three percentage points (21%). For black students, random assignment to a black teacher reduces the probability of chronic absence by 3.1 percentage points (26%). These suggest that a small, but nontrivial, share (about 5%) of class-size and race-match effects on student achievement are driven by changes in students' attendance habits.
    Keywords: education production function, student attendance, chronic absence, class size
    JEL: I2
    Date: 2018–10

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.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.