nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2018‒12‒24
five papers chosen by
Marco Novarese
Università del Piemonte Orientale

  1. Race-Blind Admissions, School Segregation, and Student Outcomes: Evidence from Race- Blind Magnet School Lotteries By Jason B. Cook
  2. Social emotional learning in the classroom: Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial of PERSPEKT 2.0 By Ninja Ritter Klejnstrup; Anna Folke Larsen; Helene Bie Lilleør; Marianne Simonsen
  3. Why is Math Cheaper than English? Understanding Cost Differences in Higher Education By Hemelt, Steven W.; Stange, Kevin; Furquim, Fernando; Simon, Andew; Sawyer, John E.
  4. Gender differences under test pressure and their impact on academic performance: a quasi-experimental design By Daniel Montolio; Pere A. Taberner
  5. Essays in economics of education and econometric theory By Rabovic, Renata

  1. By: Jason B. Cook
    Abstract: This paper studies a school district that was federally mandated to adopt a race-blind lottery system to fill seats in its oversubscribed magnet schools. The district had previously integrated its schools by conducting separate admissions lotteries by race to offset its predominantly black applicant pools. The change dramatically segregated subsequent magnet school cohorts. More segregated schools enroll students with lower baseline achievement and employ lower valueadded teachers. Segregation is further exacerbated by “white flight” as white students transfer out of the district after attending more segregated schools. Ultimately, mandated segregation decreases student test scores and college attendance.
    Keywords: keyword1, keyword2, keyword3
    JEL: I24 I28 J15 J48
    Date: 2018
  2. By: Ninja Ritter Klejnstrup (University of Copenhagen); Anna Folke Larsen (The Rockwool Foundation); Helene Bie Lilleør (The Rockwool Foundation); Marianne Simonsen (Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University, Denmark)
    Abstract: Social emotional learning programs have been found to lead to immediate improvements in cognitive, social and emotional competences. Meanwhile, most evidence to date refers to the United States, and most other countries lack locally tailored teaching materials for socio-emotional learning. Further, there is a lack of knowledge about which subgroups benefit more. Such knowledge is important, because it could provide evidence relevant for both explaining and addressing inequality in educational achieving across subgroups of pupils. Knowledge about longer-term impacts on academic achievement is also called for. This protocol describes an experimental evaluation of a recently developed social emotional learning program implemented in Denmark. The evaluation combines survey data with register-based data, where the latter source allows for tracking of participant outcomes with minimal risk of attrition.
    Keywords: Social emotional learning, well-being, academic achievement, problem behavior, subgroups, longer-term follow up
    JEL: I2 I31
    Date: 2018–12–04
  3. By: Hemelt, Steven W. (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill); Stange, Kevin (University of Michigan); Furquim, Fernando (University of Michigan); Simon, Andew (University of Michigan); Sawyer, John E. (University of Delaware)
    Abstract: The private return to postsecondary investment varies widely by field, but the resources required by different fields are not well known. This paper establishes five new facts about college costs using novel department-level data. First, costs vary widely across field, ranging from electrical engineering (109 percent higher costs than English) to math (22 percent lower). Costs are generally higher in fields where graduates earn more and in pre-professional programs. Second, this pattern is explained statistically by differences in class size and faculty pay, though differences in production technology enable some fields to offset higher salaries with larger classes. Third, some STEM fields experienced steep declines in expenditures over the past fifteen years while others saw increases. Fourth, increases in class size and teaching loads alongside a shift in faculty composition toward contingent faculty explain these trends. Finally, online instruction is associated with a modest reduction in cost per student, but only for undergraduate instruction. Recent policy efforts to promote enrollment in high-earning fields will thus have important implications for postsecondary costs and the social return on investment in higher education.
    Keywords: college major, college costs
    JEL: I21 I22 I23
    Date: 2018–11
  4. By: Daniel Montolio (Universitat de Barcelona & Institut d’Economia de Barcelona (IEB)); Pere A. Taberner (KSNET)
    Abstract: Student performance at university is a strong determinant of individual decisions and future outcomes, most notably labour opportunities. Although published studies have found gender differences in student performance in response to pressure, little is known about such differences when university students are exposed to test pressure. Based on field data, this study aims to examine gender differences in student academic performance in response to different levels of pressure when sitting multiple choice tests, a frequently employed exam format at university. To do so, the introduction of continuous assessment in the evaluation system of a university course allows us to exploit a unique quasi-experimental set up in which the same students take similar tests throughout the course but under different levels of pressure. Exploiting two data structures—namely, pooled cross-sections and panel data—we find that male students outperform their female counterparts when under high pressure. However, in low test pressure scenarios the gender gap is narrowed and even reversed in favour of female students. Finally, we analyse the mechanisms responsible for the gender gap by studying how each gender responds to test pressure, and by studying gender differences when omitting test items on multiple choice formats.
    Keywords: Gender Differences, Test Pressure, Academic Performance, Field Data, Higher Education
    JEL: A22 I24 J16
    Date: 2018
  5. By: Rabovic, Renata (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management)
    Abstract: This doctoral thesis is composed of three chapters on economics of education and econometric theory. Chapter 2 studies how students interact in teams and gives some guidance to educators how to group students to increase their academic knowledge obtained from teamwork. Chapter 3 provides some initial analysis which will be used in future research to investigate whether teachers' subjective assessments are driven by superior information about pupils or by their biases and mistaken beliefs. It is important to disentangle these two forms of teacher discretion, because they have different policy implications. If teacher discretion stems from their biases or mistaken beliefs, educational institutions may want to minimize the reliance on teachers' assessments. On the other hand, if teachers take into account abilities not captured by the standardized test, educational institutions may prefer to give more weight to their assessments. Chapter 3 proposes a new estimator for spatial sample selection models.
    Date: 2018

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