nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2019‒01‒14
five papers chosen by
Marco Novarese
Università del Piemonte Orientale

  1. Effects of After-School Education Vouchers on Children's Academic and Behavioral Outcomes: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment By Hideo Akabayashi; Hiroko Araki; Ryuichi Tanaka
  2. Economic competence in early secondary school: Evidence from a large-scale assessment in Germany By Oberrauch, Luis; Kaiser, Tim
  3. Using Goals to Motivate College Students: Theory and Evidence from Field Experiments By Clark, Damon; Gill, David; Prowse, Victoria; Rush, Mark
  4. Good things come in threes: multigenerational transmission of human capital By A. Hector Moreno M.
  5. Hidden Schooling: Repeated Grades and the Returns to Education and Experience By Kennedy, Kendall

  1. By: Hideo Akabayashi (faculty of economics, keio university); Hiroko Araki (Faculty of Economics, Kindai University); Ryuichi Tanaka (Institute of Social Science, The University of Tokyo)
    Abstract: We estimated the causal impact of vouchers for after-school education programs on children's academic and behavioral outcomes using experimental data of middle and high school students. Our identification strategy relied on the random assignment of after-school education vouchers provided to children who suffered as a result of the Great East Japan Earthquake. We estimated the value-added models of various outcomes such as academic test scores (mathematics and Japanese language art) and non-cognitive skill measures (self-esteem and quality of life) of the children. We carefully treated potential biases due to sample attrition and the small sample property by employing the inverse probability weight for regression analyses. Our estimation results revealed that the assignment of vouchers had a positive and significant effect on the increase of mathematics test scores of high school students immediately, and of language art test scores of middle and high school students in one year. These results were robust to the fully non-parametric permutation tests. We found that the assignment of after-school education vouchers negatively affected the self-esteem scores of middle school students immediately, but this relationship became weak and insignificant in one year. We found that the assignment of vouchers was positively related to the quality of life measure, but these relationships were insignificant. We also estimated the effect of vouchers on the children's study time, finding that the assignment of vouchers had a positive and statistically significant effect on study time, mainly at home. However, these positive effects were insignificant in the fully nonparametric permutation tests. This indicates that the assignment of vouchers improved the quality of the study environment of the children without increasing their study time, thus resulting in better academic outcomes.
    Keywords: Educational Voucher, Causality, Randomized Control Traial, Shadow Education, the Great East Japan Earthquake
    JEL: I21 I22
    Date: 2018–12–06
  2. By: Oberrauch, Luis; Kaiser, Tim
    Abstract: We employ a psychometrically validated performance test to study economic competence among a large and representative sample of early secondary school students in Southwest Germany. The rich dataset allows us to study variation in economic competence across school types and observable student characteristics. Our results show that economic competence is significantly lower among female students, migrants, students with parents of low socioeconomic status and those who do not attend the highest track school type. Additionally, quantile regression analyses suggest that the gender gap increases along the distribution of economic competence and that effects of parents with high socio-economic status are more pronounced above the median of the competence distribution. Our analysis sets the stage for a long-term study of economic competence among secondary school students and the impact of a recent curriculum reform introducing mandatory economic education.
    Keywords: Economic competence,economic literacy,item response theory,pre-college economic education,gender gap
    JEL: A21 I21
    Date: 2018
  3. By: Clark, Damon (Department of Economics, UC Irvine and NBER); Gill, David (Department of Economics, Purdue University); Prowse, Victoria (Department of Economics, Purdue University); Rush, Mark (Department of Economics, University of Florida)
    Abstract: Will college students who set goals for themselves work harder and achieve better outcomes? In theory, setting goals can help present-biased students to mitigate their self-control problem. In practice, there is little credible evidence on the causal effects of goal setting for college students. We report the results of two field experiments that involved almost four thousand college students in total. One experiment asked treated students to set goals for performance in the course; the other asked treated students to set goals for a particular task (completing online practice exams). Task-based goals had robust positive effects on the level of task completion, and task-based goals also increased course performance. We also find that performance-based goals had positive but small effects on course performance. We use a theoretical framework that builds on present bias and loss aversion to interpret our results. Since task-based goal setting is low-cost, scalable and logistically simple, we conclude that our findings have important implications for educational practice and future research.
    Keywords: Goal; Goal setting; Higher education; Field experiment; Self-control; Present bias; Time inconsistency; Commitment device; Loss aversion; Reference point; Task-based goal; Performance-based goal; Self-set goal; Performance uncertainty; Overconfidence; Student effort; Student performance; Educational attainment. JEL Classification: I23, C93
    Date: 2018
  4. By: A. Hector Moreno M. (PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper examines the effect of grandparental education on their children's and grandchildren's educative outcomes. The endogeneity of parental schooling is addressed by the use of a two-fold instrumental variable approach. A natural experimental set up from a regional war that occurred in 1926 is exploited to instrument years of schooling of the "grand-parents" generation whereas labour market indicators serve as an instrument for the education of the "parents" generation. Using a nationally representative Mexican survey that gathers retrospective information on the three generations, the paper first shows that accounting for endogeneity unveils less mobility than ignoring it. This allows documenting more persistence of family background in the older pair of parent-child link than in the younger pair in the three generations at hand. Finally, results also suggest that the influence of the grandparents' educative legacy, conditional on parental education, does not seem to reach the grandchildren's generation.
    Keywords: multigeneration,education,Mexico
    Date: 2018–11
  5. By: Kennedy, Kendall
    Abstract: Over the past four decades, nearly 25% of all American public school students repeated at least one grade in primary or secondary school, and ninth grade repeating increased four-fold. Despite its prevalence, few economists have attempted to account for grade repeating when estimating the returns to education and experience. I show that 10% of the increase in ninth grade repeating was caused by changes in compulsory schooling laws (CSLs). Because CSLs increase both grade repeating and educational attainment, compulsory education-based IV estimates of the returns to education are positively biased by up to 38%. Additionally, grade repeating causes endogenous measurement error in labor market experience. Solely through this measurement error, I show that the residual black-white wage gap is overstated by 10%, the wage return to a high school diploma is overstated by 11% relative to dropouts, and the labor supply gap between dropouts and high school graduates is overstated by 23%. Controlling for age instead of experience reduces this bias, suggesting age should be a standard control variable for reduced-form analysis, not experience.
    Keywords: Grade Retention, Returns to Education, Returns to Experience, 9th Grade, GED, Black-White Gaps
    JEL: C51 J31
    Date: 2018–10–31

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