nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2019‒02‒04
six papers chosen by
Marco Novarese
Università del Piemonte Orientale

  1. University Tuition Fees and High School Students' Educational Intentions By Bahrs, Michael; Siedler, Thomas
  2. What Stops Poor Girls from Going to College? Skill Development and Access to Higher Education in a Developing Country By Molina, Oswaldo; Santa María, Diego; Yamada, Gustavo
  3. Returns to Higher Education Subjects and Tiers in China: Evidence from the China Family Panel Studies By Kang, Lili; Peng, Fei; Zhu, Yu
  4. Long-term Consequences of Early Parenthood By Eva Rye Johansen; Helena Skyt Nielsen; Mette Verner
  5. Why does education reduce crime? By Bell, Brian; Costa, Rui; Machin, Stephen
  6. Teaching assistants, computers and classroom management: evidence from a randomised control trial By Johnson, Helen; McNally, Sandra; Rolfe, Heather; Ruiz-Valenzuela, Jenifer; Savage, Robert; Vousden, Janet; Wood, Clare

  1. By: Bahrs, Michael (University of Hamburg); Siedler, Thomas (University of Hamburg)
    Abstract: This paper studies whether higher education tuition fees influence the intention to acquire a university degree among high school students and, if so, whether the effect on individuals from low-income households is particularly strong. We analyze the introduction and subsequent elimination of university tuition fees in Germany across states and over time in a difference-in-differences setting. Using data from the Youth Questionnaire of the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), we find a large negative effect of tuition fees on the intention of 17-years-olds to acquire a higher educational degree, with a decrease of around eight percentage points (ten percent). Individuals from low-income households mainly drive the results. This study documents that the introduction of relatively low university tuition fees of 1,000 euros per academic year can considerably lower young people's educational intentions and choices.
    Keywords: tuition fees, educational inequality, difference-in-differences
    JEL: I22 I23 I24
    Date: 2018–12
  2. By: Molina, Oswaldo (Universidad del Pacifico); Santa María, Diego (Universidad del Pacifico); Yamada, Gustavo (Universidad del Pacifico)
    Abstract: Although recent evidence suggests that the aggregate gender gap in access to Higher Education in Peru has been closed, differences in enrollment between the poor and the rich are still notably larger among girls. This paper explores the factors behind these gender differences in access to Higher Education. Specifically, we assess whether larger socioeconomic disparities among females can be explained by long-run factors crystalized in Higher Education preparedness (i.e., cognitive and non-cognitive skills), rather than by short-term economic constraints. We employ a rich longitudinal data set that allows for the estimation of a structural model of skill formation from early childhood. Our results show that cognitive abilities are strong predictors of enrollment for both genders, whereas non-cognitive skills are only determinant among boys. We also provide strong evidence of gender-specific short-term barriers in access to post-secondary schooling: while differences in skills are the major determinants of the wealth gradient for males, the female gap remains large even after accounting for these factors. Further analysis reveals that access to Higher Education among girls is overly sensitive to marginal costs of enrollment, suggesting that at least part of this gradient might be explained by lower expected returns rather than credit constraints. Overall, these findings illustrate the importance of early human capital investments on educational attainment, but also point to the prevalence of short-term restrictions that disproportionately affect females in disadvantaged households.
    Keywords: higher education, gender, skills
    JEL: I23 J16 J24
    Date: 2018–12
  3. By: Kang, Lili (Shanghai Lixin University of Accounting and Finance); Peng, Fei (Shanghai Lixin University of Accounting and Finance); Zhu, Yu (University of Dundee)
    Abstract: Using the recent China Family Panel Studies, we identify the subjects studied by college (2–3 years) graduates and university (4–5 years) graduates. For the university graduates, we can further distinguish universities by the tier of selectivity (i.e., Key and Ordinary Universities). We take advantage of the rich information on the respondent's school cohort, hukou status at age 12, and the mother's age and education to estimate university applicants' simultaneous choice of subject and tier of prestige of higher education institutions (HEIs). Using the doubly robust Inverse Probability Weighted Regression Adjustment method to account for selection – on observables – into subjects and tiers, our treatment effect estimates suggest that pooled OLS and random-effect models substantially underestimate the effect of attending universities that are more prestigious for graduates of both genders in law, economics, and management (LEM). We also demonstrate that the recent massive expansion of the higher education sector resulted in reduced returns to HE for all graduates, except for graduates who studied LEM or Other non-STEM (sciences, technology, engineering and math/medicine) subjects at the most prestigious universities. The results are robust to treating subjects as predetermined for the selection into HEIs by tiers of prestige.
    Keywords: returns to university tier and subjects, China, inverse probability weighted regression adjustment, higher education expansion
    JEL: I23
    Date: 2019–01
  4. By: Eva Rye Johansen (Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University, Denmark); Helena Skyt Nielsen (Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University, Denmark); Mette Verner (VIVE (The Danish Centre of Applied Social Science))
    Abstract: Having children at an early age is known to be associated with unfavorable economic outcomes, such as lower education, employment and earnings. In this paper, we study the long-term consequences of early parenthood for mothers and fathers. Our study is based on rich register-based data that, importantly, merges all childbirths to the children’s mothers and fathers, allowing us to study the consequences of early parenthood for both parents. We perform a sibling fixed effects analysis in order to account for unobserved family attributes that are possibly correlated with early parenthood. The analysis is based on Danish men and women born between 1968 and 1977, from whom we identify brothers and sisters, respectively. We find that early parenthood reduces educational attainment and employment, and that the relationship is only slightly weaker for men than for women. One exception is earnings (and to lesser extent employment), as fathers appear to support the family, especially when early parenthood is combined with cohabitation with the mother and the child. Heterogeneous effects reveal that individuals with a more favorable socioeconomic background are affected more severely than individuals with a less favorable background. We interpret this as evidence of higher opportunity costs or stigma.
    Keywords: Teenage childbearing, long-term outcomes, heterogeneous effects
    JEL: I21 J13 J24
    Date: 2018–04–09
  5. By: Bell, Brian; Costa, Rui; Machin, Stephen
    Abstract: Prior research shows reduced criminality to be a beneficial consequence of education policies that raise the school leaving age. This paper studies how crime reductions occurred in a sequence of state-level dropout age reforms enacted between 1980 and 2010 in the United States. These reforms changed the shape of crime-age profiles, reflecting both a temporary incapacitation effect and a more sustained, longer run crime reducing effect. In contrast to the previous research looking at earlier US education reforms, crime reduction does not arise solely as a result of education improvements, and so the observed longer run effect is interpreted as dynamic incapacitation. Additional evidence based on longitudinal data combined with an education reform from a different setting in Australia corroborates the finding of dynamic incapacitation underpinning education policy-induced crime reduction.
    Keywords: crime age profiles; school dropout; compulsory schooling laws
    JEL: I2 K42
    Date: 2018–08
  6. By: Johnson, Helen; McNally, Sandra; Rolfe, Heather; Ruiz-Valenzuela, Jenifer; Savage, Robert; Vousden, Janet; Wood, Clare
    Abstract: Many students still leave school without a good grasp of basic literacy, despite the negative implications for future educational and labour market outcomes. We evaluate a programme that involves changing how resources are used within classrooms to reinforce the teaching of literacy. Specifically, the programme involves training teaching assistants to deliver a tightly structured package of materials to groups of young children. Further, we compare the effectiveness of computer-aided instruction using available software with the paper equivalent. We implement the experiment in the context of a Randomised Control Trial in English schools. Both interventions have a short-term impact on children’s reading scores, although the effect is bigger for the paper intervention and more enduring in the subsequent year. This paper shows how teaching assistants can be used to better effect within schools, and at a low cost.
    Keywords: literacy; ICT; teaching assistants
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2018–08

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