nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2019‒02‒11
four papers chosen by
Marco Novarese
Università del Piemonte Orientale

  1. How does the achievement gap between immigrant and native-born pupils progress from primary to secondary education? By ALIEVA Aigul; HILDEBRAND Vincent; VAN KERM Philippe
  2. Lost Boys: Access to Secondary Education and Crime By Huttunen, Kristiina; Pekkarinen, Tuomas; Uusitalo, Roope; Virtanen, Hanna
  3. Do higher salaries yield better teachers and better student outcomes? By José María Cabrera; Dinand Webbink.
  4. Do planning prompts increase educational success? Evidence from randomized controlled trials in MOOCs By Andor, Mark A.; Fels, Katja M.; Renz, Jan; Rzepka, Sylvi

  1. By: ALIEVA Aigul; HILDEBRAND Vincent; VAN KERM Philippe
    Abstract: This paper documents the change in educational achievement differences between native and foreign background students between the ages of 10 and 15, as they progress from primary to secondary education. We examine three cohorts of students in a number of Western European and traditional English-speaking immigration countries using combinations of PIRLS, TIMSS and PISA survey data. While the performance of students with mixed parents is not markedly different from native students?, foreign background children?both first- and second-generation?exhibit a large achievement gap at age 10 in continental Europe, even when accounting for observable differences in socio-economic characteristics. The gap tends to narrow down by age 15 in reading, but no catching up is observed in mathematics. By contrast, we do not find significant differences between the academic achievements of immigrant children and their native-born peers in traditional immigration countries.
    Keywords: Achievement gap; foreign-born students; primary education; secondary education; test scores comparability; Europe; Traditional Immigration Countries; TIMSS; PIRLS; PISA
    JEL: C14 D63
    Date: 2018–12
  2. By: Huttunen, Kristiina (VATT, Helsinki); Pekkarinen, Tuomas (VATT, Helsinki); Uusitalo, Roope (University of Jyväskylä); Virtanen, Hanna (ETLA - The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy)
    Abstract: We study the effect of post-compulsory education on crime by exploiting a regression discontinuity design generated by admission cut-offs to upper secondary schools in Finland. We combine data on school applications with data on criminal convictions and follow individuals for 10 years. Our results show that successful applicants are less likely to commit crimes during the first five years after admission. Crime is reduced both during and outside the school year, indicating that the channel through which schooling affects crime cannot be explained by incapacitation alone. We find no effect on crime committed after 6 years from admission.
    Keywords: crime, education, school admission, incapacitation, human capital
    JEL: K42 I2
    Date: 2019–01
  3. By: José María Cabrera; Dinand Webbink.
    Abstract: We study the effects of a policy aimed at attracting more experienced and better qualified teachers in primary schools in disadvantaged neighborhoods in Uruguay. Teachers in these schools could earn higher salaries. Estimates from regression discontinuity models show that the policy increased experience by two to three years. The policy was especially successful in ‘hiring experience from other schools’, but also increased tenure. However, the effect on student outcomes appears to be small. The distinction between ‘hiring or keeping’ teachers seems important for explaining this result. Keeping teachers appears to be more beneficial for students than hiring experienced teachers. We also find that the effect of the policy is better for schools that replaced teachers with less than five years of experience.
    Keywords: teacher salaries, teacher experience, student performance, disadvantaged students
    JEL: I2 J24
    Date: 2018
  4. By: Andor, Mark A.; Fels, Katja M.; Renz, Jan; Rzepka, Sylvi
    Abstract: Massive Open Online Courses are a promising educational innovation. Yet, they suffer from high drop-out rates. As a remedy, we propose a planning prompt and test its effect on course completion and further outcomes such as course engagement and satisfaction in four large-scale randomized controlled trials. The results reveal an overall null effect on the completion rate, ruling out effect sizes beyond the [-7%, 3%] interval. However, this overall effect masks heterogeneity across and within courses: In one course the planning prompt increases course completion by 19%, highlighting the importance of replications in slightly different contexts. Using random causal forests, we also reveal tendencies for differential effects by subgroups. Better targeting could hence improve the effectiveness of planning prompts in online learning.
    Keywords: massive open online courses,planning prompt,behavioral economics,natural field experiment
    JEL: I21 I29 C93
    Date: 2018

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