nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2019‒02‒18
three papers chosen by
Marco Novarese
Università del Piemonte Orientale

  1. The impact of higher education on the living standards of female graduates By Chris Belfield; Laura van der Erve
  2. Inequality in socioemotional skills: a cross-cohort comparison By Orazio Attanasio; Richard Blundell; Gabriella Conti; Giacomo Mason
  3. Multilevel proficiency comparisons with an application to educational outcomes in PISA By Ricardo Martínez; Antonio Villar

  1. By: Chris Belfield (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies); Laura van der Erve (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies)
    Abstract: There have been many studies of the impact of higher education (HE) on the wages and earnings of graduates. However, for working women, the variation in wages only explains 30% of the variance in net family income. To understand the overall impact of HE on the living standards of female graduates, we explore the wider impact of HE. We exploit the rich cohort study data in the UK to show that, for women, acquiring HE quali cations increases net family income by around 20%. We fi nd that this increase is driven by higher wages, more working hours and assortative mating, which drives higher partner earnings. We show that the impact on women's own earnings is more important in their early 30s but the role of assortative mating becomes increasingly important at older ages. We compare two cohorts of women born 12 years apart and we show that the overall impact of HE on incomes has remained relatively unchanged. The impact on female labour supply has increased slightly, but this has been counteracted by a smaller wage effect. The role of assortative mating has become no less important. These results shed new light on the benefi ts for women of pursuing HE in the context of ever increasing participation rates.
    Keywords: Female employment, Higher education, Returns to education
    JEL: I23 I31 J16
    Date: 2018–10–24
  2. By: Orazio Attanasio (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London); Richard Blundell (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London); Gabriella Conti (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London); Giacomo Mason (Institute for Fiscal Studies)
    Abstract: We examine changes in inequality in socio-emotional skills very early in life in two British cohorts born 30 years apart. We construct socio-emotional scales comparable across cohorts for both boys and girls, using two validated instruments for the measurement of child behaviour. We identify two dimensions of socio-emotional skills for each cohort: ‘internalising’ and ‘externalising’, related to the ability of children to focus their concentration and to engage in interpersonal activities, respectively. Using recent methodological advances in factor analysis, we establish comparability in the inequality of these early skills across cohorts, but not in their average level. We document for the first time that inequality in these early skills has increased across cohorts, especially for boys and at the bottom of the distribution. We also document changes in conditional skills gaps across cohorts. We find an increase in the socio-emotional skills gap in the younger cohort for children born to mothers with higher socio-economic status (education and employment), and to mothers who smoked during pregnancy. The increase in inequality in early socio-emotional skills is particularly pronounced for boys. On the other hand, we find a decline in the skills gradient for children without a father figure in the household. Lastly, we document that socio-emotional skills measured at a much earlier age than in most of the existing literature are significant predictors of outcomes both in adolescence and adulthood, in particular health and health behaviours. Our results show the importance of formally testing comparability of measurements to study skills di?erences across groups, and in general point to the role of inequalities in the early years for the accumulation of health and human capital across the life course.
    Keywords: Inequality, Socio-emotional skills, Cohort studies, Measurement invariance
    JEL: J13 J24 I14 I24 C38
    Date: 2018–10–08
  3. By: Ricardo Martínez (Department of Economic Theory and Economic History, University of Granada.); Antonio Villar (Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olvide.)
    Abstract: We propose in this paper a general framework for evaluation problems in which the outcome range of the variable can be partitioned into a series of levels that may have different meaning or importance, as they may represent qualitatively different results. Measures of poverty, excellence, inclusion or overall performance indicators are particular cases of this type of problems. We focus on the case of additive functions, to facilitate the discussion. This framework is applied to the analysis of educational poverty, excellence and overall performance of 15-year old students, according to the PISA 2015 data for all 68 participating countries and large economies. The analysis provides insights on the differences between countries that are not captured by the average test scores. In addition, we find out that the measures we propose result in rankings of countries different from that of the test scores.
    Keywords: social evaluation, education, poverty, excellence, PISA, OECD countries.
    JEL: H7 I2 I3 J1
    Date: 2019–02–05

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