nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2019‒04‒01
four papers chosen by
Marco Novarese
Università del Piemonte Orientale

  1. Cross-Fertilizing Gains or Crowding Out? Schooling Intensity and Noncognitive Skills By Sarah C. Dahmann; Silke Anger
  2. Cross-country evidence on the impact of decentralisation and school autonomy on educational performance By Carlos Xabel Lastra-Anadón; Sonia Mukherjee
  3. The Effect of Maternal Education on Offspring's Mental Health By Daniel Graeber; Daniel D. Schnitzlein
  4. Maternal education, parental investment and non-cognitive characteristics in rural China By Jessica E. Leight; Elaine Liu

  1. By: Sarah C. Dahmann (The University of Sydney, School of Economics); Silke Anger (Institute for Employment Research (IAB) / Otto-Friedrich University Bamberg)
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of schooling intensity on students’ noncognitive skills. It exploits a major school reform that reduced total years in high school but retained the high school curriculum, thereby increasing weekly school hours. The sharp, regionally staggered one-year reduction in high school duration allows us to identify causal effects. Our results show that higher schooling intensity decreases overall students’ emotional stability but increases openness for disadvantaged students. Our finding that investments in cognitive skills can crowd out noncognitive skills is consistent with the predictions of our theoretical model, which imposes a per-period budget constraint for total investments in skill formation.
    Keywords: skill formation, non-cognitive skills, Big Five, locus of control, cognitive investment, high school reform
    JEL: I21 I28 J24
    Date: 2018–09
  2. By: Carlos Xabel Lastra-Anadón; Sonia Mukherjee
    Abstract: How do administrative and fiscal decentralisation relate to education system performance? The question is answered by exploiting a panel with several different measures of fiscal decentralisation: a measure of administrative decentralisation, as well as a measure of school autonomy (using six waves of PISA). These measures are related to educational outcomes, measured by PISA score country averages. The panel includes year fixed effects and multiple country covariates. Overall, a positive relationship is found linking administrative and fiscal decentralisation with performance, as measured by PISA tests. School autonomy is also positively related with educational outcomes, strengthening the estimated effects of administrative and fiscal decentralisation.
    Keywords: Educational performance, intergovernmental relations, public governance, public sector productivity
    JEL: H75 I28 O43
    Date: 2019–03–26
  3. By: Daniel Graeber; Daniel D. Schnitzlein
    Abstract: We estimate the causal effect of maternal education on the mental health of mother’s children in late adolescence and adulthood. Theoretical considerations are ambiguous about a causal effect of maternal education on children’s mental health. To identify the causal effect of maternal education, we exploit exogenous variation in maternal years of schooling, caused by a compulsory schooling law reform in West Germany. Based on data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, we find no evidence of a causal protective effect of maternal education on children’s mental health. Instead, our empirical results suggest a moderate negative effect of maternal education on the daughters’ mental health. We find no effects for the sons. Our investigation of potential mechanisms is consistent with the hypothesis that the negative effect of higher maternal labor supply outweighs the positive effect of an expansion in household resources.
    Keywords: Mental health, education, compulsory schooling reform, intergenerational mobility
    JEL: I10 I21 J62
    Date: 2019
  4. By: Jessica E. Leight (Williams College); Elaine Liu (University of Houston)
    Abstract: The importance of non-cognitive skills in determining long-term human capital and labor market outcomes is widely acknowledged, but relatively little is known about how educational investments by parents may respond to children’s non-cognitive characteristics. This paper evaluates the parental response to non-cognitive variation across siblings in rural Gansu province, China, employing a household fixed effects specification; the non-cognitive measures of interest are defined as the inverse of both externalizing challenges (behavioral problems and aggression) and internalizing challenges (anxiety and withdrawal). The results suggest that there is significant heterogeneity with respect to maternal education. More educated mothers appear to compensate for differences between their children, investing more in a child who exhibits greater non-cognitive deficits, while less educated mothers reinforce these differences. Most importantly, there is evidence that these compensatory investments are associated with the narrowing of non-cognitive deficits over time for children of more educated mothers, while there is no comparable pattern in households with less educated mothers.
    Keywords: non-cognitive characteristics, parental investments, intrahousehold resource allocation
    JEL: I24 O15 D13
    Date: 2018–06

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