nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2019‒06‒24
four papers chosen by
Marco Novarese
Università del Piemonte Orientale

  1. The Heterogeneous Effects of Early Track Assignment on Cognitive and Non-cognitive Skills By Maria Cotofan; Ron Diris; Trudie Schils
  2. The role of early-career university prestige stratification on the future academic performance of scholars By Gonzalez Sauri, Mario; Rossello, Giulia
  3. Practical Guidelines on Open Education for Academics: modernising higher education via open educational practices By Andreia Inamorato dos Santos
  4. Effects of Class-Size Reduction on Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Skills By ITO Hirotake; NAKAMURO Makiko; YAMAGUCHI Shintaro

  1. By: Maria Cotofan (Erasmus University Rotterdam); Ron Diris (Maastricht University); Trudie Schils (Maastricht University)
    Abstract: Previous findings on (fleeting) relative age effects in school suggest that, given innate ability, too few younger and too many older students attend academic tracks. Using a regression discontinuity design around school-specific admission thresholds, we estimate the cognitive and non-cognitive effects of track assignment at the achievement margin, across relative age. We find that attending the higher track does not affect cognitive outcomes at any relative age. For older students, attending the higher track increases perseverance, need for achievement, and emotional stability. The results suggest that older students compensate lower ability (given high track attendance) with higher effort.
    Keywords: educational economics, school tracking, relative age, non-cognitive skills
    JEL: J24 I21
    Date: 2019–06–07
  2. By: Gonzalez Sauri, Mario (UNU-MERIT); Rossello, Giulia (UNU-MERIT)
    Abstract: Prestige and mobility are important aspects of academic life that play a critical role during early-career. After PhD graduation scholars have to compete for positions in the labour market. Unfortunately, many of them have few research products such that their inherent ability and skills remain mostly unobserved for hiring committees. Institutional prestige in this context is a key mechanism that signals the quality of candidates, and many studies have shown that a "good" affiliation can confer many opportunities for future career development. We know little, however, about how changes of scholar's institutional prestige during early-career relate to future academic performance. In this paper, we use an algorithm to rank universities based on hiring networks in Mexico. We distinguish three groups of scholars that move Up, Down or Stay in the prestige hierarchy between PhD graduation and first job. After controlling for individual characteristics by matching scholars with equal training or the same first job institution, we find that scholars hired by their existing faculty sustain higher performance over their career in comparison to other groups. Interestingly, we find that scholars that move up the hierarchy exhibit, on average, lower academic performance than the other groups. We argue that the negative relation between upward ranking mobility and performance is related to the difficulties in changing research teams at an early-career stage and to the so-called "big-fish-small-pond" effect. We observe a high stratification of universities by prestige and a negative association between mobility and performance that can hinder the flows of knowledge throughout the science system.
    Keywords: University Prestige, Academic Performance, Early Career, Mobility, Faculty hiring network, Institutional Stratification, Scholars Research Performance, University System, University Ranking Emerging Countries, Matched Pair Analysis, PhD Job Market, Mexico
    JEL: D70 I20 I23 J62 O30 Z13
    Date: 2019–05–17
  3. By: Andreia Inamorato dos Santos (European Commission - JRC)
    Abstract: These guidelines are for the academic staff of higher education institutions, with the goal of helping them move towards the use of open educational practices (OEP) in order to widen participation in education. The guidelines are meant to provide an understanding of each of the ten dimensions of open education based on the OpenEdu Framework (JRC, 2016), and to show how academics can start using OEP to prompt inclusion and innovation as important values, starting from their day-to-day activities such as teaching, knowledge creation and research.
    Keywords: open education, higher education, open educational practices, OEP, open educationalresources, OER, universities, academics, teaching, teachers
    Date: 2019–05
  4. By: ITO Hirotake; NAKAMURO Makiko; YAMAGUCHI Shintaro
    Abstract: We estimate the effects of class-size reduction by exploiting exogenous variation caused by Maimonides' rule, which requires that the maximum class size be 40 students and classes be split when 41 or more students are enrolled. Our data cover all fourth to ninth graders in 1,064 public schools in an anonymous prefecture for three years. We find that the effects of class-size reduction on academic test scores are small on average, but slightly stronger for students not going to a private tutoring school. We find no evidence that small class size improves non-cognitive skills. Our substantive conclusion does not change when controlling for school fixed effects.
    Date: 2019–05

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