nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2019‒10‒07
four papers chosen by
Marco Novarese
Università del Piemonte Orientale

  1. Improving Schools through School Choice: An Experimental Study of Deferred Acceptance By Flip Klijn; Joana Pais; Marc Vorsatz
  2. Does Class Size Matter in Postgraduate Education? By Gaggero, Alessio; Haile, Getinet Astatike
  3. Finish It and It’s Free: An Evaluation of College Graduation Subsidies By Matthew D. Webb
  4. Should I Stay or Should I Go? Neighbors' Effects on University Enrollment By Andrés Barrios Fernandez

  1. By: Flip Klijn; Joana Pais; Marc Vorsatz
    Abstract: In the context of school choice, we experimentally study the student-optimal stable mechanism where subjects take the role of students and schools are passive. Specifically, we study if a school can be better off when it unambiguously improves in the students’ true preferences and its (theoretic) student-optimal stable match remains the same or gets worse. Using first-order stochastic dominance to evaluate the schools’ distributions over their actual matches, we find that schools’ welfare almost always changes in the same direction as the change of the student-optimal stable matching, i.e., incentives to improve school quality are nearly idle.
    Keywords: school choice, matching, deferred acceptance, school quality, stability
    JEL: C78 C91 C92 D78 I20
    Date: 2019–09
  2. By: Gaggero, Alessio (University of Nottingham); Haile, Getinet Astatike (University of Nottingham)
    Abstract: The paper examines the impact of class size on postgraduate grades using administrative data from one of the largest Schools of a Russell Group University in the UK. As well as estimating Fixed Effects models on the population of postgraduate candidates in the School, we exploit a policy change aimed at reducing class size to implement a regression discontinuity design (RDD). We find that class size does impact grades adversely overall; and the policy aimed at reducing class size impacts grades favourably. Our findings are robust to alternative specifications as well as being supported by the validity tests we conducted.
    Keywords: higher education, class size, grades, RDD
    JEL: I21 I23
    Date: 2019–09
  3. By: Matthew D. Webb (Department of Economics, Carleton University)
    Abstract: Despite the rapid increase in the returns to higher education witnessed in the labor market over the past few decades, there has also been a marked increase in the share of individuals who dropout of college or university. To boost student persistence in higher education, several Canadian provincial governments introduced a set of reforms that were designed as subsidies for college graduation. In addition, these policies were designed to discourage internal migration following graduation. Using data from both administrative tax records as well as longitudinal surveys, I analyze the effectiveness of these policies. The main findings are that the programs had no effect on internal migration, but significantly reduced college dropout rates.
    Keywords: higher education, college dropout, some college, college attrition, education financing
    JEL: I22 I23 I28
    Date: 2019–10–01
  4. By: Andrés Barrios Fernandez
    Abstract: This paper investigates whether the decision to attend university depends on university enrollment of close neighbors. I create a unique dataset combining detailed geographic information and educational records from different public agencies in Chile, and exploit the quasi-random variation generated by the rules that determine eligibility for student loans. I find that close neighbors have a large and significant impact on university enrollment of younger applicants. Potential applicants are around 11 percentage points more likely to attend university if a close neighbor enrolled the year before. This effect is particularly strong in areas with low exposure to university and among individuals who are more likely to interact; the effect decreases both with geographic and social distance and is weaker for individuals who have spent less time in the neighborhood. I also show that the increase in university attendance translates into retention and university completion. These effects are mediated by an increase in applications rather than by an improvement on applicants' academic performance. This set of results suggests that policies that expand access to university generate positive spillovers on close peers of the direct beneficiaries.
    Keywords: Neighbors’ effects, university access, spatial spillovers
    JEL: I21 I24 R23 R28
    Date: 2019–10

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