nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2020‒01‒06
five papers chosen by
Marco Novarese
Università del Piemonte Orientale

  1. Parents, schools and human capital differences across countries By De Philippis, Marta; Rossi, Federico
  2. The effects of parental involvement in homework. Two randomised controlled trials in financial education By Joana Elisa Maldonado; Kristof De Witte; Koen Declercq
  3. The Academic Market And The Rise Of Universities In Medieval And Early Modern Europe (1000-1800) By David De La Croix; Frédéric Docquier; Alice Fabre; Robert Stelter
  4. The Wage Premium on Higher Education: Universities and Colleges By Leah Achdut; Elad Gutman; Idan Lipiner; Inbal Maayan; Noam Zussman
  5. The development of higher education in Europe as a “coordination game” By José Pedro Pontes; Ana Paula Buhse

  1. By: De Philippis, Marta; Rossi, Federico
    Abstract: This paper studies the contribution of parental influence in accounting for cross-country gaps in human capital achievements. We argue that the cross-country variation in unobserved parental characteristics is at least as important as the one in commonly used observable proxies of parental socio-economic background. We infer this through an indirect empirical approach, based on the comparison of the school performance of second generation immigrants. We document that, within the same host country or even the same school, students whose parents come from high-scoring countries in the PISA test do better than their peers with similar socioeconomic backgrounds. Differential selection into emigration does not explain this finding. The result is larger when parents have little education and have recently emigrated, suggesting the importance of country-specific cultural traits that parents progressively lose as they integrate in the new host country, rather than of an intergenerational transmission of education quality. Unobserved parental characteristics account for about 15% of the cross-country variance in test scores, roughly doubling the overall contribution of parental influence.
    JEL: O15 J24 E24
    Date: 2019–05
  2. By: Joana Elisa Maldonado; Kristof De Witte; Koen Declercq
    Abstract: Based on two randomised controlled trials with a total of 2,779 students from grade 8 and 9 in Flanders, we provide causal evidence on the effects of parental involvement on students’ learning in a financial education course. Using an experimental design with three treatment groups, the impact of parental involvement in homework is distinguished from the standalone impact of the classroom intervention and homework itself. Intention-to-treat analysis reveals that the intervention effectively improves students’ knowledge and behaviour. The classroom intervention used in conjugation with a homework assignment that the students complete with the help of their parents increases financial literacy scores by 0.37 standard deviations. On average, the added value of involving parents in homework is not significant, but involving parents has significant positive effects on behaviour for disadvantaged students. As a potential underlying mechanism it is observed that the parental involvement intervention significantly increases family communication between students and parents about the course topics.
    Keywords: Financial Literacy; Parental Involvement; Randomised Controlled Trial; Education
    Date: 2019
  3. By: David De La Croix (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES)); Frédéric Docquier (LISER, Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg); Alice Fabre (AMSE, Université Aix-Marseille, France); Robert Stelter (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: Medieval universities are one of the most original creations of Western civilization. Students were educated by a plurality of masters, and scholars came from all parts of Europe. In this paper, we build an original database of thousands of scholars from university sources, and map the academic market in the medieval and early modern periods. Using a random utility model, we show that scholars tend to agglomerate in the best universities, and that this phenomenon is more pronounced within the upper tail of the talent distribution (positive sorting). The quality of scholars is measured by their publications. Agglomeration and sorting patterns testify to a functioning academic market, made possible by political fragmentation and the use of a common language (Latin). Using counterfactual simulations, we show that market forces shaped the geographic distribution of upper-tail human capital across Europe, and contributed to bolstering European universities at the dawn of the Humanistic and Scientific Revolutions.
    Keywords: Upper-Tail Human Capital, Universities, Discrete choice model, Scholars, Publications, Agglomeration.
    JEL: N33 O15 I25
    Date: 2019–11
  4. By: Leah Achdut (Ruppin Academic Center); Elad Gutman (Bank of Israel); Idan Lipiner (Bank of Israel); Inbal Maayan (Bank of Israel); Noam Zussman (Bank of Israel)
    Abstract: The study examined the wage premium on higher education obtained at different types of institution in Israel. It tracked all those born between 1978 and 1985, and relied on a variety of demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of the students and their families, achievements in matriculation and psychometric tests, academic education data, and wages over the years. The databases drew from administrative files and population censuses. In order to distinguish between return on institutions and return on abilities, we used three methods: OLS (selection on observables, including among siblings); TSLS using “geographic proximity to the educational institution” as an IV; and fuzzy regression discontinuity in the acceptance of candidates to departments in the higher education institutions. We first conducted estimations among individuals who completed a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. The OLS estimation shows that, all else being equal, the gross annual wage among university graduates between 2008 and 2015 was about 10 percent higher than that of public college graduates, and wages among graduates of private colleges were about 6–7 percent higher. The wage gaps remained stable even after breaking down the data by the year in which the degree was completed and the number of years that have elapsed since then. The ranking of annual wage was maintained when broken down by gender, nationality, and parental income. The gross hourly wage among university graduates was similar in 2008 to the wage among graduates of private colleges, and about 4–6 percent higher than the wages of graduates of public colleges. We also conducted estimations among those with just a Bachelor’s degree. The OLS estimation showed that the annual wage of graduates of universities and private colleges was about 10 percent higher than the wage of public college graduates. The TSLS method shows that graduates of universities and private colleges earn about 20 percent more and 14 percent more than graduates of public colleges, respectively. In the fuzzy regression discontinuity method no differences were found between the wages of graduates of elite universities and other universities. When we compared those with Bachelor’s degree and those with just a matriculation certificate, we found that studying at public colleges generates a high return, although there are differences between institutions. The findings show that in every field of study, the type of institution is ranked differently in terms of graduates' wages. However, the annual and hourly wages of engineering graduates and those of para-medical professions are higher if they study at universities, while the opposite is true for business management.
    Date: 2018–12
  5. By: José Pedro Pontes; Ana Paula Buhse
    Abstract: This paper tries to explain differences in high education growth across European countries by using a coordinantion game (Stag Hunt) played by n candidates to college education. The payoff of enrolling in the university is positive only if there is "unanimity" i.e. if all candidates engage in higher education, being zero otherwise. This coordination requirement follows from the specialized nature of skills acquired through higher education, which can only be made profitable if each graduate is matched with graduate complementary specialists. This game has two strict Nash equilibria, where either all youngsters enter the university or none does. We show that the assessment of the factors that explain the differential growth of universities across countries is related with alternative ways of selecting a Nash equilibrium in the coordination game. By using empirical data, we can conclude that demographic trends and a cumulative causation factor play a major role in tertiary education growth, while the "wage premium" associated with college attendance also matters but is relatively secondary. "Tuition fees" and other direct financial costs do not appear to be a significant cause or hindrance of university development.
    Keywords: Higher Education; Regional Development; Coordination Games; Risk Dominance.
    JEL: C72 I20 O12 R11
    Date: 2019–12

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