nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2020‒02‒03
five papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. Can Female Doctors Cure the Gender STEMM Gap? Evidence from Randomly Assigned General Practitioners By Riise, Julie; Willage, Barton; Willén, Alexander
  2. The Effect of Ability Matching and Differentiated Instruction in Financial Literacy Education. Evidence from Two Randomised Control Trials. By Kaat Iterbeke; Kristof De Witte; Koen Declercq; Wouter Schelfhout
  3. Revealed Preference Analysis of School Choice Models By Nikhil Agarwal; Paulo J. Somaini
  4. Rewarding Commitment to Attend School: A Field Study with Indigenous Australian High School Students By Azhar Hussain Potia; Juliana Silva-Goncalves; Benno Torgler; Uwe Dulleck
  5. Strategic grade retention By Bach, Maximilian

  1. By: Riise, Julie (University of Bergen, Department of Economics); Willage, Barton (Department of Economics, Louisiana State University); Willén, Alexander (Department of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics)
    Abstract: We use random assignment of general practitioners (GPs) to provide the first evidence on the effects of female role models in childhood on the long-run educational outcomes of girls. We find that girls who are exposed to female GPs in childhood are significantly more likely to sort into traditionally male-dominated education programs in high school, most notably STEMM. These effects persist as females enter college and select majors. We also find strong positive effects on educational performance throughout their academic careers, suggesting that female role models in childhood improve education matches of girls. The effects we identify are significantly larger for high-ability girls with low educated parents, suggesting that female role models may improve intergenerational mobility and narrow the gifted gap for disadvantaged girls.
    Keywords: Role Models; STEMM; Gender Gap
    JEL: I20 I24 J24
    Date: 2019–10–10
  2. By: Kaat Iterbeke; Kristof De Witte; Koen Declercq; Wouter Schelfhout
    Abstract: The present paper examines the impact of ability matching and differentiated instruction on the learning outcomes of eighth and ninth grade students in a financial education programme. In particular, the effect of within-class ability matching is investigated by forming pairs of students either randomly or based on their abilities. In addition, the paper studies whether differentiated instruction, in the form of additional instructions for lower ability students, enhances the impact of the financial education programme. The paper provides evidence on the effects of both practices using two randomised control trials involving 65 schools and 2,407 students. Overall, the results suggest that the programme raises the financial proficiency of students by 0.18 standard deviations. Although the learning outcomes of the average student are not affected by the differentiation practices, non-native students significantly benefit from differentiated instruction.
    Keywords: financial literacy, ability matching, differentiated instruction, randomised control trial
    JEL: C93 I21 O16
    Date: 2019
  3. By: Nikhil Agarwal; Paulo J. Somaini
    Abstract: Preferences for schools are important determinants of equitable access to high-quality education, effects of expanded choice on school improvement and school choice mechanism design. Standard methods for estimating consumer preferences are not applicable in education markets because students do not always get their first choice school. This review describes recently developed methods for using rich data from a school choice mechanism to estimate student preferences. Our objectives are to present a unifying framework for these methods and to help applied researchers decide which techniques to use. After laying out methodological issues, we provide an overview of empirical results obtained using these models and discuss some open questions.
    JEL: D47 I21
    Date: 2019–12
  4. By: Azhar Hussain Potia; Juliana Silva-Goncalves; Benno Torgler; Uwe Dulleck
    Abstract: We introduce a novel incentive program aimed at decreasing school absenteeism based on the effect of voluntary promises in motivating desirable behaviour. In contrast to a standard program, in which students receive a reward conditional on having achieved a school attendance rate of at least 90 percent, in the promise program, they receive the reward up front, conditional on their commitment to invest their best efforts to reach the attendance target. We assess the effectiveness of the promise program through a field study involving Indigenous Australian high school students, a population who tends to have lower education achievement and socioeconomic advantage than their non-Indigenous counterparts. We find that the promise program significantly decreased unexplained absences compared to the standard program but that it did not influence overall school absences. Our findings suggest that voluntary promises coupled with small gifts are effective in influencing behaviour of disadvantaged students. At the same time, we need further research on how to best design such programs to achieve positive effects in reducing school absenteeism.
    Keywords: school absenteeism, promises, upfront rewards, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students
    JEL: I24 I25 I28
    Date: 2019
  5. By: Bach, Maximilian
    Abstract: Most school systems grant teachers and school principals considerable discretion in grade retention decisions. This paper argues that schools can exploit this discretion by selectively retaining students to reduce class size which potentially has important implications for public spending on education and affected students. To this end, I build a model in which class size is subject to a class size cap, with teachers and school principals determining the share of students to be retained. This leads to a set of empirical predictions that can be tested with minimal data requirements. Testing these predictions using administrative data for German primary schools yields strong evidence of schools strategically using grade retention to reduce class size.
    Keywords: Grade retention,Class size,Incentives
    JEL: I20 I28 I29
    Date: 2019

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