nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2020‒02‒10
eight papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. Building Inter-Ethnic Cohesion in Schools: An Intervention on Perspective-Taking By Sule Alan; Ceren Baysan; Mert Gumren; Elif Kubilay
  2. Self-Perceptions about Academic Achievement: Evidence from Mexico City By Bobba, Matteo; Frisancho, Veronica
  3. Comparing School Choice And College Admission Mechanisms By Their Immunity To Strategic Admissions By Somouaoga Bonkoungou; Alexander Nesterov
  4. Inequality of opportunity in tertiary education in Europe By Flaviana Palmisano; Vito Peragine; Federico Biagi
  5. Is the Remedy Worse Than the Disease? The Impact of Teacher Remediation on Teacher and Student Performance in Chile By María Lombardi
  6. College Access and Adult Health By Benjamin W. Cowan; Nathan Tefft
  7. Has mismatch got us down? Skills and productivity in Canada By Miana Plesca; Fraser Summerfield
  8. Peer Effects in Academic Research: Senders and Receivers By Clément Bosquet; Pierre-Philippe Combes; Emeric Henry; Thierry Mayer

  1. By: Sule Alan (University of Essex); Ceren Baysan (University of Essex); Mert Gumren (Koc University); Elif Kubilay (University of Essex)
    Abstract: We evaluate the impact of an educational program that aims to build inter-ethnic cohesion in schools by developing perspective-taking ability in children. The program takes place in southeastern Turkey, a high-stakes context in which there has been a massive influx of refugees. We measure outcomes that are fundamental to economic interactions and social cohesion, including peer violence, social exclusion, and prosocial behavior. Using randomized variation in program implementation, we find that the program significantly lowers peer violence and victimization on school grounds. It also reduces social exclusion and ethnic segregation in the classroom, measured by inter-ethnic friendship ties. We find that the program is highly effective in enhancing prosocial behavior: Treated students exhibit significantly higher trust, reciprocity, and altruism toward each other. Our results suggest that well-targeted educational strategies can go a long way in building social capital, even in sociopolitically difficult circumstances.
    Keywords: social cohesion, education, refugee integration, social exclusion
    JEL: I24 I28 D24 C93
    Date: 2020–01
  2. By: Bobba, Matteo; Frisancho, Veronica
    Abstract: A growing body of evidence suggests that people exhibit large biases when processing information about themselves, but less is known about the underlying inference process. This paper studies belief updating patterns regarding academic ability in a large sample of students transitioning from middle to high school in Mexico City. The paper takes advantage of rich and longitudinal data on subjective beliefs together with randomized feedback about individual performance on an achievement test. On average, the performance feedback reduces the relative role of priors on posteriors and shifts substantial probability mass toward the signal. Further evidence reveals that males and high-socioeconomic status students, especially those attending relatively better schools, tend to process new information on their own ability more effectively.
    Keywords: Information; Subjective expectations; Academic ability; Bayesian updating;; Over confidence; Secondary education.
    JEL: C93 D80 D83 D84 I24
    Date: 2020–01
  3. By: Somouaoga Bonkoungou (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Alexander Nesterov (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: Recently dozens of school districts and college admissions systems around the world have reformed their admission rules. As a main motivation for these reforms the policymakers cited strategic flaws of the rules: students had strong incentives to game the system, which caused dramatic consequences for non-strategic students. However, almost none of the new rules were strategy-proof. We explain this puzzle. We show that after the reforms the rules became more immune to strategic admissions: each student received a smaller set of schools that he can get in using a strategy, weakening incentives to manipulate. Simultaneously, the admission to each school became strategy-proof to a larger set of students, making the schools more available for non-strategic students. We also show that the existing explanation of the puzzle due to Pathak and S?onmez (2013) is incomplete
    Keywords: matching market design, school choice, college admission, manipulability
    JEL: C78 D47 D78 D82
    Date: 2020
  4. By: Flaviana Palmisano; Vito Peragine; Federico Biagi (European Commission - JRC)
    Abstract: This report provides comparable estimates of inequality of opportunity for tertiary education for about 30 countries in Europe, exploiting the two EU-SILC waves for which information on family background is available (2005 and 2011). It exploits the two point-in-time observations available for most of the countries to analyze the relationship between many institutional dimensions and inequality of opportunity in tertiary education. Although inequality of opportunity in tertiary education varies a lot across countries, parental education and occupation seem to be the most relevant circumstances for almost all of them. We also find evidence of positive correlation between inequality of opportunity for tertiary education and different features of the educational system.
    Keywords: Equality of opportunity, Fairness
    Date: 2019–12
  5. By: María Lombardi
    Abstract: I study the impact of remedial training for low-performing teachers in Chile. Taking advantage of the fact that assignment to remediation is mainly based on teacher evaluation scores, I use a fuzzy regression discontinuity design and find that teachers barely assigned to remediation improve their pedagogical practices as measured by their next evaluation scores. While there is suggestive evidence that these teachers’ students obtain higher standardized test scores after the training is complete, this result is not robust, and the suggestive positive impact disappears after one year. I also find that during the year of their teacher’s reevaluation, the students of teachers assigned to remedial training obtain significantly lower test scores. Teachers assigned to remediation report lower prestige and job satisfaction, suggesting that the stigma of being labeled as a low performer leads teachers to put more effort into preparing their teaching evaluations, causing a temporary drop in student learning.
    Keywords: education, teachers, training, Chile
    JEL: I21 J24 M53
    Date: 2019–09
  6. By: Benjamin W. Cowan; Nathan Tefft
    Abstract: We investigate the relationship between college openings, college attainment, and health behaviors and outcomes later in life. Though a large prior literature attempts to isolate the causal effect of education on health via instrumental variables (IV), most studies use instruments that affect schooling behavior in childhood or adolescence, i.e. before the college enrollment decision. Our paper examines whether an increase in 2- and 4-year institutions per capita (“college accessibility”) in a state contributes to higher college attainment and better health later in life. Using 1980-2015 Census and American Community Survey data, we find consistent evidence that accessibility of public 2-year institutions positively affects schooling attainment and subsequent employment and earnings levels, particularly among whites and Hispanics. With restricted-use 1984-2000 National Health Interview Survey data, we again find that public 2-year accessibility increases schooling and benefits a host of health behaviors and outcomes in adulthood: it deters smoking, raises exercise levels, and improves self-reported health. However, most long-term health conditions are unaffected, which may be partially due to the age of our sample.
    JEL: I12 I23 I26
    Date: 2020–01
  7. By: Miana Plesca (Department of Economics and Finance, University of Guelph, Canada; Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis); Fraser Summerfield (Department of Economics, St. Francis Xavier University, Canada; Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis)
    Abstract: This paper uses Canadian data to examine the link between worker-job mismatch and productivity. We measure mismatch by comparing worker education to occupational skill requirements in the Labour Force Survey (LFS) merged with industrial aggregates of a labor productivity index for the period 1997Q1-2014Q1. Economy-wide mismatch shares appear to have little importance for productivity. Instead, we show that the consequences of mismatch for aggregate productivity depend on precisely which type of workers and which types of jobs are mismatched. Productivity is dampened most when university educated workers are employed in occupations generally requiring community-college or high school education, thus leaving human capital idle.
    Keywords: productivity, mismatch, overeducation, skill
    Date: 2020–02
  8. By: Clément Bosquet (Spatial Economic Research Center); Pierre-Philippe Combes (Département d'économie); Emeric Henry (Département d'économie); Thierry Mayer (Département d'économie)
    Abstract: Using an instrument based on a national contest in France determining researchers’ location, we find evidence of peer effects in academia, when focusing on precise groups of senders (producing the spillovers) and receivers (benefiting from the spillovers), defined based on field of specialisation, gender and age. These peer effects are shown to exist even outside formal co-authorship relationships. Furthermore, the match between the characteristics of senders and receivers plays a critical role. In particular, men benefit a lot from peer effects provided by men, while all other types of gender combinations produce spillovers twice as small.
    Keywords: Economics of Science; Peer Effects; Research Productivity; Gender Publication Gap
    JEL: I23 J16 J24
    Date: 2019–11

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