nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2020‒02‒17
seven papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. The effect of class assignment on academic performance and the labour market: Evidence from a public federal university in Brazil By Motte Henrique; Oliveira Rodrigo
  2. Who Benefits from General Knowledge? By Cristina Bellés-Obrero; Emma Duchini
  3. When Do Teachers Respond to Student Feedback? Evidence from a Field Experiment By Buurman, Margaretha; Delfgaauw, Josse; Dur, Robert; Zoutenbier, Robin
  4. The Spillovers of Employment Guarantee Programs on Child Labor and Education By Li,Tianshu; Sekhri,Sheetal
  5. The Power of Believing You Can Get Smarter : The Impact of a Growth-Mindset Intervention on Academic Achievement in Peru By Outes-Leon,Ingo; Sanchez,Alan; Vakis,Renos
  6. Excellence for all? Heterogeneity in high-schools’ value-added By P. GIVORD; M. SUAREZ CASTILLO
  7. Linguistic Traits and Human Capital Formation By Galor, Oded; Özak, Ömer; Sarid, Assaf

  1. By: Motte Henrique; Oliveira Rodrigo
    Abstract: Can students rank in the ability distribution of their class impact their academic achievement? We aim to answer this question using a discontinuity generated by a rule for the distribution of students between classes at a prestigious Brazilian university.The rule means that in almost 30 per cent of its courses, the Federal University of Bahia allocates 50 per cent of the best students in the university entrance exam to the group that starts in the first semester, and the other 50 per cent to the group that starts in the second semester.We also explore the fact that the Federal University of Bahia was the first federal university in Brazil to adopt affirmative action for low-income individuals.In general, the results indicate that coming last among the best students of the first class negatively impacts student performance, and this effect is greater when considering students from affirmative action programmes and for courses in the field of technology.But the results in the labour market are not unique. Being in the first class could have positive or negative effects in terms of the labour market, depending on whether the students are part of the affirmative action quota or not.
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Cristina Bellés-Obrero; Emma Duchini
    Abstract: While vocational education is meant to provide occupational-specific skills that are directly employable, their returns may be limited in fast-changing economies. Conversely, general education should provide learning skills, but these may have little value at low levels of education. This paper sheds light on this debate by exploiting a recent Spanish reform that postpones students’ choice between these two educational pathways from age 14 to 16. To identify exogenous changes in its staggered implementation, we instrument this with the pre-reform across-province variation in the share of students in general education. Results indicate that, by shifting educational investment from vocational to general education after age 16, the reform improves occupational outcomes, and results in a significant rise in monthly wages. The effects are larger after the financial crisis, but are concentrated among middle to high-skilled individuals. In contrast, those who acquire only basic general education have worse long-term employment prospects than vocationally-trained individuals.
    Keywords: general versus vocational education; heterogeneous returns; financial crisis
    JEL: I26 I28 J24
    Date: 2020–02
  3. By: Buurman, Margaretha (Free University Amsterdam); Delfgaauw, Josse (Erasmus University Rotterdam); Dur, Robert (Erasmus University Rotterdam); Zoutenbier, Robin (Ministry of Finance, The Netherlands)
    Abstract: We ran a field experiment at a large Dutch school for intermediate vocational education to examine whether the response of teachers to student feedback depends on the content of the feedback. Students evaluated all teachers, but only a randomly selected group of teachers received feedback. Additionally, we asked all teachers before as well as a year after the experiment to assess their own performance on the same items. We find a precisely estimated zero average treatment effect of receiving student feedback on student evaluation scores a year later. However, teachers whose self-assessment before the experiment is much more positive than their students' evaluations do improve significantly in response to receiving feedback. We also find that provision of feedback reduces the gap between teachers' self-assessment and students' assessment, but only to a limited extent. All of these results are driven by the female teachers in our sample; male teachers appear to be unresponsive to student feedback.
    Keywords: field experiment, feedback, teachers, student evaluations, self-assessment, gender differences
    JEL: C93 I2 M5
    Date: 2020–01
  4. By: Li,Tianshu; Sekhri,Sheetal
    Abstract: Many developing countries use employment guarantee programs to combat poverty. This paper examines the consequences of such employment guarantee programs for the human capital accumulation of children. It exploits the phased roll-out of India's flagship Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA) to study the effects on enrollment in schools and child labor. Introduction of MGNREGA results in lower relative school enrollment in treated districts. The authors find that the drop in enrollment is driven by primary school children. Children in higher grades are just as likely to attend school under MGNREGA, but their school performance deteriorates. Using nationally representative employment data, they find evidence indicating an increase in child labor highlighting the unintentional perverse effects of the employment guarantee schemes for Human capital.
    Keywords: Education Finance,Economics of Education,Educational Sciences,Labor Markets,Child Labor Law,Labor Standards,Rural Labor Markets,Child Labor,Educational Institutions&Facilities,Effective Schools and Teachers
    Date: 2020–01–07
  5. By: Outes-Leon,Ingo; Sanchez,Alan; Vakis,Renos
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the academic impact of a growth-mindset intervention on students starting the secondary level in public schools in urban Peru. ¡Expande tu Mente! is a 90-minute school session aimed at instilling the notion that a person's own intelligence is malleable. Students in schools randomly assigned to treatment showed a small improvement in math test scores and educational expectations, with a large and sustained impact in test scores among students outside the capital city. At a cost of $0.20 per pupil, ¡Expande tu Mente! was highly cost-effective. The results show the potential that brief growth-mindset interventions have for developing countries.
    Date: 2020–02–03
  6. By: P. GIVORD (Insee - Crest - Liepp); M. SUAREZ CASTILLO (Insee - Crest)
    Abstract: This paper presents a new method that goes beyond the measurement of average value-added of schools by measuring whether schools mitigate or intensify grades dispersion among initially similar students. In practice, school value-added is estimated at different levels of final achievements’ distribution by quantile regressionswith school specific fixed effects. This method is applied using exhaustive data of the 2015 French high-school diploma and controlling for initial achievements and socio-economic background. Results suggest that almostone-sixth of the high schools significantly reduce, or on the contrary increase, the dispersion in final grades which were expected given the initial characteristics of their intake.
    Keywords: Value added; quantile regression; Student Growth Percentiles
    JEL: I20 C21 C50
    Date: 2019
  7. By: Galor, Oded (Brown University); Özak, Ömer (Southern Methodist University); Sarid, Assaf (University of Haifa)
    Abstract: This research establishes the influence of linguistic traits on human behavior. Exploiting variations in the languages spoken by children of migrants with identical ancestral countries of origin, the analysis indicates that the presence of periphrastic future tense, and its association with long-term orientation has a significant positive impact on educational attainment, whereas the presence of sex-based grammatical gender, and its association with gender bias, has a significant adverse impact on female educational attainment.
    Keywords: human capital, long-term orientation, gender bias, periphrastic future tense, sex-based grammatical gender, culture, language
    JEL: D91 I25 J16 J24 Z10 Z13
    Date: 2020–01

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