nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2020‒02‒24
thirteen papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. A new perspective on the international achievement gap: is academic autonomy good for everyone? By Jorge Cimentada
  2. Stay a Little Longer? Teacher Turnover, Retention and Quality in Disadvantaged Schools By Asma Benhenda; Julien Grenet
  3. Measuring and Explaining Management in Schools : New Approaches Using Public Data By Leaver,Clare; Lemos,Renata Freitas; Dillenburg Scur,Daniela
  4. Effects of a Multi-Faceted Education Program on Enrollment, Equity, Learning, and School Management : Evidence from India By Delavallade,Clara Anne; Griffith,Alan; Thornton,Rebecca Lynn
  5. Reducing Frictions in College Admissions: Evidence from the Common Application By Brian Knight; Nathan Schiff
  6. Matching in the Dark? Inequalities in student to degree match By Stuart Campbell; Lindsey Macmillan; Richard Murphy; Gill Wyness
  7. Smartphone Use and Academic Performance: First Evidence from Longitudinal Data By Amez, Simon; Vujic, Suncica; De Marez, Lieven; Baert, Stijn
  8. Quality Education and the Efficiency of Public Expenditure : A Cross-Country Comparative Analysis By Miningou,Elise Wendlassida
  9. Does sorting matter for learning inequality?: Evidence from East Africa By Jones Sam; Behrman Jere; Dang Hai?Anh; Anand Paul
  10. You Get What You Pay For: Sources and Consequences of the Public Sector Premium in Albania and Sri Lanka By Ricardo Hausmann; Ljubica Nedelkoska; Sehar Noor
  11. Extending the Race between Education and Technology By David Autor; Claudia Goldin; Lawrence F. Katz
  12. Adolescent School Bullying Victimisation and Later Life Outcomes By Emma Gorman; Colm Harmon; Silvia Mendolia; Anita Staneva; Ian Walker
  13. Educational mobility in developing countries By Torche Florencia

  1. By: Jorge Cimentada (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: There is a growing literature and interest on the study of the cognitive achievement gap between the top and bottom SES groups. Amidst public concern for this distancing between social classes, researchers have been unable to find an adequate explanation for the increasing cross-country inequality. In this paper, I argue that we need to refocus our efforts towards understanding better what correlates with the academic performance of both SES groups separately. By shifting attention to the amount of school autonomy that different schools have, I show that school autonomy over academic content, courses and text books is associated with a decrease of test scores of nearly .4 standard deviations for the bottom 10% performers in mathematics and literacy – a whole grade’s worth of knowledge. I show that this relationship holds under several specifications, including fixed effect models. In contrast, the same relationship turns positive when relating to the top 10% of students but it’s much weaker than for the bottom performers. These results point out that perhaps an explanation to the changing gaps is not symmetrical between groups but rather group specific. The importance of understanding what affects separate SES groups is paramount to understanding the achievement gap and these preliminary results can have important implications in policy making as they speak directly to education policy makers trying to fine tune the autonomy measures of their country.
    Keywords: Europe, education, inequality
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Asma Benhenda (Centre for Education Policy and Equalising Opportunities, UCL Institute of Education, University College London); Julien Grenet (Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: Using French administrative data on secondary school teachers, we analyze a non-pecuniary, "career-path oriented" centralized incentive scheme designed to attract and retain teachers in French disadvantaged schools. We rely on a major reform of the structure of this incentive scheme to identify its effect on teacher turnover, retention, and quality in disadvantaged schools. We find this incentive scheme has a statistically significant positive effect on the number of consecutive years teachers stay in disadvantaged schools and decreases the probability of in- experienced teachers in disadvantaged schools to leave the profession. However, we find no statistically significant effect on the teacher experience gap nor the student achievement gap between disadvantaged and non disadvantaged schools.
    Keywords: teachers, teacher mobility, teacher retention, educational inequalities, education prioritaire
    JEL: I21 I22 J20
    Date: 2020–01
  3. By: Leaver,Clare; Lemos,Renata Freitas; Dillenburg Scur,Daniela
    Abstract: Why do some students learn more in some schools than others? One consideration receiving growing attention is school management. To study this, researchers need to be able to measure school management accurately and cheaply at scale, and also explain any observed relationship between school management and student learning. This paper introduces a new approach to measurement using existing public data, and applies it to build a management index covering 15,000 schools across 65 countries, and another index covering nearly all public schools in Brazil. Both indices show a strong, positive relationship between school management and student learning. The paper then develops a simple model that formalizes the intuition that strong management practices might be driving learning gains via incentive and selection effects among teachers, students and parents. The paper shows that the predictions of this model hold in public data for Latin America, and draws out implications for policy.
    Keywords: Economics of Education,Education Finance,Educational Sciences,Effective Schools and Teachers,Educational Institutions&Facilities,Public Sector Administrative and Civil Service Reform,De Facto Governments,Democratic Government,Administrative&Civil Service Reform,Public Sector Administrative&Civil Service Reform
    Date: 2019–11–06
  4. By: Delavallade,Clara Anne; Griffith,Alan; Thornton,Rebecca Lynn
    Abstract: The Sustainable Development Goals set a triple educational objective: improve access to, quality of, and gender equity in education. This paper documents the effectiveness of a multifaceted educational program, pursuing these three objectives simultaneously, in rural India. Using an experiment in 230 schools, the paper measures the effects of the program on students'school participation and academic performance over two years, while also examining heterogeneous impacts and sustainability. The findings show that the program increased enrollment, especially among girls (8.1 percent in the first year, 11.7 percent in the second), reducing gender gaps in school retention. The findings show large learning gains of 0.323 standard deviation due to the program in the first year and 0.156 standard deviation at the end of the second year, which did not vary by gender. There were also large effects on school management outcomes, increasing the number of meetings by 16 percent and the number of improvement plans completed by 25 percent.
    Date: 2019–12–12
  5. By: Brian Knight; Nathan Schiff
    Abstract: College admissions is decentralized, creating frictions that limit student choice. We study the Common Application (CA) platform, under which students submit a single application to member schools, reducing frictions and increasing student choice. Joining the CA increases the number of applications received by schools, reflecting a reduction in frictions. Joining also reduces the yield on accepted students, reflecting increased choice. The CA also increases out-of-state enrollment, especially from other CA states, consistent with network effects. Finally, joining the CA increases freshmen SAT scores. Given that CA members tend to be selective, the CA has contributed to stratification in higher education.
    Date: 2020
  6. By: Stuart Campbell (Department of Social Science, UCL Institute of Education, University College London); Lindsey Macmillan (Centre for Education Policy and Equalising Opportunities, UCL Institute of Education, University College London); Richard Murphy (University of Texas at Austin & Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics and Political Science); Gill Wyness (Centre for Education Policy and Equalising Opportunities, UCL Institute of Education, University College London & Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics and Political Science)
    Abstract: This paper examines inequalities in the match between student quality and university quality using linked administrative data from schools, universities and tax authorities. We analyse two measures of match at the university-subject (degree) level, based on student academic achievement, and graduate earnings. We find that students from lower socio-economic groups systematically undermatch for both measures across the entire distribution of achievement, with particularly stark socio-economic gaps for the most undermatched. This is in a setting with no up-front tuition fees and a generous financial aid system. We show that distance is not a driving factor, but that secondary schools play a key role in generating these gaps. While there are negligible gender gaps in academic match, high-attaining women systematically undermatch in terms of expected earnings, largely driven by subject choice.
    Keywords: higher education, educational economics, college choice, mismatch, undermatch
    JEL: I22 I23 I28
    Date: 2020–01
  7. By: Amez, Simon (Ghent University); Vujic, Suncica (University of Antwerp); De Marez, Lieven (Ghent University); Baert, Stijn (Ghent University)
    Abstract: To study the causal impact of smartphone use on academic performance, we collected – for the first time worldwide – longitudinal data on students' smartphone use and educational performance. For three consecutive years we surveyed all students attending classes in eleven different study programmes at two Belgian universities on general smartphone use and other drivers of academic achievement. These survey data were merged with the exam scores of these students. We analysed the resulting data by means of panel data random effects estimation controlling for unobserved individual characteristics. A one standard deviation increase in overall smartphone use results in a decrease of 0.349 points (out of 20) and a decrease of 2.616 percentage points in the fraction of exams passed.
    Keywords: smartphone use, academic performance, longitudinal data, causality
    JEL: I23 J24
    Date: 2019–12
  8. By: Miningou,Elise Wendlassida
    Abstract: Improving access to quality education has been the backbone of several development strategies around the world and considerable public resources have been dedicated to achieving this goal. However, one could wonder whether increasing public education expenditure would drive better access to quality education despite the inefficiencies plaguing public sectors in general. The purpose of this study is to investigate the efficiency with which public education spending is translated into increased access to quality education in the light of the learning-adjusted years of schooling. The results show that education expenditure per school-age individual is positively associated with an increased number of years of quality schooling. However, it is estimated that, on average, 16 percent of the public financial resources dedicated to education in developing countries are wasted because of inefficiencies. Although efficiency greatly varies across countries, low-income countries are overall facing a double issue of low levels of education expenditure and weak efficiency of public expenditure on education. Factors related to governance, labor market conditions, and the type of education aid seem to matter for efficiency.
    Date: 2019–12–10
  9. By: Jones Sam; Behrman Jere; Dang Hai?Anh; Anand Paul
    Abstract: Inequalities in children’s learning are widely recognized to arise from variations in both household- and school-related factors.While few studies have considered the role of sorting between schools and households, even fewer have quantified how much sorting contributes to educational inequalities in low- and middle-income countries.We fill this gap using data on over one million children from three countries in Eastern Africa.Applying a novel variance decomposition procedure, our results indicate that sorting of pupils across schools accounts for at least 8 per cent of the total test-score variance and that this contribution tends to be largest for children from families at either end of the socio-economic spectrum.Empirical simulations of steady-state educational inequalities reveal that policies to mitigate the consequences of sorting could substantially reduce inequalities in education.ÂÂ
    Keywords: sorting,Inequality of opportunities,variance decomposition,access to education,Africa
    Date: 2019
  10. By: Ricardo Hausmann (Center for International Development at Harvard University); Ljubica Nedelkoska (Center for International Development at Harvard University); Sehar Noor
    Abstract: We study the factors behind the public sector premium in Albania and Sri Lanka, the group heterogeneity in the premium, the sources of public sector wage compression, and the impact of this compression on the way individuals self-select between the public and the private sector. Similar to other countries, the public sectors in Albania and Sri Lanka pay higher wages than the private sector, for all but the most valued employees. While half of the premium of Sri Lanka and two-thirds of it in Albania are explained by differences in the occupation-education-experience mix between the sectors, and the level of private sector informality, the unexplained part of the premium is significant enough to affect the preferences of working in the public sector for different groups. We show that the compressed distributions of public sector wages and benefits create incentives for positive sorting into the public sector among most employees, and negative sorting among the most productive ones.
    Keywords: public sector premium, self-selection, Albania, Sri Lanka, wage compression
    JEL: J31 J32 J38
    Date: 2020–02
  11. By: David Autor; Claudia Goldin; Lawrence F. Katz
    Abstract: The race between education and technology provides a canonical framework that does an excellent job of explaining U.S. wage structure changes across the twentieth century. The framework involves secular increases in the demand for more-educated workers from skill-biased technological change, combined with variations in the supply of skills from changes in educational access. We expand the analysis backwards and forwards. The framework helps explain rising skill differentials in the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries, but needs to be augmented to illuminate the recent convexification of education returns and implied slowdown in the growth of the relative demand for college workers. Increased educational wage differentials explain 75 percent of the rise of U.S. wage inequality from 1980 to 2000 as compared to 38 percent for 2000 to 2017.
    JEL: J2 J31
    Date: 2020–01
  12. By: Emma Gorman (University of Westminster & IZA, Bonn); Colm Harmon (University of Edinburgh); Silvia Mendolia (University of Edinburgh & IZA, Bonn); Anita Staneva (Griffith University); Ian Walker (Lancaster University Management School & IZA, Bonn)
    Abstract: We analyse the long-term effects of experiencing bullying victimisation in junior high school, using rich data on a large cohort of English adolescents. The data contain self-reports of five types of bullying and their frequency, for three waves, when the pupils were aged 13 to 16 years. We assess the effects of bullying victimisation on short- and long-term outcomes, including educational achievements, earnings, and mental ill-health at age 25 years using a variety of estimation strategies -- least squares, matching, and inverse probability weighting. We also consider attenuation associated with relying on self-reports. The detailed longitudinal data, linked to administrative data, allows us to control for many of the determinants of child outcomes that have been explored in previous literature, together with comprehensive sensitivity analyses, to assess the potential role of unobserved variables. The pattern of results strongly suggests that there are quantitatively important long run effects on victims -- stronger than correlation analysis would otherwise suggest. In particular, we find that both type of bullying and its intensity matters for long run outcomes such as obtaining a degree, income, and mental health.
    Keywords: bullying, education outcomes, long term outcomes
    JEL: I24 I26 J24
    Date: 2020–02
  13. By: Torche Florencia
    Abstract: This paper reviews the small but growing literature on intergenerational educational mobility in the developing world. Education is a critical determinant of economic well-being, and it predicts a range of non-pecuniary outcomes such as marriage, fertility, health, crime, and political attitudes.We show that developing nations feature stronger intergenerational educational persistence than high-income countries, in spite of substantial educational expansion in the last decades. We consider variations in mobility across gender and region, and discuss the macro-level correlates of educational mobility in developing countries.The paper also discusses the literatures on (i) concepts and measures of educational mobility, (ii) theoretical perspectives to understand educational persistence across generations, (iii) the role that education plays in the economic mobility process, and (iv) differences in the type and quality of education as vehicles for intergenerational persistence, and it applies these literatures to understand educational mobility in the developing world.
    Keywords: Gender differences,Economic development,Private schools,Educational expansion,Educational mobility,equality of opportunity,Developing countries
    Date: 2019

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