nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2020‒03‒09
fourteen papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. Does the increase in competition between schools improve the quality of the service? The role of educational reform in Chile By Cartagena Farias, Javiera; McIntosh, Steven
  2. Gender Gaps in Education: The Long View By David K. Evans; Maryam Akmal; Pamela Jakiela
  3. Who Has the Time? Community College Students’ Time-Use Response to Financial Incentives By Lisa Barrow; Cecilia Elena Rouse; Amanda McFarland
  4. The birth order paradox: sibling differences in educational attainment By Barclay, Kieron J.
  5. Signaling and Employer Learning with Instruments By Gaurab Aryal; Manudeep Bhuller; Fabian Lange
  6. Educational aspirations and decision-making in a context of poverty. A test of rational choice models in El Salvador By Martina Jakob; Benita Combet
  7. The Economics of International Student and Scholar Mobility : Directions for Research By Chellaraj,Gnanaraj
  8. Preventing Violence in the Most Violent Contexts : Behavioral and Neurophysiological Evidence By Dinarte Diaz,Lelys Ileana; Egana-delSol,Pablo
  9. The role of ICT in modulating the effect of education and lifelong learning on income inequality and economic growth in Africa By Tchamyou, Vanessa S; Asongu, Simplice A; Odhiambo, Nicholas M
  10. Long-run Trends in the U.S. SES-Achievement Gap By Eric A. Hanushek; Paul E. Peterson; Laura M. Talpey; Ludger Woessmann
  11. Siblings' Effects on College and Major Choices: Evidence from Chile, Croatia and Sweden By Christopher Neilson; Adam Altmejd; Andres Barrios-Fernandez; Marin Drlje; Dejan Kovac
  12. A Field Experiment on the Role of Socioemotional Skills and Gender for Hiring in Turkey By Nas Ozen,Selin Efsan; Hut,Stefan; Levin,Victoria; Munoz Boudet,Ana Maria
  13. Do parents work more when children start school? Evidence from the Netherlands By Lisette Swart; Wiljan van den Berge; Karen van der Wiel
  14. Monetary incentives and overconfidence in academic performance: An experimental study By Noemí Herranz-Zarzoso; Gerardo Sabater-Grande

  1. By: Cartagena Farias, Javiera; McIntosh, Steven
    Abstract: We analyse the effect of geographic competition between schools on academic performance in Chile. The analysis controls for prior pupil performance, and a range of school and municipality characteristics. We allow for the endogeneity of voucher school location, using the number of local Catholic churches as an instrument. We find that a larger number of public schools positively affects the quality of education of other schools located in the same area, particularly amongst middle-class families and in middle-ranking schools. However, the number of voucher schools is associated with lower performance in neighbouring schools, which we attribute to pupil sorting.
    Keywords: school choice; competition; educational vouchers
    JEL: I20 I28
    Date: 2018–08–05
  2. By: David K. Evans (Center for Global Development); Maryam Akmal (Center for Global Development); Pamela Jakiela (Center for Global Development; BREAD; IZA)
    Abstract: Many countries remain far from achieving gender equality in the classroom. Using data from 126 countries between 1960 and 2010, we document four facts. First, women are more educated today than fifty years ago in every country in the world. Second, they remain less educated than men in the vast majority of countries. Third, in many countries with low levels of education for both men and women in 1960, gender gaps widened as more boys went to school, then narrowed as girls enrolled; thus, gender gaps got worse before they got better. Fourth, gender gaps rarely persist in countries where boys are attaining high levels of education. Most countries with large, current gender gaps have low levels of male educational attainment. Many also perform poorly on other measures of development such as life expectancy and GDP per capita. Improving girls’ education is an important goal in its own right, but closing gender gaps in education will not be sufficient to close critical gaps in adult life outcomes. The order of author names was randomly assigned using the American Economic Association’s author randomization tool.
    Keywords: education, inequality, gender, economic development
    JEL: I21 I24 J16 O1
    Date: 2020–01–07
  3. By: Lisa Barrow (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago; University of Chicago; Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs); Cecilia Elena Rouse (Princeton University; Harvard University; Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs; Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.); National Bureau of Economic Research); Amanda McFarland
    Abstract: We evaluate the effect of performance-based scholarship programs for postsecondary students on student time use and effort and whether these effects are different for students we hypothesize may be more or less responsive to incentives. To do so, we administered a time-use survey as part of a randomized experiment in which community college students in New York City were randomly assigned to be eligible for a performance-based scholarship or to a control group that was only eligible for the standard financial aid. This paper contributes to the literature by attempting to get inside the “black box” of how students respond to a monetary incentive to improve their educational attainment. We find that students eligible for a scholarship devoted more time to educational activities, increased the quality of effort toward and engagement with their studies, and allocated less time to leisure. Additional analyses suggest that students who were plausibly more myopic—place less weight on future benefits—were more responsive to the incentives, but we find no evidence that students who are arguably more time constrained were less responsive to the incentives.
    Keywords: incentives; higher education; Financial aid; educational investment
    JEL: I22 I23 J24
    Date: 2020–01–01
  4. By: Barclay, Kieron J.
    Abstract: This study uses population register data to examine the relationship between birth order and educational attainment in Sweden, and demonstrates that while the net effect of birth order on educational attainment is negative, later-born children often spend longer in education. The explanation for this finding is due to educational expansion in Sweden in the 20th century, which outweighs the negative causal effect of birth order for the affected cohorts. This is particularly true for women due to the fact that the rate of increasing educational enrolment has been greater for women than for men. These results also show that later-borns in large families particularly benefit from educational expansion due to the longer average birth interval between the first and last child in large families, meaning that the supply of educational opportunities increased to a greater extent in the intervening period. However, in periods where education is not expanding, later-born siblings continue to fare worse than first-borns.
    Keywords: birth order; educational attainment; educational expansion; Sweden
    JEL: C1
    Date: 2018–04–01
  5. By: Gaurab Aryal; Manudeep Bhuller; Fabian Lange
    Abstract: The social and the private returns to education differ when education can increase productivity, and also be used to signal productivity. We show how instrumental variables can be used to separately identify and estimate the social and private returns to education within the employer learning framework of Farber and Gibbons [1996] and Altonji and Pierret [2001]. What an instrumental variable identifies depends crucially on whether the instrument is hidden from, or observed by, the employers. If the instrument is hidden then it identifies the private returns to education, but if the instrument is observed by employers then it identifies the social returns to education. Interestingly, however, among experienced workers the instrument identifies the social returns to education, regardless of whether or not it is hidden. We operationalize this approach using local variation in compulsory schooling laws across multiple cohorts in Norway. Our preferred estimates indicate that the social return to an additional year of education is 5%, and the private internal rate of return, aggregating the returns over the life-cycle, is 7.2%. Thus, 70% of the private returns to education can be attributed to education raising productivity and 30% to education signaling workers’ ability.
    Keywords: signaling, human capital, employer learning, instruments
    JEL: J24 J31 D83
    Date: 2020
  6. By: Martina Jakob; Benita Combet
    Abstract: Previous research on educational aspirations and educational decision-making has mostly focused on high-income countries and thus on a relatively homogeneous socio-economic context. However, educational decision-making may be sensitive to contextual factors such as economic deprivation, a dysfunctional welfare state or poor access to credit markets - characteristics shared by most low- and middle-income countries. To better understand how economically disadvantaged individuals in developing countries make their educational choices, we conducted a survey based on a random sample with high school students in the rural department Morazán in El Salvador, a lower middle-income country in Latin America. Our results show that regardless of the social background, almost all students aspire to pursue tertiary education, probably due to the high tertiary degree premium in earnings and the high social benefits. However, the lack of possibilities to finance their studies generally prevents the realisation of these aspirations for lower social background students. While in high-income countries, cost factors are not very important in the decision-making process, the burden of costs explains around 45 percent of the social background effect in El Salvador. Other factors such as academic confidence, expected future economic benefits, parental status maintenance wish, individual risk aversion and time discounting preferences play only a minor role.
    Keywords: educational aspirations, educational decision-making, rational choice, El Salvador
    JEL: I24 I25
    Date: 2020–03–05
  7. By: Chellaraj,Gnanaraj
    Abstract: International trade in higher education services in the form of international student mobility has increased sharply since the 1960s and especially from Eastern Europe and Central Asia since the fall of the Soviet Union. Many international students, especially those with graduate degrees, stay on in the host country after graduation. Although their impact on labor markets has been investigated by economists, geographers, and regional scientists in recent years, most studies on international students focus on education and spatial issues, with very little economic analysis. Furthermore, the application of a trade in services framework to international student mobility is virtually nonexistent. Four areas of research have emerged that need further investigation, particularly for the Europe and Central Asia region. First is the research gap on host and source country pull and push factors affecting the demand and supply of international students. Second, there is little or no understanding of the impact of foreign direct investment in higher education services, both through the establishment of branch campuses as well as direct investment by multinationals in universities. Third, there is virtually no study on the impact of international student and scholar mobility on global collaborative patents. Fourth, there are very few field experiments in international student ormigration research. These issues need to be understood for the development of appropriate policies in industrialized, emerging and developing economies, on the global mobility of students as well as establishment of branch campuses abroad.
    Date: 2019–05–07
  8. By: Dinarte Diaz,Lelys Ileana; Egana-delSol,Pablo
    Abstract: This paper provides experimental evidence of the impact of an after-school program on vulnerable public-school students in El Salvador. The program combined a behavioral intervention with ludic activities for students aged 10-16 years old. The authors hypothesize that it affects violence, misbehaviors, and academic outcomes by modulating emotional regulation or automatic reactions to external stimuli. Results indicate the program reduced reports of bad behavior and school absenteeism while increasing students? grades. Neurophysiological results suggest that the impacts on behavior and academic performance are driven by the positive effects of the program on emotional regulation. Finally, the study finds positive spillover effects for untreated children.
    Keywords: Educational Sciences,Crime and Society,Education For All
    Date: 2019–05–23
  9. By: Tchamyou, Vanessa S; Asongu, Simplice A; Odhiambo, Nicholas M
    Abstract: This study assesses the role of ICT in modulating the impact of education and lifelong learning on income inequality and economic growth. It focuses on a sample of 48 African countries from 2004 to 2014. The empirical evidence is based on the generalised method of moments (GMM). The following findings are established. First, mobile phone and internet each interact with primary school education to decrease income inequality. Second, all ICT indicators interact with secondary school education to exert a negative impact on the Gini index. Third, fixed broadband distinctly interacts with primary school education and lifelong learning to have a positive effect on economic growth. Fourth, ICT indicators do not significantly influence inequality and economic growth through tertiary school education and lifelong learning. These main findings are further substantiated. Policy implications are discussed.
    Keywords: Education; Lifelong learning; ICT; Inequality; Africa
    Date: 2019–11
  10. By: Eric A. Hanushek; Paul E. Peterson; Laura M. Talpey; Ludger Woessmann
    Abstract: Rising inequality in the United States has raised concerns about potentially widening gaps in educational achievement by socio-economic status (SES). Using assessments from LTT-NAEP, Main-NAEP, TIMSS, and PISA that are psychometrically linked over time, we trace trends in achievement for U.S. student cohorts born between 1954 and 2001. Achievement gaps between the top and bottom quartiles of the SES distribution have been large and remarkably constant for a near half century. These unwavering gaps have not been offset by improved achievement levels, which have risen at age 14 but have remained unchanged at age 17 for the past quarter century.
    JEL: H52 I2 J62
    Date: 2020–02
  11. By: Christopher Neilson (Princeton University); Adam Altmejd (Stockholm School of Economics and Stockholm University); Andres Barrios-Fernandez (London School of Economics); Marin Drlje (Center for Economic Research & Graduate Education - Economics Institute); Dejan Kovac (Princeton University)
    Abstract: While it is a widely held belief that family and social networks can influence important life decisions, identifying causal effects is notoriously difficult. This paper presents causal evidence from three countries at different stages of economic development that the educational trajectories of older siblings can signiï¬ cantly influence the college and major choice of younger siblings. We exploit institutional features of centralized college assignment systems in Chile, Croatia, and Sweden to generate quasi-random variation in the educational paths taken by older siblings. Using a regression discontinuity design, we show that younger siblings in each country are signiï¬ cantly more likely to apply and enroll in the same college and major that their older sibling was assigned to. These results persist for siblings far apart in age who are unlikely to attend higher education at the same time. We propose three broad classes of mechanisms that can explain why the trajectory of an older sibling can causally affect the college and major choice of a younger sibling. We ï¬ nd that spillovers are stronger when older siblings enroll and are successful in majors that on average have higher scoring peers, lower dropout rates and higher earnings from graduates. The evidence presented shows that the decisions, and even random luck, of your close family members and peer network, can have signiï¬ cant effects on important life decisions such as the choice of specialization in higher education. The results also suggest that college access programs such as affirmative action, may have important spillover effects through family and social networks.
    JEL: I21 I24
    Date: 2020–01
  12. By: Nas Ozen,Selin Efsan; Hut,Stefan; Levin,Victoria; Munoz Boudet,Ana Maria
    Abstract: A vast literature shows the importance of socioemotional skills in earnings and employment, but whether they matter in getting hired remains unanswered. This study seeks to address this question and further investigates whether socioemotional skill signals in job applicants'resumes have the same value for male and female candidates. In a large-scale randomized audit study, an online job portal in Turkey is used to send fictitious resumes to real job openings, collecting a unique data set that enables investigating different stages of candidate screening. The study finds that socioemotional skills appear to be valued only when an employer specifically asks for such skills in the vacancy ad. When not asked for, however, candidates can face a penalty in the form of lower callback rates. A significant penalty is only observed for women, not for men. The study does not find evidence of other gender differences in the hiring process.
    Date: 2020–02–18
  13. By: Lisette Swart (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis); Wiljan van den Berge (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis); Karen van der Wiel (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)
    Abstract: When children start school, parents save time and/or money. In this paper, we empirically examine the impact of these changes to the family's budget constraint on parents' working hours. Labor supply is theoretically expected to increase for parents who used to spend time taking care of their children, but to decrease for fulltime working parents because of an income effect: child care expenses drop. We show that the effect of additional time dominates the income effect in the Netherlands, where children start school (kindergarten) for approximately 20 hours a week in the month that they turn 4. Using detailed administrative data on all parents, we fi nd that the average mother's hours worked increases by 3% when her youngest child starts going to school. For their partners, who experience a much smaller shock in terms of time, the increase in hours worked is also much smaller at 0.4%.
    JEL: J13 J22
    Date: 2019–02
  14. By: Noemí Herranz-Zarzoso (LEE and Department of Economics, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain); Gerardo Sabater-Grande (LEE and Department of Economics, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain)
    Abstract: In this paper, we analyze students’ overconfidence bias regarding potential and actual academic performance under both hypothetical and real monetary incentives. Students enrolled in a Microeconomics course were offered the possibility to set their own goal before performing different types of exams and, immediately after completing them, to postdict their own grade. Controlling for potential driving factors of students’ overconfidence such as their cognitive abilities, academic record, risk preferences, and self-reported academic confidence, we find that real monetary incentives mitigate overestimation of potential achievements and eliminate overestimation of actual achievements. This finding is compelling, given the common interpretation of overconfidence as a conscious bias: if monetary incentives can eliminate subjects’ overconfidence, as our results indicate, it might suggest that overconfidence is not a psychological bias at all. Moreover, the use of real money does not reduce but instead enhances the presence of the Dunning-Kruger bias when we use students’ academic records to measure their actual skill.
    Keywords: overconfidence bias, Dunning-Kruger cognitive bias, self-chosen goals, prediction, postdiction, real monetary incentives
    JEL: C93 D03
    Date: 2020

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