nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2020‒03‒23
ten papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. Winners and Losers? The Effect of Gaining and Losing Access to Selective Colleges on Education and Labor Market Outcomes By Sandra E. Black; Jeffrey T. Denning; Jesse Rothstein
  2. Evaluating the link between attendance and performance in higher education - the role of classroom engagement dimensions By Stefan Buechele
  3. Education and Health Over the Life Cycle By Robert Kaestner; Cuiping Schiman; Jason M. Ward
  4. Long-Run Trends in the U.S. SES-Achievement Gap By Hanushek, Eric A.; Peterson, Paul E.; Talpey, Laura M.; Woessmann, Ludger
  5. The determination of public tuition fees in a mixed education system: A majority voting model By Hejer Lasram; Didier Laussel
  6. Does Student Loan Forgiveness Drive Disability Application? By Philip Armour; Melanie A. Zaber
  7. Female Role Models: Are they Effective at Encouraging Girls to Study Science? By Thomas Breda; Julien Grenet; Marion Monnet; Clémentine van Effenterre
  8. Equivalent Years of Schooling : A Metric to Communicate Learning Gains in Concrete Terms By Evans,David; Yuan,Fei
  9. Education-Occupation Mismatch and Social Networks for Hispanics in the US: Role of Citizenship By Mundra, Kusum; Rios-Avila, Fernando
  10. Do Women Shy Away from Public Speaking? A Field Experiment By De Paola, Maria; Lombardo, Rosetta; Pupo, Valeria; Scoppa, Vincenzo

  1. By: Sandra E. Black; Jeffrey T. Denning; Jesse Rothstein
    Abstract: Selective college admissions are fundamentally a question of tradeoffs: Given capacity, admitting one student means rejecting another. Research to date has generally estimated average effects of college selectivity, and has been unable to distinguish between the effects on students gaining access and on those losing access under alternative admissions policies. We use the introduction of the Top Ten Percent rule and administrative data from the State of Texas to estimate the effect of access to a selective college on student graduation and earnings outcomes. We estimate separate effects on two groups of students. The first--highly ranked students at schools which previously sent few students to the flagship university--gain access due to the policy; the second--students outside the top tier at traditional “feeder” high schools--tend to lose access. We find that students in the first group see increases in college enrollment and graduation with some evidence of positive earnings gains 7-9 years after college. In contrast, students in the second group attend less selective colleges but do not see declines in overall college enrollment, graduation, or earnings. The Top Ten Percent rule, introduced for equity reasons, thus also seems to have improved efficiency.
    JEL: I23 I24 I26
    Date: 2020–03
  2. By: Stefan Buechele (University of Kassel)
    Abstract: Does attendance matter? This question is not only the title of several research papers on this topic but has still not been answered conclusively yet. In general, studies find positive but mostly weak correlations between attendance and performance. However, due to technological changes in learning, attendance in higher education seems to lose its importance since students do not have to attend class to get access to course material. The question that arises is whether information on purely descriptive attendance is sufficient to prove positive effects of attendance on performance. This study takes a closer look at the link between attendance and performance, examining classroom engagement dimensions as mediating factors. The results suggest that it does not matter if but rather how students attend class.
    Date: 2020
  3. By: Robert Kaestner; Cuiping Schiman; Jason M. Ward
    Abstract: There is little theoretical and empirical research on the effects of education on health over the life cycle. In this article, we extend the Grossman (1972) model of the demand for health and use the extended model to analyze the effect of education on health at different ages. The main conclusion from our model is that it is unlikely that the relationship between education and health will be constant over the life cycle and that education is likely to have little effect on health at younger ages when there is little depreciation of the health stock. We also present an extensive empirical analysis documenting the association between education and health over the life cycle. Results of our analysis suggest that in terms of mortality, education has little effect until age 60, but then lowers the hazard rate of death. For measures of morbidity, education has an effect at most ages between 45 to 60, but after age 60 has apparently little effect most likely due to selective mortality. In addition, most of the apparent beneficial effect of education stems from obtaining a high school degree or more. It is the health and mortality of lowest education group—those with less than a high school degree—that diverges from the health and mortality of other education groups. Finally, we find that the educational differences in health have become larger for more recent birth cohorts.
    JEL: I12 I14 I26
    Date: 2020–03
  4. By: Hanushek, Eric A. (Stanford University); Peterson, Paul E. (Harvard University); Talpey, Laura M. (Stanford University); Woessmann, Ludger (Ifo Institute for Economic Research)
    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.
    Keywords: student achievement, inequality, socio-economic status, United States, NAEP, TIMSS, PISA
    JEL: H4 I24 J24
    Date: 2020–02
  5. By: Hejer Lasram (Université de Carthage - University of Carthage); Didier Laussel (AMSE - Aix-Marseille Sciences Economiques - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - ECM - École Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: We study the determination of public tuition fees through majority voting in a vertical differentiation model where agents' returns on educational investment differ and public and private universities coexist and compete in tuition fees. The private university offers higher educational quality than its competitor, incurring higher unit cost per trained student. The tuition fee for the state university is fixed by majority voting while that for the private follows from profit maximization. Then agents choose to train at the public university or the private one or to remain uneducated. The tax per head adjusts in order to balance the state budget. Because there is a private alternative, preferences for education are not single-peaked and no single-crossing condition holds. An equilibrium is shown to exist, which is one of three types: high tuition fee (the "ends" are a majority), low tuition fee (the "middle" is a majority), or mixed (votes tie). The cost structure determines which equilibrium obtains. The equilibrium tuition is either greater (majority at the ends) or smaller (majority at the middle) than the optimal one.
    Date: 2019–12
  6. By: Philip Armour; Melanie A. Zaber
    Abstract: Student loan debt in the US exceeds $1.3 trillion, and unlike credit card and medical debt, typically cannot be discharged through bankruptcy. Moreover, this debt has been increasing: the share of borrowers leaving school with more than $50,000 of federal student debt increased from 2 percent in 1992 to 17 percent in 2014. However, federal student loan debt discharge is available for disabled individuals through the Department of Education's Total and Permanent Disability Discharge (TPDD) mechanism through certification of a total and permanent disability. In July 2013, the TPDD expanded to include receipt of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) as an eligible category for discharge, provided medical improvement was not expected. Using data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) matched to SSI and SSDI applications, we find that SSDI and SSI application rates increased among respondents with student loans relative to rates among those without student loans. Our estimates suggest the policy change raised the probability of applying for SSDI or SSI in a given quarter among student loan-holders by 50% (baseline rate per quarter is approximately 0.3%), generally increasing SSI and SSDI awards. However, these induced award recipients were unlikely to receive the disability designation necessary to obtain student loan discharge. Given that the geographic distributions of student loan indebtedness and historical SSDI/SSI program participation differ, there are strong implications for both the size and location of SSDI and SSI beneficiaries. Furthermore, these findings highlight the importance of learning from policy changes in programs that interact with SSDI and SSI to better understand the drivers of disability program participation.
    JEL: D14 H52 H81 I22 I38 J14
    Date: 2020–02
  7. By: Thomas Breda (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, IPP - Institut des politiques publiques - PSE - Paris School of Economics); Julien Grenet (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, IPP - Institut des politiques publiques - PSE - Paris School of Economics); Marion Monnet (PSE - Paris School of Economics, IPP - Institut des politiques publiques - PSE - Paris School of Economics); Clémentine van Effenterre (University of Toronto, IPP - Institut des politiques publiques - PSE - Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: In France, as in most developed nations, the under-representation of women in the sciences is a major obstacle to achieving equality in the workplace. Since 2014, the For Girls in Science awareness programme run by Fondation L'Oréal has offered onehour classroom talks by young women with a science background (women working for the L'Oréal group and young researchers). These talks aim to combat the stereotypes associated with science-related careers and with women's role in the sciences, in order to make science more attractive to young women. Using a random assignment evaluation protocol on nearly 20,000 pupils in seconde (Year 11) and terminale scientifique (Year 13) year groups at French high schools in 2015-2016, we show that these one-off talks lead to a significant reduction in pupils' stereotypical representations of science-related careers and gender differences in scientific ability, among both girls and boys. Although the talks have no discernible impact on choice of educational track for all pupils in seconde and for boys in terminale S, they have significant effects on the post-baccalauréat track choices of girls in terminale S, for whom the proportion choosing a preparatory class for the most prestigious universities (CPGE) in a STEM subject rose from 11 to 14.5% (a 30% increase). One of the lessons learned from the study is that the ability to influence young girls' career choices depends not only on how effectively the female role models bust the stereotypes associated with science-related careers and gender roles in science, but also on the type of identification engendered by exposure to the role model.
    Abstract: En France, comme dans la plupart des pays développés, la sous-représentation des femmes dans les filières scientifiques constitue un frein important à l'égalité professionnelle. Depuis 2014, le programme de sensibilisation For Girls in Science de la Fondation L'Oréal propose des interventions d'une heure qui sont dispensées en classe par des jeunes femmes ayant une formation scientifique (collaboratrices du groupe L'Oréal et jeunes chercheuses). L'objectif de ces interventions est de contrecarrer les stéréotypes associés aux métiers scientifiques et à la place des femmes en sciences, de manière à rendre les filières scientifiques plus attractives auprès des jeunes filles. En nous appuyant sur un protocole d'évaluation par assignation aléatoire impliquant près de 20 000 élèves scolarisés dans les classes de seconde et de terminale scientifique d'une centaine de lycées franciliens en 2015-2016, nous montrons que ces interventions ponctuelles entraînent une diminution significative des représentations stéréotypées des élèves sur les métiers scientifiques et sur les différences genrées d'aptitudes pour les sciences, aussi bien chez les filles que chez les garçons. Bien que ces interventions n'aient pas d'impact détectable sur les choix d'études des élèves de seconde et des garçons de terminale S, elles ont des effets significatifs sur l'orientation post-bac des filles de terminale S : parmi ces dernières, la proportion s'orientant vers une classe préparatoire (CPGE) scientifique passe de 11 à 14,5 % (soit une augmentation de 30 %). L'un des enseignements de l'étude est que la capacité à influencer les choix d'orientation des jeunes filles ne dépend pas uniquement de l'efficacité des role modelsféminins à déconstruire les stéréotypes relatifs aux métiers scientifiques et à la place des femmes et des hommes en science, mais également du type d'identification déclenchée par l'exposition au modèle/
    Keywords: Role models
    Date: 2019–09
  8. By: Evans,David; Yuan,Fei
    Abstract: In the past decade, hundreds of impact evaluation studies have measured the learning outcomes of education interventions in developing countries. The impact magnitudes are often reported in terms of"standard deviations,"making them difficult to communicate to policy makers beyond education specialists. This paper proposes two approaches to demonstrate the effectiveness of learning interventions, one in"equivalent years of schooling"and another in the net present value of potential increased lifetime earnings. The results show that in a sample of low- and middle-income countries, one standard deviation gain in literacy skill is associated with between 4.7 and 6.8 additional years of schooling, depending on the estimation method. In other words, over the course of a business-as-usual school year, students learn between 0.15 and 0.21 standard deviation of literacy ability. Using that metric to translate the impact of interventions, a median structured pedagogy intervention increases learning by the equivalent of between 0.6 and 0.9 year of business-as-usual schooling. The results further show that even modest gains in standard deviations of learning -- if sustained over time -- may have sizeable impacts on individual earnings and poverty reduction, and that conversion into a non-education metric should help policy makers and non-specialists better understand the potential benefits of increased learning.
    Keywords: Educational Sciences,Educational Institutions&Facilities,Inequality,Rural Labor Markets,Labor Markets
    Date: 2019–02–19
  9. By: Mundra, Kusum (Rutgers University); Rios-Avila, Fernando (Levy Economics Institute)
    Abstract: In this paper we examine the education and occupation mismatch for Hispanics in the US using a novel objective continuous mismatch index and explore the role of immigrants' social networks on this mismatch. We explore whether having a larger social network helps Hispanics in finding jobs that better match with their skill and education levels or whether living in areas with larger concentration of Hispanics leads to more competition for the same jobs in the labor market. Given that the legal status of immigrants influence how the social networks are leveraged and their impact on labor market outcomes, we focus on the citizenship status for Hispanics. The quality of match between Hispanic's college degree major and occupation is measured using one of the continuous indices proposed in Rios-Avila and Saavedra-Caballero (2019) and calculated using pooled data for all college graduates in the US from 2010 to 2017. The Hispanic networks measures are constructed as the share of Hispanic population who are 25 years or older with respect to the total population of the same age and the second measure only includes Hispanics with at least a bachelor's degree using the weighted pooled data from 2010 to 2015. We find that networks have a positive impact on the job-match quality, but mostly for Hispanic citizens and this effect is stronger when the networks constitutes of at least a college degree. This shows that Hispanic citizens living in higher concentration of Hispanic college graduates are better able to leverage their networks or their networks are better able to match them with jobs closer to their field of specialization and skill set.
    Keywords: education-occupation mismatch, horizontal mismatch, social networks, hispanics, citizenship
    JEL: J15 J24 J61
    Date: 2020–02
  10. By: De Paola, Maria (University of Calabria); Lombardo, Rosetta (University of Calabria); Pupo, Valeria (University of Calabria); Scoppa, Vincenzo (University of Calabria)
    Abstract: Public speaking is an important skill for career prospects and for leadership positions, but many people tend to avoid it because it generates anxiety. We run a field experiment to analyze whether in an incentivized setting men and women show differences in their willingness to speak in public. The experiment involved more than 500 undergraduate students who could gain two points to add to the final grade of their exam by orally presenting solutions to a problem set. Students were randomly assigned to present only to the instructor or in front of a large audience (a class of 100 or more). We find that while women are more willing to present face-to-face, they are considerably less likely to give a public presentation. Female aversion to public speaking does not depend on differences in ability, risk aversion, self-confidence and self-esteem. The aversion to public speaking greatly reduces for daughters of working women. From data obtained through an on-line Survey we also show that neither increasing the gains deriving from public speaking nor allowing participants more time to prepare enable to close the gender gap.
    Keywords: public speaking, psychological gender differences, gender, leadership, glass ceiling, field experiment
    JEL: D91 C93 M50
    Date: 2020–02

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