nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2020‒05‒18
seven papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. Choosing Differently? College Application Behavior and the Persistence of Educational Advantage By Delaney, Judith; Devereux, Paul J.
  2. The effect of class assignment on academic performance and the labour market: Evidence from a public federal university in Brazil By Henrique Z. Motte; Rodrigo C. Oliveira
  3. The Graduate Wage and Earnings Premia and the Role of Non-Cognitive Skills By Buchmueller, Gerda; Walker, Ian
  4. Higher Education and Financial Behavior: The effect of studying mathematics and economics on financial outcomes By Kristoffer Balle Hvidberg
  5. Inequality in homeschooling during the Corona crisis in the Netherlands. First results from the LISS Panel. By Bol, Thijs
  6. Heterogeneous Effects of Missing out on a Place at a Preferred Secondary School in England By Gorman, Emma; Walker, Ian
  7. Returns to education in self-employment in India: A comparison across different selection models By Indrajit Bairagya

  1. By: Delaney, Judith (Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin); Devereux, Paul J. (University College Dublin)
    Abstract: We use administrative data from Ireland to study differences in college application behavior between students from disadvantaged versus advantaged high schools. Ireland provides an interesting laboratory for this analysis as applicants provide a preference-ordering of college programs (majors) and marginal applications are costless. Also, college admission depends almost completely on grades in the terminal high school examinations. Thus, we can compare the application choices of students who have equal chances of admission to college programs. Conditional on achievement and college opportunities, we find that students from advantaged high schools are more likely to apply to universities and to more selective college programs. They are also more likely to have preferences that cluster by program selectivity rather than by field of study. Our results suggest that, alongside differences in achievement, differences in college application behavior also cause persons from advantaged high schools to be more likely to enroll in selective colleges and enter more selective programs. Importantly, we find that enrollment gaps for equally qualified applicants are smaller than differences in application behavior; the relatively meritocratic centralized admissions system based on achievement undoes much of the effect of the differences in application behavior.
    Keywords: college applications, high school advantage, centralized admissions system, college major choice, higher education, educational mismatch
    JEL: I24 J24
    Date: 2020–05
  2. By: Henrique Z. Motte; Rodrigo C. Oliveira
    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.
    Keywords: Affirmative action, Brazil, Education, labour markets, Peer effect
    Date: 2020
  3. By: Buchmueller, Gerda (Lancaster University); Walker, Ian (Lancaster University)
    Abstract: Estimates of the graduate earnings premium typically do not allow for the effect of non-cognitive skills. Since such skills are unobservable in most datasets there is a concern that existing estimates of the graduate premium are contaminated by selection on such unobservables. We use data on a young cohort of individuals that allows us to control for the effects of non-cognitive skills. We find that the inclusion of non-cognitive skills, themselves jointly significantly positive reduces the estimated returns by an insignificant 1-2 percentage points from an average of 10-12%. Our second contribution is motivated by the greater reliance on administrative datasets in recent research that has focused on annual earnings rather than hourly wages and our results show that the graduate earnings differential is significantly greater than the wage differential. Since we use estimation methods that are NOT robust to selection on unobservables, we adopt Oster (2016) tests to show that it would take an implausible degree of selection on unobservables to drive our estimated wage and earings returns to zero, and that a plausible lower bound to returns is around one-quarter to one-third below the OLS returns. We further find heterogeneous returns by broad major group and elite university, and we find large degree class differentials.
    Keywords: returns to higher education, non-cognitive skills
    JEL: I23 I26 J24
    Date: 2020–05
  4. By: Kristoffer Balle Hvidberg (CEBI, Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)
    Abstract: This paper presents new evidence on the effect of education on financial behavior. In particular, I investigate whether obtaining a degree from a study program with a mathematical or economic curriculum affects individuals future loan default probability. I identify the causal effects of different types of education on financial behavior by exploiting the GPA admission thresholds to higher education programs in a fuzzy regression discontinuity design. I compare people who have applied for the same fields of study but who are quasi-randomly allocated to different different fields of study due to small differences in their GPA from upper secondary school. I estimate the effects using a unique combination of administrative data on admissions to post-secondary education and third party reported data on the universe of personal loans. I find that completing a mathematical or economic field of study decreases the probability of default post graduation for the applicants who did not have one of these fields as their most preferred field of study.
    Keywords: Financial Behavior, Education, Regression Discontinuity
    JEL: I2
    Date: 2019–11–20
  5. By: Bol, Thijs
    Abstract: The outbreak of the Corona virus has led to unprecedented measures in education. From March 16, all schools in the Netherlands are closed, and children must keep up with their schoolwork from home. Parents are expected to take a crucial role in this “homeschooling”: they are primarily responsible for ensuring that their children follow the curriculum. In this article I report the first results of a module in the LISS Panel that was designed to map how parents school their children in primary and secondary education. Data on a nationally representative sample of 1,318 children in primary and secondary education were gathered in April. The results show marked differences between social groups. Whereas all parents find it important that their children keep up with the schoolwork, children from advantaged backgrounds receive much more parental support and have more resources (e.g., own computer) to study from home. Differences in parental support are driven by the ability to help: parents with a higher education degree feels themselves much capable to help their children with schoolwork than lower educated parents. Parents also report that schools provide more extensive distant schooling for children in the academic track in secondary education (vwo) than for children in the pre-vocational track (vmbo). Finally, there is a clear gender gap: parents feel much more capable to support their daughters than their sons. These initial findings provide clear indications that the school shutdown in the Netherlands is likely to have strong effects on the inequality in educational opportunities.
    Date: 2020–04–29
  6. By: Gorman, Emma (University of Westminster); Walker, Ian (Lancaster University)
    Abstract: Schools vary in quality, and high-performing schools tend to be oversubscribed: there are more applicants than places available. In this paper, we use nationally representative cohort data linked to administrative education records to study the consequences of failing to gain admission to one’s first-choice secondary school in England. Our empirical strategy leverages features of the institutional setting and the literature on school choice to make a case for a selection-on-observables identifying assumption. Failing to gain a place at a preferred school had null to small impacts on short-run academic attainment, but was associated with large reductions in mental health and increased fertility in early in adulthood. These effects are especially pronounced in areas which deployed a manipulable assignment mechanism to allocate school places, where we detected larger detrimental effects on high-stakes examination outcomes. A potential channel is increased early engagement in risky behaviours. Our results show that schools are important in shaping more than test scores, and that the workings of the school admission system play a fundamental role in ensuring access to good schools.
    Keywords: risky behaviours, market design, human capital, school choice, education
    JEL: I21 I24 J24 H44 D47
    Date: 2020–04
  7. By: Indrajit Bairagya
    Abstract: This study focuses on estimating the returns to education in non-farm self-employed businesses in the Indian context, using nationwide individual- and household-level data provided by the India Human Development Survey for the year 2011/12.
    Keywords: double-selection model, endogeneity, Returns to education, Self-employment
    Date: 2020

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