nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2020‒07‒27
ten papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. Cross-Program Differences in Returns to Education and the Gender Earnings Gap By Martínez-Correa, Jimmy; Andersen, Steffen; d’Astous, Philippe; H. Shore, Stephen
  2. Exit at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Empirical Explorations in the Context of Elementary Schooling in Delhi. By Bose, Sukanya; Ghosh, Priyanta; Sardana, Arvind
  3. Mentoring and Schooling Decisions: Causal Evidence By Armin Falk; Fabian Kosse; Pia Pinger
  4. BERKELEY VERSUS THE SATA Regent, a Chancellor and a Debate on the Value ofStandardized Testing in Admissions By Doulgass, John A
  5. Better measures of progress: Developing reliable estimates of educational access and quality in Francophone sub-Saharan Africa By Adaiah Lilenstein
  6. International student mobility decision-making in a European context By Dubow, Talitha; Marchand, Katrin; Siegel, Melissa
  7. About some evidences of health literacy By Caleiro, António
  8. Can Greater Access to Education Be Inequitable? New Evidence from India’s Right to Education Act By Chirantan Chatterjee; Eric A. Hanushek; Shreekanth Mahendiran
  9. Immigration and Innovation. By Arthur Grimes; Shaan Badenhorst; David C. Maré; Jacques Poot
  10. Why Didn’t the College Premium Rise Everywhere? Employment Protection and On-the-Job Investment in Skills By Matthias Doepke; Ruben Gaetani

  1. By: Martínez-Correa, Jimmy; Andersen, Steffen; d’Astous, Philippe; H. Shore, Stephen
    Abstract: University programs differ in their gender earnings gaps, the difference between the subsequent earnings of the program’s male and female enrollees. A program could have a positive gender earnings gap because the program attracts higher-ability men than women (a selection effect), or because the program increases the earnings of male enrollees more than female enrollees (a causal effect). To understand the source of cross-program differences in gender earnings gaps, we exploit a discontinuity built into the Danish national university admissions system, which provides a quasi-random assignment of similar applicants to different programs. Enrolling in a program with a $1 larger gender earnings gap, holding average earnings constant, does not affect male earnings but reduces female earnings by $0.45. This effect is small as women enter the labor market but increase over time, and cannot be explained by channels related to marriage or childbirth. Our results show that programs that appear worse for women – in the sense of having economically significant gender earnings gaps – are worse for women because they reduce female earnings more than programs with smaller gaps.
    JEL: I23 I26 J24
    Date: 2020–06
  2. By: Bose, Sukanya (National Institute of Public Finance and Policy); Ghosh, Priyanta (National Institute of Public Finance and Policy); Sardana, Arvind (Eklavya, Madhya Pradesh)
    Abstract: The framework of exit and voice, a la Hirschman, is applied to understand the social phenomenon of exit at the bottom of the pyramid. As the dominant groups vote with their feet, the low fee private school (LFPS) is perceived to be offering parents from disadvantaged groups “school choice”. We attempt to establish the size of the LFPS sector, information about which is central to educational planning, regulation and implementation, but invisible in the official database. A methodology based on macro-survey data is formulated and then applied to Delhi that has a substantial underbelly of LFPSs. We find that the estimated size of the LFPS sector accounts for nearly half the share of the overall children attending private schools at the elementary level. Policy recommendation suggests concrete steps toward expansion of public schools through public investment estimated at 0.3-0.4% of GSDP of Delhi, and upgradation of the existing facilities towards well functional benchmarks as per the RTE design so as to provide a credible alternative to the LFPS sector.
    Keywords: Low Fee Private School ; Affordability ; Exit ; Voice ; RTE ; Elementary Education ; Education Policy
    JEL: I21 I24 I28 H75
    Date: 2020–05
  3. By: Armin Falk (briq and the University of Bonn); Fabian Kosse (LMU Munich); Pia Pinger (University of Cologne and briq)
    Abstract: Inequality of opportunity strikes when two children with the same academic performance are sent to different quality schools because their parents differ in socio-economic status. Based on a novel dataset for Germany, we demonstrate that children are significantly less likely to enter the academic track if they come from low socio-economic status (SES) families, even after conditioning on prior measures of school performance. We then provide causal evidence that a low-intensity mentoring program can improve long-run education outcomes of low SES children and reduce inequality of opportunity. Low SES children, who were randomly assigned to a mentor for one year are 20 percent more likely to enter a high track program. The mentoring relationship affects both parents and children and has positive long-term implications for children's educational trajectories.
    Keywords: mentoring, childhood intervention programs, education, human capital investment, inequality of opportunity, socioeconomic status
    JEL: C90 I24 J24 J62
    Date: 2020–06
  4. By: Doulgass, John A
    Abstract: The following essay details a debate between UC Berkeley and a Regent who made charges of discrimination against Asian-American students that are similar to the current legal challenges facing Harvard University. The crux of such charges: onaverage, that one racial or ethnic group is more “qualified” than other groups, often underrepresented minorities, yet they havelower admissions rates. In 2004, Regent John Moores, convinced of discriminatory practices toward Asian-American students inthe admissions process at Berkeley, did his own analysis of UC admissions data focused on SAT scores and that he publicizedin the LA Times and other venues. Moores claimed his investigation provided clear evidence of discrimination. In the aftermath of California’s Proposition 209 barring the use of race in admissions, Moores complained that Berkeley’s adoption of a “holistic” review of applications reduced the importance of test scores by elevating subjective "measurements" that served as possiblyillegal proxies for race and ethnicity. Conjuring memories of charges of discrimination in the 1980s by the Asian-American community regarding Berkeley’s admissions processes, Moores asked, “How did the university get away with discriminating soblatantly against Asians?” For anti-affirmative action advocates, like Moores, standardized test scores were, and are, seen as the gold standard of academic ability since it is a “universal” measure unlike grades that are local assessments of abilities andsubject to grade inflation. However, when compared to grades in high school, test scores have proven weak indicators ofsubsequent academic success at highly selective universities that must choose among a large pool of highly qualified students.Test scores also are not necessarily good measures for predicting the future engagement of students in the wide range of experiences and opportunities offered by major universities – including public service, undergraduate research, and co-curricularactivities. Anti-affirmative action advocates largely see admissions as a reward based on test scores and are not terriblyconcerned with the predictive validity of other admissions criteria. This essay concludes with a brief discussion of the similarities of Moores’ analysis and charge of discrimination in admissions with that at Harvard, and the probable legal path toward a new Supreme Court decision on affirmative action.
    Keywords: Education, University Admissions, Standardized Tests, Equity, Racial Politics, Affirmative Action, Asian-Americans
    Date: 2019–02–01
  5. By: Adaiah Lilenstein (Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University)
    Abstract: When it comes to development goals, an estimate is only as good as its measurement. There is a long history of developmental goal setting by national governments and international organisations, but far less emphasis on how those goals are measured accurately, especially over time. The measurement of new goals, such as learning, needs to be carefully thought-through and published estimates should reflect this process. This research tackles one prominent source of measurement error in large-scale cross-national cognitive assessment data: sample selection bias. Sample selection bias is a problem in assessment data wherever assessments are conducted within schools and there is below universal access to schooling. Francophone sub-Saharan Africa has some of the lowest schooling rates worldwide and therefore some of the largest bias in its regional assessment data. This paper follows and updates a methodology first conceptualized by Spaull and Taylor in 2015. The new aspects of the methodology allow estimates adjusted for sample selection to be calculated immediately on the release of assessment data, rather than many years hence. After adjusting for sample selection, this paper finds that published learning estimates in Francophone sub-Saharan Africa are vast overestimates of the true rates of literacy and numeracy in the region.
    Keywords: Sample Selection, Measurement Error, Literacy, Numeracy, Learning, Education Quality, Education Access, Sub-Saharan Africa, Francophone, Development Goals, SDGs
    JEL: C83 I21 I24
    Date: 2020
  6. By: Dubow, Talitha (Maastricht University, UNU-MERIT); Marchand, Katrin (Maastricht University, UNU-MERIT); Siegel, Melissa (Maastricht University, UNU-MERIT)
    Abstract: This paper contributes to existing theoretical and empirical understandings of international student mobility (ISM) decision-making. Drawing on interview and focus group data from 115 current and former 'student migrants' in the EU (from both EU and non-EU countries of origin), it provides an in-depth, international comparative analysis of ISM decision-making. It addresses three questions: 1) What motivates the decision to study abroad in the EU, and how do these motivations vary across different countries of origin?; 2) How does the decision to study abroad relate to the student's initial aspirations (i.e. formed prior to starting their foreign study programme) regarding their post-study (im)mobility?; and 3) How are post-study (im)mobility aspirations (re)shaped over the course of the student's foreign study programme? The relevance of existing theorisations of ISM decision-making is tested in relation to student inflows from different countries of origin. The results highlight the ways in which individual decisions to study abroad do not necessarily align with a single decision-making model but are rather often determined by multiple and interacting considerations. The findings further existing knowledge on: 1) the ways in which international student decision-making relate to the social, cultural, economic and political environments in which these decisions are made; and 2) how international student decision-making relates to the student's broader and evolving life aspirations.
    Keywords: Higher education, migrant, decision-making, student mobility, mobility, European Union
    JEL: F22 I23 J15 J24 J61 O15
    Date: 2020–07–07
  7. By: Caleiro, António
    Abstract: Education and health are two fundamental pillars for development. This was immediately evident in the creation of the Human Development Index (HDI), by the United Nations Development Programme, back in the 1990s. In fact, knowledge and a long and healthy life – as is well known, two of the three dimensions of the HDI – interact with each other, being clear that better education contributes to a healthier, therefore longer, life, and this, in turn, allows for a better level of education. Given the above, the purpose of this paper is to analyze the importance of health education in contributing to sustainable development. From the outset, this importance derives from the nature of merit goods, which education and healthcare generally assume. Thus, gains in these pillars of development spread throughout the community, making sustainability easier to achieve.
    Keywords: Education; Healthy Life Expectancy; Life Expectancy; Literacy; Self-Perceived Health (Status); Sustainability
    JEL: I12 I14 I18 I21 I24 I28
    Date: 2020–06–10
  8. By: Chirantan Chatterjee; Eric A. Hanushek; Shreekanth Mahendiran
    Abstract: India took a decisive step towards universal basic education by proclaiming a constitutionally-guaranteed Right to Education (RTE) Act in 2009 that called for full access of children aged 6-14 to free schooling. This paper considers the offsetting effects to RTE from induced expansion of private tutoring in the educationally competitive districts of India. We develop a unique database of registrations of new private educational institutions offering tutorial services by local district between 2001-2015. We estimate the causal impact of RTE on private supplemental education by comparing the growth of these private tutorial institutions in districts identified a priori as having very competitive educational markets to those that had less competitive educational markets. We find a strong impact of RTE on the private tutoring market and show that this holds across alternative definitions of highly competitive districts and a variety of robustness checks, sensitivity analyses, and controls. Finally, we provide descriptive evidence that these private tutoring schools do increase the achievement (and competitiveness) of students able to afford them.
    JEL: H4 I25
    Date: 2020–06
  9. By: Arthur Grimes (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research); Shaan Badenhorst (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research); David C. Maré (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research); Jacques Poot (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and University of Waikato Author-Name Isabelle Sin; Motu Economic and Public Policy Research)
    Abstract: One of the main challenges facing non-metropolitan regions is the attraction and retention of highly-educated young people. A loss of the brightest can lead to reduced business creation, innovation, growth and community wellbeing in such regions. We use rich longitudinal microdata from New Zealand’s integrated administrative data infrastructure to analyse the determinants and geography of the choice of destination of tertiary educated (university and polytechnic) graduates. We address the question of post-student location choice in the context of the approach of Chen and Rosenthal (2008) who introduced a methodology for calculating ‘quality of life’ and ‘quality of business’ indicators for urban areas reflecting consumption and productive amenities respectively. Specifically, we test whether students – of different characteristics (e.g. institutional type and field of study) – locate in places that are regarded as good to live or good to do business. Our estimates are conditional on students’ prior school (home) location and the location of their higher education institution. We find that graduates are attracted to locate in places that have high quality production amenities. High quality consumption amenities have heterogeneous effects on the location choice of students. Creative Arts and Commerce graduates are relatively more likely to locate in places that are attractive to business, consistent with a symbiosis between bohemians and business. Places can leverage their existing (productive or consumption amenity) strengths to act as drawcards to recent graduates. The results are important for local decision-makers who wish to know which factors can attract and retain young qualified people.
    Keywords: Innovation; Immigration; Local labour market
    JEL: I23 J24 J61 R23 R58 Z13
    Date: 2020–04
  10. By: Matthias Doepke; Ruben Gaetani
    Abstract: Why has the college wage premium risen rapidly in the United States since the 1980s, but not in European economies such as Germany? We argue that differences in employment protection can account for much of the gap. We develop a model in which firms and workers make relationship-specific investments in skill accumulation. The incentive to invest is stronger when employment protection creates an expectation of long-lasting matches. We argue that changes in the economic environment have reduced relationship-specific investment for less-educated workers in the United States, but not for better-protected workers in Germany.
    Date: 2020

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