nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2020‒08‒31
fifteen papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. Less School (Costs), More (Female) Education? Lessons from Egypt Reducing Years of Compulsory Schooling By Elsayed, Ahmed; Marie, Olivier
  2. "First Palestinian Intifada and Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital" By Sameh Hallaq
  3. Estimating the Direct and Indirect Effects of Major Education Reforms By Michael Gilraine; Hugh Macartney; Robert McMillan
  4. Decomposing Outcome Differences between HBCU and Non-HBCU Institutions By Mels de Zeeuw; Sameera Fazili; Julie L. Hotchkiss
  5. Family Background and the Responses to Higher SAT Scores By Georg Graetz; Björn Öckert; Oskar Nordström Skans
  6. How Gender and Prior Disadvantage predict Performance in College By Judith M. Delaney; Paul J. Devereux
  7. Erasmus Exchange Program - A Matter of (Relatively) Older Students By Carlsson, M.; Fumarco, L.; Gibbs, B. G.
  8. Education Gap and Youth: A Growing Challenge in the MENA Region By Reham Rizk; Ronia Hawash
  9. The labour market for native and international PhD students: similarities, differences, and the role of (university) employers By Tani, Massimiliano
  10. A Second Chance? Labor Market Returns to Adult Education Using School Reforms By Bennett, Patrick; Blundell, Richard; Salvanes, Kjell Gunnar
  11. The Effect of Peer Gender on Major Choice in Business School By Zölitz, Ulf; Feld, Jan
  12. Low-Cost Private Schools in Tanzania : A Descriptive Analysis By Sabarwal,Shwetlena; Sununtnasuk,Celeste; Ramachandran,Deepika
  13. Financial literacy, risk and time preferences – Results from a randomized educational intervention By Matthias Sutter; Michael Weyland; Anna Untertrifaller; Manuel Froitzheim
  14. The Concentration of investment in education in the US (1970-2018) By Cécile Bonneau
  15. Preparing students for careers using business analytics and data-driven decision making By Erland Hejn Nielsen; Steen Nielsen

  1. By: Elsayed, Ahmed (IZA); Marie, Olivier (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
    Abstract: Exploiting a unique policy reform in Egypt that reduced the number of years of compulsory schooling, we show how it unexpectedly increased education attainment as more students chose to complete the next school stage. This impact is almost entirely driven by girls from more disadvantaged households. Treated women later experienced important positive improvements in labor market opportunity and marriage quality, as measured by bride price received and household bargaining power. We attribute the increased investment in daughters' human capital to changes in the behavior of credit-constrained families facing reduced school costs combined with strongly non-linear returns to female education.
    Keywords: school costs, education investment, gender bias, female labor market, marriage, bride price, Egypt
    JEL: I21 I25 J24 O55
    Date: 2020–06
  2. By: Sameh Hallaq
    Abstract: This paper attempts to estimate the intergenerational transmission of human capital in Palestine. The main question is whether formal parental education improves their offspring's cognitive skills and school achievements. I use the instrumental variable (IV) method in the estimations to overcome the potential endogeneity of parental education. The main source of variation in parental educational attainment is parents' exposure to the First Palestinian Intifada (1988-93) during their middle- and high school ages. During the First Palestinian Intifada, many school days were lost due to frequent school closures and other restrictions. Furthermore, many young people preferred to search for low-skill employment in Israel, since it provided them with better wages than the local labor market and hardly required any level of educational attainment. This study employs two outcomes, namely the standardized cognitive test scores and school achievements during the academic year 2012/13 for students between grade 5 and grade 9 in West Bank schools. Overall, the results support the hypothesis of a human capital spillover but more so for girls than for boys, where the IV results are often insignificant because of their large standard errors.
    Keywords: Intergenerational Mobility; First Intifada
    JEL: I20 J62
    Date: 2020–07
  3. By: Michael Gilraine; Hugh Macartney; Robert McMillan
    Abstract: We propose an approach for credibly estimating indirect sorting effects of major education reforms and placing them alongside the reforms’ direct and persistent effects for the first time. Applying our approach to California’s state-wide class size reduction program, we estimate a large positive direct effect of smaller classes on test scores and an even larger indirect effect due to demographic changes as private school students switch into public schools; both effects also persist. Accounting for sorting using these estimates raises the program’s benefit-cost ratio significantly. Further, our analysis indicates that indirect sorting is likely relevant in policy evaluations more generally.
    Keywords: Education Reform, Direct Effects, Indirect Effects, Sorting, Education Production, Class Size Reduction, Persistence, Differencing, Difference-in-Differences
    JEL: H40 I21 I22
    Date: 2020–08–23
  4. By: Mels de Zeeuw; Sameera Fazili; Julie L. Hotchkiss
    Abstract: This paper investigates differences in outcomes between historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) and traditional college and universities (non-HBCUs) using a standard Oaxaca/Blinder decomposition. This method decomposes differences in observed educational and labor market outcomes between HBCU and non-HBCU students into differences in characteristics (both student and institutional) and differences in how those characteristics translate into differential outcomes. Efforts to control for differences in unobservables between the two types of students are undertaken through inverse-probability weighting and propensity score matching methodologies. We find that differences in student characteristics make the largest contributions to each outcome difference. However, some hope in identifying policy levers comes in the form of how characteristics translate into outcomes. For example, whereas HBCUs appear to be doing a better job helping female graduates parlay their education into higher earnings, non-HBCUs are doing a better job in helping graduates in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics translate their training into higher earnings. Patterns and importance of regressors are similar at different points of the distributions of outcomes.
    Keywords: HBCU; decomposition; student debt; returns to education; propensity-score matching; inverse-probability weighting; quantile regression
    JEL: I24 I26 C21
    Date: 2020–07–16
  5. By: Georg Graetz; Björn Öckert; Oskar Nordström Skans
    Abstract: Using discontinuities within the Swedish SAT system, we show that additional admission opportunities causally affect college choices. Students with high-educated parents change timing, colleges, and fields in ways that appear consistent with basic economic theory. In contrast, very talented students with low-educated parents react to higher scores by increasing overall enrolment and graduation rates. Remarkably, most of this effect arises from increased participation in college programs and institutions that they could have attended even with a lower score. This suggests that students with low-educated parents face behavioral barriers even in a setting where colleges are tuition-free, student grants are universal and application systems are simple.
    Keywords: educational choice, intergenerational transmission of education, regression discontinuity design
    JEL: I21 I23 J62
    Date: 2020
  6. By: Judith M. Delaney; Paul J. Devereux
    Abstract: Much research has shown that having a better class of degree has significant payoff in the labour market. Using administrative data from Ireland, we explore the performance in college of different types of students. We find that post-primary school achievement is an important predictor: Its relationship with college performance is concave for college completion, approximately linear for the probability of obtaining at least second class honours, upper division, and convex for the probability of obtaining a first class honours degree. We find that females do better in college than males, even after we account for their greater prior achievement, and this is true in both non-STEM and STEM fields. Disabled students, students from disadvantaged schools, and students who qualify for means-tested financial aid are less likely to complete and less likely to obtain first class honours or a 2.1 degree. However, once we control for post-primary school achievement, these students actually perform better in college than others. We also find that, conditional on prior achievement, students from private exam-oriented “grind” schools and from Irish-medium schools are less likely to finish a degree and less likely to perform well in college, possibly because their school exam results are high relative to their abilities. Our results suggest that current college policies that lower entry requirements for disabled students and students from disadvantaged backgrounds may be justified on efficiency as well as equity grounds. They also suggest that college performance might be improved by increasing entry requirements for students who come from school types that convey advantages in the post-primary exams that determine college entry.
    Keywords: Higher education; Gender and educational achievement; Gender and STEM; Educational disadvantage; Degree class; Contextual admissions
    JEL: I23 I24 J16 J24
    Date: 2020–05
  7. By: Carlsson, M.; Fumarco, L.; Gibbs, B. G.
    Abstract: This study contributes to the literature on long-term effects of relative age (i.e. age differences between classmates in compulsory school) by examining tertiary education outcomes. We investigate whether there is evidence of relative age effects on university students enrolled in the Erasmus exchange program. We use administrative data on all exchange students who visited the Linnaeus University, in Sweden, in the four years since its founding. We find long-term evidence of RAEs—the youngest cohort students participate less often to the Erasmus exchange program than older cohort members.
    Keywords: Educational Policy,Higher Education,International Education/Studies,Migration,Policy Analysis
    JEL: D04 I21 I23 I24
    Date: 2020
  8. By: Reham Rizk; Ronia Hawash
    Abstract: Education inequality has always been a concern for policy makers due to its long-term and intergenerational impacts. This paper examines the determinants and the sources of education inequality among the youth in the MENA region using harmonized income and expenditure surveys. More attention is given to income and regional disparities as source of education inequality. The paper makes use of the Recentered Influence Functions (RIF) unconditional regression techniques to examine youth education inequality measured by years of schooling and to identify the determinants of Gini index of education across countries. The findings show that higher household income reduces education inequality among youth in Iraq and higher education expenditure reduces education inequality for youth in both Egypt and Iraq. Health expenditure is found to be having insignificant impact on education inequality for youth in all countries. Moreover, increasing the number of earners in the household reduce education inequality in both Jordan and Palestine and increases youth education inequality in Iraq and Egypt. It has been also deduced that rural regions are at a disadvantage in terms of educational attainment and educational inequality in comparison to urban regions across all countries and all income quartiles. The decomposition of rich-poor education inequality, reveals that the education gap among youth appear to increase for the poor compared to the rich. Finally, there is a declining trend in youth educational inequality over time for Egypt and Iraq. However, the gap seems to be widening for Jordan and Palestine.
    JEL: I24 O15 O53
    Date: 2020–05
  9. By: Tani, Massimiliano
    Abstract: This paper studies the labour market outcomes of native and foreign PhD graduates staying as migrants in Australia, using data on career destinations over the period 1999-2015. Natives with an English-speaking background emerge as benefiting from positive employer discrimination, especially if graduating in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), for which they receive a premium that is unrelated to observed characteristics such as gender, age, and previous work experience. In contrast, foreign PhD graduates with a non-English speaking background experience worse labour market outcomes, especially if they work in the university sector. Acquiring education in the host country does not appear to eliminate uneven labour market outcomes between natives and foreigners.
    Keywords: PhD graduates,wage decomposition,discrimination,international students
    JEL: I26 J24 J31 J61
    Date: 2020
  10. By: Bennett, Patrick (Centre for Applied Research, Norwegian School of Economics); Blundell, Richard (University College London and IFS); Salvanes, Kjell Gunnar (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)
    Abstract: Roughly one third of a cohort drop out of high school across OECD countries, and developing effective tools to address prime-aged high school dropouts is a key policy question. We leverage high quality Norwegian register data, and for identification we exploit reforms enabling access to high school for adults above the age of 25. The paper finds that considerable increases in high school completion and beyond among women lead to higher earnings, increased employment, and decreased fertility. As male education remains unchanged by the reforms, later life education reduces the pre-existing gender earnings gap by a considerable fraction.
    Keywords: Adult Education; Returns to Education; Fertility; Gender inequality
    JEL: I26 I28 J13
    Date: 2020–08–03
  11. By: Zölitz, Ulf (University of Zurich); Feld, Jan (Victoria University of Wellington)
    Abstract: Business degrees are popular and lead to high earnings. Female business graduates, however, earn less than their male counterparts. These gender differences can be traced back to university, where women shy away from majors like finance that lead to high earnings. In this paper, we investigate how the gender composition of peers in business school affects women's and men's major choices and labor market outcomes. We find that women who are randomly assigned to teaching sections with more female peers become less likely to choose male-dominated majors like finance and more likely to choose female-dominated majors like marketing. After graduation, these women end up in jobs where their earnings grow more slowly. Men, on the other hand, become more likely to choose male-dominated majors and less likely to choose female-dominated majors when they had more female peers in business school. However, men's labor market outcomes are not significantly affected. Taken together, our results show that studying with more female peers in business school increases gender segregation in educational choice and affects labor market outcomes.
    Keywords: gender composition, major choice, peer effects
    JEL: I21 I24 J24
    Date: 2020–06
  12. By: Sabarwal,Shwetlena; Sununtnasuk,Celeste; Ramachandran,Deepika
    Abstract: This paper discusses the potential role of low-cost private secondary schools in Tanzania. The share of private enrollment has been negatively correlated with the availability of public schools. With the 2016 Fee-Free Basic Education Policy, the public secondary education system is experiencing significant demand pressures. The government has limited resources to address these pressures. Using micro-data from the Morogoro region, the paper finds that private schools have excess capacity that can allow for absorption of additional students at relatively low cost through potential public-private partnerships. The paper finds no evidence that service delivery or student performance is worse in private schools relative to their public counterparts. These findings provide empirical evidence on some key enabling conditions for potential public-private partnerships for secondary education in Tanzania.
    Keywords: Economics of Education,Education Finance,Educational Sciences,Educational Institutions&Facilities,Effective Schools and Teachers,Private Sector Economics,Primary Education
    Date: 2020–08–13
  13. By: Matthias Sutter (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn, University of Cologne, University of Innsbruck, IZA Bonn, and CESifo Munich); Michael Weyland (Ludwigsburg University of Education); Anna Untertrifaller (University of Cologne); Manuel Froitzheim (University of Siegen)
    Abstract: We present the results of a randomized intervention in schools to study how teaching financial literacy affects risk and time preferences of adolescents. Following more than 600 adolescents, aged 16 years on average, over about half a year, we provide causal evidence that teaching financial literacy has significant short-term and longer-term effects on risk and time preferences. Compared to two different control treatments, we find that teaching financial literacy makes subjects more patient, less present-biased, and slightly more risk-averse. Our finding that the intervention changes economic preferences contributes to a better understanding of why financial literacy has been shown to correlate systematically with financial behavior in previous studies. We argue that the link between financial literacy and field behavior works through economic preferences. In our study, the latter are also related in a meaningful way to students’ field behavior.
    Keywords: Financial literacy, randomized intervention, risk preferences, time preferences, field experiment
    JEL: C93 D14 I21
    Date: 2020–08
  14. By: Cécile Bonneau (PSE - Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: This study aims to analyse the concentration of investment in education in the US from 1970 to 2017. I study both the distribution of spending for K-12 and Higher Education and then present different scenarios to combine both inequalities. Even if the distribution of education spending is less unequal than the one of income or even wages, these spending are still very unequally distributed and, as for income and wages, inequalities have significantly increased over the past four decades, due to spending in higher education. Indeed, the top 10% of students for whom the most is spent used to have 28% of the overall amount of instructional expenditure in 1970 and now have more than 36%. Inequalities in educational investments are coming from two sources: unequal length of studies and unequal spending per grade, the latter being the main driver of the concentration observed. As a matter of fact, if everyone were to have the same educational attainment, the level of inequalities would almost be the same. The only way to reduce significantly the concentration in educational spending would be to equalize spending within each grade across districts and universities.
    Keywords: School Finance,investment in education,History of Education,Government expenditure on Education,United States,World Inequality Lab
    Date: 2020
  15. By: Erland Hejn Nielsen (Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University); Steen Nielsen (Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University)
    Abstract: Data analytics and performance measurement and management (PM&M) now seem to be deeply rooted disciplines for both professional decision makers and in the business environments. Research articles and consulting companies (e.g., AACSB, 2014) stress the importance of recruiting students with a proficiency in business analytics and of preparing students with knowledge, skills, and ability in the area of business analytics (BA) and machine learning, as these skills will help businesses process data, find patterns and relations, and make decisions and predictions. However, several ideas from BA actually go back to Anthony and Harvard Business School in 1965 and to Tukey and Princeton University in 1962, respectively. The purpose of this paper is first to discuss and show the use of BA for performance management models and decisions. Second, we discuss the content of PM&M and all the uncertainty that surrounds it. Third, we show how to combine BA and PM&M in a bachelor course, and finally we discuss the assumptions and skills necessary for students in relation to completing such a course. In this sense, the nature of our paper is inspirational. Finally, the paper reports the result from a survey made among the students who have taken the course, that is, that students’ interest in data-driven performance is best activated through a combination of hands-on learning and inspirational datasets.
    Keywords: Performance measurement and management, quantitative models, business analytics, Monte Carlo simulation, data-driven decisions, system dynamics, algorithms, flow and stock
    JEL: A22 C81
    Date: 2020–08–06

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