nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2020‒09‒14
seventeen papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. Entrepreneurship Education and Teacher Training in Rwanda By Blimpo, Moussa P.; Pugatch, Todd
  2. Supporting Teacher Autonomy to Improve Education Outcomes : Experimental Evidence from Brazil By Piza,Caio; Zwager,Astrid Maria Theresia; Ruzzante,Matteo; Santos Dantas,Rafael; Loureiro,Andre
  3. Should School-Level Results of National Assessments Be Made Public? By Morozumi, Atsuyoshi; Tanaka, Ryuichi
  4. Task Specialization and Cognitive Skills: Evidence from PIAAC and IALS By Martínez Matute, Marta; Villanueva, Ernesto
  5. Genetic Fortune: Winning or Losing Education, Income, and Health By Hyeokmoon Kweon; Caper A.P. Burik; Richard Karlsson Linner; Ronald de Vlaming; Aysu Okbary; Daphne Martschenko; Kathryn Paige Harden; Thomas A. DiPrete; Philipp D. Koellinger
  6. Occupational Dualism and Intergenerational Educational Mobility in the Rural Economy: Evidence from China and India By Emran, M. Shahe; Ferreira, Francisco H. G.; Jiang, Yajing; Sun, Yan
  7. The Labour Market for Native and International PhD Students: Similarities, Differences, and the Role of (University) Employers By Tani, Massimiliano
  8. Last and Furious: Relative Position and School Violence By Comi, Simona; Origo, Federica; Pagani, Laura; Tonello, Marco
  9. Long-Run Returns to Field Study in Secondary School By Gordon B. Dahl; Dan-Olof Rooth; Anders Stenberg
  10. Duration of pre-university education and labour market outcomes: Evidence from a quasi-experiment in Ghana By Emmanuel Adu Boahen; Kwadwo Opoku; Simone Schotte
  11. Subjective returns to education: Rational expectations of disadvantaged groups in India By Pooja Balasubramanian
  12. Education-occupation mismatch and dispersion in returns to education: Evidence from India By Grover, Shweta; Sharma, Ajay
  13. Nature versus Nurture in Social Mobility under Private and Public Education Systems By Simon Fan; Yu Pang; Pierre Pestieau
  14. Family Spillovers in Field of Study By Gordon B. Dahl; Dan-Olof Rooth; Anders Stenberg
  15. Class Rank and Long-Run Outcomes By Jeffrey T. Denning; Richard Murphy; Felix Weinhardt
  16. Is there a gender bias in intergenerational mobility?: Evidence from Cameroon By Rose Fontep; Kunal Sen
  17. Complementarity and trade-off between academic work tasks By Ingvild Reymert; Taran Thune

  1. By: Blimpo, Moussa P.; Pugatch, Todd
    Abstract: We assess, via an experiment across 207 secondary schools, how a comprehensive teacher training program affects the delivery of a major entrepreneurship curriculum reform in Rwanda. The reform introduced interactive pedagogy and a focus on business skills in the country’s required upper secondary entrepreneurship course. In addition to the government’s standard training, a random sample of schools received intensive training organized by an NGO for two years. The training consisted of (i) six training sessions during school breaks, ii) exchange visits each term where teachers provided feedback to their peers, and (iii) outreach and support from NGO staff at least twice per year. The program increased teachers’ use of active instruction, consistent with the reform’s features. These effects on pedagogy did not translate into improvements in student academic outcomes or skills. Treated students increased their participation in businesses by 5 percentage points, or 17% of the control mean, with a commensurate decrease in wage employment, and no effect on overall income. These results suggest substitution between entrepreneurship and employment among students in treated schools.
    Keywords: entrepreneurship education,teacher training,secondary school,pedagogy,randomized control trials,Rwanda
    JEL: I25 I26 I28 J24 O12 O15
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Piza,Caio; Zwager,Astrid Maria Theresia; Ruzzante,Matteo; Santos Dantas,Rafael; Loureiro,Andre
    Abstract: What is the impact of greater teacher autonomy on student learning? This paper provides experimental evidence from a program in Brazil. The program supported teachers, through a combination of technical assistance and a small grant, to autonomously develop and implement an innovative project aimed at engaging their students. The findings show that the program improved student learning by 0.15 standard deviation and grade passing by 13 percent in sixth grade, a critical year of transition from primary to lower-secondary education. The paper explores two mechanisms: teacher turnover and student socio-emotional skills. Teacher turnover is reduced by 20.7 percent, and the impacts on student outcomes are concentrated in the schools with the largest reductions. The findings also indicate positive impacts on conscientiousness and extroversion among the students. The results suggest that increasing the autonomy of public servants can improve service delivery, even in a low-capacity context.
    Keywords: Educational Sciences,Educational Institutions&Facilities,Effective Schools and Teachers,Secondary Education,Gender and Development
    Date: 2020–08–31
  3. By: Morozumi, Atsuyoshi (University of Nottingham); Tanaka, Ryuichi (University of Tokyo)
    Abstract: Many countries conduct national standardized assessments of educational performance, the results of which may be published at the school level or at a higher level of aggregation. Publication at the school level potentially improves student achievements by holding schools accountable, whereas such accountability pressure may have distributional consequences and/or compromise outcomes beyond education achievements (labeled as non-cognitive skills). Using a Japanese policy reform that created variation in the disclosure system of national assessment results across municipalities, we show that publishing school-level results increases students' test scores across the entire score distribution, with no evidence of adverse impacts on noncognitive skills.
    Keywords: national standardized assessments, information disclosure, school-level results, school accountability, student outcomes
    JEL: D80 I20 I28
    Date: 2020–07
  4. By: Martínez Matute, Marta (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid); Villanueva, Ernesto (Bank of Spain)
    Abstract: We study how the tasks conducted on the job relate to measures of cognitive skills using data from 18 countries participating in the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competences (PIAAC) and from 13 countries that also participate in the International Adult Literacy Study (IALS). We document two main findings. Firstly, individual- fixed effect models suggest that low-educated workers in jobs involving a particular set of basic tasks -say, in numeric rather than reading or ICT tasks- obtain 10% of one standard deviation higher scores in the domain of the PIAAC assessment most related to those tasks than in the rest -say, numeracy relative to literacy or problem-solving scores. The estimates are weaker for workers with a high school or college degree, those with more than 10 years of experience or who are males. Secondly, a synthetic cohort analysis using repeated literacy assessments in IALS and PIAAC indicates that, among the low-educated, long-run increases in the reading task component of jobs correlate positively with increases in cohort-level literacy scores. An interpretation of our findings is that tasks conducted on the job help in building human capital. Under that interpretation, our back-of-the envelope estimates suggest that the contribution of one year of on-the-job learning to skill formation is between a half and a fourth of an extra year of compulsory schooling.
    Keywords: human capital, tasks, education, working experience, cognitive skills
    JEL: J24 J31 I20
    Date: 2020–07
  5. By: Hyeokmoon Kweon (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); Caper A.P. Burik (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); Richard Karlsson Linner (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); Ronald de Vlaming (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); Aysu Okbary (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); Daphne Martschenko (Stanford University); Kathryn Paige Harden (University of Texas at Austin); Thomas A. DiPrete (Columbia University); Philipp D. Koellinger (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
    Abstract: We study the effects of genetic endowments on inequalities in education, income, and health. Specifically, we conduct the first genome-wide association study (GWAS) of individual income, using data from individuals of European ancestries. We find that ≈10% of the variance in occupational wages can be attributed to genetic similarities between individuals who are only very distantly related to each other. Our GWAS (N = 282,963) identifies 45 approximately independent genetic loci for occupational wages, each with a tiny effect size (R2 smaller than 0.04%). An aggregated genetic score constructed from these GWAS results accounts for ≈1% of the variance in self-reported income in two independent samples (N = 29,440) and improves upon the variance captured by a genetic score obtained from previous GWAS results for educational attainment. A one-standard-deviation increase in our genetic score for occupational wages is associated with a 6–8% increase in self-reported hourly wages. We exploit random genetic differences between ~35,000 biological siblings to show that (i) roughly half of the covariance between our genetic score and socioeconomic outcomes is causal, (ii) genetic luck for higher income is linked with better health outcomes in late adulthood, and (iii) having a college degree partly mediates this relationship. We also demonstrate that the returns to schooling remain substantial even after controlling for genetic confounds, with an average of 8–11% higher hourly wages for each additional year of education obtained in a US sample. Thus, the implications of genetic endowments are malleable, for example, via policies targeting education.
    Keywords: Income, education, health, inequality, heritability, genetics, polygenic score
    JEL: J00 I20 I10
    Date: 2020–08–27
  6. By: Emran, M. Shahe (George Washington University); Ferreira, Francisco H. G. (London School of Economics); Jiang, Yajing (Charles River Associates); Sun, Yan (World Bank)
    Abstract: This paper extends the Becker-Tomes model of intergenerational educational mobility to a rural economy characterized by farm-nonfarm occupational dualism and provides a comparative analysis of rural China and rural India. The model builds a micro-foundation for the widely used linear-in-levels estimating equation. Returns to education for parents and productivity of financial investment in children's education determine relative mobility, as measured by the slope, while the intercept depends, among other factors, on the degree of persistence in nonfarm occupations. Unlike many existing studies based on coresident samples, our estimates of intergenerational mobility do not suffer from truncation bias. The sons in rural India faced lower educational mobility compared with the sons in rural China in the 1970s to 1990s. To understand the role of genetic inheritance, Altonji et al. (2005) biprobit sensitivity analysis is combined with the evidence on intergenerational correlation in cognitive ability in economics and behavioral genetics literature. The observed persistence can be due solely to genetic correlations in China, but not in India. Father's nonfarm occupation was complementary to his education in determining a sons' schooling in India, but separable in China. There is evidence of emerging complementarity for the younger cohorts in rural China. Structural change in favor of the nonfarm sector contributed to educational inequality in rural India. Evidence from supplementary data on economic mechanisms suggests that the model provides plausible explanations for the contrasting roles of occupational dualism in intergenerational educational mobility in rural India and rural China.
    Keywords: educational mobility, rural economy, occupational dualism, farm-nonfarm, complementarity, coresidency bias, China, India
    JEL: O12 J62
    Date: 2020–07
  7. By: Tani, Massimiliano (University of New South Wales)
    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: 2020–07
  8. By: Comi, Simona (University of Milan Bicocca); Origo, Federica (University of Bergamo); Pagani, Laura (University of Milan Bicocca); Tonello, Marco (Catholic University Milan)
    Abstract: This paper examines the effect of a high school student's relative position in the class achievement distribution on school violence. We identify this effect by exploiting idiosyncratic differences in the distribution of earlier academic achievement across classes. Such differences generate quasi-random variation in rank for students with the same initial achievement. We consider distinct types of school violence, namely, verbal, relational and physical violence. We find that rank has a negative effect on both the probability and frequency of perpetrating school violence for all the specific types of violence considered. The effect size is economically significant, especially in the case of physical violence. We find that rank is less or not effective in reducing physical violence for low-background students, migrants, in lower-quality schools and in high-crime areas, consistent with the lower perceived opportunity costs associated with misbehavior for disadvantaged students in low quality schools and located in violent local contexts.
    Keywords: school rank, school violence
    JEL: I21 I24 K40
    Date: 2020–07
  9. By: Gordon B. Dahl; Dan-Olof Rooth; Anders Stenberg
    Abstract: This paper studies whether specialized academic fields of study in secondary school, which are common in many countries, affect earnings as an adult. Identification is challenging, because it requires not just quasi-random variation into fields of study, but also an accounting of individuals’ next-best alternatives. Our setting is Sweden, where at the end of ninth grade students rank fields of study and admissions to oversubscribed fields is determined based on a student’s GPA. We use a regression discontinuity design which allows for different labor market returns for each combination of preferred versus next-best choice, together with nationwide register data for school cohorts from 1977-1991 linked to their earnings as adults. Our analysis yields four main findings. First, Engineering, Natural Science, and Business yield higher earnings relative to most second-best choices, while Social Science and Humanities result in sizable drops, even relative to non-academic vocational programs. Second, the return to completing a field varies substantially as a function of a student’s next-best alternative. The magnitudes are often as large as estimates of the return to two years of additional education. Third, the pattern of returns for individuals with different first and second best choices is consistent with comparative advantage for many field choice combinations, while others exhibit either random sorting or comparative disadvantage. Fourth, most of the differences in adult earnings can be attributed to differences in college major and occupation. Taken together, these results highlight that the field choices students make at age 16, when they may have limited information about their skills and the labor market, have effects which last into adulthood.
    Keywords: field of study, secondary education, comparative advantage
    JEL: I26 J24 J31
    Date: 2020
  10. By: Emmanuel Adu Boahen; Kwadwo Opoku; Simone Schotte
    Abstract: This paper provides new evidence on the causal effect of shortening the duration of pre-university education on long-term labour market outcomes in Ghana. We use the education reform of 1987 as a natural experiment, which reduced the years of education prior to university from 17 to 12 years. Our identification strategy uses a regression discontinuity design, taking advantage of the situation that pre- and post-reform birth cohorts entered the labour market around the same time, thus facing similar conditions.
    Keywords: years of education, Labour market, labour market outcomes, regression discontinuity, Ghana
    Date: 2020
  11. By: Pooja Balasubramanian
    Abstract: This study uses data collected from school students in Mumbai to investigate how they perceive subjective expected returns for different levels of education in an environment that includes labour market discrimination. We are particularly keen to observe subjective returns to education for different social identity groups, such as gender, religion, and caste. Despite lower actual returns to education in the labour market, students from Other Backward Castes and Scheduled Castes and Tribes do not have significantly different beliefs relative to their advantaged peers.
    Keywords: labour market discrimination, social identity, Returns to education, India, heterogeneity, distributional regression
    Date: 2020
  12. By: Grover, Shweta; Sharma, Ajay
    Abstract: Using a national level sample survey on labour market in India, we analyze the role of education-occupation (mis-)match (EOM) in explaining within-group dispersion in returns to education. Applying a double sample selection bias correction and Mincerian quantile wage regression estimation, the analysis reveals interesting findings. First, on average, overeducated workers suffer a wage penalty of seven percent and undereducated workers do not receive a wage reward as compared to their adequately educated counterparts. Second, the inclusion of match status reduces within-education group dispersion in returns. The finding highlights that ignoring EOM and thus, adopting a restrictive view of similarity across workers may lead to overestimation of the within-education group dispersion in returns. This study argues for focusing on EOM to increase both pecuniary and social benefits of education in terms of productivity gains and wages as well as to reduce wage dispersion.
    Keywords: Education-occupation mismatch,Dispersion in returns to education,Wage dispersion,India,Quantile regression
    JEL: I24 J24 J31
    Date: 2020
  13. By: Simon Fan; Yu Pang; Pierre Pestieau
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the roles of innate talent versus family background in shaping intergenerational mobility and social welfare under different education systems. We establish an overlapping-generations model in which the allocation of workforce between a high-paying skilled labor sector and a low-paying unskilled labor sector depends on talent, parental human capital, and educational resources, and the wage rate of skilled workers is governed by their average talent. Our model suggests that under the private education system, income inequality is inversely associated with social mobility, and the steady-state average talent of skilled workers declines as people make greater educational investments on their children. Under the public school system, the allocation of workforce depends more on talent and less on family background. Consequently, both intergenerational mobility and income inequality increase, and social welfare may improve under reasonable conditions. Moreover, if some parents are myopic, public education may yield the highest welfare.
    Keywords: innate ability, private education, public education, intergenerational mobility
    JEL: H20 H31 H50 O11
    Date: 2020
  14. By: Gordon B. Dahl; Dan-Olof Rooth; Anders Stenberg
    Abstract: This paper estimates peer effects both from older to younger siblings and from parents to children in academic fields of study. Our setting is secondary school in Sweden, where admissions to oversubscribed fields is determined based on a student's GPA. Using an RD design, we find strong spillovers in field choices that depend on the gender mix of siblings and whether the field is gender conforming. There are also large intergenerational effects from fathers and mothers to sons, except in female-dominated fields, but little effect for daughters. These spillovers have long-term consequences for occupational segregation and wage gaps by gender.
    JEL: I21 J24
    Date: 2020–07
  15. By: Jeffrey T. Denning; Richard Murphy; Felix Weinhardt
    Abstract: This paper considers an unavoidable feature of the school environment, class rank. What are the long run effects of a student’s ordinal rank in elementary school? Using administrative data from all public school students in Texas, we show that students with a higher third grade academic rank, conditional on achievement and classroom fixed effects, have higher subsequent test scores, are more likely to take AP classes, to graduate from high school, enroll in college, graduate from college, and ultimately have higher earnings 19 years later. The paper concludes by exploring the tradeoff between higher quality schools and higher rank in the presence of these rank-based peer effects.
    JEL: I20 I23 I28
    Date: 2020–07
  16. By: Rose Fontep; Kunal Sen
    Abstract: We examine the intergenerational mobility of women relative to men, using paired mother-daughter and father-son data on occupation and education for Cameroon. We find that both in occupation and education, intergenerational mobility is higher for sons than for daughters. The intergenerational transmission of occupation is particularly strong for women in low-paid occupations as compared with men. In the case of educational mobility, the effect of the mother's education on the daughter's education is strongest at the post-primary levels.
    Keywords: Occupational mobility, Educational mobility, Intergenerational Mobility, Gender, Cameroon
    Date: 2020
  17. By: Ingvild Reymert (Nordic Institute for Studies of Research, Education and Innovation (NIFU) and Department of Political Science, University of Oslo); Taran Thune (Centre for technology, innovation and culture (TIK), University of Oslo)
    Abstract: Professors have multiple responsibilities, and contribute to research, education and third mission activities. These tasks are expected to be complementary, in such a way that synergies between tasks can lead to positive outcomes. But are academic tasks really complementary or are they characterised by trade-offs? This study of Norwegian university professors, predictably observe a trade-off between student supervision—a key part of professors’ educational responsibilities— and research performance, but also detect important synergies between supervision and third mission activities.
    Date: 2020–08

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