nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2020‒09‒21
eleven papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. Lost Wages : The COVID-19 Cost of School Closures By Psacharopoulos,George; Collis,Victoria; Patrinos,Harry Anthony; Vegas,Emiliana
  2. Occupational Dualism and Intergenerational Educational Mobility in the Rural Economy: Evidence from China and India By Emran, M.; Ferreira, Francisco; Jiang, Yajing; Sun, Yan
  3. Primary School Reopenings and Parental Work By Pierre-Loup Beauregard; Marie Connolly; Catherine Haeck; Timea Laura Molnar
  4. Academic Aptitude Signals and STEM field participation: A Regression Discontinuity Approach By Marcos Agurto; Sandra Buzinsky; Siddharth Hari; Valeria Quevedo; Sudipta Sarangi; Susana Vegas
  5. A Closer Look: Proximity Boosts Homeless Student Performance in New York City By Cassidy, Michael T.
  6. The Multiplier Effect of Education Expenditure By Maarten de Ridder; Simona Hannon; Damjan Pfajfar
  7. Nature versus nurture in social mobility under private and public education systems By FAN Simon,; PANG Yu,; PESTIEAU Pierre,
  8. Residential Location and Education in the United States By Eric A. Hanushek; Kuzey Yilmaz
  9. Inequality in Household Adaptation to Schooling Shocks: Covid-Induced Online Learning Engagement in Real Time By Andrew Bacher-Hicks; Joshua S. Goodman; Christine Mulhern
  10. Froebel's Gifts: How the Kindergarten Movement Changed the American Familiy By Philipp Ager; Francesco Cinnirella
  11. Blockchain and smart contracts for education By Ramos-Sosa, Maria del Pino; Cabrera, Domingo; Moreno, Bernardo

  1. By: Psacharopoulos,George; Collis,Victoria; Patrinos,Harry Anthony; Vegas,Emiliana
    Abstract: Social distancing requirements associated with COVID-19 have led to school closures. In April, 192 countries had closed all schools and universities, affecting more than 90 percent of the world's learners: over 1.5 billion children and young people. Closures are expected to reduce schooling and lead to future losses in earnings. Starting from the assumption that every additional year of schooling translates to 8 percent in future earnings, this paper estimates and confirms the loss in marginal future earnings on the basis of a four-month shutdown. The authors also estimated the losses by level of education. The findings show that the school closures reduce future earnings. It is also likely that students from low-income countries will be affected most, where the earning losses will be devastating. These estimates are conservative, assuming closures end after four months, with schools re-opening in the new academic year, and that school quality will not suffer.
    Keywords: Educational Sciences,Avian Flu,Cholera,Communicable Diseases,Leprosy,Economics of Education,Labor Markets,Rural Labor Markets,Public Health Promotion
    Date: 2020–08–26
  2. By: Emran, M.; Ferreira, Francisco; Jiang, Yajing; Sun, Yan
    Abstract: This paper extends the Becker-Tomes model of intergenerational educational mobility to a rural economy characterized by farm-nonfarm occupational dualism and provide a comparative analysis of rural China and rural India. The model provides 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, the estimates 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) 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. Fathers' nonfarm occupation and education were complementary 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: J62 O1
    Date: 2020–07–05
  3. By: Pierre-Loup Beauregard (Vancouver School of Economics, University of British Columbia); Marie Connolly (Department of Economics, University of Quebec in Montreal); Catherine Haeck (Department of Economics, University of Quebec in Montreal); Timea Laura Molnar (Department of Economics and Business, Central European University)
    Abstract: In this paper, we exploit the geographical pattern of primary school reopenings during the COVID-19 pandemic in Quebec to estimate the impact of school reopenings on parental employment and work hours. We first use a difference-in-differences approach, in which we compare parents of primary-school children in regions where school reopened in May 2020 to similar parents in regions where schools remained closed. We also use a triple-difference model, in which parents of older, secondary-school children are used as an additional control group. We estimate the impact of school reopenings separately for mothers and fathers, and for single parents and parents living in dual-parent households. We find a positive impact of school reopenings on employment and on actual hours worked. The effects tend to be stronger for single parents: single mothers have experienced a 20 percentage point increase in their employment rate following school reopenings. We also split our sample according to whether the job can be done from home, and find stronger impacts for those whose jobs cannot easily be done from home. Our results suggest that reopening schools allows parents, especially single parents, to maintain their employment link and support themselves.
    Keywords: school closures, school reopenings, labour market, employment, work hours, pandemic, Canada
    JEL: I24 I28 J21 J22
    Date: 2020–08
  4. By: Marcos Agurto (Universidad de Piura); Sandra Buzinsky (Universidad de Piura); Siddharth Hari (The World Bank); Valeria Quevedo (Universidad de Piura); Sudipta Sarangi (Virginia Tech); Susana Vegas (Universidad de Piura)
    Abstract: Gender disparities in STEM field participation at all levels are wide and persistent. In this paper we explore whether external signals about academic aptitude can influence female participation in STEM fields. We analyze 10 years of data on aptitude tests administered by a private university in Peru taken by 3,000 high school students each year. Prior to the test, students are asked to state their (non-binding) preferences over college majors. Admission into majors is determined on the basis of cut-off scores on the exam, which has a math and a verbal component. Using a regression discontinuity design, we find that among students whose preferred major was other than engineering, making the engineering cut-off increases the likelihood of enrolling in engineering by 10-12 percentage points. These effects are driven entirely by female students, and no effect is seen for males. We also find that women with higher scores on the verbal component are less likely to make this switch, reinforcing the idea that external signals about aptitude matter for choice of college majors. These results highlight the importance of external validation in influencing career choices in a context where social norms discourage female participation in STEM fields, and have important policy implications.
    Keywords: STEM, Gender Gap, Academic Aptitude Signals, RD, Peru
    JEL: I3 I32 D63 O1 H1
    Date: 2020–09
  5. By: Cassidy, Michael T. (Princeton University)
    Abstract: Proximity augments homeless students' educational outcomes. Homeless K-8 graders whose families are placed in shelters near their schools have 8 percent (2.4 days) better attendance, are a third (18 percentage points) less likely to change schools, and exhibit higher rates of proficiency and retention. Homeless high schoolers have 5 percent (2.5 days) better attendance, 29 percent (10 pp) lower mobility, and 8 percent (1.6 pp) greater retention when placed locally. These results proceed from novel administrative data on homeless families observed in the context of a scarcity-induced natural experiment in New York City. A complementary instrumental variable strategy exploiting homeless eligibility policy reveals a subset of proximity-elastic students benefit considerably more. Panel evidence demonstrates homelessness does not cause educational impairment as much as reflect large preexisting deficits.
    Keywords: homelessness, education, K-12, neighborhoods, families, housing, poverty alleviation, welfare policy, program evaluation, causal inference
    JEL: I21 I28 I38 H53 H75 D91
    Date: 2020–07
  6. By: Maarten de Ridder; Simona Hannon; Damjan Pfajfar
    Abstract: This paper examines the short-run effects of federal education expenditures on local income. We exploit city-level variation in exposure to national changes in the $30-billion Federal Pell Grant Program, which is the largest program to help low-income students attend college in the U.S., to calculate fiscal multipliers of education expenditures. An increase in Pell grants by 1 percent of a city's income raises local income by 2.4 percent over the next two years. This multiplier effect is larger than estimates for military spending (1.5 on average). Multipliers are higher when grants are awarded to students at non-profit colleges, as for-profit colleges absorb most of the grant increases with raises in tuition. Multipliers are also higher during recessions than in expansions: Pell grants can be an effective tool for countercyclical policy that adds to already established benefits, such as, increasing the affordability of college and fostering long-run economic growth.
    Keywords: Fiscal expenditure; Pell grants; Education policy; Fiscal multipliers
    JEL: H52 H62
    Date: 2020–08–07
  7. By: FAN Simon, (Lingnan University, Hong Kong); PANG Yu, (Macau University of Science and Technology, Macau); PESTIEAU Pierre, (Université de Liège, CORE, Toulouse School of Economics)
    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 workers 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 determined by their average talent. Our model suggests that under the private education system, there is a negative relationship between income inequality and social mobility, and the steady-state average talent of skilled workers decreases with educational investments. Under the public education system that provides all children with equal educational resources, the allocation of workforce depends more on talent and less on family background. Consequently, both mobility and inequality increase, and social welfare may improve under reasonable conditions. When private educational investments are allowed on top of public education, the steady-state social welfare increases further. Moreover, if some parents are myopic, public education yields the highest welfare.
    Keywords: innate ability, private education, public education, intergenerational mobility
    JEL: H20 H31 H50
    Date: 2020–02–11
  8. By: Eric A. Hanushek (Stanford, UT Dallas, and NBER); Kuzey Yilmaz (Cleveland State University)
    Abstract: The educational story in the United States is thoroughly intertwined with residential location. Poverty, race, and schooling are very highly correlated with location, and the institutional structure of public education decision making in the United States leads to a close linkage of location, housing, and education. As a result, residential decisions have added implications for households. Moreover, the reliance on the local tax for a large portion of school funding implies that the governmental grant system has an important effect on both locational decisions and on educational outcomes. This chapter provides a theoretical and empirical discussion of the interaction of location and schooling. In contrast to this discussion that emphasizes the behavior of households in choosing a location, a range of policy decisions have explicitly been based on location but for the most part assuming that households will not react to the policies. These policies aim to alter the attractiveness of a local school district but generally ignore any general equilibrium effects from household behavior. Here we also review some of the more important policies affecting the location-schooling equilibrium.
    Keywords: Residential Segregation, Educational Finance, Government Policy
    JEL: H4 I2 R2
    Date: 2020–07–03
  9. By: Andrew Bacher-Hicks; Joshua S. Goodman; Christine Mulhern
    Abstract: We use high frequency internet search data to study in real time how US households sought out online learning resources as schools closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. By April 2020, nationwide search intensity for both school- and parent-centered online learning resources had roughly doubled relative to baseline. Areas of the country with higher income, better internet access and fewer rural schools saw substantially larger increases in search intensity. The pandemic will likely widen achievement gaps along these dimensions given schools’ and parents’ differing engagement with online resources to compensate for lost school-based learning time. Accounting for such differences and promoting more equitable access to online learning could improve the effectiveness of education policy responses to the pandemic. The public availability of internet search data allows our analyses to be updated when schools reopen and to be replicated in other countries.
    Keywords: online learning, school closures, internet search, Google trends, Covid-19
    JEL: I20
    Date: 2020
  10. By: Philipp Ager; Francesco Cinnirella
    Abstract: Public educators and philanthropists in the late 19th century United States promoted the establishment of kindergartens in cities as a remedy for the social problems associated with industrialization and immigration. Between 1880 and 1910, more than seven thousand kindergartens opened their doors in the United States, serving both a social and educational function. We use newly collected city-level data on the roll-out of the first kindergartens to evaluate their impact on household outcomes. We find that in cities with a larger kindergarten exposure, families significantly reduced fertility, with the strongest decline appearing in families that were economically disadvantaged and with an immigrant background. Households reduced fertility because kindergarten attendance increased returns to education, but it also led to higher opportunity costs for raising children. Indeed, we show that children exposed to kindergartens were less likely to work during childhood and, instead, stayed longer in school, had more prestigious jobs, and earned higher wages as adults. Finally, we find that exposure to kindergartens particularly helped immigrant children from non-English-speaking countries to gain English proficiency. Their attendance also generated positive language spillover effects on their mothers, illustrating the importance of early childhood education for the integration of immigrant families.
    Keywords: kindergarten education, family size, fertility transition, returns to preschool education, quantity-quality trade-off
    JEL: N31 J13 I25 O15
    Date: 2020
  11. By: Ramos-Sosa, Maria del Pino; Cabrera, Domingo; Moreno, Bernardo
    Abstract: Currently, the preparations of the exams are made by the teaching or responsible teams to evaluate the students or applicants through an objective test to subsequently get a grade. We propose a system based on the use of Blockchain technology and smart contracts that would allow an automated preparation of test-type assessment tests, and the registration of the answers in a Blockchain ledger. The record of the answers made is registered chronologically, guaranteeing that the answers and the grades will not be modified, in addition to allowing the student to have access to that information (with prior consent). We also propose that the test’s questions be obtained from a "question pool", previously filled in by experts in the field, and classified by level of difficulty, what would allow the assessors or students to establish the level of difficulty of the test. This would allow the creation of a more enriched curriculum for eachstudent, the student wallet, a wallet containing the scores of exams, and the level in which students have accomplished the competencies and the skills acquired throughout their academic experience.
    Keywords: Educational technology evaluation, Blockchain, Smart contracts, Competencies, Student wallet.
    JEL: I21 I23
    Date: 2020–07–06

This nep-edu issue is ©2020 by Nádia Simões. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.