nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2020‒09‒28
eleven papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. Pupil Well-being in Danish Primary and Lower Secondary Schools By Anna Folke Larsen; Afonso Saraiva Câmara Leme; Marianne Simonsen
  2. Entrepreneurship Education and Teacher Training in Rwanda By Blimpo, Moussa P.; Pugatch, Todd
  3. The Schooling and Labor Market Effects of Eliminating University Tuition in Ecuador By Molina, Teresa; Rivadeneyra, Ivan
  4. Educational Gender Gaps By Lundberg, Shelly
  5. Conscription and Educational Outcomes: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from the Republic of Cyprus By Savčić, Ružica; Theodoropoulos, Nikolaos; Xefteris, Dimitrios
  6. A Second Chance? Labor Market Returns to Adult Education Using School Reforms By Bennett, Patrick; Blundell, Richard; Salvanes, Kjell G.
  7. The role of ICT in modulating the effect of education and lifelong learning on income inequality and economic growth in Africa By Tchamyou, Vanessa; Asongu, Simplice; Odhiambo, Nicholas
  8. Intergenerational Transfers by Size and Wealth Inequality in Rich Countries By Brian Nolan; Juan Palomino; Philippe Van Kerm; Salvatore Morelli
  9. The Impact of the Length of Schooling on the Timing of Family Formation By Josefine Koebe; Jan Marcus
  10. Teacher Allocation and School Performance in Italy By Alex Bryson; Lorenzo Corsini; Irene Martelli
  11. School Choice with Transferable Students Characteristics By Carmelo Rodríguez-Álvarez; Antonio Romero Medina

  1. By: Anna Folke Larsen (The Rockwool Foundation Intervention Unit); Afonso Saraiva Câmara Leme (School of Business and Economics, Universidade Nova de Lisboa); Marianne Simonsen (Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University)
    Abstract: Since 2014, the Danish Ministry of Education has conducted yearly national well-being surveys for children of all ages in public school. The ministry introduced the survey as a tool for schools to monitor well-being of their pupils, to make informed adjustments of their own related practices, and to inform education policy at the municipal level. This paper studies the characteristics of the social well-being segment of the survey. We document that low school social well-being correlates meaningfully with standard measures of disadvantage at the pupil and parental level, just as teacher characteristics and classroom composition are additional important predictors of well-being. We also show that school social well-being exhibits high degrees of persistence over time, regardless of whether or not we control for a wide range of background characteristics. We finally show that high school social well-being is positively associated with academic performance and negatively associated with absence from school, though estimates are not large in size.
    Keywords: Social well-being, Background characteristics, Academic performance, Absence
    JEL: I3 I21
    Date: 2020–09–24
  2. By: Blimpo, Moussa P. (University of Oklahoma); Pugatch, Todd (Oregon State University)
    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: 2020–08
  3. By: Molina, Teresa (University of Hawaii at Manoa); Rivadeneyra, Ivan (University of Hawaii at Manoa)
    Abstract: This paper estimates the effects of a 2008 policy that eliminated tuition fees at public universities in Ecuador. We use a difference-in-differences strategy that exploits variation across cohorts differentially exposed to the policy, as well as geographic variation in access to public universities. We find that the tuition fee elimination significantly increased college participation and affected occupation choice, shifting people into higher-skilled jobs. We detect no statistically significant effects on income. Overall, the bulk of the benefits of this fee elimination were enjoyed by individuals of higher socioeconomic status.
    Keywords: higher education, tuition reduction, Ecuador
    JEL: I23 I24 I28 O15
    Date: 2020–08
  4. By: Lundberg, Shelly (University of California, Santa Barbara)
    Abstract: Cross-country studies reveal two consistent gender gaps in education—underachievement in school by boys and low rates of participation in STEM studies by girls. Recent economics research has shown the importance of social influences on women's STEM avoidance, but male low achievement has been less-studied and tends to be attributed to behavior problems and deficient non-cognitive skills. I revisit the determinants of the gender gap in U.S. educational attainment with a relatively-advantaged sample of young men and women and find that school behavior and measured skills are not very important drivers of gender differences, particularly in the transition to college. Educational aspirations, on the other hand, are strongly predictive of educational gaps and the gender difference in aspirations cannot be explained, even with rich adolescent data that includes parental expectations and school achievement indicators. These results suggest that gender identity concerns may influence (and damage) the educational prospects of boys as well as girls through norms of masculinity that discourage academic achievement.
    Keywords: education, gender identity, school achievement, gender, aspirations, college graduation
    JEL: I20 J12 J16
    Date: 2020–08
  5. By: Savčić, Ružica; Theodoropoulos, Nikolaos; Xefteris, Dimitrios
    Abstract: Peacetime military service has both positive and negative effects on human capital. While it depreciates academic abilities it also enhances non-cognitive skills. The net effect of conscription is hard to identify due to issues of self-selection, endogenous timing and omitted variables bias. We exploit the compulsory service of men in the Republic of Cyprus prior to university enrolment, to deal with the first two problems. After controlling for prior academic performance, admission age, and other relevant controls, we find that the duration of service has a positive effect on university test scores. Two exogenous reforms on the duration of the service allow us to deal with omitted variables bias. We estimate difference-in-difference models, where female students act as a control group, and show that a reduction (increase) in the length of the army service has a negative (positive) effect on male academic performance.
    Keywords: Compulsory military service,human capital,education,non-cognitive skills,academic outcomes
    JEL: C21 H56 I21 J24
    Date: 2020
  6. By: Bennett, Patrick (Norwegian School of Economics); Blundell, Richard (University College London); Salvanes, Kjell G. (Norwegian School of Economics)
    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
  7. By: Tchamyou, Vanessa; Asongu, Simplice; Odhiambo, Nicholas
    Abstract: This study assesses the role of ICT in modulating the impact of education and lifelong learning on income inequality and economic growth. It focuses on a sample of 48 African countries from 2004 to 2014. The empirical evidence is based on the generalised method of moments (GMM). The following findings are established. First, mobile phone and internet each interact with primary school education to decrease income inequality. Second, all ICT indicators interact with secondary school education to exert a negative impact on the Gini index. Third, fixed broadband distinctly interacts with primary school education and lifelong learning to have a positive effect on economic growth. Fourth, ICT indicators do not significantly influence inequality and economic growth through tertiary school education and lifelong learning. These main findings are further substantiated. Policy implications are discussed.
    Keywords: Education; Lifelong learning; ICT; Inequality; Africa
    JEL: I20 I28 I30 L96 O55
    Date: 2019–01
  8. By: Brian Nolan (INET and University of Oxford); Juan Palomino (INET and University of Oxford); Philippe Van Kerm (University of Luxembourg and LISER); Salvatore Morelli (CSEF, University of Naples and Institute for Economic Modelling at the INET Oxford)
    Abstract: This paper uses household wealth surveys to compare patterns of intergenerational wealth transfers across six rich countries and assess the relationships between transfers, current levels of net wealth, and wealth inequality. The paper examines four Euro Area countries, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain and extends the systematic comparison to the US and the UK. It finds that many of those currently at the top of the wealth distribution did not benefit from intergenerational transfers, but those who did received particularly large amounts while those toward the bottom of the wealth distribution received very little. A substantial gap in net wealth is seen between those who received or did not receive some wealth transfer. Controlling for age, gender, education and household size reduces the size of that gap but it remains substantial, especially in the US. We further look at how a marginal increase in the proportion of recipients of transfers of differing sizes would contribute to the shape of the overall wealth distribution using influence function regressions. Crucially, we show that the impact depends not only on the locations in the wealth distributions of recipients versus non-recipients, but also on the size of the receipt, an aspect which has been overlooked to date. In most countries, increasing the proportion of recipients of large transfers generally increases overall wealth inequality. In contrast, having more recipients of small or medium-sized transfers would be expected to reduce wealth inequality modestly, as they are more concentrated around the middle of the wealth distribution than non-recipients.
    Keywords: Wealth, inheritance, inequality, intergenerational transmission
    JEL: D31
    Date: 2020–09–10
  9. By: Josefine Koebe; Jan Marcus
    Abstract: Individuals typically traverse several life phases before forming a family. We analyse whether changing the duration of one of these phases, the education phase, affects the timing of marriage and childbearing. For this purpose, we exploit the introduction of short school years in Germany in 1966-67, which compressed the education phase without affecting the curriculum. Based on difference-in-differences regressions and German Micro Census data, we find that earlier graduation due to short school year exposure affects the timing of marriage for individuals in all secondary school tracks and shifts forward the birth of the first child mainly for academic-track graduates. This highlights that education policies might not only affect family formation through human capital accumulation, but also through changing the duration of earlier life phases. This is important as not only age at marriage and first birth increases in many countries, but also the duration of the education phase.
    Keywords: family formation, instruction time, fertility, marriage
    JEL: I26 J12 J13 J24
    Date: 2020
  10. By: Alex Bryson (University College London); Lorenzo Corsini (University of Pisa); Irene Martelli (Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies)
    Abstract: Italy’s secondary school system has faced funding constraints for many years which limits availability of new permanent job slots for teachers. When permanent posts do arise they are allocated mostly on seniority while merit only plays a small role. Thus, the age distribution of teachers in schools reflects older teachers’ preferences which include the amenity of being close to urban centres. Using schools’ distance from main urban centres and population size in the school’s vicinity to instrument for non-random exposure of schools to older teachers, we show older teachers are detrimental to pupil attainment in secondary schools. The effect is large: a six-year increase in the average age of teachers (roughly similar to the increase that has occurred in the last 20 years) leads to a one standard deviation reduction in the mean graduation mark. The findings suggest there may be value in altering the way teachers are allocated to secondary schools in Italy.
    Keywords: pupil attainment; school performance; teacher allocation; teacher age; permanent contracts
    JEL: J41 J44 J45 J48 J62 M51 M55
    Date: 2020–09–01
  11. By: Carmelo Rodríguez-Álvarez (Instituto Complutense de Análisis Económico. Universidad Complutense de Madrid); Antonio Romero Medina (Department of Economics. Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)
    Abstract: We consider a school choice problem where schools' priorities depend on transferable students' characteristics. A school choice algorithm selects for each profile of students' preferences over schools an assignment of students to schools and a final allocation of characteristics (an extended matching). We define the Student Exchange with Transferable Characteristics (SETC) class of algorithms. Each SETC always selects a constrained efficient extended matching. That is an extended matching that i) is stable according to the priorities generated by the final allocation of characteristics and ii) is not Pareto dominated by another stable extended matching. Every constrained efficient extended matching that Pareto improves upon a stable extended matching can be obtained via an algorithm in the SETC class. When students' characteristics are fully transferable, a specific algorithm in the SETC family is equivalent to the application of the Top Trade Cycle Algorithm starting from the Student Optimal Stable Matching.
    Keywords: School Choice; Transferable Characteristics; Priorities; Constrained Efficiency.
    JEL: C78 D61 D78 I20
    Date: 2020–07

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