nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2020‒10‒12
twelve papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. The Expected (Signaling) Value of Higher Education By Ehrmantraut, Laura; Pinger, Pia; Stans, Renske
  2. Long-Term Effects of School-Starting-Age Rules By Oosterbeek, Hessel; ter Meulen, Simon; van der Klaauw, Bas
  3. Does the Fish Rot from the Head? Organised Crime and Educational Outcomes in Southern Italy By Marina Cavalieri; Massimo Finocchiaro Castro; Calogero Guccio
  4. Does Education Affect Time Preference? Evidence from Indonesia By Dawoon Jung; Tushar Bharati; Seungwoo Chin
  5. Gender Stereotyping in Parent's and Teacher's Perceptions of Boy's and Girl's Mathematics Performance in Ireland By Selina McCoy; Delma Byrne; Pat O Connor
  6. Happier with Vocational Education? By Brunello, Giorgio
  7. Healthy business? Managerial education and management in healthcare By Bloom, Nick; Lemos, Renato; Sadun, Raffaella; Van Reenen, John
  8. School Feeding Programmes, Education and Food Security in Rural Malawi By Roxana Elena Manea
  9. Nudging Demand for Academic Support Services: Experimental and Structural Evidence from Higher Education By Pugatch, Todd; Wilson, Nicholas
  10. Intergenerational Transmission of Educational Attainment in China By Jiaxin Fan; Bei Li; Ishita Chatterjee
  11. Consumption insurance and education: A puzzle? By Claudio Campanale
  12. Returns to Education in the Russian Federation: Some New Estimates By Melianova, Ekaterina; Parandekar, Suhas; Patrinos, Harry A.; Volgin, Artëm

  1. By: Ehrmantraut, Laura (University of Bonn); Pinger, Pia (University of Cologne); Stans, Renske (University of Bonn)
    Abstract: This paper explores students' expectations about the returns to completing higher education and provides first evidence on perceived signaling and human capital effects. We elicit counterfactual labor market expectations for the hypothetical scenarios of leaving university with or without a degree certificate among a large and diverse sample of students at different stages of higher education. Our findings indicate substantial perceived returns to higher education. Moreover, by exploiting within-individual variation, we document sizeable expected labor market returns from signaling, whereas perceived productivity-enhancing (human capital) returns seem to be less pronounced. Over the expected course of career, we find lasting education premia as well as evidence consistent with employer learning.
    Keywords: signaling, returns to education, higher education, educational attainment, licensing
    JEL: I21 I23 I26 J24 J31 J32 J44
    Date: 2020–09
  2. By: Oosterbeek, Hessel (University of Amsterdam); ter Meulen, Simon (University of Amsterdam); van der Klaauw, Bas (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
    Abstract: To study the long-term effects of school-starting-age rules in a setting with early ability tracking, we exploit the birth month threshold used in the Netherlands. We find that students born just after the threshold perform better at the end of primary school than students born just before it. This translates into increased placement in high ability tracks in secondary education. This difference diminishes gradually during subsequent stages, and we find no effect on the highest attained educational level. Those born just before the threshold enter the labor market somewhat younger and therefore have more labor market experience and higher earnings at any given age until 40. We conclude that early ability tracking does not harm long-term outcomes of children who were, for exogenous reasons, placed in a lower track.
    Keywords: relative cohort age, school starting age, early tracking
    JEL: I21 I24 I26
    Date: 2020–09
  3. By: Marina Cavalieri (Università di Catania); Massimo Finocchiaro Castro (Università di Reggio Calabria); Calogero Guccio (Università di Catania)
    Abstract: This paper explores the relationship between the presence of organised crime in government institutions and the educational outcomes achieved by primary school students undertaking the INVALSI test in Italy. To this purpose, we employ a contemporary index of mafia institutional infiltration that proxies the (scale of) values that parents transmit to their children and that are likely to impact on their educational achievements. Furthermore, combining contemporary individual-level educational outcomes with historical data on mafia infiltration, we control for endogeneity concerns through an IV strategy. Focusing on the outcomes obtained in the INVALSI tests and controlling for results manipulation, we show that the lowest test performance can be found in the southern regions of Italy, where the presence of organised crime is the highest. We interpret this result as a rational choice of families and students living in provinces affected by the presence of organised crime due to the lower expected returns to investment in education. The results are robust to the use of different measures of organised crime, to the inclusion of different sets of controls, different subsamples and to relaxing the exclusion restriction in the IV strategy.
    Keywords: organised crime, mafia-type organisations, education outcomes, investments in education, INVALSI, Italy
    JEL: D73 I21 H72 K42
    Date: 2020–09
  4. By: Dawoon Jung (Korea Institute of Public Finance); Tushar Bharati (Economics Discipline, Business School, University of Western Australia); Seungwoo Chin (Ministry of Finance and Strategy, Korea)
    Abstract: The paper examines the causal effect of education on time preference. To define our measure of time preference, we use responses to hypothetical questions involving inter-temporal trade-offs from the Indonesian Family Life Survey. We instrument years of education with exposure to the Indonesian INPRES primary school construction program of the 1970s that caused exogenous variations in the cost of going to school. The local average treatment effect of the program was a nine percentage point decrease in the probability of a female respondent choosing the most impatient response for every additional year of schooling. The results are robust to alternative definitions of the time preference measures but sensitive to changes in samples and specifications. The findings add to the evidence on the endogeneity of individual preferences parameters that are often taken to be constant in neoclassical economics.
    Keywords: Time preference, patience, education, Indonesia
    JEL: D01 D90 I25
    Date: 2020
  5. By: Selina McCoy (Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin and Trinity College Dublin); Delma Byrne (National University of Ireland Maynooth and Geary Institute, University College Dublin); Pat O Connor (University of Limerick and Geary Institute, University College Dublin)
    Abstract: This paper is concerned with the underlying question of what shapes the assessment of children's mathematical ability: focusing particularly on parents' and teachers' perceptions of that ability in the context of children’s attainment (measured using standardised mathematics tests). We suggest that such perceptions may reflect the impact of gender stereotypes: overestimating boys' and underestimating girls' achievements in the area. The influence of the children's own interests, attitudes and behaviour on these gender stereotypical perceptions are also explored. The paper draws on the Growing Up in Ireland study, providing rich data on children, their families and school contexts. The results show that as early as nine years old, girls' performance at mathematics is being underestimated by teachers and primary care givers alike relative to boys'. While teacher (and parent) judgments reflect children's attitudes towards school and academic self-concept, as well as their actual performance, there remains a notable gender differential in judgements. The findings raise concerns for girls' subsequent mathematics performance and for their academic self-concept in a society where mathematics is highly valued as an indicator of intelligence. Importantly, in the context of the move towards teacher-assessed grading in many education systems during the COVID-19 pandemic, understanding, and challenging, gender-stereotyping by both parents and teachers becomes critically important.
    Keywords: Gender stereotypes; mathematics; teacher perception; parent perception; academic self-concept; academic performance
    Date: 2020–09–10
  6. By: Brunello, Giorgio (University of Padova)
    Abstract: Using Italian data, I study the relationship between vocational education and self-reported happiness by focusing on individuals with at least a five-years high school degree, either vocational or academic. My instrumental variable strategy shows that individuals who have completed a vocational high school are more likely to report a high level of happiness than individuals who have completed an academic degree. I find no clear evidence that vocational graduates have a lower probability to be employed or earn lower wages than other graduates. I show that they live more than other graduates in small towns, where prices are lower and social life more rewarding, and have a less privileged parental background. Both facts may lead to more moderate aspirations and therefore contribute to higher happiness.
    Keywords: happiness, vocational education, Italy
    JEL: I21 D90
    Date: 2020–09
  7. By: Bloom, Nick; Lemos, Renato; Sadun, Raffaella; Van Reenen, John
    Abstract: We investigate the link between hospital performance and managerial education by collecting a large database of management practices and skills in hospitals across nine countries. We find that hospitals closer to universities offering both medical education and business education have lower mortality rates from acute myocardial infarction (heart attacks), better management practices, and more MBA-trained managers. This is true compared to the distance to universities that offer only business or medical education (or neither). We argue that supplying bundled medical and business education may be a channel through which universities improve management practices in hospitals and raise clinical performance.
    JEL: J50
    Date: 2019–06–26
  8. By: Roxana Elena Manea
    Abstract: The evidence concerning the impact of school feeding programmes on education is mixed. In this paper, I set out to investigate one of the potential reasons behind this disagreement. I argue that the prevailing food security situation at the time and place of the programme's evaluation plays a major role. I study the case of rural Malawi. I use an instrumental variable approach and propensity score matching to estimate the impact of school feeding on the extensive and intensive margins of education, i.e., the percentage of children of primary school age who are in school and the percentage of primary school enrollees who have not dropped out. I focus on villages with overlapping characteristics to avoid confounding the impact of school feeding with factors that are specific to treated villages. School feeding has increased the extensive margin of education by 7 percentage points on average, but the impact on the intensive margin is relatively limited. When I distinguish between food-secure and food-insecure areas, not only do I find a larger impact on the extensive margin of schooling in food-insecure areas, but I also uncover a significant increase of 2 percentage points in the intensive margin of education in these same areas. I conclude that school feeding programmes bear an impact on education as long as they also intervene to relax a binding food constraint.
    Keywords: School feeding programmes;Education; Food security; Malawi
    Date: 2020–09–30
  9. By: Pugatch, Todd (Oregon State University); Wilson, Nicholas (Reed College)
    Abstract: More than two of every five students who enroll in college fail to graduate within six years. Prior research has identified ineffective study habits as a major barrier to success. We conducted a randomized controlled advertising experiment designed to increase demand for academic support services among more than 2,100 students at a large U.S. public university. Our results reveal several striking findings. First, the intervention shifted proxies of student attention, such as opening emails and self-reported awareness of service availability. However, the experimental variation indicates that approximately one-third of students are never attentive to student services. Second, advertising increased the use of extra practice problems, but did not affect take-up of tutoring and coaching, the other two services. Structural estimates suggest that transaction costs well in excess of plausible opportunity costs explain the differences in service use. Third, the characteristics of advertising messages matter. Several common nudging techniques—such as text messages, lottery-based economic incentives, and repeated messages—either had no effect or in some cases reduced the effectiveness of messaging.
    Keywords: email, higher education, incentives, nudges, text, randomized control trial
    JEL: A22 D91 I23 M31
    Date: 2020–09
  10. By: Jiaxin Fan (Economics Discipline, Business School, University of Western Australia); Bei Li (Economics Discipline, Business School, University of Western Australia); Ishita Chatterjee (Economics Discipline, Business School, University of Western Australia)
    Abstract: This paper aims to examine the intergenerational effect of parental education on children’s educational attainments in China and further explores the patterns of intergenerational education transmission across different dimensions using the 2013 Chinese Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study. We find that, as expected, parental education is positively correlated with the educational attainment of the subsequent generation; however, rural parents generally have greater marginal associations with children’s education as compared to their urban counterparts. Further, though daughter’s educational attainment is more sensitive to their mother’s rather than father’s education, the intergenerational transmission coefficient is higher between child’s schooling and father’s schooling, compared to corresponding mothers. This same pattern emerged for both urban and rural population. Moreover, a closer comparison between sons and daughters also reveal a noticeable gender discrepancy, as girls in general are more sensitive and elastic to family resources. In order to determine the causal impact of parental education, we next use an instrumental variable approach. The Cultural Revolution that occurred between 1966 and 1976 was a large-scale political upheaval that significantly disrupted education for a generation of youth. The school disruption that happened during the Cultural Revolution can thus be treated as an exogenous variation uncorrelated to parental abilities. The restricted sample contains children whose parents either were direct victims of the Cultural Revolution in terms of education disruption or had no direct educational impact yet experienced this political episode. In general, we observe a positively significant educational relationship across all parent-child pairs. Particularly, parents who encountered the Cultural Revolution had adversely impacted the educational attainments of their offspring. Although after controlling for an augmented set of explanatory variables, the significance of parental education effect diminished when estimated with the instrumental variable approach. This potentially implies parental transmission of education is predominantly due to heterogeneity in other alternative environmental factors and little causal educational interpretation can be generated from the yielded results.
    Keywords: Cultural Revolution; intergenerational education transmission; school disruption
    JEL: I25 J13 O12
    Date: 2020
  11. By: Claudio Campanale (Department of Economics and Statistics (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche), University of Torino, Italy)
    Abstract: Households appear to smooth consumption in the face of income shocks much more than implied by life-cycle versions of the standard incomplete market model under reference calibrations. In the current paper we uncover a related puzzle: households with different educational levels show similar insurance against permanent shocks in the model while in the data empirically estimated by Blundell et al. (2008) college educated households seem to smooth consumption much more than high school educated households.
    Keywords: Precautionary savings, Consumption insurance coefficients, Life-cycle, Education
    JEL: E21
    Date: 2020–09
  12. By: Melianova, Ekaterina (Higher School of Economics, St. Petersburg branch); Parandekar, Suhas (World Bank); Patrinos, Harry A. (World Bank); Volgin, Artëm (Higher School of Economics, St. Petersburg branch)
    Abstract: This paper presents new estimates of the returns to education in the Russian Federation using data from 1994 to 2018. Although the returns to schooling increased for a time, they are now much lower than the global average. Private returns to education are three times greater for higher education compared with vocational education, and the returns to education for females are higher than for males. Returns for females show an inverse U-shaped curve over the past two decades. Female education is a policy priority and there is a need to investigate the labor market relevance of vocational education. Higher education may have reached an expansion limit, and it may be necessary to investigate options for increasing the productivity of schooling.
    Keywords: returns to education, Russian Federation
    JEL: I26 I28 J16
    Date: 2020–09

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