nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2020‒11‒09
eight papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. Did the Bologna Process Challenge the German Apprenticeship System? Evidence from a Natural Experiment By Thomsen, Stephan L.; Trunzer, Johannes
  2. School Selectivity, Peers, and Mental Health By Aline Bütikofer; Rita Ginja; Fanny Landaud; Katrine Løken
  3. The Impact of All-Day Schools on Student Achievement - Evidence from Extending School Days in German Primary Schools By Arnim Seidlitz; Larissa Zierow
  4. Vulnerable Boys: Short-term and Long-term Gender Differences in the Impacts of Adolescent Disadvantage By Ziteng Lei; Shelly Lundberg
  5. COVID-19 and Educational Inequality: How School Closures Affect Low- and High-Achieving Students By Elisabeth Grewenig; Philipp Lergetporer; Katharina Werner; Ludger Woessmann; Larissa Zierow
  6. Lost opportunities: Market work during high school, establishment closures and the impact on career prospects By Müller, Dagmar
  7. Schooling and child labor: Evidence from Mexico's full-time school program By Kozhaya, Mireille; Martinez Flores, Fernanda
  8. The role of governance in quality education in sub-Saharan Africa By Simplice A. Asongu; Nicholas M. Odhiambo

  1. By: Thomsen, Stephan L.; Trunzer, Johannes
    Abstract: Starting in 1999, the Bologna Process reformed the German five-year study system for a first degree into the three-year bachelor's (BA) system to harmonize study lengths in Europe and improve competitiveness. This reform unintentionally challenged the German apprenticeship system that offers three-year professional training for the majority of school leavers. Approximately 29% of new apprentices are university-eligible graduates from academic-track schools. We evaluate the effects of the Bologna reform on new highly educated apprentices using a generalized difference-in-differences design based on detailed administrative student and labor market data. Our estimates show that the average regional expansion in first-year BA students decreased the number of new highly educated apprentices by 3%-5%; average treatment effects on those indecisive at school graduation range between -18% and -29%. We reveal substantial gender and occupational heterogeneity: males in STEM apprenticeships experienced the strongest negative effects. The reform aggravated the skills shortage in the economy.
    Keywords: Bologna Process,post-secondary education decisions,apprenticeships,higher education
    JEL: I23 I28 J24
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Aline Bütikofer (Norwegian School of Economics); Rita Ginja (University of Bergen); Fanny Landaud (Norwegian School of Economics); Katrine Løken (University of Bergen)
    Abstract: Although many students suffer from anxiety and depression, and students often identify school pressure and concerns about their futures as the main reasons for their worries, little is known about the consequences of a selective school environment on students' physical and mental health. In this paper, we draw on rich administrative data and the features of the high school assignment system in the largest Norwegian cities to consider the long-term consequences of enrollment in a more selective high school. Using a regression discontinuity analysis, we show that eligibility to enroll in a more selective high school increases the probability of enrollment in higher education and decreases the probability of diagnosis or treatment by a general medical practitioner for psychological symptoms and diseases. We further document that enrolling in a more selective high school has a greater positive impact when there are larger changes in the student-teacher ratio, teachers' age, and the proportion of female teachers. These findings suggest that changes in teacher characteristics are important for better understanding the effects of a more selective school environment.
    Keywords: mental health, selective schools, teacher characteristics, Norway
    JEL: I12 I21 J13 J24
    Date: 2020–10
  3. By: Arnim Seidlitz; Larissa Zierow
    Abstract: This paper studies the effect of longer school days — induced by voluntary all-day programs in German primary schools — on school performance. We combine data from the National Educational Panel Study covering 5771 primary school students with municipality-level information on all-day school investments. Facing the challenge of selection into all-day school programs, we instrument all-day school expansion with construction subsidies from a large federal investment project. Results imply that all-day programs lead to improvements in language and math skills as measured by teacher assessments and to a higher probability of being recommended for the academic track after primary school. The heterogeneity analysis reveals that boys benefit more than girls from all-day programs in terms of the assessment by their math teacher. Furthermore, there is a significant negative effect on non-native speakers’ math and German test scores.
    Keywords: all-day school, skill development, educational inequality
    JEL: J13 I28 I24
    Date: 2020
  4. By: Ziteng Lei; Shelly Lundberg (University of California Santa Barbara)
    Abstract: The growing gender gap in educational attainment between men and women has raised concerns that the skill development of boys may be more sensitive to family disadvantage than that of girls. Using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) data we find, as do previous studies, that boys are more likely to experience increased problems in school relative to girls, including suspensions and reduced educational aspirations, when they are in poor quality schools, less-educated neighborhoods, and father-absent households. Following these cohorts into young adulthood, however, we find no evidence that adolescent disadvantage has stronger negative impacts on long-run economic outcomes such as college graduation, employment, or income for men, relative to women. We do find that father absence is more strongly associated with men's marriage and childbearing and weak support for greater male vulnerability to disadvantage in rates of high school graduation. An investigation of adult outcomes for another recent cohort from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1997 produces a similar pattern of results. We conclude that focusing on gender differences in behavior in school may not lead to valid inferences about the effects of disadvantage on adult skills.
    Keywords: gender, education, employment, Earnings, family structure, father absence, school quality, neighborhood effects
    JEL: J24 J12 J16
    Date: 2020–01
  5. By: Elisabeth Grewenig; Philipp Lergetporer; Katharina Werner; Ludger Woessmann; Larissa Zierow
    Abstract: In spring 2020, governments around the globe shut down schools to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus. We argue that low-achieving students may be particularly affected by the lack of educator support during school closures. We collect detailed time-use information on students before and during the school closures in a survey of 1,099 parents in Germany. We find that while students on average reduced their daily learning time of 7.4 hours by about half, the reduction was significantly larger for low-achievers (4.1 hours) than for high-achievers (3.7 hours). Low-achievers disproportionately replaced learning time with detrimental activities such as TV or computer games rather than with activities more conducive to child development. The learning gap was not compensated by parents or schools who provided less support for low-achieving students. The reduction in learning time was not larger for children from lower-educated parents, but it was larger for boys than for girls. For policy, our findings suggest binding distance-teaching concepts particularly targeted at low-achievers.
    Keywords: educational inequality, COVID-19, low-achieving students, home schooling, distance teaching
    JEL: I24 J62 D30
    Date: 2020
  6. By: Müller, Dagmar (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN),)
    Abstract: In this paper, I study the importance of market work during high school for graduates’ school-towork transition and career prospects. Relying on Swedish linked employer-employee data over a 30-year period, I show that market work during school provides students with an important job search channel, accounting for 30 percent of direct transitions into regular employment. I use the fact that some graduates are deprived of this channel due to establishment closures just prior to graduation and labor market entry. I compare classmates from vocational tracks with the same field of specialization to identify the effects of the closures and show that lost job-finding opportunities due to an establishment closure lead to an immediate and sizable negative effect on employment after graduation. The lost employer connection have also persistent, but diminishing negative effects on employment and earnings for up to 10 years, but are not permanent. Parts of the effect appear to be driven by a process where graduates who are subject to a closure of a relevant employer before graduation have to find employment in an industry which is less relevant to their education.
    Keywords: social contacts; young workers
    JEL: J01
    Date: 2020–10–22
  7. By: Kozhaya, Mireille; Martinez Flores, Fernanda
    Abstract: Child labor is a matter of international concern. This paper examines the effect of a program that extended the length of a school day from four to six or eight hours in Mexico, on school enrollment, time spent on schooling activities, and child labor of children aged 7 to 14. To identify the effect, we take advantage of the staggered implementation of the FTS program across municipalities. The results show that extending the school day has no effect on the probability of being enrolled in school, but a positive effect on the weekly hours allocated to schooling activities. When focusing on child labor, we find a reduction of 1.6 hours worked, mainly driven by a decrease in the probability of engaging in work by 6.3 percentage points. For boys, we observe a decrease in the probability of engaging in market work and for girls a decrease in the probability of engaging in domestic work.
    Keywords: child labor,all-day schools,schooling,after-school programs
    JEL: J13 J21 J22 O12
    Date: 2020
  8. By: Simplice A. Asongu (Yaounde, Cameroon); Nicholas M. Odhiambo (Pretoria, South Africa)
    Abstract: This paper examines the governance-“education quality†nexus in a panel of 49 sub-Saharan African countries over the period 2000-2012. Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) and Quantile regression (QR) are employed as estimation strategies. The following findings are established. First, from the OLS, governance variables are negatively correlated with poor education quality. Second, with regards to QR, about half of the governance dynamics are not significantly correlated with poor education quality in the lowest quantile of poor education quality. With the exception of corruption-control, the other governance dynamics are negatively correlated with poor education quality in a non-monotonic pattern.
    Keywords: Education; Governance; Sub-Saharan Africa; Sustainable Development
    JEL: I20 I21 O30 O38 O55
    Date: 2020–01

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