nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2020‒11‒23
fourteen papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. What Is at Stake without High-Stakes Exams? Students' Evaluation and Admission to College at the Time of COVID-19 By Arenas, Andreu; Calsamiglia, Caterina; Loviglio, Annalisa
  2. Does Test-Based Teacher Recruitment Work in the Developing World? Experimental Evidence from Ecuador By Araujo, Maria Daniela; Heineck, Guido; Cruz-Aguayo, Yyannú
  3. Promoting Parental Involvement in Schools: Evidence From Two Randomized Experiments By Felipe Barrera-Osorio; Paul Gertler; Nozomi Nakajima; Harry Patrinos
  4. How the Availability of Higher Education Affects Incentives? Evidence from Federal University Openings in Brazil By Guilherme Jardim
  5. Child Education and Work: Evidence from Mexico's Full-Time School Program By Kozhaya, Mireille; Martínez Flores, Fernanda
  6. Closing the Gap between Vocational and General Education? Evidence from University Technical Colleges in England By Machin, Stephen; McNally, Sandra; Terrier, Camille; Ventura, Guglielmo
  7. Impact of universities in a flat hierarchy: Do degrees from top universities lead to a higher wage? By Schwerter, Jakob
  8. Ending High, Starting High: Job Placement of Economics Graduates of Dhaka University By Azad, Abul Kalam; Emran, Sheikh Jafar
  9. The Effect of Course Shutouts on Community College Students: Evidence from Waitlist Cutoffs By Robles, Silvia; Gross, Max; Fairlie, Robert W.
  10. Financial literacy, risk and time preferences – Results from a randomized educational intervention By Matthias Sutter; Michael Weyland; Anna Untertrifaller; Manuel Froitzheim
  11. Overconfidence and gender differences in wage expectations By Briel, Stephanie; Osikominu, Aderonke; Pfeifer, Gregor; Reutter, Mirjam; Satlukal, Sascha
  12. Understanding the Response to High-Stakes Incentives in Primary Education By Bach, Maximilian; Fischer, Mira
  13. The Effects of Financial Aid Loss on Persistence and Graduation: A Multi-Dimensional Regression Discontinuity Approach By Jones, Todd R.; Kreisman, Daniel; Rubenstein, Ross; Searcy, Cynthia; Bhatt, Rachana
  14. What drives social returns to education? A meta-analysis By Cuiy, Ying; Martinsz, Pedro S.

  1. By: Arenas, Andreu (University of Barcelona); Calsamiglia, Caterina (IPEG); Loviglio, Annalisa (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
    Abstract: The outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020 inhibited face-to-face education and constrained exam taking. In many countries worldwide, high-stakes exams happening at the end of the school year determine college admissions. This paper investigates the impact of using historical data of school and high-stakes exams results to train a model to predict high-stakes exams given the available data in the Spring. The most transparent and accurate model turns out to be a linear regression model with high school GPA as the main predictor. Further analysis of the predictions reflect how high-stakes exams relate to GPA in high school for different subgroups in the population. Predicted scores slightly advantage females and low SES individuals, who perform relatively worse in high-stakes exams than in high school. Our preferred model accounts for about 50% of the out-of- sample variation in the high-stakes exam. On average, the student rank using predicted scores differs from the actual rank by almost 17 percentiles. This suggests that either high-stakes exams capture individual skills that are not measured by high school grades or that high-stakes exams are a noisy measure of the same skill.
    Keywords: performance prediction, high-stakes exams, college allocation, COVID-19
    JEL: I23 I24 I28
    Date: 2020–11
  2. By: Araujo, Maria Daniela (University of Bamberg); Heineck, Guido (University of Bamberg); Cruz-Aguayo, Yyannú (Inter-American Development Bank)
    Abstract: Since 2007, the Ecuadorian government has required teacher candidates to pass national skill and content knowledge tests before they are allowed to participate in merit-based selection competitions for tenured positions at public schools in an attempt to raise teacher quality. We evaluate the impact of this policy using linked administrative teacher information to data from a unique experimental study where almost 15,000 kindergarten children were randomly assigned to their teachers in the 2012-2013 school year in Ecuador. We find positive and significant effects of test-screened tenured teachers of at least a 0.105 standard deviation for language and a 0.085 standard deviation for math, which persist even after controlling for teacher education, experience, cognitive ability, personality traits and classroom practices.
    Keywords: teacher quality, education policy evaluation, Latin America
    JEL: I20 I21 I25 I28 J45
    Date: 2020–10
  3. By: Felipe Barrera-Osorio; Paul Gertler; Nozomi Nakajima; Harry Patrinos
    Abstract: Parental involvement programs aim to increase school-and-parent communication and support children’s overall learning environment. This paper examines the effects of low-cost, group-based parental involvement interventions in Mexico using data from two randomized controlled trials. The first experiment provided financial resources to parent associations. The second experiment provided information to parents about how to support their children’s learning. Overall, the interventions induced different types of parental engagement in schools. The information intervention changed parenting behavior at home – with large effects among indigenous parents who have historically been discriminated and socially excluded – and improved student behavior in school. The grants did not impact parent or student behaviors. Notably, we do not find impacts of either intervention on educational achievement. To understand these null effects, we explore how social ties between parents and teachers evolved over the course of the two interventions. Parental involvement interventions led to significant changes in perceived trustworthiness between teachers and parents. The results suggest that parental involvement interventions can backfire if institutional rules are unclear about the expectations of parents and teachers as parents increase their involvement in schools.
    JEL: I20 I25 O15
    Date: 2020–10
  4. By: Guilherme Jardim
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of an university opening on incentives for human capital accumulation of high school students in its neighborhood. The opening causes an exogenous fall on the cost to attend university, through the decrease in distance, leading to an incentive to increase effort $-$ shown by the positive effect on students' grades. I use an event study approach with two-way fixed effects to retrieve a causal estimate, exploiting the variation across groups of students that receive treatment at different times $-$ mitigating the bias created by the decision of governments on the location of new universities. Results show an increase of $0.028$ standard deviations in test grades, one year after the opening, and are robust to a series of potential problems, including some of the usual concerns in event study models.
    Date: 2020–11
  5. By: Kozhaya, Mireille; Martínez Flores, Fernanda
    Abstract: This paper examines the effect of a program that extended the length of a school day to improve schooling quality in Mexico, on school enrollment, time spent on schooling activities, and child labor of children aged 7 to 14. We take advantage of the staggered implementation of the FTS program across municipalities. Results show that the program has no effect on being enrolled in school, but affects weekly hours allocated to schooling activities. Moreover, exposure to the program reduces the prevalence of child labor. For boys, we see a decrease in engaging in market work, for girls in domestic work.
    Keywords: child labor,all-day schools,schooling,after-school programs
    JEL: J13 J21 J22 O12
    Date: 2020
  6. By: Machin, Stephen (London School of Economics); McNally, Sandra (University of Surrey); Terrier, Camille; Ventura, Guglielmo (London School of Economics)
    Abstract: Some countries, notably those which have long had a weak history of vocational education like the UK and the US, have recently seen a rapid expansion of hybrid schools which provide both general and vocational education. England introduced 'University Technical Colleges' (UTCs) in 2010 for students aged 14 to 18. 49 UTCs have been created since then. We use a spatial instrumental variable approach based on geographical availability to evaluate the causal effect of attending a UTC on student academic and vocational achievement and on their labour market outcomes. For those pupils who enter the UTC at a non-standard transition age of 14, UTCs dramatically reduce their academic achievement on national exams at age 16. However, for students who enter at a more conventional transition age of 16, UTCs boost vocational achievement without harming academic achievement. They also improve achievement in STEM qualifications, and enrolment in apprenticeships. By age 19, UTC students are less likely to be unemployed and more likely to study STEM at university.
    Keywords: tracking, technical education, school value-added
    JEL: I20 I21 I28
    Date: 2020–11
  7. By: Schwerter, Jakob
    Abstract: The literature shows a wage premium for graduates from high quality, elite, or more selective universities. The results, however, exist for countries with a clear hierarchy of top universities, such as the US, England, and Australia. I evaluate if such an effect also exists in Germany, a country in which universities are top-performing in some but not all fields, and the general differences between universities are smaller compared to, e.g., the USA. I use the University Ranking of the Quacquarelli Symonds and a revealed preference and acceptance ranking to measure the quality of a university. Both rankings show a wage premium in IV regression in-between five and 13 percent. This effect is specially prevalent for women.
    Keywords: wage premium,ranking,revealed preferences,Germany
    JEL: I23 I24 I26 J31
    Date: 2020
  8. By: Azad, Abul Kalam; Emran, Sheikh Jafar
    Abstract: The goal of any educational institution is to contribute in academia, research and industry through creation, generation and distribution of knowledge. Educational institutions supply graduates as skilled labor while academia and industry demand those skilled labor. Therefore, the role of both institutions is complementary and one is serving other. Unfortunately, in Bangladesh very few educational institutions as well as various departments in universities have little knowledge about the employment scenario of their graduates. So, there is a knowledge gap about identifying the factors that determine the probability of employment of graduates. This paper shows that M.S.S result, gender, mother education and family income are the most significant factors for the employability of a graduate of Economics Department of the University of Dhaka. Result shows that if M.S.S. result of an Economics graduate increases by 1 point from mean value of CGPA then the probability of employment increases by 0.52 compared to graduate with average CGPA. Negative marginal effect of gender on employability implies the presence of gender discrimination in job market in Bangladesh for these graduates. The negative coefficient of B.S.S. result shows that only undergraduate degree holders are not preferred in job market of Bangladesh as copious number of master degree holders available to hire. Moreover, the positive marginal effect of family income shows that richer families can afford better education which pays some kind of employment dividend. In addition to that the positive marginal effect of mother education implies mother plays a crucial role to build strong educational foundation during childhood and it pays off eventually.
    Keywords: Employment, Graduate, Job Market Placement, Probit Model
    JEL: I2 I26 J24 J31
    Date: 2018–11–15
  9. By: Robles, Silvia (Mathematica); Gross, Max (Mathematica); Fairlie, Robert W. (University of California, Santa Cruz)
    Abstract: One frequently cited yet understudied channel through which funding levels impact college students is course availability—colleges are often forced to respond to budgetary pressure by reducing course offerings. We provide the first causal evidence on this mechanism at a community college, using administrative course registration data and a novel research design that exploits discontinuities in course admissions created by waitlists. Community colleges enroll about half of U.S. undergraduates and over half of minority students in public colleges. The impacts of course availability in this setting may be especially salient relative to four-year colleges due to open admissions policies, binding class size constraints, and a heavy reliance on state funding. Across a range of bandwidths, we find that students stuck on a waitlist and shut out of a course section were 22 to 28 percent more likely to take zero courses that term relative to a baseline of about 10 percent. Shutouts also increased transfer rates to nearby, but potentially less-desirable two-year colleges. These results offer some evidence that course availability can disrupt community college students' educational trajectories.
    Keywords: community college, waitlist, course shutout, course scarcity, transfers
    JEL: I23
    Date: 2020–10
  10. By: Matthias Sutter (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn); Michael Weyland; Anna Untertrifaller; Manuel Froitzheim
    Abstract: We present the results of a randomized intervention in schools to study how teaching financial literacy affects risk and time preferences of adolescents. Following more than 600 adolescents, aged 16 years on average, over about half a year, we provide causal evidence that teaching financial literacy has significant short-term and longer-term effects on risk and time preferences. Compared to two different control treatments, we find that teaching financial literacy makes subjects more patient, less present-biased, and slightly more risk-averse. Our finding that the intervention changes economic preferences contributes to a better understanding of why financial literacy has been shown to correlate systematically with financial behavior in previous studies. We argue that the link between financial literacy and field behavior works through economic preferences. In our study, the latter are also related in a meaningful way to students’ field behavior.
    Keywords: Financial literacy, randomized intervention, risk preferences, time preferences, field experiment
    JEL: C93 D14 I21
    Date: 2020–08
  11. By: Briel, Stephanie; Osikominu, Aderonke; Pfeifer, Gregor; Reutter, Mirjam; Satlukal, Sascha
    Abstract: We analyze the impact of (over-)confidence on gender differences in expected starting salaries using elicited beliefs of prospective university students in Germany. According to our results, female students have lower wage expectations and are less overconfident than their male counterparts. Oaxaca-Blinder decompositions of the mean show that 7.7% of the gender gap in wage expectations is attributable to a higher overconfidence of males. Decompositions of the unconditional quantiles of expected salaries suggest that the contribution of gender differences in confidence to the gender gap is particularly strong at the bottom and top of the wage expectation distribution.
    Keywords: Gender Pay Gap,Wage Expectations,Overconfidence,Decomposition Analyses,Unconditional Quantile Regressions (RIF-Regressions)
    JEL: J16 D84 D91 C21
    Date: 2020
  12. By: Bach, Maximilian (ZEW Mannheim); Fischer, Mira
    Abstract: This paper studies responses to high-stakes incentives arising from early ability tracking. We use three complementary research designs exploiting differences in school track admission rules at the end of primary school in Germany's early ability tracking system. Our results show that the need to perform well to qualify for a better track raises students' math, reading, listening, and orthography skills in grade 4, the final grade before students are sorted into tracks. Evidence from self-reported behavior suggests that these effects are driven by greater study effort but not parental responses. However, we also observe that stronger incentives decrease student well-being and intrinsic motivation to study.
    Keywords: student effort, tracking, incentives
    JEL: I20 I28 I29
    Date: 2020–11
  13. By: Jones, Todd R. (Mississippi State University); Kreisman, Daniel (Georgia State University); Rubenstein, Ross (Georgia State University); Searcy, Cynthia (Georgia State University); Bhatt, Rachana (Georgia State University)
    Abstract: For years Georgia's HOPE Scholarship program provided full tuition scholarships to high achieving students. State budgetary shortfalls reduced its generosity in 2011. Under the new rules, only students meeting more rigorous merit-based criteria would retain the original scholarship covering full tuition, now called Zell Miller, with other students seeing aid reductions of approximately 15 percent. We exploit the fact that two of the criteria were high school GPA and SAT/ACT score, which students could not manipulate when the change took place. We compare already-enrolled students just above and below these cutoffs, making use of advances in multi-dimensional regression discontinuity, to estimate effects of partial aid loss. We show that, after the changes, aid flowed disproportionately to wealthier students, and find no evidence that the financial aid reduction affected persistence or graduation for these students. The results suggest that high-achieving students, particularly those already in college, may be less price sensitive than their peers.
    Keywords: student aid, multi-dimensional regression discontinuity, HOPE
    JEL: I22 I23 H75
    Date: 2020–11
  14. By: Cuiy, Ying; Martinsz, Pedro S.
    Abstract: Education can generate important externalities that contribute towards economic growth and convergence. In this paper, we study the drivers of such externalities by conducting the first meta- analysis of the social returns to education literature. We analyse over 1,000 estimates from 31 articles published since 1993 that cover 15 countries. Our results indicate that: 1) spillovers slow down with economic development; 2) tertiary schooling and schooling dispersion increase spillovers; 3) spillovers are smaller under fixed-effects and IV estimators but larger when measured at the firm level; and 4) there is publication bias (but not citation bias).
    Keywords: returns to education,education externalities
    JEL: I26 I28 J24 J31 C36
    Date: 2020

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