nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2020‒11‒30
nine papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. Three-generation educational mobility in six African countries By Giovanni Razzu; Ayago Wambile
  2. How age at entry at school affects future educational and socio-emotional outcomes: evidence from PISA By Pauline GIVORD
  3. Why education expenditures differ across countries? The role of income inequality, human capital, and the inclusiveness of the education system By Debora Di Gioacchino; Laura Sabani; Stefano Usai
  4. Different Questions, Different Gender Gap: Can the Format of Questions Explain the Gender Gap in Mathematics? By Silvia Griselda
  5. How Parents' skills affect their time-use with children? Evidence from an RCT experiment in Italy By Daniela Del Boca; Chiara Daniela Pronzato; Lucia Schiavon
  6. Heterogeneity in peer effects in random dormitory assignment in a developing country By Frijters, Paul; Islam, Asad; Pakrashi, Debayan
  7. The glass ceiling revisited: empirical evidence from the German academic career ladder By Heinrichs, Katrin; Sonnabend, Hendrik
  8. Quantifying 'promising trials bias' in randomized controlled trials in education By Sam Sims; Jake Anders; Matthew Inglis; Hugues Lortie-Forgues
  9. Dynamic Factor Models with Clustered Loadings: Forecasting Education Flows using Unemployment Data By Francisco Blasques; Meindert Heres Hoogerkamp; Siem Jan Koopman; Ilka van de Werve

  1. By: Giovanni Razzu (Department of Economics, University of Reading); Ayago Wambile (The World Bank)
    Abstract: Using nationally representative survey data, we provide estimates of three generation educational mobility for six African countries: Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Tanzania. We ask whether the extent of educational mobility across three generations differ by gender and whether the impact of grandparents differ depending on their residence status. We find that grandparents matter and the intergenerational effects can persist beyond two generations. These effects are however one fifth of those between two generations. They are generally higher for daughters than sons and stronger if grandparents live with their grandchildren than if they do not.
    Keywords: multigenerational social mobility, education, gender, methods
    JEL: J62 I24 J16
    Date: 2020–12–11
    Abstract: This study provides new empirical evidences of birthday effects over a range of educational and socio-emotional outcomes. It relies on data from the recent cycles of the Program for International School Assessment (PISA), for 6 European countries. The age at entry has a significant and sizeable impact on cognitive outcomes as measured in PISA for 15-year-old students. The magnitude of the birthday effects on no cognitive dimensions varies, but overall the results suggest that those students who enter school relatively young have a more negative relationships at school with their teachers and peers. These students have also lower intrinsic motivation and self-esteem, and have less more ambitious educational expectation than their peers who entered school older.
    Keywords: Birthday effects, PISA, Instrumental Variables, socio-emotional outcomes.
    Date: 2020–11–10
  3. By: Debora Di Gioacchino; Laura Sabani; Stefano Usai
    Abstract: This paper provides a simple model of hierarchical education to study the political determination of the public education budget and its allocation between different stages of education (basic education and advanced education). The model integrates private education decisions by allowing parents, who are differentiated according to income and human capital, to opt out from the public system and to enrol their offspring at private universities. Majority voting decides the size of the budget allocated to education and the expenditure composition. We find that the presence of a large private education sector depends positively on income inequality. On the contrary, income inequality negatively affects the level of public education expenditure. The allocation between different stages of education depends on the adult population’s human capital and on the inclusiveness of the education system. The main predictions of the theory are broadly consistent with cross-country evidence collected for OECD countries. Our comparative analysis identifies four clusters of countries whose education regimes might be explained by our model’s results. In addition, the theory helps explain why some OECD countries, like Italy, seem to remain stuck in a “low education†trap.
    Keywords: Education Funding, Political Economy, Majority Voting, Opting Out, Income Inequality, Redistribution.
    JEL: H23 H26 H42 H52 I28
    Date: 2020
  4. By: Silvia Griselda
    Abstract: Standardized assessments are widely used to determine educational and economic opportunities. These standardized assessments exclusively, or in large part, use multiple-choice questions. But multiple-choice exams may not be adequate for comparing studentsâ competencies across genders. In this paper, I show that female students receive lower marks when randomly assigned to exams with a larger proportion of multiple-choice questions. Specifically, a 10 percentage point increase in the proportion of multiple-choice questions widens the gender difference in mathematics performance by 0.026 standard deviations in favor of men, an effect that represents about 50% of the overall gender gap. Moreover, a higher proportion of multiple-choice questions has negative spillovers to other open-ended questions on the same exam. Female students exert less effort than males on tests that contain a larger proportion of multiple-choice questions. I provide suggestive evidence that these results are driven by womenâs lower confidence and by the stereotypes that women face in traditionally male domains.
    JEL: I21 I24 J24
    Date: 2020–11–12
  5. By: Daniela Del Boca; Chiara Daniela Pronzato; Lucia Schiavon
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of parenting courses on fragile families’ time use with their children. Courses aimed at raising parental awareness of the importance of educational activities are offered in four Italian cities (Naples, Reggio Emilia, Teramo and Palermo) within the framework of the social program “FA.C.E. Farsi Comunità Educanti†and with the cooperation of the program “Con i Bambini†2. To conduct the impact evaluation3, we designed a randomized controlled trial involving random assignment of the families (mostly mothers). At the end of the intervention, we administered an assessment questionnaire both to the treatment group, which took the course, and to the control group, which did not. Comparing the outcomes, we find attending the course increased families' awareness of the importance of educational activities for children, the frequency with which they read to the child, and their desire to spend more time with the child.
    Keywords: parenting, use of time, randomized controlled trial
    JEL: J13 D1 I26
    Date: 2020
  6. By: Frijters, Paul; Islam, Asad; Pakrashi, Debayan
    Abstract: We study the effect of random dormitory assignment in a tertiary level educational institution in India on students’ subsequent academic achievements. We examine the importance of interactions between the characteristics of the student and his peers for educational outcomes, including non-linear peer-effects and the importance of different socio-economic and geographical backgrounds. We find that peer ability effects are around one-third the size of the effects of one's own ability, and students from non-urban and non-English backgrounds do particularly better when assigned to higher-ability peers. We find that all groups of ability students gain from being matched to high-ability peers, but that this gain is highest for students who are themselves of higher-ability. Our results suggest peer effects are stronger in the first year in dorm. In terms of mechanisms, we find no evidence for effects of peers via mental health, life satisfaction, or risk attitudes. We observe that a roommate's study times is highly correlated with a student's own study times, but we see only a weak positive association between study habits and grades.
    Keywords: Ability; Education; Peer effects; Social class
    JEL: C90 I23
    Date: 2019–07–01
  7. By: Heinrichs, Katrin; Sonnabend, Hendrik
    Abstract: Women are underrepresented in leadership positions - academia is no exception. Using data on careers of doctoral graduates in Germany, we study gender differences in the decision to stay at university as a postdoctoral researcher and in the intention to become a professor. We find that gender gaps related to aiming for a professorship can be fully explained by observable characteristics other than gender. On the contrary, even after adding controls for an array of characteristics relevant to academic careers, we find female graduates to be 5.9 percentage points less likely to hold a postdoctoral position which allows them to qualify for professorship.
    Keywords: female labour supply,gender gap,higher education,glass ceiling
    JEL: I26 J16 J24
    Date: 2020
  8. By: Sam Sims (Centre for Education Policy and Equaliising Opportunities, UCL Institute of Education, University College London); Jake Anders (Centre for Education Policy and Equaliising Opportunities, UCL Institute of Education, University College London); Matthew Inglis (Centre for Mathematical Cognition, Loughborough University); Hugues Lortie-Forgues (Centre for Mathematical Cognition, Loughborough University)
    Abstract: Randomized controlled trials have proliferated in education, in part because they provide an unbiased estimator for the causal impact of interventions. It is increasingly recognized that many such trials in education have low power to detect an effect, if indeed there is one. However, it is less well known that low powered trials tend to systematically exaggerate effect sizes among the subset of interventions that show promising results. We conduct a retrospective design analysis to quantify this bias across 23 promising trials, finding that the estimated effect sizes are exaggerated by an average of 52% or more. Promising trials bias can be reduced ex-ante by increasing the power of the trials that are commissioned and guarded against ex-post by including estimates of the exaggeration ratio when reporting trial findings. Our results also suggest that challenges around implementation fidelity are not the only reason that apparently successful interventions often fail to subsequently scale up. Instead, the findings from the initial promising trial may simply have been exaggerated.Length: 19 pages
    Keywords: randomized controlled trials, education, promising trials bias
    JEL: I20 I21 C90 C93
    Date: 2020–11
  9. By: Francisco Blasques (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); Meindert Heres Hoogerkamp (Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science); Siem Jan Koopman (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); Ilka van de Werve (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
    Abstract: We propose a dynamic factor model which we use to analyze the relationship between education participation and national unemployment, as well as to forecast the number of students across the many different types of education. By clustering the factor loadings associated with the dynamic macroeconomic factor, we can measure to what extent the different types of education exhibit similarities in their relationship with macroeconomic cycles. Since unemployment data is available for a longer time period than our detailed education data panel, we propose a twostep estimation procedure. First, we consider a score-driven model which filters the conditional expectation of the unemployment rate. Second, we consider a multivariate regression model for the number of students featuring the dynamic macroeconomic factor as a regressor, and we further apply the k-means method to estimate the clustered loading matrix. In a Monte Carlo study we analyze the performance of the proposed procedure in its ability to accurately capture clusters and preserve or enhance forecasting accuracy. For a high-dimensional, nation-wide data set from The Netherlands, we empirically investigate the impact of the rate of unemployment on choices in education over time. Our analysis confirms that the number of students in part-time education covaries more strongly with unemployment than those in full-time education.
    Keywords: Dynamic Factor Models, Cluster Analysis, Forecasting, Education, Unemployment
    JEL: I25 C38 C53
    Date: 2020–11–17

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