nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2020‒12‒21
eight papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. The Labor Market Returns to 'First in Family' University Graduates By Adamecz-Völgyi, Anna; Henderson, Morag; Shure, Nikki
  2. Scientifico! like Dad: On the Intergenerational Transmission of STEM Education By Diana Chise; Margherita Fort; Chiara Monfardini
  3. When outside options bite: Labor demand in the Norwegian salmon farming industry and educational investments By Ole Henning Nyhus
  4. Do preschools add ‘value’? Evidence on achievement gaps from rural India By Sweta Gupta
  5. Understanding the response to high-stakes incentives in primary education By Bach, Maximilian; Fischer, Mira
  6. Electoral Cleavages and Socioeconomic Inequality in Germany 1949-2017 By Thomas Piketty; Fabian Kosse
  7. Human Capital Constraints, Spatial Dependence, and Regionalization in Bolivia: A Spatial Clustering Approach By Mendez, Carlos; Gonzales, Erick
  8. Dictatorship, Higher Education, and Social Mobility By Bautista, María Angélica; González, Felipe; Martinez, Luis R.; Muñoz, Pablo; Prem, Mounu

  1. By: Adamecz-Völgyi, Anna (UCL Institute of Education); Henderson, Morag (UCL Institute of Education); Shure, Nikki (University College London)
    Abstract: We exploit linked survey-administrative data from England to examine how first in family (FiF) graduates (those whose parents do not have university degrees) fare on the labor market. We find that among graduate women, FiF graduates earn 8.3% less on average than graduate women whose parents have a university degree. For men, we find no such difference. A decomposition of the difference between FiF and non-FiF graduate women reveals that prior academic attainment, whether they attended an 'elite' institution, and whether they needed their degree for their job fully explains this gap. We also estimate returns to graduation for potential FiF and non-FiF young people. We find that although the wage returns to graduation are higher among FiF women compared to women who match their parents with a degree, the negative effects of coming from a lower educated family are so large that they counteract the high returns of graduation.
    Keywords: socioeconomic gaps, intergenerational educational mobility, higher education, entropy balancing, labor market returns, gender economics
    JEL: I24 I26 J24
    Date: 2020–11
  2. By: Diana Chise; Margherita Fort; Chiara Monfardini
    Abstract: We provide novel evidence on the existence and the extent of intergenerational transmission of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education using a recent large administrative dataset of Italian graduates obtained from the Almalaurea data. Parental influence on two STEM educational outcomes (high school and university degree completion) is strong and, net of student's time-invariant unobserved heterogeneity, proves to be stronger at the stage of the educational career closer to labour market entry. At this stage, the influence of fathers outweighs the one of mothers and is larger for sons than for daughters. The documented STEM intergenerational transmission is not driven by liberal profession of parents for most of STEM fields, while it is for some non-STEM fields (economic and legal studies), consistently with the presence of entry barriers in some professions.
    Keywords: Gender, Intergenerational transmission, Parents, STEM
    JEL: J16 J24 I24
    Date: 2020–10
  3. By: Ole Henning Nyhus (Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
    Abstract: This article presents empirical evidence on the effect of the opportunity cost of schooling on youths' educational investment in Norway. The findings suggest that increases in the demand for low-skilled labor originating from the Norwegian salmon farming industry's expansion harms upper secondary graduation rates. The salmon farming industry is an important workplace for low-skilled labor in Norway, and the stock of farming concessions issued by the central government increased by 25 percent in the period 1994-2006. Endogeneity concerns are handled using instruments for the industry's size based on geographical characteristics, such as the coastline of islands and variation in ocean temperature and international salmon prices. Using data on wages for low- and high-skilled workers, I find that salmon farming changes mainly affected low-skilled wages. This confirms that the growth in the industry has increased the demand for low-skilled labor. The findings from a structural model on demand for low-skilled labor, the relative wage gap between low- and high-skilled workers, and upper secondary school graduation support human capital theory.
    Keywords: Return to education; opportunity cost of schooling; high school dropout; human capital; low-skilled labor demand
    JEL: I20 J24
    Date: 2020–11–30
  4. By: Sweta Gupta (University of Sussex)
    Abstract: Despite a long-standing preschool policy and investment in preschool infrastructure in India, dating back to 1975, a rigorous evaluation of preschools in India remains virtually absent. Using data from three geographically and economically distinct states in India, the paper studies the immediate (1 year) impact of attending a preschool before starting primary school on cognitive, early language and numeracy skills. It additionally studies the heterogeneity in value-added of preschools by their management type. I find that there is a positive and significant premium of attending a preschool before starting primary school. However, the entire effect is driven by children who attend private preschools. There is considerable regional heterogeneity in the private-public gap in learning levels with Telangana exhibiting the highest private preschool premium. A descriptive study of the preschool quality by management type showed that private preschools have lower student-teacher ratios, longer hours of operation and a focus on formal instructional style of teaching. On the other hand, public preschools conduct more play-based activities. The results of this paper are particularly relevant in the backdrop of the new National Education Policy (Government of India, 2020), which stresses the need to improve foundational literacy and numeracy skills as early as in the preschool years. Given the findings of this paper, public preschools would need considerable overhaul to be able to deliver on closing the learning gaps. Moreover, the varying levels at which children start primary school based on their preschool experience highlight the need for educators to develop innovative pedagogical tools to effectively address learning heterogeneity within the classroom.
    Keywords: Early Childhood, Education, Preschools, Value Added Models, Private
    JEL: I21 I28 O15
    Date: 2020–12
  5. By: Bach, Maximilian; 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
  6. By: Thomas Piketty (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, WIL - World Inequality Lab); Fabian Kosse (LMU - Institut für Informatik [München/Munich] - LMU - Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)
    Abstract: This paper explores the changing relationships between party support, electoral cleavages and socioeconomic inequality in Germany since 1949. We analyze the link between voting behaviors and socioeconomic characteristics of voters. In the 1950s-1970s, the vote for left parties was strongly associated with lower education and lower income voters. Since the 1980s voting for left parties has become associated with higher education voters. In effect, intellectual and economic elites seem to have drifted apart, with high-education elites voting for the left and high-income elites voting for the right. We analyze how this process is related to the occurrence of new parties since 1980 and the recent rise of populism.
    Date: 2020–11–24
  7. By: Mendez, Carlos; Gonzales, Erick
    Abstract: Using a novel municipal-level dataset and spatial clustering methods, this article studies the distribution of human capital constraints across 339 municipalities in Bolivia. In particular, the spatial distribution of five human capital constraints are evaluated: chronic malnutrition in children, non-Spanish speaking population, secondary dropout rates of males, secondary dropout rates of females, and the inequality of years of education. Through the lens of both spatial dependence and regionalization frameworks, the municipalities of Bolivia are endogenously classified according to both their level of human capital constraints and their locational similarity. Results from the spatial dependence analysis indicate the location of hotspots (high-value clusters), coldspots (low-value clusters), and spatial outliers for each of the previously listed constraints. Results from the regionalization analysis indicate that Bolivia can be regionalized into six to seven geographical locations that face similar constraints in the accumulation of human capital. The article concludes by highlighting the usefulness of spatial data analysis for designing and monitoring human development goals.
    Keywords: Human capital, Spatial dependence, Regionalization, Cluster analysis, Bolivia
    JEL: C38 J24 R10
    Date: 2020–11–15
  8. By: Bautista, María Angélica; González, Felipe; Martinez, Luis R.; Muñoz, Pablo; Prem, Mounu
    Abstract: We study the capture of higher education by the Pinochet dictatorship following the 1973 military coup in Chile. We show that the regime’s twin aims of political control and fiscal conservatism led to a large contraction of all universities in the country, mostly through a steady reduction in the number of openings for incoming students. As a result, individuals that reached college age in the years immediately after the military coup experienced a sharp decline in college enrollment. These individuals had worse labor market outcomes throughout the life cycle and struggled to climb up the socioeconomic ladder. Children with a parent in the affected cohorts are themselves less likely to enroll in university, even after democratization. These findings illustrate the relationship between political regimes, redistributive policies and social mobility. They also shed light on the long-lasting effects of the reform agenda implemented under Pinochet.
    Date: 2020–12–04

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