nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2021‒01‒18
ten papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. Heterogeneity in the Returns to Tertiary Education for the Disadvantage Youth: Quality vs. Quantity Analysis By Leonardo Fabio Morales; Christian Posso; Luz A. Flórez
  2. The Contribution of Human Capital and Its Policies to Per Capita Income in Europe and the OECD By Balazs Egert; Jarmila Botev; David Turner
  3. Do role models increase student hope and effort? Evidence from India By Prateek Chandra Bhan
  4. The effect of grade retention on secondary school dropout: Evidence from a natural experiment By Ferreira Sequeda, Maria
  5. Do Inclusive Education Policies Improve Employment Opportunities? Evidence from a Field Experiment By Agüero, Jorge M.; Galarza, Francisco; Yamada, Gustavo
  6. High-Ability Influencers? The Heterogeneous Effects of Gifted Classmates By Balestra, Simone; Sallin, Aurélien; Wolter, Stefan C.
  7. Trauma at School: The Impacts of Shootings on Students' Human Capital and Economic Outcomes By Marika Cabral; Bokyung Kim; Maya Rossin-Slater; Molly Schnell; Hannes Schwandt
  8. Not enough hours in the day: Policies that shape teachers’ use of time By Luka Boeskens; Deborah Nusche
  9. When the Great Equalizer Shuts Down: Schools, Peers, and Parents in Pandemic Times By Agostinelli, Francesco; Doepke, Matthias; Sorrenti, Giuseppe; Zilibotti, Fabrizio
  10. Revisiting the Causal Effect of Education on Political Participation and Interest By Bömmel, Nadja; Heineck, Guido

  1. By: Leonardo Fabio Morales; Christian Posso; Luz A. Flórez
    Abstract: This paper usesadministrative records from different sources to construct a unique data set of low-income students in Colombia born from 1980 to 1990. This data includes cognitive test results, socio-economic information at their high school final year, and information on their labor market results, many years after high school graduation. We evaluate the returns by estimating the Marginal Treatment Effect (MTE) of the tertiary investment decision. The MTE allows estimating a random parameter for tertiary education return, which varies with unobserved heterogeneity across workers. We find sizeable heterogeneity in returns, as recent literature has also identified, to the extent that for a considerable mass of the population,the return is negligible. Using the estimated models, we simulate two types of policies: one that increases the supply of tertiary education and another that enhances secondary education quality. We find thata less costly policy that improvessecondary education qualitygives similar returns than a more ambitious policy that increases tertiary education supply. **** RESUMEN: Este artículo utiliza registros administrativos de diferentes fuentes para construir un base datos de estudiantes de bajos ingresos en Colombia nacidos entre 1980 y 1990. Estos datos incluyen resultados de pruebas cognitivas, información socioeconómica en su último año de secundaria, e información sobre su trabajo, años después de la graduación de la secundaria. Evaluamos los rendimientos de la educación terciaria estimando el “efecto marginal de tratamiento”(MTE) de la inversión en educación terciaria. ElMTE permite estimar un parámetro aleatorio para el rendimiento de la educación, que varía con la heterogeneidad no observada de los trabajadores. Encontramos una heterogeneidad considerable en los retornos, al punto de que, para una masa de la población, el retorno es cercano a cero. Utilizando los modelos estimados, simulamos dos tipos de políticas: una que aumenta la oferta de educación terciaria y otra que mejora la calidad de la educación secundaria. Se encuentra que una política que mejora la calidad de la educación secundaria da rendimientos similares a una política ambiciosa de incrementos en la oferta de educación terciaria.
    Keywords: Returns to tertiary education, marginal treatment effect, university expansion, quality of education, education, wages, Retornos a la educación, MTE, expansión universitaria, Calidad de la educación, Salarios.
    JEL: J31 I21 I26 I28
    Date: 2021–01
  2. By: Balazs Egert; Jarmila Botev; David Turner
    Abstract: This paper studies empirically the effect of education policies on human capital and per capita income. The results suggest for European and OECD countries that higher attendance at pre-primary education, greater autonomy of schools and universities, a lower student-to-teacher ratio, higher age of first tracking in secondary education and lower barriers to funding to students in tertiary education all tend to boost human capital through amplifying the positive effects of greater public spending on education. Benefits from pre-primary education are particularly high for countries with an above-average share of disadvantaged students. School autonomy yields high benefits especially in countries where schools are subject to external accountability. From a policy perspective, improving the quality of the labour force and value-for-money of education policies are of utmost importance in the future, especially in European countries facing population ageing and ever increasing fiscal constraints. Prompt policy action is needed given the very long delay with which the full effect of reforms in education policy materialises on human capital and per capita income.
    Keywords: human capital, economic growth, per capita income, education policies, OECD
    JEL: E24 I20 I25 I26 I28
    Date: 2020
  3. By: Prateek Chandra Bhan
    Abstract: This paper offers experimental evidence on the significance of role-models on fostering hope, increasing effort and improving the academic performance of primary school students in India. Students from private schools were individually randomised to a treatment or a placebo group. Treated students watch a short film produced as a part of the experiment in Jaipur, Rajasthan - the study location. The placebo group students watch a television show for kids, ‘Malgudi Days’. I find a 0.17 standard deviation (s.d.) increase in student hope and 0.25 s.d increase in their effort, immediately after the intervention. The one-off treatment leads to a 0.16 s.d. increase on standardised test scores in English, six-weeks after the intervention. Along with hope, I find significant improvements in students’ self-efficacy or optimism and happiness. A cost-effectiveness analysis highlights role-models as a promising treatment intervention tool that can have an effect on student motivation and their learning outcomes.
    Keywords: Role models, hope, effort, education, primary school, India.
    JEL: O12 I25 I21 J24
    Date: 2020–11
  4. By: Ferreira Sequeda, Maria (RS: GSBE other - not theme-related research, ROA / Training and employment)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the effects of grade retention on secondary school dropout by evaluating a retention policy reform introduced in 2010 in Colombia. The reform ended the restriction that the annual number of retained students at a school could not exceed 5 percent of the total school population. Using administrative data at the school level, we estimate a difference-in-differences model that exploits variation in schools’ retention rates before and after the reform. We distinguish dropout rates by grade (grade 6 to 11). Moreover, we distinguish between retained students who dropped out of school by the end of the year of their retention and the dropout effect on all students enrolled in school the year after retention. Our robust estimates reveal that higher retention increases the rate of students dropping out of school the same year of their retention, that means not enrolling to repeat the failed grade. However, there is little, if any, causal effect of grade retention on the dropout rates of all other students enrolled in the school one year after retention. We find that the latter effect is stronger when retention takes place at the earlier grades whereas the effect for retained students is strongest when retention occurs at grade 9 and grade 11, when students would be entitled to receive the lower secondary school certicate and the high-school diploma respectively.
    JEL: I20 I21 J24
    Date: 2020–12–31
  5. By: Agüero, Jorge M. (University of Connecticut); Galarza, Francisco (Universidad del Pacifico); Yamada, Gustavo (Universidad del Pacifico)
    Abstract: In labor markets where disadvantaged students are discriminated against, meritbased college scholarships targeting these students could convey two opposing signals to employers. There is a positive signal reflecting the candidate's cognitive ability (talented in high-school and able to maintain a high GPA in college) as well as her soft skills (overcoming poverty). There is also a possible negative signal as the targeting of the scholarship indicates that the beneficiary comes from a disadvantaged household. We conduct a correspondence study to analyze the labor market impact of an inclusive education program. Beca 18 provides merit-based scholarships to talented poor students admitted to 3-year and 5-year colleges in Peru. We find that the positive signal dominates. Including information of being a scholarship recipient increases the likelihood of getting a callback for a job interview by 20%. However, the effect is much smaller in jobs and careers where the poor are under-represented, suggesting that the negative signal of the scholarship is not zero.
    Keywords: employment, inclusive education, correspondence study, discrimination
    JEL: C93 I23 J7 J15
    Date: 2020–12
  6. By: Balestra, Simone (University of St. Gallen); Sallin, Aurélien (University of St. Gallen); Wolter, Stefan C. (University of Bern)
    Abstract: This paper examines how exposure to students identified as gifted (IQ ≥ 130) affects achievement in secondary school, enrollment in post-compulsory education, and occupational choices. By using student-level administrative data on achievement combined with psychological examination records, we study the causal impact of gifted students on their classmates in unprecedented detail. We find a positive and significant effect of the exposure to gifted students on school achievement in both math and language. The impact of gifted students is, however, highly heterogeneous along three dimensions. First, we observe the strongest effects among male students and high achievers. Second, we show that male students benefit from the presence of gifted peers in all subjects regardless of their gender, whereas female students seem to benefit primarily from the presence of female gifted students. Third, we find that gifted students diagnosed with emotional or behavioral disorders have zero-to-negative effects on their classmates' performance, a detrimental effect more pronounced for female students. Finally, exposure to gifted students in school has consequences that extend beyond the classroom: it increases the likelihood of choosing a selective academic track as well as occupations in STEM fields.
    Keywords: gifted students, peer quality, gender, math, peer effects
    JEL: I21 I24 I26 J24
    Date: 2020–12
  7. By: Marika Cabral; Bokyung Kim; Maya Rossin-Slater; Molly Schnell; Hannes Schwandt
    Abstract: A growing number of American children are exposed to gun violence at their schools, but little is known about the impacts of this exposure on their human capital attainment and economic well-being. This paper studies the causal effects of exposure to shootings at schools on children’s educational and economic outcomes, using individual-level longitudinal administrative data from Texas. We analyze the universe of shootings at Texas public schools that occurred between 1995 and 2016, and match schools that experienced shootings with observationally similar control schools in other districts. We use difference-in-differences models that leverage within-individual and across-cohort variation in shooting exposure within matched school groups to estimate the short- and long-run impacts of shootings on students attending these schools at the time of the shooting. We find that shooting-exposed students have an increased absence rate and are more likely to be chronically absent and repeat a grade in the two years following the event. We also find adverse long-term impacts on the likelihood of high school graduation, college enrollment and graduation, as well as employment and earnings at ages 24-26. Heterogeneity analyses by student and school characteristics indicate that the detrimental impacts of shootings are universal, with most sub-groups being affected.
    JEL: I24 I31 J13
    Date: 2020–12
  8. By: Luka Boeskens; Deborah Nusche
    Abstract: Teachers’ time is a critical resource for education systems and a key input for student learning. Like any type of resource, teachers’ time can be used more or less effectively to promote a range of outcomes such as student learning, equity and well-being. Whether teachers are given an additional hour in the classroom, an hour to prepare their lessons or an hour to engage in professional learning can affect both the cost and the quality of education. Based on OECD survey data and indicators, this paper provides a systematic overview of how teachers across the OECD report using their time and how their time use is regulated in national policy frameworks. Building on the findings from the OECD School Resources Review series, the paper then explores human resource policies that can support education stakeholders in rethinking priorities, roles and responsibilities in school education and promote an effective use of teachers’ time.
    Date: 2021–01–18
  9. By: Agostinelli, Francesco (University of Pennsylvania); Doepke, Matthias (Northwestern University); Sorrenti, Giuseppe (University of Amsterdam); Zilibotti, Fabrizio (Yale University)
    Abstract: What are the effects of school closures during the Covid-19 pandemic on children's education? Online education is an imperfect substitute for in-person learning, particularly for children from low-income families. Peer effects also change: schools allow children from different socio-economic backgrounds to mix together, and this effect is lost when schools are closed. Another factor is the response of parents, some of whom compensate for the changed environment through their own efforts, while others are unable to do so. We examine the interaction of these factors with the aid of a structural model of skill formation. We find that school closures have a large and persistent effect on educational outcomes that is highly unequal. High school students from poor neighborhoods suffer a learning loss of 0.4 standard deviations, whereas children from rich neighborhoods remain unscathed. The channels operating through schools, peers, and parents all contribute to growing educational inequality during the pandemic.
    Keywords: skill acquisition, peer effects, parenting, parenting style, neighborhood effects, COVID-19, pandemics
    JEL: I24 J13 J24 R20
    Date: 2020–12
  10. By: Bömmel, Nadja (Leibniz-Institut für Bildungsverläufe (LIfBi)); Heineck, Guido (University of Bamberg)
    Abstract: A substantial number of studies suggests a strong relationship between education and aspects of political participation and interest. Only a small body of literature, however, addresses whether these patterns represent causal effects. We add to this research and re-examine the question in the German context. For identification, we exploit an exogenous increase in lower secondary compulsory schooling between 1949 and 1969 in former West Germany, and use data from the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS) to identify individuals' educational biographies more precisely than prior research. Our results reinforce findings from Siedler (2010): multiple regression analyses first indicate a positive, statistically significant correlation between schooling and our measures of political activities. IV estimates, however, are all trivial, for both compliers and the full sample, indicating that the reform did not stimulate long-term changes in political participation and interest.
    Keywords: school reform, political participation, IV estimation, returns to education, Germany
    JEL: I2 H4 H23
    Date: 2020–12

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