nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2021‒01‒25
thirteen papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. Fear and Loathing in the Classroom: Why Does Teacher Quality Matter? By Insler, Michael; McQuoid, Alexander F.; Rahman, Ahmed S.; Smith, Katherine
  2. Higher education funding in Germany: A distributional lifetime perspective By Hügle, Dominik
  3. School Selectivity, Peers, and Mental Health By Bütikofer, Aline; Ginja, Rita; Landaud, Fanny; Løken, Katrine V.
  4. The Effect of Refugees on Native Adolescents' Test Scores: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from Pisa By Tumen, Semih
  5. Does the Education Level of Refugees Affect Natives’ Attitudes? By Philipp Lergetporer; Marc Piopiunik; Lisa Simon
  6. Returns to higher education and dropouts: A double machine learning approach By McNamara, Sarah
  7. Student satisfaction with distance education during the COVID-19 first-wave: A cross-cultural perspective By Seeun Jung; Radu Vranceanu
  8. Long-Lasting Effects of Communist Indoctrination in School: Evidence from Poland By Joan Costa-i-Font; Jorge García-Hombrados; Anna Nicińska
  9. Quality and Selection in Regulated Professions By Gaetano Basso; Eleonora Brandimarti; Michele Pellizzari; Giovanni Pica
  10. Exposure to a School Shooting and Subsequent Well-Being By Phillip B. Levine; Robin McKnight
  11. The Effects of Free Secondary School Track Choice: A Disaggregated Synthetic Control Approach By Osikominu, Aderonke; Pfeifer, Gregor; Strohmaier, Kristina
  12. Community Influence as an Explanatory Factor Why Roma Children Get Little Schooling By Stark, Oded; Berlinschi, Ruxanda
  13. Can older workers stay productive? The role of ICT skills and training By Jong-Wha Lee; Do Won Kwak; Eunbi Song

  1. By: Insler, Michael (U.S. Naval Academy); McQuoid, Alexander F.; Rahman, Ahmed S. (Lehigh University); Smith, Katherine (U.S. Naval Academy)
    Abstract: This work disentangles aspects of teacher quality that impact student learning and performance. We exploit detailed data from post-secondary education that links students from randomly assigned instructors in introductory-level courses to the students' performances in follow-on courses for a wide variety of subjects. For a range of first-semester courses, we have both an objective score (based on common exams graded by committee) and a subjective grade provided by the instructor. We find that instructors who help boost the common final exam scores of their students also boost their performance in the follow-on course. Instructors who tend to give out easier subjective grades however dramatically hurt subsequent student performance. Exploring a variety of mechanisms, we suggest that instructors harm students not by "teaching to the test," but rather by producing misleading signals regarding the difficulty of the subject and the "soft skills" needed for college success. This effect is stronger in non-STEM fields, among female students, and among extroverted students. Faculty that are well-liked by students—and thus likely prized by university administrators—and considered to be easy have particularly pernicious effects on subsequent student performance.
    Keywords: soft standards, sequential learning, teacher value-added, rate my professor, higher education
    JEL: I20 I21 I23 J24
    Date: 2021–01
  2. By: Hügle, Dominik
    Abstract: This paper analyzes higher education funding in Germany from a distributional perspective. For this, I first compare the quantitative importance of different funding instruments, from free tuition to subsidized health insurance for students. I show that free tuition is, by far, the most important instrument. Then, I take a lifetime perspective and assess how individuals of different expected lifetime incomes benefit from higher education funding. I distinguish between different fields of study as there are large differences in both the expected lifetime earnings of graduating from a specific field and the social cost of tuition associated with each field. Finally, I focus exclusively on the instrument of subsidized tuition and simulate the introduction of different tuition fee schemes with income-contingent loans. While the distributional effects would be sizable in absolute terms, I estimate that they would cause few individuals to change their educational decisions.
    Keywords: Higher education,Education finance,Dynamic microsimulation
    JEL: C53 I22 I23
    Date: 2020
  3. By: Bütikofer, Aline (Norwegian School of Economics); Ginja, Rita (University of Bergen, Department of Economics); Landaud, Fanny (Norwegian School of Economics); Løken, Katrine V. (Norwegian School of Economics)
    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: Parental Leave; Firm-Specific Human Capital; Statistical Discrimination; School Selectivity; Peers; Mental Health;
    JEL: I12 I21 I24 J13 J16 J21 J22 J31
    Date: 2020–10–12
  4. By: Tumen, Semih (TED University)
    Abstract: Existing evidence suggests that low-skilled refugee influx may increase educational attainment among native adolescents due to reduced opportunities and returns in the lower segment of the labor market. In this paper, I test whether refugee influx can also increase the intensity of human capital accumulation among native adolescents who are enrolled in school. Using the PISA micro data and implementing a quasi-experimental empirical strategy designed to exploit (i) the time variation in regional refugee intensity and (ii) institutional setting in the Turkish public education system, I show that the Math, Science, and Reading scores of Turkish adolescents increased following the Syrian refugee influx. The increase in test scores mostly comes from the lower half of the test score distribution and from native adolescents with lower maternal education. The empirical design embeds a framework where the estimated refugee impact can solely be attributed to the labor market mechanism. In particular, I use the observation that refugee adolescents are enrolled more systematically into the Turkish education system after 2016, which gave me the opportunity to use 2015 and 2018 PISA waves in a way to isolate the the effect of the labor market mechanism from the potentially negating force coming from the education experience mechanism. I conclude that the labor market forces that emerged in the aftermath of the refugee crisis have led native adolescents, who would normally perform worse in school, to take their high school education more seriously.
    Keywords: Syrian refugees, test scores, PISA, labor markets
    JEL: I21 I25 I26 J61
    Date: 2021–01
  5. By: Philipp Lergetporer; Marc Piopiunik; Lisa Simon
    Abstract: In recent years, Europe has experienced a large influx of refugees. While natives’ attitudes toward refugees are decisive for the political feasibility of asylum policies, little is known about how these attitudes are shaped by information about refugees’ characteristics. We conducted a survey experiment with a representative sample of more than 4,000 adults in Germany in which we randomly provide information about refugees’ education level. Information provision strongly increases respondents’ beliefs that refugees are well educated. The information also increases labor market competition concerns, decreases fiscal burden concerns, and positively affects general attitudes toward refugees. We perform several robustness analyses in additional experiments with more than 5,000 university students. In sum, we show that correcting misperceptions about refugees’ education level has profound effects on natives’ attitudes.
    Keywords: Refugees, information provision, education, survey experiment, labor market
    JEL: F22 J24 D83 C91
    Date: 2021
  6. By: McNamara, Sarah
    Abstract: This paper provides estimates of the short-term individual returns to Higher Education (HE) in the United Kingdom, focusing on the effects of attending HE on the labour market outcomes for dropouts. Results show differential labour market outcomes for dropouts vs. individuals who have never attended HE, where outcomes are employment, wages and occupational status. I find that female dropouts, on average, have a higher occupational status than those who have never participated in HE, but do not experience a wage premium. Conversely, male dropouts experience a wage premium relative those who have never participated in HE, but the effect on occupational status is comparatively small. The evidence is mixed, however, as both male and female dropouts are more likely to be unemployed, though the effect is larger for males.
    Keywords: university education,higher education,graduation,dropout,returns to education
    JEL: I23 I26 J31
    Date: 2020
  7. By: Seeun Jung (Inha University - Inha University); Radu Vranceanu (ESSEC Business School - Essec Business School, THEMA - Théorie économique, modélisation et applications - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CY - CY Cergy Paris Université)
    Abstract: This research note reports results of a survey on student satisfaction with distance education in Korea and France as implemented in May 2020 on 510 respondents. At that time, both countries closed the facilities of higher education institutions and imposed the extensive use of on-line education. A majority of French students express a preference for in-class teaching compared with on-line teaching, while preferences of the Korean students are more balanced. On average, Korean students express higher satisfaction with online teaching compared to French students. Women students also report higher satisfaction scores. The COVID-19 stress is negatively related to satisfaction with online teaching in Korea, but not in France.
    Keywords: Distance education,Student satisfaction,Synchronous teaching,COVID-19 stress
    Date: 2020–10–26
  8. By: Joan Costa-i-Font; Jorge García-Hombrados; Anna Nicińska
    Abstract: Education can serve skill formation and socialisation goals both of which are conducive to desirable economic outcomes. However, the political manipulation of the school curricula can give rise to indoctrination effects with counterproductive welfare consequences on its pupils. This paper studies the effects of communist indoctrination on human capital accumulation and labour market outcomes in Poland. We document that the reduction of Marxist-Leninist indoctrination in school curriculum after 1954 exerted long-lasting beneficial effects. Unlike in East Germany, the school reform after the fall of communism in Poland had negligible effects on human capital and labour market outcomes. Our results are in contrast, explained by the ideological content of the school curriculum in the Polish education system.
    Keywords: education systems, communist education, education reforms, school curriculum, later life outcomes, human capital attainment, labour market participation
    JEL: I28
    Date: 2020
  9. By: Gaetano Basso (Bank of Italy); Eleonora Brandimarti (University of Geneva); Michele Pellizzari (University of Geneva, CEPR and IZA.); Giovanni Pica (Università della Svizzera Italiana, LdA and CSEF.)
    Abstract: Entry in many occupations is regulated with the objective to screen out the least able producers and guarantee high quality of output. Unfortunately, the available empirical evidence suggests that in most cases these objectives are not achieved. In this paper we investigate entry into the legal profession in Italy and we document that such a failure is due to the combination of the incomplete anonymity of the entry exam and the intergenerational transmission of business opportunities. We use microdata covering the universe of law school graduates from 2007 to 2013 matched with their careers and earnings up to 5 years after graduation. Variation generated by the random assignment of the entry exam grading commissions allows us to identify the role of family ties in the selection process. We find that connected candidates, i.e. those with relatives already active in the profession, are more likely to pass the exam and eventually earn more, especially those who performed poorly in law school. When we simulate the process of occupational choice assuming family connections did not matter, we find that strong positive selection on ability would emerge.
    Keywords: Occupational Regulation, Licensing, Intergenerational Mobility.
    JEL: J24 J44 J62
    Date: 2021–01–15
  10. By: Phillip B. Levine; Robin McKnight
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of school shootings on the educational performance and long-term health consequences of students who survive them, highlighting the impact of indiscriminate, high-fatality incidents. Initially, we focus on test scores in the years following a shooting. We also examine whether exposure to a shooting affects chronic absenteeism, which may play a role in explaining any such effect, and school expenditures, which may counteract it. We analyze national, school-district level data and additional school-level data from Connecticut in this part of the analysis. In terms of effects on health status, we focus on its most extreme measure, mortality in the years following a shooting. In this part of the analysis, we analyze county-level data on mortality by cause. In all analyses, we treat the timing of these events as random, enabling us to identify causal effects. Our results indicate that indiscriminate, high-fatality school shootings, such as those that occurred at Sandy Hook and Columbine, have considerable adverse effects on students exposed to them. We cannot rule out substantive effects of other types of shootings with fewer or no fatalities.
    JEL: I18 I21
    Date: 2020–12
  11. By: Osikominu, Aderonke (University of Hohenheim); Pfeifer, Gregor (University College London); Strohmaier, Kristina (University of Tuebingen)
    Abstract: We exploit a recent state-level reform in Germany that granted parents the right to decide on the highest secondary school track suitable for their child, changing the purpose of the primary teacher's recommendation from mandatory to informational. Applying a disaggre-gated synthetic control approach to administrative district-level data, we find that transition rates to the higher school tracks increased substantially, with stronger responses among children from richer districts. Simultaneously, grade repetition in the first grades of second-ary school increased dramatically, suggesting that parents choose school tracks also to align with their own aspirations – resulting in greater misallocation of students.
    Keywords: school tracking, student performance, synthetic control method, treatment effect distributions, treatment effect heterogeneity
    JEL: C21 C46 I21 I28 J24
    Date: 2021–01
  12. By: Stark, Oded (University of Bonn); Berlinschi, Ruxanda (KU Leuven)
    Abstract: Parents who experience poverty and who want to provide their children with an escape route can be expected to encourage and support their progeny's education. The evidence that Roma parents behave differently is unsettling. In this paper we test empirically an explanation for that behavior. The explanation is based on a theory (Stark et al. 2018) that can be "borrowed" to rationalize the enforcement of norms of little formal education in underprivileged communities. An analysis of survey data collected in Roma communities in four Central and Eastern European countries lends support to the explanation. The analysis reveals a strong negative correlation between the influence of the Roma community on an individual member's life and the importance accorded by the individual to formal schooling for children. The correlation is robust to controlling for standard determinants of attitudes towards schooling, such as poverty, unemployment, labor market discrimination, and parents' educational attainment. The analysis suggests that policy interventions aiming to increase the formal education of Roma children need to reckon with the influence of Roma community norms on individual choices.
    Keywords: community influence, social norms, social distance, exposure to relative deprivation, Roma communities, formal education of children
    JEL: J15 J24 J70 O12 Z13
    Date: 2020–12
  13. By: Jong-Wha Lee; Do Won Kwak; Eunbi Song
    Abstract: This paper quantitatively examines the effects of aging on labor productivity using individual worker data in Korea. We find that attainment of information and communications technology (ICT) skills and participation in job-related training can help older workers stay productive. The estimation results present that ICT skills attainment has a positive effect on the wages of the older workers aged 50–64 with a high level of education or in a skill-intensive occupation. Job training also has a significant positive effect on the wages of older workers. Even compared to younger workers, older well-educated workers can be more productive through higher ICT skills attainment and job-training participation. The evidence suggests that a productivity decrease in line with the aging process can be mitigated by training aging workers to equip themselves with ICT skills.
    Keywords: aging, education, information and communications technology, productivity, skill, training
    JEL: J14 J24 J31 O47
    Date: 2021–01

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