nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2021‒02‒15
nine papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. Family background and the responses to higher SAT scores By Georg Graetz; Oskar Nordström Skans; Björn Öckert
  2. Disrupted schooling: impacts on achievement from the Chilean school occupations By Piero Montebruno
  3. The Role of Mindset in Education : A Large-Scale Field Experiment in Disadvantaged Schools By Huillery, Elise; Bouguen, Adrien; Charpentier, Axelle; Algan, Yann; Chevallier, Coralie
  4. Minding the Gap: Academic Outcomes from Pre-college Programs By Kotlikoff, Phoebe; Rahman, Ahmed S.; Smith, Katherine
  5. Better together? Heterogeneous effects of tracking on student achievement By Sönke Hendrik Matthewes
  6. Gender and Educational Achievement: Stylized Facts and Causal Evidence By Delaney, Judith; Devereux, Paul J.
  7. Multiple Dimensions of Human Development Index and Public Social Spending for Sustainable Development By Iana Paliova; Robert McNown; Grant Nülle
  8. Home Broadband and Human Capital Formation By Rosa Sanchis-Guarner; José Montalbán; Felix Weinhardt
  9. School's Out: Experimental Evidence on Limiting Learning Loss Using "Low-Tech" in a Pandemic By Angrist, Noam; Bergman, Peter; Matsheng, Moitshepi

  1. By: Georg Graetz; Oskar Nordström Skans; Björn Öckert
    Abstract: Using discontinuities within the Swedish SAT system, we show that additional admission opportunities causally affect college choices. Students with high-educated parents change timing, colleges, and fields in ways that appear consistent with basic economic theory. In contrast, very talented students with low-educated parents react to higher scores by increasing overall enrolment and graduation rates. Remarkably, most of this effect arises from increased participation in college programs and institutions that they could have attended even with a lower score. This suggests that students with low-educated parents face behavioral barriers even in a setting where colleges are tuition-free, student grants are universal and application systems are simple.
    Keywords: Educational choice, intergenerational transmission of education, regression discontinuity design
    JEL: I21 I23 J62
    Date: 2020–06
  2. By: Piero Montebruno
    Abstract: Disrupted schooling can heavily impact the amount of education pupils receive. Starting in early June of 2011 a huge social outburst of pupil protests, walk-outs, riots and school occupations called the Chilean Winter caused more than 8 million of lost school days. Within a matter of days, riots reached the national level with hundreds of thousands of pupils occupying schools, marching on the streets and demanding better education. Exploiting a police report on occupied schools in Santiago, I assess the effect of reduced school attendance in the context of schools occupations on pupils' cognitive achievement. This paper investigates whether or not there is a causal relationship between the protests and school occupations and the standardised test performance of those pupils whose schools were occupied.
    Keywords: Chilean Winter, Instructional Time, Protests, Educational Outcomes, School Occupations, Missing School Days, Riots, Human Capital Investment
    JEL: I21 I26 J24 J52
    Date: 2020–05
  3. By: Huillery, Elise; Bouguen, Adrien; Charpentier, Axelle; Algan, Yann; Chevallier, Coralie
    Abstract: This article provides experimental evidence of the impact of a four-year inter-vention aimed at developing students’ growth mindset and internal locus ofcontrol in disadvantaged middle schools. We find a 0.07 standard deviationincrease in GPA, associated with a change in students’ mindset, improved be-havior as reported by teachers and school registers, and higher educational andprofessional aspirations. International empirical benchmarks reveal that theintervention is at least ten times more cost-effective than the typical educa-tional intervention. However, while reducing between-school inequality whentargeted to disadvantaged schools, the program benefits less to more fragilestudents, therefore increasing within-school inequality.
    Date: 2021–01–18
  4. By: Kotlikoff, Phoebe (United States Navy); Rahman, Ahmed S. (Lehigh University); Smith, Katherine (U.S. Naval Academy)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the effects of assignment to a one-year college preparatory program on academic performance in college. To measure the value added from pre-college programs, we use a large dataset of United States Naval Academy students from the 1988 to 2018 graduating classes, of which a little over 22% received post-high school remediation. Given the Academy's unique admissions criteria that members of each incoming class originate from an even distribution of congressional districts, we instrument for pre-college treatment using the number and quality of other applicants originating from the same district. After incorporating these instruments as well as a wide range of outcome measures and background characteristics, we find that preparatory programs have positive but limited effects for human capital development for undergraduate students. Specifically, these pre-college programs promote significant but short-lived improvements in academic grades. They also can encourage students to choose STEM-oriented majors, and promote retention by lowering voluntary exits.
    Keywords: human capital, remedial education, higher education, liberal arts college
    JEL: I20 J24
    Date: 2021–01
  5. By: Sönke Hendrik Matthewes
    Abstract: I study the effects of early between-school ability tracking on student achievement, exploiting institutional differences between German federal states. In all states, about 40% of students transition to separate academic-track schools after comprehensive primary school. Depending on the state, the remaining student body is either directly tracked between two additional school types or taught comprehensively for another two years. Comparing these students before and after tracking in a triple-differences framework, I find evidence for positive effects of prolonged comprehensive schooling on mathematics and reading scores. These are almost entirely driven by low-achievers. Early and rigid forms of tracking can thus impair both equity and efficiency of school systems.
    Keywords: Tracking, student achievement, school systems, inequality, difference-in-differences, triple-differences, value-added
    JEL: I24 I28 J24
    Date: 2020–07
  6. By: Delaney, Judith (University of Bath); Devereux, Paul J. (University College Dublin)
    Abstract: There are two well-established gender gaps in education. First, females tend to have higher educational attainment and achievement than males and this is particularly the case for children from less advantaged backgrounds. Second, there are large differences in the fields of specialization chosen by males and females in college and even prior to college and females disproportionately enter less highly paid fields. This review article begins with these stylized facts and then moves on to describe evidence for the role of various factors in affecting educational achievement by gender. Gender differences in non-cognitive traits, behaviour, and interests have been shown to relate to differences in educational outcomes; however, this evidence cannot generally be given a causal interpretation. In contrast, the literature has been creative in estimating causal impacts of a wide range of factors using experimental and quasi-experimental variation. While the approaches are compelling, the findings vary widely across studies and are often contradictory. This may partly reflect methodological differences across studies but also may result from substantial true heterogeneity across educational systems and time periods. The review concludes by evaluating what factors are most responsible for the two central gender gaps, whether there is a role for policy to reduce these gender differences, and what the findings imply about the capacity for policy to tackle these gaps.
    Keywords: education, gender, schools, gender gaps, gender and educational achievement, gender and STEM
    JEL: I24 J16
    Date: 2021–01
  7. By: Iana Paliova; Robert McNown; Grant Nülle
    Abstract: Multidimensional assessment of human development is increasingly recognized as playing an important role in assessing well-being. The focus of analysis is on the indicators measuring the three dimensions of Human Development Index (HDI) — standard of living, education and health, and their relationship with public social spending for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The study estimates the effects of public social spending on gross national income (GNI) per capita (in PPP in $), expected years of schooling and life expectancy for a sample of 68 countries. The relationship is robust to controlling for a variety of factors and the estimated magnitudes suggest a positive long-run effect of public educational spending on GNI per capita, public educational spending on expected years of schooling, and public health expenditures on life expectancy.
    Keywords: Expenditure;Health;Education;Health care spending;Logit models;WP,dependent variable,explanatory variable,GNI,spending
    Date: 2019–09–26
  8. By: Rosa Sanchis-Guarner; José Montalbán; Felix Weinhardt
    Abstract: This paper estimates the effect of home high-speed internet on national test scores of students at age 14. We combine comprehensive information on the telecom network, administrative student records, house prices and local amenities in England in a fuzzy spatial regression discontinuity design across invisible telephone exchange catchment areas. Using this strategy, we find that increasing broadband speed by 1 Mbit/s increases test scores by 1.37 percentile ranks in the years 2005-2008. This effect is sizeable, equivalent to 5% of a standard deviation in the national score distribution, and not driven by other technological mediating factors or school characteristics.
    Keywords: broadband, education, student performance, spatial regression discontinuity
    JEL: J24 I21 I28 D83
    Date: 2021
  9. By: Angrist, Noam (University of Oxford); Bergman, Peter (Columbia University); Matsheng, Moitshepi (Young 1ove)
    Abstract: Schools closed extensively during the COVID-19 pandemic and occur in other settings, such as teacher strikes and natural disasters. This paper provides some of the first experimental evidence on strategies to minimize learning loss when schools close. We run a randomized trial of low-technology interventions – SMS messages and phone calls – with parents to support their child. The combined treatment cost-effectively improves learning by 0.12 standard deviations. We develop remote assessment innovations, which show robust learning outcomes. Our findings have immediate policy relevance and long-run implications for the role of technology and parents as partial educational substitutes when schooling is disrupted.
    Keywords: education, covid, experiment, remote learning, COVID-19
    JEL: I2 I24
    Date: 2020–12

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