nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2021‒03‒08
fourteen papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. Infuencing youths' aspirations and gender attitudes through role models: Evidence from Somali schools By Elijah Kipkech Kipchumba; Catherine Porter; Danila Serra; Munshi Sulaiman
  2. Charter Schools’ Effectiveness, Mechanisms, and Competitive Influence By Sarah R. Cohodes; Katharine S. Parham
  3. International student exchange and academic performance By Czarnitzki, Dirk; Joosten, Wytse; Toivanen, Otto
  4. University Dropout Problems and Solutions By Giuseppe Bertola
  5. The Importance of Peer Quality for Completion of Higher Education By Humlum, Maria Knoth; Thorsager, Mette
  6. Revisiting the causal effect of education on political participation and interest By Bömmel, Nadja; Heineck, Guido
  7. Central exams and adult skills: Evidence from PIAAC By Leschnig, Lisa; Schwerdt, Guido; Zigova, Katarina
  8. Routine-biased technological change and wages by education level: Occupational downgrading and displacement effects By Elliot Moiteaux; Clément Bosquet; Paul Maarek
  9. The Making and Unmaking of Opportunity: Educational Mobility in 20th Century-Denmark By Karlson, Kristian B.; Landerso, Rasmus
  10. Community influence as an explanatory factor why Roma children get little schooling By Stark, Oded; Berlinschi, Ruxanda
  11. Does exposure to more women in male-dominated fields render female students more career-oriented? By Bruna Borges; Fernanda Estevan
  12. Can Mentoring Alleviate Family Disadvantage in Adolescence? A Field Experiment to Improve Labor-Market Prospects By Resnjanskij, Sven; Ruhose, Jens; Wiederhold, Simon; Woessmann, Ludger
  13. Efficiency in rewarding academic journal publications. The case of Poland By Wojciech Charemza; Michal Lewandowski; Lukasz Wozny
  14. Does education predict gender role attitudes?: Evidence from European datasets By Deole, Sumit S.; Zeydanli, Tugba

  1. By: Elijah Kipkech Kipchumba (BRAC); Catherine Porter (Lancaster University, Department of Economics); Danila Serra (Texas A&M University, Department of Economics); Munshi Sulaiman (BRAC)
    Abstract: We conducted a field experiment in Somali elementary schools, aimed at changing the education aspirations and gender attitudes of male and female students. We randomly selected schools to receive a role model treatment, consisting of a college student visiting the target classrooms. Within each treatment school, we randomly selected some grades to receive a visit from a female role model and some grades to receive a visit from a male role model. The college students talked about their study journeys, their challenges and their strategies to overcome such challenges. Data collected six months after the intervention show a significant and large impact of (only) female role models on boys' and girls' attitudes toward gender equality but no impact on students' aspirations to attend college. Data collected two years after the intervention only for the oldest, graduating cohort of students, who were grade 6 at the time of the intervention, produce comparable though imprecisely estimated treatment effect sizes.
    Keywords: Education aspirations, gender attitudes, role models, experiment, Somalia.
    JEL: A22 C93 I23 I24 J16
    Date: 2021–02–24
  2. By: Sarah R. Cohodes; Katharine S. Parham
    Abstract: This paper reviews the research on the impacts of charter school attendance on students’ academic and other outcomes, the mechanisms behind those effects, and the influence of charter schools on nearby traditional public schools, almost three decades after the first charter school was established. Across the United States, charter schools appear to perform, on average, at about the same level as their district counterparts. Underlying the similarity in performance across sectors is a consistent finding: charters located in urban areas boost student test scores, particularly for Black, Latinx, and low-income students. Attending some urban charter schools also increases college enrollment and voting and reduces risky behavior, but evidence on such longer-term outcomes has been found in only a few sites and has a limited time horizon. No Excuses charter schools generate test score gains, but their controversial disciplinary practices are not a necessary a condition for academic success. Charter school teachers tend to be less qualified and more likely to leave the profession than traditional public school teachers, though the labor market implications are understudied. The influence of charter authorizers and related accountability structures is also limited and would benefit from more rigorous examination. The competitive impact of charter schools on traditional public schools suggests a small, beneficial influence on neighboring schools’ student achievement, though there is variation across contexts. Charters also appear to induce a negative financial impact for districts, at least in the short term. Finally, there is competing evidence on charters’ contribution to school racial segregation, and little evidence on the impact of newer, intentionally diverse school models. While we know much about charter schools, more research, in more contexts, is needed to further understand where, for whom, and why charters are most effective.
    JEL: H75 I2 I21
    Date: 2021–02
  3. By: Czarnitzki, Dirk; Joosten, Wytse; Toivanen, Otto
    Abstract: International student exchange has become an important part of university-level studies and the EU plans to increase it significantly. We analyze how international student exchange affects students' academic human capital. Using detailed student-level data from four faculties (Economics and Business, Law, Engineering and Science) of a large Belgian public university we find that, on average, exchange students lose 7% in terms of grades relative to their non-mobile peers, but less so in Erasmus-facilitated exchange. Since students' academic performance is an important factor in companies' hiring decisions, participation in international exchange seems to have a non-negligible impact on labor market outcomes.
    Keywords: Exchange programs,student mobility,academic performance
    JEL: I23 I26 J24
    Date: 2021
  4. By: Giuseppe Bertola
    Abstract: Frequent non-completion in optional education can be e¢ cient if dropouts optimally exercise an option rationally foreseen by previous enrollment choices. This paper shows that in educational opportunities and groups of students where enrollment resolves more pronounced individual uncertainty both enrollment and dropout are higher, with ambiguous degree completion e¤ects, and educational outcomes are unambiguously better in expectation and on average.
    Keywords: option value, higher education
    JEL: I22 I28
    Date: 2021
  5. By: Humlum, Maria Knoth (Aarhus University); Thorsager, Mette (VIVE - The Danish Centre for Applied Social Science)
    Abstract: Using detailed Danish administrative data covering the entire population of students entering higher education in the period 1985 to 2010, we investigate the importance of a student's peers in higher education for the decision to drop out. We use high school GPA as a predetermined measure of student ability and idiosyncratic variation in peer composition across cohorts within the same education and institution. Our findings suggest that peer ability is an important determinant of students' drop out decisions as well as later labor market outcomes. Overall, we find that a one standard deviation increase in peers' high school GPA reduces the probability of dropping out by 4.6 percentage points. This number masks considerable heterogeneity by level and field of study. Allowing for a more flexible specification, we find that low quality peers have adverse effects on the probability of dropping out while high quality peers have beneficial effects. These effects are more pronounced for lower ability students.
    Keywords: dropout, peer effects, peer quality, higher education
    JEL: I21 I24
    Date: 2021–02
  6. By: Bömmel, Nadja; Heineck, Guido
    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 longterm changes in political participation and interest.
    Keywords: school reform,political participation,IV estimation,returns to education,Germany
    JEL: I2 H4 H23
    Date: 2020
  7. By: Leschnig, Lisa; Schwerdt, Guido; Zigova, Katarina
    Abstract: Central exams are often hypothesized to favorably affect incentive structures in schools. Indeed, previous research provides vast evidence on the positive effects of central exams on student test scores. But critics warn that these effects may arise through the strategic behavior of students and teachers, which may not affect human capital accumulation in the long run. Exploiting variation in examination types across school systems and over time, we provide the first evidence that central exams positively affect adult skills. However, our estimates are small compared to the existing estimates for students, which may indicate some fade-out in the effect on skills over time.
    JEL: I20 J24 J31
    Date: 2021–02–25
  8. By: Elliot Moiteaux; Clément Bosquet; Paul Maarek (Université de Cergy-Pontoise, THEMA)
    Abstract: Taking advantage of geographic (and time) variation in the proportion of routine occupations in the US, we study the impact of this variation on the wage rate of workers by educational group. Using individual data and a Bartik-type IV strategy, we show that not only non-college-educated workers but also, in the same proportion, workers with fewer than four years of college are negatively impacted by this routine- biased technological change. The latter skill group currently represents 30% of the US population. We show that only 10% to 20% of the impact on both educational groups is related to occupational and industrial downgrading (the composition eect) and that most of the wage impact occurs within industries and occupations, including manual service occupations. This is consistent with the displacement effect described in the theoretical literature on task-biased technological change and automation.
    Keywords: job polarization, routine occupations, wages, education
    JEL: I24 J23 J24 J31 O33
    Date: 2021
  9. By: Karlson, Kristian B. (University of Copenhagen); Landerso, Rasmus (Rockwool Foundation Research Unit)
    Abstract: We study intergenerational educational mobility in Denmark over the 20th century during which the comprehensive Danish welfare state was rolled out. While mobility initially was low, schooling reforms benefiting children from disadvantaged backgrounds led to dramatic increases in mobility for cohorts born between 1940 and 1960. However, the college expansion affecting cohorts born from 1970 onward has mainly benefited children from affluent backgrounds, resulting in rapidly declining mobility. Comparisons to educational mobility trends in the U.S. reveal that the two countries converge in mobility levels for the most recent cohorts despite the dramatically different welfare policies in place.
    Keywords: educational mobility, inequality, schooling reforms, skills
    JEL: H0 I0 J0
    Date: 2021–02
  10. By: Stark, Oded; Berlinschi, Ruxanda
    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: 2021
  11. By: Bruna Borges; Fernanda Estevan
    Abstract: The underrepresentation of women in male-dominated fields of study can generate a lack of role models for female students, which may influence their career choices. This paper sheds light on this question, investigating the existence of impacts of the gender composition of instructors and peers in the Department of Economics from a selective Brazilian university. Specifically, we analyze whether having higher shares of female professors and classmates throughout undergraduate studies in Economics affects female students’ labor market outcomes. We use comprehensive administrative data from the University of Sao Paulo, containing information on students’ academic results and students’, instructors’, and course sections’ characteristics. We merge these data with Brazilian labor market and firm ownership data to obtain a broad range of career outcomes, including labor force participation, occupational choices, career progression, and wages. To overcome endogeneity issues arising from students’ self-selection into professors and peers, we exploit the random assignment of students in the first-semester classes and focus on mandatory courses. A higher representation of women in a male-dominated field, such as Economics, increases female students’ labor force participation. Moreover, larger female faculty shares increase the probability that a female student becomes a top manager. These results suggest ways to counteract the highly discussed glass ceiling in high-earning occupations. We show that students’ academic performance and elective coursechoice are not driving the effects. Instead, we find suggestive evidence that higher shares of female classmates may increase the likelihood of working during undergraduate studies, leading to stronger labor market attachment.
    Keywords: gender; economics; higher education; glass ceiling; labor market
    JEL: J16 J24 I23
    Date: 2021–02–22
  12. By: Resnjanskij, Sven (ifo Institute); Ruhose, Jens (Kiel University); Wiederhold, Simon (Catholic University Eichstaett-Ingolstadt); Woessmann, Ludger (ifo Institute and LMU Munich)
    Abstract: We study a mentoring program that aims to improve the labor-market prospects of school-attending adolescents from disadvantaged families by offering them a university-student mentor. Our RCT investigates program effectiveness on three outcome dimensions that are highly predictive of adolescents later labor-market success: math grades, patience-social skills, and labor-market orientation. For low-SES adolescents, the one-to-one mentoring increases a combined index of the outcomes by half a standard deviation after one year, with significant increases in each dimension. Part of the treatment effect is mediated by establishing mentors as attachment figures who provide guidance for the future. The mentoring is not effective for higher-SES adolescents. The results show that substituting lacking family support by other adults can help disadvantaged children at adolescent age.
    Keywords: mentoring; disadvantaged youths; adolescence; school performance; patience; social skills; labor-market orientation; field experiment;
    JEL: I24 J24 H52
    Date: 2021–02–26
  13. By: Wojciech Charemza; Michal Lewandowski; Lukasz Wozny
    Abstract: We consider the efficiency of a mechanism for incentivising publication in academic journals where a research supervisory body awards points for papers that appear in quality publications. Building on the principal-agent literature with hidden types, we assume that such a body wants to maximise the expected prestige of academic disciplines. It sets up a reward system so that researchers who are aiming to maximise their own rewards also maximise the objective function of the research supervisory body, through their submission decisions. The model is calibrated to the reward scheme introduced within the Polish higher education reform in 2018, for which a series of policy recommendations is given
    Keywords: academic publications; efficient mechanisms; optimal categorisation
    JEL: I23 C55 O31 C53
    Date: 2021–02
  14. By: Deole, Sumit S.; Zeydanli, Tugba
    Abstract: This paper presents the first empirical evidence of the causal impact of individuals' education on their attitudes towards traditional gender roles. We employ two national panel datasets from the UK and Switzerland and a repeated cross-sectional dataset with information from 13 Western European countries for the analysis. The causal impact of education on gender role attitudes is estimated by exploiting the exogenous variation in individuals' education induced by the compulsory school reforms undertaken in European countries in the second half of the 20th century. We find evidence that an additional year of education instigates egalitarian gender role attitudes equivalent of 0.1-0.3 of a standard deviation. While education's moderating effect is particularly prominent among women, no evidence of effect heterogeneity is found concerning the individuals' religiosity. Our findings are robust to numerous checks performed and are briefly discussed for their policy relevance.
    Keywords: Gender role attitudes,education,compulsory schooling reforms,IV strategy
    JEL: J16 J78 C26
    Date: 2021

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