nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2021‒03‒29
nine papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. Is Gender Destiny? Gender Bias and Intergenerational Educational Mobility in India By Emran, M. Shahe; Jiang, Hanchen; Shilpi, Forhad
  2. Social segregation at French University: some geographical disparities during the 2006-2016 period By Pierre Courtioux; Tristan-Pierre Maury; Johan Seux
  3. Peer effects in college: how peers' performance can influence students' academic outcomes By de Souza, Laeticia R.; de Xavier Pinto, Cristine Campos; Queiroz, Bernardo L; de Oliveira e Silva, Dimitri
  4. Just Above the Exam Cutoff Score: Elite College Admission and Wages in China By Ruixue Jia; Hongbin Li
  5. Leaving Their Mark: Using Danish Student Grade Lists to Construct a More Detailed Measure of Historical Human Capital By Nicholas Ford; Kristin Ranestad; Paul Sharp
  6. Brain Drain from Vocational to Academic Education at Upper-Secondary Level? An Empirical Analysis for Switzerland By Katharina Jaik
  7. Why cognitive test scores of spanish adults are so low? the role of schooling and socioeconomic background By Brindusa Anghel; Pilar Cuadrado; Federico Tagliati
  8. Enhancing Human Capital at Scale By Francesco Agostinelli; Ciro Avitable; Matteo Bobba
  9. Public Expenditures Efficiency On Education Distribution in Developing Countries By Jean-François Brun; Constantin Compaore

  1. By: Emran, M. Shahe; Jiang, Hanchen; Shilpi, Forhad
    Abstract: Many recent studies provide evidence of gender bias against girls in India, for example, in health, education expenditure, breast feeding, and sex selection. In contrast, the gender gap in schooling has narrowed substantially over the decades. Does gender convergence in schooling attainment imply that the girls in the younger generation in India enjoy equal educational opportunities as the boys? To analyze this question, we study intergenerational schooling persistence addressing both empirical and theoretical challenges. We incorporate gender bias against girls in the family, school and labor market in a Becker-Tomes model and derive mobility and investment equations that can be taken to data. Parents may underestimate a girl's ability, expect lower returns, and assign lower welfare weights (“pure son preference”). The model delivers the widely used linear conditional expectation function (CEF) for mobility under constant returns but generates strong predictions: parental bias cannot cause gender gap in relative mobility. With diminishing returns, the CEF is concave, and parental bias affects both relative and absolute mobility. Since coresidency causes severe underestimation of the gender gap, we use data from India Human Development Survey that includes nonresident children and parents. Evidence rejects the linear mobility CEF in favor of a concave relation (both rural and urban). The daughters of uneducated fathers face lower relative and absolute mobility irrespective of rural/urban location. We find gender equality in absolute mobility for the children of college educated fathers in urban areas, but not in villages. Theoretical insights help understand the mechanisms, suggesting underestimation of academic ability and unfavorable school environment for girls. Rural parents exhibit pure son preference. Differences in the incidence of unwanted girls and the impact of parental nonfinancial inputs explain the rural-urban differences. The standard linear model misses important heterogeneity and yields misleading conclusions such as no son preference in rural India.
    Keywords: Gender Bias, Intergenerational Mobility, Education, Becker-Tomes Model, Heterogeneity, Son Preference, Unwanted Girls, India, Patrilineal, Matrilineal, Coresidency Bias
    JEL: I24 J62
    Date: 2021–03–24
  2. By: Pierre Courtioux (Paris School of Business, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Tristan-Pierre Maury (EDHEC - EDHEC Business School); Johan Seux (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: This article is the first quantitative and exhaustive analysis of social segregation in French universities. Over the period 2006-2016, we calculate the Normalized Exposure index of very advantaged and disavantaged students for each French "académies" and levels of education (one-year degree, two-year degree, Bachelor and Master). At the national level, values of Normalized Exposure index reveal the existence of social segregation in French universities, although at lower levels than those highlighted by other articles on secondary education. The geographical analysis of segregation shows that the levels of segregation are not systematically higher in the Île-de-France's "académies" or in those linked to a large agglomeration (Lyon, Aix-Marseille, Lille) as it is the case for secondary school: the overall level of segregation depends little on the size of the "académie". However, the level of social segregation proper to advantaged students is positively related to the share of students that come from other "académies". Eventually, we study the levels of segregation by education level: there is a decrease in segregation between the one-year and two-year tertiary degrees, a well as between Bachelor and Master degrees at the national level. However, this averall trend does not seem to be carried by all "académies", but only by a limited number. In addition, there is an important variability of segregation across education levels as far as one "académie" can be characterized by low level of segregation for certain education levels and important ones for others.
    Abstract: Nous analysons la ségrégation sociale à l'Université en France sur la période 2006-2016. Sur la base de l'indice d'exposition normalisé, nous montrons qu'au niveau national, la ségrégation se fixe à des niveaux plus faibles que ceux mis en évidence par d'autres travaux pour l'enseignement secondaire et que contrairement à ce dernier les niveaux de ségrégation ne sont pas systématiquement plus élevés dans les académies d'Île-de-France ou dans celles liées à une grande agglomération (Lyon, Aix-Marseille, Lille). Nous montrons également que le niveau de ségrégation à l'Université baisse avec le niveau de diplôme au niveau national. Toutefois, cette tendance globale ne semble pas portée par l'ensemble des académies, mais plutôt par un nombre limité de grandes académies. Par ailleurs, nous montrons une très grande variabilité de la ségrégation au cours du cursus par académie, avec des académies peu ségrégées pour certains niveaux d'études et fortement pour d'autres.
    Keywords: regional diversity,segregation index,university,diversité régionale,indice de ségrégation,université
    Date: 2021–03
  3. By: de Souza, Laeticia R.; de Xavier Pinto, Cristine Campos; Queiroz, Bernardo L (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil); de Oliveira e Silva, Dimitri
    Abstract: This paper investigates the existence of peer effects in academic outcomes by exploring specificities in the student's admission process of a Brazilian federal university, which works as a natural experiment. Individuals who are comparable in terms of previous academic achievement end up having classmates with better or worse performance in college because of the assignment rule of students to classrooms. Thus, our identification strategy for estimating peer effects on academic outcomes eliminates the endogenous self-selection into groups that would otherwise undermine the causal inference of peer effects. Overall, our findings showed that joining a class with high-ability students damages academic achievements of the lowest-ability students at UFMG. Although male and female students are both negatively affected by being in the first (better) class, we found gender differences. Specifically, being at the bottom of the better class make females take less radical decisions compared to male students in the sense that female students continue to study even though with lower performance (reduced GPA and credits earned) while male students seem to be more prone towards dropping out (increased number of subjects – or even University registration – cancelled and reduced attendance in classroom). We have also found other heterogeneities in peer effects in college in terms of class shift, period of admission, area of study and parents’ education. This study is a necessary step before investigating the impact of peer quality on after-graduating decisions using the same natural experiment. This will allow us to deepen our understanding of how peer effects can also have long-lasting impacts.
    Date: 2021–03–18
  4. By: Ruixue Jia; Hongbin Li
    Abstract: A burgeoning literature has documented the importance of elite colleges. Yet, little is known about access to elite education and its labor market implications in China, a country that produces one in every five college graduates in the world. College admission in China is governed by a single exam—the national college entrance exam, and the government sets admission cutoff scores for elite colleges. We examine the impacts of scoring above the elite-tier cutoff on a student's access to elite colleges and wage outcomes after graduation, using the discontinuity around the cutoff score. By employing hand-collected survey data, we find that scoring above the cutoff not only increases the chance of entering an elite college but also raises a young person's first-job wages after graduation. We also find that those just above the cutoff have peers with higher scores and better social networks than those below the cutoff, but it is less clear whether the two groups use their time differently in college.
    JEL: H1 I20 I25 I26
    Date: 2021–02
  5. By: Nicholas Ford (Lund University); Kristin Ranestad (Lund University); Paul Sharp (University of Southern Denmark)
    Abstract: We provide a brief overview of the educational history of Denmark and document archival and printed sources covering the development of primary, secondary, and tertiary education. In particular, we focus on student grade lists, which are available for individuals at all levels of education from the early nineteenth century until well into the twentieth century. We suggest that these can be used to construct more detailed measures of human capital than those usually employed, making it possible to deconstruct aggregate education into e.g. knowledge of science or humanities, as well as to measure the extent to which this was actually learned, as captured by the grades achieved. Given the role usually attributed to human capital for development, and perhaps particularly with regards the Nordic countries, such data has the potential to greatly increase our understanding of how Denmark became the rich and successful country it is today.
    Keywords: Denmark, grade lists, human capital
    JEL: I21 N33 N34
    Date: 2021–02
  6. By: Katharina Jaik
    Abstract: Despite the ongoing debate about how much academic versus vocational upper-secondary education is favorable for a country and large differences across countries of those two types of education exist, the interplay of vocational and academic education on upper-secondary level and its consequences for the entire education system remain under-researched. Although difficult to analyze directly, we first construct a measure to capture companies' reactions to changes in academic education rates and second analyze whether academic education rates are associated with success rates in vocational education over time and with control variables. To measure companies' reactions, we use a cantonal average requirements profile consisting of the academic requirements profile of an occupation and the number of apprenticeships started in this occupation per year and canton. Although results of the first part of the analysis are ambiguous, combined with the second part, they suggest a non-reaction of companies (i.e., they keep offering the same occupations but have to fill their positions with lower-ability candidates). Results of the second part show that more opportunities for academic education appear to draw highly-able students away from vocational education, with negative consequences for the success rates in vocational education. Our findings have important implications for countries with vocational and academic tracks in their education systems, but also for those who plan to introduce or strengthen (dual) vocational education.
    Keywords: Vocational education, academic education, interplay, upper-secondary education, brain drain, academic requirements profile in VET, Switzerland
    Date: 2020–09
  7. By: Brindusa Anghel (Banco de España); Pilar Cuadrado (Banco de España); Federico Tagliati (Banco de España)
    Abstract: We explore the cognitive skill gap between the adult population in Spain and in the rest of European Union countries using the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies. We find that differences in schooling account for about a third of the average difference in cognitive test scores, whereas differences in socio-economic background explain about one fourth of the average score gap. While cognitive skill gaps are increasing along the distribution of test scores, differences in educational stocks and socio-economic factors explain a larger fraction of the gap at the bottom than at the top of the skill distribution.
    Keywords: human capital, cognitive skills, PIAAC, Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition
    JEL: J24 J10
    Date: 2020–04
  8. By: Francesco Agostinelli (University of Pennsylvania); Ciro Avitable (World Bank); Matteo Bobba (University of Toulouse Capitole)
    Abstract: A two-year randomized evaluation shows that the effectiveness of mobile mentors on schooling outcomes crucially depends on their training. While a standard training modality in highly marginalized communities in Mexico generates null results, enhanced training yields sizable treatment effects on primary school children's cognitive, behavioral, and educational achievements. This difference cannot be explained by remedial educational activities or pedagogical support, but it can be reconciled with higher parental aspirations and investments. Evidence gathered on the subsequent national roll out of the intervention with enhanced training substantiates the scalability of the experimental design.
    Keywords: educational investments, family investments, remedial education, pedagogical practices, scaling-up effects
    JEL: H43 I10 I20 I38
    Date: 2021–03
  9. By: Jean-François Brun (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - Clermont Auvergne - UCA - Université Clermont Auvergne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Constantin Compaore (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - Clermont Auvergne - UCA - Université Clermont Auvergne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: The paper assesses the efficiency of public expenditures in decreasing the unequal distribution of education in developing countries over the period 1980–2010. For this purpose, we use partial frontier estimator to compute output and input efficiency scores. Moreover, we analyze the determinants of education output efficiency by using Exponential Fractional Regression Models (EFRM). The results show that on average, developing countries can reduce their education inequality by 30% without changing their public expenditures on education. Developing countries improved their output efficiency over the study period. However, their input efficiency has decreased relatively slightly since 2005. The results also show that logarithm of GDP and its square, urbanization, government stability and democracy are the main determinants of education output efficiency for both logit and Cloglog specifications.
    Keywords: Education inequality,Efficiency,Public spending
    Date: 2021–01–20

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