nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2021‒04‒19
seven papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. Teacher Shortage in India: Myth or Reality? The Fiscal Cost of Surplus Teachers, Fake Enrolment and Absences By Datta, Sandip; Kingdon, Geeta G.
  2. Intergenerational Transmission of Lockdown Consequences: Prognosis of the Longer-run Persistence of COVID-19 in Latin America By Guido Neidhöfer; Nora Lustig; Mariano Tommasi
  3. Managers’productivity and recruitment in the public sector: the case of school principals By Muñoz, Pablo; Prem, Mounu
  4. Is longer education a substitute for job search through social contacts? By Müller, Dagmar
  5. "Against all odds" Does awareness of the risk of failure matter for educational choices? By Maria Alejandra Cattaneo; Stefan C. Wolter
  6. Central Exams and Adult Skills: Evidence from PIAAC By Leschnig, Lisa; Schwerdt, Guido; Zigova, Katarina
  7. "The Impact of Combining Work with Study on the Labour Market Performance of Graduates: the Joint Role of Work Intensity and Job-Field Match". By Antonio Di Paolo; Alessia Matano

  1. By: Datta, Sandip (City Montessori School); Kingdon, Geeta G. (University College London)
    Abstract: This paper examines the widespread perception in India that the country has an acute teacher shortage of about one million teachers in public elementary schools, a view repeated in India's National Education Policy 2020. Using official DISE data, we show that there is hardly any net teacher deficit in the country since there is roughly the same number of surplus teachers as the number of teacher vacancies. Secondly, we show that measuring teacher requirements after removing the estimated fake students from enrolment data greatly reduces the required number of teachers and increases the number of surplus teachers, yielding an estimated net surplus of about 342,000 teachers. Thirdly, we show that if we both remove fake enrolment and also make a suggested hypothetical change to the teacher allocation rule to adjust for the phenomenon of emptying public schools (which has slashed the national median public-school size to a mere 64 students), the estimated net teacher surplus is about 764,000 teachers. Fourthly, we highlight that if government does fresh recruitment to fill the supposed nearly one-million vacancies, the already modest national mean pupil-teacher-ratio (PTR) of 22.8 would fall to 15.9, at a permanent fiscal cost of nearly Rupees 48,000 crore (USD 6.6 billion) per year in 2017-18 prices, which is higher than the individual GDPs of 56 countries in that year. The paper also highlights the volume of schools with extreme PTRs, and estimates the cost of teacher absence, pupil absence and fake enrolments. Overall, the paper highlights the major economic efficiencies that can result from an evidence-based approach to education policy making.
    Keywords: public elementary schools, pupil-teacher-ratios, teacher surpluses, fake enrolment, teacher absence, student absence, India
    JEL: I20 I21
    Date: 2021–04
  2. By: Guido Neidhöfer; Nora Lustig; Mariano Tommasi
    Abstract: The shock on human capital caused by COVID-19 is likely to have long lasting consequences, especially for children of low-educated families. Applying a counterfactual exercise we project the effects of school closures and other lockdown policies on the intergenerational persistence of education in 17 Latin American countries. First, we retrieve detailed information on school lockdowns and on the policies enacted to support education from home in each country. Then, we use this information to estimate the potential impact of the pandemic on schooling, high school completion, and intergenerational associations. In addition, we account for educational disruptions related to household income shocks. Our findings show that, despite that mitigation policies were able to partly reduce instructional losses in some countries, the educational attainment of the most vulnerable could be seriously affected. In particular, the likelihood of children from low educated families to attain a secondary schooling degree could fall substantially.
    Keywords: COVID-19, lockdowns, human capital, school closures, intergenerational persistence, education, inequality, Latin America
    JEL: I24 I38 J62
    Date: 2020–12
  3. By: Muñoz, Pablo; Prem, Mounu
    Abstract: We study whether differences in management can explain variation in productivity and how more effective managers can be recruited in absence of high-powered incentives. To investigate this, we first extend the canonical teacher value-added model to account for school principals, and we document substantial variation in their ability to improve students’ learning. Teachers’ survey responses and quasi-experimental designs based on changes in school management validate our measure of principal effectiveness. Then, we leverage the timing of adoption of a civil service reform and show that despite having relatively rigid wages, public schools were able to attract more effective managers after increasing the competitiveness and transparency of their personnel selection process.
    Date: 2021–04–13
  4. By: Müller, Dagmar (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN),)
    Abstract: This paper investigates whether longer upper secondary education affects the role of parents in the job finding process. Previous research has shown that less educated workers rely more on contacts, and theory suggests that education and social connections can be substituted as signals of ability. I investigate this question by exploiting a Swedish trial that generated exogenous variation across municipalities and student cohorts in the length of vocational upper secondary education. Relying on Swedish matched employer-employee data, I estimate the effect of receiving one more year of education on the probability of being employed at the same establishment as a parent for up to 20 years after graduation. The results indicate that the average impact of a longer education is negative during the early career and non-trivial in magnitude. The overall effect is entirely driven by a large and statistically significant effect within the group of vocational students with high-educated parents. For the group of students where the use of parental ties is most prevalent, students with low-educated parents, the reliance on parental contacts appears resilient to policy-induced changes in the length of education.
    Keywords: social contacts; young workers; labor market transitions; mobility
    JEL: J24 J62
    Date: 2021–04–13
  5. By: Maria Alejandra Cattaneo; Stefan C. Wolter
    Abstract: This paper examines the effect of information on dropout risks on preferences for academic versus vocational education. Switzerland is used as a case study because of its strongly developed national vocational education system along with marked differences in preferences for and enrolment rates in academic education across its three language regions. Since the education system is harmonized in terms of expectations for the required cognitive performance for an academic degree, this means that different enrolments in academic education need to be partially corrected later by a stronger selection during the studies. By means of a survey experiment, we investigate whether these more pronounced preferences for academic education stem from the fact that educational risks are unknown when making educational decisions, or whether preferences are so strong that these risks are willingly tolerated. Our results suggest that the latter seems more likely to be the case and that a correction of the mismatch cannot come solely via the deterrent effect of the higher risks of dropping out of education.
    Date: 2021–04
  6. By: Leschnig, Lisa (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany]); 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." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))
    JEL: I20 J24 J31
    Date: 2021–04–13
  7. By: Antonio Di Paolo (AQR-IREA Research Group, University of Barcelona.); Alessia Matano (University of Rome "La Sapienza" , Dipartimento di Economia e Diritto, e AQR-IREA, University of Barcelona.)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effects of working during university education on students' labour market performance. We jointly consider the role of work intensity and the relationship with the field of study in a framework that accounts for self-selection into different types of jobs. The empirical analysis draws on data from three successive cohorts of graduates from the Spanish region of Catalonia. Our results point out that the probability of being employed four years after graduation is significantly higher for students who have worked in jobs well-matched with their degree relative to both full-time students and students who have worked in unrelated jobs. Further, the probability of having a permanent job is generally higher for those who worked before graduation, especially in the case of jobs related to the degree. However, the likelihood of early career job-qualification match is negatively affected by pre-graduation work experiences unrelated to degree's contents.
    Keywords: University Graduates, Pre-graduation Jobs, Employability, Job Quality, Self-Selection. JEL classification: I23, J24, J22.
    Date: 2021–04

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