nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2021‒05‒17
nine papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. The Effect of Education on the Relationship between Genetics, Early-Life Disadvantages, and Later-Life SES By Silvia H. Barcellos; Leandro Carvalho; Patrick Turley
  2. Can Perceived Returns Explain Enrollment Gaps in Postgraduate Education? By Boneva, T.; Golin, M.; Rauh, C.
  3. Racial quotas in higher education and pre-college academic performance: Evidence from Brazil By Guilherme Strifezzi Leal; Ã lvaro Choi
  4. An Economic Theory of Education Externalities: Effects of Education Capital By Harashima, Taiji
  5. Do International Study Programmes Pay off for Local Students? By Wang, Zhiling; Pastore, Francesco; Karreman, Bas; van Oort, Frank
  6. Selective schooling and its relationship to private tutoring: the case of South Korea By Exley, Sonia
  7. Altruism or money? Reducing teacher sorting using behavioral strategies in Peru By Nicolás Ajzenman; Eleonora Bertoni; Gregory Elacqua; Luana Marotta; Carolina Méndez Vargas
  8. The Long-Term Effects of Universal Preschool in Boston By Guthrie Gray-Lobe; Parag A. Pathak; Christopher R. Walters
  9. Efficient Peer Effects Estimators with Random Group Effects By Guido M. Kuersteiner; Ingmar R. Prucha; Ying Zeng

  1. By: Silvia H. Barcellos; Leandro Carvalho; Patrick Turley
    Abstract: This paper investigates whether education weakens the relationship between early-life disadvantages and later-life SES. We use three proxies for advantage that we show are independently associated with SES in middle-age. Besides early, favorable family and neighborhood conditions, we argue that the genes a child inherits also represent a source of advantages. Using a regression discontinuity design and data for over 110,000 individuals, we study a compulsory schooling reform in the UK that generated exogenous variation in schooling. While the reform succeeded in reducing educational disparities, it did not weaken the relationship between early-life disadvantages and wages. This implies that advantaged children had higher returns to schooling. We exploit family-based random genetic variation and find no evidence that these higher returns were driven by genetically-influenced individual characteristics such as innate ability or skills.
    JEL: I24 I26 J31
    Date: 2021–05
  2. By: Boneva, T.; Golin, M.; Rauh, C.
    Abstract: To understand students' motives in obtaining postgraduate qualifications, we elicit intentions to pursue postgraduate education and beliefs about its returns in a sample of 1,002 university students. We find large gaps in perceptions about the immediate and later-life benefits of postgraduate education, both between first- and continuing-generation students and within the latter group. Differences in student beliefs about returns can account for 70% of the socioeconomic gaps in intentions to pursue postgraduate studies. We document large differences in students' current undergraduate experiences by socioeconomic background and find these to be predictive of perceived returns to postgraduate education.
    Keywords: Higher education, beliefs, socioeconomic inequality, intergenerational mobility, postgraduate education
    JEL: I24 I26 J13 J24 J62
    Date: 2021–05–08
  3. By: Guilherme Strifezzi Leal (Universitat de Barcelona); Ã lvaro Choi (Universitat de Barcelona)
    Abstract: The effects of affirmative action on the incentives to human capital accumulation are ambiguous from a theoretical perspective and the scarce empirical evidence on the matter provides mixed results. In this paper, we address this issue by investigating the impacts of Brazil’s Law of Quotas on the students’ performance in the college entrance exam, the ENEM. The law established that a specific share of places in Brazilian federal universities should be filled by non-white students from public high schools. We employ a difference-in-differences approach in order to estimate the effects of the implementation of these quotas on the ENEM scores and provide causal evidence that the law fostered incentives to pre-college human capital accumulation. Moreover, the effects of the quotas were greater in more quantitative- intensive subjects but were not different by gender or parental education, and these impacts increased throughout the first years after the law’s implementation.
    Keywords: Racial quotas, Higher education, Equality of opportunity, Academic performance.
    JEL: J15 I24 I28 H52
    Date: 2021
  4. By: Harashima, Taiji
    Abstract: The source of education externalities has been mostly explained based on the concept of human capital, but this concept is very elastic, so the mechanism behind education externalities has not necessarily been sufficiently explained theoretically. In this paper, I construct a model of education externalities based on the concept of education capital, and show that it is education capital, not human capital, that generates education externalities. Unlike human capital, the effects of education capital have upper bounds because there is a division of labor (i.e., there are specialists). The uncovered mechanism of education externalities has the potential to provide many valuable insights for educational institutions and policy. For example, elementary schools should basically be compulsory, but whether education (not research) in universities should be subsidized by governments may depend on the degree of generosity of high-income people.
    Keywords: Education; Education Externality; Human capital
    JEL: H52 I21 I22 I26 I28
    Date: 2021–05–07
  5. By: Wang, Zhiling; Pastore, Francesco; Karreman, Bas; van Oort, Frank
    Abstract: International study programmes are increasing in number worldwide, but little is known about the impact on local students' job prospects, especially in a non-English speaking countries. Using rich administrative data from Statistics Netherlands, we analyse labour market outcomes of native graduates in master programmes of Dutch universities between 2006 to 2014 within 5 years after graduation. A coarsened exact matching analysis within cohort-university-detailed field of study group addresses the self-selection issue by generating a matched sample of students with similar characteristics. We find that graduates from international programmmes obtain a wage premium of 2.3% starting from the 1st year after graduation, ceteris paribus. The wage premium keeps increasing by about 1% every year. We investigate the mechanisms through which the wage premium operates. The wage premia can neither be explained by wage increase via cross-firm mobility, nor by faster upward mobility within a firm. Instead, evidence point towards the differential characteristics of the first job upon graduation. Graduates from international programmes are much more likely to choose large firms that have a higher share of foreign-born employees and have business of trade for the first job. They get a head start in wage level and the initial wage advantages persist in the long-run.
    Keywords: international programme,native students,wage premium,coarsened exact matching
    JEL: I23 J24 F22
    Date: 2021
  6. By: Exley, Sonia
    Abstract: The notion of selecting students based on academic achievement into different schools at certain points in their educational careers is one that has long been contested in education. In this paper I consider the role selective schooling may play in driving families’ demand for private tutoring – a phenomenon currently growing in many regions of the world. The paper explores the ‘extreme case’ of South Korea – a country with some of the highest spending on private tutoring globally and also a long history of selective schooling. Drawing on interviews with experts and key stakeholders in the Korean education system, the paper reports a number of findings. Interviewees for this project were in many respects critical of a 1970s ‘equalisation’ of Korean schooling, though they also viewed moves back towards selection as fuelling ‘shadow education’. Concern about this has driven governments to curb selective schooling for a second time in Korean history.
    Keywords: selective schools; tracking; private tutoring; shadow education
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2020–04–02
  7. By: Nicolás Ajzenman (Sao Paulo School of Economics - FGV); Eleonora Bertoni (Inter-American Development Bank); Gregory Elacqua (Inter-American Development Bank); Luana Marotta (Inter-American Development Bank); Carolina Méndez Vargas (Inter-American Development Bank)
    Abstract: Inequality in access to high-quality teachers is an important driver of student socioeconomic achievement gaps. We experimentally evaluate a novel nation-wide low-cost government program aimed at reducing teacher sorting. Specifically, we tested two behavioral strategies designed to motivate teachers to apply to job vacancies in disadvantaged schools. These strategies consisted of an "Altruistic Identity" treatment arm, which primed teachers’ altruistic identity by making it more salient, and an “Extrinsic Incentives” arm, which simplified the information and increased the salience of an existing government monetary- incentive scheme rewarding teachers who work in underprivileged institutions. We show that both strategies are successful in triggering teacher candidates to apply to such vacancies, as well as make them more likely to be assigned to a final in-person evaluation in a disadvantaged school. The effect among high-performing teachers is larger, especially in the "Altruistic" arm. Our results imply that low-cost behavioral strategies can enhance the supply and quality of professionals willing to teach in high-need areas.
    Keywords: identity monetary incentives priming altruism prosocial behavior teacher sorting
    JEL: I24 D91 I25
    Date: 2021–03
  8. By: Guthrie Gray-Lobe; Parag A. Pathak; Christopher R. Walters
    Abstract: We use admissions lotteries to estimate the effects of large-scale public preschool in Boston on college-going, college preparation, standardized test scores, and behavioral outcomes. Preschool enrollment boosts college attendance, as well as SAT test-taking and high school graduation. Preschool also decreases several disciplinary measures including juvenile incarceration, but has no detectable impact on state achievement test scores. An analysis of subgroups shows that effects on college enrollment, SAT-taking, and disciplinary outcomes are larger for boys than for girls. Our findings illustrate possibilities for large-scale modern, public preschool and highlight the importance of measuring long-term and non-test score outcomes in evaluating the effectiveness of education programs.
    JEL: I20 I21 I24 I28
    Date: 2021–05
  9. By: Guido M. Kuersteiner; Ingmar R. Prucha; Ying Zeng
    Abstract: We study linear peer effects models where peers interact in groups, individual's outcomes are linear in the group mean outcome and characteristics, and group effects are random. Our specification is motivated by the moment conditions imposed in Graham 2008. We show that these moment conditions can be cast in terms of a linear random group effects model and lead to a class of GMM estimators that are generally identified as long as there is sufficient variation in group size. We also show that our class of GMM estimators contains a Quasi Maximum Likelihood estimator (QMLE) for the random group effects model, as well as the Wald estimator of Graham 2008 and the within estimator of Lee 2007 as special cases. Our identification results extend insights in Graham 2008 that show how assumptions about random group effects as well as variation in group size can be used to overcome the reflection problem in identifying peer effects. Our QMLE and GMM estimators can easily be augmented with additional covariates and are valid in situations with a large but finite number of different group sizes. Because our estimators are general moment based procedures, using instruments other than binary group indicators in estimation is straight forward. Monte-Carlo simulations show that the bias of the QMLE estimator decreases with the number of groups and the variation in group size, and increases with group size. We also prove the consistency and asymptotic normality of the estimator under reasonable assumptions.
    Date: 2021–05

This nep-edu issue is ©2021 by Nádia Simões. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.