nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2021‒06‒21
ten papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. Children's Patience and School-Track Choices Several Years Later: Linking Experimental and Field Data By Silvia Angerer; Jana Bolvashenkova; Daniela Glätzle-Rützler; Philipp Lergetporer; Matthias Sutter
  2. Supporting academic advising through self-directed, blended learning By Laar, Mindel van de; Triantos, Katerina N.; Krebs, Lutz F.
  3. The labor market returns to ‘first in family’ university graduates By Anna Adamecz-Völgyi; Morag Henderson; Nikki Shure
  4. The Rise of For-Profit Higher Education: A General Equilibrium Analysis By Ciprian Domnisoru; Ioana Cosmina Schiopu
  5. Young people between education and the labour market during the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy By Davide Fiaschi; Cristina Tealdi
  6. Implementing a class in Climate Change Economics: A case study how online resources facilitate interdisciplinarity in higher education By Michael Lüken; Zurab Abramishvili; Norberto Pignatti
  7. Social Norms and Gender-Typical Occupational Choices By Patricia Palffy; Patrick Lehnert; Uschi Backes-Gellner
  8. Does Peer Motivation Impact Educational Investments? Evidence From DACA By Briana Ballis
  9. Yes, You Can! Effects of Transparent Admission Standards on High School Track Choice: A Randomized Field Experiment By Tamás Keller; Károly Takács; Felix Elwert
  10. The Returns to Public Library Investment By Gregory Gilpin; Ezra Karger; Peter Nencka

  1. By: Silvia Angerer; Jana Bolvashenkova; Daniela Glätzle-Rützler; Philipp Lergetporer; Matthias Sutter
    Abstract: We present direct evidence on the link between children’s patience and educational-track choices years later. Combining an incentivized patience measure of 493 primary-school children with their high-school track choices taken at least three years later at the end of middle school, we find that patience significantly predicts choosing an academic track. This relationship remains robust after controlling for a rich set of covariates, such as family background, school-class fixed effects, risk preferences, and cognitive abilities, and is not driven by sample attrition. Accounting for middle-school GPA as a potential mediating factor suggests a direct link between patience and educational-track choice.
    Keywords: patience, education, school track choice, children, lab-in-field experiment
    JEL: C91 D90 I21 J20
    Date: 2021
  2. By: Laar, Mindel van de (UNU-MERIT, and SBE, Maastricht University); Triantos, Katerina N. (M Powered Strategies, Washington DC); Krebs, Lutz F. (UNU-MERIT, and SBE, Maastricht University)
    Abstract: Academic advising and perceived agency in study choices often lead students to assembling a more suitable curriculum and ultimately lead to better learning outcomes. This paper argues that helping students sample the experience of upcoming education units can support traditional academic advising and assist students in critical reflection when picking electives. We examine how online previews of upcoming courses offered in addition to information and advising supports students in making smart choices. Students were surveyed both before and after reviewing online course excerpts. Data was supplemented with feedback by advisors and compared with previous cohorts lacking the online component. Findings indicate students used the material to test initial plans and assumptions and became more critical in making their track selection.
    Keywords: academic advising, self-directed learning, higher education, blended learning
    JEL: I21 I23
    Date: 2021–05–11
  3. By: Anna Adamecz-Völgyi (Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies (KRTK KRTI), Toth Kalman u. 4, 1097 Budapest andUCL Social Research Institute, University College London, 27 Woburn Square, London WC1H 0AA); Morag Henderson (UCL Social Research Institute, University College London, 27 Woburn Square, London WC1H 0AA); Nikki Shure (UCL Social Research Institute, University College London, 27 Woburn Square, London WC1H 0AA and Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 5-9, D-53113 Bonn.)
    Abstract: We examine how first in family (FiF) graduates (those whose parents do not have university degrees) fare on the labor market in England. We find that among women, FiF graduates earn 7.4% less on average than graduate women whose parents have a university degree. For men, we do not find a FiF wage penalty. A decomposition of the wage difference between FiF and non-FiF graduates reveals that FiF men earn higher returns on their endowments than non-FiF men and thus compensate for their relative social disadvantage, while FiF women do not. We also show that a substantial share of the graduate gender wage gap is due to, on the one hand, women being more likely to be FiF than men and, on the other hand, that the FiF wage gap is gendered. We provide some context, offer explanations, and suggest implications of these findings.
    Keywords: socioeconomic gaps, intergenerational educational mobility, higher education, labor market returns, gender economics
    JEL: I24 I26 J24
    Date: 2021–06
  4. By: Ciprian Domnisoru; Ioana Cosmina Schiopu
    Abstract: The growth of for-profit colleges has been historically aided by online instruction, and budget crunches at public institutions, circumstances which have resurfaced during the COVID-19 pandemic. We set up and calibrate a general equilibrium model of competition between public and for-profit institutions in the U.S. four-year college market. Our predicted levels of tuition, instructional spending and average student body ability match data counterparts well. In policy experiments, we vary the generosity of public support for higher education and we consider the effects of “gainful employment” legislation that would link access to federal funding for universities to their graduates’ debt-to-earnings ratios. We find that Pell Grant cap increases would benefit for-profit colleges, which flexibly decrease tuition and instructional spending to attract a higher number of low-income beneficiaries. Our simulations indicate for-profit colleges prefer to comply with gainful employment standards, but do so by lowering tuition and instructional quality.
    Keywords: college choice, funding policies, non-traditional students, general equilibrium
    JEL: D40 D58 I28
    Date: 2021
  5. By: Davide Fiaschi; Cristina Tealdi
    Abstract: We analyse the distribution and the flows between different types of employment (self-employment, temporary, and permanent), unemployment, education, and other types of inactivity, with particular focus on the duration of the school-to-work transition (STWT). The aim is to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy on the careers of individuals aged 15-34. We find that the pandemic worsened an already concerning situation of higher unemployment and inactivity rates and significantly longer STWT duration compared to other EU countries, particularly for females and residents in the South of Italy. In the midst of the pandemic, individuals aged 20-29 were less in (permanent and temporary) employment and more in the NLFET (Neither in the Labour Force nor in Education or Training) state, particularly females and non Italian citizens. We also provide evidence of an increased propensity to return to schooling, but most importantly of a substantial prolongation of the STWT duration towards permanent employment, mostly for males and non Italian citizens. Our contribution lies in providing a rigorous estimation and analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on the carriers of young individuals in Italy, which has not yet been explored in the literature.
    Date: 2021–06
  6. By: Michael Lüken (International School of Economics at Tbilisi State University (ISET), Tbilisi, Georgia); Zurab Abramishvili (International School of Economics at Tbilisi State University (ISET), Tbilisi, Georgia); Norberto Pignatti (International School of Economics at Tbilisi State University (ISET), Tbilisi; IZA)
    Abstract: Tackling human-made Climate Change is among the main global challenges today and in the coming decades. Due to the interdisciplinary structure of the topic, the integration of Climate Change into the relevant higher education programs still lags behind. Online teaching resources such as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) might contribute significantly to overcoming this deficiency. In this paper, we describe the design of a class in “Climate Change Economics†and how we implemented it in a BA program at the International School of Economics at Tbilisi State University (ISET) in Tbilisi (Georgia). Our main focus is the integration of a MOOC on Climate Change and further online material as main teaching resources. Our main conclusion is that the MOOC, supplemented with videos on special topics, is a suitable tool to facilitate an interdisciplinary introduction into Climate Change within an academic class in, e.g., Economics. The results of our evaluation show that online resources are highly motivational for students and encourage an efficient studying process. Based on our experiences, we offer recommendations for further strengthening Climate Change as a topic in higher education. We provide suggestions on how online resources such as MOOCs might contribute to that aim.
    Date: 2021
  7. By: Patricia Palffy; Patrick Lehnert; Uschi Backes-Gellner
    Abstract: The authors analyze the relationship between social gender norms and the occupational choices of adolescents by combining information about regional votes on a constitutional amendment on gender equality with job application data from a large job board for vocational education and training apprenticeships. Results show that adolescent males in regions with stronger traditional social gender norms are significantly more likely to apply for gender-typical occupations. This finding does not hold for adolescent females, suggesting that males align their occupational choices more strongly with social gender norms than females. Additional analyses reveal that the social gender norms in a region are related to the costs that adolescents living in this region are willing to bear for commuting to a firm where they receive apprenticeship training in either a gender-typical or gender-atypical occupation. The results underscore the importance of policies that factor in social gender norms and encourage not only adolescent females, but also adolescent males to make non-traditional occupational choices.
    Keywords: social norms, occupational choice, gender typicality, occupational gender segregation
    JEL: J24 J16 I24 M59
    Date: 2021–06
  8. By: Briana Ballis (University of California, Merced)
    Abstract: Despite the significant influence that peer motivation is likely to have on educational investments during high school, it is difficult to test empirically since exogenous changes in peer motivation are rarely observed. In this paper, I focus on the 2012 introduction of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to study a setting in which peer motivation changed sharply for a subset of high school students. DACA significantly increased the returns to schooling for undocumented youth, while leaving the returns for their peers unchanged. I find that DACA induced undocumented youth to invest more in their education, which also had positive spillover effects on ineligible students (those born in the US) who attended high school with high concentrations of DACA-eligible youth.
    Keywords: high school, DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, undocumented youth, Spillover effects
    JEL: I26 H52 J15
    Date: 2021–06
  9. By: Tamás Keller (Computational Social Science - Research Center for Educational and Network Studies, Centre for Social Sciences Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies TÁRKI Social Research Institute, Budapest); Károly Takács (The Institute for Analytical Sociology (IAS), Linköping University Computational Social Science - Research Center for Educational and Network Studies, Centre for Social Sciences); Felix Elwert (Department of Sociology & Department of Biostatistics and Medical Informatics, University of Wisconsin-Madison)
    Abstract: High school track choice determines college access in many countries. We hypothesize that some qualified students avoid the college-bound track simply because they overestimate admission requirements. To test this hypothesis, we designed a randomized field experiment that communicated the admission standards of local secondary schools on the academic track to students in Hungary before the application deadline. We targeted the subset of students (“seeds”) who occupied the most central position in the classroom-social networks, aiming to detect both direct effects on the track choice of targeted seeds and spillover effects on their untreated peers. We found neither a direct effect nor a spillover effect on students’ applications or admissions on average. Further analyses, however, revealed theoretically plausible heterogeneity in the direct causal effect of the intervention on the track choice of targeted seeds. Providing information about admission standards increased applications and admissions to secondary schools on the academic track among seeds who had a pre-existing interest in the academic track but were unsure of their chances of admission. This demonstrates that publicizing admissions standards can set students on a more ambitious educational trajectory. We discuss implications for theory and policy.
    Keywords: High school track choice; randomized field experiment; educational aspirations; spillover effect; Hungary.
    JEL: C93 I20 D91 J24
    Date: 2021–06
  10. By: Gregory Gilpin; Ezra Karger; Peter Nencka
    Abstract: Local governments spend over 12 billion dollars annually funding the operation of 15,000 public libraries in the United States. This funding supports widespread library use: more than 50% of Americans visit public libraries each year. But despite extensive public investment in libraries, surprisingly little research quantities the effects of public libraries on communities and children. We use data on the near-universe of U.S. public libraries to study the effects of capital spending shocks on library resources, patron usage, student achievement, and local housing prices. We use a dynamic difference-in-difference approach to show that library capital investment increases children’s attendance at library events by 18%, children’s checkouts of items by 21%, and total library visits by 21%. Increases in library use translate into improved children’s test scores in nearby school districts: a $1,000 or greater per-student capital investment in local public libraries increases reading test scores by 0.02 standard deviations and has no effects on math test scores. Housing prices do not change after a sharp increase in public library capital investment, suggesting that residents internalize the increased cost and improved quality of their public libraries.
    Keywords: public libraries; capital spending; test scores
    JEL: H41 H75 I21 I28 R0
    Date: 2021–04–12

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.