nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2021‒06‒28
ten papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. Gender and Choices in Higher Education By Anne Boring; Jennifer Brown
  2. When Need Meets Merit: The Effect of Increasing Merit Requirements in Need-Based Student Aid By Agasisti, Tommaso; Bratti, Massimiliano; Minaya, Veronica
  3. The effects of age on educational performances at the end of primary school : cross-sectional and regression discontinuity approach applications from Reunion Island By Daniel Rakotomalala
  4. Can Competitiveness predict Education and Labor Market Outcomes? Evidence from Incentivized Choice and Survey Measures By Thomas Buser; Muriel Niederle; Hessel Oosterbeek
  5. The labor market returns to ‘first in family’ university graduates By Anna Adamecz-Volgyi; Morag Henderson; Nikki Shure
  6. Does education predict gender role attitudes?: Evidence from European datasets By Deole, Sumit S.; Zeydanli, Tugba
  7. Does Vocational Education Pay Better, or Worse, Than Academic Education? By Chen, Jie; Pastore, Francesco
  8. Entrepreneurial Reluctance: Talent and Firm Creation in China By Chong-En Bai; Ruixue Jia; Hongbin Li; Xin Wang
  9. The Signaling, Screening, and Human Capital Effects of National Board Certification: Evidence from Chicago and Kentucky High Schools By Lisa Barrow; Linda Cavalluzzo; Thomas Geraghty; Christine Mokher; Lauren Sartain
  10. How Lotteries in School Choice Help to Level the Playing Field By Author-Name: Christian Basteck; Author-Name: Bettina Klaus; Dorothea Kuebler

  1. By: Anne Boring (Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques); Jennifer Brown (University of Utah (UUtah))
    Abstract: Data on the labor market outcomes of university graduates show that gender pay gaps appear soon after graduation in nearly every field of study. We provide descriptive evidence of a plausible cause of the gender starting-salary gap: choices within an educational setting that differ between male and female students, even after accounting for academic specialization. We examine the choices of undergraduate students at a selective French university who are competing for seats at foreign universities to fulfill a mandatory exchange program requirement. Holding fixed students’ field of study, we find that average and high-ability female students request exchange universities that are worse-ranked than their male peers. A survey eliciting students’ preferences suggests that male students prioritize the academic characteristics of potential exchange universities more often, whereas similar female students consider both the academic and non-academic characteristics of exchange destinations. We explore the short-term consequences of these differing preferences using a simulation that assigns students to exchange seats solely on university ranking and students’ academic performance. Female students’ assignment improves almost uniformly, whereas top-performing male students face increased competition for seats and male students with average grades face less competition as high-achieving female students shift towards better-ranked assignments.
    Keywords: gender gaps ; choices; higher education
    Date: 2021–06
  2. By: Agasisti, Tommaso (Politecnico di Milano); Bratti, Massimiliano (University of Milan); Minaya, Veronica (Columbia University)
    Abstract: Merit requirements in need-based student aid may exacerbate inequality in higher education but at the same time improve efficiency of aid expenditure by increasing on-time graduation, for instance. Disentangling the effect of the two building blocks of student aid ("need" and "merit") is therefore of key interest to policy makers. In this paper, we seek to estimate the causal effect of tightening the academic requirements embodied in need-based student aid on short-term and long-term student academic performance. This is done leveraging a reform in an Italian region that increased by 40% (i.e. from 25 to 35 out of a maximum of 60) the number of credits to be earned in the first academic year to maintain aid eligibility. Using administrative data from an Italian public university mainly offering STEM degrees, this study reveals that tightening merit requirements had a statistically significant, positive effect on various dimensions of performance of the "average" aid recipient. However, an analysis of treatment heterogeneity unveils winners and losers from the policy: the positive effects are indeed concentrated among higher and medium-ability students, while lower-ability students receiving financial assistance are discouraged from continuing in their studies.
    Keywords: university, merit-based requirements, student financial aid, difference-in-differences, Italy
    JEL: I21 I22 I28
    Date: 2021–05
  3. By: Daniel Rakotomalala (CEMOI - Centre d'Économie et de Management de l'Océan Indien - UR - Université de La Réunion, TEPP - Travail, Emploi et Politiques Publiques - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UPEM - Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée, UR UFRDE - Université de La Réunion - UFR Droit et économie - UR - Université de La Réunion)
    Abstract: This paper focuses on the quantitative measure of the causal relationship between age and school results of pupils at the end of primary school in Reunion Island. The effect of age is composed of at least three distinct ones : (1) age at entry effect, (2) age at test effect and (3) relative age (compared to grade peers) effect. In order to extend the knowledge about determinants of educational sucess, especially about the impact of age on scholar results and then help policy makers in their decisions about optimal policies in the education field by providing informative results ; this paper, using cross-sectional data sets, exploits an exogenous variation of the age at test within a grade induced by the date of birth to measure the causal impact of age at test on the national achievement assessment scores in grade 5 in Reunion Island. I implement additionally a regresion discontinuity design for comparison purpose. The principal findings are that the age at test have a substantial positive effect on test scores in grade 5. Also, the effects in grade 5 are heterogeneous across sex subgroups but such a pattern is difficult to draw across social category subgroups. These results would suggest at best that, in order to improve the educational results of pupils in Reunion Island meaning the age variable, policy makers could first increase the minimum age of school entry. Second, they could regulate classroom compositions such that the age distribution within a classroom does not disperse too much. Third, they could normalize national achievement assessment scores by age or making pupils with different ages within a grade pass the national assessment at different times such that they have sufficiently close ages at test to not significantly impact their results. The latter enables at the same time to correct the inequality of having a different month of birth (unchose by the pupils) which is likely to lead all else equal towards different educational outcomes. Pupils would be indeed assessed « at equal luck ».
    Keywords: Age at test,Relative age,Month of birth,Educational performances
    Date: 2021–05–31
  4. By: Thomas Buser; Muriel Niederle; Hessel Oosterbeek
    Abstract: We assess the predictive power of two measures of competitiveness for education and labor market outcomes using a large, representative survey panel. The first is incentivized and is an online adaptation of the laboratory-based Niederle-Vesterlund measure. The second is an unincentivized survey question eliciting general competitiveness on an 11-point scale. Both measures are strong and consistent predictors of income, occupation, completed level of education and field of study. The predictive power of the new unincentivized measure for these outcomes is robust to controlling for other traits, including risk attitudes, confidence and the Big Five personality traits. For most outcomes, the predictive power of competitiveness exceeds that of the other traits. Gender differences in competitiveness can explain 5-10 percent of the observed gender differences in education and labor market outcomes.
    JEL: C9 I20 J16 J24
    Date: 2021–06
  5. By: Anna Adamecz-Volgyi (UCL Social Research Institute, University College London, 27 Woburn Square, London WC1H 0AA and Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies (KRTK KTI), Toth Kalman u. 4, 1097 Budapest); 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. 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. In some specifications FiF men actually earn a premium, although this relationship is not stable across all robustness checks. 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. Lastly, we estimate the returns to graduation for potential FiF and non-FiF young people. We find that the wage returns to graduation are not lower among FiF graduates compared to those who match their parents with a degree. The effects of coming from a lower educated family are large and positive for men and large and negative for women in general, irrespective of graduation. 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: 2021–06–01
  6. 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 in Europe. 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. To estimate the causal impact of education on gender role attitudes, we exploit the exogenous variation in individuals' education induced by the compulsory school reforms implemented in European countries after World War II. Our results suggest 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, we find no evidence of effect heterogeneity concerning 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
  7. By: Chen, Jie (UNSW Sydney); Pastore, Francesco (Università della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli)
    Abstract: In this paper, we use the Chinese General Social Survey data to analyse the returns to upper secondary vocational education in China. To address possible endogeneity of vocational training due to omitted heterogeneity, we construct a novel instrumental variable using the proportion of tertiary education graduates relative to the entire population by year. Our main finding is that, although returns to vocational upper secondary education appear higher than returns to academic upper secondary education according to the Mincerian equation, the results from the instrumental variable method tell the opposite story: vocational upper secondary graduates face a wage penalty compared to academic upper secondary graduates. The wage penalty is confirmed by an alternative and more recent IV method - the Lewbel method (Lewbel, 2012). Our findings highlight the importance of properly accounting for endogeneity when estimating the returns to vocational education.
    Keywords: vocational education, academic education, upper secondary, China, Lewbel
    JEL: I26 I25 J24 J31 C36
    Date: 2021–06
  8. By: Chong-En Bai; Ruixue Jia; Hongbin Li; Xin Wang
    Abstract: The theoretical literature has long noted that talent can be used in both the entrepreneurial and non-entrepreneurial sectors, and its allocation depends on the reward structure. We test these hypotheses by linking administrative college admissions data for 1.8 million individuals with the universe of firm registration records in China. Within a college, we find that individuals with higher college entrance exam scores – the most important measure of talent in this context – are less likely to create firms, but, when they do, their firms are more successful than those of their lower-score counterparts. Additional survey data suggest that higher-score individuals enjoy higher wages and are more likely to join the state sector. Moreover, the score-to-firm creation relationship varies greatly across industry, according to the size of the state sector. These findings suggest that the score is positively associated with both entrepreneurial ability and wage-job ability but higher-score individuals are attracted away by wage jobs, particularly those of the state sector.
    JEL: H11 J24 O12 O15
    Date: 2021–05
  9. By: Lisa Barrow; Linda Cavalluzzo; Thomas Geraghty; Christine Mokher; Lauren Sartain
    Keywords: Education; Human Capital; Human Capital Investment; Labor Productivity; Teacher Quality
    JEL: I21 J24
    Date: 2020–02–25
  10. By: Author-Name: Christian Basteck; Author-Name: Bettina Klaus; Dorothea Kuebler
    Abstract: School authorities in the UK and the US advocate the use of lotteries to desegregate schools. We study a school choice mechanism employed in Berlin where a lottery quota is embedded in the immediate acceptance (IA) mechanism, and compare it to the deferred acceptance mechanism (DA) with a lottery quota. In both mechanisms, some seats are allocated based on academic achievement (e.g., grades),while seats in the lottery quota are allocated randomly. We find that,in theory,a lottery quota strengthens truth-telling in DA by eliminating non-truth-telling equilibria. Furthermore, the equilibrium outcome is stable for DA with a lottery but not for IA with a lottery. These predictions are borne out in the experiment. Moreover, the lottery quota leads to more diverse school populations in the experiment, as predicted. Students with the lowest grades profit more from the introduction of the lottery under IA than under DA.
    Keywords: School choice, immediate acceptance mechanism, deferred acceptance, mechanism, lotteries, experiment, market design
    JEL: C78 C91 D47 D82 I24
    Date: 2021–06

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