nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2021‒08‒23
nine papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. Telementoring and homeschooling during school closures: A randomized experiment in rural Bangladesh By Hashibul Hassan; Asad Islam; Abu Siddique; Liang Choon Wang
  2. What difference do schools make?: a mixed methods study in secondary schools in Peru By León, Juan; Guerrero, Gabriela; Cueto, Santiago; Glewwe, Paul
  3. The Big Five Personality Traits and Earnings: A Meta-Analysis By Alderotti, Giammarco; Rapallini, Chiara; Traverso, Silvio
  4. Long-Term Consequences of Teaching Gender Roles: Evidence from Desegregating Industrial Arts and Home Economics in Japan By Hara, Hiromi; Rodríguez-Planas, Núria
  5. Labor Market Returns and the Evolution of Cognitive Skills: Theory and Evidence By Santiago Hermo; Miika M. Päällysaho; David G. Seim; Jesse M. Shapiro
  6. Athletes Greatly Benefit from Participation in Sports at the College and Secondary Level By Heckman, James J.; Loughlin, Colleen P.
  7. The long shadow of an infection: COVID-19 and performance at work By Fischer, Kai; Reade, J. James; Schmal, W. Benedikt
  8. Impacts of Double-Fortified Salt on Anemia and Cognition: Four-Year Follow-up Evidence from a School-Based Nutrition Intervention in India By von Grafenstein, Liza; Kumar, Abhijeet; Kumar, Santosh; Vollmer, Sebastian
  9. The Labor Market Earnings of Veterans: Is Military Experience More or Less Valuable than Civilian Experience? By Makridis, Christos A.; Hirsch, Barry

  1. By: Hashibul Hassan (Department of Economics, Monash University, Australia); Asad Islam (Centre for Development Economics and Sustainability (CDES) and Department of Economics, Monash University); Abu Siddique (Economics Group, Technical University of Munich); Liang Choon Wang (Department of Economics, Monash University, Australia)
    Abstract: Prolonged school closures due to political unrests, teacher strikes, natural disasters, and public health crises can be detrimental to student learning in developing countries. Using a randomized controlled experiment in 200 Bangladeshi villages, we evaluate the impact of over-the-phone mentoring and homeschooling support delivered by volunteers on the learning outcomes of primary school children during school closures caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The telementoring program improved the learning outcomes of treated children by 0.75 SD and increased homeschooling involvement of treated mothers by 0.64 SD. The impacts on learning are driven primarily by the direct mentoring of children and to some extent also by the increased homeschooling involvement of mothers. Academically weaker children and households from relatively lower socioeconomic backgrounds benefitted the most from telementoring. These findings suggest that learning crises in low-resource settings can be addressed by simple and very low-cost technology solutions.
    Keywords: Telementoring, homeschooling, school closure, primary education, randomized experiment, rural areas.
    JEL: C93 I21 I24 P46
    Date: 2021–08
  2. By: León, Juan; Guerrero, Gabriela; Cueto, Santiago (Grupo de Análisis para el Desarrollo (GRADE)); Glewwe, Paul
    Abstract: This study contributes to filling the existing gap in the scarce literature on school effectiveness in secondary education in Peru by addressing the following questions: i) which educational processes within schools are most influential in math and reading comprehension? and in the case of the most effective schools, ii) what is the importance that principals, teachers, and students place on school processes variables in explaining educational outcomes? We use a mixed-method design that follows a sequential explanatory design. First, using the Young Lives secondary school survey in Peru (2017), we estimate a random effects model to explore the effect of teacher and school level variables on math and reading comprehension. Then, we conduct a qualitative case study in two schools identified as high-performance schools (HPS) by the survey, with the aim of explaining the role of school processes variables on educational results. The multivariate analysis shows that among teacher and classroom level variables, feedback provided to students and the satisfaction with his/her relationship with the educational actors were statistically significant. Among school level variables, school principal´s experience, average level of school wealth index, students per classroom and the infrastructure were statistically significant. The analysis of in-depth interviews and focus groups with vice-principals, teachers, and students from the two HPS shows that these two effective schools promote higher student achievement through different policies. At the school level, they have monitoring and constant teacher training policies to improve the quality of teaching. They also have student discipline and teacher collaboration policies to promote a conducive school learning environment. Correspondingly, at the classroom level, these schools are characterized by the quality of their teaching strategies regarding peer-mentoring, feedback and use of materials, and by their positive classroom learning environments based on teachers’ monitoring of students’ progress and teacher-student relations of care and trust. Our results point out the importance of the pedagogical work of the different educational actors inside the school. Educational programs carried out by local and national governments should pay more attention to the dynamics within the school to mitigate the educational inequalities, equalizing upwards the opportunities for children in impoverished public schools.
    Keywords: Educación secundaria, Escuela secundaria, Logros académicos, Rendimiento escolar, Secondary education, Secondary school, Academic achievement, Perú, Peru
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2021
  3. By: Alderotti, Giammarco; Rapallini, Chiara; Traverso, Silvio
    Abstract: The past two decades have witnessed an increasing interest in the relationship between personality and labor market outcomes, as well as the emergence of the Five-Factor Model as the reference framework for the study of personality. In this paper, we provide the first meta-analytical review of the empirical literature on the association between personal earnings and the Big Five personality traits. The analysis combines the results of 63 peer-reviewed articles published between 2001-2020, from which we retrieved 896 partial effect sizes. Overall, the primary literature provides robust support for a positive association between personal earnings and the traits of Openness, Conscientiousness, and Extraversion, while simultaneously revealing a negative and significant association between earnings and the traits of Agreeableness and Neuroticism. We find no evidence of a substantial publication bias. Meta-regression estimates suggest that Openness and Conscientiousness are positively associated with earnings even when primary researchers control for individual cognitive abilities and educational attainments. Similarly, the studies that includes labor market control variables exhibit weaker associations between earnings and Extraversion and Agreeableness. The results of the primary studies seem unaffected by the time at which the Big Five are measured, as well as by the scale and number of inventory items. Meta-regression estimates suggest that the results of the primary literature are not stable across cultures and gender, and that the ranking and academic field of the journal matter.
    Keywords: Big Five personality traits,earnings,meta-analysis
    JEL: J24 D91
    Date: 2021
  4. By: Hara, Hiromi (Japan Women's University); Rodríguez-Planas, Núria (Queens College, CUNY)
    Abstract: We explore whether a 1990 Japanese educational reform that eliminated gender-segregated and gender-stereotyped industrial arts and home economics classes in junior high schools led to behavioral changes among these students some two decades later when they were married and in their early forties. Using a Regression Discontinuity (RD) design and Japanese time-use data from 2016, we find that the reform had a direct impact on Japanese women's attachment to the labor force, which seems to have changed the distribution of gender roles within the household, as we observe both a direct effect of the reform on women spending more time in traditionally male tasks during the weekend and an indirect effect on their husbands, who spend more time in traditionally female tasks. We present suggestive evidence that women's stronger attachment to the labor force may have been driven by changes in beliefs regarding men' and women's gender roles. As for men, the reform only had a direct impact on their weekend home production if they were younger than their wives and had small children. In such relationships, the reform also had the indirect effect of reducing their wives' time spent in weekend home production without increasing their labor-market attachment. Interestingly, the reform increased fertility only when it decreased wives' childcare. Otherwise, the reform delayed fertility.
    Keywords: junior high school, coeducation of industrial arts and home economics, gender gaps, time-use data, employment and labor income, and fertility
    JEL: J22 J24 I2
    Date: 2021–07
  5. By: Santiago Hermo; Miika M. Päällysaho; David G. Seim; Jesse M. Shapiro
    Abstract: A large literature in cognitive science studies the puzzling "Flynn effect" of rising fluid intelligence (reasoning skill) in rich countries. We develop an economic model in which a cohort's mix of skills is determined by different skills' relative returns in the labor market and by the technology for producing skills. We estimate the model using administrative data from Sweden. Combining data from exams taken at military enlistment with earnings records from the tax register, we document an increase in the relative labor market return to logical reasoning skill as compared to vocabulary knowledge. The estimated model implies that changes in labor market returns explain 36 percent of the measured increase in reasoning skill, and can also explain the decline in knowledge. An original survey of parents, an analysis of trends in school curricula, and an analysis of occupational characteristics show evidence of increasing emphasis on reasoning as compared to knowledge.
    JEL: J24 J31 O52
    Date: 2021–08
  6. By: Heckman, James J. (University of Chicago); Loughlin, Colleen P. (Compass Lexecon)
    Abstract: The recent Supreme Court decision NCAA vs Alston (June 2021) has heightened interest in the benefits and costs of participation in sports for student athletes. Anecdotes about the exploitation of student athletes were cited in the opinion. This paper uses panel data for two different cohorts that follow students from high school through college and into their post-school pursuits to examine the generality of these anecdotes. On average, student athletes' benefit- often substantially so—in terms of graduation, post-collegiate employment, and earnings. Benefits in terms of social mobility for disadvantaged and minority students are substantial, contrary to the anecdotes in play in the media and in the courts.
    Keywords: sport economics, social mobility, returns to education
    JEL: Z2 I32 I26
    Date: 2021–07
  7. By: Fischer, Kai; Reade, J. James; Schmal, W. Benedikt
    Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has caused economic shock waves across the globe. Much research addresses direct health implications of an infection, but to date little is known about how this shapes lasting economic effects. This paper estimates the workplace productivity effects of COVID-19 by studying performance of soccer players after an infection. We construct a dataset that encompasses all traceable infections in the elite leagues of Germany and Italy. Relying on a staggered difference-in-differences design, we identify negative short- and longer-run performance effects. Relative to their preinfection outcomes, infected players' performance temporarily drops by more than 6%. Over half a year later, it is still around 5% lower. The negative effects appear to have notable spillovers on team performance. We argue that our results could have important implications for labor markets and public health in general. Countries and firms with more infections might face economic disadvantages that exceed the temporary pandemic shock due to potentially long-lasting reductions in productivity.
    Keywords: Labor Performance,Economic Costs of COVID-19,Public Health
    JEL: I18 J24 J44
    Date: 2021
  8. By: von Grafenstein, Liza (University of Göttingen); Kumar, Abhijeet (University of Göttingen); Kumar, Santosh (Sam Houston State University); Vollmer, Sebastian (University of Goettingen)
    Abstract: Long-term follow-up of early childhood health interventions is important for human capital accumulation. We provide experimental evidence on child health and human capital outcomes from the longer-term follow-up of a school-based nutrition intervention in India. Using panel data, we examine the effectiveness of the use of iron and iodine fortified salt in school lunches to reduce anemia among school children. After four years of treatment, treated children, on average, have higher hemoglobin levels and a lower likelihood of anemia relative to the control group. Interestingly, the intervention did not have any impact on cognitive and educational outcomes.
    Keywords: anemia, children, double-fortified salt, cognition, mid-day meal, India
    JEL: C93 I15 I18 O12
    Date: 2021–08
  9. By: Makridis, Christos A. (Arizona State University); Hirsch, Barry (Georgia State University)
    Abstract: We assess the labor market experiences of military veterans, focusing on three major outcomes, among others, controlling for a wide array of demographic characteristics and industry and occupational fixed effects. First, we find that male and female veterans receive civilian earnings nearly equivalent to nonveteran men and women. This finding implies that military experience is valued in the labor market similarly to foregone civilian experience. Second, veterans are clustered in occupations with somewhat lower than average employment and real earnings growth, and in metropolitan areas with lower levels and growth of real GDP per capita. Third, veterans experience lower returns to formal educational investments (e.g., college) than do nonveterans. Veterans realize earnings gains from professional licenses, but their returns are lower than for nonveterans. These gains are concentrated among science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) jobs, suggesting that veterans could help meet the growing demand for tech talent and artificial intelligence skills.
    Keywords: military veterans, earnings levels and dispersion, work experience, licensing, public sector, occupation growth
    JEL: J3 J4 J44
    Date: 2021–08

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