nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2021‒09‒06
seven papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. On the Spatial Determinants of Educational Access By Francesco Agostinelli; Margaux Luflade; Paolo Martellini
  2. The Influence of Parental and Grandparental Education in the Transmission of Human Capital By Hector Moreno
  3. A 'Ghetto' of One's Own: Communal Violence, Residential Segregation and Group Education Outcomes in India By Kalra, Aarushi
  4. The Long-Run Impacts of Mexican-American School Desegregation By Francisca M. Antman; Kalena Cortes
  5. Trends in inequality within countries using a novel dataset By Carlos Gradín; Annalena Oppel
  6. Tackling the gender gap in mathematics with active learning methodologies By Maria Laura Di Tommaso; Dalit Contini; Dalila De Rosa; Francesca Ferrara; Daniela Piazzalunga; Ornella Robutti
  7. Ballooning Bureaucracy: Tracking the Growth of High-Skilled Administration within Swedish Higher Education By Andersson, Fredrik W.; Jordahl, Henrik; Kärnä, Anders

  1. By: Francesco Agostinelli (University of Pennsylvania); Margaux Luflade (University of Pennsylvania); Paolo Martellini (University of Wisconsin--Madison)
    Abstract: We study the role of local institutions--that is, school boundaries, school transportation provision, and zoning restrictions--in determining inequalities of educational opportunities for children. Motivated by our empirical findings on how the demand for both neighborhoods and schools responds to quasi-experimental variation in school quality and transportation, we build and estimate a spatial equilibrium model of residential sorting and school choice. We use the estimated model to analyze three policies that aim to improve educational access to economically disadvantaged children: expanding school choice, providing housing vouchers, and upzoning residential neighborhoods. We find that the success of school choice expansion is contingent on integrating transportation services, and that the common assumption in the school choice literature of policy-invariant residential location would lead to opposite implications for the equilibrium change in school composition. The voucher program benefits eligible families, but the benefits fade in equilibrium as the policy is implemented on a large scale. Finally, upzoning is an effective policy in lowering inequality in school composition via a reduction in neighborhood income segregation.
    Keywords: school zoning, quasi-experimental variation, voucher programs
    JEL: I24 R23 R31
    Date: 2021–08
  2. By: Hector Moreno (Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper examines the influence of parental and grandparental education in the transmission of human capital. A natural experimental set-up, from a regional conflict that occurred in 1926 is exploited to instrument years of schooling of the grandparents' generation whereas local labour market indicators at adolescence serve as an instrument for the education of the parents' generation. Using a nationally representative Mexican survey that gathers detailed information on three generations, the paper shows that accounting for endogeneity reveals significantly more inter-generational mobility rather than ignoring it. The paper also documents greater persistence of family background in the older pair of parent-child links, i.e. grandparent-parent, than in the younger pair, i.e. parent-grandchildren. Results show that the direct influence of parental education on the grandchildren's education is so dominant that the impact of grand-parental education fades away once accounting for parental education.
    Keywords: multigenerational, mobility, education, Mexico
    JEL: I21 I24 J62
    Date: 2021–08
  3. By: Kalra, Aarushi
    Abstract: How does ethnic violence and subsequent segregation shape children's lives? Using exogenous variation in communal violence due to a Hindu nationalist campaign tour across India, I show that violence displaces Muslims to segregated neighbourhoods. Surprisingly, I find that post-event, Muslim primary education levels are higher in cities that were more susceptible to violence. For cohorts enrolling after the riots, the probability of attaining primary education decreases by 2.3% every 100 kilometres away from the campaign route. I exploit differences in the planned and actual route to show that this is due to greater spatial cohesion within communities threatened by violence.
    Date: 2021–08–21
  4. By: Francisca M. Antman; Kalena Cortes
    Abstract: We present the first quantitative analysis of the impact of ending de jure segregation of Mexican-American school children in the United States by examining the effects of the 1947 Mendez v. Westminster court decision on long-run educational attainment for Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites in California. Our identification strategy relies on comparing individuals across California counties that vary in their likelihood of segregating and across birth cohorts that vary in their exposure to the Mendez court ruling based on school start age. Results point to a significant increase in educational attainment for Hispanics who were fully exposed to school desegregation.
    JEL: I24 I26 J15 J18
    Date: 2021–08
  5. By: Carlos Gradín; Annalena Oppel
    Abstract: We revisit trends in within-country income inequality using a newly integrated dataset that covers at least 70 per cent of the global population since 1980. We investigate absolute and relative inequality trends across the past four decades, combining the use of Lorenz curves with a set of inequality measures to gain insights on countries without Lorenz dominance.
    Keywords: Income inequality, Database, WIID
    Date: 2021
  6. By: Maria Laura Di Tommaso; Dalit Contini; Dalila De Rosa; Francesca Ferrara; Daniela Piazzalunga; Ornella Robutti
    Abstract: We implement a teaching methodology aimed at improving primary school children’s mathematical skills. The methodology, grounded in active and cooperative learning, focuses on peer interaction, sharing of ideas, learning from mistakes, and problem solving. We evaluate the causal effect of the intervention on the gender gap in mathematics in Italy with a randomized controlled trial. The treatment significantly improves girls’ math performance (0.14 s.d.), with no impact on boys, and reduces the math gender gap by more than 40%. The effect is stronger for girls with high pre-test scores.
    Keywords: Gender gap, Mathematics, School achievement, Primary school, Active learning, Teaching methodologies, Randomized controlled trial
    JEL: I21 I24 J16 C93
    Date: 2021
  7. By: Andersson, Fredrik W. (Statistics Sweden and Örebro University); Jordahl, Henrik (Örebro University); Kärnä, Anders (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))
    Abstract: Organizations, both non-profit and for-profit, needs to allocate labor for both production as well as internal administration. If this allocation is skewed towards internal administration, organizations, and especially non-profit organizations, might develop sclerosis over time with too much labor allocated to internal administration compared to production. Using detailed registry data on all individuals working at Swedish universities and colleges, we document a rapid increase in the number of qualified administrators, both in the number of employees and in total wages paid for these. This increase is not present in less qualified administration, and is mainly driven by an increase by a few professions such as communication and human resources. The increase does not lead to a significant reduction, or increase, in the time that researchers and teachers spend on administration. This in turn suggests that Swedish higher education over-allocates resources to high-skilled administration.
    Keywords: Organization theory; Sclerosis; Productivity Growth; Bureaucracy; Higher education
    JEL: L25 P16
    Date: 2021–08–19

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