nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2021‒09‒20
eight papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. Achievement Gaps by Parental Income and Education By Sandsør, Astrid Marie Jorde; Zachrisson, Henrik Daae; Karoly, Lynn A.
  2. Student Employment and Education: A Meta-Analysis By Kroupova, Katerina; Havranek, Tomas; Irsova, Zuzana
  3. The causal impact of removing children from abusive and neglectful homes By Anthony Bald; Eric Chyn; Justine Hastings; Margarita Machelett
  4. Reaping the Rewards Later: How Education Improves Old-Age Cognition in South Africa By Plamen Nikolov; Steve Yeh
  5. On the Family Origins of Human Capital Formation: Evidence from Donor Children By Lundborg, Petter; Plug, Erik; Rasmussen, Astrid Würtz
  6. Behavioral Barriers and the Socioeconomic Gap in Child Care Enrollment By Henning Hermes; Philipp Lergetporer; Frauke Peter; Simon Wiederhold
  7. The Labour Market Impact of COVID-19 Lockdowns: Evidence from Ghana By Schotte, Simone; Danquah, Michael; Osei, Robert; Sen, Kunal
  8. Estimating Coherency between Survey Data and Incentivized Experimental Data By Christian Belzil; Julie Pernaudet; François Poinas

  1. By: Sandsør, Astrid Marie Jorde (University of Oslo); Zachrisson, Henrik Daae; Karoly, Lynn A.
    Abstract: Socioeconomic achievement gaps measure the disparity in test scores between students from high and low socioeconomic backgrounds, commonly measured as a combination of parental income, education and occupation. However, educational data often limits the ability to create such measures of family background and link them to student test scores, leading researchers to arrive at different conclusions about levels and trends depending on the SES measure and estimation method. In this paper we disentangle the importance of each by using register data from Norway with precise measures of parental income and education. We show that results crucially depend on the SES measure, as parental income and education are not interchangeable measures of socioeconomic background. Achievement gaps by parental income in Norway are large, 0.55-0.93 standard deviations, and have increased by about 10% of a standard deviation over the 11-year time period we study, whereas achievement gaps by parental education are even larger, 0.86-1.15 standard deviations, but remain stable over the same period. Accounting for compositional changes in immigration decreases the magnitude of the gaps, whether measured by parental income or education, while trends remain the same.
    Date: 2021–09–12
  2. By: Kroupova, Katerina; Havranek, Tomas; Irsova, Zuzana
    Abstract: Educational outcomes have many determinants, but one that most young people can readily control is choosing whether to work while in school. Sixty-nine studies have estimated the effect, but results vary from large negative to positive estimates. We show that the results are systematically driven by context, publication bias, and treatment of endogeneity. Studies ignoring endogeneity suffer from an upward bias, which is almost fully compensated by publication selection in favor of negative estimates. Net of the biases, the literature suggests a negative but economically inconsequential mean effect. The effect is more negative for high-intensity employment and educational outcomes measured as decisions to dropout, but it is positive in Germany. To derive these results we collect 861 previously reported estimates together with 32 variables reflecting estimation context, use recently developed nonlinear techniques to correct for publication bias, and employ Bayesian and frequentist model averaging to assign a pattern to the heterogeneity in the literature.
    Keywords: Student employment,educational outcomes,meta-analysis,publication bias,Bayesian model averaging
    JEL: C83 I21 J22
    Date: 2021
  3. By: Anthony Bald (Harvard University and RIPL); Eric Chyn (Dartmouth College, RIPL and NBER); Justine Hastings (Brown University, RIPL and NBER); Margarita Machelett (Banco de España and RIPL)
    Abstract: This paper measures impacts of removing children from families investigated for abuse or neglect. We use removal tendencies of child protection investigators as an instrument. We focus on young children investigated before age six and find that removal significantly increases test scores and reduces grade repetition for girls. There are no detectable impacts for boys. This pattern of results does not appear to be driven by heterogeneity in pre-removal characteristics, foster placements, or the type of schools attended after removal. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that development of abused and neglected girls is more responsive to home removal.
    Keywords: foster care, educational attainment, early intervention
    JEL: H75 I21 I24 I28 I38 J12 J13 J24
    Date: 2021–08
  4. By: Plamen Nikolov; Steve Yeh
    Abstract: Cognitive abilities are fundamental for decision-making, and understanding the causes of human capital depreciation in old age is especially important in an aging society. Using a longitudinal labor survey that collects direct proxy measures of cognitive skills, we study the effect of educational attainment on cognitive performance in late adulthood in South Africa. We find robust evidence that an increase in a year of schooling improves memory performance and general cognition. We also find evidence of heterogeneous effects of educational attainment on cognitive performance. We explore the mechanisms through which education can affect cognitive performance. We show that a more supportive social environment, improved health habits, and reduced stress levels likely play a critical role in mediating the beneficial effects of educational attainment on cognition among the elderly.
    Date: 2021–09
  5. By: Lundborg, Petter (Lund University); Plug, Erik (University of Amsterdam); Rasmussen, Astrid Würtz (Aarhus University)
    Abstract: We introduce a novel strategy to study the intergenerational transmission of human capital, net of genetic skill transfers. For this purpose, we use unique data on children conceived through sperm and egg donation in IVF treatments in Denmark. Because the assignment of donors is not selective, the intergenerational human capital estimates allow for a causal nurture interpretation. Once we take account of genes, we find that only the education of mothers matters: the association between mother's education and child test scores is significant and large, whereas the association between father's education and child test scores is insignificant and practically zero.
    Keywords: intergenerational mobility, human capital, donor children
    JEL: I24 J62
    Date: 2021–09
  6. By: Henning Hermes; Philipp Lergetporer; Frauke Peter; Simon Wiederhold
    Abstract: Children with lower socioeconomic status (SES) tend to benefit more from early child care, but are substantially less likely to be enrolled. We study whether reducing behavioral barriers in the application process increases enrollment in child care for lower-SES children. In our RCT in Germany with highly subsidized child care (n > 600), treated families receive application information and personal assistance for applications. For lower-SES families, the treatment increases child care application rates by 21 pp and enrollment rates by 16 pp. Higher-SES families are not affected by the treatment. Thus, alleviating behavioral barriers closes half of the SES gap in early child care enrollment.
    Keywords: Child care, early childhood, behavioral barriers, information, educational inequality, randomized controlled trial
    JEL: I21 J13 J18 J24 C93
    Date: 2021
  7. By: Schotte, Simone (UNU-WIDER); Danquah, Michael (UNU-WIDER); Osei, Robert (University of Ghana); Sen, Kunal (University of Manchester)
    Abstract: In this paper, we provide causal evidence of the immediate and near-term impact of stringent COVID-19 lockdown policies on employment outcomes, using Ghana as a case study. We take advantage of a specific policy setting, in which strict stay-at-home orders were issued and enforced in two spatially delimited areas, bringing Ghana's major metropolitan centres to a standstill, while in the rest of the country less stringent regulations were in place. Using a difference-in-differences design, we find that the three-week lockdown had a large and significant immediate negative impact on employment in the treated districts, particularly among workers in informal self-employment. While the gap in employment between the treated and control districts had narrowed four months after the lockdown was lifted, we detect a persistent nationwide decline in both earnings and employment, jeopardizing particularly the livelihoods of small business owners mainly operating in the informal economy.
    Keywords: COVID-19, lockdown, employment, informal economy, Ghana
    JEL: I18 J46 J63 O55
    Date: 2021–08
  8. By: Christian Belzil; Julie Pernaudet; François Poinas
    Abstract: Imagine the situation in which an econometrician can infer the distribution of welfare gains induced by the provision of higher education financial aid using survey data obtained from a set of individuals, and can estimate the same distribution using a highly incentivized field experiment in which the same set of individuals participated. In the experimental setting relying on incentivized choices, making the wrong decision can be costly. In the survey, the stakes are null and reporting false intentions and expectations is costless. In this paper, we evaluate the extent to which the decomposition of the two welfare gain distributions into latent factors are coherent. We find that individuals often put a much different weight to a specific set of determinants in the experiment and in the survey and that the valuations of financial aid are rank incoherent. About 66% of Biased Incoherency (defined as the tendency to have a higher valuation rank in the experiment than in the survey) is explained by individual heterogeneity in subjective benefits, costs and other factors and about half of these factors affect the welfare gains of financial aid in the survey and in the experiment in opposite directions. Ex-ante policy evaluation of a potential expansion of the higher education financial aid system may therefore depend heavily on whether or not the data have been obtained in an incentivized context. Imaginez la situation dans laquelle un économètre peut déduire la distribution des gains de bien-être induits par l'octroi d'une aide financière à l'enseignement supérieur à l'aide de données d'enquête obtenues auprès d'un ensemble d'individus, et peut estimer la même distribution à l'aide d'une expérience de terrain fortement incitative à laquelle le même ensemble d'individus a participé. Dans le cadre expérimental reposant sur des choix incitatifs, prendre une mauvaise décision peut être coûteux. Dans l'enquête, l'enjeu est nul et la déclaration de fausses intentions et attentes est sans coût. Dans cet article, nous évaluons dans quelle mesure la décomposition des deux distributions de gains de bien-être en facteurs latents est cohérente. Nous constatons que les individus accordent souvent un poids très différent à un ensemble spécifique de déterminants dans l'expérience et dans l'enquête et que les évaluations de l'aide financière sont incohérentes. Environ 66% de l'incohérence biaisée (définie comme la tendance à avoir un rang d'évaluation plus élevé dans l'expérience que dans l'enquête) s'explique par l'hétérogénéité individuelle des avantages subjectifs, des coûts et d'autres facteurs et environ la moitié de ces facteurs affectent les gains de bien-être de l'aide financière dans l'enquête et dans l'expérience dans des directions opposées. L'évaluation politique ex ante d'une expansion potentielle du système d'aide financière à l'enseignement supérieur peut donc dépendre fortement du fait que les données ont été obtenues ou non dans un contexte incitatif.
    Keywords: Field experiment,survey data,coherency,incentives, Expérience sur le terrain,données d'enquête,cohérence,incitations
    JEL: I2 C91 C93 D12 D9 D91
    Date: 2021–09–07

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