nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2021‒10‒04
nine papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. Intergenerational educational mobility – the role of non-cognitive skills By Anna Adamecz-Volgyi; Morag Henderson; Nikki Shure
  2. An assessment of pupil and school performance in public primary education in Uruguay By Paola Azar; Gabriela Sicilia
  3. Gender differences in admission scores and first-year university achievement By Karlsson, Linn; Wikström, Magnus
  4. Admission groups and academic performance: A study of marginal entrants in the selection to higher education By Karlsson, Linn; Wikström, Magnus
  5. Why Does Education Increase Voting? Evidence from Boston’s Charter Schools By Sarah Cohodes; James J. Feigenbaum
  6. Never too late? Returning to university after completing secondary education as adults By Karlsson, Linn
  7. The evolution of educational wage differentials for women and men, from 1996 to 2019 By Ordemann, Jessica; Pfeiffer, Friedhelm
  8. Mobility for All: Representative Intergenerational Mobility Estimates over the 20th Century By Elisa Jácome; Ilyana Kuziemko; Suresh Naidu
  9. The Heterogeneous Relationship Between Financial Education and Investment Behavior in Japan By Hiroko Araki; Juan Nelson Martinez Dahbura

  1. 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: While it has been shown that university attendance is strongly predicted by parental education, we know very little about why some potential ‘first in family’ or first-generation students make it to university and others do not. This paper looks at the role of non-cognitive skills in the university participation of this disadvantaged group in England. We find that conditional on national, high-stakes exam scores and various measures of socioeconomic background, having higher levels of non-cognitive skills, specifically locus of control, academic self-concept, work ethic, and self-esteem, in adolescence is positively related to intergenerational educational mobility to university. Our results indicate that having higher non-cognitive skills helps potential first in family university students to compensate for their relative disadvantage, and they are especially crucial for boys. The most important channel of this relationship seems to be through educational attainment at the end of compulsory schooling
    Keywords: socioeconomic gaps, intergenerational educational mobility, higher education, non-cognitive skills
    JEL: I24 J24
    Date: 2021–09–01
  2. By: Paola Azar (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía); Gabriela Sicilia (Universidad de la Laguna (España). Departamento de Economía, Contabilidad y Finanzas.)
    Abstract: This paper discusses the potential improvements in pupil’s academic results at public primary schools in Uruguay. Using student level data from the first national assessment of educational achievements, we decompose education attainments into pupil’s own effort and school value added following a multilevel metafrontier approach originally introduced by Silva-Portela and Thannassoulis (2002). We find that on average, pupils miss 19.2% of their potential achievement, mainly driven by their own under-performance. The extent of output students cannot obtain because of school effects is mainly explained by suboptimal resource availability at the school level rather than schools’ own managerial ability. The shortfall in the school’s contribution to efficiency affects those students in the least advantaged socioeconomic contexts and those with lower test scores.
    Keywords: educational performance, multilevel metafrontier approach, primary education
    JEL: C61 H52 I21
    Date: 2021–09
  3. By: Karlsson, Linn (Department of Economics, Umeå University); Wikström, Magnus (Department of Economics, Umeå University)
    Abstract: This study explores female underprediction in first-year university achievement by using data from 8,971 Swedish university entrants in the fall semester of 2012. The Swedish admissions system selects students by two instruments: upper secondary school GPA or scores from a scholastic aptitude test (SweSAT). Nearest-neighbour matching allows us to compare students with similar admission scores and estimate achievement differences between male and female students. The results show that admission scores underpredict achievement for women relative to men in both admissions groups and more so for the SweSAT. As we condition on field of education, achievement differences tend to vary over fields and tend to become smaller, indicating that part of the differences is related to the male-female composition of students in the different fields.
    Keywords: Swedish admissions test; grade point average; gender; female underprediction; higher education
    JEL: I21 I23 I24
    Date: 2021–09–24
  4. By: Karlsson, Linn (Department of Economics, Umeå University); Wikström, Magnus (Department of Economics, Umeå University)
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to study whether Swedish admission policies are successful in selecting the best-performing students. The Swedish universities select students based on two different instruments, which each form a separate admission group. A regression model is recommended to estimate the achievement differences for the marginally accepted students between the admission groups and is applied to a sample of 9,024 Swedish university entrants in four different fields of education. Marginally accepted students in the group selected by school grades on average perform better than students accepted by an admission test, suggesting that a small reallocation of study positions towards the grade admission group may increase overall academic achievement. However, the achievement difference appears to vary concerning university programme selectivity. We found that increasing selection by grades in less competitive programmes would improve overall achievement, while increasing selection by grades in highly selective programmes would not increase achievement.
    Keywords: Higher education; selection; admission groups; marginal admit; achievement
    JEL: I21 I23 I28
    Date: 2021–09–24
  5. By: Sarah Cohodes; James J. Feigenbaum
    Abstract: In the United States, people with more education vote more. But, we know little about why education increases political participation or whether higher-quality education increases civic participation. We study applicants to Boston charter schools, using school lotteries to estimate charter attendance impacts for academic and voting outcomes. First, we confirm large academic gains for students in the sample of charter schools and cohorts investigated here. Second, we find that charter attendance boosts voter participation. Voting in the first presidential election after a student turns 18 increased substantially, by six percentage points from a base of 35 percent. The voting effect is driven entirely by girls and there is no increase in voter registration. Rich data and the differential effects by gender enable exploration of multiple potential channels for the voting impact. We find evidence consistent with two mechanisms: charter schools increase voting by increasing students’ noncognitive skills and by politicizing families who participate in charter school education.
    JEL: D72 H75 I21
    Date: 2021–09
  6. By: Karlsson, Linn (Department of Economics, Umeå University)
    Abstract: Complementary adult education provides a second chance for those who, for various reasons, did not complete their upper secondary education. Little, however, is known about the economic gains of those who continue on to higher education. This paper aims to study the effect of university education on economic outcomes among individuals who initially attained low levels of education, and then participated in adult education. Swedish longitudinal population register data from 1990{2015 was used to estimate the effect on income and employment among those who participated in adult education in 1994 and enrolled at university in 1996{1998. Difference-in-difference propensity score matching was used to account for non-random selection to university education. The results reveals signifcant gains in terms of earnings for those who proceeded on to university, and also their probability of employment increased. Additional heterogeneity analyses showed minor differences between students of different gender, and little to no differences between young and old students.
    Keywords: Adult education; tertiary education; second-chance education; propensity-score matching; earnings
    JEL: I21 I23 I26
    Date: 2021–09–24
  7. By: Ordemann, Jessica; Pfeiffer, Friedhelm
    Abstract: This paper studies the evolution of three higher education wage differentials from 1996 to 2019 in Germany, a period when significant changes in the educational composition of the workforce took place. Based on regression analysis and samples of male and female workers from the Socio-Economic Panel Study, the study finds that while all three educational wage differentials increased, workers graduating from universities experienced an inverted u-shape pattern, reaching a plateau between 2011 and 2015. We argue that the decline which began after 2015, and which is detectable as well in the occupational prestige scores, may have resulted from a relative educational upskilling of the workforce as well as changes in the subject-choice composition of graduates. We also document differences between East and West Germany that appear to level off over time. The paper concludes with open questions related to these findings and potential future developments.
    Keywords: Educational Wage Differentials,Gender Gaps,Higher Education Expansion,Occupational Prestige,Participation
    JEL: J31 J16 I23 J62 E24
    Date: 2021
  8. By: Elisa Jácome; Ilyana Kuziemko; Suresh Naidu
    Abstract: We present the first estimates of long-run trends in intergenerational relative mobility for samples that are representative of the full U.S.-born population. Harmonizing all surveys that ask about father's occupation and own family income, we develop a mobility measure that allows for the inclusion of non-whites and women for the 1910s–1970s birth cohorts. We show a robust increase in mobility between the 1910s and 1940s cohorts, about half of which is driven by absolute convergence in racial income gaps. We also find that excluding Black Americans, particularly Black women, considerably overstates mobility throughout the 20th century.
    JEL: H0 J15 J16 N3
    Date: 2021–09
  9. By: Hiroko Araki (Faculty of Economics Keio University); Juan Nelson Martinez Dahbura (Data Scientist)
    Abstract: This research employs data from Japan to study the relationship between the experience of financial education and the participation of Japanese persons on financial markets. We account for unobserved heterogeneity by employing a three-class Finite Mixture Model. The prior probability of class membership is a function of sociodemographic characteristics of the person. We examine the association between the investment experience probability conditional on class membership, and the experience of financial education at home, school and the workplace, controlling for a financial literacy score measured through Item Response Theory, and several behavioral traits. The results allow us to extract a segment of striving persons whose investment behavior differs in important ways from other groups. Education at school or work is significantly associated with higher investment probabilities across all classes of individuals. The impact of financial education at home is more heterogeneous, and may be negative for the most fragile groups. We believe that our results may offer important insights for policy-makers involved in the design of financial education programs.
    Keywords: Personal Financial Decision, Financial Education, Financial Literacy, Finite Mixture Model
    JEL: G02 D14
    Date: 2021–09–03

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.