nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2021‒10‒11
seven papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. Students’ Preferences, Capacity Constraints and PostSecondary Achievements in a NonSelective System By N. BECHICHI; G. THEBAULT
  2. School value-added and long-term student outcomes By Kirkebøen, Lars
  3. Impact of Temporary School Closure Due to COVID-19 on the Academic Achievement of Elementary School Students By Shinsuke Asakawa; Fumio Ohtake
  4. Substitution Effects in College Admissions By Gandil, Mikkel Høst
  5. Charitable Giving Responses to Education Budgets By Jonathan Meer; Hedieh Tajali
  6. Occupational Licensing and Accountant Quality: Evidence from the 150-Hour Rule By John M. Barrios
  7. Make Your Own Luck: The Wage Gains from Starting College in a Bad Economy By Alena Bicakova; Guido Matias Cortes; Jacopo Mazza

  1. By: N. BECHICHI (Insee); G. THEBAULT (PSE – École d’économie de Paris)
    Abstract: Using rich administrative data on the French centralized assignment system of admission in higher education Admission Post Bac (APB) paired with data on university enrollment, this article provides new evidence on the impact of satisfying students’ stated preferences on their achievements in higher education. To do so, we exploit lotteries embedded in APB to prioritize applicants in oversubscribed university programs as an instrument for admission. Focusing on cohorts 2013 to 2016, we show that admission to one’s top-ranked program has a large impact on the pursuit of post-secondary education: on average, it increases students’ chances of enrollment into higher education by 10% from the baseline. It also affects other aspects of students’ educational pathways such as persistence in higher education, choice of major and degree completion. Effects are heterogeneous both by programs’ field of study and applicants’ profile. In particular, students at the margin of pursuing higher education are more sensitive to capacity constraints in their favorite program.
    Keywords: Centralized Matching Market, Higher Education, Preferences, Capacity Constraints,Randomized Control Trial
    JEL: I23 I28 C21 D81
    Date: 2021
  2. By: Kirkebøen, Lars (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: This paper studies school quality in the context of Norwegian compulsory schooling. I demonstrate that even when lagged achievement is not observed, it is possible to construct informative value-added (VA) indicators of persistent school quality by adjusting exam scores for students’ background characteristics. These VA indicators show little bias forecasting average exam performance out of sample, and are also predicative of long-term student outcomes, including earnings. Three quasi-experiments using variation from student mobility and changes in neighborhood school assignments indicate that the differences captured by the VA indicators do indeed reflect differences in school quality, rather than unobserved student characteristics. The finding help connect learning outcomes with later labor market outcomes, e.g. for cost-benefit analysis of interventions in schools.
    Keywords: school quality; value-added; VAM; earnings
    JEL: J24
    Date: 2021–09–20
  3. By: Shinsuke Asakawa (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University); Fumio Ohtake (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University,Center for Infectious Disease Education and Research (CiDER), Osaka University)
    Abstract: This study examines the effects of COVID-19 related temporary school closures on the academic performance of fifth- and sixth-grade primary school students in Japan. Difference-in-differences and event studies were conducted using "Manabi Nara" data, a math achievement test administered to fourth-sixth graders at each term-end in Nara City. Children who experienced temporary school closure made the treatment group while inexperienced one-year older children were the control group. The results showed lowered math scores in the short term, but scores significantly increased six months after school closure. Further, the lower the students' academic achievement was, the greater was their improvement in their math scores. We found that increased motivation and attitude shifts toward math during this period contributed to improved scores. Finally, students with disadvantaged living conditions around school vacations saw their math scores and motivation and attitude toward math fall, particularly in the bottom 25% of their fourth-grade academic performance.
    Keywords: COVID-19, School Closure, Learning Loss, Elementary School Students, Math Scores, DID and Event Study, Living conditions, Learning Disparity
    JEL: I21 I24 I28
    Date: 2021–09
  4. By: Gandil, Mikkel Høst (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo)
    Abstract: I show how local supply changes create ripple effects in a national educational market. Admitting an applicant to a program will free up a slot to be filled at her next-best alternative. To investigate such substitution effects I re-engineer the centralized admission system of the Danish tertiary education sector and simulate equilibria under counterfactual supply. I estimate potential earnings with a regression discontinuity design and quantify market clearings in terms of earnings. On average, a change of 10 slots leads to 15 applicants moving and substitution effects explain 40 percent of the variation in earnings. Substitution externalities are generally positive but vary in sign and magnitude. I document a trade-off between earnings and inequality.
    Keywords: Field of study; College admission; Program evaluation; RDD
    JEL: C63 H52 I21 I22 I24 I26 J24
    Date: 2021–09–06
  5. By: Jonathan Meer; Hedieh Tajali
    Abstract: Do changes in government spending affect voluntary contributions to those recipients? We examine how changes in K-12 education budgets impact donations to teachers using data from, an online crowdfunding platform for public school teachers to raise money for their classrooms. Using a district-year panel and instruments to address the endogeneity of budgets, we find evidence for crowd-out of private giving, though the magnitudes are fairly small in this setting and do not offset a large proportion of a budget change. These results are driven by entirely teachers' posting of requests, illustrating the importance of considering the demand side of the charitable giving market.
    JEL: D64 H41 H42 I22
    Date: 2021–10
  6. By: John M. Barrios
    Abstract: I examine the effects of occupational licensing on the quality of Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). I exploit the staggered adoption of the 150-hour rule, which increases the educational requirements for a CPA license. The analysis shows that the rule decreases the number of entrants into the profession, reducing both low- and high-quality candidates. Labor market proxies for quality find no difference between 150-hour rule CPAs and the rest. Moreover, rule CPAs exit public accounting at similar rates and have comparable writing quality to their non-rule counterparts. Overall, these findings are consistent with the theoretical argument that increases in licensing requirements restrict the supply of entrants and do little to improve quality in the labor market.
    JEL: D45 I21 J2 K2 L51 M1 M12 M21 M4 M40 M41 M5
    Date: 2021–10
  7. By: Alena Bicakova; Guido Matias Cortes; Jacopo Mazza
    Abstract: Using data for nearly 40 cohorts of American college graduates and exploiting regional variation in economic conditions, we show robust evidence of a positive relationship between the unemployment rate at the time of college enrollment and subsequent annual earnings, particularly for women. This positive relationship cannot be explained by selection into employment or by economic conditions at the time of graduation. Changes in major field of study account for only about 10% of the observed earnings gains. The results are consistent with intensified effort exerted by students who experience bad economic times at the beginning of their studies.
    Keywords: business cycle; higher education; cohort effects;
    JEL: I23 J24 J31 E32
    Date: 2021–08

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.