nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2021‒11‒08
seven papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. Children’s patience and school-track choices several years later: Linking experimental and field data By Silvia Angerer; Jana Bolvashenkova; Daniela Glätzle-Rützler; Philipp Lergetporer; Matthias Sutter
  2. The Covid-19 pandemic and school closure: learning loss in mathematics in primary education By Dalit Contini; Maria Laura Di Tommaso; Caterina Muratori; Daniela Piazzalunga; Lucia Schiavon
  3. The resiliency of school outcomes after the COVID-19 pandemic. Standardised test scores and inequality one year after long term school closures By Letizia Gambi; Kristof De Witte
  4. Early Socialization and the Gender Wage Gap By Getik, Demid; Meier, Armando N.
  5. Improving Workplace Climate in Large Corporations: A Clustered Randomized Intervention By Sule Alan; Gozde Corekcioglu; Matthias Sutter
  6. Islam and the State: Religious Education in the Age of Mass Schooling By Samuel Bazzi; Masyhur Hilmy; Benjamin Marx
  7. Should Higher Education Be Subsidized More? By Koen Declercq; Erwin Ooghe

  1. By: Silvia Angerer (UMIT – Private University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology); Jana Bolvashenkova (ifo Institute at the University of Munich); Daniela Glätzle-Rützler (University of Innsbruck); Philipp Lergetporer (Ohio University); Matthias Sutter (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, University of Cologne, University of Innsbruck, IZA, and CESifo)
    Abstract: We present direct evidence on the link between children’s patience and educational-track choices years later. Combining an incentivized patience measure of 493 primary-school children with their high-school track choices taken at least three years later at the end of middle school, we find that patience significantly predicts choosing an academic track. This relationship remains robust after controlling for a rich set of covariates, such as family background, school-class fixed effects, risk preferences, and cognitive abilities, and is not driven by sample attrition. Accounting for middle-school GPA as a potential mediating factor suggests a direct link between patience and educational-track choice.
    Keywords: patience, education, school track choice, children, lab-in-the-field experiment
    JEL: C91 D90 I21 J2
    Date: 2021–05–21
  2. By: Dalit Contini; Maria Laura Di Tommaso; Caterina Muratori; Daniela Piazzalunga; Lucia Schiavon
    Abstract: Italy was the first Western country hit by Covid-19 in February 2020, responding with a tight lockdown and full school closure until the end of the school year. This paper estimates the effect of the pandemic and school closure on the math skills of primary school pupils in Italy. We compare the learning achievements of two cohorts of pupils, the pre-Covid and the Covid cohort. For both cohorts, we match scores on the national standardised assessment in grade 2 with scores on a standardised test delivered by the researchers at the end of grade 3. The pandemic had a large negative impact on the pupils’ performance in mathematics (-0.19 standard deviations). Among children of low-educated parents, the learning loss was larger for the best-performing ones (up to -0.51 s.d.) and for girls (-0.29 s.d.).
    Keywords: COVID-19; school closure; learning loss; mathematics; standardised tests; inequality; primary school.
    JEL: I21 I24
    Date: 2021
  3. By: Letizia Gambi; Kristof De Witte
    Abstract: Almost two years after the largest disruption of education in history, the question remains as to whether, and to what extent, school outcomes are resilient and inequality persists. To answer these questions, this paper exploits a unique panel data-set with standardised test scores and administrative data pertaining to the last year of primary education in the Flemish region of Belgium. For the subjects of native language (Dutch), math, science, social science and foreign language (French), exactly the same standardised tests were administered in 2019 (pre-pandemic), 2020 and 2021. Our empirical specification-cation captures (un)observed heterogeneity at school level, a time trend, and time-varying control variables. The resilience in school outcomes differs per subject as we observe additional attainment deficits in the Dutch and French language one year after the pandemic. For math, the impact of the COVID-19 school closures is halted, but not reversed yet. For science, students in the 2021 cohort have started catching up (though insignificantly) with previous cohorts, while the 2021 test scores improved significantly for social sciences. Notwithstanding the halted attainment deficits in math in 2021, a quantile analysis suggests that the math test scores of the best-performing students in a school (i.e., quantile 70 to 95) have significantly declined, while those of low performing students seem to have slightly improved (though insignificantly). One year after the COVID-19 school closures, the inequality within schools seems to have increased in the Dutch language and decreased in mathematics. Further, the findings suggest that targeted remedial actions (in particular summer schools), which were mainly focusing on the most vulnerable students, were successful in halting attainment deficits. However, further policy attention should also be given to the best-performing students, who seem to fall behind one year after the pandemic.
    Keywords: COVID-19; School closures; Attainment deficits; Educational attainment; Standardised tests
    Date: 2021–10–19
  4. By: Getik, Demid (Department of Economics, Lund University); Meier, Armando N. (University of Lausanne, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: We study the impact of early socialization on gender inequality in the labor market. To this end, we link the gender environment in the primary-school cohort to later occupations and wages. We find that women exposed to more girls at this critical age earn more later on, leading to a reduction in the gender wage gap. We explore mechanisms and find that women exposed to a more female-dominated environment select into less gender-stereotypical occupations with higher wage potential. The gender environment at an early age, therefore, shapes career trajectories and lifetime earnings.
    Keywords: Socialization; school environment; peers; occupational sorting; gender wage gap
    JEL: D91 I24 I26 J16 J24 J70
    Date: 2021–10–28
  5. By: Sule Alan (European University Institute); Gozde Corekcioglu (Kadir Has University, Istanbul); Matthias Sutter (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, University of Cologne, University of Innsbruck, IZA, and CESifo)
    Abstract: We evaluate the impact of a program aiming at improving the workplace climate in corporations. The program is implemented via a clustered randomized design and evaluated with respect to the prevalence of support networks, antisocial behavior, perceived relational atmosphere, and turnover rate. We find that professionals in treated corporations are less inclined to engage in toxic competition, exhibit higher reciprocity toward each other, report higher workplace satisfaction and a more collegial atmosphere. Treated firms have fewer socially isolated individuals and a lower employee turnover. The program's success in improving leader-subordinate relationships emerges as a likely mechanism to explain these results.
    Keywords: Workplace climate, relational dynamics, leadership quality, RCT
    JEL: C93 M14 M53
    Date: 2021–09–14
  6. By: Samuel Bazzi (BU - Boston University [Boston]); Masyhur Hilmy (BU - Boston University [Boston]); Benjamin Marx (ECON - Département d'économie (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Public schooling systems are an essential feature of modern states. These systems often developed at the expense of religious schools, which undertook the bulk of education historically and still cater to large student populations worldwide. This paper examines how Indonesia's longstanding Islamic school system responded to the construction of 61,000 public elementary schools in the mid-1970s. The policy was designed in part to foster nation building and to curb religious influence in society. We are the first to study the market response to these ideological objectives. Using novel data on Islamic school construction and curriculum, we identify both short-run effects on exposed cohorts as well as dynamic, long-run effects on education markets. While primary enrollment shifted towards state schools, religious education increased on net as Islamic secondary schools absorbed the increased demand for continued education. The Islamic sector not only entered new markets to compete with the state but also increased religious curriculum at newly created schools. Our results suggest that the Islamic sector response increased religiosity at the expense of a secular national identity. Overall, this ideological competition in education undermined the nation-building impacts of mass schooling.
    Date: 2020–05–01
  7. By: Koen Declercq; Erwin Ooghe
    Abstract: Fiscal externalities arise if subsidies to higher education raise future net fiscal revenues. We investigate in which countries fiscal externalities provide a justification for increasing subsidies to higher education. First, we show that the marginal fiscal recovery rate, i.e. the ratio of the change in total net fiscal revenues and the change in total subsidy costs caused by a small change in tuition subsidies, is the key statistic: if larger than one, then a small increase in subsidies is unambiguously desirable. We also show that the marginal fiscal recovery rate depends on three sufficient statistics: the elasticity of participation with respect to subsidies, the success probability of the marginal student, and the ratio of the net fiscal revenue gain and the subsidy cost of a degree in tertiary education. Second, we use the sufficient statistics formula to approximate the marginal fiscal recovery rate in twenty OECD countries. The average marginal fiscal recovery rate is equal to 0.89, meaning that, on average, 0.89 euro is recovered of an increase in subsidies with one euro. This average hides substantial heterogeneity between countries. In six countries (Australia, Israel, the Netherlands, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the United States), the marginal fiscal recovery rate is larger than one, implying that an increase in subsidies to higher education is unambiguously desirable in these countries. Third, to check the quality of our approximation, we also simulate the marginal fiscal recovery rate for one country (Belgium) on the basis of a more detailed model that allows for heterogeneity between students. Reassuringly, this simulation provides a roughly similar result than the approximation for this country. Moreover, the more detailed model allows for additional simulations (e.g., to compute a maximal tuition level) that are not feasible with the sufficient statistics formula.
    Keywords: higher education, tuition subsidies, fiscal externalities, marginal fiscal recovery rate, maximal tuition
    JEL: H23 I22 I26
    Date: 2021

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