nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2021‒12‒06
eight papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. Does Gender Matter? The Effect of High Performing Peers on Academic Performances By Modena, Francesca; Rettore, Enrico; Tanzi, Giulia
  2. Religious Practice and Student Performance: Evidence from Ramadan Fasting By Hornung, Erik; Schwerdt, Guido; Strazzeri, Maurizio
  3. How Long Does It Last? The Relative Age Ef ect inKorean Elementary Education By Dirk Bethmann; Jae Il Cho
  4. Can mentorship improve students’ study skills and academic performance? By Liss, Erik; Wennberg, Karl
  5. The Duration of the School-To-Work Transition in Italy and in Other European Countries: A Flexible Baseline Hazard Interpretation By Pastore, Francesco; Quintano, Claudio; Rocca, Antonella
  6. Higher Education Expansion and Supply of Teachers in China By Dai, Fengyan; Xu, Lei; Zhu, Yu
  7. Does Multitasking Affect Students' Academic Performance? Evidence From a Longitudinal Study By Amez, Simon; Baert, Stijn; Heydencamp, Emily; Wuyts, Joey
  8. School Integration of Refugee Children: Evidence from the Largest Refugee Group in Any Country By Kirdar, Murat G.; Koc, Ismet; Dayioglu-Tayfur, Meltem

  1. By: Modena, Francesca (Bank of Italy); Rettore, Enrico (University of Padova); Tanzi, Giulia (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: This paper exploits student-level administrative data on the population of Italian university students from 2006 to 2014 to analyze the effects of high performing (HP) male or female peers on individual academic performance, according to the gender of the student. The identification strategy is based on quasi-random variation in the exposure to HP peers across cohorts, within the same university and the same degree program. The impact of HP students, proxied by their high school final grade, is heterogeneous. We found that female HP peers have stronger positive effects than HP males, in particular with peers of the same gender. Moreover, there is evidence that the exposure to HP males can be even negative, especially for female students in competitive environments, such as the STEM fields, and for low ability students of both genders.
    Keywords: human capital, higher education, university performance, gender, peers
    JEL: I22 I23 C21 C35
    Date: 2021–10
  2. By: Hornung, Erik (University of Cologne); Schwerdt, Guido (University of Konstanz); Strazzeri, Maurizio (University of Bern)
    Abstract: We investigate how the intensity of Ramadan affects educational outcomes by exploiting spatio-temporal variation in annual fasting hours. Longer fasting hours are related to increases in student performance in a panel of TIMMS test scores (1995–2019) across Muslim countries but not other countries. Results are confirmed in a panel of PISA test scores (2003–2018) allowing within country-wave comparisons of Muslim to non-Muslim students across Europe. We provide evidence consistent with the hypothesis that a demanding Ramadan during adolescence affects educational performance by facilitating formation of social capital and social identity via increased religious participation and shared experiences among students.
    Keywords: social identity, Ramadan, religious participation, religion, education, social capital, PISA, TIMMS
    JEL: I21 Z12 J24 O15
    Date: 2021–10
  3. By: Dirk Bethmann (Korea University; Department of Economics; Anam-dong, Sungbuk-gu; Seoul 02841); Jae Il Cho (Vanderbilt University; Department of Economics; 010-back Calhoun Hall, Nashville, TN, 37240, United States)
    Abstract: An elementary school student‟s relative age is defined as the child‟s age relative to the age of its classmates. To what extent relative age gaps influence academic outcomes is an ongoing debate in educational economics and related fields. Our study analyzes the existence, magnitude, and duration of relative age effects in South Korea for various school subjects. Our results show that relative age effects are stronger for science related subjects and that they disappear after students graduate from elementary school and start their secondary school education.
    Keywords: relative age effect; seasonal birth; academic achievement
    JEL: I20 I21 J13
    Date: 2021
  4. By: Liss, Erik (Linköping University); Wennberg, Karl (Stockholm School of Economics)
    Abstract: Research suggest that tutoring initiatives sometimes, but not always, improve academic performance and help induce interest in the pursuit of higher education. We investigate whether mentorship can improve academic performance and aspirations among lower secondary school students from underprivileged backgrounds by evaluating a collaborative project where three cohorts of ninth graders engaged in weekly meetings with university students during a one-year period. The purpose of the Mentorship Project was to offer study support and to inspire students to pursue higher education. The results indicate that participation in the project led to higher grades in the subjects English, social studies, science, and ‘Swedish as a second language’ relative to a control group of ninth-graders who did not participate in the project. The participants also accumulated higher grade point averages and were more likely to choose university prep high school programs. Our statistical analysis combined with survey data and interviews with project participants and organizers indicate that clear expectations, which encourage students to commit to regular attendance, coupled with a direct connection to the school, seem to have contributed to the Mentorship Project's success.
    Keywords: Mentorship; Academic performance; Aspirations; Lower secondary school students
    Date: 2021–11–30
  5. By: Pastore, Francesco (Università della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli); Quintano, Claudio (Università degli Studi di Napoli Suor Orsola Benincasa); Rocca, Antonella (University of Naples Parthenope)
    Abstract: Purpose: The Italian school-to-work transition (STWT) is astonishingly slow and long in comparison to the other EU countries. The aim of this paper is to analyze its determinants comparing the Italian case with Austria, Poland and the UK in a gender perspective. Design/methodology/ approach: The analysis is based on a Cox survival model with proportional hazard. The smoothed hazard estimates allow us to identify the non-linear path of the hazard function. Findings: We reckon that the actual length of the transition to a stable job is around 30 months. Conversely, it is less than one year in the other countries. Women are particularly penalized, despite being on average more educated than men. Attaining a tertiary degree or a vocational path of education at high secondary school strongly increases the hazard rate. The smoothed hazard estimates support the hypothesis of positive duration dependence at the beginning of the transition and slightly negative thereafter. Practical implications: Stimulating economic growth and investing in education and training are important pre-conditions for shortening the transition. Originality: Despite the duration of the STWT is one of the most important indicators to measure the efficiency of the STWT, it is not easy to measure. The authors build on their previous research work on this topic, but relaxing the assumption of a monotonic hazard rate and using the flexible baseline hazard approach to test for the existence of non-linear duration dependence. Furthermore, they extend the analysis by including student-workers who attended a vocational path of education, in order to detect its effectiveness in allowing young people finding a job sooner.
    Keywords: duration, school-to-work transition, Europe, Italy, transition regime
    JEL: H52 I2 I24 J13 J64 J68
    Date: 2021–11
  6. By: Dai, Fengyan (Nanjing University of Finance and Economics); Xu, Lei (National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR)); Zhu, Yu (University of Dundee)
    Abstract: We examine the teacher labour market in China using the 2005 mini-Census, in the context of the transformation of the world's largest education system. We first document a significant increase not only in quantity, but also in quality of teachers during 1990-2005. Instrumental Variables results based on the natural experiment of a substantial expansion of higher education in 1992/93 indicate a large positive causal effect of the expansion on supply of teachers. Consistent with differential opportunity costs across graduate occupations, the supply effect is more pronounced for women and those living in less developed regions. Further analyses of differential college premiums in earnings and non-pecuniary benefits between teaching and non-teaching occupations suggest that teacher recruitment has become more market-oriented and flexible, in attracting low to lower-middle ability college graduates into teaching in an increasingly decentralized and competitive graduate labour market.
    Keywords: higher education expansion, supply of teachers, China, instrumental variables, college premium, non-pecuniary benefits
    JEL: I23 I26 J45
    Date: 2021–11
  7. By: Amez, Simon; Baert, Stijn; Heydencamp, Emily; Wuyts, Joey
    Abstract: Multitasking - alternating between two different tasks at the same time - has become a daily habit for many university students. However, this may come at a cost since the existing literature emphasises the negative association between multitasking and academic performance. Nonetheless, this literature is based on cross-sectional observational data so that that estimates cannot be given a causal interpretation. To complement these studies, we opted for a longitudinal design in this study. Specifically, for three consecutive years, students at two Belgian universities, in more than ten different study programmes, were surveyed on their multitasking preferences and academic performance. Then, these results were merged with the students' exam scores. We exploited the longitudinal character of the data by running random and fixed effect models. Our results indicate that the positive and negative aspects of multitasking with respect to academic performance cancel each other out.
    Keywords: multitasking,academic performance,longitudinal data
    Date: 2021
  8. By: Kirdar, Murat G. (Bogazici University); Koc, Ismet (Hacettepe University); Dayioglu-Tayfur, Meltem (Middle East Technical University)
    Abstract: Although school integration of the children of economic migrants in developed countries is well-studied in the literature, little evidence based on large scale representative data exists on the school integration of refugee children—many of whom live in low- or middle-income countries. This study focuses on Syrian refugee children in Turkey and examines the underlying causes of the native-refugee differences in school enrollment. We also analyze employment and marriage outcomes, as they are potentially jointly determined with schooling. For this purpose, we use the 2018 Turkish Demographic and Health Survey, which includes a representative sample of Syrian refugee households. We find that once a rich set of socioeconomic variables are accounted for, the native-refugee gap in school enrollment drops by half for boys and two-thirds for girls, but the gap persists for both genders. However, once we restrict the sample to refugees who arrive in Turkey at or before age 8 and account for the socioeconomic differences, the native-refugee gap completely vanishes both for boys and girls. In one outcome—in never attending school—the native-refugee gap persists even for children who arrive before age 8. Data for Syrians from the pre-war period suggest that this might be an "ethnic capital" that they bring with them from Syria. Finally, we find that the timing of boys' school drop-out coincides with their entry into the labor market, whereas girls' drop-out mostly takes place earlier than their marriage.
    Keywords: refugees, education, school enrollment, integration, child labor, marriage, Turkey
    JEL: F22 I21 I28 O15
    Date: 2021–09

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