nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2022‒01‒31
seven papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. E-Learning Engagement Gap during School Closures: Differences by Academic Performance By Amer-Mestre, Josep; Ayarza-Astigarraga, Alaitz; Lopes, Marta C
  2. Complementarities and Intergenerational Educational Mobility: Theory and Evidence from Indonesia By Ahsan, Nazmul; Emran, M. Shahe; Shilpi, Forhad
  3. Does Multitasking Affect Students' Academic Performance? Evidence from a Longitudinal Study By Amez, Simon; Baert, Stijn; Heydencamp, Emily; Wuyts, Joey
  4. From Immediate Acceptance to Deferred Acceptance: Effects on School Admissions and Achievement in England By Camille Terrier; Parag A. Pathak; Kevin Ren
  5. The Fertility Effects of School Entry Decisions By Kamb, Rebecca; Tamm, Marcus
  6. Information, Perceived Returns and College Major Choices By Nikoloz Kudashvili; Gega Todua
  7. Bringing Underprivileged Middle-School Students to the Opera: Cultural Mobility or Cultural Compliance? By Coulangeon, Philippe; Fougère, Denis

  1. By: Amer-Mestre, Josep (European University Institute); Ayarza-Astigarraga, Alaitz (European University Institute); Lopes, Marta C (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)
    Abstract: We study the impact of COVID-19 school closures on differences in online learning usage by regional academic performance. Using data from Google Trends in Italy, we find that during the first lockdown, regions with a previously lower academic performance increased their searches for e-learning tools more than higher-performing regions. Analysing school administrative and survey data before the pandemic, we find that both teachers and students in lower performing regions were using no less e-learning tools than higher performing ones. These two findings suggest that the COVID-19 shock widened the e-learning usage gap between academically lower and higher-performing regions. Exploiting the regional variation in school closure mandates during the 2020/2021 academic year, we report that the patterns detected after the first lockdown were no longer present. Regions with different previous academic performance had the same response in terms of online learning usage when faced with stricter school closures.
    Keywords: school closures, inequality, education, COVID-19, e-learning
    JEL: C31 C81 I24 H75
    Date: 2021–11
  2. By: Ahsan, Nazmul; Emran, M. Shahe; Shilpi, Forhad
    Abstract: We provide a theory based empirical analysis of the role of two types of complementarities in intergenerational educational mobility. We develop a model where parental financial investment in children’s schooling can be complementary to or a substitute of school quality and parent’s education level. Such complementarities can make the mobility equation convex with starkly different mobility patterns compared to the workhorse linear model. Mobility and investment equations derived from the model are estimated for Indonesia, using exceptional data that allow us to tackle two major sources of bias: coresidency and cognitive ability heterogeneity. We find that the mobility equation is convex in rural but linear in urban areas. The children of low educated fathers enjoy higher relative mobility in rural areas, while the urban children fare better in highly educated households. The standard linear model in rural areas incorrectly suggests no rural-urban gap in relative mobility. Theoretical insights help interpret the evidence, suggesting complementarity between financial investment and parental education in both rural and urban areas even though the mobility curve is linear in urban areas. We develop an approach to recover the parameters determining the interaction between school quality and parental investment. School quality is complementary to financial investment in rural areas, with stronger effect in more educated households. In urban areas, school quality is a substitute in low educated households, but complementary in the highly educated households. These results imply that public investment in school quality would lower relative mobility in Indonesia
    Keywords: Intergenerational Educational Mobility, Complementarity, Convex Mobility Curve, School Quality, Rural-Urban Divide, Returns to Education, Coresidency, Sample Truncation, Ability Heterogeneity, Developing Countries, Indonesia
    JEL: J62 O12
    Date: 2021–12–16
  3. By: Amez, Simon (Ghent University); Baert, Stijn (Ghent University); Heydencamp, Emily (Ghent University); Wuyts, Joey (Ghent University)
    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
    JEL: I23 J24
    Date: 2021–11
  4. By: Camille Terrier; Parag A. Pathak; Kevin Ren
    Abstract: Countries and cities around the world increasingly rely on centralized systems to assign students to schools. Two algorithms, deferred acceptance (DA) and immediate acceptance (IA), are widespread. The latter is often criticized for harming disadvantaged families who fail to get access to popular schools. This paper investigates the effect of the national ban of the IA mechanism in England in 2008. Before the ban, 49 English local authorities used DA and 16 used IA. All IA local authorities switched to DA afterwards, giving rise to a cross-market difference-in-differences research design. Our results show that the elimination of IA reduces measures of school quality for low-SES students more than high-SES students. After the ban, low-SES students attend schools with lower value-added and more disadvantaged and low-achieving peers. This effect is primarily driven by a decrease in low-SES admissions at selective schools. Our findings point to an unintended consequence of the IA to DA transition: by encouraging high-SES parents to report their preferences truthfully, DA increases competition for top schools, which crowds out low-SES students.
    JEL: D47 I20
    Date: 2021–12
  5. By: Kamb, Rebecca (Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI)); Tamm, Marcus (Hochschule der Bundesagentur für Arbeit (HdBA))
    Abstract: School entry regulations lead to differences in the age when children start school. While previous literature estimated the effects of age at school entry for compliers with school entry regulations, we look at non-compliers, namely those who enter school one year before the official entry date. Based on an instrumental variable approach, the results show that early enrollment increases the number of children by 0.1, whereas we find no significant impact on rates of childlessness.
    Keywords: school starting age, early school enrollment, fertility, motherhood, childlessness
    JEL: I21 J24
    Date: 2021–11
  6. By: Nikoloz Kudashvili; Gega Todua
    Abstract: Students may hold inaccurate beliefs about earnings and employment opportunities when making their education decisions. This paper analyzes the effects of information provision on student’s intended and actual college major choices in Georgia. Secondary school students in our experiment systematically overestimated the earnings and unemployment rates of college graduates. We find that 10 percent more students who received information on actual earnings and unemployment changed their actual college major choices than others. The changes in their majors are partly driven by differences in the perceived and actual unemployment rates, whereas the earning differences do not appear to play a role. We also estimate spillover effects on students who do not receive information directly, and show that they matter, but only for older students who are closer to high school graduation. Importantly, we find that the immediate changes in the intended choices are not linked to the final major choices, suggesting that measuring the effects of information on immediately expressed intentions may not be sufficient to understand how information affects actual real-life decisions. We find that both direct and indirect information provision have sizable effects on student college major choices.
    Keywords: college major; perceived unemployment; perceived earnings; information;
    JEL: C93 D84 I26 J24
    Date: 2022–01
  7. By: Coulangeon, Philippe (CNRS); Fougère, Denis (Sciences Po, Paris)
    Abstract: This article assesses the impact of a two-year long project-based learning program conducted by the National Opera of Paris in a large number of junior high-schools located in underprivileged areas, aiming at preventing school dropout and tackling educational inequalities by providing disadvantaged students with the opportunity to discover the world of opera. Taking a counterfactual approach (propensity score matching), we measure the impact of participation in the program on final exam and continuous assessment grades. The analysis displays mixed results: a significant and positive impact for the students who participate in the program for its whole duration (two years), at least for continuous assessment scores, but a negative impact for those who leave the program after only one year. The contrast between the effects of full and partial participation in the program suggests that these may be primarily due to a selection effect in favor of the most culturally and socially compliant students, in line with Bourdieu's and Passeron's reproduction theory (1997 [1970]) rather than a mobility effect (DiMaggio, 1982) resulting from the transfer of cultural capital to disadvantaged students.
    Keywords: project-based learning, middle school, statistical matching, mixed method, cultural capital
    JEL: I21 I29 Z11 Z18 C21
    Date: 2021–12

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