nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2022‒02‒21
six papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. Heterogeneous responses to school track choice: Evidence from the repeal of binding track recommendations By Bach, Maximilian
  2. A second chance? Labor market returns to adult education using school reforms By Patrick Bennett; Richard Blundell; Kjell G. Salvanes
  3. Wheels of Change: Transforming Girls’ Lives with Bicycles By Nathan Fiala; Ana Garcia-Hernandez; Kritika Narula; Nishith Prakash
  4. When an exchange semester is no longer enough - Why and how the Bologna-reforms changed the behavior of high-ability students By Bernd Frick; Fabian Lensing; Lisa Beck-Werz
  5. Mobility of novice teachers By Torberg Falch; Bjarne Strøm
  6. Education, health and health-related behaviors: Evidence from higher education expansion By Massimiliano Bratti; Elena Cottini; Paolo Ghinetti

  1. By: Bach, Maximilian
    Abstract: This paper studies heterogeneity in schooling decisions by socio-economic status (SES) in response to a repeal of achievement-based admissions requirements (i.e. binding track recommendations) in Germany's between-school tracking system. The main contribution is to show that while previously ineligible high-SES students are relatively more likely to enroll in the highest (academic) track than comparable low-SES students after the repeal, the SES gap in academic track enrollment does not increase. The reason is that low-SES students, who were already eligible for the academic track before the repeal, increase their probability of enrolling in the academic track. A key mechanism driving low-SES students' response appears to be lower preferences for the intermediate track due to concerns about the inflow of mostly low-achieving and low-SES students from the lowest (basic) track after the repeal.
    Keywords: education,school choice,intergenerational mobility,inequality of opportunity,tracking
    JEL: I24 I28 J24 J62
    Date: 2021
  2. By: Patrick Bennett (Institute for Fiscal Studies); Richard Blundell (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London); Kjell G. Salvanes (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Norwegian School of Economics)
    Abstract: Roughly one third of a cohort drop out of high school across OECD countries, and developing e?ective tools to address prime-aged high school dropouts is a key policy question. We leverage high quality Norwegian register data, and for identi?cation we exploit reforms enabling access to high school for adults above the age of 25. The paper ?nds that considerable increases in high school completion and beyond among women lead to higher earnings, increased employment, and decreased fertility. As male education remains unchanged by the reforms, later life education reduces the pre-existing gender earnings gap by a considerable fraction.
    Date: 2020–08–25
  3. By: Nathan Fiala (University of Connecticut, Makerere University and RWI-Leibniz Institute for Economic Research); Ana Garcia-Hernandez (Universidad del Rosario and Innovations for Poverty Action); Kritika Narula (Analysis Group); Nishith Prakash (University of Connecticut, IZA, GLO, HiCN, and CReAM)
    Abstract: Reducing the gender gap in education is a primary goal for many countries. Two major challenges for many girls are the distance to school and their safety when commuting to school. In Zambia, we studied the impact of providing a bicycle to a school-going girl who lives more than 3 km from the school. We randomized whether a girl received a bicycle with a small cost to her family to cover replacement parts, a bicycle where these costs are covered by the program, and therefore is zero cost to the family, or a control group. One year after the intervention, we find that the bicycle reduced average commuting time to school by 35%, reduced late arrival by 66%, and decreased absenteeism by 27%. We find continued improvement in girls’ attendance and reduction in dropouts two, three, and four years after the intervention. We also find evidence of improved math test scores, girls expressing higher feelings of control over their lives and, for those who received bicycles with a small cost to her family, higher levels of aspirations, self-image, and a desire to delay marriage and pregnancy. Heterogeneity analysis by distance to school shows an inverted U-shape for most of the schooling and empowerment results, suggesting greater impact for girls that live further away from school. These results suggest that empowerment outcomes worked through increased attendance in school.
    Keywords: Girls’ Education, Attendance, Dropout, Grade Transition, Test Scores, Bicycles, Female As-piration, Female Empowerment, Safety, Zambia
    JEL: H42 I21 I25 J16 O15
    Date: 2022–02
  4. By: Bernd Frick (University of Paderborn); Fabian Lensing (University of Paderborn); Lisa Beck-Werz (University of Paderborn)
    Abstract: Signaling theory has shaped our understanding of how high-ability individuals try to distinguish themselves in the labor market: High-ability individuals benefit from a relative cost advantage compared to low-ability individuals when producing a credible signal of superior ability. When this cost advantage decreases, the signal’s value also decreases. We analyze how the signal ‘international qualification’ has changed due to increasing overall student mobility, driven by the effect of a massive change in the institutional framework, namely the implementation of the Bologna-reforms. Using a large and hitherto not accessible dataset with detailed information on 9,096 German high-ability students, we find that following the Bologna-reforms, high-ability students extended their stays and completed degrees abroad (instead of doing exchange semesters). No such changes in behavior are to be observed in the overall student population. We conclude that completing a degree abroad is the new labor market signal for ‘international qualification’ of high-ability students.
    Keywords: Educational Economics, Signaling Theory, International Student Mobility, Degree Mobility, High-ability students, Bologna-reforms
    JEL: I23 J24
    Date: 2022–02
  5. By: Torberg Falch (Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology); Bjarne Strøm (Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
    Abstract: This paper examines the propensity for graduates from teacher education to work as a teacher in the home region after graduation. We use Norwegian administrative register data and present descriptive statistics and results from regression models. On average, those returning to a teacher position in the home region tend to have lower measured academic ability from higher education than others. Females and parents without higher education are also associated with a higher probability to work as a teacher in the home region. This propensity is not significantly associated with the localization of teacher education in the home region, but strongly related to the population of the region. The results suggest that the types of teachers often believed to be underrepresented in schools have the lowest attachment to their home region and the teacher profession.
    Keywords: Teacher mobility; Novice teachers; Teacher education; Teacher attrition; Teacher characteristics
    Date: 2021–12–22
  6. By: Massimiliano Bratti; Elena Cottini (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore; Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore); Paolo Ghinetti
    Abstract: This study throws light on the potential non-linear effects of education on individual health and health-related behaviors, finding a strong role for higher education. Using an instrumental variables (IVs) strategy, which leverages changes in withinprovince between-municipality college proximity across birth cohorts, we demonstrate that higher education affects individual health-related behavior. By contrast, IVs estimates based on a compulsory schooling age reform show mostly non-significant effects. Our results point to a complex link between education and health. On the one hand, higher education channels individuals into some healthy behaviors and better health outcomes namely healthy eating, more physical activity and a lower risk of obesity. On the other hand, it also appears to increase the prevalence of certain unhealthy behaviors, such as greater smoking and drinking prevalence and higher cigarettes consumption. Albeit effects are generally similar across genders, except in few cases (e.g. smoking behavior), our analysis highlights heterogeneous effects by age and helps explain potential differences in results reported in past quasi-experimental studies in which the cohorts affected by the educational reforms used for identification are observed at given ages and not over an individual’s entire life-cycle.
    Keywords: education; health; higher education expansion; health-related behavior.
    JEL: I12 I24
    Date: 2022–02

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