nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2022‒02‒28
seven papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. The Long-Run Educational Benefits of High-Achieving Classrooms By Canaan, Serena; Mouganie, Pierre; Zhang, Peng
  2. Does Relative Age Affect Speed and Quality of Transition from School to Work? By Fumarco, Luca; Vandromme, Alessandro; Halewyck, Levi; Moens, Eline; Baert, Stijn
  3. The Impact Evaluation of Vietnam's Escuela Nueva (New School) Program on Students' Cognitive and Non-cognitive Skills By Dang, Hai-Anh; Glewwe, Paul; Lee, Jongwook; Vu, Khoa
  4. Dynamics of returns to vocational education in China: 2010-2017 By Chen, Jie; Pastore, Francesco
  5. The Long-Run Impacts of Mexican-American School Desegregation By Antman, Francisca M.; Cortes, Kalena E.
  6. Air Pollution and Student Performance in the U.S. By Michael Gilraine; Angela Zheng
  7. Gender differences in time allocation contribute to differences in developmental outcomes in children and adolescents By Nguyen, Ha Trong; Brinkman, Sally; Le, Huong Thu; Zubrick, Stephen R.; Mitrou, Francis

  1. By: Canaan, Serena (Simon Fraser University); Mouganie, Pierre (Simon Fraser University); Zhang, Peng (University of Cambridge)
    Abstract: Despite the prevalence of school tracking, evidence on whether it improves student success is mixed. This paper studies how tracking within high school impacts high-achieving students' short- and longer-term academic outcomes. Our setting is a large and selective Chinese high school, where first-year students are separated into high-achieving and regular classrooms based on their performance on a standardized exam. Classrooms differ in terms of peer ability, teacher quality, class size, as well as level and pace of instruction. Using newly collected administrative data and a regression discontinuity design, we show that high-achieving classrooms improve math test scores by 23 percent of a standard deviation, with effects persisting throughout the three years of high school. Effects on performance in Chinese and English language subjects are more muted. Importantly, we find that high-achieving classrooms substantially raise enrollment in elite universities, as they increase scores on the national college entrance exam—the sole determinant of university admission in China.
    Keywords: classroom tracking, peer quality, teacher quality, regression discontinuity, China
    JEL: I21 I24 I26 J24
    Date: 2022–01
  2. By: Fumarco, Luca (Masaryk University); Vandromme, Alessandro (Ghent University); Halewyck, Levi (Ghent University); Moens, Eline (Ghent University); Baert, Stijn (Ghent University)
    Abstract: We are the first to estimate the impact of relative age (i.e., the difference in classmates' ages) on both speed and quality of individuals' transition from education to the labour market. Moreover, we are the first to explore whether and how this impact passes through characteristics of students' educational career. We use rich data pertaining to schooling and to labour market outcomes one year after graduation to conduct instrumental variables analyses. We find that a one-year increase in relative age increases the likelihood of (i) being employed then by 3.5 percentage points, (ii) having a permanent contract by 5.1 percentage points, and (iii) having full-time employment by 6.5 percentage points. These relative age effects are partly mediated by intermediate outcomes such as having had a schooling delay at the age of sixteen or taking on student jobs. The final mediator is particularly notable as no earlier studies examined relative age effects on student employment.
    Keywords: school starting age, labour market transition, relative age
    JEL: I21 J23 J24 J6
    Date: 2021–12
  3. By: Dang, Hai-Anh (World Bank); Glewwe, Paul (University of Minnesota); Lee, Jongwook (University of Minnesota); Vu, Khoa (University of Minnesota)
    Abstract: This paper evaluates how Vietnam's Escuela Nueva (VNEN) program, an educational reform for primary schools supported by the World Bank, affected the cognitive (mathematics and Vietnamese) and non-cognitive (socioemotional) skills of students in that country. We use propensity score matching to estimate both short-term (1-3 years) and long-term (5-7 years) average treatment effects on the treated (ATT). We find that the impacts of VNEN on students' cognitive skills are relatively small in the short-term, and that they are larger for boys, ethnic minorities, and students in Northern Vietnam. The VNEN program modestly increased primary school students' non-cognitive skills in the short-term; these impacts on non-cognitive skills are sizable and significant for ethnic minority students, although there seems to be little gender difference. The long-term impacts are less precisely estimated, but they appear to fade away, showing little or no impact of the VNEN program on cognitive skills. There is little variation of long-term impacts by gender or geographical region, although the imprecision of the estimates for ethnic minority students does not allow us to rule out large long-term impacts on cognitive skills for those students. The program's impacts on non-cognitive skills also seem to have dissipated in the long-term.
    Keywords: VNEN, Vietnam Escuela Nueva, education, cognitive skills, non-cognitive skills, impact evaluation, propensity score matching, IV
    JEL: I2 O1
    Date: 2022–01
  4. By: Chen, Jie; Pastore, Francesco
    Abstract: In this paper, we use the Chinese General Social Survey data (2010-2017) to analyse the returns to different education qualifications. We additionally compare the returns to vocational education with returns to academic education, at both the upper secondary level and the tertiary level. Compared to those who only complete compulsory education, upper secondary graduates earn about 20% more, vocational college graduates earn 50%, and academic university graduates earn 75% more. At tertiary level, academic education pays better than vocational education, although the difference shrinks over the years. At upper secondary level, the evidence is indeterminate, depending on different econometric techniques (i.e., OLS, IV, Lewbel method, or PSM). These findings add to the limited quantitative evidence on returns to vocational education. The dynamics emerged from the findings echo the discussion on labor market mismatch and overeducation in China, which has important policy implications.
    Keywords: dynamic,vocational education,academic education,upper secondary,tertiary,China
    JEL: I26 I25 J24 J31 C36
    Date: 2022
  5. By: Antman, Francisca M. (University of Colorado, Boulder); Cortes, Kalena E. (Texas A&M University)
    Abstract: We present the first quantitative analysis of the impact of ending de jure segregation of Mexican-American school children in the United States by examining the effects of the 1947 Mendez v. Westminster court decision on long-run educational attainment for Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites in California. Our identification strategy relies on comparing individuals across California counties that vary in their likelihood of segregating and across birth cohorts that vary in their exposure to the Mendez court ruling based on school start age. Results point to a significant increase in educational attainment for Hispanics who were fully exposed to school desegregation.
    Keywords: Mexican-American, school desegregation, Mendez v. Westminster
    JEL: I24 I26 J15 J18
    Date: 2022–01
  6. By: Michael Gilraine; Angela Zheng
    Abstract: We combine satellite-based pollution data and test scores from over 10,000 U.S. school districts to estimate the relationship between air pollution and test scores. To deal with potential endogeneity we instrument for air quality using (i) year-to-year coal production variation and (ii) a shift-share instrument that interacts fuel shares used for nearby power production with national growth rates. We find that each one-unit increase in particulate pollution reduces test scores by 0.02 standard deviations. Our findings indicate that declines in particulate pollution exposure raised test scores and reduced the black-white test score gap by 0.06 and 0.01 standard deviations, respectively.
    Keywords: air pollution; education; coal
    JEL: Q53 I14 I24
    Date: 2022–02
  7. By: Nguyen, Ha Trong; Brinkman, Sally; Le, Huong Thu; Zubrick, Stephen R.; Mitrou, Francis
    Abstract: Using over 50 thousand time-use diaries from two cohorts of children, we document significant gender differences in time allocation in the first 16 years in life. Relative to males, females spend more time on personal care, chores and educational activities and less time on physical and media related activities. These gender gaps in time allocation appear at very young ages and widen overtime. We provide novel evidence that gender differentials in time investment are quantitatively important in explaining a female advantage in most cognitive and non-cognitive skills. Moreover, gender disparity in educational time outside of school is the most important factor contributing to gender test score gaps and its contribution is more pronounced for higher performing students. By contrast, gender differences in media time are the main factor explaining gender gaps in non-cognitive skills. As children age, gender differences in time allocation play an increasing role in explaining gender gaps in both cognitive and non-cognitive skills.
    Keywords: Time Allocation,Time Use Diary,Gender Gap,Human Capital,Child Development
    JEL: I24 J13 J16 J22 J24
    Date: 2022

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