nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2022‒03‒21
seven papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. A Bridge to Graduation: Post-Secondary Effects of an Alternative Pathway for Students Who Fail High School Exit Exams By Jane Arnold Lincove; Catherine Mata; Kalena Cortes
  2. Tracking and specialization of high schools: heterogeneous effects of school choice By Olivier de Groote; Koen Declercq
  3. The Impact of Academic Probation: Do Intensive Interventions Help? By  Aaron Albert; Nathan Wozny
  4. Gifted Children Programs’ Short and Long-Term Impact: Higher Education, Earnings, and the Knowledge-Economy By Victor Lavy; Yoav Goldstein
  5. The Effect of Occupational Licensing Stringency on the Teacher Quality Distribution By Bradley Larsen; Ziao Ju; Adam Kapor; Chuan Yu
  6. Financial education for youth. A randomized evaluation in Uruguay By Fernando Borraz; Ana Caro; Maira Caño-Guiral; María José Roa
  7. Conditional Cash Transfers for Education By Sandra García; Juan Saavedra

  1. By: Jane Arnold Lincove; Catherine Mata; Kalena Cortes
    Abstract: High school exit exams are meant to standardize the quality of public high schools and to ensure that students graduate with a set of basic skills and knowledge. Evidence suggests that a common perverse effect of exit exams is an increase in dropout for students who have difficulty passing tests, with a larger effect on minority students. To mitigate this, some states offer alternative, non-tested pathways to graduation for students who have failed their exit exams. This study investigates the post-secondary effects of an alternative high school graduation program. Among students who initially fail an exit exam, those who eventually graduate through an alternative project-based pathway have lower college enrollment, but similar employment outcomes to students who graduate by retaking and passing their exit exams. Compared to similar students who fail to complete high school, those students who take the alternative pathway have better post-secondary outcomes in both education and employment.
    JEL: I2 I21 I24 I26 J01 J18
    Date: 2022–02
  2. By: Olivier de Groote (TSE - Toulouse School of Economics - UT1 - Université Toulouse 1 Capitole - Université Fédérale Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement); Koen Declercq (CEREC - Université Saint-Louis - Bruxelles)
    Abstract: We analyze the impact of choosing an elite school on high school graduation in an early tracking system in Flanders (Belgium). Whereas elite schools offer only an academic track, most other schools offer multiple tracks. On average, students experience a 3.3 percentage point increase in the likelihood of obtaining a degree. We find that the effects are heterogeneous. On average, students who self-select into elite schools do not experience an effect. However, students who do not choose an elite school would experience positive effects. Our results can be explained by different tracking decisions in both types of schools.
    Keywords: Marginal treatment effects,Early tracking,Elite schools
    Date: 2021
  3. By: Â Aaron Albert (Department of Economics and Geosciences, US Air Force Academy); Nathan Wozny (Department of Economics and Geosciences, US Air Force Academy)
    Abstract: Academic probation policies place restrictions on low-performing college students, incentivizing them to improve their performance or leave the program. We examine the effect of an intensive academic probation policy that includes mandatory study time. Using a regression discontinuity analysis and administrative data from the U.S. Air Force Academy, we find that placement on academic probation increases performance without increasing attrition and increases completion of STEM degrees. These impacts are surprising in light of research showing increased attrition and shifts towards easier courseloads at other institutions, suggesting that more intensive interventions may help low-performing college students without discouraging program completion.
    Keywords: Education, Attrition, Regression Discontinuity, Academic Probation
    JEL: I23 I21
    Date: 2022–01
  4. By: Victor Lavy; Yoav Goldstein
    Abstract: We estimate the effects of gifted children programs (GCP) in high schools in Israel. We selected a comparison group of equally gifted students from other cities where GCP was not offered at the time. Based on administrative data, we follow 22 cohorts and measure treatment effects on outcomes, ranging from high school to the labor market in their 30s and 40s. We find tiny impact on academic achievements in high school, in contrast to the abundance of educational resources enjoyed by GCP participants. In the longer run, we find meaningful effects of GCP on higher education attainment. GCP participants study more math, computer, and physical sciences but engage less in engineering programs. The net effect on STEM degrees is, therefore, zero. However, a much higher share of GCP participants graduated with two STEM majors. This evidence suggests that GCP enhances the impact of “multipotentiality,” which characterizes many gifted adolescents. The effect on getting a Ph.D. is positive, too. Lastly, we find no effect of GCP on employment and earnings. Nor do we find that GCP participants work more than other equally talented children in the knowledge economy. These results are very similar for females and males gifted children.
    JEL: J01 J24
    Date: 2022–02
  5. By: Bradley Larsen (Stanford University); Ziao Ju (Stanford University); Adam Kapor (Princeton University); Chuan Yu (Stanford University)
    Abstract: Concerned about the low academic ability of public school teachers, in the 1990s and 2000s, some states increased licensing stringency to weed out low-quality candidates, while others decreased restrictions to attract high-quality candidates. We offer a theoretical model justifying both reactions. Using data from 1991–2007 on licensing requirements and teacher quality—as measured by the selectivity of teachers’ undergraduate institutions—we find that stricter licensing requirements, especially those emphasizing academic coursework, increase the left tail of the quality distribution for secondary school teachers without significantly decreasing quality for high-minority or high-poverty districts.
    Keywords: Education, Teacher licensing
    JEL: I2 J2 J4 J5 K2 K31 L5 L8
    Date: 2020–12
  6. By: Fernando Borraz (Banco Central del Uruguay; Departamento de Economía de la Facultad de Ciencias Sociales de la Universidad de la República; Universidad de Montevideo); Ana Caro (Banco Central del Uruguay); Maira Caño-Guiral (Banco Central del Uruguay); María José Roa (Instituto de Investigaciones Económicas y Sociales Francisco de Vitoria; Research Committee of the OECD/INFE)
    Abstract: Using data from a randomized control trial in Uruguay, we evaluate the impact of an economic and financial education program targeted to senior high-school students. The program is based on an innovative playful approach workshop about monetary policy and financial supervision. We find that the workshop has a positive and significant impact on student knowledge. Our results shed light on the importance of economic and financial education for the youth in developing countries.
    Keywords: BCUEduca, economic education, youth, treatment effects
    JEL: A21 D12 I22 J24
    Date: 2021
  7. By: Sandra García; Juan Saavedra
    Abstract: This chapter reviews the extensive literature to date on CCTs for education. Section 2 provides background on the origins and expansion of CCTs globally, and describes basic design features and variation in characteristics across programs. Section 3 presents a theory of change and an economic household decision-making model highlighting key comparative statics and empirical predictions for the introduction of an education CCT program. Section 4 discusses key methodological challenges in evaluating the impacts of education CCTs. Section 5 integrates and updates the extensive evidence to date on the impacts of education CCTs on various outcome domains over the life cycle, and provides the most comprehensive view to date on learning impacts by meta-analyzing new evidence from more than 30 studies—substantially more than prior reviews of the literature. Section 6 reviews the evidence on indirect and general equilibrium effects. Section 7 presents a simple model of costs commonly used in the literature, which we extend to analyze cost-effectiveness for a subset of programs. Section 8 concludes and highlights open questions for future research.
    JEL: I28 I38 J24 O15 O38
    Date: 2022–02

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