nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2022‒04‒04
seven papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. No country for young kids? The effects of school starting age throughout childhood and beyond By Goncalo Lima; Luis Catela Nunes; Ana Balcao Reis; Maria do Carmo Seabra
  2. Earnings expectations and educational sorting. An ex-ante perspective on returns to university education By Angelov, Nikolay; Johansson, Per; Pihl, Ariel; Lindahl, Mikael
  3. The long-term effects of student absence: Evidence from Sweden By Cattan, Sarah; Kamhöfer, Daniel A.; Karlsson, Martin; Nilsson, Therese
  4. Educational and Skills Mismatches: Unravelling Their Effects on Wages Across Europe By Loredana Cultrera; Benoit Mahy; François Rycx; Guillaume Vermeylen
  5. Sibling Gender, Inheritance Customs and Educational Attainment: Evidence from Matrilineal and Patrilineal Societies By Collins, Matthew
  6. Grading Bias and Young Adult Mental Health By Linder, Anna; Nordin, Martin; Gerdtham, Ulf-G.; Heckley, Gawain
  7. Electrifying Nigeria: the Impact of Rural Access to Electricity on Kids' Schooling By Enrico Nano

  1. By: Goncalo Lima; Luis Catela Nunes; Ana Balcao Reis; Maria do Carmo Seabra
    Abstract: Being the youngest in a cohort entails many penalties. Using administrative data of every public-school student in Portugal, we show that although performance gains from being 1-year older fade quickly from primary education to high school, age-related penalties persist through a combination of grade retention, educational tracking and testing policies. Those that start school younger are more likely to repeat grades and ultimately drop out from school. Older entrants are more likely to enroll in scientific curricula in high school, are more successful at accessing public higher education and enroll in more selective undergraduate courses.
    Keywords: School starting age, education, student achievement
    JEL: H75 I21 J13
    Date: 2022
  2. By: Angelov, Nikolay (Uppsala Center for Fiscal Studies (UCFS); Johansson, Per (Uppsala University (UCLS and Statistics)); Pihl, Ariel (Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg); Lindahl, Mikael (Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg)
    Abstract: We estimate means and distributions of ex-ante treatment effects for obtaining university education relative to high school. To achieve this, we conducted a survey which elicited earnings expectations associated with counterfactual educational choices for a sample of high-school students in Stockholm. We find average ex-ante returns to university to be 36%, with higher returns for females, those with high SES backgrounds, and high math scores. The returns vary considerably and are highest for those that choose university, but also positive and sizable for those who do not. Our results imply that students sort into education based on their comparative advantage. Nevertheless, our results suggest that an OLS estimator of the returns to university education should be expected to be quite similar to the average treatment on the treated effect for university education. Additionally, we find evidence that the positive ex-ante earnings returns to high paying fields, among those that do not choose these fields, can (partly) be reconciled by individuals expecting to be compensated through higher non-pecuniary returns to those fields.
    Keywords: Ex-ante treatment effects; returns to university; educational sorting; subjective expectations;
    JEL: I26 J24
    Date: 2022–03–18
  3. By: Cattan, Sarah; Kamhöfer, Daniel A.; Karlsson, Martin; Nilsson, Therese
    Abstract: Despite the relatively uncontested importance of promoting school attendance in the policy arena, little evidence exists on the causal effect of school absence on long-run socio-economic outcomes. We address this question by combining historical and administrative records for cohorts of Swedish individuals born in the 1930s. We find that primary school absence significantly reduces contemporaneous academic performance, final educational attainment and labor income throughout the life-cycle. The findings are consistent with a dynamic model of human capital formation, whereby absence causes small immediate learning losses, which cumulate to larger human capital losses over time and lead to worse labor market performance.
    Keywords: school absence,educational attainment,long-term effects,register data
    JEL: C23 I14 I21 I26
    Date: 2022
  4. By: Loredana Cultrera; Benoit Mahy; François Rycx; Guillaume Vermeylen
    Abstract: This paper is among the firsts to investigate the impact of overeducation and overskilling on workers’ wages using a unique pan-European database covering twenty-eight countries for the year 2014, namely the CEDEFOP’s European Skills and Jobs (ESJ) survey. Overall, the results suggest a wage penalty associated with overeducation. When interacting educational mismatch with skills mismatch into apparent overeducation and genuine overeducation, the results suggest that the highest wage penalty is reached for workers that are both overeducated and overskilled.
    Keywords: Educational Mismatch; Skills Mismatch; Wages; European Survey
    JEL: J21 J24
    Date: 2022–02–24
  5. By: Collins, Matthew (Department of Economics, Lund University)
    Abstract: Using data from 27 sub-Saharan African countries, I identify the causal effect of sibling gender on education and how it varies according to inheritance customs. Boys who inherit their father's property experience no effect of sibling gender, while boys who do not inherit experience a significant negative effect of having a brother. Having a brother has a small negative effect on the education of girls, regardless of inheritance customs. The effect of sibling gender converges after the introduction of laws guaranteeing that children inherit from their parents, suggesting that parents substitute between transferring inheritance and investing in their children’s education.
    Keywords: sibling gender; patriliny; matriliny; educational attainment
    JEL: D13 I20 J16
    Date: 2022–03–07
  6. By: Linder, Anna (Centre for Economic Demography, Lund University); Nordin, Martin (AgriFood Economics Centre, Lund University); Gerdtham, Ulf-G. (Department of Economics, Lund University); Heckley, Gawain (Centre for Economic Demography, Lund University)
    Abstract: Various grading reforms and trends of more lenient grading have contributed to grade inflation in Sweden and other countries. Previous research shows that over-grading increases higher education enrolment, achievements and earnings, but no study has yet addressed the potential impact of grading bias on health. In this paper, we hypothesize that over-grading has a protective impact on mental health, either through a direct effect of performance feedback, or through mechanisms such as self-efficacy and university admission distortions. We test this hypothesis using Swedish individual-level register data for individuals graduating from upper secondary school in the years 2001-2004. Grading bias, which we interpret as over-grading, is constructed as the residual of final upper secondary school grades having controlled for results in a standardised test, itself not subject to grading leniency. Over-grading is further isolated by considering only within-school variation in over-grading and controlling for prior grades and school production. We show that over-grading has substantial significant protective impacts on the mental health of young adults, but only among female students. That grades themselves, independent of knowledge, substantially impact the production of health highlights an important health production mechanism, and also implies that any changes to the design of grading systems must consider these wider health implications.
    Keywords: Grading bias; grade inflation; mental health; human capital development
    JEL: I10 I21 I28
    Date: 2022–03–29
  7. By: Enrico Nano (IHEID, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva)
    Abstract: As of 2020, 770 million people still lack access to electricity worldwide and 10% of this population is in Nigeria. Nevertheless, the country has received so far little attention in this respect from the academic community. The economic literature also does not generally agree on the impact of access to electricity on education outcomes, despite being the object of several programmes and policies, and one of the key SDGs of the 2030 Agenda. This paper aims at filling these gaps in the literature by providing a medium-term analysis of the effect of village-level electricity access on kids' schooling in rural Nigeria. It also contributes to the methodological debate using a novel instrument in this context, namely the frequency of lightning strikes in the area surrounding households. The results show that electricity access leads to an increase in school enrolment and a decrease in the grade-for-age (GFA) gap, a measure of educational performance. The paper also discusses some of the mechanisms that can lead to the observed findings, their robustness and heterogeneity, as well as the role of the quality of electricity received.
    Keywords: Energy Access; Rural Electrification; Education; School Enrolment; Nigeria
    JEL: O12 O13 I25 Q48
    Date: 2022–03–08

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