nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2022‒05‒09
eight papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. The Effect of Foreign Students on Native Students' Outcomes in Higher Education By Costas-Fernández, Julián; Morando, Greta
  2. Iceland's Natural Experiment in Education Reform By Tinna Laufey Ásgeirsdóttir; Gisli Gylfason; Gylfi Zoega
  3. Gender and Choices in Higher Education By Anne Boring; Jennifer Brown
  4. How age at school entry affects future educational and socioemotional outcomes: Evidence from PISA. By Pauline Givord
  5. Educational and Skills Mismatches: Unravelling Their Effects on Wages Across Europe By Loredana Cultrera; Benoît Mahy; François Rycx; Guillaume Vermeylen
  6. Tracking When Ranking Matters By Landaud, Fanny; Maurin, Eric
  7. Estimating the Effects of Educational System Consolidation: The Case of China's Rural School Closure Initiative By Emily Hannum; Xiaoying Liu; Fan Wang
  8. Can Schools Change Religious Attitudes? Evidence from German State Reforms of Compulsory Religious Education By Benjamin W. Arold; Ludger Woessmann; Larissa Zierow

  1. By: Costas-Fernández, Julián (University College London); Morando, Greta (University College London)
    Abstract: This paper offers new evidence of the role of immigration in shaping the educational and labour market outcomes of natives. We use administrative data on the entire English higher education system and exploit the idiosyncratic variation of foreign students within university-degree across four cohorts of undergraduate students. Foreign peers have zero to mild effects on natives' educational outcomes, such as graduation probability and degree classification. Large effects are found on displacement across universities and degree types after enrolment, although these outcomes are rare occurrences. In line with the mild effects on education outcomes, we also find little effect of foreign peers affecting early labour market outcomes of native graduates.
    Keywords: peer effects, higher education, immigration
    JEL: F22 I21 I23 I24 I26 J15 J24
    Date: 2022–03
  2. By: Tinna Laufey Ásgeirsdóttir; Gisli Gylfason; Gylfi Zoega
    Abstract: We use a change in Iceland’s education system as a natural experiment to measure the effect of years spent in upper secondary school on subsequent first year outcomes at university. The duration of Iceland´s upper-secondary education was shortened by one year through compression of the curriculum. The study benefits from a large variation in the age within both the treatment and the control groups, allowing us to separate the effects of shorter upper-secondary education from the effect of age when university studies are initiated. We find that shorter upper-secondary education, three years instead of the previous four, leads to first-year university students completing fewer credits, getting a lower average grade in completed courses, and being more likely to drop out. Results indicate that the effects are partly explained by the age at university enrollment. This applies particularly to women while men are adversely affected even when age is accounted for.
    Keywords: years of schooling, upper-secondary school, university grades
    JEL: I21 I26
    Date: 2022
  3. By: Anne Boring (OFCE - Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po, LIEPP - Laboratoire interdisciplinaire d'évaluation des politiques publiques (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po); Jennifer Brown (University of Utah)
    Abstract: Data on the labor market outcomes of university graduates show that gender pay gaps appear soon after graduation in nearly every field of study. We provide descriptive evidence of a plausible cause of the gender starting-salary gap: choices within an educational setting that differ between male and female students, even after accounting for academic specialization. We examine the choices of undergraduate students at a selective French university who are competing for seats at foreign universities to fulfill a mandatory exchange program requirement. Holding fixed students' field of study, we find that average and high-ability female students request exchange universities that are worse-ranked than their male peers. A survey eliciting students' preferences suggests that male students prioritize the academic characteristics of potential exchange universities more often, whereas similar female students consider both the academic and non-academic characteristics of exchange destinations. We explore the short-term consequences of these differing preferences using a simulation that assigns students to exchange seats solely on university ranking and students' academic performance. Female students' assignment improves almost uniformly, whereas top-performing male students face increased competition for seats and male students with average grades face less competition as high-achieving female students shift towards better-ranked assignments.
    Keywords: gender gaps,choices,higher education
    Date: 2021–06–01
  4. By: Pauline Givord (Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques (INSEE), LIEPP - Laboratoire interdisciplinaire d'évaluation des politiques publiques (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po)
    Abstract: This study provides new empirical evidence of birthday effects over a range of educational and socioemotional outcomes. It relies on data from the recent cycles of the Program for International School Assessment (PISA) for six European countries. Age at entry has a significant and sizeable impact on cognitive outcomes for 15-year-old students as measured in PISA. The magnitude of the birthday effects on socioemotional skills varies, but overall the results suggest that those students who enter school relatively younger have more negative relationships with their teachers and peers at school. These students also have lower intrinsic motivation and self-esteem and have less ambitious educational expectations than their peers who entered school older.
    Keywords: Birthday effects,PISA,Instrumental variables,socioemotional outcomes
    Date: 2021–05–01
  5. By: Loredana Cultrera (University of Mons (UMONS - Belgium), Soci&ter and Risk); Benoît Mahy (University of Mons (UMONS - Belgium), Soci&ter, and DULBEA); François Rycx (Université libre de Bruxelles (CEBRIG and DULBEA), GLO, IRES, IZA, Soci&ter); Guillaume Vermeylen (University of Mons (UMONS - Belgium), Soci&ter, DULBEA and CEB.)
    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: 2022–03–28
  6. By: Landaud, Fanny (Norwegian School of Economics); Maurin, Eric (Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effect of grouping students by prior achievement into different classes (or schools) in settings where students are competing for admission to programs offering only a limited number of places. We first develop a model that identifies the conditions under which the practice of tracking students by prior achievement increases inequalities between students that do not initially have the same academic background, such as may exist between students with different social backgrounds. We then test our model using new data on the competitive entrance exams to elite scientific higher education programs in France. We find that 70% of the inequality in success in these exams between students from different social backgrounds can be explained by the practice of tracking students by prior achievement that prevails during the years of preparation for these exams.
    Keywords: ability tracking, competition, higher education, inequalities
    JEL: C13 C51 I21 I23 I24
    Date: 2022–03
  7. By: Emily Hannum; Xiaoying Liu; Fan Wang
    Abstract: Global trends of fertility decline, population aging, and rural outmigration are creating pressures to consolidate school systems, with the rationale that economies of scale will enable higher quality education to be delivered in an efficient manner, despite longer travel distances for students. Yet, few studies have considered the implications of system consolidation for educational access and inequality, outside of the context of developed countries. We estimate the impact of educational infrastructure consolidation on educational attainment using the case of China's rural primary school closure policies in the early 2000s. We use data from a large household survey covering 728 villages in 7 provinces, and exploit variation in villages' year of school closure and children's ages at closure to identify the causal impact of school closure. For girls exposed to closure during their primary school ages, we find an average decrease of 0.60 years of schooling by 2011, when children's mean age was 17 years old. Negative effects strengthen with time since closure. For boys, there is no corresponding significant effect. Different effects by gender may be related to greater sensitivity of girls' enrollment to distance and greater responsiveness of boys' enrollment to quality.
    Date: 2022–03
  8. By: Benjamin W. Arold; Ludger Woessmann; Larissa Zierow
    Abstract: We study whether compulsory religious education in schools affects students’ religiosity as adults. We exploit the staggered termination of compulsory religious education across German states in models with state and cohort fixed effects. Using three different datasets, we find that abolishing compulsory religious education significantly reduced religiosity of affected students in adulthood. It also reduced the religious actions of personal prayer, church-going, and church membership. Beyond religious attitudes, the reform led to more equalized gender roles, fewer marriages and children, and higher labor-market participation and earnings. The reform did not affect ethical and political values or non-religious school outcomes.
    Keywords: religious education, religiosity, school reforms
    JEL: Z12 I28 H75
    Date: 2022

This nep-edu issue is ©2022 by Nádia Simões. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.