nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2022‒07‒11
nine papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. New Schools and New Classmates: The Disruption and Peer Group Effects of School Reassignment By Darryl V. Hill; Rodney P. Hughes; Matthew A. Lenard; David D. Liebowitz; Lindsay C. Page
  2. Do Funds for More Teachers Improve Student Outcomes? By Nicolai T. Borgen; Lars J. Kirkebøen; Andreas Kotsadam; Oddbjørn Raaum
  3. The Effects of College Capital Projects on Student Outcome By Stephen Gibbons; Claudia Hupkau; Sandra McNally; Henry G. Overman
  4. Do Management Practices Matter in Further Education? By Sandra McNally; Luis Schmidt; Anna Valero
  5. Excellence for all? University honors programs and human capital formation By Pugatch, Todd; Thompson, Paul
  6. Do Class Closures Affect Students' Achievements? Heterogeneous effects of students' socioeconomic backgrounds By OIKAWA Masato; TANAKA Ryuichi; BESSHO Shun-ichiro; KAWAMURA Akira; NOGUCHI Haruko
  7. Can We Grow with our Children? The Effects of a Comprehensive Early Childhood Development Program By Britta Rude
  8. Nudges to Increase the Effectiveness of Environmental Education By KUROKAWA Hirofumi; IGEI Kengo; KITSUKI Akinori; KURITA Kenichi; MANAGI Shunsuke; NAKAMURO Makiko; SAKANO Akira
  9. Peers Affect Personality Development By Shan, Xiaoyue; Zölitz, Ulf

  1. By: Darryl V. Hill; Rodney P. Hughes; Matthew A. Lenard; David D. Liebowitz; Lindsay C. Page
    Abstract: Policy makers periodically consider using student assignment policies to improve educational outcomes by altering the socio-economic and academic skill composition of schools. We exploit the quasi-random reassignment of students across schools in the Wake County Public School System to estimate the academic and behavioral effects of being reassigned to a different school and, separately, of shifts in peer characteristics. We rule out all but substantively small effects of transitioning to a different school as a result of reassignment on test scores, course grades and chronic absenteeism. In contrast, increasing the achievement levels of students' peers improves students' math and ELA test scores but harms their ELA course grades. Test score benefits accrue primarily to students from higher-income families, though students with lower family income or lower prior performance still benefit. Our results suggest that student assignment policies that relocate students to avoid the over-concentration of lower-achieving students or those from lower-income families can accomplish equity goals (despite important caveats), although these reassignments may reduce achievement for students from higher- income backgrounds.
    JEL: H75 I21 I24 I28 J24
    Date: 2022–05
  2. By: Nicolai T. Borgen; Lars J. Kirkebøen; Andreas Kotsadam; Oddbjørn Raaum
    Abstract: We investigate the effects of a large-scale Norwegian reform that provided extra teachers to 166 lower secondary schools with relatively high student-teacher ratios and low average grades. We exploit these two margins using a regression discontinuity setup and find that the reform reduced the student-teacher ratio by around 10% (from a base level of 22 students per teacher), with no crowding out of other school resources or parental support. However, the reform did not improve test scores and longer-term academic outcomes, and we can reject even small positive effects. We do find that the reform improved the school environment from the students’ perspective, but with the largest impact on aspects most weakly associated with better academic outcomes.
    Keywords: student-teacher-ratio, class size, test scores, non-cognitive skills, RDD
    JEL: J24 I20
    Date: 2022
  3. By: Stephen Gibbons; Claudia Hupkau; Sandra McNally; Henry G. Overman
    Abstract: The general debate on the relationship between school resources and student outcomes is an old and controversial one (for reviews see, for example, Hanushek, 1989, 1997 and Gibbons and McNally, 2013), although there is less evidence on the effect of capital expenditure. This paper provides new evidence by studying the effect of capital expenditure in Further Education (FE) Colleges in England. These colleges provide post-compulsory schooling education, similar to US Community Colleges. About half of school leavers in England attend FE colleges, though they are generally considered the poor relation of schools and universities, enrolling lower achieving students and with less resources per student (Britton et al. 2019).1 Capital investment projects in these colleges have the potential to improve educational outcomes for large numbers of disadvantaged students and thus to facilitate social mobility. These colleges also have an important role to play in providing the intermediate and higher technical skills which are widely regarded as being in short supply in Britain.
    Keywords: Schools, Education, , Social mobility, FE, Further Education
    Date: 2021–11–23
  4. By: Sandra McNally; Luis Schmidt; Anna Valero
    Abstract: Further Education colleges are a key way in which 16-19 year olds acquire skills in the UK (much like US Community Colleges), especially those from low income backgrounds. Yet, little is known about what could improve performance in these institutions. We design and conduct the world's first management practices survey in these colleges (based on the World Management Survey) and match this to administrative longitudinal data on over 40,000 students. Value added regressions with rich controls suggest that structured management matters for educational outcomes (e.g. upper secondary qualifications), especially for students from low-income backgrounds. In a hypothetical scenario where a learner is moved from a college at the 10th percentile of management practices to the 90th, this would be associated with 8% higher probability of achieving a good high school qualification, which is nearly half of the educational gap between those from poor and non-poor backgrounds. Hence, improving management practices may be an important channel for reducing inequalities.
    Keywords: management practices, further education
    Date: 2022–03–08
  5. By: Pugatch, Todd; Thompson, Paul
    Abstract: Can public university honors programs deliver the benefits of selective undergraduate edu- cation within otherwise nonselective institutions? We evaluate the impact of admission to the Honors College at Oregon State University, a large nonselective public university. Admission to the Honors College depends heavily on a numerical application score. Nonlinearities in admis- sions probabilities as a function of this score allow us to compare applicants with similar scores, but different admissions outcomes, via a fuzzy regression kink design. The first stage is strong, with takeup of Honors College programming closely following nonlinearities in admissions prob- abilities. To estimate the causal effect of Honors College admission on human capital formation, we use these nonlinearities in the admissions function as instruments, combined with course- section fixed effects to account for strategic course selection. Honors College admission increases course grades by 0.10 grade points on the 0-4 scale, or 0.14 standard deviations. Effects are concentrated at the top of the course grade distribution. Previous exposure to Honors sections of courses in the same subject is a leading potential channel for increased grades. However, course grades of first-generation students decrease in response to Honors admission, driven by low performance in natural science courses. Results suggest that selective Honors programs can accelerate skill acquisition for high-achieving students at public universities, but not all students benefit from Honors admission.
    Keywords: economics of education,higher education,university honors programs,regression kink design
    JEL: I21 I23 I26
    Date: 2022
  6. By: OIKAWA Masato; TANAKA Ryuichi; BESSHO Shun-ichiro; KAWAMURA Akira; NOGUCHI Haruko
    Abstract: This paper examines how class closures affect the academic achievements of Japanese students in primary and middle schools, with a special focus on the heterogeneous effects of the socioeconomic backgrounds of students’ households. Utilizing the administrative data of students from a city in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area, we estimated the effects of class closures due to flu epidemics, on the students’ language and math test scores. We find that class closures adversely affect math test scores of economically disadvantaged students. The magnitudes of the negative effects on disadvantaged students are heterogeneous by subject, grade in school, gender, timing of class closures, and students’ pre-class-closure achievements. Male students from economically disadvantaged households are more susceptible to class closures, and those with relatively low achievements before class closures suffer more seriously from them. The deleterious effects among economically disadvantaged male students are driven not only by reductions in class hours in school, but also by increases in time spent watching TV and playing video games. We also find that school resources can mitigate the negative impact of class closure among economically disadvantaged students. These results indicate the importance of public programs in preventing a negative temporal shock to student learning environments.
    Date: 2022–05
  7. By: Britta Rude
    Abstract: I exploit the staggered roll-out of a universal early childhood development program in Chile to assess the impact of a comprehensive approach to early childhood development on outcomes in middle childhood. Using variation across time and municipalities, I study outcomes such as school performance, cognitive development, parental stress, household relationships, and health. I use administrative data on students as well as newborns in Chile, standardized test scores of all 4th graders, and an extensive early childhood development survey. I find positive and significant effects on school performance. The effect is less pronounced for girls and the socioeconomically vulnerable population. The improvements in learning outcomes are driven by improvements in intra-household relations. Comprehensive programs are powerful tools but have several flaws.
    Keywords: Education and inequality, government policy, children, human capital
    JEL: I24 I28 I38 J13 J24 O15
    Date: 2022
  8. By: KUROKAWA Hirofumi; IGEI Kengo; KITSUKI Akinori; KURITA Kenichi; MANAGI Shunsuke; NAKAMURO Makiko; SAKANO Akira
    Abstract: We ran randomized controlled trials to evaluate the effectiveness of our environmental education class and the impact of the nudge and boost on students’ attitudes and behaviors toward environmental issues. We found that our environmental education class significantly improves the students’ basic knowledge of the environment and concerns about plastic waste. Although there is no evidence that nudges and boosts amplify the effect of environmental education on basic knowledge of the environment, nudges are successful in making students who received environmental education more concerned about plastic waste. Our results also show that nudges and boosts can change students’ pro-environmental behaviors. Students who were assigned to treatment groups with nudges or boosts are more likely to refuse free wet wipes provided at convenience stores. These results indicate that our interventions change students’ pro-environmental behaviors only if the cost of changing their behaviors is low.
    Date: 2022–05
  9. By: Shan, Xiaoyue (University of Pennsylvania); Zölitz, Ulf (University of Zurich)
    Abstract: Do the people around us influence our personality? To answer this question, we conduct an experiment with 543 university students who we randomly assign to study groups. Our results show that students become more similar to their peers along several dimensions. Students with more competitive peers become more competitive, students with more open-minded peers become more open-minded, and students with more conscientious peers become more conscientious. We see no significant effects of peers’ extraversion, agreeableness, or neuroticism. To explain these results, we propose a simple model of personality development under the influence of peers. Consistent with the model’s prediction, personality spillovers are concentrated in traits predictive of performance. Students adopt personality traits that are productive in the university context from their peers. Our findings highlight that socialization with peers can influence personality development.
    Keywords: peer effects, malleability, personality, experiment
    JEL: I21 I24 J24
    Date: 2022–04

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