nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2022‒08‒22
seven papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. Preferred field of study and academic performance By Berlingieri, Francesco; Diegmann, André; Sprietsma, Maresa
  2. Genetic Endowments, Educational Outcomes and the Mediating Influence of School Investments By Arold, W. Benjamin; Hufe, Paul; Stoeckli, Marc
  3. Sitting Next to a Dropout: Academic Success of Students with More Educated Peers By Goller, Daniel; Diem, Andrea; Wolter, Stefan C.
  4. The collateral effects of private school expansion in a deregulated market: Peru, 1996-2019 By José María Rentería
  5. Quota vs Quality? Long-Term Gains from an Unusual Gender Quota By Ursina Schaede; Ville Mankki
  6. Human capital in Europe, 1830s – 1930s: towards a new spatial dataset By Gabriele Cappelli; Leonardo Ridolfi; Michelangelo Vasta; Johannes Westberg
  7. How is adolescents' time allocation associated with their self-esteem and self-efficacy? Evidence from four developing countries By Chang, Grace

  1. By: Berlingieri, Francesco; Diegmann, André; Sprietsma, Maresa
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of studying the first-choice university subject on dropout and switching field of study for a cohort of students in Germany. Using detailed survey data, and employing an instrumental variable strategy based on variation in the local field of study availability, we provide evidence that students who are not enrolled in their preferred field of study are more likely to change their field, delay graduation and drop out of university. The estimated impact on dropout is particularly strong among students of low socio-economic status and is driven by lower academic performance and motivation.
    Keywords: field of study,preferences,academic performance,university dropout
    JEL: I21 I23 J24
    Date: 2022
  2. By: Arold, W. Benjamin (LMU Munich); Hufe, Paul (University of Bristol); Stoeckli, Marc (LMU Munich)
    Abstract: Genetic endowments are fixed at conception and matter for the educational attainment of individuals. Do investments in schooling environments mitigate or magnify the outcomes of this genetic lottery? Using data from a representative sample of US adolescents, we analyze the interdependent associations of genetic endowments, teacher quality and teacher quantity with educational attainment. Our results suggest that higher-quality teachers act as substitutes for genetic endowments: a 1 SD increase in teacher quality reduces the positive association between educational attainment and a 1 SD increase in the relevant polygenic score from 0.37 to 0.30 years—a decrease of 20%. In particular, high-quality teachers increase the probability that genetically disadvantaged students complete college. This increase is underpinned by gains in health, language ability, patience, and risk aversion.
    Keywords: polygenic scores, school resources, skill formation
    JEL: I29 I21 J24
    Date: 2022–07
  3. By: Goller, Daniel (University of St. Gallen); Diem, Andrea (University of St. Gallen); Wolter, Stefan C. (University of Bern)
    Abstract: We investigate the impact of the presence of university dropouts on the academic success of first-time students. Our identification strategy relies on quasi-random variation in the proportion of returning dropouts. The estimated average zero effect of dropouts on first- time students' success masks treatment heterogeneity and non-linearities. First, we find negative effects on the academic success of their new peers from dropouts re-enrolling in the same subject and, conversely, positive effects of dropouts changing subjects. Second, using causal machine learning methods, we find that the effects vary nonlinearly with different treatment intensities and prevailing treatment levels.
    Keywords: university dropouts, peer effects, better prepared students, causal machine learning
    JEL: A23 C14 I23
    Date: 2022–06
  4. By: José María Rentería (UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: This paper explores the mid-term effects of the de facto privatization that has taken place in the Peruvian educational system. It exploits exogenous policy shocks as well as two sources of variation, namely the geographical location of the new private schools and the year of birth of individuals. Both variables determine the degree of exposure to the private school expansion process. The results suggest that this phenomenon has contributed neither to increasing access to formal education nor to improving wages in the labor market. This evidence raises concerns about the impact of privatization on the quality of the education system as a whole as well the regulatory role of the State
    Keywords: Private education,school choice
    Date: 2022–06
  5. By: Ursina Schaede; Ville Mankki
    Abstract: We evaluate equity-efficiency trade-offs from admissions quotas by examining effects on output once beneficiaries start producing in the relevant industry. In particular, we document the impact of abolishing a 40% quota for male primary school teachers in Finland on their pupils’ long-run outcomes. The quota had advantaged academically lower-scoring male university applicants, and its removal cut the share of men among new teachers by half. We combine this reform with the timing of union-mandated teacher retirements to isolate quasi-random variation in the local share of male quota teachers. Using comprehensive register data, we find that pupils exposed to a higher share of male quota teachers during primary school transition more smoothly to post-compulsory education, have higher educational attainment, and labor force attachment at age 25. Pupils of both genders benefit similarly from exposure to male quota teachers. Our findings are consistent with the quota improving the allocation of talent over the unconstrained selection process.
    Keywords: quota, education, affirmative action, gender, productivity
    JEL: J70 I20 M50
    Date: 2022
  6. By: Gabriele Cappelli; Leonardo Ridolfi; Michelangelo Vasta; Johannes Westberg
    Abstract: The literature on the causes of economic growth has emphasized the major role played by human capital accumulation. This survey shows that education and human capital are at the centre stage of the historical literature on industrialization and long-term economic development. Our contribution is threefold: first, we review the literature on the determinants of educational levels focusing on Europe in the period 1830 – 1930. We find that the lack of fine-grain spatial and (at the same time) harmonized data is preventing research on some important aspects of rising education. Secondly, we provide a preliminary taxonomy of European school acts and reforms in the 19th and early-20th century. Finally, we present the first version of a dataset under construction, which aims at providing spatial data covering gross enrolment rates and literacy across European regions from c. 1830 to 1930. Our preliminary results show that, in c. 1850, educational clusters appear to have often crossed national borders. By contrast, the effect of national institutions and regulations seems to have become an important determinant of schooling (and literacy) rates on the eve of the 20th century.
    Keywords: Education, literacy, Europe, regional, comparative.
    JEL: N30 O43 O52
    Date: 2022–03
  7. By: Chang, Grace
    Abstract: Adolescents’ time allocation is an important determinant of non-cognitive skills formation, but evidence from developing countries is limited. This study builds upon two previous studies using data from four developing countries. I estimate how adolescents’ time allocation determines their self-esteem and self-efficacy – two measures of non-cognitive skills – and I show how these estimates are sensitive to trade-offs across different types of activities. In every country, an additional hour of domestic work that reduces time for school or study reduces children’s self-efficacy, significant for all countries except Peru. Work is most harmful for girls in India and Vietnam, but not for boys in Ethiopia. However, domestic or economic work that shifts time away from leisure is no more or less determinative of adolescents’ self-efficacy or self-esteem in all countries analyzed. Attending school and studying outside school improve both selfefficacy and self-esteem for adolescents in Peru, but are statistically insignificant in the other three countries. Overall, these findings are mainly relevant for selfefficacy compared to self-esteem. The harmful effects of adolescents’ work are contextual, depending on the activity substituted, and the country studied.
    Keywords: child labor; non-cognitive skills; time use; PhD Studentship Award; T&F deal
    JEL: J13 J22 J24
    Date: 2022–05–24

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