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

  1. Genetic Endowments, Educational Outcomes and the Mediating Influence of School Investments By Benjamin W. Arold; Paul Hufe; Marc Stoeckli
  2. Sitting Next to a Dropout - Academic Success of Students with More Educated Peers By Daniel Goller; Andrea Diem; Stefan C. Wolter
  3. Still Worth the Trip? School Busing Effects in Boston and New York By Joshua Angrist; Guthrie Gray-Lobe; Clemence M. Idoux; Parag A. Pathak
  4. The Long-Term Impact of High School Financial Education: evidence from Brazil By Miriam Bruhn; Gabriel Garber; Sergio Koyama; Bilal Zia
  5. Mean Convergence, Combinatorics, and Grade-Point Averages By Waddell, Glen R.; McDonough, Robert
  6. Nowcasting the impact of COVID-19 on education, intergenerational mobility and earnings inequality in Sub-Saharan Africa By Neidhöfer, Guido; Lustig, Nora; Larroulet, Patricio
  7. Female Labor Market Opportunities and Gender Gaps in Aspirations By Molina, Teresa; Usui, Emiko

  1. By: Benjamin W. Arold; Paul Hufe; Marc Stoeckli
    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 analyse 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
  2. By: Daniel Goller; Andrea Diem; Stefan C. Wolter
    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
  3. By: Joshua Angrist; Guthrie Gray-Lobe; Clemence M. Idoux; Parag A. Pathak
    Abstract: School assignment in Boston and New York City came to national attention in the 1970s as courts across the country tried to integrate schools. Today, district-wide choice allows Boston and New York students to enroll far from home, perhaps enhancing integration. Urban school transportation is increasingly costly, however, and has unclear integration and education consequences. We estimate the causal effects of non-neighborhood school enrollment and school travel on integration, achievement, and college enrollment using an identification strategy that exploits partly-random assignment in the Boston and New York school matches. Instrumental variables estimates suggest distance and travel boost integration for those who choose to travel, but have little or no effect on test scores and college attendance. We argue that small effects on educational outcomes reflect modest effects of distance and travel on school quality as measured by value-added.
    JEL: D47 I20
    Date: 2022–07
  4. By: Miriam Bruhn; Gabriel Garber; Sergio Koyama; Bilal Zia
    Abstract: In 2011, the impact of a comprehensive financial education program was studied through a randomized controlled trial with 892 high schools in six Brazilian states. Using administrative data, this paper follows 16,000 students for the next nine years. The short-term findings were that the treatment students used expensive credit and were behind on payments. By contrast, in the long-term treatment, students were less likely to borrow from expensive sources and to have loans with late payments than control students. Treatment students were also more likely to own microenterprises and less likely to be formally employed than control students.
    Date: 2022–07
  5. By: Waddell, Glen R. (University of Oregon); McDonough, Robert (University of Oregon)
    Abstract: While comparing students across large differences in GPA follows one's intuition that higher GPAs correlate positively with higher-performing students, this need not be the case locally. Grade-point averaging is fundamentally a combinatorics problem, and thereby challenges inference based on local comparisons—this is especially true when students have experienced only small numbers of classes. While the effect of combinatorics diminishes in larger numbers of classes, mean convergence then has us jeopardize local comparability as GPA better delineates students of different ability. Given these two characteristics in decoding GPA, we discuss the advantages of machine-learning approaches to identifying treatment in educational settings.
    Keywords: GPA, grades, program evaluation, random forest, regression discontinuity
    JEL: I21 I26 C21
    Date: 2022–07
  6. By: Neidhöfer, Guido; Lustig, Nora; Larroulet, Patricio
    Abstract: Using microsimulations, we nowcast the impact of learning losses caused by COVID-19 on secondary school completion rates, intergenerational mobility of education, and long-run earnings inequality in eight countries Sub-Saharan Africa. On average, secondary school completion rates decrease by 12 percentage points overall and by 16 points for children with low-educated parents. Interestingly, in most countries the gender gap diminishes because for men the projected decrease in secondary school completion is higher. However, a small additional impact on girls' education due to the Covid-19 induced rise in teenage pregnancy is observed in some countries. Intergenerational mobility of education decreases from 1 to close to 50 percent, depending on the country. As a result of the heterogeneous reduction in average years of schooling for advantaged vs. disadvantaged children, earnings inequality could increase between one and four Gini points, depending on the assumptions.
    Keywords: COVID-19,lockdowns,human capital,school closures,intergenerational persistence,education,inequality,Africa
    JEL: I24 I38 J62
    Date: 2022
  7. By: Molina, Teresa (University of Hawaii at Manoa); Usui, Emiko (Hitotsubashi University)
    Abstract: Aspirations and plans for the future can influence investments made today. Gender gaps in these views can perpetuate gender gaps in outcomes. In this paper, we explore how gender gaps in aspirations and expectations are affected by the local labor market. Using a national longitudinal survey from Japan, we begin by documenting large gender differences in adolescents’ own thoughts about their future educational attainment, occupation, marriage, and fertility, as well as parental aspirations for their child’s future. We then show that these gender gaps – specifically, boys planning for higher educational attainment as well as later marriage and fertility – are significantly smaller in municipalities with higher female labor force participation. Consistent with this, we also find that female labor force participation increases parental investments in girls relative to boys. We detect similar patterns when examining realized outcomes at age 19.
    Keywords: aspirations, gender differences, female employment
    JEL: J16 I24 J13
    Date: 2022–07

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