nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2022‒09‒19
five papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. Do STEM Students Vote? By Bell, D’Wayne; Feng, Jing; Holbein, John B.; Smith, Jonathan
  2. Education expansion, college choice and labour market success By Federica Braccioli; Paolo Ghinetti; Simone Moriconi; Michele Pellizzari; Costanza Naguib
  3. Universal Early Childhood Education and Adolescent Risky Behavior By Michihito Ando; Hiroaki Mori; Shintaro Yamaguchi
  4. Lifetime Consequences of Lost Instructional Time in the Classroom: Evidence from Shortened School Years By Kamila Cygan-Rehm
  5. Keep Me In, Coach: The Short- and Long-Term Effects of Targeted Academic Coaching By Canaan, Serena; Fischer, Stefanie; Mouganie, Pierre; Schnorr, Geoffrey C.

  1. By: Bell, D’Wayne (Harvard University); Feng, Jing; Holbein, John B. (University of Virginia); Smith, Jonathan (Georgia State University)
    Abstract: For decades, pundits, politicians, college administrators, and academics have lamented the dismal rates of civic engagement among students who enroll in courses and eventually major in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (i.e., STEM) fields. However, the research supporting this conclusion has faced distinct challenges in terms of data quality. Does STEM actually decrease the odds that young people will be actively involved in democracy? This paper assesses the relationship between studying STEM and voting. To do so, we create a dataset of over 23 million students in the U.S. matched to national validated voting records. The novel dataset is the largest known individual-level dataset in the U.S. connecting high school and college students to voting outcomes. It also contains a rich set of demographic and academic variables, to account for many of the common issues related to students' selection into STEM coursework. We consider two measures of STEM participation—Advanced Placement (AP) Exam taking in high school and college major. Using both measures, we find that, unconditionally, STEM students are slightly more likely to vote than their non-STEM peers. After including the rich set of controls, the sign reverses and STEM students are slightly less likely to vote than their non-STEM peers. However, these estimated relationships between STEM and voting are small in magnitude—about the same effect size as a single get-out-the-vote mailer—and we can rule out even very modest causal effects of marginally more STEM coursework on voting for the typical STEM student. We cannot rule out modest effects for a few subfields. Our analyses demonstrate that, on average, marginally more STEM coursework in high school and college does not contribute to the dismally low participation rates among young people in the U.S.
    Keywords: youth voting, education, college, STEM, large-scale administrative data
    JEL: I21 I23 D72
    Date: 2022–08
  2. By: Federica Braccioli; Paolo Ghinetti; Simone Moriconi; Michele Pellizzari; Costanza Naguib
    Abstract: We apply the unordered monotonicity setting of Heckman and Pinto (2018) to estimate the distribution of response types and the counterfactual outcomes associated with the choice of a STEM or non-STEM college. Instrumental variation is induced by the proximity to universities offering STEM and/or non-STEM degrees. The empirical analysis uses confidential survey data for Italy, combined with administrative information about the founding dates of all Italian universities and faculties. We find that about 2.4% of individuals in our sample would choose a STEM college if there was one in their province of residence. The corresponding share of non-STEM switchers is 1.1%. We simulate the effects on a number of labour market outcomes of various reforms improving the geographical distribution of colleges and we find sizeable impacts, particularly for women
    Keywords: Monotonicity, Returns to Education, Human Capital
    JEL: I23 I26 I28 J24 J31
    Date: 2022–08
  3. By: Michihito Ando (Michihito Ando); Hiroaki Mori (Hiroaki Mori); Shintaro Yamaguchi (Shintaro Yamaguchi)
    Abstract: The evidence for the effects of early childhood education on risky behavior in adolescence is limited. This paper studies the consequences of a reform of a large-scale universal kindergarten program in Japan. Exploiting a staggered expansion of kindergartens across regions, we estimate the effects of the reform using an event study model. Our estimates indicate that the reform significantly reduced juvenile violent arrests and the rate of teenage pregnancy, but we do not find that the reform increased the high school enrolment rate. We suspect that improved non-cognitive skills can account for the reduction of risky behavior in adolescence.
    Keywords: early childhood education, crime, teenage pregnancy
    JEL: H52 I20 I28 J13 J24 K40
    Date: 2022–09
  4. By: Kamila Cygan-Rehm
    Abstract: This study estimates the lifetime effects of lost instructional time in the classroom on labor market performance. For identification, I use historical shifts in the school year schedule in Germany, which substantially shortened the duration of the affected school years with no adjustments in the core curriculum. The lost in-school instruction was mainly compensated for by assigning additional homework. Applying a difference-in-differences design to social security records, I find adverse effects of the policy on earnings and employment over nearly the entire occupational career. Unfavorable impacts on human capital are a plausible mechanism behind the deteriorated labor market outcomes. The earnings losses are driven by men, for whom the policy also elevated income inequality due to larger harm occurring at the bottom of the income distribution.
    Keywords: instructional time, education, earnings, skills, Germany
    JEL: I21 I26 J24 J17
    Date: 2022
  5. By: Canaan, Serena (Simon Fraser University); Fischer, Stefanie (Monash University); Mouganie, Pierre (Simon Fraser University); Schnorr, Geoffrey C. (University of California, Davis)
    Abstract: To boost college graduation rates, policymakers often advocate for academic supports such as coaching or mentoring. Proactive and intensive coaching interventions are effective, but are costly and difficult to scale. We evaluate a relatively lower-cost group coaching program targeted at first-year college students placed on academic probation. Participants attend a workshop where coaches aim to normalize failure and improve self-confidence. Coaches also facilitate a process whereby participants reflect on their academic difficulties, devise solutions to address their challenges, and create an action plan. Participants then hold a one-time follow-up meeting with their coach or visit a campus resource. Using a difference-in-discontinuity design, we show that the program raises students’ first-year GPA by 14.6% of a standard deviation, and decreases the probability of first-year dropout by 8.5 percentage points. Effects are concentrated among lower-income students who also experience a significant increase in the probability of graduating. Finally, using administrative data we provide the first evidence that coaching/mentoring may have substantial long-run effects as we document significant gains in lower-income students’ earnings 7–9 years following entry to the university. Our findings indicate that targeted, group coaching can be an effective way to improve marginal students’ academic and early career outcomes.
    Keywords: college graduation, mentoring, college advising, academic coaching
    JEL: I23 I24 J16
    Date: 2022–07

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