nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2022‒11‒28
eight papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. Heterogeneity in School Value-Added and the Private Premium By Tahir Andrabi; Natalie Bau; Jishnu Das; Asim Ijaz Khwaja
  2. Starting off on the right foot: Language learning classes and the educational success of immigrant children By Höckel, Lisa Sofie; Schilling, Pia
  3. Rainy days and learning outcomes: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa By Yasmine Bekkouche; Kenneth Houngbedji; Oswald Koussihouede
  4. Learning Through Repetition? A Dynamic Evaluation of Grade Retention in Portugal By Emilio Borghesan; Hugo Reis; Petra E. Todd
  5. The effect of test anxiety on high stakes exams By Emanuela Macrí; Giuseppe Migali
  6. The Effects of Financial Aid on Graduation and Labor Market Outcomes: New Evidence from Matched Education-Labor Data By Veronica Rattini
  7. "The Double Dividend of Training" - Labor Market Effects of Work-Related Continuous Education in Switzerland By Stefan Denzler; Jens Ruhose; Stefan C. Wolter
  8. Infrastructure and Girls’ Education: Bicycles, Roads, and the Gender Education Gap in India By Moritz Seebacher

  1. By: Tahir Andrabi; Natalie Bau; Jishnu Das; Asim Ijaz Khwaja
    Abstract: Using rich panel data from Pakistan, we compute test score based measures of quality (School Value-Addeds or SVAs) for more than 800 schools across 112 villages and verify that they are valid and unbiased. With the SVA measures, we then document three striking features of the schooling environment. First, there is substantial within-village variation in quality. The annualized difference in learning between the best and worst performing school in the same village is 0.4 sd; compounded over 5 years of primary schooling, this difference is similar in size to the test score gap between low- and high-income countries. Second, students learn more in private schools (0.15 sd per year on average), but substantial within-sector variation in quality means that the effects of reallocating students from public to private schools can range from -0.35sd to +0.65sd. Thus, there is a range of possible causal estimates of the private premium, a feature of the environment we illustrate using three different identification approaches. Finally, parents appear to recognize and reward SVA in the private sector, but the link between parental demand and SVA is weaker in the public sector. These results have implications for both the measurement of the private premium and how we design and evaluate policies that reallocate children across schools, such as school closures and vouchers.
    JEL: H44 I21 I25 I28 O12
    Date: 2022–11
  2. By: Höckel, Lisa Sofie; Schilling, Pia
    Abstract: This study is the first empirical analysis to identify the causal effect of a separate preparatory language learning class on the academic success of newly immigrated primary school-aged children in comparison to their direct integration into regular classrooms. Employing unique administrative panel data from the German federal state Hamburg between 2013 and 2019, we use the quasi-random allocation of refugee children to neighborhoods and therewith schools to measure the effect of the two educational integration models on standardized test scores and the probability of attending an academic track in secondary school. Our results show that primary school-aged refugees who visit a preparatory class perform significantly worse in standardized test scores in fifth grade. The negative effect is particularly strong for Math and German. They further have a slightly lower probability to attend the academic track. Overall, our results indicate that integrating newly immigrated children directly into regular classrooms fosters their academic achievement more than schooling them first in preparatory classes with a focus on language learning.
    Keywords: Academic achievement,education economics,language skills,migration,integration policy
    JEL: I24 I21 J13 J15
    Date: 2022
  3. By: Yasmine Bekkouche (Université Libre de Bruxelles); Kenneth Houngbedji (LEDa-DIAL (IRD, CNRS, Universite Paris-Dauphine, Universite PSL)); Oswald Koussihouede (UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning)
    Abstract: : We combined information on daily rainfall at school locations and standardized test scores to study how learning outcomes at primary schools are affected by precipitation during school days in Sub-Saharan Africa. Our results suggest that student test scores are lower in schools that are exposed to more rainy days during the academic year. Students in locations that had more rainy school days are also more likely to experience grade repetition. We tested the mechanisms through which rainfall affects learning outcomes in our study area and found that teachers are more likely to be absent in locations with more rainy school days. We discuss the implications of these results and draw attention to policy options to mitigate learning loss during rainy school days.
    Keywords: Education, Children, Climate
    JEL: I21 Q54
    Date: 2022–11
  4. By: Emilio Borghesan (University of Pennsylvania); Hugo Reis (Banco de Portugal and Catolica Lisbon SBE); Petra E. Todd (University of Pennsylvania)
    Abstract: High rates of grade retention are a matter of much controversy and debate worldwide. Although some students may learn more with extended classroom time, other students get discouraged and drop out of school. This paper develops and implements a dynamic value-added modeling approach for estimating grade retention effects in Portuguese high schools where over 40% of students were retained. The statistical model is derived from an education production function that describes how knowledge cumulates with sequential years of school attendance, including repeated grades. Model parameters are obtained using simulated method of moments applied to nationwide administrative test score data. The estimated model is used to simulate achievement in math and Portuguese under the existing grade retention and compulsory schooling policies and under alternative policies. Results show that the average impact of the current policy on 12th grade test scores of retained students is positive, 0.2 standard deviations in math and 0.5 s.d. in Portuguese. However, weend that the test score impacts are heterogeneous and roughly one third of students experience learning loss. Retention also signicantly increases school dropout, especially for male youth and older students. We compute policy-relevant treatment effects for retention's effects on lifetime earnings, taking into account retention's simultaneous effects on educational attainment, knowledge, and age of labor market entry, and we solve for the optimal retention policy that maximizes average lifetime earnings in the population.
    Date: 2022–11–11
  5. By: Emanuela Macrí; Giuseppe Migali
    Abstract: We run a randomized control trial in an Italian university to study the effect of test anxiety on a high stakes exam. We separate students in two groups and we expose them to two random treatments, silence and music, that influence their level of pre-test anxiety. We measure the variation of test anxiety by observing the difference in individual biomarkers collected before and after the treatments. We find that a reduction in the mean arterial pressure and systolic pressure improve females test scores, and the effect is much stronger if the treatment is silence. For males we do not find any significant effect. Hence, we conclude that test anxiety may help to explain gender differentials in performance.
    Keywords: Test anxiety, biomarkers, RCT, high stakes exam, gender difference
    JEL: I19 I20 I21
    Date: 2022
  6. By: Veronica Rattini
    Abstract: Financial aid decreases the cost of acquiring additional education. By using Italian administrative and survey data on financial aid recipients and exploiting sharp discontinuities in the amount of aid received, this paper identifies the causal effect of aid generosity on college performance and labor market outcomes. The results show that students with a higher cost of college earn more credits each year than those receiving higher financial aid. This gap generates a significant difference in the overall graduation time. No differences emerge in the GPA level or in the probability of working during college. After graduation, lower-aid recipients have a similar probability of continuing to study and of working after college as higher-aid beneficiaries. However, they secure a better job match in terms of working hours and payment but also in terms of skills matching.
    Keywords: human capital, financial aid, labor market outcomes, regression discontinuity design
    JEL: H75 I22 I26 J24
    Date: 2022
  7. By: Stefan Denzler; Jens Ruhose; Stefan C. Wolter
    Abstract: This paper presents the first longitudinal estimates of the effect of work-related training on labor market outcomes in Switzerland. Using a novel dataset that links official census data on adult education to longitudinal register data on labor market outcomes, we apply a regression-adjusted matched difference-in-differences approach with entropy balancing to account for selection bias and sorting on gains. We find that training participation increases yearly earnings and reduces the risk of unemployment two years after the treatment. However, the effects are heterogeneous as to gender, age, education, and regional labor market context. The gains are highest for middle-aged men with formal vocational education working in either depressed or booming labor markets.
    Keywords: continuous education, wages, unemployment, entropy balancing, Switzerland
    JEL: I21 I26 J24 M53
    Date: 2022
  8. By: Moritz Seebacher
    Abstract: How can infrastructure help to reduce the gender education gap in developing countries? In this paper, I analyze the complementarity of all-weather roads and a bicycle program in Bihar, India, which aimed to increase girls’ secondary school enrollment rate. Using Indian household survey data combined with a quadrupledifference estimation strategy, I find that the program’s main beneficiaries are girls living at least 3km away from secondary schools whose villages are connected with all-weather roads. Their net secondary school enrollment rate increased by over 87 percent, reducing the respective gender education gap by around 45 percent. I find no effect for girls living in villages without an all-weather road, suggesting that allweather roads are not just complementary to the bicycle program but a precondition for its success. The findings highlight the importance of well-functioning infrastructure for the accessibility of secondary schools and the empowering of girls in India.
    Keywords: Roads, bicycles, infrastructure, girls’ education, gender education gap, India
    JEL: I21 I28 H42 J16
    Date: 2022

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