nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2022‒12‒05
six papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. Is four better than three? The effect of the 4-year high school policy on academic performance in Ghana By Denteh, Augustine; Asare, Samuel; Senadza, Bernardin
  2. A Thousand Cuts: Cumulative Lead Exposure Reduces Academic Achievement By Hollingsworth, Alex; Huang, Mike; Rudik, Ivan; Sanders, Nicholas
  3. Impact of Early Life Shocks on Educational Pursuits – Does a Fade out Co-exist with Persistence? By Gaurav Dhamija; Gitanjali Sen
  4. From low emission zone to academic track: Environmental policy effects on educational achievement in elementary school By Brehm, Johannes; Pestel, Nico; Schaffner, Sandra; Schmitz, Laura
  5. School Starting Age and the impact on School Admission By Julio Cáceres-Delpiano; Eugenio Giolito
  6. Marriage market equilibrium with matching on latent ability: Identification using a compulsory schooling expansion By Dan Anderberg; Jesper Bagger; V. Bhaskar; Tanya Wilson

  1. By: Denteh, Augustine; Asare, Samuel; Senadza, Bernardin
    Abstract: This paper examines the effect of increasing the length of senior high school education on immediate academic performance. We exploit a unique natural experiment that extended high school duration by one year in Ghana from 2007 to 2009. Following the policy’s reversal, the 2009 and 2010 high school entry cohorts experienced exogenously different years of schooling but took the same exit examination in 2013. Using administrative data on the two student cohorts, we find that the extra year of high school substantially increased performance in all subjects. We find the most economically significant improvement in achievement for two core subjects with the lowest historical pass rates—Core Mathematics and Integrated Science. Analysis by gender demonstrates that the policy closed preexisting achievement gaps in favor of female students for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) subjects. The results suggest that relaxing learning time constraints may improve academic achievement and close gender gaps in STEM fields.
    Date: 2022–08–25
  2. By: Hollingsworth, Alex; Huang, Mike; Rudik, Ivan (Cornell University); Sanders, Nicholas
    Abstract: We study how ambient lead exposure impacts learning in elementary school by leveraging a natural experiment where a large national automotive racing organization switched from leaded to unleaded fuel. We find increased levels and duration of exposure to lead negatively affect academic performance, shift the entire academic performance distribution, and negatively impact both younger and older children. The average treated student in our setting has an expected income reduction of $5,200 in present value terms. Avoiding said treatment has an effect size similar to improving teacher value added by one-fourth of a standard deviation, reducing class size by 3 students, or increasing school spending per pupil by $750. The marginal impacts of lead are larger in impoverished, non-white counties, and among students with greater duration of exposure, even after controlling for the total quantity of exposure.
    Date: 2022–09–07
  3. By: Gaurav Dhamija (Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad); Gitanjali Sen (Department Of Economics, Shiv Nadar University)
    Abstract: Background: Changes in climatic conditions have increased the variability in rainfall patterns worldwide. A negative rainfall shock faced by children in the initial 1000 days of life and the resulting malnutrition can harm the likelihood of children’s survival, overall growth, development of the brain, motor skills, and cognitive abilities, leading to poor performance in education and labor market. While the existing findings about the long-run outcomes are mixed, it is essential to understand the nuances in such an estimation. Methods: Using the exogenous variation in rainfall in India, we estimate the impact of adverse shocks at birth on the cognitive abilities of children at ages 5, 8, 12, and 15, on educational attainments, and the likelihood of studying STEM at higher secondary school. Results: The Young Lives Survey data from Andhra Pradesh, India, presents evidence of the negative impact of rainfall shocks at birth on cognitive abilities from age 5 to 8, attenuating at age 12. Using nationally representative data, while we investigate the impact of adverse rainfall shocks at birth on academic performance measured by the high school grades and STEM choice at higher secondary school, we do not find a persistent impact. Conclusion: We unfold the impact of rainfall shocks on a chain of outcomes connected to long-run educational pursuits, as it helps to identify the most crucial stage for policymaking. Since STEM subjects are strongly associated with the labor market, connecting the association with early life shocks seems to be an essential addition to the literature. While we find evidence of reduced cognitive abilities in the early years, those do not seem to persist in the long run. The potential sample selection or attrition biases and the estimates of those biases can explain the nuances of estimating the long-run impact of adverse shocks at birth.
    Keywords: Rainfall shocks, Education, STEM, Cognitive Development, Young Lives, India.
    JEL: I1 I3 I25 I28 J1 O2
    Date: 2022–10–14
  4. By: Brehm, Johannes; Pestel, Nico; Schaffner, Sandra; Schmitz, Laura
    Abstract: Low Emission Zones (LEZs) reduce local air pollution by restricting emission-intensive vehicles from accessing designated areas and have been shown to improve population health. Little is known about the effects of driving restriction policies on other areas of life. This paper studies the effects of LEZs on the educational achievements of elementary school students in Germany, measured by secondary-school transition rates. Using school-level data from North-Rhine Westphalia (NRW), Germany's largest federal state, we exploit the staggered adoption of LEZs since 2008 in a difference-indifferences framework. Our results imply that LEZs increased rates of transition to the academic track by 0.9-1.6 percentage points in NRW. Our findings on the district level for all of Germany confirm the external validity of these findings. Using geo-referenced data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, we provide suggestive evidence that a reduction in the prevalence of respiratory infections is a vital channel through which LEZs affect schooling outcomes.
    Keywords: Low emission zone,education,air quality,Germany
    JEL: I21 J24 Q52 Q53 Q58
    Date: 2022
  5. By: Julio Cáceres-Delpiano; Eugenio Giolito
    Abstract: Using administrative data for Chile, we study the impact of School Starting Age (SSA) on the characteristics of the school of first enrollment. After addressing the usual concerns of endogeneity using minimum age requirements and an RD-design, we uncover gains associated with a delay of school entry at the start of the student's school life. SSA is associated with an enrollment in a school with an approximately 0.1 standard deviations higher average in standardized test scores, an increase of approximately 0.17 years in the average education of the peers' parents, and an increase of 4 percentage points in the probability of being enrolled in a private school. The heterogeneity analysis by parents' education reveals the largest gain in the probability of enrollment in a voucher school among less-educated families. We also show that the impact on school's standardized test scores occurs among girls. This heterogeneity by parents' education and student's gender differs from that reported in previous studies.
    Keywords: Latin America; Chile; Early Entry; Schools´ characteristics
    JEL: A21 I24 I25 I28
    Date: 2022–11
  6. By: Dan Anderberg; Jesper Bagger; V. Bhaskar; Tanya Wilson
    Abstract: We use the 1972 UK Raising of the School-Leaving Age (RoSLA) to identify and estimate an equilibrium marriage market model with sorting on academic qualifications and latent ability. Our identification hinges on a RoSLA-induced discontinuity in the distribution of qualifications. We disentangle the contributions of qualification and ability to marital surplus; we find that they are complements. Ability increases the probability of ever marrying; a basic qualification does not. The observed marriage gap between basic qualified and unqualified individuals is entirely due to selection on ability. The RoSLA worsened marital prospects of low ability individuals, through general equilibrium effects.
    Keywords: Marriage, Assortative mating, Return to education, Latent ability
    JEL: D10 D13 I26 J12
    Date: 2022–08

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