nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2023‒01‒23
eight papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. Methods for Measuring School Effectiveness By Joshua Angrist; Peter Hull; Christopher R. Walters
  2. Making the (Letter) Grade: The Incentive Effects of Mandatory Pass/Fail Courses By Kristin Butcher; Patrick McEwan; Akila Weerapana
  3. Essays on skills and education By Oliver Cassagneau-Francis
  4. Skills, Parental Sorting, and Child Inequality By Nybom, Martin; Plug, Erik; van der Klaauw, Bas; Ziegler, Lennart
  5. Returns to education and experience on the labor market : a matching perspective By Pauline Corblet
  6. The Insurance Implications of Government Student Loan Repayment Schemes By Martin Gervais; Qian Liu; Lance Lochner
  7. The Benefits of Early Work Experience for School Dropouts: Evidence from a Field Experiment By Jérémy Hervelin; Pierre Villedieu
  8. School Choice with Farsighted Students By Ata Atay; Ana Mauleon; Vincent Vannetelbosch

  1. By: Joshua Angrist; Peter Hull; Christopher R. Walters
    Abstract: Many personal and policy decisions turn on perceptions of school effectiveness, defined here as the causal effect of attendance at a particular school or set of schools on student test scores and other outcomes. Widely-disseminated school ratings frameworks compare average student achievement across schools, but uncontrolled differences in means may owe more to selection bias than to causal effects. Such selection problems have motivated a wave of econometric innovation that uses elements of random and quasi-experimental variation to measure school effectiveness. This chapter reviews these empirical strategies, highlighting solved problems and open questions. Empirical examples are used throughout.
    JEL: C11 C26 I20 I21 I24
    Date: 2022–12
  2. By: Kristin Butcher; Patrick McEwan; Akila Weerapana
    Abstract: In Fall 2014, Wellesley College began mandating pass/fail grading for courses taken by first-year, first-semester students, although instructors continued to record letter grades. We identify the causal effect of the policy on course choice and performance, using a regression-discontinuity-in-time design. Students shifted to lower-grading STEM courses in the first semester, but did not increase their engagement with STEM in later semesters. Letter grades of first-semester students declined by 0.13 grade points, or 23% of a standard deviation. We evaluate causal channels of the grade effect—including sorting into lower-grading STEM courses and declining instructional quality—and conclude that the effect is consistent with declining student effort.
    JEL: I23
    Date: 2022–12
  3. By: Oliver Cassagneau-Francis (ECON - Département d'économie (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: The three chapters of this thesis study different aspects of skills and human capital across different contexts.The first chapter investigates the question: what drives some young people to choose to attend university while others do not? This chapter focuses on non-pecuniary factors: using detailed survey data from UK cohort studies I compare the expectations of young people who both attend and do not attend university about many different aspects of life at, and after, university. Non-pecuniary, and particularly non-financial, factors are shown to be much more important than wages in determining the higher education choices of young people.The second chapter moves the focus of the analysis from expected returns from before attending university, to realised returns after university - from ex ante to ex post. Using the same cohort studies as in chapter 1, I study the wage returns to a university degree in the UK as a function of ability on entry to university. I develop a methodology that allows the estimation of both cognitive and non-cognitive prior abilities. I use these estimates to study how the returns to university vary across groups of individuals with different prior ability levels, allowing for interactions between the different components of ability. In chapter 3 the focus switches from higher education to formal training. Using a novel methodology in the spirit of diff-in-diff, we exploit novel French data on training to estimate the wage returns to formal training. We find small estimates in the range of 1-3%, suggesting the larger estimates found in earlier studies may have failed to fully account for unobserved heterogeneity.
    Abstract: Les trois chapitres de cette thèse étudient différents aspects des compétences et du capital hu-main dans différents contextes.Le premier chapitre se concentre sur les facteurs non pécuniaires : je compare les attentes des jeunes qui fréquentent ou non l'université sur de nombreux aspects différents de la vie à l'uni-versité et après celle-ci. Il est démontré que les facteurs non pécuniaires, sont beaucoup plus importants que les salaires pour déterminer les choix des jeunes en matière d'enseignement su-périeur.Le deuxième chapitre déplace le centre d'intérêt de l'analyse des rendements attendus avant d'aller à l'université, aux rendements réalisés après l'université - d'ex ante à ex post. J'étudie les rendements salariaux d'un diplôme universitaire au Royaume-Uni en fonction de la capacité à l'entrée à l'université. J'estime les capacités préalables cognitives et non cognitives pour étudier comment les rendements de l'université varient entre les groupes d'individus ayant des niveaux de capacités antérieures différents. Dans le chapitre 3, l'accent passe de l'enseignement supérieur à la formation formelle. En utili-sant une méthodologie originale dans l'esprit de diff-in-diff, nous exploitons des données fran-çaises inédites sur la formation pour estimer les rendements salariaux de la formation formelle. Nous trouvons de petites estimations de l'ordre de 1 à 3 %, ce qui suggère que les estimations plus importantes trouvées dans des études antérieures n'ont peut-être pas réussi à tenir pleine-ment compte de l'hétérogénéité non observée.
    Keywords: Skills, Education, Unobserved heterogeneity, Wages, Compétences, Hétérogénéité non observée, Salaires
    Date: 2022–06–07
  4. By: Nybom, Martin (Uppsala University); Plug, Erik (University of Amsterdam); van der Klaauw, Bas (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); Ziegler, Lennart (University of Vienna)
    Abstract: This paper formulates a simple skill and education model to explain how better access to higher education leads to stronger assortative mating on skills of parents and more polarized skill and earnings distributions of children. Swedish data show that in the second half of the 20th century more skilled students increasingly enrolled in college and ended up with more skilled partners and more skilled children. Exploiting college expansions, we find that better college access increases both skill sorting in couples and skill and earnings inequality among their children. All findings support the notion that rising earnings inequality is, at least in part, supply driven by rising skill inequality.
    Keywords: assortative mating, intergenerational mobility, education, earnings inequality
    JEL: J62 I24 J12 J11
    Date: 2022–12
  5. By: Pauline Corblet (ECON - Département d'économie (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: This thesis' main objects of interest are the wage returns to education and experience on labor markets, and the earning inequalitiesthese returns generate. It seeks to understand these returns from a matching perspective, by investigating determinants of relationshipformation between workers and firms. The first chapter documents flattening wage returns to experience between higher educationgraduates entering the French labor market in 1998 and 2010. Differences in average wage growth are decomposed by occupation intoan extensive and intensive margin. Two potential mechanisms behind the wage growth slow down are explored: access to managerialpositions and impact of initial match quality. I find access to managerial positions is more infrequent for recent cohorts. I also find thatinitial match quality has not worsened between the 1998 and 2010 cohorts, but its impact on future wages has become more enduring.The second chapter studies the decrease in the education wage premium on the Portuguese labor market between 1987 and 2017.I build a model of one-to-many matching with multidimensional types in which several workers are employed by a single firm. I structurallyestimate the model on matched employer-employee data. Counterfactual exercises suggest that both changes in worker preferences andthe increasing relative productivity of high school graduates over non-graduates act as a mitigating force on the decreasing high schoolwage premium, but do not fully compensate for high school graduates' rise in relative supply. In the third chapter, co-authored with JeremyFox and Alfred Galichon, we explore how expectations on future returns influence matching decisions. We introduce a model of dynamicmatching with transferable utility. We explore aggregate dynamics and show that a stationary equilibrium exists. We propose twoalgorithms to compute a stationary equilibrium and adapt both methods for estimation.
    Abstract: Cette thèse s'intéresse aux rendements salariaux de l'éducation et de l'expérience, ainsi qu'aux inégalités de revenus qui en découlent.Elle étudie ces rendements dans une perspective d'appariement, à travers les déterminants de la formation des relations entre lesindividus et entreprises sur le marché de l'emploi. Le premier chapitre documente l'aplatissement des rendements de l'expérience desdiplômés du supérieur en 1998 et 2010. Deux mécanismes à l'origine du ralentissement de la croissance des salaires sont explorés :l'accès aux postes d'encadrement et la qualité de l'appariement initial. Il apparaît que l'accès aux postes de direction est plus rare pourles cohortes récentes, tandis que la qualité de l'appariement initial ne s'est pas détériorée entre les cohortes 1998 et 2010, mais sonimpact sur les salaires futurs des jeunes cohortes s'est renforcé. Le deuxième chapitre étudie la diminution des rendements de l'éducationsur le marché du travail portugais entre 1987 et 2017. Je construis un modèle d'appariement avec des types multidimensionnels danslequel plusieurs employés sont embauchés par une seule entreprise. J'estime structurellement le modèle et conduis une série decontrefactuels, qui montrent que les préférences des individus et l'augmentation de la productivité relative des diplômés atténuent ladiminution des rendements de l'éducation, mais ne compensent pas entièrement les effets de l'expansion éducative des années 1990 et2000. Dans le troisième chapitre, co-écrit avec Jeremy Fox et Alfred Galichon, nous explorons comment les attentes des individus surleurs rendements futurs influencent les décisions d'appariement. Nous introduisons un modèle d'appariement dynamique à utilitétransférable. Nous explorons l'équilibre général et montrons qu'un équilibre stationnaire existe. Nous proposons deux algorithmes decalcul de l'équilibre stationnaire et adaptons les deux méthodes pour l'estimation.
    Keywords: Returns to education, Returns to experience, Matching models, Structural econometrics, Rendements de l'éducation, Rendements de l'expérience, Modèles d'appariement, Econométrie structurelle
    Date: 2022–05–18
  6. By: Martin Gervais; Qian Liu; Lance Lochner
    Abstract: We use new administrative data that links detailed information on Canadian student loan recipients with their repayment and income histories from the Canada Student Loans Program (CSLP), income tax filings, and post-secondary schooling records to measure the extent to which student borrowers adjust loan repayments to insure against income variation. Several mechanisms are available for students to adjust loan repayments in response to income fluctuations: formal, like CSLP's Repayment Assistance Plan; and informal, such as delinquency or default. Borrowers can also make larger payments than required should they experience unexpectedly high income. Indeed, loan payments are shown to increase in income, more so in early years and for individuals with higher initial debt. More formally, we estimate that on average, an unexpected $1, 000 change in year-over-year income is associated with a $30 change in loan payment: from a $50 change the year after graduation, declining to a $20 change 5 years after graduation. Loan repayments are also used to absorb income variation that is more permanent in nature: for borrowers whose income is consistently below or above expected income at graduation, the magnitude of average repayment adjustment is similar to the average yearly response.
    JEL: E21 G51 H52 I22
    Date: 2022–12
  7. By: Jérémy Hervelin (CY - CY Cergy Paris Université, THEMA - Théorie économique, modélisation et applications - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CY - CY Cergy Paris Université); Pierre Villedieu (Sciences Po - Sciences Po, LIEPP - Laboratoire interdisciplinaire d'évaluation des politiques publiques (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po)
    Abstract: This paper investigates whether work experience gained through a subsidized job program can improve the employment prospects of young school dropouts. Relying on a correspondence study field experiment conducted in France, we find that the chances to be invited for a job interview are more than doubled (from 7.6 percent to 19.3 percent) when youths signal a one-year job-related experience in their résumé - either in the private or public sector; either certified or not - compared to youths who remained mainly inactive after dropping out from high school. We show that this effect is fairly stable across firm, contract or labor market characteristics, and also when testing another channel of application where resumes were sent spontaneously to firms.
    Keywords: School dropouts, Work experience, Subsidized employment, Job Interview, Field experiment
    Date: 2022–07–18
  8. By: Ata Atay; Ana Mauleon; Vincent Vannetelbosch
    Abstract: We consider priority-based school choice problems with farsighted students. We show that a singleton set consisting of the matching obtained from the Top Trading Cycles (TTC) mechanism is a farsighted stable set. However, the matching obtained from the Deferred Acceptance (DA) mechanism may not belong to any farsighted stable set. Hence, the TTC mechanism provides an assignment that is not only Pareto efficient but also farsightedly stable. Moreover, looking forward three steps ahead is already sufficient for stabilizing the matching obtained from the TTC.
    Date: 2022–12

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