nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2023‒01‒30
nine papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. Ability composition in the class and the school performance of immigrant students By Elena Meschi; Caterina Pavese
  2. Cognitive Endurance, Talent Selection, and the Labor Market Returns to Human Capital By Germ\'an Reyes
  3. Skills, Parental Sorting, and Child Inequality By Martin Nybom; Erik Plug; Bas van der Klaauw; Lennart Ziegler
  4. Determinants of Financial Literacy and Behavioral Bias among Adolescents By Marco Aschenwald; Armando Holzknecht; Michael Kirchler; Michael Razen
  5. Effects of an Online Self-Assessment Tool on Teachers’ Digital Competencies By Giovanni Abbiati; Davide Azzolini; Anja Balanskat; Katja Engelhart; Daniela Piazzalunga; Enrico Rettore; Patricia Wastiau
  6. The Scale and Nature of Neighborhood Effects on Children: Evidence from a Danish Social Housing Experiment By Stephen B. Billings; Mark Hoekstra; Gabriel Pons Rotger
  7. Labour market concentration, wages and job security in Europe By Andrea Bassanini; Giulia Bovini; Eve Caroli; Jorge Casanova Ferrando; Federico Cingano; Paolo Falco; Florentino Felgueroso; Marcel Jansen; Pedro S. Martins; António Melo; Michael Oberfichtner; Martin Popp
  8. Beliefs about Maternal Labor Supply By Teodora Boneva; Marta Colin; Katja Kaufmann; Christopher Rauh; Katja Maria Kaufmann
  9. Eclipse of Rent-Sharing: The Effects of Managers' Business Education on Wages and the Labor Share in the US and Denmark By Daron Acemoglu; Alex Xi He; Daniel le Maire

  1. By: Elena Meschi; Caterina Pavese
    Abstract: Using longitudinal data from the Italian National Institute for the Evaluation of the Education System (INVALSI), this paper investigates whether the ability of classmates affects the educational attainment of immigrant students. We focus not only on the average quality of peers in the class, but we further investigate which part of the ability distribution of peers drives the effect, by assessing the role played by the extreme tails of the ability distribution. Our empirical strategy addresses students’ endogenous sorting into classes by exploiting the within-student across-subjects variation in achievements and the simultaneity problem by using predetermined measures of peers’ ability. We show that peers’ ability matters. While native students are mostly influenced by the average quality of their peers, immigrant children are detrimentally affected by the fraction of very low achievers in the classroom. Our findings provide valuable guidance to policymakers concerning the allocation of students to classes in order to foster immigrant students’ integration and learning.
    Keywords: Peer effects, Immigrant students, Education.
    JEL: J15 I21
    Date: 2023–01
  2. By: Germ\'an Reyes
    Abstract: Cognitive endurance -- the ability to sustain performance on a cognitively-demanding task over time -- is thought to be a crucial productivity determinant. However, a lack of data on this variable has limited researchers' ability to understand its role for success in college and the labor market. This paper uses college-admission-exam records from 15 million Brazilian high school students to measure cognitive endurance based on changes in performance throughout the exam. By exploiting exogenous variation in the order of exam questions, I show that students are 7.1 percentage points more likely to correctly answer a given question when it appears at the beginning of the day versus the end (relative to a sample mean of 34.3%). I develop a method to decompose test scores into fatigue-adjusted ability and cognitive endurance. I then merge these measures into a higher-education census and the earnings records of the universe of Brazilian formal-sector workers to quantify the association between endurance and long-run outcomes. I find that cognitive endurance has a statistically and economically significant wage return. Controlling for fatigue-adjusted ability and other student characteristics, a one-standard-deviation higher endurance predicts a 5.4% wage increase. This wage return to endurance is sizable, equivalent to a third of the wage return to ability. I also document positive associations between endurance and college attendance, college quality, college graduation, firm quality, and other outcomes. Finally, I show how systematic differences in endurance across students interact with the exam design to determine the sorting of students to colleges. I discuss the implications of these findings for the use of cognitive assessments for talent selection and investments in interventions that build cognitive endurance.
    Date: 2023–01
  3. By: Martin Nybom (IFAU); Erik Plug (University of Amsterdam); Bas van der Klaauw (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); Lennart Ziegler (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: 2022–12–22
  4. By: Marco Aschenwald; Armando Holzknecht; Michael Kirchler; Michael Razen
    Abstract: Building on cross-sectional data for Austrian high school students from fifth to twelfth grade, we investigate the correlations between socio-economic background variables and a comprehensive set of variables related to financial decision-making (i.e., financial knowledge, behavioral consistency, economic preferences, field behavior, and perception of financial matters). We confirm the findings of previous literature that the male gender is positively associated with financial knowledge and risk-taking and that there is a strong and beneficial correlation between math grades and healthy financial behavior (e.g., saving). Moreover, we find that students’ behavioral consistency is positively correlated with measures of financial attitude (e.g., self-assessed future financial well-being and financial education received from parents). Finally, our results indicate that financial education, as perceived by the students, is primarily provided by parents.
    Keywords: financial literacy, behavioral biases, economic preferences, field behavior, perception, experiment, adolescents
    Date: 2023–01
  5. By: Giovanni Abbiati; Davide Azzolini; Anja Balanskat; Katja Engelhart; Daniela Piazzalunga; Enrico Rettore; Patricia Wastiau
    Abstract: We evaluate the effects of an online self-assessment tool on teachers’ competencies and beliefs about ICT in education. The causal impact of the tool is evaluated through a randomized encouragement design, involving 7, 391 lower secondary teachers across 11 European countries. Short-run impact estimates show that the use of the tool led teachers to critically revise their technology-enhanced teaching competencies (-0.14 standard deviations) and their beliefs about ICT in education (-0.35 s.d.), while there is no impact on their probability of taking specific training. The effects are concentrated among teachers in the top-end tail of the distribution of pre-treatment outcomes. We provide suggestive evidence that the feedback score provided by the tool triggered such results by providing a negative information shock.
    Keywords: ICT, technology-enhanced teaching, self-assessed competencies, experimental design, teaching practices
    JEL: I21 C93
    Date: 2023–01
  6. By: Stephen B. Billings; Mark Hoekstra; Gabriel Pons Rotger
    Abstract: Recent research documents a causal impact of place on the long-run outcomes of children. However, little is known about which neighborhood characteristics are most important, and at what scale neighborhood effects operate. By using the random assignment of public housing along with administrative data from Denmark, we get inside the “black box” of neighborhood effects by defining neighborhoods using various characteristics and scales. Results indicate effects on mental health and especially education are large but local, while effects on drug possession operate on a much broader scale. Additionally, unemployment and education are better predictors of outcomes than neighborhood income.
    JEL: I38 K42 R23
    Date: 2022–12
  7. By: Andrea Bassanini; Giulia Bovini; Eve Caroli; Jorge Casanova Ferrando; Federico Cingano; Paolo Falco; Florentino Felgueroso; Marcel Jansen; Pedro S. Martins; António Melo; Michael Oberfichtner; Martin Popp
    Abstract: We investigate the impact of labour market concentration on two dimensions of job quality, namely wages and job security. We leverage rich administrative linked employer-employee data from Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain in the 2010s to provide the first comparable cross-country evidence in the literature. We show that the elasticities of wages with respect to labour market concentration are strikingly similar across countries. Increasing labour market concentration by 10% reduces wages by 0.19% in Germany, 0.22% in France, 0.25% in Portugal and 0.29% in Denmark. We find greater elasticities for job security. An increase in labour market concentration by 10% reduces the probability of being hired on a permanent contract by 0.46% in France, 0.51% in Germany and 2.34% in Portugal. In Italy and Spain, while not affecting this probability, labour market concentration has a strong negative effect on conversions to a permanent contract once hired on a temporary one. Using German and Portuguese data, we provide suggestive evidence that the similarity of our wage elasticities across countries and the greater sensitivity of job security to labour market concentration may be explained by the fact that sector-level collective bargaining is dominant in the countries we study and that it sets wages but usually not contract type.
    Keywords: Labour market concentration, Monopsony, Wages, Job security, Collective bargaining
    JEL: J31 J42 J52 L41
    Date: 2023
  8. By: Teodora Boneva; Marta Colin; Katja Kaufmann; Christopher Rauh; Katja Maria Kaufmann
    Abstract: This paper provides representative evidence on the perceived returns to maternal labor supply. We design a novel survey to elicit subjective expectations, and show that a mother’s decision to work is perceived to have sizable impacts on child skills, family outcomes, and the future labor market outcomes of the mother. Examining the channels through which the impacts are perceived to operate, we document that beliefs about the impact of additional household income can account for some, but not all, of the perceived positive effects. Beliefs about returns substantially vary across the population and are predictive of labor supply intentions under different policy scenarios related to childcare availability and quality, two factors that are also perceived as important. Consistent with socialization playing a role in the formation of beliefs, we show that respondents whose own mother worked perceive the returns to maternal labor supply as higher.
    Keywords: subjective expectations, maternal labor supply, childcare, child penalties
    JEL: J22 J13 I26
    Date: 2022
  9. By: Daron Acemoglu; Alex Xi He; Daniel le Maire
    Abstract: This paper provides evidence from the US and Denmark that managers with a business degree (“business managers") reduce their employees' wages. Within five years of the appointment of a business manager, wages decline by 6% and the labor share by 5 percentage points in the US, and by 3% and 3 percentage points in Denmark. Firms appointing business managers are not on differential trends and do not enjoy higher output, investment, or employment growth thereafter. Using manager retirements and deaths and an IV strategy based on the diffusion of the practice of appointing business managers within industry, region and size quartile cells, we provide additional evidence that these are causal effects. We establish that the proximate cause of these (relative) wage effects are changes in rent-sharing practices following the appointment of business managers. Exploiting exogenous export demand shocks, we show that non-business managers share profits with their workers, whereas business managers do not. But consistent with our first set of results, these business managers show no greater ability to increase sales or profits in response to exporting opportunities. Finally, we use the influence of role models on college major choice to instrument for the decision to enroll in a business degree in Denmark and show that our estimates correspond to causal effects of practices and values acquired in business education--rather than the differential selection into business education of individuals unlikely to share rents with workers.
    Keywords: business education, labor share, management, rent sharing, wages
    JEL: J30 J31 J53 M52 G30
    Date: 2022–12

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