nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2023‒02‒27
eight papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. The Effects of Schooling on Cognitive Skills: Evidence from Education Expansions By Cappellari, Lorenzo; Checchi, Daniele; Ovidi, Marco
  2. Does School Choice Leave Behind Future Criminals? By Andrew Bibler; Stephen B. Billings; Stephen L. Ross
  3. The Impact of the "Coding Girls" Program on High School Students' Educational Choices By Basiglio, Stefania; Del Boca, Daniela; Pronzato, Chiara D.
  4. Taking It to the Limit: Effects of Increased Student Loan Availability on Attainment, Earnings, and Financial Well-Being By Black, Sandra E.; Denning, Jeffrey T.; Dettling, Lisa J.; Goodman, Sarena; Turner, Lesley
  5. The Effects of a Free Universal After-School Program on Child Academic Outcomes By Nina Drange; Astrid Marie Jorde Sandsør
  6. The long-run effects of temporarily closing schools: Evidence from Virginia, 1870s-1910s By Winfree, Paul
  7. Firms' innovation and university cooperation. New evidence from a survey of Italian firms. By Daniela Bragoli; Flavia Cortelezzi; Massimiliano Rigon
  8. Structural Reforms and Economic Growth: A Machine Learning Approach By Mr. Anil Ari; Gabor Pula; Liyang Sun

  1. By: Cappellari, Lorenzo (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore); Checchi, Daniele (University of Milan); Ovidi, Marco (Catholic University Milan)
    Abstract: We quantify the causal effect of schooling on cognitive skills across 21 countries and the full distribution of working-age individuals. We exploit exogenous variation in educational attainment induced by a broad set of institutional reforms affecting different cohorts of individuals in different countries. We find a positive effect of an additional year of schooling on internationally-comparable numeracy and literacy scores. We show that the effect is substantially homogeneous by gender and socio-economic background and that it is larger for individuals completing a formal qualification rather than dropping out. Results suggest that early and late school years are the most decisive for cognitive skill development. Exploiting unique survey data on the use of skills, we find suggestive evidence that our result is mediated by access to high-skill jobs.
    Keywords: cognitive skills, educational policies, returns to schooling
    JEL: H52 I21 I28
    Date: 2023–01
  2. By: Andrew Bibler (University of Nevada, Las Vegas); Stephen B. Billings (University of Colorado); Stephen L. Ross (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: School choice lotteries are an important tool for allocating access to high-quality and oversubscribed public schools. While prior evidence suggests that winning a school lottery decreases adult criminality, there is little evidence for how school choice lotteries impact non-lottery students who are left behind at their neighborhood school. We leverage variation in actual lottery winners conditional on expected lottery winners to link the displacement of middle school peers to adult criminal outcomes. We find that non-applicant boys are more likely to be arrested as adults when applicants from their neighborhood win the school choice lottery. These effects are concentrated among boys who are at low risk of being arrested based on observables. Finally, we confirm evidence in the literature that students who win the lottery decrease adult criminality but show that after accounting for the negative impact on the students who forego the lottery, lotteries increase overall arrests and days incarcerated for young men.
    Keywords: School Choice Lotteries, Students Left Behind, Arrest, Crime, Middle School, Neighborhood Effects, Peers
    JEL: I24 I28 K42 R23
    Date: 2023–01
  3. By: Basiglio, Stefania (University of Bari); Del Boca, Daniela (University of Turin); Pronzato, Chiara D. (University of Turin)
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the impact of "Coding Girls", an educational enrichment program designed to address the underrepresentation of women and girls in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) in Italy by stimulating young female students' interest in programming and science and encouraging them to consider careers in STEM-related fields. Implemented in ten secondary schools in Turin (Italy) over the period 2019-2022, the Coding Girls program provided lab-based computer programming instruction as well as introductory talks on specific topics in STEM. The program was evaluated by randomized controlled trial. Our results show that Coding Girls had a significant and positive impact on male and female students' programming skills and on their awareness of gender differences in the workforce. However, it did not seem to affect girls' aspirations to pursue higher education in STEM-related disciplines. The gender stereotypes children are exposed to from a very young age tend to steer girls and young women to the humanities. This bias is deeply entrenched and difficult to modify.
    Keywords: gender, STEM, higher educational choice
    JEL: J16 I23
    Date: 2023–01
  4. By: Black, Sandra E. (Columbia University); Denning, Jeffrey T. (Brigham Young University); Dettling, Lisa J. (Federal Reserve Board of Governors); Goodman, Sarena (Federal Reserve Board of Governors); Turner, Lesley (Vanderbilt University)
    Abstract: Growing reliance on student loans and repayment difficulties have raised concerns of a student debt crisis in the United States, but little is known about the effects of student borrowing on human capital and long-run financial well-being. We use variation induced by recent expansions in federal loan limits combined with administrative datasets to identify the effects of increased access to student loans on credit-constrained students' educational attainment, earnings, debt, and loan repayment. Increased student loan availability raises student debt and improves degree completion, later-life earnings, and student loan repayment while having no effect on homeownership or other types of debt.
    Keywords: credit constraints, student debt
    JEL: I20 I22 I21
    Date: 2023–01
  5. By: Nina Drange; Astrid Marie Jorde Sandsør
    Abstract: Studies have shown that a lack of adult supervision of school-aged children is associated with antisocial behavior and poor school performance. To mitigate this, one policy response is to provide structured, adult-supervised programs offered after school throughout the academic year. After-school programs in Norway are an integrated part of school, used to extend the school day to a full working day by providing care before and after school. Participation is voluntary and is subject to fees paid by parents. In the past decade, the quality and content of these programs and the role they can play in integrating children have been under scrutiny. In 2016/17, the city of Oslo gradually introduced and expanded an offer of free part time participation in its after-school program, starting with city districts with a high share of children with an immigrant background. We utilize the staggered roll out of this free after-school program to investigate enrollment, learning outcomes and student wellbeing. The take-up was substantial, raising enrollment rates rates from about 70 to 95% in the first wave of affected schools. However, our difference-in-differences estimates show little overall effect of the program on academic performance, neither on average nor across subgroups. There is also little evidence that the program enhanced student well-being or decreased bullying and we find no evidence of increased maternal labor supply.
    Keywords: after-school program, after-school care, difference-in-differences
    JEL: I21 I24 J13
    Date: 2023
  6. By: Winfree, Paul
    Abstract: New hand-collected school administrative data from 1870s Virginia, alongside linked individual US Censusrecords, reveals that temporary school closures had lasting effects on literacy and income in adulthood. Those affected by the closures had lower intergenerational economic mobility, particularly those from low-income backgrounds. The age at which the closures occurred also played a role with younger cohorts more affected by early developmental disruptions and older cohorts more affected by prolonged closures.
    Keywords: returns to education, school closures, literacy, economic mobility, wage inequality
    JEL: H75 I21 I24 J62 N31 N91
    Date: 2023
  7. By: Daniela Bragoli (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore - Milano); Flavia Cortelezzi (Insubria University - Como); Massimiliano Rigon (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: In this paper, we investigate whether the cooperation with universities may stimulate the innovative performance of Italian firms. We use a dataset merging information from two different surveys carried out by the Bank of Italy between 2007 and 2010. We derive our results using a two-stage procedure with the aim of ruling out spurious correlations due to the existence of omitted variables. Results show that the cooperation with universities does not affect the likelihood of firms introducing technological innovations. However, when we distinguish between pure technological innovation outcomes (only new products and/or productive processes) and joint innovation outcomes, which involve both organizational and technological changes, we find that only the latter is positively stimulated by the cooperation with universities. These findings are promising since, according to the innovation management literature, joint innovation activities are more successful in transferring new ideas and new business opportunities into market success.
    Keywords: university cooperation, technological innovation, organizational innovation, control function
    JEL: C35 C36 O30
    Date: 2023–02
  8. By: Mr. Anil Ari; Gabor Pula; Liyang Sun
    Abstract: The qualitative and granular nature of most structural indicators and the variety in data sources poses difficulties for consistent cross-country assessments and empirical analysis. We overcome these issues by using a machine learning approach (the partial least squares method) to combine a broad set of cross-country structural indicators into a small number of synthetic scores which correspond to key structural areas, and which are suitable for consistent quantitative comparisons across countries and time. With this newly constructed dataset of synthetic structural scores in 126 countries between 2000-2019, we establish stylized facts about structural gaps and reforms, and analyze the impact of reforms targeting different structural areas on economic growth. Our findings suggest that structural reforms in the area of product, labor and financial markets as well as the legal system have a significant impact on economic growth in a 5-year horizon, with one standard deviation improvement in one of these reform areas raising cumulative 5-year growth by 2 to 6 percent. We also find synergies between different structural areas, in particular between product and labor market reforms.
    Keywords: Structural reforms; institutions; economic growth; C. PLS estimation procedure; machine learning approach; Gabor pula; Liyang sun; labor market composite; Business environment; Labor markets; Machine learning; Labor market reforms; Global
    Date: 2022–09–16

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