nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2023‒03‒06
seven papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. Discipline Reform, School Culture, and Student Achievement By Craig, Ashley C; Martin, David
  2. Do Role Models Matter in Large Classes? New Evidence on Gender Match Effects in Higher Education By Stephan Maurer; Guido Schwerdt; Simon Wiederhold
  3. Long-Term Effects of Grade Retention By Simon ter Meulen
  4. Bringing underprivileged middle-school students to the opera: cultural mobility or cultural compliance? By Philippe Coulangeon; Denis Fougère
  5. Are some school inspectors more lenient than others? By Christian Bokhove; John Jerrim; Sam Sims
  6. The Impact of the “Coding Girls” Program on High School Students’ Educational Choices By Stefania Basiglio; Daniela Del Boca; Chiara Daniela Pronzato
  7. Marital Sorting and Inequality: How Educational Categorization Matters By Almar, Frederik; Friedrich, Benjamin; Reynoso, Ana; Schulz, Bastian; Vejlin, Rune Majlund

  1. By: Craig, Ashley C (University of Michigan); Martin, David (Harvard University)
    Abstract: Does relaxing strict school discipline improve student achievement, or lead to classroom disorder? We study a 2012 reform in New York City public middle schools that eliminated suspensions for non-violent, disorderly behavior. Math scores of students in more-affected schools rose by 0.05 standard deviations over three years relative to other schools. Reading scores rose by 0.03 standard deviations. Only a small portion of these aggregate benefits can be explained by the direct impact of eliminating suspensions on students who would have been suspended under the old policy. Instead, test score gains are associated with improvements in school culture, as measured by the quality of student-teacher relationships and perceptions of safety at school. We find no evidence of trade-offs between students, with students benefiting even if they were unlikely to be suspended themselves.
    Keywords: education, school suspension, school discipline, school safety, human capital
    JEL: H75 I2 J24 J45
    Date: 2023–01
  2. By: Stephan Maurer; Guido Schwerdt; Simon Wiederhold
    Abstract: We study whether female students benefit from being taught by female professors, and whether such gender match effects differ by class size. We use administrative records of a German public university, covering all programs and courses between 2006 and 2018. We find that gender match effects on student performance are sizable in smaller classes, but do not exist in larger classes. This difference suggests that direct and frequent interactions between students and professors are important for the emergence of gender match effects. Instead, the mere fact that one’s professor is female is not sufficient to increase performance of female students.
    Keywords: gender gap, role models, tertiary education, professors
    JEL: I21 I23 I24 J16
    Date: 2023
  3. By: Simon ter Meulen
    Abstract: Grade retention offers students a chance to catch up with unmastered material but also leads to less labor-market experience by delaying graduation and labor-market entry. This is the first paper to quantify this trade-off, using an exit exam cutoff of Dutch academic secondary schools, where failing implies grade retention. I find no impact of retaining on final educational attainment, although retained students are later to graduate. Grade retention does lead to annual earnings loss at age 28 of 3000 euro (8.5%) due to reduced labor-market experience. Overall, grade retention is of no benefit for students around the cutoff.
    Keywords: grade retention, secondary education, higher education degrees, earnings loss
    JEL: I21 I23 I26
    Date: 2023
  4. By: Philippe Coulangeon (CRIS - Centre de recherche sur les inégalités sociales (Sciences Po, CNRS) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Denis Fougère (CRIS - Centre de recherche sur les inégalités sociales (Sciences Po, CNRS) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: This article assesses the impact of a two-year long project-based learning program conducted by the National Opera of Paris in a large number of middle schools located in underprivileged areas, aiming at preventing school dropout and tackling educational inequalities by providing disadvantaged students with the opportunity to discover the world of opera. Taking a counterfactual approach (propensity score matching), we measure the impact of participation in the program on final exam and continuous assessment grades. The analysis displays mixed results: a significant and positive impact for the students who participate in the program for its whole duration (two years), at least for continuous assessment scores, but a negative impact for those who leave the program after only one year. The contrast between the effects of full and partial participation in the program suggests that these may be primarily due to a selection effect in favor of the most culturally and socially compliant students, in line with Bourdieu's and Passeron's reproduction theory (1997 [1970]) rather than a mobility effect (DiMaggio, 1982) resulting from the transfer of cultural capital to disadvantaged students.
    Keywords: project-based learning, middle school, statistical matching, mixed method, cultural capital
    Date: 2022
  5. By: Christian Bokhove (Southampton Education School, University of Southampton); John Jerrim (UCL Social Research Institute); Sam Sims (UCL Centre for Education Policy & Equalising Opportunities)
    Abstract: School inspections are a common feature of education systems across the word. These involve trained professionals visiting schools and reaching a high-stakes judgement about the quality of education they provide. By their nature, school inspections rely upon professional judgement, with different inspectors potentially putting more emphasis on certain areas than others. Yet there is currently little academic evidence investigating the consistency of school inspections, including how judgements vary across inspectors with different characteristics. We present new empirical evidence on this matter, drawing upon data from more than 30, 000 school inspections conducted in England between 2011 and 2019. Male inspectors are found to award slightly more lenient judgements to primary schools than their female counterparts, while permanent Ofsted employees (Her Majesty's Inspectors) are found to be harsher than those who inspect schools on a freelance basis (Ofsted Inspectors).
    Keywords: school inspection, reliability
    JEL: I20 I28
    Date: 2023–02
  6. By: Stefania Basiglio; Daniela Del Boca; Chiara Daniela Pronzato
    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
  7. By: Almar, Frederik (Aarhus University); Friedrich, Benjamin (Northwestern University); Reynoso, Ana (University of Michigan); Schulz, Bastian (Aarhus University); Vejlin, Rune Majlund (Aarhus University)
    Abstract: This paper revisits the link between education-based marriage market sorting and income inequality. Leveraging Danish administrative data, we develop a novel categorization of marriage market types based on the starting wages and wage growth trajectories associated with educational programs: ambition types. We find a substantial increase in sorting by educational ambition over time, which explains more than 40% of increasing inequality since 1980. In contrast, sorting trends are flat with the commonly used level of education. Hence, the mapping between education and marriage-market types matters crucially for conclusions about the role of marital sorting in rising income inequality.
    Keywords: marital sorting, inequality, education
    JEL: D13 D31 I24
    Date: 2023–01

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