nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2023‒03‒27
ten papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. Does School Choice Increase Crime? By Andrew Bibler; Stephen B. Billings; Stephen Ross
  2. The Impact of Computer-Assisted Instruction on Student Performance: Evidence from the Dual-Teacher Program By Li, Haizheng; Liu, Zhiqiang; Yang, Fanzheng; Yu, Li
  3. Rather First in a Village than Second in Rome? The Effect of Students' Class Rank in Primary School on Subsequent Academic Achievements By Francois-Xavier Ladant; Paolo Sestito; Falco J. Bargagli-Stoffi
  4. Teaching, technology and test scores. The impact of personal computers on student performance in primary school By Hall, Caroline; Lundin, Martin
  5. The Value of Early-Career Skills By Christina Langer; Simon Wiederhold
  6. Crowding in Private Quality: The Equilibrium Effects of Public Spending in Education By Tahir Andrabi; Natalie Bau; Jishnu Das; Naureen Karachiwalla; Asim Ijaz Khwaja
  7. Teacher grade predictions for ethnic minority groups: evidence from England By Fumagalli, Laura; Rabe, Birgitta; Burn, Hettie
  8. Human Capital and Climate Change By Noam Angrist; Kevin Winseck; Harry A. Patrinos; Joshua S. Graff Zivin
  9. Parental Education and Invention: The Finnish Enigma By Philippe Aghion; Ufuk Akcigit; Ari Hyytinen; Otto Toivanen
  10. Teenage parenthood, circumstances and educational mobility of children By Giovanni Bernardo; Giuseppe Cinquegrana; Giovanni Fosco

  1. By: Andrew Bibler; Stephen B. Billings; Stephen Ross
    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.
    JEL: I24 I26 K42 R29
    Date: 2023–02
  2. By: Li, Haizheng (Georgia Tech); Liu, Zhiqiang (University at Buffalo, SUNY); Yang, Fanzheng (Central University of Finance and Economics Beijing); Yu, Li (Central University of Finance and Economics)
    Abstract: We present findings from an evaluation study of the Dual-Teacher program, a computer- assisted instruction program, that makes lecture videos and other teaching resources from an elite urban middle school available through the internet to schools in poor and remote areas in China. The unique design of the study allows us to not just estimate the effect of the program on student performance but distinguish the direct effect coming from students' exposure to the lecture videos in class and the indirect effect due to improved instruction quality of the local teacher who uses the lecture videos in lesson preparation. Using the difference-in-differences method, we find that the Dual-Teacher program improves student performance in math by 0.978 standard deviations over the three-year middle school education, of which 0.343 standard deviations are attributable to the indirect effect. We also find that the positive impacts of the program are cumulative and robust to student and teacher characteristics as well as a plethora of other considerations. From a policy perspective, our findings suggest that the Dual-Teacher program is an effective and low cost means to improve education outcomes in underserved areas and hence help close cross-region gaps in education.
    Keywords: computer-assisted instruction, computer-assisted learning, education policy, inequality
    JEL: I21 I24 I28 O15
    Date: 2023–02
  3. By: Francois-Xavier Ladant; Paolo Sestito; Falco J. Bargagli-Stoffi
    Abstract: Is it better to be first in a village than second in Rome, as Caesar claimed? Peer groups can impact later outcomes through two distinct yet related channels: the group's intrinsic quality and one's relative position within this group. The Italian public school setting is an advantageous quasi-laboratory to investigate this question. Using panel data on Italian students over 2013-2019, we compare the effect of a student's relative position in their peer group (class rank) to the effect of class quality in primary school on later academic outcomes. We design a new strategy to identify the rank effect by leveraging two sets of scores: grades on a national standardized test and grades on class exams. Standardized test grades are used to control for ability, alongside student fixed effects. Class grades are used to construct the class rank. We exploit the variation in rank coming from differences in teachers' grading pattern and offer evidence that our measure of rank is as good as random, once we control for our proxies for ability. We find that ranking at the top of the class compared to the bottom in primary school is associated with a gain of 8.1 percentiles in the national standardized grade distribution in middle school and 7.6 in high school. We further show that Caesar was misguided: the effect of a one standard deviation increase in rank amounts to 20% of the effect of a similar increase in class quality, conditional on the rank. Finally, using an extensive student survey, we establish that the rank effect is mediated through student sorting into better high schools and higher interest in academic subjects, self-esteem, peer recognition, and career prospects.
    Date: 2023–02
  4. By: Hall, Caroline (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy); Lundin, Martin (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy)
    Abstract: The closing of schools and shift to remote teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the use of digital technology in education. Many schools today provide personal computers not only to older students, but also in primary school. There is little credible evidence on how one-to-one (1:1) computer programs affect learning outcomes among younger pupils. We investigate how 1:1 computer technology impacts student performance in primary school in Sweden, using data from an expansion of 1:1 programs that took place before the pandemic. Using a staggered difference-in-differences design, we examine impacts on student performance on standardized tests in language and math in 6th grade. We find no important effects on these learning outcomes on average, but a positive effect on test scores in Swedish and English among students with highly educated parents. Moreover, the results indicate a positive effect in Swedish in schools that received additional financial support for implementing 1:1 technology. Nevertheless, all positive impacts in subgroups appear to be rather small, amounting to 0.01–0.03 SD per semester of 1:1 exposure.
    Keywords: Technology; computers; one-to-one programs; student performance;
    JEL: I21 I24
    Date: 2023–02–15
  5. By: Christina Langer; Simon Wiederhold
    Abstract: We develop novel measures of early-career skills that are more detailed, comprehensive, and labor-market-relevant than existing skill proxies. We exploit that skill requirements of apprenticeships in Germany are codified in state-approved, nationally standardized apprenticeship plans. These plans provide more than 13, 000 different skills and the exact duration of learning each skill. Following workers over their careers in administrative data, we find that cognitive, social, and digital skills acquired during apprenticeship are highly – yet differently – rewarded. We also document rising returns to digital and social skills since the 1990s, with a more moderate increase in returns to cognitive skills.
    Keywords: returns to skills, apprenticeship plans, labor market, earnings, early-career skills
    JEL: I21 I26 J24
    Date: 2023–02
  6. By: Tahir Andrabi; Natalie Bau; Jishnu Das; Naureen Karachiwalla; Asim Ijaz Khwaja
    Abstract: We estimate the equilibrium effects of a public-school grant program administered through school councils in Pakistani villages with multiple public and private schools and clearly defined catchment boundaries. The program was randomized at the village-level, allowing us to estimate its causal impact on the market. Four years after the start of the program, test scores were 0.2 sd higher in public schools. We find evidence of an education multiplier: test scores in private schools were also 0.2 sd higher in treated markets. Consistent with standard models of product differentiation, the education multiplier is greater for those private schools that faced a greater threat to their market power. Accounting for private sector responses increases the program's cost-effectiveness by 85% and affects how a policymaker would target spending. Given that markets with several public and private schools are now pervasive in low- and middle-income countries, prudent policy requires us to account for private sector responses to public policy, both in their design and in their evaluation.
    JEL: H44 H52 I22 I25 I28 O12 O15
    Date: 2023–02
  7. By: Fumagalli, Laura; Rabe, Birgitta; Burn, Hettie
    Abstract: We explore whether teachers have different predictions for the examination performance of ethnic minority students relative to White British students. We exploit an exogenous change in assessment methods to compare grades based on teacher predictions to grades received through actual blindly marked examinations. Relative to White British students, teachers appear to have higher predictions for ethnic minority students’ examination performance in maths and lower predictions for ethnic minority students’ examination performance in English. These effects do not disappear when observable differences between groups and cohorts are accounted for, with differential teacher predictions of examination performance across ethnic groups remaining a convincing explanation of the results.
    Date: 2023–03–14
  8. By: Noam Angrist; Kevin Winseck; Harry A. Patrinos; Joshua S. Graff Zivin
    Abstract: Addressing climate change requires individual behavior change and voter support for pro-climate policies, yet surprisingly little is known about how to achieve these outcomes. In this paper, we estimate causal effects of additional education on pro-climate outcomes using new compulsory schooling law data across 16 European countries. We analyze effects on pro-climate beliefs, behaviors, policy preferences, and novel data on voting for green parties – a particularly consequential outcome to combat climate change. Results show a year of education increases pro-climate beliefs, behaviors, most policy preferences, and green voting, with voting gains equivalent to a substantial 35% increase.
    JEL: D72 H41 I20 I28 P16 Q01 Q5
    Date: 2023–03
  9. By: Philippe Aghion; Ufuk Akcigit; Ari Hyytinen; Otto Toivanen
    Abstract: Why is invention strongly positively correlated with parental income not only in the US but also in Finland which displays low income inequality and high social mobility? Using data on 1.45M Finnish individuals and their parents, we find that: (i) the positive association between parental income and off-spring probability of inventing is greatly reduced when controlling for parental education; (ii) instrumenting for the parents having a MSc-degree using distance to nearest university reveals a large causal effect of parental education on offspring probability of inventing; and (iii) the causal effect of parental education has been markedly weakened by the introduction in the early 1970s of a comprehensive schooling reform.
    JEL: J24 O3
    Date: 2023–02
  10. By: Giovanni Bernardo; Giuseppe Cinquegrana; Giovanni Fosco
    Abstract: This paper focuses on teenage childbearing, a phenomenon that is often linked to poverty, restricted education, and cultural and social norms. Teenage parenthood can hinder educational goals, resulting in low income and social exclusion. Through an examination of Italian census data, this paper analyzes the effects of unequal opportunities caused by teenage childbearing of parents on intergenerational educational mobility, finding that increasing parents' age at the conception of the first child is associated with higher upward educational mobility among their children. As a consequence, children whose parents had experienced early pregnancies between the ages of 12 and 18 have low upward mobility with respect to their peers and are unable to overcome their parents' educational attainment.
    Keywords: Intergenerational mobility, Educational attainment, Rank-Rank coefficient, Teenage childbearing
    JEL: C43 I24 J62 O15
    Date: 2023–03–01

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