nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2023‒04‒10
five papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. A Lost Generation? Impact of COVID-19 on High School Students' Achievements By Contini, Dalit; Di Tommaso, Maria Laura; Muratori, Caterina; Piazzalunga, Daniela; Schiavon, Lucia
  2. Taking Teacher Evaluation to Scale: The Effect of State Reforms on Achievement and Attainment By Joshua Bleiberg; Eric Brunner; Erica Harbatkin; Matthew A. Kraft; Matthew G. Springer
  3. Place-Based Policies: Opportunity for Deprived Schools or Zone-and-Shame Effect? By Manon Garrouste; Miren Lafourcade
  4. Educational Consequences of a Sibling's Disability: Evidence from Type 1 Diabetes By Eriksen, Tine Louise Mundbjerg; Gaulke, Amanda; Skipper, Niels; Svensson, Jannet; Thingholm, Peter Rønø
  5. Changing Tracks: Human Capital Investment after Loss of Ability By Humlum, Anders; Munch, Jakob R.; Plato, Pernille

  1. By: Contini, Dalit (University of Turin); Di Tommaso, Maria Laura (University of Turin); Muratori, Caterina (University of Torino); Piazzalunga, Daniela (University of Trento); Schiavon, Lucia (University of Torino)
    Abstract: This paper estimates the effect of a full year of the COVID-19 pandemic on school performance, focusing on students at the end of upper secondary school who are about to enter the labour market or start university without having had the opportunity to recover. Using longitudinal data from standardised tests for the student population nationwide, we use difference-in-differences models to analyse the performance of two cohorts of students in Italy: a cohort that has never been exposed to the pandemic and a cohort that graduated in 2021. We find that the pandemic had a huge negative impact on students' performance in mathematics and reading (approximately 0.4 s.d. in both domains). Low-achieving pupils suffered the most, increasing the gap between strong and poor performers. The relative position of girls improved compared to boys. Different from the findings from the existing literature, inequalities by parental education remained largely unchanged.
    Keywords: COVID-19, school closure, learning loss, standardised tests, inequality
    JEL: I21 I24 I18 I28
    Date: 2023–03
  2. By: Joshua Bleiberg; Eric Brunner; Erica Harbatkin; Matthew A. Kraft; Matthew G. Springer
    Abstract: Federal incentives and requirements under the Obama administration spurred states to adopt major reforms to their teacher evaluation systems. We examine the effects of these reforms on student achievement and attainment at a national scale by exploiting the staggered timing of implementation across states. We find precisely estimated null effects, on average, that rule out impacts as small as 0.015 standard deviation for achievement and 1 percentage point for high school graduation and college enrollment. We also find little evidence that the effect of teacher evaluation reforms varied by system design rigor, specific design features or student and district characteristics. We highlight five factors that may have undercut the efficacy of teacher evaluation reforms at scale: political opposition, the decentralized structure of U.S. public education, capacity constraints, limited generalizability, and the lack of increased teacher compensation to offset the non-pecuniary costs of lower job satisfaction and security.
    JEL: I20 I21 I28
    Date: 2023–03
  3. By: Manon Garrouste (Univ. Lille, CNRS, IESEG School of Management); Miren Lafourcade (Université Paris-Saclay (RITM), Universitat de Barcelona - IEB, Paris School of Economics and CEPR)
    Abstract: Even though place-based policies involve large transfers toward low-income neighborhoods, they may also produce territorial stigmatization. This paper appeals to the quasi-experimental discontinuity in a French reform that redrew the zoning map of subsidized neighborhoods on the basis of a sharp poverty cut-off to assess the effect of place-based policies on school enrollment into lower secondary education. Using a difference-in-differences approach, we find strong evidence of stigma from policy designation, as public middle schools in neighbourhoods below the policy cut-off, which qualified for place-based subsidies, saw a significant 3.5pp post-reform drop in pupil enrollment, compared to their counterfactual analogues in unlabeled areas lying just above the poverty threshold. This "zone-and-shame" effect is immediate but does not persist, as it is only found for the first pupil-entry cohort in middle schools immediately after the reform. We show that it was triggered by the behavioral reactions of parents from all socioeconomic backgrounds, who avoided public schools in policy areas and shifted to those in other areas or, only for richer parents, to private schools. We uncover, on the contrary, only weak evidence of stigma reversion after an area loses its designation, suggesting hysteresis in bad reputations.
    Keywords: School choices, Territorial stigmatization, Redlining, Urban segregation, Sorting
    JEL: I24 I28 R23 R58
    Date: 2023
  4. By: Eriksen, Tine Louise Mundbjerg (VIVE - The Danish Centre for Social Science Research); Gaulke, Amanda (Kansas State University); Skipper, Niels (Aarhus University); Svensson, Jannet (Copenhagen University Hospital); Thingholm, Peter Rønø (Aarhus University)
    Abstract: While there is a growing literature on family health spillovers, questions remain about how sibling disability status impacts educational outcomes. As disability is not randomly assigned this is an empirical challenge. In this paper we use Danish administrative data and variation in the onset of type 1 diabetes to compare education outcomes of focal children with a disabled sibling to outcomes of focal children without a disabled sibling (matched on date of birth of the focal child, sibling spacing and family size). We find that having a disabled sibling significantly decreases 9th grade exit exam GPAs, while having no impact on on-time completion of 9th grade. However, educational trajectories are impacted, as we find significant decreases in high school enrollment and significant increases in vocational school enrollment by age 18. Our results indicate that sibling disability status can generate economically meaningful inequality in educational outcomes.
    Keywords: sibling spillovers, health, diabetes, educational performance, SES
    JEL: I1 I2 J1
    Date: 2023–03
  5. By: Humlum, Anders (University of Chicago Booth School of Business); Munch, Jakob R. (University of Copenhagen); Plato, Pernille (University of Copenhagen)
    Abstract: We provide the first evidence on how workers invest in human capital after losing ability. Using quasi-random work accidents in Danish administrative data, we find that workers enroll in bachelor's programs after physical injuries, pursuing degrees that build on their work experiences and provide pathways to cognitive occupations. Exploiting differences in eligibility driven by prior vocational training, we find that higher education moves injured workers from disability benefits to full-time employment. Reskilled workers earn 25% more than before their injuries and do not end up on antidepressants. Without higher education, by contrast, these workers end up entirely on disability benefits and often resort to taking antidepressants. Reskilling subsidies for injured workers pay for themselves four times over, and current rates of reskilling are substantially below the social optimum, especially for middle-aged workers.
    Keywords: workplace injury, human capital investment, employment, disability insurance
    JEL: I26 J24 J62
    Date: 2023–03

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