nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2023‒04‒17
eight papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. Poor air at school and educational inequalities by family socioeconomic status By Fabrizio Bernardi; Risto Conte Keivabu
  2. More time less time? The effect of lengthening the school day on learning trajectories By Martín Nistal
  3. Online tutoring works: Experimental evidence from a program with vulnerable children By Lucas Gortazar; Claudia Hupkau; Antonio Roldan
  4. Teacher Performance Pay, Coaching, and Long-Run Student Outcomes By Sarah Cohodes; Ozkan Eren; Orgul Ozturk
  5. Can universal preschool education intensities counterbalance parental socioeconomic gradients? Repeated international evidence from Fourth graders skills achievement By Pierre Lefebvre; Claude Felteau
  6. A Scientific Approach to Addressing Social Issues Using Administrative Data By Green, David A.; Simard-Duplain, Gaëlle; Sweetman, Arthur; Warburton, William P.
  7. School-based malaria chemoprevention as a cost-effective approach to improve cognitive and educational outcomes: a meta-analysis By Noam Angrist; Matthew C. H. Jukes; Sian Clarke; R. Matthew Chico; Charles Opondo; Donald Bundy; Lauren M. Cohee
  8. The Decline of Routine Tasks, Education Investments, and Intergenerational Mobility By Bennett, P.; Liu, K.; Salvanes, K.;

  1. By: Fabrizio Bernardi; Risto Conte Keivabu (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: In this paper we study social stratification in the impact of poor air quality on educational achievement. We address two main questions. First, are students from socioeconomically disadvantaged families more likely to attend schools with poor air quality? Second, is the effect of bad air quality for school results the same for children from high and low socioeconomic status families? We use a novel data set with test scores in math and reading for 456, 508 students in 8th grade in a test administered nationally in Italy in 2019. We geocode the location of 6, 882 schools based on their addresses and link the level of air pollution of the area around the school, using data on fine particulate matter provided by the Atmospheric Composition Analysis Group. To deal with possible confounders we use municipality fixed effects and control for an indicator of the characteristics of the school neighbourhood, using administrative fiscal data of the real estate values of the area around the school. We have three main findings. First, there is no SES gradient in the exposure to poor air at school. Second, we find a small but robust negative effect of particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5) on test scores in math but not in reading. Third, this effect is mostly concentrated among low SES students. Conversely, high SES students are largely unaffected by exposure to poor air quality at school. We conclude that exposure to air pollution can exacerbate inequalities in education and the intergenerational transmission of disadvantage.
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2023
  2. By: Martín Nistal (Department of Economics, Universidad de San Andres)
    Abstract: We investigate to what extent lengthening the primary school days affects learning trajectories. We use national administration reports at the school level to estimate the impact of more school hours on grade retention at the primary level. Using microdata available in Argentina from 2011 to 2019, we use the variation of 1, 297 schools that added more hours of instructional time. The fact that the change from a simple regime (4 hours per day) to an extended regime (more than 4 hours but less than 8) was progressively and exogenous, conditional on infrastructure capacity, allows for estimating the effect through a difference- in-difference approach. We find that lengthening the school day reduces the grade retention of primary students by 23.1%.
    Keywords: length day
    Date: 2022–07
  3. By: Lucas Gortazar; Claudia Hupkau; Antonio Roldan
    Abstract: We provide evidence from a randomized controlled trial on the effectiveness of a novel, 100-percent online math tutoring program, targeted at secondary school students from highly disadvantaged neighborhoods. The intensive, eight-week-long program was delivered by qualified math teachers in groups of two students during after-school hours. The intervention significantly increased standardized test scores (+0.26 SD) and end-of-year math grades (+0.48 SD), while reducing the probability of repeating the school year. The intervention also raised aspirations, as well as self-reported effort at school.
    Keywords: Schools, online tutoring, mentoring, RCT, mathematics, child outcomes
    Date: 2023–03–22
  4. By: Sarah Cohodes; Ozkan Eren; Orgul Ozturk
    Abstract: This paper examines the effects of a comprehensive performance pay program for teachers implemented in high-need schools on students’ longer-run educational, criminal justice, and economic self-sufficiency outcomes. Using linked administrative data from a Southern state, we leverage the quasi-randomness of the timing of program adoption across schools to identify causal effects of the school reform. The program improved educational attainment and reduced both criminal activity and dependence on government assistance in early adulthood. We find little scope for student sorting or changes in the composition of teacher workforce, and that program benefits far exceeded its costs. We propose mechanisms for observed long-run effects and provide evidence consistent with these explanations. Several robustness checks and placebo tests support our findings.
    JEL: H75 I21 J32 J45
    Date: 2023–03
  5. By: Pierre Lefebvre (Department of Economics, University of Quebec in Montreal); Claude Felteau (Department of Economics, University of Quebec in Montreal)
    Abstract: This study estimates the average multivalued treatment effects (ATET), of preschool attendance measured in years, on students’ international reading, math and science test z-scores in Grade 4. The causal treatment effects come from multiple-years observational data on three levels of preschool duration before entering Grade 1. Among European countries that participated in five international education surveys, PIRLS (2006, 2011, 2016) and TIMSS (2015, 2019), those renowned for having adopted early childhood education (ECE) programs starting at a young age, growing in intensity and improving the number of qualified child-care providers were selected. In addition to four Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden), France, two Belgium jurisdictions (French, Flemish), and two participating Canadian provinces, Ontario and Québec, were retained. The approach exploits the repeated surveys and cross-national comparative international z-scores tests. The data sets besides their test scores provide unique information from a parent questionnaire on their education and occupation levels, literacy and numeracy preschool activities, on child preschool educational childcare span in years and two program types (for some years; before and after age 3). Four key findings can be identified from the data sets and estimations. First, there are large differences in the average scale score and percentiles deviation when converted into the z-score metric, for all categories of test scores across jurisdiction participants, and over time. Second, the estimates of the preschool treatment effects display rather heterogeneous impacts on z-scores with increasing significant and positive achievements over year surveys. Third, in general, preschool treatment effects are scattered in function of duration, programs types, and parental education. Four, results highlight stark gaps in scores related to parental education, socioeconomic statuses, and home learning resources for all year-samples. Evidence from a diversity of estimated gradients suggests established social inequalities in education achievement at ages 9-10 in Grade 4 could be difficult to reverse, even in cases where preschool education and care are implemented at a very young age in rich countries with very generous family policies.
    Keywords: Preschool education years intensities; fourth graders reading, math and science tests scores; multivalued treatment effects; PIRLS (2006, 2011, 2016); TIMSS (2015, 2019); Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Belgium French, Belgium Flemish, France; Canadian provinces of Québec and Ontario
    JEL: I2
    Date: 2023–02
  6. By: Green, David A. (University of British Columbia, Vancouver); Simard-Duplain, Gaëlle (University of British Columbia); Sweetman, Arthur (McMaster University); Warburton, William P. (University of British Columbia, Vancouver)
    Abstract: Linked administrative data on education, health, social services, and crime from British Columbia, Canada, are used to document the relationship between measures of secondary educational attainment and indicators of poor outcomes later in life. Poor outcomes are seen to manifest primarily among high school dropouts. Next, we document the ability of characteristics observed in administrative data in grade 4 to predict high school graduation using a very simple model. It is straightforward to identify more than one fifth of future dropouts reasonably accurately. Non-cognitive measures (esp. social and emotional characteristics) are better predictors of educational attainment than cognitive ones. We discuss the implications of these findings for a scientific approach for developing interventions to prevent poor outcomes later in life.
    Keywords: poverty alleviation, high school graduation
    JEL: I24 I24 I38
    Date: 2023–03
  7. By: Noam Angrist; Matthew C. H. Jukes; Sian Clarke; R. Matthew Chico; Charles Opondo; Donald Bundy; Lauren M. Cohee
    Abstract: There is limited evidence of health interventions impact on cognitive function and educational outcomes. We build on two prior systematic reviews to conduct a meta-analysis, exploring the effects of one of the most consequential health interventions, malaria chemoprevention, on education outcomes. We pool data from nine study treatment groups (N=4, 075) and outcomes across four countries. We find evidence of a positive effect (Cohen's d = 0.12, 95% CI [0.08, 0.16]) on student cognitive function, achieved at low cost. These results show that malaria chemoprevention can be highly cost effective in improving some cognitive skills, such as sustained attention. Moreover, we conduct simulations using a new common metric (learning-adjusted years of development) to compare cost-effectiveness across diverse interventions. While we might expect that traditional education interventions provide an immediate learning gain, health interventions such as malaria prevention can have surprisingly cost-effective education benefits, enabling children to achieve their full human capital potential.
    Date: 2023–03
  8. By: Bennett, P.; Liu, K.; Salvanes, K.;
    Abstract: How does a large structural change to the labor market affect education investments made at young ages? Exploiting differential exposure to the national decline in routine-task intensity across local labor markets, we show that the secular decline in routine tasks causes major shifts in education investments of high school students, where they invest less in vocational-trades education and increasingly invest in college education. Our results highlight that labor demand changes impact inequality in the next generation. Low-ability and low-SES students are most responsive to task-biased demand changes and, as a result, intergenerational mobility in college education increases.
    Keywords: Routine tasks, education investment, mobility, task-biased demand change.
    Date: 2023–03–20

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