nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2023‒05‒29
four papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. School Quality Beyond Test Scores: the Role of Schools in Shaping Educational Outcomes By Annalisa Loviglio
  2. School Closures and Student Achievement, Evidence from a High Stakes Exam By Riudavets-Barcons, Marc; Uusitalo, Roope
  3. Higher Education Expansion & Labour Income Inequality in High-income Countries: A Gender-specific Perspective By Petra Sauer; Philippe Van Kerm; Daniele Checchi
  4. Racial and income-based affirmative action in higher education admissions: lessons from the Brazilian experience By Rodrigo Zeidan; Silvio Luiz de Almeida; In\'acio B\'o; Neil Lewis Jr

  1. By: Annalisa Loviglio
    Abstract: I study how schools impact student performance and educational attainment throughout secondary education, and show that school quality cannot be easily captured by any type of rankings because students with differing characteristics and abilities benefit from different school inputs. To do so, I estimate a dynamic structural model of cognitive skills accumulation and schooling decision using rich administrative data from middle schools in Barcelona. I then simulate the outcomes that each student would have achieved in every school in the sample. Notably, the school environment has a crucial impact on the educational attainment of students from less advantaged family background and low-ability students who are at greater risk of leaving school. Moreover, the schools that would yield the highest final test scores for these students – provided they do not drop out – are not the ones that would maximize their likelihood of graduating and enrolling in further education. The results suggest that evaluating and comparing schools using only standardized assessments is insufficient for serving the needs of disadvantaged students, who require schools that enhance educational attainment rather than just test scores.
    JEL: I20 J24 C35
    Date: 2023–03
  2. By: Riudavets-Barcons, Marc (University of Helsinki); Uusitalo, Roope (University of Helsinki)
    Abstract: We study the effect of school closures and the transition from on-site to on-line teaching during the Covid-19 pandemic in the Finnish upper secondary schools. To identify the effects we exploit variation in the length of school closure periods across schools between autumn 2020 and spring 2021. Using a difference-in-difference design, we show that the students who studied on-line for longer periods performed equally well in the Matriculation exam at the end of upper-secondary education than the students who experienced shorter school closures. Moreover, we show that inequalities across Finnish students from different socioeconomic backgrounds did not exacerbate during this period.
    Keywords: school closures, online teaching, test scores, COVID-19
    JEL: I21 I24 I28
    Date: 2023–04
  3. By: Petra Sauer; Philippe Van Kerm; Daniele Checchi
    Abstract: The expansion of higher education since the second half of the 20th century was particularly pronounced among women. In most high-income countries to date more women complete a tertiary level than men. But research on the implications of higher education expansion for labour income inequality has largely treated expansion as gender neutral. With this paper we build on prior studies that have ignored potentially differential effects by factoring in what it means for earnings inequality to increase tertiary education among women as compared to men. To this end we draw on harmonised data from the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) for 27 countries and two time points, 1995 and 2015, and use the method of Recentered Influence Function (RIF) regression. We obtain three main insights from our study. First, no average distributive effect of higher education expansion exists. Second, the distributive effect is gender-specific. The impact on the Gini coefficient of increasing tertiary attainment of men is positive and significant but the impact of increasing tertiary attainment of women is negative and significant. Third, the increasing share of tertiary educational attainment is the main factor explaining that distributive estimates shrink towards zero over time for both women and men. Only for men does larger inequality between and within educational groups significantly contribute to magnify the impact of educational expansion on earnings distributions across countries. Our analysis highlights that taking the gender dimension into account is crucial to obtain exhaustive understanding of the role of education for overall income inequality.
    Date: 2023–03
  4. By: Rodrigo Zeidan; Silvio Luiz de Almeida; In\'acio B\'o; Neil Lewis Jr
    Abstract: This survey article provides insights regarding the future of affirmative action by analyzing the implementation methods and the empirical evidence on the use of placement quotas in the Brazilian higher education system. All federal universities have required income and racial-based quotas in Brazil since 2012. Affirmative action in federal universities is uniformly applied across the country, which makes evaluating its effects particularly valuable. Affirmative action improves the outcomes of targeted students. Specifically, race-based quotas raise the share of black students in federal universities, an effect not observed with income-based quotas alone. Affirmative action has downstream positive consequences for labor market outcomes. The results suggest that income and race-based quotas beneficiaries experience substantial long-term welfare benefits. There is no evidence of mismatching or negative consequences for targeted students' peers.
    Date: 2023–04

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