nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2023‒06‒19
six papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. School Quality beyond Test Scores: The Role of Schools in Shaping Educational Outcomes By Loviglio, Annalisa
  2. School resources, peer inputs, and student outcomes in adult education By Tilley, Lucas
  3. Using Genes to Explore the Relationship of Cognitive and Non-cognitive Skills with Education and Labor Market Outcomes By Buser, Thomas; Ahlskog, Rafael; Johannesson, Magnus; Koellinger, Philipp; Oskarsson, Sven
  4. The Geography of Intergenerational Education Mobility in Italy: Trends and Mediating Factors By Debora Di Gioacchino; Laura Sabani; Stefano Usai
  5. Where Do STEM Graduates Stem From? The Intergenerational Transmission of Comparative Skill Advantages By Hanushek, Eric A.; Jacobs, Babs; Schwerdt, Guido; Van der Velden, Rolf; Vermeulen, Stan; Wiederhold, Simon
  6. The Role of Earnings, Financial, and other Factors in University Attendance By Oliver Cassagneau-Francis

  1. By: Loviglio, Annalisa (University of Bologna)
    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.
    Keywords: school value-added, educational choices, educational attainment, retention
    JEL: I20 J24 C35
    Date: 2023–05
  2. By: Tilley, Lucas (The Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI))
    Abstract: This paper studies a large-scale educational expansion to evaluate whether shocks to school inputs have an impact on the academic achievement of adult education students. I analyze the spillover effects of a Swedish policy that temporarily doubled enrollment in adult education, thus putting considerable strain on school inputs. Since the policy targeted individuals age 25 and over, my analysis focuses on individuals under age 25 to mitigate concerns that changes in student composition drive my findings. First, I establish that students in regions subject to larger enrollment shocks experienced stronger negative shocks to peer quality and school resources such as teacher credentials and perpupil expenditure. Then, I show that the stronger negative shocks to peer quality and school resources coincided with larger increases in course dropout. Taken together, the two sets of results suggest a causal link between school inputs and course dropout.
    Keywords: adult education; educational expansion; per-pupil spending; school resources; student achievement; teacher credentials
    JEL: I20 I21 I28
    Date: 2023–04–19
  3. By: Buser, Thomas (University of Amsterdam); Ahlskog, Rafael (Uppsala University); Johannesson, Magnus (Stockholm School of Economics); Koellinger, Philipp (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); Oskarsson, Sven (Uppsala University)
    Abstract: A large literature establishes that cognitive and non-cognitive skills are strongly correlated with educational attainment and professional achievement. Isolating the causal effects of these traits on career outcomes is made difficult by reverse causality and selection issues. We suggest a different approach: instead of using direct measures of individual traits, we use differences between individuals in the presence of genetic variants that are associated with differences in skills and personality traits. Genes are fixed over the life cycle and genetic differences between full siblings are random, making it possible to establish the causal effects of within-family genetic variation. We link genetic data from individuals in the Swedish Twin Registry to government registry data and find evidence for causal effects of genetic differences linked to cognitive skills, personality traits, and economic preferences on professional achievement and educational attainment. Our results also demonstrate that education and labor market outcomes are partially the result of a genetic lottery.
    Keywords: personality traits, economic preferences, cognitive skills, labor markets, education, polygenic indices
    JEL: J24 D91 I26
    Date: 2023–05
  4. By: Debora Di Gioacchino; Laura Sabani; Stefano Usai
    Abstract: Using survey data, we contribute to the literature on temporal evolution of educational attainment by parental background by providing the estimates of the intergenerational education mobility in Italian regions across seven birth cohorts. Results of intergenerational correlation between parents and children’s education show that in the last fifty years mobility increased in almost all regions, although for the youngest cohorts this decline seems to have ended. Northeast regions and Central regions are the most mobile, followed by Northwest and South regions. This pattern is robust to alternative measures of relative mobility. As expected, we find that - at least for the youngest cohorts - there is a negative correlation between mobility and economic factors such as unemployment and poverty. This suggests that credit constraints explain bottom tail persistence in education. A positive correlation between the intergenerational education mobility and the degree of inequality as measured by the GINI coefficient exists across Italian regions, consistent with the "Great Gatsby curve" documented across countries. In addition, we find a positive association between mobility, indexes of social capital and the number of graduates in the regions. Measures of school quality (PISA test) are positively correlated with regional educational mobility.
    Keywords: EIntergenerational Mobility; Education and Inequality; Italy; Geography
    JEL: J62 I21 I28
    Date: 2023–02
  5. By: Hanushek, Eric A. (Stanford University); Jacobs, Babs (Maastricht University); Schwerdt, Guido (University of Konstanz); Van der Velden, Rolf (ROA, Maastricht University); Vermeulen, Stan (Maastricht University); Wiederhold, Simon (IWH Halle)
    Abstract: The standard economic model of occupational choice following a basic Roy model emphasizes individual selection and comparative advantage, but the sources of comparative advantage are not well understood. We employ a unique combination of Dutch survey and registry data that links math and language skills across generations and permits analysis of the intergenerational transmission of comparative skill advantages. Exploiting within-family between-subject variation in skills, we show that comparative advantages in math of parents are significantly linked to those of their children. A causal interpretation follows from a novel IV estimation that isolates variation in parent skill advantages due to their teacher and classroom peer quality. Finally, we show the strong influence of family skill transmission on children's choices of STEM fields.
    Keywords: intergenerational mobility, parent-child skill transmission, causality, STEM
    JEL: I24 I26 J12 J24 J62
    Date: 2023–05
  6. By: Oliver Cassagneau-Francis (ECON - Département d'économie (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Why do some people choose to attend university, and enjoy state-subsidised benefits, while others do not? We shed new light on this key issue by comparing and quantifying the roles of earnings, financial, and non-pecuniary factors in the educational decisions of young people in the UK. We investigate changes in these factors over time, and their implications for social mobility. We specify a model of educational choice, explicitly including expectations about earnings, financial, and non-pecuniary factors. Our estimation strategy exploits panel survey data on young people's expectations about key outcomes both at, and after, university, linked to their realised outcomes. Income maximisation, despite its prevalent role in the literature, is only a small part of the story: other factors are four times as important as earnings in determining whether someone goes to university. Non-pecuniary factors also drive both the SES-gap in educational attainment, and the huge growth in degree attainment between the 1980s and 2010s.
    Keywords: Higher education, Earnings, Psychic costs, Wage premium, Educational choice
    Date: 2021–05–24

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