nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2023‒07‒31
five papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. Bridging the Gap: Mismatch Effects and Catch-Up Dynamics in a Brazilian College Affirmative Action By Rodrigo Oliveira; Alei Santos; Edson R. Severnini
  2. Preference-Choice Mismatch and University Dropout By Fouarge, Didier; Heß, Pascal
  3. A Numerical Simulation of Educational Mismatch in the Italian Labor Market By Roberto Roson; Emanuela Ghignoni
  4. Gender-Neutral Language and Gender Disparities By Alma Cohen; Tzur Karelitz; Tamar Kricheli-Katz; Sephi Pumpian; Tali Regev
  5. Natural Resources, Demand for Skills, and Schooling Choices By Bütikofer, Aline; Dalla-Zuanna, Antonio; Salvanes, Kjell Gunnar

  1. By: Rodrigo Oliveira; Alei Santos; Edson R. Severnini
    Abstract: Affirmative action in higher education can lead to mismatch, where students admitted through preferential treatment struggle academically due to inadequate preparation before college. Although some students may face initial challenges, by providing access to quality education for talented individuals who might have otherwise been overlooked due to systemic disadvantages, these programs may enable students to bridge the gap and catch up to their peers. In this study, we examine the effects of a quota-type affirmative action policy on gaps in college outcomes between potential beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries. Using comprehensive administrative data from a leading Brazilian university which implemented affirmative action in 2005, we find that compared to their non-quota peers, potential quota beneficiaries are less likely to progress smoothly through college and less likely to graduate, a result that is mostly driven by those who would not be admitted to the university otherwise. Notably, however, most of these differences shrink as the students progress through college, suggesting a catch-up effect between those groups. While potential quota students initially face challenges, resulting in a reduced course load in their early college years, they compensate by taking more credits in later years to ultimately graduate.
    JEL: I23 I24 I28 J15
    Date: 2023–06
  2. By: Fouarge, Didier (ROA, Maastricht University); Heß, Pascal (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg)
    Abstract: Drawing on data from the German National Educational Panel Study (NEPS), we show that students who select majors that do not match their occupational preferences prior to enrolling in university are more likely to drop out than those who do choose majors that match their occupational preferences. Our findings suggest that this gap cannot be explained by institutional obstacles to entering a major. Instead, the primary mechanisms behind this phenomenon are indecisiveness and preference changes.
    Keywords: dropout, preferences, mismatch, tertiary education
    JEL: J24 D83
    Date: 2023–06
  3. By: Roberto Roson; Emanuela Ghignoni
    Abstract: This paper presents a data set, associating education levels to occupations, and a methodology, which allow estimating how the distribution of the two variables could change, after some exogenous shock affecting the labor market. We assess some implications of the empirical finding that, in response to a weaker demand for labor, sufficiently educated workers would reallocate themselves into lower-ranked occupations, rather than getting unemployed. The exercise is conducted with Italian data, where 37 occupations and 10 education levels are considered. A counterfactual distribution is estimated, using a computable general equilibrium model to simulate the impact on the labor market of a trade disruption crisis with Russia.
    Keywords: Skill Mismatch; Education; Overeducation; Unemployment; Labor Market; Computable General Equilibrium Models
    JEL: A20 C23 C68 C82 D58 E24 F16 I20 J21 J24 J62 J82
    Date: 2023–07
  4. By: Alma Cohen; Tzur Karelitz; Tamar Kricheli-Katz; Sephi Pumpian; Tali Regev
    Abstract: This study investigates empirically whether and how the use of gender-neutral language affects the performance of women and men in real high-stakes exams. We make use of a natural experiment in which the institute administering Israel’s standardized college admission tests amended the language used in its exams, making test language more gender neutral. We find that the change to a more gender-neutral language was associated with a significant improvement in the performance of women on quantitative questions, which meaningfully reduced the gender gap between male and female performance on these questions. However, the change did not affect female performance on verbal questions nor male performance on either quantitative or verbal questions. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that gendered language may introduce a "stereotype threat" that adversely affects women’s performance in tasks in which they are stereotypically perceived to underperform. Our findings have significant implications for the ongoing academic and policy discussions regarding the use and effects of gender-neutral language.
    JEL: D83 I20 I24 J16 Z13
    Date: 2023–06
  5. By: Bütikofer, Aline (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration); Dalla-Zuanna, Antonio (Bank of Italy); Salvanes, Kjell Gunnar (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)
    Abstract: This paper studies the consequences of the buildup of a new economic sector—the Norwegian petroleum industry—on investment in human capital. We assess both short-term and long-term effects for a broad set of educational margins, by comparing individuals in regions exposed to the new sector with individuals in unexposed regions. Importantly, we analyze how the effects and the mechanisms change as the sector develops. Our results indicate that an initial increase in the high school dropout rate is short-lived both because dropouts get their degrees later as adults, and because later-born cohorts adapt to the new needs of the industry by enrolling more in vocational secondary education. We also observe a decrease in academic high school and college enrollment except for engineering degrees. Financial incentives to both completing high school and field of study, are the most likely channels driving these effects.
    Keywords: Natural Resources; Education; Petroleum
    JEL: I20 J10
    Date: 2023–06–30

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