nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2023‒08‒14
seven papers chosen by
Nádia Simões, Instituto Universitário de Lisboa 

  1. Learning during the Pandemic: Evidence from Uzbekistan By Iqbal, Syedah Aroob; Patrinos, Harry A.
  2. Natural Resources, Demand for Skills, and Schooling Choices By Bütikofer, Aline; Dalla-Zuanna, Antonio; Salvanes, Kjell G.
  3. A college on every cape: Gender equality, gender segregation and higher educational expansion By Rogne, Adrian F.; Knutsen, Tora Kjærnes; Modalsli, Jørgen
  4. What Did UWE Do for Economics? By Tatyana Avilova; Claudia Goldin
  5. Expectation Formation, Local Sampling and Belief Traps: A new Perspective on Education Choices By Simon Gleyze; Philippe Jehiel
  6. Sibling Spillovers May Enhance the Efficacy of Targeted School Policies By David N. Figlio; Krzysztof Karbownik; Umut Özek
  7. Universities that matter for regional knowledge base renewal - the role of multilevel embeddedness By Nils Grashof; Holger Graf

  1. By: Iqbal, Syedah Aroob (Consultant (World Bank and ILO)); Patrinos, Harry A. (World Bank)
    Abstract: School closures induced by the COVID-19 pandemic led to concerns about student learning. This paper evaluates the effect of school closures on student learning in Uzbekistan, using a unique dataset that allows assessing change in learning over time. The findings show that test scores in math for grade 5 students improved over time by 0.29 standard deviation despite school closures. The outcomes among students who were assessed in 2019 improved by an average of 0.72 standard deviation over the next two years, slightly lower than the expected growth of 0.80 standard deviation. The paper explores the reasons for no learning loss.
    Keywords: COVID-19, learning loss, school closures, social inequality, digital divide
    JEL: I21 I24
    Date: 2023–06
  2. By: Bütikofer, Aline (Norwegian School of Economics); Dalla-Zuanna, Antonio (Bank of Italy); Salvanes, Kjell G. (Norwegian School of Economics)
    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: human capital, labor markets and school enrollment, education, skill-biased technical change
    JEL: I J
    Date: 2023–07
  3. By: Rogne, Adrian F.; Knutsen, Tora Kjærnes; Modalsli, Jørgen
    Abstract: The great expansion of higher educational systems in Western countries in the latter half of the 20th century had a profound impact on educational opportunities and is central to understanding the reversal of the gender gap in higher education. In Norway, major educational reforms starting in the late 1960s aimed at making higher education more accessible for large segments of the population, particularly young women who were graduating from high school at an increasing rate. This occurred through the upgrading, establishment, and gradual expansion of local and regional colleges across the country, especially in female-dominated fields associated with work in expanding public welfare sectors. Theories and previous research have suggested that the gendered profile of educational expansions contributed to the cementing of horizontal gender segregation patterns in education and the labor market. We shed light on these processes using new and detailed data on the establishment and upgrading of higher educational institutions between 1969 and 1993. Linking these data to individual-level register data allows us to study how regional variation in educational opportunities affected the educational attainment and field of study choices of young women and men, using a difference-in-differences (DiD)/event study approach. While increased access to college education was a prerequisite for the reversal of the gender gap, our findings suggest that the location of colleges mattered very little. Colleges had, at most, a very modest impact on local educational attainment and gendered field of study choices. We discuss the implications of these findings for policy and sociological theory.
    Date: 2023–07–04
  4. By: Tatyana Avilova; Claudia Goldin
    Abstract: Economics is among the most popular undergraduate majors. However, even at the best research universities and liberal arts colleges men outnumber women by two to one, and overall there are about 2.5 males to every female economics major. The Undergraduate Women in Economics (UWE) Challenge was begun in 2015 for one year as a randomized controlled trial with 20 treatment and 68 control schools to evaluate the impact of light-touch interventions to recruit and retain female economics majors. Treatment schools received funding, guidance, and access to networking with other treatment schools to implement programs such as providing better information about the application of economics, exposing students to role models, and updating course content and pedagogy. Using 2001-2021 data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) on graduating BAs, we find that UWE was effective in increasing the fraction of female BAs who majored in economics relative to men in liberal arts colleges. Large universities did not show an impact of the treatment, although those that implemented their own RCTs showed moderate success in encouraging more women to major in economics. We speculate on the reasons for differential treatment impact.
    JEL: A22 C93 I21
    Date: 2023–07
  5. By: Simon Gleyze (Uber); Philippe Jehiel (PSE - Paris School of Economics - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, UCL - University College of London [London])
    Abstract: Lack of diversity in higher education is partly driven by long-run belief distortions about admission chances at elite colleges. We depart from the rational expectation framework and propose a simple model of expectation formation in which students estimate their admission chances by sampling a pool of given size τ of peers who previously applied to elite colleges. Assuming students consider peers with abil-ity as close as possible to their own, two types of inefficiencies arise in steady state: high-achieving disadvantaged students self-select out of elite colleges, and average students from advantaged families apply to elite colleges even though their true admission chances are null. We then explore the working of the model when students from several possibly dissimilar neighborhoods compete for the same positions, thereby highlighting externalities related to the comparative neighborhood com-positions. Several policy instruments such as quotas or the mixing of neighborhoods are considered.
    Date: 2023–07
  6. By: David N. Figlio; Krzysztof Karbownik; Umut Özek
    Abstract: Public policies often target individuals but within-family externalities of such interventions are understudied. Using a regression discontinuity design, we document how a third grade retention policy affects both the target children and their younger siblings. The policy improves test scores of both children while the spillover is up to 30% of the target child effect size. The effects are particularly pronounced in families where one of the children is disabled, for boys, and in immigrant families. Candidate mechanisms include improved classroom inputs and parental school choice.
    JEL: D13 I20 J13
    Date: 2023–06
  7. By: Nils Grashof (Friedrich Schiller University Jena, School of Economics and Business Administration); Holger Graf (Friedrich Schiller University Jena, School of Economics and Business Administration)
    Abstract: We analyze the role of universities or, more generally higher education institutions (HEIs), in terms of their regional and international embeddedness for regional knowledge base renewal. We assume that the introduction of radical patents in the sense of novel technological combinations contributes to the renewal of the knowledge base. For our empirical study, we combine information from patent applications, scientific publications and higher education statistics. We find that HEIs contribute most to knowledge base renewal if they have a strong research output and are locally embedded. International research embeddedness of HEIs benefits regional development only if combined with a central position in the regional network.
    Keywords: higher education institutions, universities, knowledge base renewal, radical innovation, SNA, embeddedness
    JEL: I20 I23 I25 O3 R11
    Date: 2023–07–20

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