nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2023‒08‒21
six papers chosen by
Nádia Simões, Instituto Universitário de Lisboa 

  1. Natural Resources, Demand for Skills, and Schooling Choices By Aline Bütikofer; Antonio Dalla-Zuanna; Kjell G. Salvanes
  2. How Early Morning Classes Change Academic Trajectories: Evidence from a Natural Experiment By Anthony LokTing Yim
  3. Tracking when Ranking Matters By Fanny Landaud; Éric Maurin
  4. Extended School Day and Teenage Fertility in Dominican Republic By Santiago Garganta; María Florencia Pinto; Joaquín Zentner
  5. Education and Later-life Mortality: Evidence from a School Reform in Japan By Kazuya Masuda; Hitoshi Shigeoka
  6. Diversifying Society’s Leaders? The Causal Effects of Admission to Highly Selective Private Colleges By Raj Chetty; David J. Deming; John N. Friedman

  1. By: Aline Bütikofer; Antonio Dalla-Zuanna; Kjell G. Salvanes
    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: school choice, demand for skills, natural resource sector
    JEL: J24 J23 I26 I23
    Date: 2023
  2. By: Anthony LokTing Yim
    Abstract: I examine how early morning classes affect students’ educational trajectories by exploiting a natural experiment which randomized class time to students. I find that enrolling in early morning classes lowers students’ course grades and the likelihood of future STEM course enrollment. Early morning classes also cause a 79% reduction that a student study in the corresponding major. To understand the mechanism, I conducted a survey of undergraduate students enrolled in an introductory course, some of whom were assigned to a 7:30 AM section. I find evidence of a decrease in human capital accumulation and learning quality for early morning sections.
    Keywords: Higher Education, Human Capital, STEM, College Major
    JEL: I23 I26 D91
    Date: 2023–05
  3. By: Fanny Landaud; Éric Maurin (Université de Cergy-Pontoise, THEMA)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effect of grouping students by prior achievement into different classes in a context where students are preparing for the entrance exams to elite graduate programs offering a limited number of seats. We show that this policy has, on average, pos- itive effects on students’ performance and rankings. However, these improvements mainly concern students who were the strongest at the start of the preparation period, among whom children from privileged backgrounds are largely over-represented. Ultimately, the practice of grouping students by prior achievement into different classes increases inequalities in access to elite programs between children from different backgrounds.
    Keywords: ability tracking, competition, higher education, inequalities.
    JEL: I21 I23 I24
    Date: 2023
  4. By: Santiago Garganta (CEDLAS-IIE-FCE-UNLP & CONICET); María Florencia Pinto (CEDLAS-IIE-FCE-UNLP); Joaquín Zentner (Inter-American Development Bank)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the potential impact of extended school days in reducing teenage fertility. We study the Jornada Escolar Extendida program, which doubled the school-day length from 4 to 8 hours in the Dominican Republic, and exploit the geographic and time variation induced by its gradual implementation. We find evidence that a higher exposure to JEE in the municipality, measured as the percentage of secondary students covered by the program, reduces the incidence of teenage pregnancies, and that the effect is stronger after the program has reached at least half of secondary students in the municipality. The estimates are robust to various specifications and alternative checks. These results suggest that extended school-day policies can have spillover effects regarding teenagers’ fertility choices.
    JEL: O1 I31 I24
    Date: 2023–08
  5. By: Kazuya Masuda; Hitoshi Shigeoka
    Abstract: We examine the mortality effects of a 1947 school reform in Japan, which extended compulsory schooling from primary to secondary school by as much as 3 years. The abolition of secondary school fees also indicates that those affected by the reform likely came from disadvantaged families who could have benefited the most from schooling. Even in this relatively favorable setting, we fail to find that the reform improved later-life mortality up to the age of 87 years, although it significantly increased years of schooling. This finding suggests limited health returns to schooling at the lower level of educational attainment.
    JEL: H52 I12 I21 I28
    Date: 2023–07
  6. By: Raj Chetty; David J. Deming; John N. Friedman
    Abstract: Leadership positions in the U.S. are disproportionately held by graduates of a few highly selective private colleges. Could such colleges — which currently have many more students from high-income families than low-income families — increase the socioeconomic diversity of America’s leaders by changing their admissions policies? We use anonymized admissions data from several private and public colleges linked to income tax records and SAT and ACT test scores to study this question. Children from families in the top 1% are more than twice as likely to attend an Ivy-Plus college (Ivy League, Stanford, MIT, Duke, and Chicago) as those from middle-class families with comparable SAT/ACT scores. Two-thirds of this gap is due to higher admissions rates for students with comparable test scores from high-income families; the remaining third is due to differences in rates of application and matriculation. In contrast, children from high-income families have no admissions advantage at flagship public colleges. The high-income admissions advantage at private colleges is driven by three factors: (1) preferences for children of alumni, (2) weight placed on non-academic credentials, which tend to be stronger for students applying from private high schools that have affluent student bodies, and (3) recruitment of athletes, who tend to come from higher-income families. Using a new research design that isolates idiosyncratic variation in admissions decisions for waitlisted applicants, we show that attending an Ivy-Plus college instead of the average highly selective public flagship institution increases students’ chances of reaching the top 1% of the earnings distribution by 60%, nearly doubles their chances of attending an elite graduate school, and triples their chances of working at a prestigious firm. Ivy-Plus colleges have much smaller causal effects on average earnings, reconciling our findings with prior work that found smaller causal effects using variation in matriculation decisions conditional on admission. Adjusting for the value-added of the colleges that students attend, the three key factors that give children from high-income families an admissions advantage are uncorrelated or negatively correlated with post-college outcomes, whereas SAT/ACT scores and academic credentials are highly predictive of post-college success. We conclude that highly selective private colleges currently amplify the persistence of privilege across generations, but could diversify the socioeconomic backgrounds of America’s leaders by changing their admissions practices.
    JEL: I24 J62
    Date: 2023–07

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