nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2023‒08‒28
six papers chosen by
Nádia Simões, Instituto Universitário de Lisboa 

  1. Education and Later-Life Mortality: Evidence from a School Reform in Japan By Masuda, Kazuya; Shigeoka, Hitoshi
  2. Does Sending Teachers Abroad Enhance Their Quality and Ability? By NISHIHATA Masaya; TAHARA Hidenori; KOBAYASHI Yohei
  3. Air Pollution and Education Investment By Cheng, Zhiming; Guo, Liwen; Tani, Massimiliano; Cook, Sarah
  4. The effect of classroom rank on learning throughout elementary school: experimental evidence from Ecuador By Pedro Carneiro; Yyannú Cruz-Aguayo; Norbert Schady; Francesca Salvati
  5. Gender-Biased Technological Change: Milking Machines and the Exodus of Women from Farming By Ager, Philipp; Goñi, Marc; Salvanes, Kjell G.
  6. Single Family Schoolyards: Residential Zoning and School Segregation. By Oklobdzija, Stan Nguyen

  1. By: Masuda, Kazuya (Hitotsubashi University); Shigeoka, Hitoshi (Simon Fraser University)
    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.
    Keywords: education, later-life mortality, secondary school, Japan, regression discontinuity design
    JEL: H52 I12 I21 I28
    Date: 2023–07
  2. By: NISHIHATA Masaya; TAHARA Hidenori; KOBAYASHI Yohei
    Abstract: It is widely acknowledged that teacher quality is one of the crucial factors in improving student achievement. However, empirically validated strategies for improving the quality of existing teachers are not necessarily apparent. We investigate the effect of the Japanese education policy which sends teachers abroad to overseas educational institutions on teacher quality and ability. We find that, on average, dispatched teachers report 0.2 and 0.4–0.6 standard deviation improvements in their self-assessed curriculum management skills and cross-cultural understanding, respectively, over a decade, compared to their non-dispatched counterparts. Notably, less experienced teachers are more likely to improve self-assessed curriculum management skills, whereas more experienced teachers tend to become confident in their school administration skills. Interestingly, dispatched teachers feel more confident about their cross-cultural understanding regardless of their years of experience. Overall, sending teachers abroad is an effective strategy to develop their skills, which are increasingly important as globalization progresses.
    Date: 2023–07
  3. By: Cheng, Zhiming (University of New South Wales); Guo, Liwen (University of New South Wales); Tani, Massimiliano (University of New South Wales); Cook, Sarah (University of Nottingham)
    Abstract: Our study focuses on exploring the impact of air pollution on household investment in children's education in China. Air pollution poses a significant risk to some cities in northern China. We have used panel data from secondary schools in Shandong Province in 2017 and 2020 and discovered that a rise of one standard deviation of PM2.5 leads to a 9.6-44.6 percentage point decrease in the likelihood of parents spending on their children's education. The impact of air pollution on household education investment is mediated by parents' and children's educational expectations and household incomes. Our findings also indicate that high school students are more likely to receive higher education investment than middle school students, even at the same level of air pollution. The results of our study suggest that air pollution can lead to a decrease in human capital accumulation due to changes in parental behaviors induced by air pollution.
    Keywords: air pollution, education investment, China
    JEL: Q53 I20 D10
    Date: 2023–07
  4. By: Pedro Carneiro; Yyannú Cruz-Aguayo; Norbert Schady; Francesca Salvati
    Abstract: We study the impact of classroom rank on children’s learning using a unique experiment from Ecuador. Within each school, students were randomly assigned to classrooms in every grade between kindergarten and 6th grade. Students with the same ability can have different classroom ranks because of the (random) peer composition of their classroom. Children with higher beginning-of-grade classroom rank have significantly higher test scores at the end of that grade. The impact of classroom rank is larger for younger children and grows over time. Higher classroom rank also improves executive function, child happiness, and teacher perceptions of student ability.
    Date: 2023–08–14
  5. By: Ager, Philipp (University of Mannheim); Goñi, Marc (University of Bergen); Salvanes, Kjell G. (Norwegian School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper studies the link between gender-biased technological change in the agricultural sector and structural transformation in Norway. After WWII, Norwegian farms began widely adopting milking machines to replace the hand milking of cows, a task typically performed by women. Combining population-wide panel data from the Norwegian registry with municipality-level data from the Census of Agriculture, we show that the adoption of milking machines triggered a process of structural transformation by displacing young rural women from their traditional jobs on farms in dairy-intensive municipalities. The displaced women moved to urban areas where they acquired a higher level of education and found better-paid employment. These findings are consistent with the predictions of a Roy model of comparative advantage, extended to account for task automation and the gender division of labor in the agricultural sector. We also quantify significant inter-generational effects of this gender-biased technology adoption. Our results imply that the mechanization of farming has broken deeply rooted gender norms, transformed women's work, and improved their long-term educational and earning opportunities, relative to men.
    Keywords: gender biased technological change, migration, intergenerational mobility
    JEL: J16 J24 J43 J61 N34 O14 O33
    Date: 2023–07
  6. By: Oklobdzija, Stan Nguyen (Tulane University)
    Abstract: Though the Supreme Court’s 1955 decision in Brown v. Board of Education outlawed explicit segregation of public schools, segregation has remained stubbornly persistent in the intervening decades. What explains continuous racial segregation in the absence of explicit policy? One possible driver is America’s built environment–designed with similar segregationist impulses but not subject to corrective legal action. Zoning and land use policy may inhibit residential mobility which in turns leads to segregated schools. I investigate this drawing on data from over 150 million residential parcels provided by Zillow. I find that school districts whose boundaries include a higher proportion of single-family parcels have a higher proportion of White students and more racial concentration than districts whose boundaries include more mixed types of housing. However, I do not find that districts with more single-family parcels have more racially segregated student populations compared to the larger metro area. These findings help illuminate how land use policy influences educational segregation and contributes to literature on how policies that regulate the built environment affect racial sorting.
    Date: 2023–07–08

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