nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2023‒09‒18
seven papers chosen by
Nádia Simões, Instituto Universitário de Lisboa 

  1. The Impact of Public School Choice: Evidence from Los Angeles' Zones of Choice By Christopher Campos; Caitlin Kearns
  2. School Starting Age and the Impact on School Admission By Cáceres-Delpiano, Julio; Giolito, Eugenio
  3. The Short and Medium Term Effects of Full-Day Schooling on Learning and Maternal Labor Supply By Bovini, Giulia; Cattadori, Niccolò; De Philippis, Marta; Sestito, Paolo
  4. Persistence of the Spillover Effects of Violence and Educational Trajectories By Padilla-Romo, María; Peluffo, Cecilia
  5. Skills, Majors, and Jobs: Does Higher Education Respond? By Johnathan G. Conzelmann; Steven W. Hemelt; Brad Hershbein; Shawn M. Martin; Andrew Simon; Kevin M. Stange
  6. When a Strike Strikes Twice: Massive Student Mobilizations and Teenage Pregnancy in Chile By Pablo A. Celhay; Emilio Depetris-Chauvin; Cristina Riquelme
  7. What Is the Point of Schooling? The Politics of Education Policy in Tanzania Since 1961 By Ken Ochieng’ Opalo

  1. By: Christopher Campos; Caitlin Kearns
    Abstract: Does a school district that expands school choice provide better outcomes for students than a neighborhood-based assignment system? This paper studies the Zones of Choice (ZOC) program, a school choice initiative of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) that created small high school markets in some neighborhoods but left attendance-zone boundaries in place throughout the rest of the district. We study market-level impacts of choice on student achievement and college enrollment using a differences-in-differences design. Student outcomes in ZOC markets increased markedly, narrowing achievement and college enrollment gaps between ZOC neighborhoods and the rest of the district. The effects of ZOC are larger for schools exposed to more competition, supporting the notion that competition is a key channel. Demand estimates suggest families place substantial weight on schools' academic quality, providing schools with competition-induced incentives to improve their effectiveness. The evidence demonstrates that public school choice programs have the potential to improve school quality and reduce neighborhood-based disparities in educational opportunity.
    JEL: I20 I21 I24
    Date: 2023–08
  2. By: Cáceres-Delpiano, Julio (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid); Giolito, Eugenio (Universidad del CEMA)
    Abstract: This study employs Chilean administrative data to investigate the impact of School Starting Age (SSA) on the characteristics of students' initial enrolled schools. Employing minimum age requirements and an RD-design to mitigate endogeneity concerns, we identify benefits linked to commencing school at a later age. Our findings demonstrate that children starting school at an older age enroll in institutions with higher average scores in standardized tests and interact with older peers whose parents have higher education levels. Furthermore, they display a heightened likelihood of entering schools employing academic selection methods, a greater proportion of fulltime teachers, and a larger percentage of instructors with a 4-year college degree.The analysis by level of education of the parents and gender reveals that most of our results are driven by parents with lower levels of education and girls.
    Keywords: Latin America, Chile, school starting age, schools' characteristics
    JEL: A21 I24 I25 I28
    Date: 2023–08
  3. By: Bovini, Giulia (Bank of Italy); Cattadori, Niccolò (University of Zurich); De Philippis, Marta (Bank of Italy); Sestito, Paolo (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: This paper considers the case of Italy to analyze the short- and medium-term effect of a longer school day in primary school on both students' learning and mothers' labor supply. we rely on unique application-to-primary-school data: first, we control for parental preferences, proxied by individual applications; second, we exploit variation in the probability of attending the full-time (FT) scheme that only stems from nonlinearities in the mix of FT and part-time (PT) applications received by the school and from class size limits set by the law. We show that attending the FT scheme increases Math test scores in grades 2 and 5 and Italian scores in grade 2 by around 4.5% of a standard deviation, but the effects fade away by grade 8. Conversely, there is a positive impact on maternal labor force participation and employment, which is long-lasting (approximately 2 p.p.). No effect is found on fathers' employment. Finally, we find some evidence of negative selection on gains, as the groups of students and mothers for whom the effect seems to be larger are not those more likely to apply to the FT scheme or to attend it conditional on applying.
    Keywords: time at school, female labor supply, selection into treatment, students' learning
    JEL: H40 I21 I24 J13 J21
    Date: 2023–08
  4. By: Padilla-Romo, María (University of Tennessee); Peluffo, Cecilia (University of Florida)
    Abstract: This paper provides evidence on how having violence-exposed peers who migrated to nonviolent areas affects students' educational trajectories in receiving schools. To recover our estimates, we exploit the variation in local violence across different municipalities in the context of Mexico's war on drugs and linked administrative records on students' educational trajectories. We find that peer exposure to violence in elementary school imposes persistent negative effects on students in nonviolent areas. Having elementary school violence-exposed peers has detrimental effects on students' academic performance in a high school admission exam and grade progression. For every ten students previously exposed to local violence who migrated to Mexico City's metro area, approximately five incumbent students in safe municipalities are placed in lower-ranked and less-preferred schools.
    Keywords: local violence, peer effects, educational trajectories
    JEL: I24 I25 O15
    Date: 2023–08
  5. By: Johnathan G. Conzelmann; Steven W. Hemelt; Brad Hershbein; Shawn M. Martin; Andrew Simon; Kevin M. Stange
    Abstract: How do college students and postsecondary institutions react to changes in skill demand in the U.S. labor market? We quantify the magnitude and nature of response in the 4-year sector using a new measure of labor demand at the institution-major level that combines online job ads with geographic locations of alumni from a professional networking platform. Within a shift-share setup, we find that the 4-year sector responds. We estimate elasticities for undergraduate degrees and credits centered around 1.3, generally increasing with time horizon. Changes in non-tenure-track faculty allocations and the credits they teach partially mediate this overall response. We provide further evidence that the magnitude of the overall response depends on both student demand and institutional supply-side constraints. Our findings illuminate the nature of educational production in higher education and suggest that policy efforts that aim to align human capital investment with labor demand may struggle to achieve such goals if they target only one side of the market.
    JEL: I23 J23 J24
    Date: 2023–08
  6. By: Pablo A. Celhay (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile); Emilio Depetris-Chauvin (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile); Cristina Riquelme (University of Maryland)
    Abstract: This paper empirically studies the impact of massive and sudden school closures following the 2011 nationwide student strike in Chile on teenage pregnancy. We observe a 2.7% average increase in teenage pregnancies in response to temporary high school shutdowns, equating to 1.9 additional pregnancies per school day lost. The effect diminishes three quarters after the strike’s onset. Effects are predominantly driven by first-time mothers and are aligned with higher school absenteeism periods, and are unrelated to typical teenage fertility seasonality or pregnancies of other age groups. The study also reveals a slight increase in the demand for emergency contraception and condoms due to strikes. This suggests that riskier behavior mainly drives effects due to reduced adult supervision. Additionally, we find persistent negative effects on students’ educational trajectories, evidenced by an increase in dropout rates and a reduction in college admission test take-up.
    Keywords: Teenage Pregnancy, Risky Behavior, Student Protests, Incapacitation Effect
    JEL: J13 I12 I2
    Date: 2023–08
  7. By: Ken Ochieng’ Opalo (Georgetown University; Center for Global Development)
    Abstract: Education is one of the most important public goods provided by modern governments. Yet governments worldwide seldom perform well in the sector. This raises the question: Why do governments preside over poor education quality? This paper answers this question with evidence from Tanzania. Using data from surveys, administrative reports, and policy documents, it analyzes changing goals of education policy and associated impacts on access and learning over time. The main finding is that learning has not always been the goal of schooling in Tanzania. Furthermore, for decades the government rationed access to both primary and secondary schooling for ideological reasons. These past policy choices partially explain contemporary poor outcomes in education. This paper increases our understanding of the politics of education in low-income states. It also provides a corrective against the common assumption that governments always seek to maximize the provision of public goods and services for political gain.
    Keywords: Public Policy, Education, Tanzania, Ujamaa, Political Settlements
    Date: 2022–04–21

This nep-edu issue is ©2023 by Nádia Simões. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.