nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2023‒10‒30
seven papers chosen by
Nádia Simões, Instituto Universitário de Lisboa 

  1. Can Vocational Education Improve Schooling and Labour Outcomes? Evidence from a Large Expansion By Ferreira, João R.; Martins, Pedro S.
  2. Can Patience Account for Subnational Differences in Student Achievement? Regional Analysis with Facebook Interests By Eric A. Hanushek; Lavinia Kinne; Pietro Sancassani; Ludger Woessmann
  3. Financial Aid and Social Mobility: Evidence from Colombia's Ser Pilo Paga By Juliana Londoño-Vélez; Catherine Rodriguez; Fabio Sanchez; Luis E. Álvarez-Arango
  4. Improving Early Literacy through Teacher Professional Development: Experimental Evidence from Colombia By Álvarez Marinelli, Horacio; Berlinski, Samuel; Busso, Matías; Martínez Correa, Julián
  5. Teacher transfers and the disruption of Teacher Staffing in the City of Sao Paulo By Elacqua, Gregory; Rosa, Leonardo
  6. Spillovers in Fields of Study: Siblings, Cousins, and Neighbors By Avdeev, Stanislav; Ketel, Nadine; Oosterbeek, Hessel; van der Klaauw, Bas
  7. Educational Assortative Mating and Harsh Parenting in Sub-Saharan Africa By Pesando, Luca Maria; De Cao, Elisabetta; La Mattina, Giulia; Ciancio, Alberto

  1. By: Ferreira, João R. (Nova School of Business and Economics); Martins, Pedro S. (Nova School of Business and Economics)
    Abstract: We evaluate the education and labour impact of vocational education and training (VET). Identification draws on different IVs from the large-scale, staggered introduction of VET courses in public schools in Portugal from 2005. We also exploit the large gender differences in VET, with many courses selected almost only by either boys or girls. Drawing on rich student-school matched panel data, we find that VET increased upper-secondary graduation rates dramatically: our LATE estimates typically exceed 50 percentage points. These effects are even stronger for low-achieving students and welfare recipients. Moreover, we find evidence of regional youth employment growth following VET expansions. VET graduates also benefit from higher wages and other positive outcomes over several years, compared to both academic-track and lower-secondary graduates.
    Keywords: educational attainment, vocational education, matched student-teacher-school data, VET wage differentials
    JEL: I21 I26 I28 J24
    Date: 2023–09
  2. By: Eric A. Hanushek; Lavinia Kinne; Pietro Sancassani; Ludger Woessmann
    Abstract: Decisions to invest in human capital depend on people’s time preferences. We show that differences in patience are closely related to substantial subnational differences in educational achievement, leading to new perspectives on longstanding within-country disparities. We use social-media data – Facebook interests – to construct novel regional measures of patience within Italy and the United States. Patience is strongly positively associated with student achievement in both countries, accounting for two-thirds of the achievement variation across Italian regions and one-third across U.S. states. Results also hold for six other countries with more limited regional achievement data.
    JEL: I21 J24 Z10
    Date: 2023–09
  3. By: Juliana Londoño-Vélez; Catherine Rodriguez; Fabio Sanchez; Luis E. Álvarez-Arango
    Abstract: The paper studies the impact of financial aid on long-term educational attainment and labor market outcomes in Colombia. In 2014, the government launched a large-scale and generous student loan program called "Ser Pilo Paga." It offered full tuition coverage to students admitted to one of 33 government-certified high-quality universities known for superior test scores, graduation rates, and per-student spending. Notably, completing a bachelor's degree converted the loan into a grant. To qualify, students must score in the top 10% of the standardized high school exit exam and have below-median household wealth. Using RD and DD methodologies, we use nationwide administrative microdata linking all high school test takers, postsecondary attendees, and formal workers to estimate impacts up to eight years after high school. Financial aid improves college enrollment, quality, and attainment, particularly in STEM-related fields. The earnings gains are substantial, growing, and driven partly by high-quality universities improving students' skills, as demonstrated by their performance on Colombia's college graduation exam. A welfare analysis using the MVPF yields over $4.8 per dollar of government spending. Lastly, the program narrowed socioeconomic gaps in college attainment, skill development, and earnings among academically similar students without adversely affecting non-recipients, thereby promoting equity and efficiency.
    JEL: H52 I22 I23 I24 I26
    Date: 2023–09
  4. By: Álvarez Marinelli, Horacio; Berlinski, Samuel; Busso, Matías; Martínez Correa, Julián
    Abstract: Teachers are the most fundamental input of students' learning. For this reason, developing teaching skills is a policy priority for most governments around the world. We experimentally evaluate the effectiveness of "Let's All Learn to Read, " a one-year professional development program that trained and coached teachers throughout the school year and provided them and their students with structured materials. Following a year of instruction by the trained teachers, students' literacy scores in treated schools grew by 0.386 of a standard deviation compared to students in the control group. These gains persisted through the second and third grades. We also show that an early intervention in rst grade is more cost-effective at improving literacy skills than implementing remediation strategies in third grade.
    Date: 2022–10
  5. By: Elacqua, Gregory; Rosa, Leonardo
    Abstract: This paper analyzes preferences for certain school attributes among in-service teachers. We explore a centralized matching process in the city of Sao Paulo that teachers must use when transferring schools. Because teachers have to list and rank their preferences for schools, we can estimate the desirability of school attributes using a rank-ordered logit model. We show that the schools distance from the teachers home, school average test scores, and teacher composition play a central role in teacher preferences. Furthermore, we show that preferences vary according to teacher characteristics, such as gender, race, age, and academic subject.
    Keywords: Teachers;Teacher Assignment;teacher transfers;centralized assignment;Brazil
    JEL: I21 I24 I25 I28
    Date: 2023–02
  6. By: Avdeev, Stanislav (University of Amsterdam); Ketel, Nadine (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); Oosterbeek, Hessel (University of Amsterdam); van der Klaauw, Bas (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
    Abstract: We use admission lotteries for higher education studies in the Netherlands to investigate whether someone's field of study influences the study choices of their younger peers. We find that younger siblings and cousins are strongly affected. Also younger neighbors are affected but to a smaller extent. These findings indicate that a substantial part of the correlations in study choices between family members can be attributed to spillover effects and are not due to shared environments. Our findings contrast with those of recent studies based on admission thresholds, which find no sibling spillovers on field of study (major) choices. Because we also find spillovers from lottery participants at the lower end of the ability distribution, the contrasting findings cannot be attributed to the different research designs (leveraging admission lotteries versus admission thresholds). We believe that the different findings are due to the small differences in quality between universities in the Netherlands, making differences in the prestige of fields of study more prominent.
    Keywords: major choice, higher education, peer effects, admission lotteries
    JEL: I23 I24 J10
    Date: 2023–09
  7. By: Pesando, Luca Maria (New York University); De Cao, Elisabetta (London School of Economics); La Mattina, Giulia (University of South Florida); Ciancio, Alberto (University of Glasgow)
    Abstract: Leveraging underused information on child discipline methods, this study explores the relationship between parental educational similarity and violent childrearing practices, testing a new potential pathway through which parental educational similarity may relate to child outcomes. The study uses data from Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) and Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) covering 27 sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. Results suggest that educationally similar couples are less likely to adopt violent childrearing practices relative to educationally dissimilar ones, with differences by age of the child, yet less so by sex and birth order. Homogamous couples where both partners share high levels of education are also less (more) likely to adopt physically violent (non-violent) practices relative to homogamous couples with low levels of education. Relationships are stronger in countries characterized by higher GDP per capita, Human Development Index, and female education, yet also in countries with higher income and gender inequalities. Besides stressing the importance of female education, these findings underscore the key role of status concordance vs discordance in SSA partnerships. Tested micro-level mechanisms and country-level moderators only weakly explain result heterogeneity, calling for more research on the topic.
    Keywords: education, assortative mating, child discipline, parenting, status consistency, sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: I21 J12 J13 O12 O15 O57
    Date: 2023–09

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