nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2023‒11‒06
nine papers chosen by
Nádia Simões, Instituto Universitário de Lisboa 

  1. Starting the School Year on the Right Foot. Effects of a Summer Learning Program Targeting Vulnerable Students in Italy By Azzolini, Davide; Bazzoli, Martina; Burlacu, Sergiu; Rettore, Enrico
  2. More Education Does Make You Happier – Unless You Are Unemployed By Bertermann, Alexander; Kamhöfer, Daniel A.; Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah
  3. The impact of family background on educational attainment in Dutch birth cohorts 1966-1995 By Tilbe Atav; Cornelius A. Rietveld; Hans van Kippersluis
  4. Good Schools or Good Students?: Evidence on School Effects from Universal Random Assignment of Students to High Schools By Cristia, Julian P.; Bastos, Paulo; Beomsoo, Kim; Malamud, Ofer
  5. Unintended Consequences of Youth Entrepreneurship Programs: Experimental Evidence from Rwanda By Blimpo, Moussa P.; Pugatch, Todd
  6. Spillovers in Fields of Study: Siblings, Cousins, and Neighbors By Stanislav Avdeev; Nadine Ketel; Hessel Oosterbeek; Bas van der Klaauw
  7. No Revenge for Nerds? Evaluating the Careers of Ivy League Athletes By Natee Amornsiripanitch; Paul Gompers; George Hu; Will Levinson; Vladimir Mukharlyamov
  8. The Relationship between Child Marriage and Female Educational Attainment in India By Duggal, Khushi
  9. Intergenerational Transmission of Inequality: Maternal Endowments, Investments, and Birth Outcomes By Sadegh Eshaghnia; James J. Heckman

  1. By: Azzolini, Davide (FBK-IRVAPP); Bazzoli, Martina (FBK-IRVAPP); Burlacu, Sergiu (FBK-IRVAPP); Rettore, Enrico (University of Padova)
    Abstract: We conducted a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the impact of a summer learning program for vulnerable students across ten cities in Italy (N=1, 038). The program had two components: educational workshops in small groups (88 hours) and personalized tutoring (12 hours). Results indicate significant improvements in reading comprehension and marginally in grammar. Improvements in arithmetic and geometry are smaller albeit significant when aggregated into a single mathematics score. Effects were most pronounced among primary school students and among students with special needs or from vulnerable environments. The program compensated for summer learning loss, as treatment group students returned to school in September with higher learning levels than before the summer, while the control group experienced learning setbacks, predominantly in mathematics. While the study clearly shows that students start the new year with a higher level of competencies, it does not definitively establish the lasting impact of these effects. An explorative analysis of noncognitive skills provides conflicting insights: an increase in students' interest in acquiring new competencies suggests potential enduring effects, but the emergence of dissatisfaction with traditional school activities and heightened school-related stress raises concerns about reduced engagement with conventional schooling.
    Keywords: summer learning loss, achievement gap, field experiment, metropolitan suburbs
    JEL: I24
    Date: 2023–10
  2. By: Bertermann, Alexander (LMU Munich); Kamhöfer, Daniel A. (Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf); Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah (Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the causal effect of education on life satisfaction, exploring effect heterogeneity along employment status. We use exogenous variation in compulsory schooling requirements and the build-up of new, academically more demanding schools, shifting educational attainment along the entire distribution of schooling. Leveraging plant closures and longitudinal information, we also address the endogeneity of employment status. We find a positive effect of education on life satisfaction for employed individuals, but a negative one for those without a job. We propose an aspiration-augmented utility function as a unifying explanation for the asymmetric effect of education on life satisfaction.
    Keywords: education, life satisfaction, employment status, compulsory schooling reforms, school openings, instrumental variable estimation
    JEL: I26 I31 C26
    Date: 2023–09
  3. By: Tilbe Atav (Erasmus University Rotterdam); Cornelius A. Rietveld (Erasmus University Rotterdam); Hans van Kippersluis (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
    Abstract: We analyse the evolving impact of family background on educational attainment using administrative data on 2, 417, 460 individuals from 1, 341, 403 families born in the Netherlands between 1966 and 1995. Comparisons between parents and their children reveal intergenerational elasticities between 0.15-0.18, translating into a 1.8-2.2 month increase in the educational attainment of the child associated with a one- year increase in the educational attainment of the parent. Correlations between regular siblings explain 33 percent of the variance in educational attainment between individuals, with parental education accounting for approximately 75 percent of this share, suggesting that only around one-fourth of the variance is explained by factors that do not correlate with parental education. Strikingly, despite pervasive changes in the distribution of educational attainment over time, the share of the variance attributable to factors shared by siblings remains fairly stable at around 0.34 in the birth cohorts analysed. The intergenerational elasticity and intergenerational correlation also appear to be roughly stable across cohorts. Despite a reduction in overall education inequality, we conclude that family background has remained equally important for educational attainment in the analysed generations, although it appears to vary systematically by region of birth.
    Keywords: Relative correlations, intergenerational mobility, educational attainment
    JEL: D10 I24 J10 J62
    Date: 2023–10–12
  4. By: Cristia, Julian P.; Bastos, Paulo; Beomsoo, Kim; Malamud, Ofer
    Abstract: How much do schools differ in their effectiveness? Recent studies that seek to answer this question account for student sorting using random assignment generated by central allocation mechanisms or oversubscribed schools. However, the resulting estimates, while causal, may also reflect peer effects due to differences in peer quality of non-randomized students. We exploit universal random assignment of students to high schools in certain areas of South Korea to provide estimates of school effects that may better reflect the effects of school practices. We find significant effects of schools on scores in high-stakes college entrance exams: a 1 standard deviation increase in school quality leads to 0.06-0.08 standard deviations higher average academic achievement in Korean and English languages. Analogous estimates from areas of South Korea that do not use random assignment, and therefore include the effects of student sorting and peer effects, are substantially higher.
    Keywords: School effects;Universal random assignment;Peer effects;School inputs
    JEL: I21 J24
    Date: 2022–07
  5. By: Blimpo, Moussa P.; Pugatch, Todd
    Abstract: The persistently high employment share of the informal sector makes entrepreneurship a necessity for youth in many developing countries. We exploit exogenous variation in the implementation of Rwanda's entrepreneurship education reform in secondary schools to evaluate its effect on student economic outcomes up to three years after graduation. Using a randomized controlled trial, we evaluated a three-year intensive training for entrepreneurship teachers, finding pedagogical changes as intended and increased entrepreneurial activity among students. In this paper, we tracked students following graduation and found that increased entrepreneurship persisted one year later, in 2019. Students from treated schools were six percentage points more likely to be entrepreneurs, an increase of 19 percent over the control mean. However, gains in entrepreneurship faded after three years, in 2021. Employment was six percentage points lower in the treatment group. By some measures, income and profits were lower in the treatment group, with no robust differences in these outcomes overall. Lower incomes and profits were concentrated among marginal students induced into entrepreneurship by the program. Youth entrepreneurship programs may therefore steer some participants away from their comparative advantage. Nonetheless, the program increased university enrollment, suggesting the potential for higher long run returns.
    Keywords: entrepreneurship education, youth employment, secondary school, pedagogy, randomized controlled trials, Rwanda
    JEL: I25 I26 I28 J24 O12 O15
    Date: 2023
  6. By: Stanislav Avdeev (University of Amsterdam); Nadine Ketel (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); Hessel Oosterbeek (University of Amsterdam); Bas van der Klaauw (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: 2023–10–12
  7. By: Natee Amornsiripanitch; Paul Gompers; George Hu; Will Levinson; Vladimir Mukharlyamov
    Abstract: This paper compares the careers of Ivy League athletes to those of their non-athlete classmates. Combining team-level information on all Ivy League athletes from 1970 to 2021 with resume data for all Ivy League graduates, we examine both post-graduate education and career choices as well as career outcomes. In terms of industry choice, athletes are far more likely to go into business and Finance related jobs than their non-athlete classmates. In terms of advanced degrees, Ivy League athletes are more likely to get an MBA and to receive it from an elite program, although they are less likely to pursue an M.D., a Ph.D., or an advanced STEM degree. In terms of career outcomes, we find that Ivy League athletes outperform their non-athlete counterparts in the labor market. Athletes attain higher terminal wages and earn cumulatively more than non-athletes over the course of their careers controlling for school, graduation year, major, and first job. In addition, they attain more senior positions in the organizations they join. We also find that athletes from more socioeconomically diverse sports teams and from teams that have lower academic admissions thresholds have higher career outcomes than non-athletes. Collectively, our results suggest that non-academic human capital developed through athletic participation is valued in the labor market and may support the role that prior athletic achievement plays in admissions at elite colleges.
    JEL: J0 J01 J08 J24 J30 J32 J38
    Date: 2023–10
  8. By: Duggal, Khushi (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: Child marriage remains a prevalent practice in many countries around the world and can detrimentally affect various life outcomes for young women and girls. Using data from the India Human Development Survey (IHDS-II), this paper explores the relationship between early marriage and the educational attainment of Indian women. The study uses age of menarche as an instrumental variable to isolate the causal effect of marriage timing, with results indicating that each additional year that marriage is delayed is associated with 0.32 additional years of schooling and a 1.9 percentage-point increase in literacy. The findings highlight the lack of regulation of current marriage laws and the need for stringent enforcement, rather than the Indian government’s current aims to increase the legal age of marriage for women further. In addition, this study also conducts heterogeneity analysis to determine the possible benefit of this policy recommendation across different residence types, as well as estimates the effect of marriage timing on secondary outcomes.
    Keywords: Child marriage ; Early marriage ; Education ; Schooling ; India JEL classifications: I21 ; J12
    Date: 2023
  9. By: Sadegh Eshaghnia; James J. Heckman
    Abstract: Newborn health is an important component in the chain of intergenerational transmission of disadvantage. This paper contributes to the literature on the determinants of health at birth in two ways. First, we analyze the role of maternal endowments and investments (education and smoking in pregnancy) on the probability of having a baby who is small for gestational age (SGA). We estimate both the total impact of maternal endowments on birth outcomes, and we also decompose it into a direct, “biological” effect and a “choice” effect, mediated by maternal behaviors. Second, we estimate the causal effects of maternal education and smoking in pregnancy, and investigate whether women endowed with different traits have different returns. We find that maternal cognition affects birth outcomes primarily through maternal education, that personality traits mainly operate by changing maternal smoking, and that the physical fitness of the mother has a direct, “biological” effect on SGA. We find significant heterogeneity in the effects of education and smoking along the distribution of maternal physical traits, suggesting that women with less healthy physical constitutions should be the primary target of prenatal interventions.
    JEL: I12 I14 J24
    Date: 2023–10

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