nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2023‒11‒27
six papers chosen by
Nádia Simões, Instituto Universitário de Lisboa 

  1. Free to Improve? The Impact of Free School Attendance in England By Bertoni, Marco; Heller-Sahlgren, Gabriel; Silva, Olma
  2. Do opportunities for low-income students at top colleges promote academic success? Evidence from Colombia's Ser Pilo Paga program By Penney, Jeffrey; Lehrer, Steven F.; Bernal, Gloria L.; Reyes, Luis Carlos
  3. Parental Love Is Not Blind: Identifying Selection into Early School Start By Ainoa Aparicio Fenoll; Nadia Campaniello; Ignacio Monzón
  4. Instrumenting the Effect of Terrorism on Education in Kenya By Alfano, Marco; Goerlach, Joseph-Simon
  5. The Long-Term Impact of Energy Poverty and Its Mitigation on Educational Attainment: Evidence From China By Yervand Martirosyan
  6. A Study on Regional Return to Education in South Korea: Comparison of Male and Female Wages By JongSoo Lee; Bit Na Choi

  1. By: Bertoni, Marco (University of Padova and IZA-Bonn); Heller-Sahlgren, Gabriel (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Silva, Olma (LSE and IZA-Bonn)
    Abstract: We investigate the impact of attending a free school in England – that is, a new start-up school that enjoys considerable autonomy while remaining in the state sector. We analyse the effects of two secondary free schools with different teaching philosophies: one follows a ‘no excuse’ paradigm, while the other one adopts a ‘classical liberal’, knowledge-rich approach. We establish causal effects exploiting admission lotteries and a distance-based regression discontinuity design. Both schools have a strong positive impact on student test scores on average. However, we also find heterogeneous effects: the ‘no excuse’ school mostly benefits boys, while the ‘classical liberal’ school mainly benefits White British and non-poor students. Both schools similarly reduce student absences and school mobility. Peer quality, teacher characteristics, and inspectorate ratings cannot fully explain the schools’ effectiveness. Instead, a quantitative text analysis of the schools’ ‘vision and ethos’ statements shows that the ‘no excuse’ and ‘classical liberal’ philosophies adopted by the two free schools clearly set them apart from the counterfactual schools where rejected applicants enrol, and likely explain their heterogeneous effects.
    Keywords: School autonomy; Quasi-markets; Free schools; Achievement
    JEL: I21 I24 I28
    Date: 2023–10–30
  2. By: Penney, Jeffrey; Lehrer, Steven F.; Bernal, Gloria L.; Reyes, Luis Carlos
    Abstract: In 2014, the government of Colombia launched a unique meanstested and merit-based scholarship program called Ser Pilo Paga. We examine the effects of this scholarship on student performance on the country's university exit exam and other educational outcomes. Exploiting thresholds for socioeconomic status and test score performance on the high school exit exam for Ser Pilo Paga eligibility using a multi-score fuzzy regression discontinuity design, we find that the scholarship's effects on test scores to be quite limited in most cases. However, recipients of the scholarship do exhibit significant differences in enrollment, persistence, and test taking behaviour compared to non-recipients.
    Keywords: Colombia, Saber Pro, scholarships, Ser Pilo Paga, test scores
    JEL: I22 I23 I28
    Date: 2023
  3. By: Ainoa Aparicio Fenoll (University of Turin/Collegio Carlo Alberto); Nadia Campaniello (University of Turin/Collegio Carlo Alberto); Ignacio Monzón (University of Turin/Collegio Carlo Alberto)
    Abstract: Do parents take into account their children’s ability when deciding on their education? If so, are parents’ perceptions accurate? We study this by analyzing a key educational decision. Parents choose whether their children start elementary school one year early. Do they select high ability kids to start early? We propose a novel methodology to identify the sign and strength of selection into early starting. We find robust evidence of positive selection. Had they started regularly, early starters would have obtained test scores 0.2 standard deviations higher than the average student. Our simple methodology applies to RDD settings in general
    Keywords: School starting age; Selection; Children; Education; Treatment effects
    JEL: I24 C21 J13
    Date: 2023–11
  4. By: Alfano, Marco (Lancaster University); Goerlach, Joseph-Simon (Bocconi University)
    Abstract: This paper estimates the effect of exposure to terrorist violence on education. Since terrorists may choose targets endogenously, we construct a set of novel instruments. To that end, we leverage exogenous variation from a local terrorist group's revenues and its affiliation with al-Qaeda. Across several Kenyan datasets we find that attacks suppress school enrolment more than predicted by difference-in-differences-type estimators. This indicates that terrorists target areas experiencing unobserved, positive shocks. Evidence suggests fears and concerns as mechanisms of impact, rather than educational supply.
    Keywords: conflict, education, instrumental variables
    JEL: D74 I25 O15
    Date: 2023–10
  5. By: Yervand Martirosyan
    Abstract: Existing studies demonstrate the short-run connection between environmental conditions and academic performance. However, the long-term effects of exposure to adverse living conditions on academic achievement remain underexplored. This study investigates the long-term impact of energy poverty, and policy interventions aimed at alleviating it, on the academic performance of Chinese schoolchildren starting from infancy. It specifically utilizes the Huai River Policy, which provides free winter heating exclusively to northern regions in China but not to adjacent southern regions. My findings suggest a significant positive influence of winter heating on schoolchildren’s academic performance, with a more pronounced effect for children born during winter months. The insights gained from this research could inform policy debates to enhance educational outcomes and human well-being.
    Keywords: energy poverty, academic performance, climate
    JEL: I24 I25 Q51 Q54 Q58
    Date: 2023–08
  6. By: JongSoo Lee (Department of Economics, University of Kansas); Bit Na Choi (The Department of Mathematics and Statistics, The University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire)
    Abstract: This study examined the return to education in South Korea between metropolitan areas and non-metropolitan areas. In doing so, we used the Korean Labor and Income Panel Study 2018 and 2019 using the Mincer equation with fixed effects. We find that female workers' return to education was higher than male workers. In metropolitan areas, male workers' return to education was 5.4%, and female workers' return to education was 8.1%, while, in non-metropolitan areas, male workers' return to education was 5.4%, and female workers' return to education was 9.0%. Using the Oaxaca decomposition method, we find that private academies increase differential treatment between men and women while public education decreases the gap. RDD method shows that, in the non-metropolitan area, the income difference between respondents who went to universities and those who did not was more significant than in the metropolitan area. It suggests that by region the university premium is significantly different.
    Keywords: Human capital, Regional return to education, Oaxaca decomposition, Regression discontinuity design.
    JEL: E24 I26
    Date: 2023–11

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