nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2024‒05‒13
six papers chosen by
Nádia Simões, Instituto Universitário de Lisboa 

  1. Parental and School Responses to Student Performance: Evidence from School Entry Rules By Fredriksson, Peter; Öckert, Björn; Tilley, J. Lucas
  2. The Extent and Consequences of Teacher Biases against Immigrants By Sahlström, Ellen; Silliman, Mikko
  3. The impact of unions on wages in the public sector: Evidence from higher education By Baker, Michael; Halberstam, Yosh; Kroft, Kory; Mas, Alexandre; Messacar, Derek
  4. Muddying the waters: How grade distributions change when university exams go online By Daniel Montolio; Zelda Brutti
  5. Teacher demand, teacher education, and teacher shortages. A new data set 1861-2024 for Norway By Torberg Falch; Bjarne Strøm
  6. Labor Market Effects of a Youth Summer Employment Program in Sweden By Knutsson, Daniel; Tyrefors, Björn

  1. By: Fredriksson, Peter (Uppsala University); Öckert, Björn (IFAU); Tilley, J. Lucas (Stockholm University)
    Abstract: We examine whether parental and school investments reinforce or compensate for student performance. Our analysis exploits school-starting-age rules in 34 countries, capturing achievement variation that arises because younger children typically underperform their older peers. Parents respond to lower performance by providing additional homework help, while schools allocate weaker students to smaller classes and offer more remedial tutoring. Notably, parents provide more support to low-performing children in nearly all countries studied. Compensatory investments increase over grade levels, suggesting parents and schools respond as information about achievement is revealed. Moreover, our evidence suggests that parental and school investments are substitutes.
    Keywords: human capital investment, parental inputs, school inputs, student performance, school starting age
    JEL: I21 I28 J24
    Date: 2024–04
  2. By: Sahlström, Ellen (Aalto University); Silliman, Mikko (Norwegian School of Economics)
    Abstract: We study the extent and consequences of biases against immigrants exhibited by high school teachers in Finland. Compared to native students, immigrant students receive 0.06 standard deviation units lower scores from teachers than from blind graders. This effect is almost entirely driven by grading penalties incurred by high-performing immigrant students and is largest in subjects where teachers have more discretion in grading. While teacher-assigned grades on the matriculation exam are not used for tertiary enrollment decisions, we show that immigrant students who attend schools with biased teachers are less likely to continue to higher education.
    Keywords: immigrants, discrimination, teachers, education policy
    JEL: I24 J15 J68
    Date: 2024–04
  3. By: Baker, Michael; Halberstam, Yosh; Kroft, Kory; Mas, Alexandre; Messacar, Derek
    Abstract: We study the effects of the unionization of faculty at Canadian universities from 1970-2022 using an event-study design. Using administrative data which covers the full universe of faculty salaries, we find strong evidence that unionization leads to both average salary gains and compression of the distribution of salaries. Our estimates indicate that salaries increase on average by 2 to over 5 percent over the first 6 years post unionization. These effects are driven largely by gains in the bottom half of the wage distribution with little evidence of any impact at the top end. Our evidence indicates that the wage effects are primarily concentrated in the first half of our sample period. We do not find any evidence of an impact on employment.
    Date: 2024
  4. By: Daniel Montolio (Universitat de Barcelona & IEB); Zelda Brutti (Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, Unit S.3 - CC-ME)
    Abstract: We analyse how grade distributions change when higher education evaluations transition online and disentangle the mechanisms that help to explain the change observed in students' results. We leverage administrative panel data, survey data and data on course plans from a large undergraduate degree at the University of Barcelona. We show that grade averages increase and their dispersion reduce. Changes are driven by students from the lower end of the performance distribution and by a reduction in the occurrence of fail grades; however, we do not find evidence for artificial `grade adjusting' to explain the phenomenon. We are also able to dismiss shifts in the composition of test takers, improvements in teaching quality or in learning experiences and increases in student engagement. While changes in the assessment formats employed do not appear to mediate the causal relationship between online evaluation and higher grades, we identify more dispersed evaluation opportunities and increased cheating as explanatory factors.
    Keywords: Higher Education; Online Education; Online Assessment; Administrative Data; Survey Data; Covid
    JEL: I23
    Date: 2024
  5. By: Torberg Falch (Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology); Bjarne Strøm (Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
    Abstract: This paper documents the construction of a historical data set for Norwegian compulsory education covering more than 160 years from 1861 to 2024. The data include the number of students and teachers, teacher shortages measured by the share of teachers without the formal qualifications determined by law, and the number of admitted students and graduates from teacher education institutions. In addition to the national time series, we also present panel data at the county level at a five-year frequency covering the period 1870-1935. The construction of the data series is based on a historical description of the development of the compulsory education system, including school finance and teacher wage-setting institutions, in addition to the system for teacher education. The School Act of 1860 required that teachers should have formal teacher education or similar qualifications in order to be appointed to permanent teaching positions. Variants of this rule have been a legal constraint since 1860. The data constructed in this paper provides the basis for more detailed empirical analyses of the relationship between teacher shortages, fluctuations in teacher demand, and teacher supply as determined by the number of graduates from teacher education institutions.
    Date: 2024–04–22
  6. By: Knutsson, Daniel (Orebro University School of Business); Tyrefors, Björn (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))
    Abstract: We evaluate a non-targeted summer youth employment program (SYEP) for high school students aged 16–19 in Stockholm, Sweden, where public sector job offers were as good as randomly assigned. In contrast to previous studies evaluating SYEP that targeted groups with lower socioeconomic status, we find substantial labor market effects but no effects on education, crime, or health outcomes. However, income is negatively affected except during the program year. The penalty increases in absolute terms but does not change much in relative terms over time. The penalty is consistently statistically significant and large just after high school graduation, but there are indications that the penalty attenuates at ages 24. The adverse effects are the largest for applicants not enrolled in an academic track, who are males, and with less educated mothers. Interestingly, the extensive margin (having a job) is not the critical factor. Instead, a SYEP job offer affects the probability of obtaining more qualified and full-time employment after high school graduation. We argue that receiving a program job leads to less private-sector labor market experience, provides a negative signal, and disrupts (private) labor market connections, which is vital for those seeking a job just after high school.
    Keywords: Labor market programs; Youth unemployment; Summer employment; Random list; SYEP
    JEL: J13 J21 J38 J45
    Date: 2024–03–06

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