Category Archives: Economics of Education

Slow degrees, school vs jail, and cash 4 class

Three new economics papers offer interesting findings on important facets of education policy. Increasing Time to Baccalaureate Degree in the United States by John Bound, Michael Lovenheim, Sarah Turner Time to completion of the baccalaureate degree has increased markedly in … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education | 3 Comments

Mexican antipoverty program might work in the US too

Don Arthur alerts me to a new report from MDRC (the organisation that administers many of the US randomised trials) on Opportunity NYC, a conditional cash transfer program in New York city that’s based loosely on the Mexican Progresa/Oportunidades program. … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education, Economics of the Family, Health economics | 1 Comment

Home Computers and Human Capital

Some Romanian evidence on the vexed question of how home computers impact children’s learning. Home Computer Use and the Development of Human Capital (gated stable link, ungated unstable link) Ofer Malamud and Cristian Pop-Eleches This paper uses a regression discontinuity … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education

Mind the Gap?

My AFR op-ed today is on the economics and philosophy of inequality. Full text over the fold. I’ve hyperlinked the cited studies. Two others that I can also heartily recommend are a paper by Gary Burtless & Christopher Jencks, and … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education, Inequality, Low Wage Work | 8 Comments

A randomised trial of mentoring programs for female faculty

A new US randomised trial suggests that mentoring programs can have surprisingly large effects: Can Mentoring Help Female Assistant Professors? Interim Results from a Randomized Trial (unstable ungated link, stable gated link) Francine D. Blau, Janet M. Currie, Rachel T.A. … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education, Universities | 1 Comment

Now there’s an idea people should copy

Most of the time, low-cost interventions have barely any impact. So it’s refreshing occasionally to read about small things that make big differences, particularly when the results come from a rigorous randomised trial. From the Dee-Jacob economics of education factory… … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education

Value-Added NAPLANs?

On the eve of public reporting of NAPLAN tests throughout Australia, Ben Jensen (ex-OECD, now running the education program at the Grattan Institute) has a new report on the topic. His key argument is for value-added scores (which will be … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education | 1 Comment

Do big uni classes hurt students?

I’ve written in the past about the close-to-zero impacts of class size on school students’ performance (at least once classes are below 30). But what about huge university classes? I stumbled today across a new UK study that finds effects, … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education, Universities | 4 Comments

Do school teachers send their children to government schools?

I’ve often wondered whether teachers more or less likely to send their children to private schools, and in surfing through back issues of the Australian Education Researcher, I found at least a partial answer. A 2008 paper by Helen Proctor, … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education | 5 Comments

The most sobering sentence I’ve read this week

From the NYT: “We’ve got to figure out how to break the cycle of poverty, and the way we’re doing it now isn’t working,” said Hank M. Bounds, the Mississippi commissioner of higher education and, until recently, the state superintendent … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education, Economics of the Family, Inequality | 3 Comments

What Should we Teach Teachers?

A couple of new articles on teacher training: Charter school founders create a new ‘Teacher U’ The ongoing influence of Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed in conventional university teacher education curricula A great piece from The Atlantic on Teach … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education

Merit Pay Effects

For the most part, economics analyses of merit pay programs (with either individual or group incentives) have tended to find positive effects. So it’s interesting to see a new study by Pedro Martins using data from Portugal that observes the … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education | 1 Comment

Tax and Skills

Earlier this year, the Henry tax review (aka AFTS) commissioned me to write a paper on the tax treatment of education. They’ve now posted it on their website. Here’s the executive summary (click on the title for the full paper). … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education, Tax | 1 Comment

Radical Hope: A Response

In October, Noel Pearson wrote a Quarterly Essay on Indigenous education titled “Radical Hope: Education and Equality in Australia”. In the December issue, I have a letter published in response. Full text over the fold.

Posted in Economics of Education, Indigenous Policy, Randomisation | 2 Comments

Tantrums and Child Care

Chikako Yamauchi and I have a new paper out this week on the impacts of child care. Abstract below (click on the title for the full paper). Which Children Benefit From Non-Parental Care? Andrew Leigh & Chikako Yamauchi Although the … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education, Economics of the Family | 1 Comment

Fewer children left behind

My AFR oped today (competing with the ascendancy of a certain ex-monk), is on the impact of US school reforms on student achievement. Full text over the fold.

Posted in Economics of Education

Ed Links

Some new education-related links: David Brooks on the willingness of the Obama-Duncan team to push radical school reform Elena Silva on re-organising teachers’ work to make schools more effective (use of teams, integrating on-the-job training, removing needless admin tasks). Andrew … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education

The unkindest cut

My AFR op-ed today is on education and the economic “downturn” (formerly known as the Australian recession). Full text over the fold, along with all the usual hyperlinks. Much thanks (but no responsibility) to Andrew Norton, who helped me understand … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education, Macroeconomics, Universities | 3 Comments

Conference on Intergenerational Mobility

On Monday 30 November, I’m running a conference at ANU on ‘The Economics of Intergenerational Mobility’. This is an area I’ve been interested in since 2007, when I wrote what I’m pretty sure was the first paper estimating the intergenerational … Continue reading

Posted in Development Economics, Econometrics, Economics of Education, Economics of the Family, Health economics, Inequality, Labour Economics, Tax

Time to take your daughter to the casino

My colleague Alison Booth has an article in VoxEU on gender, risk and competition (I blogged on part of this research agenda recently). Some snippets. Gender differences in risk aversion and competition, it is sometimes argued, may help explain some … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education, Economics of the Family, Labour Economics | 1 Comment

Fair Merit Pay Schemes, Part IX

(xposted @ Core) One of the most rigorous studies of teacher merit pay has just reported its two-year results. The findings look pretty convincing, and the researchers don’t seem to have found much support for the kinds of perverse impacts … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education | 2 Comments

Perry Goes to Dublin

On the topic of randomised social policy trials, UCD Dublin’s Professor Colm Harmon draws my attention to a symposium on evidence-based policy in Ireland (proceedings here), and a new randomised trial of early childhood intervention that’s now afoot. Details over … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education, Randomisation

Do Teachers Matter?

A psychology study hit the headlines last Friday under the banner ‘Teacher quality makes little difference, study shows’.

Posted in Economics of Education | 5 Comments

The Other Idiot Box, Part II

One of our ANU RSSS visitors, Jacob Vigdor, has an opinion piece in today’s Australian about the (negative) impact of home computer use on test scores. He writes: Why should we believe, though, that the true effects are negative? The … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education | 3 Comments

Wryside Economics of Education

My second Wryside Economics talk on ABC Radio National Life Matters today was on two big issues in the economics of education – conditional cash transfers and class size reductions. If you’re interested, you can download it here.

Posted in Economics of Education

More Evidence on Cash 4 Class

A recent randomised evaluation from Wisconsin has potential application to the debate over Australian proposals to link school attendance to income support. Conditional Cash Penalties in Education: Evidence from the Learnfare Experiment (stable link, ungated link) by Thomas Dee Wisconsin’s … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education, Inequality | 2 Comments

The Practical Tradeoff Between Class Size and Teacher Quality

My AFR oped today is on class size and teacher quality. Full text over the fold (with hyperlinks for anyone who wants more detail on the research).

Posted in Economics of Education | 5 Comments

Educational Catchup Downunder

A wonderfully ambitious paper just published in the new Journal of Human Capital combines school enrollment data and demographic tables to estimate educational attainment rates for 74 countries over the period 1870-2010. Here’s the abstract. The Century of Education (published … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education, Inequality | 3 Comments

Teachers Talk

The OECD’s new TALIS teacher survey looks to have some interesting findings. Press release over the fold. (HT: Nicholas Gruen)

Posted in Economics of Education | 3 Comments

Girls at single-sex schools are more competitive

I’m slow in posting about this, but my colleague Alison Booth is doing some very interesting research on single-sex schooling. From a recent writeup in the Age: Going to a single-sex school makes teenage girls more competitive than if they … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education | 1 Comment