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Pennsylvania Convention Center, 202-A
American Economic Association
Investment in Education
Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
- Chair: Bhash Mazumder, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
Intergenerational Effects of Education on Risky Health Behaviours and Long-Term Health
AbstractThis paper estimates the causal effects of parental education on their children's risky health behaviours and health status. I study the intergenerational effects of a compulsory schooling reform in Germany after World War II. Implemented across federal states at different points in time, the reform increased the minimum number of school years from eight to nine. Instrumental variable estimates and difference-in-differences estimates reveal that increases in maternal schooling reduce children's probability to smoke and to be overweight in adolescence. The effects persist into adulthood, reducing chronic conditions that often result from unhealthy lifestyles. No such effects can be identified for paternal education. Increased investments in children's education and improvements in their peer environment early in life are important for explaining the effects. Changes in family income, family stability, fertility and parental health-related behaviours are less relevant empirically. The intergenerational effects of education on health and health-related behaviours exceed the direct effects. Studies neglecting the intergenerational perspective substantially understate the full causal effects.
The Intergenerational Transmission of Math Culture
AbstractWe study the relationship between three different aspects of math attitude and children's scores accounting for the endogeneity problem that arises when studying attitude and performance. The first aspect we investigate is the parental belief about the importance of math for the future of children in terms of placement in the job market (parental attitude). The second is the student belief that making an effort in mathematics is worth it because it is an useful instrument to find a good job (student instrumental motivation). The third is the student math anxiety. We instrument math attitude with the fact that one of the member of the student's family is working in a math-related career. Our results show that an increase of 1 standard deviation in the parental attitude increases the student performance by more than 40 score points, an increase of 1 standard deviation in the student instrumental motivation increases her score by more than 60 score points, and a decrease of 1 standard deviation in anxiety increases her performance by more than 100 score points. These are large effects, considering that the equivalent of one year of schooling is 40 score points.
A Global Data Set on Educational Quality (1965-2015)
AbstractThis paper presents the largest globally comparable panel database of education quality. Our database includes 163 countries and regions from 1965-2015, a 50-year period. We construct globally comparable achievement outcomes by linking standardized, psychometrically-robust international and regional achievement tests (PISA, TIMSS, SACMEQ, LLECE, PIRLS, PASEC). We contribute to the literature in the following ways: (1) this is the largest and most current globally comparable dataset, covering more than 90 percent of the global population; (2) this dataset includes 100 developing areas and the most developing countries included in such a dataset to date - the countries who have the most to gain from the potential benefits of a high-quality education; (3) this dataset contains credible measures of globally comparable achievement distributions as well as mean scores; (4) this dataset uses multiple methods to link assessments, including mean and percentile linking methods, thus enhancing robustness of the dataset; (5) we include standard errors for our estimates, enabling explicit quantification of the degree of reliability of each estimate; and (6) this dataset can be disaggregated across gender, socioeconomic status, rural/urban, language, and immigration status, thus enabling greater precision and equity analysis. A first analysis of this dataset reveals a few important trends: learning outcomes in developing countries are often clustered at the bottom of a global scale; although variation in performance is high in developing countries, the top performers still often perform worse than the bottom performers in developed countries; gender gaps are relatively small, with high variation in the direction of the gap; and distributions reveal meaningfully different trends than mean scores, with less than 50 percent of students reaching the global minimum threshold of proficiency in developing countries relative to 86 percent in developed countries. We also find a positive and significant association between educational achievement and economic growth. This dataset can be used to benchmark global progress on education quality, as well as to uncover potential drivers of education quality, growth and development.
- I2 - Education and Research Institutions