Education

Christopher Rauh, Laëtitia Renée, 03 July 2022

Parental time invested in the early years has an outsized impact on a child’s future. But measuring the effects of different parenting styles remains an elusive task, in part because self-reported survey questions are susceptible to misreporting bias. This column uses unsupervised machine learning to measure parenting styles applied to a panel of Canadian children from age five months to just over two years. The topic model classifies parenting into two styles – warm and cold – and finds that children of ‘warm’ parents achieve higher cognitive and non-cognitive scores at later ages. 

Andrea Ichino, Aldo Rustichini, Giulio Zanella, 30 June 2022

Access to university has expanded significantly in the US and Europe over the last five decades, and plans for further growth figure prominently on many policy agendas. This column examines the enlargement of post-secondary education in the UK after 1970. The authors argue that expanding university access corresponded with a decline in both the average intelligence of graduates and the wage premium across cohorts. Those who benefited from the expansion were primarily less-intelligent students from advantaged socioeconomic backgrounds, not the high-ability students from disadvantaged backgrounds the policy was designed to reach. 

Jason Baron, Joshua Hyman, Brittany Vasquez, 04 June 2022

Policymakers often propose better funding for public schools as an early intervention to reduce adult crime, yet little causal evidence of its effectiveness exists. This column uses novel data on over one million students in Michigan to study this relationship, finding that greater school funding has a large causal effect on the likelihood of adult arrest. This is most likely driven by the positive effects of greater school funding on school quality, including better paid and more experienced teachers, and is not due to peer effects. The increase in school funding pays for itself, creating social benefits that exceed the cost. 

Alex Edmans, 27 May 2022

Alex Edmans asked this question in his keynote at the Financial Management Association Annual Meeting and offered some provocative answers. He tells Tim Phillips about passion, luck, originality, and the value of teaching.

Download the free DP and read more about the research behind this:
Edmans, A. 2021. 'The Purpose of a Finance Professor'.CEPR. 

Barbara Biasi, Song Ma, 23 May 2022

Higher education programmes are essential for innovation and economic growth. This column introduces the education–innovation gap, a metric that captures the distance between education content and the knowledge frontier. Among US higher education institutions, the education–innovation gap is significantly lower for courses taught by instructors who are more active in producing research. The gap is higher in schools with students from lower socioeconomic status. On average, exposure to frontier knowledge is associated with better student outcomes.

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