Apart but Connected: Online Tutoring and Student Outcomes during the COVID-19 Pandemic

May 21, 2021
By:Carlana, MichelaLa Ferrara, Eliana
Abstract:In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the governments of most countries ordered the closure of schools, potentially exacerbating existing learning gaps. This paper evaluates the effectiveness of an intervention implemented in Italian middle schools that provides free individual tutoring online to disadvantaged students during lock-down. Tutors are university students who volunteer for 3 to 6 hours per week. They were randomly assigned to middle school students, from a list of potential beneficiaries compiled by school principals. Using original survey data collected from students, parents, teachers and tutors, we find that the program substantially increased students’ academic performance (by 0.26 SD on average) and that it significantly improved their socio-emotional skills, aspirations, and psychological well-being. Effects are stronger for children from lower socioeconomic status and, in the case of psychological well-being, for immigrant children.
JEL:I21 I24

A Policy Matrix for Inclusive Prosperity

May 21, 2021
By:Dani RodrikStefanie Stantcheva
Abstract:One of the biggest challenges that countries face today is the very unequal distributions of opportunities, resources, income and wealth across people. Inclusive prosperity – whereby many people from different backgrounds can benefit from economic growth, new technologies, and the fruits of globalization – remains elusive. To address these issues, societies face choices among many different policies and institutional arrangements to try to ensure a proper supply of productive jobs and activities, as well as access to education, financial means, and other endowments that prepare individuals for their participation in the economy. In this paper we offer a simple, organizing framework to think about policies for inclusive prosperity. We provide a comprehensive taxonomy of policies, distinguishing among the types of inequality they address and the stages of the economy where the intervention takes place. The taxonomy clarifies the differences among contending approaches to equity and inclusion and can help analysts assess the impacts and implications of different policies and identify potential gaps.
JEL:A1 E61 H2

Homophily, Peer Effects, and Dishonesty

May 21, 2021
By:Liza Charroin (Centre d’Economie de la Sorbonne – Université Paris 1); Bernard Fortin (Laval University (Québec), CIRPEE, CIRANO and IZA (Bonn)); Marie Claire Villeval (Université de Lyon, CNRS, GATE and IZA (Bonn))
Abstract:If individuals tend to behave like their peers, is it because of conformity, that is, the preference of people to align behavior with the behavior of their peers; homophily, that is, the tendency of people to bond with similar others; or both? We address this question in the context of an ethical dilemma. Using a peer effect model allowing for homophily, we designed a real-effort laboratory experiment in which individuals could misreport their performance to earn more. Our results reveal a preference for conformity and for homophily in the selection of peers, but only among participants who were cheating in isolation. The size of peer effects is similar when identical peers were randomly assigned and when they were selected by individuals. We thus jointly reject the presence of a self-selection bias in the peer effect estimates and of a link strength effect
Keywords:Peer Effects; Homophily; Dishonesty; Self-Selection Bias; Experiment
JEL:C92 D83 D85 D91

Twenty-year economic impacts of deworming.

May 19, 2021
By:Hamory, JoanMiguel, EdwardWalker, MichaelKremer, MichaelBaird, Sarah
Abstract:Estimating the impact of child health investments on adult living standards entails multiple methodological challenges, including the lack of experimental variation in health status, an inability to track individuals over time, and accurately measuring living standards and productivity in low-income settings. This study exploits a randomized school health intervention that provided deworming treatment to Kenyan children, and uses longitudinal data to estimate impacts on economic outcomes up to 20 y later. The effective respondent tracking rate was 84%. Individuals who received two to three additional years of childhood deworming experienced a 14% gain in consumption expenditures and 13% increase in hourly earnings. There are also shifts in sectors of residence and employment: treatment group individuals are 9% more likely to live in urban areas, and experience a 9% increase in nonagricultural work hours. Most effects are concentrated among males and older individuals. The observed consumption and earnings benefits, together with deworming’s low cost when distributed at scale, imply that a conservative estimate of its annualized social internal rate of return is 37%, a high return by any standard.
Keywords:Kenya, child health, deworming, long-run impacts

The Great COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout: Behavioral and Policy Responses

May 19, 2021
By:Auld, C.Toxvaerd, F.M.O.
Abstract:Using daily data on vaccinations, disease spread, and measures of social interaction from Google Mobility reports aggregated at the country level for 112 countries, we present estimates of behavioral responses to the global rollout of COVID-19 vaccines. We first estimate correlates of the timing and intensity of the vaccination rollout, finding that countries which vaccinated more of their population earlier strongly tended to be richer, whereas measures of the state of pandemic or its death toll up to the time of the initial vaccine rollout had little predictive ability after controlling for income. Estimates of models of social distancing and disease spread suggest that countries which vaccinated more quickly also experienced decreases in some measures of social distancing, yet also lower incidence of disease, and in these countries policy makers relaxed social distancing measures relative to countries which rolled out vaccinations more slowly
Keywords:Economic epidemiology, econometrics, COVID-19, vaccination
JEL:I12 C50

Hate Is Too Great a Burden to Bear: Hate Crimes and the Mental Health of Refugees

May 19, 2021
By:Daniel GraeberFelicitas Schikora
Abstract:Against a background of increasing violence against non-natives, we estimate the effect of hate crime on refugees’ mental health in Germany. For this purpose, we combine two datasets: administrative records on xenophobic crime against refugee shelters by the Federal Criminal Office and the IAB-BAMF-SOEP Survey of Refugees. We apply a regression discontinuity design in time to estimate the effect of interest. Our results indicate that hate crime has a substantial negative effect on several mental health indicators, including the Mental Component Summary score and the Patient Health Questionnaire-4 score. The effects are stronger for refugees with closer geographic proximity to the focal hate crime and refugees with low country-specific human capital. While the estimated effect is only transitory, we argue that negative mental health shocks during the critical period after arrival have important long-term consequences.
Keywords:Mental health, hate crime, migration, refugees, human capital
JEL:I10 J15 J24 F22 O15

Wage inequality and poverty effects of lockdown and social distancing in Europe

October 22, 2020

By:Juan C. Palomino (University of Oxford (UK), INET and Department of Social Policy and Intervention); Juan G. Rodríguez (Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain), EQUALITAS, ICAE and CEDESOG); Raquel Sebastian (Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain), EQUALITAS and ICAE)
Abstract:Social distancing and lockdown measures taken to contain the spread of COVID-19 may have distributional economic costs beyond the contraction of GDP. Here we evaluate the capacity of individuals to work under a lockdown based on a Lockdown Working Ability index which considers their teleworking capacity and whether their occupation is essential or closed. Our analysis reveals substantial and uneven potential wage losses across the distribution all around Europe and we consistently find that both poverty and wage inequality rise in all European countries. Under four different scenarios (2 months of lockdown and 2 months of lockdown plus 6 months of partial functioning of closed occupations at 80%, 70% and 60% of full capacity) we estimate for 29 European countries an average increase in the headcount poverty index that goes from 4.9 to 9.4 percentage points and a mean loss rate for poor workers between 10% and 16.2%. The average increase in the Gini coefficient ranges between 3.5% to 7.3% depending on the scenario considered. Decomposing overall wage inequality in Europe, we find that lockdown and social distance measures produce a double process of divergence: both inequality within and between countries increase.
Keywords:Wage inequality; Teleworking; Social distancing; Europe; COVID.
JEL:D33 E24 J21 J31

The Relationship between Subjective Wellbeing and Subjective Wellbeing Inequality: Taking Ordinality and Skewness Seriously

October 22, 2020

By:Arthur Grimes (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research); Stephen P. Jenkins (London School of Economics and Political Science, and IZA);Florencia Tranquilli (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research, and Victoria University of Wellington)
Abstract:We argue that the relationship between individual satisfaction with life (SWL) and SWL inequality is more complex than described by leading earlier research such as Goff, Helliwell, and Mayraz (Economic Inquiry, 2018). Using inequality indices appropriate for ordinal data, our analysis using the World Values Survey reveals that skewness of the SWL distribution, not only inequality, matters for individual SWL outcomes; so too does whether we look upwards or downwards at the (skewed) distribution. Our results are consistent with there being negative (positive) externalities for an individual’s SWL from seeing people who are low (high) in the SWL distribution.
Keywords:subjective wellbeing, ordinal data, inequality, skewness, WVS

The Adverse Effect of the COVID-19 Labor Market Shock on Immigrant Employment

July 22, 2020
By: Borjas, George J. (Harvard University); Cassidy, Hugh (Kansas State University)
Abstract: Employment rates in the United States fell dramatically between February 2020 and April 2020 as the initial repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic reverberated through the labor market. This paper uses data from the CPS Basic Monthly Files to document that the employment decline was particularly severe for immigrants. Historically, immigrant men were more likely to be employed than native men. The COVID-related labor market disruptions eliminated the immigrant employment advantage. By April 2020, immigrant men had lower employment rates than native men. The reversal occurred both because the rate of job loss for at-work immigrant men rose relative to that of natives, and because the rate at which out-of-work immigrants could find jobs fell relative to the native job-finding rate. A small part of the relative increase in the immigrant rate of job loss arises because immigrants were less likely to work in jobs that could be performed remotely and suffered disparate employment consequences as the lockdown permitted workers with more “remotable” skills to continue their work from home.
Keywords: immigration, labor supply, COVID-19
JEL: J21 J61
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp13277&r=ltv


Non Cognitive Skills and Childcare Attendance

July 22, 2020
By: Daniela Del BocaEnrica Maria MartinoChiara Pronzato
Abstract: While several studies have explored the determinants of cognitive outcomes, this paper focuses on non-cognitive skills, for which there is less empirical evidence. Non- cognitive skills have been recognized as important determinants of cognitive skills and later life outcomes. We analyze the impact of attending formal childcare at ages 0-2 on attitudes toward schooling and on the social behavior of children at the end of their first year of primary school and at the end of high school. We find that attendance of childcare significantly improves school readiness and social behavior in elementary school but the impact disappears in high school. The e ects are more beneficial for boys and for children of mothers with lower educational attainment and of fathers in low-level occupations. In addition, we find that formal childcare attendance enhances the social behavior of children without siblings and improves attitudes toward school of children with siblings.
Keywords: non-cognitive ability, child development, childcare
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:cca:wchild:79&r=ltv