Publications

Publications

“Public funding of higher education: who gains, who loses?”

Balcão Reis, A. (Accepted/In press). Public funding of higher education: who gains, who loses? International Journal of Economic Theory.

Summary: This paper analyses the effects of public funding of higher education on individuals’ welfare, taking into account the hierarchical nature of the education system and the fact that parents may complement basic public education with private tutoring. Although public funding financed by a proportional income tax increases access to higher education, some of the agents who gain access lose in welfare terms. Moreover, it is shown that the marginal agent regarding access to higher education would always prefer a pure private funding system in which he would not send his offspring to higher education but would also not pay tuition fees or pay taxes.

Published article: https://doi.org/10.1111/ijet.12176

 

“Predictors of student success in Higher Education: Secondary school internal scores versus national exams”

José Miguel Cerdeira, Luís Catela Nunes, Ana Balcão Reis, Carmo Seabra. 2018. “Predictors of student success in Higher Education: Secondary school internal scores versus national exams”. Higher Education Quarterly, forthcome.

Summary: In many countries, entrance to Higher Education is determined by the performance of students in secondary school and/or the scores obtained in national exams. The relative weight of these two scores on the admission decision is a relevant policy topic, given its implication on who is admitted to university. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relative predictive power of these two measures on the academic performance of students in Higher Education. It makes use of a dataset of Bachelor students from Portuguese Higher Education institutions with detailed information about their characteristics and past achievement results. The measure of academic achievement considered is the Bachelor’s final average score. The main finding is that the scores given by teachers in secondary school are better predictors of subsequent performance than the access exam scores. The relevance of factors like working status, social support and gender vary with the reputation of the degree and the type of Higher Education institution, university versus polytechnic. A noteworthy result is that the added predictive contribution of parents’ education is always negligible when past success measures are already taken into account.

Published article: http://doi.org/10.1111/hequ.12158

 

“Is retention beneficial to low-achieving students? Evidence from Portugal”

Luís Catela Nunes, Ana Balcão Reis, Carmo Seabra. 2018. “Is retention beneficial to low-achieving students? Evidence from Portugal”. Applied Economics, 50(40), pp.4306-4317.

Summary: The role of retention as an educational tool to overcome under-achievement is a hotly debated issue, especially given that the results in the literature are not consensual. The Portuguese case is particularly well suited to study this issue: all students must take standardized national exams at specific grades. Moreover, the available dataset tracks the performance of students over time. Therefore, we are able to measure the impact of students’ retention on their subsequent academic performance since we can control each student’s initial level of ability at the moment of retention. We use a propensity score matching approach, in which retained and promoted 4th-grade students are matched according to their socioeconomic characteristics and the scores obtained in national exams. To address potentially remaining endogeneity biases, we also use the culture of retention at school level as an instrumental variable. The results suggest that in some situations, retention may have, on average, a positive impact on future achievement. However, in cases where statistically significant impacts are found, the estimated magnitudes are relatively small. Our results are relevant for countries with high retention rates that are considering alternative educational policies to promote students’ achievement.

Published article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00036846.2018.1444261

“Correcting for sample problems in PISA and the improvement in Portuguese students’ performance”

Pedro Feitas, Luís Catela Nunes, Ana Balcão Reis, Carmo Seabra, Adriana Ferro. 2016. “Correcting for sample problems in PISA and the improvement in Portuguese students’ performance”. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 23(4), 456-472.

Summary: The results of large-scale international assessments such as Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) have attracted considerable attention worldwide and are often used by policy-makers to support educational policies. To ensure that the published results represent the actual population, these surveys go through thorough scrutiny to ensure their validity. One important issue that may affect the results is the occurrence of different participation rates across groups with heterogeneous average student scores. In this study, it is illustrated how problems of representativeness of the samples may be corrected by the use of post-stratified weights. It was used the case of Portugal, a country where it is uncovered a meaningful difference between the actual population and the PISA samples in terms of the distribution of students per grade and track of studies. It is showed that after post-stratification, the temporal evolution of the PISA scores is quite different from the one reported.

Published article: https://doi.org/10.1080/0969594X.2015.1105784


“Measuring labour mismatch in Europe”

Morgado, A., Sequeira, T.N., Santos, M., Ferreira-Lopes, A., Reis, A.B. 2016. “Measuring labour mismatch in Europe”. Social Indicators Research, 129 (1), 161-179.

Summary: This paper calculates aggregate and comparable measures of mismatch in the labor market for 30 European countries. These indicators measure vertical mismatch (related to the level of education, e.g. overeducation, and undereducation) and horizontal mismatch (related to the field of education) and are comparable across countries and through time. In European countries, between 15 % to nearly 35 % of workers have a job for which they have more (or less) qualifications than the usual level. Approximately 20 % to nearly 50 % work in a job for which they do not have the usual field qualification. There is a great variability on mismatch across European labor markets. Undereducation affects more workers than overeducation in most European countries. Low correlations between mismatch and unemployment indicate that mismatch should be regarded as an additional informative variable, thus useful to characterize labor markets.

Published article: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-015-1097-0

“The publication of school rankings: a step toward increased accountability?”

Luís Catela Nunes, Ana Balcão Reis, Carmo Seabra. 2015. “The publication of school rankings: A step toward increased accountability?”. Economics of Education Review, 49, 15-23.

Summary: This paper contributes to the discussion of the effects of the publication of school rankings based on students’ scores on national exams. It studies the effectiveness of this (low-stakes) accountability mechanism. The results suggest that the publication of rankings has clear effects upon families and schools in Portugal. After the publication of the rankings, fewer students enroll in schools that are rated poorly, and the probability of closure of these schools increases. These effects are stronger for private schools.

Published article:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.econedurev.2015.07.008

 

The school and the students’ performance – “School Rankings: the impact on public and private schools”

Ana Balcão Reis, Luís Catela Nunes, Carmo Seabra. 2015. “School Rankings: the impact on public and private schools” in Luis Catela Nunes (ed.) “The school and the students’ performance, published by Fundação Francisco Manuel dos Santos.

Summary: As a result of the 1st Conference of the Education Month, the book School and students’ performance was developed, highlighting the main topics approached during the Conference. The chapter “The school Rankings: the impact on public and private schools” was written by Ana Balcão Reis, Luís Catela Nunes and Carmo Seabra. It focuses on the impact of the first release of schools rankings on the Portuguese schools, given its importance for public policy. The authors conducted research with the goal of understanding how did the schools’ performance change after the release of the rankings and if there was a significant difference between public and private schools. The results suggest different effects on public and private schools. On average, private schools present better positions in the rankings, and there is an increasing divergence between the two types of schools. While public schools remained still, a great part of private schools with bad performances closed.

Published Chapter and Book (in portuguese): https://www.ffms.pt/FileDownload/535cb4cc-4cc8-4de5-9a40-a9bfcaceaef4/livro-a-escola-e-o-desempenho-dos-alunos

Working Papers

“The impact of teachers qualification on students’ achievement: Evidence from Portuguese schools”

Pedroso, I., Nunes, L. C., Reis, A. B., Seabra, C. 2018. “The impact of teachers qualification on students’ achievement: Evidence from Portuguese schools”

Summary: An administrative dataset from Portugal was used in order to study the relationship between teacher characteristics and student achievement in Mathematics. In the first step, student achievement measured by scores in the 6th-grade national exams is used to estimate teacher value-added, the measure of teacher quality. After having an estimate of the teacher quality, it was important to understand what type of characteristics can explain differences in teacher efficiency, in particular, if teachers differ in terms of quality by having an undergraduate degree obtained in a university versus a polytechnic school. It was found that teachers differ in terms of quality and that it matters for student achievement. However, these differences in quality are mostly explained by unmeasured characteristics. Taken together, the observable credentials such as teacher’s experience, GPA, and female gender all have positive effects on teacher quality. When considering the type of degree-granting institution, the effects on teacher effectiveness are different depending on the field of study.

Authors: Inês Pedroso, Luís Catela Nunes, Ana Balcão Reis, Carmo Seabra

Final Version presented at the XXVII Meeting of the Economics of Education Association

More info: http://2018.economicsofeducation.com/2018/06/26/final-program-available/

 

“Teacher quality, alternative hiring policy and student outcomes: Evidence from India”

Authors: Ana Balcão Reis, Madhuri Agarwal

Latest Version presented at the XXVII Meeting of the Economics of Education Association

More info :http://2018.economicsofeducation.com/2018/06/26/final-program-available/

 

“Does the age of entry in primary school affect student’s achievement?”

Authors: Miguel Madeira, Luís Catela Nunes, Ana Balcão Reis, Carmo Seabra

Latest Version presented at the XXVII Meeting of the Economics of Education Association

More info: http://2018.economicsofeducation.com/2018/06/26/final-program-available/

 

“Effectiveness of private schools versus public schools: A comparative analysis in Portugal”

Authors: João Brás de Oliveira, Luís Catela Nunes, Ana Balcão Reis, Carmo Seabra

Latest Version presented at the XXVII Meeting of the Economics of Education Association

More info: http://2018.economicsofeducation.com/2018/06/26/final-program-available/

 

“Good students or unexpectedly good students? The impact of teacher expectations on internal score”

Authors: Pedro Freitas, Rodrigo Ferreira

Latest Version presented at the XXVII Meeting of the Economics of Education Association

More info: http://2018.economicsofeducation.com/2018/06/26/final-program-available/

 

“Class composition effects. Evidence from Portugal using panel data”

Author: João Firmino

Latest Version presented at the XXVII Meeting of the Economics of Education Association

More info :http://2018.economicsofeducation.com/2018/06/26/final-program-available/

 

“Vocational education: Course taking choice and impact on dropout and college enrollment rates”

Authors: Rafaela Henriques, Luís Catela Nunes, Ana Balcão Reis, Carmo Seabra

Latest Version presented at the XXVII Meeting of the Economics of Education Association

More info: http://2018.economicsofeducation.com/2018/06/26/final-program-available/

 

“Class Composition and student achievement in Portugal”

Authors: João Firmino, Luís Catela Nunes, Ana Balcão Reis, Carmo Seabra

Latest Version presented at Fórum Estatístico of Direção-Geral de Estatística da Educação e Ciência

http://www.dgeec.mec.pt/np4/292/%7B$clientServletPath%7D/?newsId=516&fileName=abstract.pdf (PDF available)

 

“Value-Added Measurements under High-Teacher Turnover”

Authors: Pedro Freitas, Rodrigo Ferreira

Latest Version presented at the International Workshop on Applied Economics of Education

“Gender Gaps in different Grading Systems: Evidence from Portugal”

Author: Catarina Ângelo

Latest presented at the Forum Estatístico of Direção-Geral de Estatísticas da Educação e Ciência (May 3rd, 2017)

More info: http://www.dgeec.mec.pt/np4/292/

Fourth Lisbon Research Workshop: Economics, Statistics and Econometrics of Education: http://cemapre.iseg.ulisboa.pt/educonf/4e3/Parallell_Sessions.php

 

“The effect of a Specialized versus a General Upper-Secondary school curriculum on students’ performance and inequality. A differences-in-differences cross country analysis”

Authors: Afonso Leme, Josep-Oriol Escardíbul (University of Barcelona), Ana Balcão Reis, Luís Catela Nunes, Carmo Seabra

Latest Version presented at the XXVI Meeting of the Economics of Education Association

More info: http://2017.economicsofeducation.com/user/programa2.php?lang=en

 

“On the Sources and Mechanisms of Human Capital Externalities”

Author: Pedro Freitas

Latest Version presented at the XXVI Meeting of the Economics of Education Association

More info: http://2017.economicsofeducation.com/user/programa2.php?lang=en

 

“Students in higher education: success and selection”

Authors: Dino Alves, Pedro Luís Silva

Latest Version presented at the Fourth Lisbon Research Workshop: Economics, Statistics and Econometrics of Education

More info: http://cemapre.iseg.ulisboa.pt/educonf/4e3/Parallell_Sessions.php

“Are Basic Schools more Effective than Secondary Schools?”

Tavares, M., Nunes, L. C., Reis, A. B., Seabra, C. 2015. “Are Basic Schools more Effective than Secondary Schools?”

Summary: This paper studies the effectiveness of Portuguese public schools’ provision of 7th, 8th, and 9th grades. At least two school types offer these grades: Basic and Secondary. Based on previous findings, a production function is estimated for 9th-grade students in the regular academic track, including a variable that indicates the specific school type attended by each student. Using individual student data from the Portuguese Ministry of Education for 2009/10, 2010/11, and 2011/12 on students’ characteristics and exams it was concluded that Basic Schools are, on average, beneficial for students, enhancing their performance in both Portuguese and Mathematics standardized national exams. Looking at school characteristics, it was concluded that Secondary Schools have teachers with higher qualifications and more experience. It was also verified that these schools have and students from better backgrounds. Then,  some alternative explanations for the main result are presented.

Authors: Mariana Tavares, Luís Catela Nunes, Ana Balcão Reis, Carmo Seabra

Final Version presented at the Fourth Lisbon Research Workshop: Economics, Statistics and Econometrics of Education

More info: http://cemapre.iseg.ulisboa.pt/educonf/4e3/Parallell_Sessions.php

 

 “Public and Private school management systems: A Comparative analysis”

Rosado, M., Seabra, C. 2015. “Public and Private school management systems: A Comparative analysis” .

Summary: The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the investigation of the relative performance of private versus public schools. The fact that in Portugal there is the co-existence of strictly private, strictly public, and state-funded private schools was used to isolate the impact of different property and management schemes on the performance of students, resorting to cross-section data on the scores obtained on national exams by 9th-grade students in 2010. The results corroborate the well-established result on the relevance of the family socio-economic background for students’ performance but do also sustain the existence of a positive impact of private ownership on the scores of students. The number of years required to finish mandatory schooling in these three types of schools was also compared, and the conclusion was that the benefits of state-funded versus strictly public schools are unclear: the probability of a student being retained at last once is slightly higher in state-funded public schools but the likelihood of relapsing situations, failing twice the same grade, is lower.

Authors: Marta Rosado, Carmo Seabra

Final Version presented at the XXIV Meeting of the Economics of Education Association

More info: http://2015.economicsofeducation.com/user/programa2.php?lang=en

 

“Stratification and peer effects: An analysis of Lisbon public schools”

Azevedo, R., Nunes, L. C., Reis, A. B., Seabra, C. 2015. “Stratification and peer effects: An analysis of Lisbon public schools”.

Summary: Using the idea of distribution comparison, a stratification measure based on parents’ education is built for the primary schools in Lisbon. Upon the confirmation that Lisbon is stratified, the measure of peer effects based on stratification is used and its impact on test scores is determined, concluding that the existence of stratification improves scores of students in schools with more educated parents and decreases scores of students in schools with less-educated parents. Moreover, using fixed-effects, the conclusion that the measure of peers’ characteristics helps explain most of the differences among schools is derived.

Authors: Rita Azevedo, Luís Catela Nunes, Ana Balcão Reis, Carmo Seabra

Final Version presented at the XXIV Meeting of the Economics of Education Association

More info: http://2015.economicsofeducation.com/user/programa2.php?lang=en

“Public funding of Higher Education: who gains, who loses?”

Reis, A. B. 2010. “Public funding of Higher Education: who gains, who loses?”

Summary: This paper analyses the effects of public funding of higher education on welfare. It takes into account the hierarchical nature of the educational system and also the fact that parents have the possibility to complement basic public education with private expenditures in individual tutoring. It is obtained that although public funding implies larger access to higher education, it is always the case that some of the agents who gain access lose in welfare terms. Moreover, it is shown that the marginal agent to access university would always prefer a pure private funding system in which she would not attend higher education. Thus, when studying the effects of public funding of higher education, gaining access to University doesn’t necessarily mean an increase in welfare. Finally, a funding system where only those who send their offspring to university support the funding of higher education is considered.

Authors: Ana Balcão Reis

Final Version: Run: http://hdl.handle.net/10362/11169