Human Capital News and Research 123


Comprehensive Private School Model for Low-Income Urban Children in Mexico

In low-income countries, private schools are perceived as superior alternatives to the public sector, often improving achievement at a fraction of the cost. It is unclear whether private schools are as effective in middle-income countries where the public sector has relatively more resources. To address this gap, this paper takes advantage of lottery-based admissions in first grade for a Mexico City private school that targets and subsidizes attendance for low-income children. Over three years, selected students via lottery scored 0.21 standard deviation higher than those not selected in literacy tests, corresponding to a normalized gain of one half of a grade level every two years. Lottery winners also statistically outperformed those not selected in math, but the gains were more modest. Relative to the control group, parents of selected students were more satisfied with their school and had higher educational expectations for their children. Unlike findings from low-income countries, these gains came at increased cost—twice as much on a per pupil basis relative to public schools. Additional analyses indicate gains made by the lowest income students in the sample help explain the school’s impact. This suggests private schools could bring down persistent achievement gaps in these countries, but puts into question the validity of implementation at scale.

Higher education institutions as drivers of innovation and growth in Azerbaijan


It’s a cold spring day in Baku, and several students from Azerbaijan State Oil and Industry University (ASOIU) are huddled around a laptop trying to project an image onto their classroom wall. Once the image is projected, one of the students “writes” on the surface of the classroom wall – as he would on the computer screen – using customized software called CamTouch, which allows the user to turn any surface into an interactive “smartboard”. The student also selects an icon and virtually opens a document with the help of a special stylus. Along with several other innovative apps, the CamTouch software was developed by ASOIU students, with support from the university’s eaziSTART innovation and start-up center. ASOIU is one of several universities in Azerbaijan that run innovation centers and business incubators to help students and researchers take their ideas from the drawing board to the marketplace…

Entry Through the Narrow Door: The Costs of Just Failing High Stakes Exams

In many countries, there are important thresholds in examinations that act as a gateway to higher levels of education and/or good employment prospects. This paper examines the consequences of just failing a key national examination in English taken at the end of compulsory schooling in England. It uses unique pupil level administrative data to show that students of the same ability have significantly different educational trajectories depending on whether or not they just pass or fail this exam. Three years later, students who just fail to achieve the required threshold have a lower probability of entering an upper-secondary high level academic or vocational track and of starting tertiary education. Those who fail to pass the threshold are also more likely to drop out of education by age 18, without some form of employment. The moderately high effects of just passing or failing to pass the threshold in this high stakes exam are therefore a source of educational inequality with high potential long-term consequences for those affected…

The Power ofTeacher Expectations
There are good reasons to assume that teachers’beliefs and expectations can influence student success…

Croatia and World Bank to Cooperate in Investments, Reforms

Training Vouchers and Labour Market Outcomes in Chile

GPE to stay under World Bank but with more independence and ‘new capabilities’

Albanian students demand that tuition fees be cut in half

School tracking and intergenerational social mobility

Promoting Early Childhood Development through Combining Cash Transfers and Parenting Programs

Categories Human capital, PISA, Returns to education, TIMSS

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