News and Research 332

Returns to Education Turns 50 | March 29, 2023 | 8:30AM-1:15PM EDT

New room: MC C2-350

2023 marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of the book, Returns to Education: An International Comparison by George Psacharopoulos, the renowned economist, and former World Bank staffer. This event recognizes this milestone and reassesses the progress in measuring the benefits of education. The conference will include panels to discuss the concept of the returns to education and the influence of Psacharopoulos, along with a panel on the latest evidence on the returns to education. #ReturnsToEducation50

Education and innovation at the core of Armenia’s economic growth | In an OpEd authored by Ivailo Izvorski, Chief Economist for Europe and Central Asia of the World Bank | Better education and a stronger innovation drive are crucial for achieving higher rates of economic growth and prosperity in any country. Countries that prioritize improvements in education – from the pre-primary to the university level – and innovation are better positioned to adapt to economic change and help raise the living standards for their people.

Learning Curve: Progress in the Replication Crisis | by Noam Angrist et al. | The science of scaling is an emerging field. Growing evidence reveals that replicating results across contexts, at scale, and with government systems remains difficult. These challenges persist in multiple disciplines, from psychology to economics.

Updated Ukraine Recovery and Reconstruction Needs Assessment | A new joint assessment released today by the Government of Ukraine, the World Bank Group, the European Commission, and the United Nations, estimates that the cost of reconstruction and recovery in Ukraine has grown to $411 billion. The estimate covers the one-year period from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, to the first anniversary of the war on February 24, 2023. The cost of reconstruction and recovery is expected to stretch over 10 years and combines both needs for public and private funds.

Universal Preschool Lottery Admissions and Its Effects on Long-Run Earnings and Outcomes | by Randall Akee, Leah Clark | use admissions lottery to estimate the effect of a universal (non-means tested) preschool program on students’ long-run earnings, income, marital status, fertility and geographic mobility. Observe long-run outcomes by linking both admitted and non-admitted individuals to confidential administrative data including tax records. Funding for this preschool program comes from an Indigenous organization, which grants Indigenous students admissions preference and free tuition. Treated children have between 5 to 6 percent higher earnings as young adults. The results are strongest for individuals from the lower half of the household income distribution in childhood. Likely mechanisms include high-quality teachers and curriculum.

How North Korea’s education fever has driven a boom in private tutoring | Academic achievement is increasingly important in DPRK for success, leading parents to spend heavily on illegal lessons. Across East Asia, school exams are seen as a life-or-death matter. Children in China, Vietnam and South Korea spend their formative years preparing and sitting for an unending cycle of tests on everything from algebra to history. North Korea is increasingly like this too.

Purpose-Driven Education System Transformations History Lessons from Korea and Japan | by Luis Crouch and Deborah Spindelman | This paper is an essay in comparative educational history and its possible relevance to educational development today. It addresses the question of whether Japan and Korea’s history in using educational development to further national development can be useful as (partial) models for dealing with the educational challenges of today’s lower- and lower-middle income countries. The hypothesis of the paper is that there is much to learn from these countries, but that the lessons one could learn are not at all obvious or superficial and are only partially about what was done (specific education policies) and are more importantly about how it was done (the high purpose and thoroughness of policy engagement).

Lasting scars: The long term effects of school closures on earnings | Zsoka Koczan | Almost all countries closed schools and universities during the Covid-19 pandemic, affecting more than 90 per cent of the world’s learners. A growing literature aims to estimate the effects of these school closures on learning outcomes, future earnings and GDP. Impact of school closures on earnings in the long term are estimated using a natural experiment: the 1999 NATO bombing of Serbia on earnings 20 years later. There are substantial and lasting effects: those in first grade at the time of the shock earn about 6-7 per cent less 20 years after the shock than unaffected cohorts just younger than them. Impacts are larger for those in first grade than those in higher grades and for those in the bottom half of the income distribution. Impacts persist despite affected cohorts staying in school longer, being more likely to work for the public sector and having open-ended contracts.