More Less
More Less

IZA World of Labor discussion on the economics of education

Classification Education and human capital

IZA World of Labor discussion on the economics of education with Andrés Fernández from Universidad de Los Andes, Serena Canaan from Simon Fraser University and Michele Pellizari from University of Geneva

Discussion questions include:

Questions for Serena Canaan: In your paper you give as an example that if you put kids into a high-achieving classroom, they will do better in that classroom and later on. Kids are put in a classroom based on test scores. Other ways of doing that are prior teachers’ valuations or maybe kids’ prior performance in classes. Might those be better? Which would be fairer for students – the test approach or an approach based on subjective or prior grade point averages?

Questions for Michele Pellizari: In your paper you find that if you are near to a university that offers STEM as a field of study, you are more likely to go there. In your example you use Italy but what about a place like the US where there are STEM majors at 3,000 colleges and universities? Would this make a difference in the US which is also a more mobile society? Especially in the US there is a tremendous difference in the quality of different colleges. I wonder if proximity to a good-quality place – would that matter and what can one do about that effect?

Questions for Andrés Fernández: You discuss intergenerational transfers to elite education – why does this occur? Is it the school itself or is it parents pushing the kids, parental success being demonstrated? Why is this happening? What does your work tell us about Harvard’s defence in favour of quotas on Asians and their well-known preference for children of alumni? For everyone: We all want to improve the quality of education but all these improvements cost money. What is the most cost-effective way to improve the quality of university education? There is one cost which we haven’t mentioned – the remarkable inertia of universities in resisting any kind of change. Can you get universities to take action?

Find related IZA World of Labor content on labor market institutions on our key topic page Higher education and human capital.
Find us on LinkedInTwitterFacebook and YouTube.