Posts categorized under Education

Education and avoidable costs in the stock market

April 27, 2022
This study investigates preventable financial mistakes by retail investors in the stock market and whether education helps reduce their likelihood. The paper examines the change in brokers’ commission schedules in the aftermath of the acquisition of Bolsa de Valores de Lisboa e Porto, the Portuguese stock market, by Euronext Group. The acquisition led to significant changes in the structure of brokers’ trading fee schedules penalizing small transactions, which were very common among retail investors prior to the acquisition.

Being older among peers at school

March 30, 2022
Children start school at different stages of their social, emotional, and cognitive development. This paper investigates the effect of being one year older among peers on a series of relevant outcomes, exploiting differences in school starting age, using administrative records of every public-school student in Portugal. The paper shows that starting school 1-year later leads to significantly better performances in Math and Language exams in fourth, sixth and ninth grade. These differences mostly reflect cognitive maturity gaps, typical of children this age.

Fluctuations in the wage gap between vocational and general secondary education

December 14, 2021
What type of education gives the best preparation for the labour market? Vocational education, where you learn the skills for specific occupations? Or a more general education, advancing intellectual and cultural development? It’s an old question in the economics of education literature. The common presumption is that vocational education gives an initial advantage, as the graduate has been trained for specific jobs, and can perform required tasks right-away, but that the general graduate is better prepared for future changes in the labour market, as broader intellectual skills facilitate learning new tasks.

Leaving school too early?

August 30, 2021
Reducing early school leaving, defined as leaving education with at most lower secondary schooling, is generally considered to be one of the top priorities of educational policy due to its significant social and economic costs. Increasing the Compulsory Schooling Law (CSL) leaving age is a policy that has typically been used to address this concern. The effects of the policy on students’ educational outcomes are still unclear, with the literature identifying mixed effects both on graduation probabilities and school track choices.

PhD funding and time to PhD completion in Portugal

March 25, 2020
This paper investigates the impact of PhD funding on the time to PhD completion, using data of PhD holders working in Portugal. Time to PhD completion has been a major cause for concern for research funding agencies, universities, academics, and doctoral students facing increasingly constrained labor markets, particularly in academia. The Higher Education Funding Council for England reported that, in 2013, around 73% of those starting Ph.Ds. in 2010/11 were projected to take 7 years to receive the degree, while in the USA all fields of knowledge reported median times of more than 6 years to complete the Ph.

Literacy and primary school expansion in Portugal: 1940–62

December 3, 2019
In Portugal, in 1940, only 40% of the population knew how to read. The causes of this backwardness, as well as the the rapid increase of literacy rates in the subsequent decades have been the focus of considerable research, and some controversy. This paper measures the contribution of the increase in the number of primary schools since the 1940s to the increase in school enrolment and literacy rates by the beginning of the 60s.