Peer-Reviewed Published Papers
Montolio, D., & Taberner, P.A. (2021). Gender differences under test pressure and their impact on student performance: a quasi-experimental approach. Forthcoming at the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization.
ABSTRACT: Student performance at university is a strong determinant of individual decisions and future outcomes, most notably labour opportunities. Although published studies have found gender differences in student performance in response to pressure, little is known about such differences when university students respond to different levels of pressure, resulting from different stakes. Based on field data, this study aims to examine gender differences in student performance in response to different stakes when sitting multiple choice tests, a frequently employed exam format at university. To do so, the introduction of continuous assessment in the evaluation system of a university course allows us to exploit a unique quasi-experimental set up in which the same students take similar tests throughout the course but under different levels of pressure, i.e. facing different stakes. Exploiting individual student data in a panel data framework, we find that male students outperform their female counterparts when under high pressure. However, as the stakes faced decrease, the gender gap shrinks and even reverses in favour of female students at the lowest pressure scenario. We also analyse possible mechanisms responsible for the observed gender gap by studying whether students excel or choke under pressure depending on their gender, and by studying gender differences when omitting questions on multiple choice tests.
Gortazar, L., & Taberner, P.A. (2020) La incidencia del Programa Bilingüe en la segregación escolar por origen socioeconómico en la CAM: evidencia a partir de PISA. REICE. Revista Iberoamericana sobre Calidad, Eficacia y Cambio en Educación, 18(4), 219-239.
ABSTRACT: La segregación escolar por origen socioeconómico en secundaria de la Comunidad Autónoma de Madrid es la más alta de España y la segunda entre los países de la OCDE. El presente estudio tiene el doble objetivo de analizar la incidencia entre la implementación del Programa Bilingüe en Madrid a partir del curso 2004/05 en la segregación escolar por origen socioeconómico en la educación secundaria, así como su efecto en los resultados de aprendizaje de los alumnos. Los resultados indican que las familias en centros no bilingües tienen un nivel socioeconómico mucho más bajo que en centros bilingües. La segregación aumentó gradualmente entre 2009 y 2018, por dos motivos. Por un lado, la expansión de la red concertada durante la década anterior. Y por otro, la expansión del Programa Bilingüe: en 2015 se produce un fuerte aumento de la segregación dentro de la red pública coincidiendo con la llegada del programa bilingüe de los centros públicos al final de la ESO; en 2018 se produce un importante aumento de la segregación en los centros concertados-privados, consistente con la llegada del programa bilingüe en la red concertada al final de la ESO. Finalmente, controlando por varios factores, observamos que los estudiantes del sistema no bilingüe obtienen peores puntuaciones que los del sistema bilingüe en las pruebas PISA.
Title in English: “The Influence of the Bilingual Program on the School Segregation by Socioeconomic Origin in the Autonomous Community of Madrid: Evidence from PISA“
ABSTRACT: School segregation by socioeconomic characteristics in secondary education in the Autonomous Community of Madrid is the highest in Spain and second highest amongst OECD countries. This study aims to analyse the influence of the implementation of the bilingual program in Madrid from the 2004/05 academic year on school segregation, and its consequences on student performance. The findings indicate that families in non-bilingual schools have a lower socioeconomic level than families in bilingual schools. School segregation gradually increased between 2009 and 2018 for two reasons: the expansion of publicly funded private schools over the previous decade and the expansion of the bilingual program. In 2015, when the bilingual program reached the last course of secondary education in public schools, school segregation notably increased within the public system. Likewise, in 2018 school segregation notably increased within publicly funded private schools, consistent with the arrival of the bilingual program in the publicly funded private sector at the end of secondary education. Finally, we observe that students from non-bilingual schools underperformed students from bilingual schools on the PISA tests.
Bahia, K., Sánchez-Vidal, M., & Taberner, P.A. (2020). Exploring the relationship between mobile money regulation and usage. GSMA Intelligence Working Paper.
ABSTRACT: This paper provides new evidence on the relationship between mobile money regulation and usage. It combines data from the Mobile Money Regulatory Index, a comprehensive assessment of mobile money regulations, and the Global Findex Database 2017. The analysis covers almost 50,000 individuals across 46 countries and finds compelling evidence that an enabling regulatory framework is strongly associated with higher mobile money usage. There are a number of components within a regulatory framework that are linked to the use of mobile money, including: allowing non-banks to provide mobile money; permitting international money transfers; a comprehensive consumer protection framework; giving mobile money providers flexibility to appoint individual agents; not imposing strict limits, taxes or price controls on mobile money transactions; allowing non-banks to have direct access to retail payment settlement infrastructure, and; allowing providers to earn and utilise interest on mobile money trust accounts. The results also suggest that an enabling regulatory framework has a stronger association with mobile money usage amongst women compared to men, and amongst the poorest segments of a country’s population.
Maurer, S., Sánchez-Vidal, M. & Taberner, P.A. (2020). Ocupación en la Industria local. Evaluación de la primera y segunda convocatorias
RESUMEN: El objetivo de este trabajo es evaluar el impacto del programa “Ocupación en la Industria Local” llevado a cabo por la Diputación de Barcelona entre los años 2015 y 2017, y comprobar si eleva la probabilidad de estar ocupado en los beneficiarios del programa. Los resultados obtenidos a partir de la aplicación de técnicas de matching y diferencias en diferencias muestran que la probabilidad de encontrar trabajo para un individuo que participó en el programa se incrementa entre 7 y 12 puntos porcentuales al cabo de un año aproximadamente. El análisis se complementa con un análisis de heterogeneidad que permite identificar los efectos diferenciales en función de las características de los beneficiarios.
Montolio, D., & Taberner, P.A. (2018). Gender differences under test pressure and their impact on student performance: a quasi-experimental approach. IEB Working Paper 2018/21.
Dissemination: Info IEB
ABSTRACT: Student performance at university is a strong determinant of individual decisions and future outcomes, most notably labour opportunities. Although published studies have found gender differences in student performance in response to pressure, little is known about such differences when university students are exposed to test pressure. Based on field data, this study aims to examine gender differences in student academic performance in response to different levels of pressure when sitting multiple choice tests, a frequently employed exam format at university. To do so, the introduction of continuous assessment in the evaluation system of a university course allows us to exploit a unique quasi-experimental set up in which the same students take similar tests throughout the course but under different levels of pressure. Exploiting two data structures—namely, pooled cross-sections and panel data—we find that male students outperform their female counterparts when under high pressure. However, in low test pressure scenarios the gender gap is narrowed and even reversed in favour of female students. Finally, we analyse the mechanisms responsible for the gender gap by studying how each gender responds to test pressure, and by studying gender differences when omitting test items on multiple choice formats.
J. Jofre, D. Montolio, P. Sorribas, P. Taberner & J. Vázquez-Grenno (2018). The unexpected results on student incentives of a change in the continuous assessment. ICERI2018 Proceedings, pp. 2949-2953.
Work in Progress
The impact of local crime on student perfomance and differences across gender: evidence from the metropolitan area of Barcelona (with D. Montolio)
ABSTRACT: This paper aims at analysing the impact of local crime on student performance at university level and to analyse potential gender differences. We combine a georeferenced dataset of all the crimes comitted around the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona with academic and sociodemographic information of one cohort of students at the Faculty of Economics and Business at University of Barcelona. Following students over their bachelor’s years, the identification strategy exploits the local crime variation when sitting final exams over time.
The impact of teacher gender on student perfomance: evidence from higher education (with D. Montolio)
ABSTRACT: Despite the vast number of studies analysing the impact of teacher gender on student performance, there is no conclusion about the question, since results are mixed: there is no impact, girls obtain better grades with female instructors or there is gender alignment, i.e. boys obtain better grades with male teachers and girls with female teachers. Moreover, almost all this literature is focused on students at primary school, secondary school or high school level and, to the best of our knowledge, there is only one study which analyses this question with university students. In the present paper we seek to assess the impact of teacher gender on students’ grades when sitting a final exam at university level. More precisely, we analyse the impact of the interaction of teacher-student gender on student performance.
The impact of cultural activities on health and well-being among older people: evidence from a field experiment (with E. Costas-Pérez and P. Rey-Biel)
This paper presents quantitative and qualitative results from a randomized control trial in which groups of the older population are assigned to cultural activities in order to measure their effects on their health and general well-being. We show that the cultural intervention has a positive impact on physical health and social relationships among the treatment participants compared to control. Through the focus group, we identified that interacting with people and being physically and mentally active are the two main mechanisms. Our results have important implications for the inclusion of cultural programs as a cost-effective measure to reduce the increasing health costs and the current loneliness’ issue presented by the current ageing of modern societies