University admission in Russia: Do the wealthier benefit from standardized exams?
This paper examines the impact of family income on the results of the newly introduced Unified State Examination (USE) in Russia. We argue that entrants from wealthy households have an advantage in terms of access to higher education, since income positively affects USE scores through a higher level of investment in pre-entry coaching. We have found positive and significant relationships between the level of income and USE results for high school graduates, given equal achievement before coaching. We demonstrate that in general, investment in pre-entry coaching has positive returns, but the most significant type of investment is pre-entry courses. However, such strategy improves USE results only for students from the most affluent households.
We estimate the correlation between student’s choice of specialization and the choices of the students connected by social ties. We use data on students of Economics department at one of the Russian universities and show that the choice is linked with the choice of friends as well as study assistants. The strongest effect is produced by those friends that are study assistants at the same time and those that have similar academic achievements. Mutual friendship ties show more significant effect than non-mutual ties. Results allow us to understand better the mechanisms of peer effects in choice of concentration.
We estimate the influence of classmates’ ability characteristics on student achievement in exogenously formed university student groups. The study uses administrative data on undergraduate students at a large selective university in Russia. The presence of high-ability classmates has a significant positive effect on individual grades in key economics and mathematics courses as well as on overall academic performance. While a simple linear-in-means model reveals moderate peer effects, non-linear specifications give strong evidence that students at the top of the ability distribution derive the greatest benefit from high-ability classmates. Less able students are not affected by peers and have no significant influence on peers’ outcomes.
Period of training in a higher school is a threshold on the professional life way, therefore, it reflects the willingness to vigorously respond to all the vicissitudes of life and desire for constant self-improvement. Data collection is produced at the Higher School of Economics, Department of Management. We assumed that students with high levels of emotional intelligence must have a high rank.
Teacher quality is an important factor in improving student achievement. As such, policymakers have constructed a number of different credentials to identify high quality teachers. Unfortunately, few of the credentials used in developing countries have been validated (in terms of whether teachers holding such credentials actually improve student achievement). In this study, we employ a student-fixed effects model to estimate the impact of teacher credentials on student achievement in the context of the biggest education system in the world: China. We find that having a teacher with the highest rank (a credential based on annual assessments by local administrators) has positive impacts on student achievement relative to having a teacher who has not achieved the highest rank. We further find that teacher rank has heterogeneous impacts, benefiting economically poor students more than non-poor students. However, whether a teacher attends college or holds teaching awards does not appear to provide additional information on teacher quality (in terms of improving student achievement). © 2015 Elsevier Inc.