You Can’t Teach What You Don’t Know: Teachers’ Lack of Knowledge Hampers Student Learning in Sub-Saharan Africa

Most children in Sub-Saharan Africa are enrolled in school these days, but for reasons not well understood, they learn very little. Previous research has shown that a lack of physical resources, such as textbooks and flip charts, cannot explain these low levels of achievement. New study finds that when teachers lack knowledge, their students fall behind.
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Why Do First-Borns Perform Better? The First Years

family with dog

A myriad of studies find that later-born children have worse educational and labor market outcomes as adults than their older siblings, a phenomenon known as the “birth order effect.” New research finds these differences begin very early in children’s lives—and parenting behavior can explain it.
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Study Finds Wives Often Lose When Husbands Take Social Security Early

Potential survivor benefits when husband claims at age 68, actual claiming choices, and potential survivor benefits that maximize household benefits

Social Security provides a large portion of household income in old age. Most women receive at least some Social Security benefits over their lifetime based upon their husbands’ work record, and this will continue even as women are more attached to the labor market and receive higher wages. Unfortunately for many wives, the age her husband begins receiving Social Security benefits can have a spillover effect and also impact her lifetime benefits.
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Children’s Self-Portraits Show that Child Sponsorship Increases Hope

Child poverty illustrated by children: draw yourself in the rain

The role of psychological attributes such as hope and self-efficacy in escaping poverty has attracted increasing attention among economists, policy-makers, and development practitioners. Researchers recently borrowed a technique from clinical psychology to learn what self-portraits can tell us about the effectiveness of a child sponsorship program in the slums of Jakarta.
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Tracking the Effects of a Diaspora on Knowledge Production

graph of papers published

Many economists have shown that ethnic diasporas are important for foreign direct investment, technology transfer, and international trade, but little is known about how international diasporas affect the production of scientific knowledge.
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Measuring the Effects of Welfare Time Limits

woman's hand holding penny

Study finds welfare time limits induce single moms to reduce benefit use as they dwindle—to “bank” them for future emergencies. Although most states have had welfare time limits since the 1996 Welfare Reform, it remains controversial as to how severely they affect single mothers’ behavior. Continue reading “Measuring the Effects of Welfare Time Limits”

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Thank Your Parents for Your Soft Skills

child wearing tie

Recent job seekers know that “soft skills”—traits related to personality, values, and personal interaction—can be important in receiving a job offer. These so-called noncognitive abilities are important parts of our personalities, and researchers are working to understand how they, as well as cognitive abilities, are formed in children. Continue reading “Thank Your Parents for Your Soft Skills”

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Female Teachers Provide an Academic Boost to Middle School Girls

girls jumping

Gender disparities in academic performance still persist, despite decades of efforts to close them. A new study finds middle school girls perform better on standardized tests when they have female teachers, while boys’ scores do not show any such impact. Continue reading “Female Teachers Provide an Academic Boost to Middle School Girls”

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Missing Work Is a Pain

pill bottle

When a popular drug is pulled from the market, what happens to those who suffer from chronic pain? Researchers find that removing Vioxx due to safety concerns left many unable to work.

Medical technology has improved dramatically, yet we know little about the impacts of medical innovation on the productivity and labor supply of workers. Continue reading “Missing Work Is a Pain”

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What Works in the Long Run? Apprenticeships or General Education?

technician in lab

Inside Higher Ed story “Importing Apprenticeships” cites a JHR paper that investigates the payoffs and tradeoffs of more job focused education. Continue reading “What Works in the Long Run? Apprenticeships or General Education?”

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