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IEB Report 2/2021: La reforma de las universidades

Los sistemas universitarios de los países desarrollados tienen una importancia en las sociedades que los acogen que va mucho más allá de su peso específico. La contribución que realizan, en la formación de capital humano o en la actividad de investigación y transferencia, son vectores que determinan, de manera muy relevante, el desarrollo de la sociedad del conocimiento en dichos países. España no es ajena a esta situación. Algunos indicadores son suficientes para ponerlo de manifiesto.

SEMINAR: Libertad González (Universitat Pompeu Fabra) – «Preventing Child Maltreatment: Beneficial Side Effects of Public Childcare Provision»

14.30h – SALA DE GRAUS – IN PERSON OR ON LINE

Parellada Sabata, Martí

2021/05: Terrorist attacks, Islamophobia and newborns’health

Islamophobia has increased in recent years which can be partly attributed to terrorist attacks perpetrated by jihadist groups. Islamophobia might be a source of stress, being problematic for pregnant (Muslim) women. We examine how stress generated by the 2017 Catalonia (Spain) attacks affected the health of newborns whose mothers are from a Muslim country (as the perpetrators). We use a difference-in-differences-in-differences model comparing newborns whose mothers come from a Muslim country and are residing in a municipality directly affected by the attacks, to other newborns, before-after the attacks. Results show that the share of low-birth-weight babies and deliveries with complications raise significantly by 23.77%, and 13.02%. We document a significant increase in Islamophobia and in emotional distress in our treated group. We conclude that one of the channels contributing to the deterioration of those newborns health is the stress faced by their mothers that resulted from the increase in Islamophobia.

ONLINE SEMINAR: Ghazala Azmat (Science Po)

14.30h – ONLINE

2021/04: What is at stake without high-stakes exams? Students’ evaluation and admission to college at the time of COVID-19

The outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020 inhibited face-to-face education and constrained exam taking. In many countries worldwide, high-stakes exams happening at the end of the school year determine college admissions. This paper investigates the impact of using historical data of school and high-stakes exams results to train a model to predict high-stakes exams given the available data in the Spring. The most transparent and accurate model turns out to be a linear regression model with high school GPA as the main predictor. Further analysis of the predictions reflect how high-stakes exams relate to GPA in high school for different subgroups in the population. Predicted scores slightly advantage females and low SES individuals, who perform relatively worse in high-stakes exams than in high school. Our preferred model accounts for about 50% of the out-of-sample variation in the high-stakes exam. On average, the student rank using predicted scores differs from the actual rank by almost 17 percentiles. This suggests that either high-stakes exams capture individual skills that are not measured by high school grades or that high-stakes exams are a noisy measure of the same skill.

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