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Education Economics Network


research paper –School resources, structural reform

In 2012 public education in Hungary was reorganised into a centralised system, with the explicit goal of decreasing inequalities between schools. This provides a rare opportunity to analyse the effect of centralisation on the effectiveness, efficiency and equity of schooling by comparing school and student performance before and after the reform Comparing the efficiency of various school types before and after the reform will also allow understanding the potential heterogeneous effects of the reform.

1st Summer School

Methodological summer school for PhD students with options to present students’ own research.

2nd Summer School

Methodological summer school for PhD students with options to present students’ own research.

Final Conference

The final conference will not only conclude the project and show its achievements, but it will also give larger visibility for the cooperating institutions, the Education Economics Network that will have been created, and it will also offer an opportunity to extend the network. The final conference will offer the opportunity for the best papers in the project to be presented in front of international audiences, and it will also invite papers outside of the project for presentation.

research paper –School choice, school effectiveness

Little is known about the efficiency of the various school tracks in Hungary. The six waves of the National Assessment of Basic Competencies (with individual test scores and parental background as well as school level data) allows for such tests. We will test empirically (using various methods such as Data Envelopment Analysis and Stochastic Frontier Analysis) if schools in specific tracks are more/less efficient than others in different tracks.

research paper – School resources, small schools

While small settlement schools have been argued not to provide a lower quality education once the selectivity of the system is accounted for, little is known about the factors that influence the efficiency of the Hungarian primary schools. The National Assessment of Basic competencies, containing all students and schools from grade 6 and grade 8, allows for such an analysis. Specifically, we will conduct an empirical analysis about how the efficiency of primary schools evolved over time, and if small schools are more efficient than large schools (and if school size is correlated with efficiency).

research paper – School choice, sorting

How do students select themselves into schools? While this question appears trivial and answerable via a simple analysis of the observed school choices in a system of free school choice, it is not due to three reasons. First, the observed, aggregated student characteristics of the chosen schools do not reveal parental school choice but rather the school composition. While the latter influences and is influenced by school choice, it is not equivalent. School composition here is a static concept, while school choice is dynamic, subject to student mobility or transitions during the course of education. We estimate a conditional logit models, and relax the conditional logit’s independence of irrelevant alternative assumption by estimating a nested logit model so that the school-specific error terms within a ‘nest’ can be correlated with one another. Comparative analyses are executed using data from all participating countries

research paper – Gender 2

The analyses would look at the role of tracking on gender differences in educational attainment, and the role of competition in gender differences in choice of field of study. Women have caught up with men in terms of educational attainment in most industrialized countries, but they still largely differ in the content of study. While women are now more likely to complete a higher education degree than men, the distribution of college majors among college graduates remains unequal that results in differences of labour market success by gender.

research paper - School choice, school competition

Free parental school choice combined with a decentralised funding regime creates an environment promoting school competition. Rich micro-level data sets measuring student achievement, family background and school characteristics can be used to analyse the effect of competition on schools effectiveness, efficiency and inequalities. This analysis can rely on students’ application data for upper-secondary schools. Identification of the effects of school choice and school competition will rely on the local supply concentration of schools, a technique used previously in TIER-research on school competition in the Netherlands.

research paper – School to work transition

The measures and models which perform well in the analysis of the adult labour market do not seem to work satisfactorily for the study of young people’s scattered careers. The proposed research wants to use high-frequency administrative data for the study of how higher education students start their labour market career. A 6 years wide window covering 36 months before and after graduation could provide a detailed view of this period. Types of careers could be identified using sequencing methods. The results of the typology might then be used in regressions explaining a series of outcome variables like the probability of acquiring a steady employment status by the end of the observed period, downward mobility and earnings

research paper – Gender 1

Low female/maternal activity rates (and low fertility rates) are a policy target in most EU countries, especially with the problems related to an ageing population. This issue is also related to the promotion of gender equality and enabling a better work-life balance. Cross-country comparisons based on Eurostat datasets (LFS, SILC), combined with various data sources on family policies can be executed, as well as national analyses. National analyses would rely on a recent policy changes, such as the increased kindergarten enrolment rate of 3 year olds in Hungary).

research paper – Vocational training

The vocational training track was reformed twice in the past two decades in Hungary. The length and intensity of general education within this track was first increased and later decreased, accompanied by changes in compulsory education age. These policy changes provide a unique opportunity to assess the effects of general education on basic competencies measured by test scores, labour market outcomes and equality of opportunity. We use data from administrative datasets (student level standardized test scores and background data) as well as from the census using a regression discontinuity design to estimate the effects of the reforms in education on educational attainment, the match between education and the labour market and (initial) earnings after leaving education.

research paper – Fertility, health at birth

This project plans to document recent trends in the fertility and health at birth in Hungary and analyse the effect of an economic shock - the recent economic crisis – for the general and the disadvantaged (Roma/uneducated) population. We use the registry of all live births, infant mortality and abortions, starting with the 1970’s in a regression discontinuity design. Individuals in the census of 2011 who live with their parents will be linked to their birth registry data. In order to analyse exogenous variation in job losses we will make use of municipality and year-level variation in layoff rates, computed from the individual unemployment registry data.


The website will function as a key tool for internal communication and coordination as well as a tool for external communication. A password restricted project intranet will be created for project members for organizing research visits, sharing documents, drafts of discussion papers and data. As the research WPs are interrelated it is essential that researchers get to know in time the dates of the research visits of other members of the project so as they can coordinate their own research accordingly. Project intranet will function as a platform of cooperative work on project documents, publications and reports, as well as monitoring the progress of the project. Other tools for internal dissemination of the results will be the scientific workshops. The public project website will aim all target groups of external dissemination. The website will link the participating institutions websites, working paper series, the activities organized within the project, and other relevant websites (e.g. from other European projects, other research groups and best evidence encyclopaedia). Community webpages (e.g. Facebook and Twitter) will also be created aiming the wider public, and particularly people interested in economics of education research. Once the project is finished, CERSHAS guarantees the continuation of the website as it will provide a platform for its work on education economics.

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Which preferences associate with school performance?—Lessons from an exploratory study with university students

Author(s): Daniel Horn, Hubert Janos Kiss
Published in: PLOS ONE, Issue 13/2, 2018, Page(s) e0190163, ISSN 1932-6203
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0190163

The added value of more accurate predictions for school rankings

Author(s): Fritz Schiltz, Paolo Sestito, Tommaso Agasisti, Kristof De Witte
Published in: Economics of Education Review, Issue 67, 2018, Page(s) 207-215, ISSN 0272-7757
DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2018.10.011

Out-migration and attrition of physicians and dentists before and after EU accession (2003 and 2011): the case of Hungary

Author(s): Varga, Júlia
Published in: The European Journal of Health Economics, Issue 1, 2017, ISSN 1618-7598
DOI: 10.13039/501100003825

Using regression tree ensembles to model interaction effects: a graphical approach

Author(s): Fritz Schiltz, Chiara Masci, Tommaso Agasisti, Daniel Horn
Published in: Applied Economics, Issue 50/58, 2018, Page(s) 6341-6354, ISSN 0003-6846
DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2018.1489520

The effect of increased general education in vocational schools - Evidence from a Hungarian vocational school reform

Author(s): Joris Ghysels, Zoltán Hermann, Iryna Rud and Melline Somers
Published in: Budapest Working Paper series, Issue 2017/7, 2017

Human Capital Effects of Kindergarten and School Enrolment Timing

Author(s): Ágnes Szabó-Morvai, Dániel Horn, Anna Lovász, Kristof De Witte
Published in: Budapest Working Paper series, Issue 2017/14, 2017

Educational policies and the gender gap in test scores: A cross-country analysis

Author(s): Zoltán Hermann, Marianna Kopasz
Published in: Budapest Working Paper Series, Issue 2018/5, 2018

Gender differences in applying for STEM programs in higher education: evidence from a policy shift in Hungary

Author(s): Koen Declercq, Joris Ghysels, Júlia Varga
Published in: Budapest Working Paper series, Issue 2018/6, 2018

One Size Fits All? Gender Differences in the Effect of Subjective Feedback

Author(s): Anna Lovász, Ewa Cukrowska-Torzewska, Mariann Rigó, Ágnes Szabó-Morvai, Andrea Kiss
Published in: Budapest Working Paper series, Issue 2017/5, 2017

Parental Job Loss, Secondary School Completion and Home Environment

Author(s): Tamás Hajdu, Gábor Kertesi, Gábor Kézdi
Published in: Budapest Working Paper series, Issue 2017/11, 2017

Performance of Hungarian firms: are apprentices an asset or a liability? Evidence from a unique matched employer-employee dataset

Author(s): Sofie Cabus, Eszter Nagy
Published in: Budapest Working Paper series, Issue 2017/6, 2017

Demand for secondary school characteristics - Evidence from school choice data in Hungary

Author(s): Thomas Wouters, Zoltán Hermann, Carla Haelermans
Published in: Budapest Working Paper Series, Issue 2018/3, 2018

Childcare and Maternal Labor Supply – a Cross-Country Analysis of Quasi-Experimental Estimates from 7 Countries

Author(s): Ágnes Szabó-Morvai, Anna Lovász
Published in: Budapest Working Paper series, Issue 2017/3, 2017

Health Differences at Birth between Roma and Non-Roma Children in Hungary-Long-Run Trends and Decompositions

Author(s): Tamás Hajdu, Gábor Kertesi, Gábor Kézdi
Published in: Budapest Working Paper series, Issue 2017/12, 2017

Does It Matter When Your Smartest Peers Leave Your Class? Evidence from Hungary

Author(s): Fritz Schiltz, Deni Mazrekaj, Daniel Horn and Kristof De Witte
Published in: Budapest Working Paper series, Issue 2018/4, 2018