Welcome to my website. I am an Assistant Professor at the Institute for International Economic Studies at Stockholm University. My research focuses on education, human capital, and development.
You can view my CV here.
The Review of Economic Studies, vol. 90(1), pp 65–101. January 2023.
Published article (Open access)
To explore whether schools’ causal impacts on test scores measure their overall impact on students, we exploit plausibly exogenous school assignments and data from Trinidad and Tobago to estimate the causal impacts of individual schools on several outcomes. Schools’ impacts on high-stakes tests are weakly related to impacts on important outcomes such as arrests, dropout, teen motherhood, and formal labour market participation. To examine if parents’ school preferences are related to these causal impacts, we link them to parents’ ranked lists of schools and employ discrete-choice models to infer preferences for schools. Parents choose schools that improve high-stakes tests even conditional on peer quality and average outcomes. Parents also choose schools that reduce criminality and teen motherhood and increase labour market participation. School choices among parents of low-achieving students are relatively more strongly related to schools’ impacts on non-test-score outcomes, while the opposite is true for parents of high-achieving students. These results suggest that evaluations based solely on test scores may be misleading about the benefits of school choice (particularly for low-achieving students), and education interventions more broadly.
Broadcasting Education at Scale: The Long-Term Effects of Television-Based Schools
with Raissa Fabregas
Draft coming soon!
Note: This paper is the result of combining two independent papers: "Secondary Schools with Televised Lessons: The Labor Market Returns of the Mexican Telesecundaria" (Navarro-Sola, 2021), and "Broadcasting Human Capital? The Long-Term Effects of Mexico's Telesecundarias" (Fabregas, 2021). This paper supersedes all prior versions.
Navarro-Sola (2021) latest version can be found here: HCEO working paper 2021-053
We conduct a randomized controlled trial with households of secondary school students in Bangladesh to investigate how parents adjust their investments in response to three educational interventions: an informational campaign about an educational phone application, an internet data subsidy, and one-on-one phone learning support. We find that offering an educational service in a context where other barriers to take-up exist can still trigger parental educational investments by acting as a signal or nudge. These behavioral changes result in lasting learning gains concentrated among richer households, reflecting that the relevant behavior change--increased tutoring investment--is easier for them to implement. In contrast, when interventions do increase take-up, they have the potential to narrow the socioeconomic achievement gap. We observe that increased usage of the targeted educational service limits parental behavioral responses. This implies that learning gains in these cases are directly caused by the potential effectiveness of the services adopted. In our setting, remote one-to-one teacher support improves learning among students from poorer households, whereas receiving the free data package jointly with the app information has no impact on learning.
SELECTED WORK IN PROGRESS
The Impact of Formative Assessment of Behavior-Based Socioemotional Skills on Students' Outcomes
Data collection completed. Analysis stage.
It is widely recognized that social and personal skills (i.e., perseverance, motivation, teamwork, etc.) are highly predictive of life achievements and long-term well-being, such as lower levels of school dropout, physical and mental health issues, and conflict. It is also well established that a comprehensive integration of these non-cognitive skills in the educational curriculum is essential to make lifetime progress. The objective of this trial is to test the causal impact of training and mentoring teachers to integrate formative assessment of socioemotional skills in the classroom with the help of digital tools on students’ academic and non-cognitive outcomes. Formative assessment implemented by the trained teachers involves the observation, recording, and provision of feedback on a specific set of behaviors, the so-called Pentabilities, that characterize socioemotional skills in active classroom environments. The teachers are given 5-6 months to implement the intervention. The trial involves 40 Catalan secondary schools that mainly serve at-risk populations.
Improving the Employability and Matching through Soft Skill Assessment and Development
Project development funded.