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Are all boats rising? 4th International NEPS Conference with guest lecture by Eric A. Hanushek


On November 7-8, 2019, the international NEPS conference took place for the fourth time at LIfBi. Guest speaker was Prof. Eric A. Hanushek from Stanford University, one of the most renowned education economists in the world today. Once again, this year, prizes were awarded for outstanding works based on NEPS data. The award-winning entries deal with, among other things, school-related helplessness that may be experienced by students with poorer performance and also with the effects that higher education can have on health and wages.

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Prof. Eric A. Hanushek during his keynote lecture at the 4th NEPS conference 

Despite a variety of policy measures to improve the school performance of children from poorer families, the differences in educational performance in the United States have remained almost constant for decades. This was the sobering conclusion of Prof. Eric A. Hanushek, Ph.D., of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, in his keynote speech at the 4th International NEPS Conference in Bamberg. He also answered the question of whether the expansion of education has brought everyone to a higher level ("Are all boats rising?") negatively, based on analyses of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and the PISA study, for example. In his lecture he, therefore, outlined strategies for improving this situation, in particular through incentive systems in more and less disadvantaged schools.

> Additional information on the subject

The prize was shared this year due to the outstanding quality of the nominations: The interdisciplinary jury consisting of members of the LIfBi management level chose, on the one hand, Dr. Daniel A. Kamhöfer, Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Prof. Dr. Hendrik Schmitz, University of Paderborn, and Dr. Matthias Westphal, RWI–Leibniz Institute for Economic Research Essen, for their article published in the Journal of the European Economic Association in 2018. In their work, the authors analyze the impact of higher education on cognitive skills, health, and wages using the NEPS adult cohort and additional regional indicators. The outstanding feature was that the availability of universities, which is individually different, was explicitly included in the modeling.

On the other hand, this year's prize went to Dr. Anke Heyder, Technical University Dortmund, and Prof. Dr. Martin Brunner, University Potsdam, for their article in the journal Learning and Individual Differences. Their analysis, based on data from the NEPS Starting Cohort 4–Grade 9–examines the consequences that the beliefs of school teachers can have on the experience of helplessness of weaker pupils.

> Further information on the award-winning publications:

The winner of this year's poster prize was Gaia Ghirardi, a sociology student at the University of Bamberg, for her poster "No child left behind? How early childcare amongst under-threes affects children's cognitive and socio-emotional skills". She impressed the judges with the originality of her research questions, the structure and quality of her analysis, the comprehensibility of her presentation, and the overall impression.
The judges, the LIfBi management, and the conference organizing team congratulate all prize winners!