Kristof De Witte

Kristof De Witte
KU Leuven | ku leuven ·  Faculty of Economics and Business

PhD in economics
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About

222
Publications
204,107
Reads
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4,647
Citations
Citations since 2017
126 Research Items
3411 Citations
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Introduction
Kristof De Witte is a professor (hoogleraar) at the Faculty of Economics and Business at KU Leuven, Belgium, and he holds the chair in ‘Effectiveness and Efficiency of Educational Innovations’ at Maastricht University, the Netherlands. Kristof De Witte is an affiliated member of the CESifo Network and at VATT Institute for Economic Research (Finland). At KU Leuven he is the founder & director of the research group ‘Leuven Economics of Education Research’. See www.feb.kuleuven.be/kristof.dewitte
Additional affiliations
September 2018 - present
KU Leuven
Position
  • Professor (Full)
June 2015 - present
Maastricht University
Position
  • Professor (Full)
Description
  • Chair in 'Effectiveness and Efficiency of Educational Innovations'
September 2009 - May 2015
Maastricht University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Education
September 2012 - September 2012
Maastricht University
Field of study
  • University Teaching Qualification (Basis Kwalificatie Onderwijs – BKO; 2012)
September 2005 - March 2009
KU Leuven
Field of study
  • Ph.D in Economics

Publications

Publications (222)
Article
Full-text available
Using a computer-based learning environment, the present paper studied the effects of adaptive instruction and elaborated feedback on the learning outcomes of secondary school students in a financial education program. We randomly assigned schools to four conditions on a crossing of two factors: the type of instruction (uniform or adaptive) and fee...
Article
This study examines whether online teacher professional development (OTPD), in the form of an interactive webinar series that encourages collaborative learning, improves student achievement. We conducted a randomised controlled trial with 1102 students, 45 teachers and 30 secondary schools in Flanders, Belgium. As a basis for the study, we develope...
Article
Full-text available
This paper evaluates the inefficiency of adult education programs. Using an advanced four-component stochastic frontier model on Belgian adult education data, we distinguish between persistent and transient inefficiency of adult education programs. Whereas persistent inefficiency is structural and difficult to tackle because of its time-invariant n...
Article
Full-text available
Although widely used in policy debates, the literature on children’s outcomes when raised by same-sex parents mostly relies on small selective samples or samples based on cross-sectional survey data. This has led to a lack of statistical power and the inability to distinguish children born to same-sex parents from children of separated parents. We...
Article
Full-text available
The school closures owing to the 2020 COVID-19 crisis resulted in a significant disruption of education provision leading to fears of learning losses and of an increase in educational inequality. This paper evaluates the effects of school closures based on standardised tests in the last year of primary school in Flemish schools in Belgium. The data...
Preprint
Full-text available
This paper investigates the education outcomes at the end of primary education in the presence of multiple shocks. Using the exact same formative test since 2019, we document how learning deficits accumulate over time due to existing negative trends in a school system and the amplifying effects of disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Comparing...
Article
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Ondanks de centrale rol van het onderwijs bij het bevorderen van economische langetermijngroei en -welvaart zetten meerdere samenhangende uitdagingen onderwijsstelsels onder druk. Zo ook in Vlaanderen. Net zoals in veel andere Westerse landen observeren we er een dalende trend in leerprestaties, een hoog aantal vroegtijdige schoolverlaters, leraren...
Article
Full-text available
De hoge energiekosten tonen aan dat beperkte investeringen in infrastructuur in het verleden een financiële molensteen worden voor de toekomst. Ruim één op acht van onze schoolgebouwen is meer dan een eeuw oud. In dit Leuvens Economisch Standpunt verkennen we de staat van onze schoolinfrastructuur, tonen we aan hoe de verouderde infrastructuur een...
Article
Full-text available
This paper reports on teachers' preferences for online professional development programmes in Indonesia. Relying on data from 330 university English teachers, the results of our discrete choice experiment suggest a significant positive preference for synchronous interaction but a negative preference for costly programmes, programmes offering no cer...
Chapter
Full-text available
The online traces that students leave on electronic learning platforms; the improved integration of educational, administrative and online data sources; and the increasing accessibility of hands-on software allow the domain of learning analytics to flourish. Learning analytics, as in interdisciplinary domain borrowing from statistics, computer scie...
Book
Discrimination against the LGBT+ community persists across Europe. Education is not immune to this: Young people across the continent continue to experience homophobic and transphobic behaviour in schools. This publication provides education practitioners and policy makers with historical perspectives, trends in educational practice, and reflection...
Article
Although a large body of literature has examined the effects of open government from a theoretical perspective, evidence on the empirical effects is still limited. This paper analyses parental response to an open government initiative consisting of the publication on a government website of school inspection reports. As an indicator of school quali...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose Professional development interventions (PDIs) are crucial for equipping teachers to use data effectively. Relying on previous studies reporting on such interventions, this paper aims to identify and synthesise the goals, dimensions and conditions of PDIs for data use. This paper also examines the evidence of the effect of such interventions...
Article
Full-text available
We propose using Stochastic Frontier Analysis to estimate pupils' academic underachievement. We model underachievement as the gap between expected achievement and actual achievement, not due to a learning disability. Our data are a panel for 2,228 Belgian pupils observed over 6 years of primary education. We found that the average underachievement...
Article
Full-text available
This paper provides causal evidence on the effects of parental involvement on student outcomes in a financial education course based on two randomised controlled trials with a total of 2779 students from grade 8 and 9 in Flanders. Using an experimental design with three treatment groups, the impact of parental involvement in homework is distinguish...
Article
We evaluate whether a scalable online teacher professional development (OTPD) module that requires little time investment enhances students’ financial literacy. Two randomised controlled trials were performed, with 1827 students, 53 teachers and 47 schools participating. The financial education programme on its own increased students’ financial kno...
Preprint
Full-text available
Financial illiteracy affects considerably the decision-making of individuals, leading to sub-optimal outcomes and lower financial welfare in the society. Although financial education has been demonstrated to improve financial knowledge, evidence of long-term effects is limited. This could be due to the presence of cognitive biases such as myopia, w...
Article
Given the expected advantages for individuals and societies, financial literacy is high on the policy agenda in many countries. This paper reports the results from a unique survey conducted on a sample of 13–16-year-old students in five European countries, aimed at measuring and comparing their level of financial literacy skills. The results indica...
Article
Full-text available
Sugary drinks in schools have been demonized for their potential long‐term contribution to rising obesity rates. Surprisingly, there is only little evidence on the immediate effects of sugary drinks in schools. This paper provides experimental evidence on the in‐class effects of sugary drinks on behavior and student achievement. We randomly assigne...
Article
This paper discusses the governance challenges that increasing hybridity poses to higher education institutions (HEIs). It examines the potential of network governance as a public governance approach that allows HEIs to find a good fit to their environment and become accountable to complex stakeholder environments. Central research questions are as...
Article
Full-text available
The correct affiliation is “Leuven Economics of Education Research (LEER), KU Leuven, Naamsestraat 69, 3000 Leuven, Belgium”
Article
The present paper examined the effect of adjusting learning material to the out-of-school interests of students. In particular, using a field experiment involving 1449 secondary school students in 31 Flemish schools, we evaluated the effectiveness of the instructional method “example choice” in a computer-assisted financial education program. Examp...
Preprint
Full-text available
This paper introduces an innovative Bayesian machine learning algorithm to draw interpretable inference on heterogeneous causal effects in the presence of imperfect compliance (e.g., under an irregular assignment mechanism). We show, through Monte Carlo simulations, that the proposed Bayesian Causal Forest with Instrumental Variable (BCF-IV) method...
Article
Full-text available
Little is known about the individual differences in student experiences and expectations of the COVID-19 crisis and the resulting school closures. Yet, as the crisis may have uniquely impacted students, knowledge about their personalities is highly relevant. In a sample of 347 Flemish students, this study explored the association between personalit...
Preprint
Full-text available
- We onderzoeken hoe de leerprestaties van leerlingen en de ongelijkheid binnen scholen een jaar na de schoolsluitingen veranderd zijn. Met uitzondering van Mens & Maatschappij zien we in alle leergebieden significante leervertraging voor de getoetste leerinhouden sinds het begin van de pandemie. In 2021 is de significante leervertraging gestopt vo...
Preprint
Full-text available
Almost two years after the largest disruption of education in history, the question remains as to whether, and to what extent, school outcomes are resilient and inequality persists. To answer these questions, this paper exploits a unique panel data-set with standardised test scores and administrative data pertaining to the last year of primary educ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Sugary drinks in schools have been demonized for their potential long-term contribution to rising obesity rates. Surprisingly, there is only little evidence on the immediate effects of sugary drinks in schools. This paper provides experimental evidence on the in-class effects of sugary drinks on behavior and student achievement. We randomly assigne...
Article
Full-text available
This paper develops a novel methodology to estimate in a dynamic setting the causal impact of a policy on efficiency. Classical efficiency techniques evaluate multidimensional performance but ignore the endogeneity issues in policy evaluations. We develop an indicator which accounts for the dynamic performance of the observations and for the possib...
Article
Full-text available
Internationalisation is a major trend in higher education worldwide. Yet, little evidence is given on the net impact of international students on national economies. This study addresses this gap by estimating the benefits against the costs driven by international students in Belgium and its Flemish region in particular. Using a unique combination...
Article
Behavioural economics has been argued to be a productive basis for decision support system (DSS) research. Whereas traditional economics assumes that individuals make decisions independently of others, behavioural economists have shown that humans tend to follow the crowd in their decisions (i.e., exhibit herding bias). However, the literature is s...
Article
Targeted parental involvement is increasingly employed to activate parents to use their supporting role to enhance learning effects of students. Given the low cost, one popular measure is information provision to parents. However, the evidence on such measures remains limited. This study provides causal evidence on the effects of information provis...
Article
Full-text available
Financial education is often considered to be a necessary condition in order to stimulate better consumer choices. We investigate this claim by analyzing the impact of a financial education course on consumer choices made by 688 students of the 8 th and 9 th grade. We combine a randomized controlled trial with a discrete choice experiment to analyz...
Preprint
Full-text available
Internationalisation is a major trend in higher education worldwide. Yet, little evidence is given on the net impact of international students on national economies. This study addresses this gap by estimating the benefits against the costs driven by international students in Belgium and its Flemish region in particular. Using a unique combination...
Article
Full-text available
This report provides an overview on the potential mechanisms that resulted in learning losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It also summarises the first empirical findings of studies using standardised test scores collected in June 2020 (after the first wave of school closures) and September 2020 (after a summer holiday break, and a first period of...
Article
Full-text available
This paper provides a systematic literature review of studies investigating the effect of an intervention on the efficiency of a decision-making unit, when efficiency is computed using nonparametric frontier approaches. This paper offers a guide for future research by identifying patterns in (1) the fields of application, (2) applied efficiency mod...
Article
This paper investigates the evidence on the effects of data use professional development interventions (PDIs) on teacher and student outcomes through a systematic literature review. More specifically, it focuses on the key features of data use PDIs, the practices of data use, and its effects on teacher and student outcomes. To that end, we propose...
Preprint
Full-text available
Despite their popularity, machine learning predictions are sensitive to potential unobserved predictors. This paper proposes a general algorithm that assesses how the omission of an unobserved variable with high explanatory power could affect the predictions of the model. Moreover, the algorithm extends the usage of machine learning from pointwise...
Article
This paper reviews the puzzles of insurance demand, and provides an overview of behavioural-based explanations on the concept of underinsurance. In particular, the study outlines the biases (among myopia, narrow framing and others) that help to explain the existence of those puzzles. The results indicate that biases do motivate the chances of under...
Article
Ideological stance of politicians might play a role in the efficiency of service provision as well as in the global spending efficiency. This paper examines whether the shares of left-wing, populist, and extremist councillors on all regional councillors are associated with a higher or lower efficiency of education, healthcare, and infrastructure pr...
Article
Full-text available
De internationalisering van het hoger onderwijs krijgt zowel vanuit academisch perspectief als vanuit het beleid toenemende aandacht. Het aantal studenten in het hoger onderwijs dat naar een ander land trekt met het doel om er te studeren groeit jaarlijks. De landen met de grootste instroom van internationale studenten zijn de Verenigde Staten, Fra...
Article
Full-text available
Ondernemerschapsopleidingen bieden de mogelijkheid voor (jong)volwassenen om hun menselijk kapitaal uit te bouwen. In 2017 had 21% van de volwassenbevolking in de OESO landen tussen 25 en 64 jaar geen diploma van het secundair onderwijs (OESO, 2017). In België ligt dit aandeel nog hoger op 23%. Het belang van aanvullende opleidingen zal dan ook een...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Deze studie vergelijkt de schooluitkomsten in het basis-en secundair onderwijs van kinderen met homoseksuele ouders met de schooluitkomsten van kinderen met heteroseksuele ouders. Eerder onderzoek naar schoolresultaten van kinderen met homoseksuele ouders is gebaseerd op kleine steekproeven. Het kon niet bepalen of kinderen zijn opgegroeid met homo...
Technical Report
Full-text available
In 2019 startte de KULeuven (HIVA – Onderzoeksinstituut voor Arbeid en Samenleving en Faculteit Economie en Bedrijfswetenschappen), in opdracht van het Departement WVG, een wetenschappelijk onderzoek naar de financiële geletterdheidscompetenties van mensen in armoede. Het doel van het onderzoek is om een beter zicht te krijgen op de financiële laag...
Article
Full-text available
This paper proposes an innovative approach to evaluate the causal impact of a policy change in a multi-input multi-output setting. It combines insights from econometric impact evaluation techniques and efficiency analysis. In particular, the current paper accounts for endogeneity issues by introducing a quasi-experimental setting within a condition...
Article
Full-text available
Although the local provision of public goods accommodates better to the heterogeneous local preferences and mitigates the fiscal illusion problem, it comes at the cost of potential diseconomies of scale. This paper examines the relationship between municipal size and local service level provision by applying state-of-the-art non-parametric techniqu...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this chapter we provide a comparative overview of the level of financial literacy of pupils and teachers across five European countries (Belgium, Estonia, Italy, Slovakia, and the Netherlands). This comparative study follows from the European KA2 strategic partnership ‘EUFin’. The partnership, explained in more detail in the introduction of this...
Book
In a world where individuals become increasingly responsible for their financial well-being, and where the complexity of financial markets and products is growing, financial education becomes crucial. Although it is well accepted to introduce financial education in compulsory education, there is no consensus on the optimal way to implement financia...
Chapter
Full-text available
Anno 2019, financial literacy education receives significant attention in the Flemish region of Belgium. 2 Both in primary education and in secondary education, the curricula mentions financial education aspects. This section reviews the financial literacy levels in Flanders, and the steps which have been taken to introduce financial literacy in th...
Article
Full-text available
This paper examines the effect of national culture on adult financial literacy levels in 12 countries. Contrary to earlier financial literacy studies, our results are directly comparable across countries given that we use the standardized OECD/INFE financial literacy survey data and Hofstede's (2001) cultural dimensions to capture financial literac...
Article
Full-text available
In efficiency studies, inputs and outputs are often noisy measures, especially when education data is used. This article complements the conditional efficiency model by correcting for bias within conditional draws, using the m out of n bootstrap procedure. With a unique panel dataset, we estimate managerial efficiency, which accounts for nondiscret...
Article
This paper assesses the effect of need-based grants on the performance of university students in Italy. We performed a series of between-universities and within-universities propensity score matching analyses to evaluate the effect of grants on several student performance indicators, such as dropout rate, first year credits and efficiency of study....
Article
Full-text available
With increasing decentralization of public activities to the municipalities, it has become imperative to deploy an enhanced service provision analysis at the local level. This paper suggests the innovative use of a composite indicator to measure the multidimensional aspects of the local public provision comprising of several commonly administered m...
Article
As early school leaving has been shown to have a substantial impact on later life outcomes, it has received considerable attention in policy debates. However, national and regional differences in early school leaving are not necessarily due to differences in policymaking but might be the consequence of underlying differences in the economic and soc...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper discusses the value of designing effective internationalisation of the curricula (IoC) in higher education describing the complex relationship between teaching practices within IoC and policy development. In particular, by means of a literature review, we discuss internationalization as a balancing actor between academic internationaliza...
Article
Full-text available
This paper examines the effect of national culture on adult financial literacy levels in 12 countries. Contrary to earlier financial literacy studies, our results are directly comparable across countries given that we use the standardized OECD/INFE financial literacy survey data and Hofstede’s (2001) cultural dimensions to capture financial literac...
Article
Full-text available
Deze studie beschrijft het economisch effect van ondernemerschapsopleidingen van SYNTRA. Voor een individu meten we het effect van een opleiding als de arbeidsmarkteffecten die een cursist geniet na het volgen van een SYNTRA-opleiding. We kunnen een SYNTRA-opleiding immers beschouwen als een extra scholing, die resulteert in de opbouw van menselijk...
Article
Full-text available
The present paper examines the impact of ability matching and differentiated instruction on the learning outcomes of eighth and ninth grade students in a financial education programme. In particular, the effect of within-class ability matching is investigated by forming pairs of students either randomly or based on their abilities. In addition, the...
Article
Full-text available
Targeted policy interventions are more effective than one‐size‐fits‐all initiatives. This paper proposes the use of k‐means cluster analysis to identify vulnerable groups with respect to financial literacy. Using a rich sample of 12 countries, we distinguish four groups with varying financial literacy levels, and examine their socio‐economic charac...
Article
Modular education refers to the division of conventional courses into smaller components or modules. Each module enables students to obtain a partial certificate that can be combined into a qualification. This article evaluates whether modular education, which is widely used in secondary and tertiary education, has been effective in reducing school...
Article
Full-text available
Elite schools in Hungary cherry pick high achieving students from general primary schools. The geographical coverage of elite schools has remained unchanged since 1999, when the establishment of new elite schools stopped. We exploit this geographical variation and estimate the impact of high achieving peers leaving the class on student achievement,...
Article
This article offers the first large-scale comparative analysis of pupils’ and teachers’ perspectives on homosexuality using two waves (2013 and 2017) of self-collected data through questionnaires issued in eight European countries: Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, the UK, Spain, Poland, Hungary and Turkey. Using these unique data, the authors exa...
Article
Full-text available
This article compares the labour market outcomes of high school dropouts to high school graduates who did not enrol into higher education, but immediately entered the labour market. Using parental educational background as an instrument on a rich administrative dataset in the Flemish Region of Belgium, we find no returns to a high school diploma on...
Article
Full-text available
Firms' political donations can induce distortions in the allocation of public procurement contracts. In this article, we employ an advanced non-parametric efficiency model to study the public sector (cost) efficiency implications of such distortions. Using a unique dataset covering the Czech regions over the 2007-2014 period, we find that the effic...
Technical Report
Full-text available
De onderzoeksvraag van dit rapport luidt: "Welke kwalitatieve en kwantitatieve factoren en processen hebben een invloed op de efficiëntie van de opleidingen georganiseerd door de SYNTRA vzw’s?"
Technical Report
Full-text available
Deze studie beschrijft het economisch effect van ondernemerschapsopleidingen van SYNTRA. Voor een individu bestaat het effect van een opleiding uit arbeidsmarkteffecten die een cursist geniet na het volgen van een SYNTRAopleiding. We kunnen een SYNTRA-opleiding zo beschouwen als een extra scholing, die resulteert in de opbouw van menselijk kapitaal...