nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2005‒01‒09
seven papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Do student loans improve accessibility to higher education and student performance? An impact study of the SOFES program in Mexico By Erik Canton; Andreas Blom
  2. Heterogeneity in the Intergenerational Transmission of Educational Attainment: Evidence from Switzerland on Natives and Second Generation Immigrants By Philipp Bauer; Regina T. Riphahn
  3. Impact of Income Growth and Economic Reform on Nutrition Intake in Urban China: 1986-2000 By Meng, Xin; Gong, Xiaodong; Wang, Youjuan
  4. Poverty, Inequality, and Growth in Urban China, 1986-2000 By Meng, Xin; Gregory, Robert; Wang, Youjuan
  5. Why Should We Care about Child Labor? The Education, Labor Market, and Health Consequences of Child Labor By Kathleen Beegle; Rajeev H. Dehejia; Roberta Gatti
  6. Student Responses to Merit Retention Rules By Christopher M. Cornwell; Kyung Hee Lee; David B. Mustard
  7. Fact-Free Learning By Enriqueta Aragones; Itzhak Gilboa; Andrew Postlewaite; David Schmeidler

  1. By: Erik Canton; Andreas Blom
    Abstract: Financial aid to students in tertiary education can contribute to human capital accumulation through two channels: increased enrolment and improved student performance. We analyse the quantitative importance of both channels in the context of a student loan program (SOFES) implemented at private universities in Mexico. <P> With regard to the first channel, results from the Mexican household survey indicate that financial support has a strongly positive effect on university enrolment. <P> Two data sources are used to investigate the second channel, student performance. Administrative data provided by SOFES are analysed using a Regression-Discontinuity design, and survey data enable us to perform a similar analysis using a different control group. The empirical results suggest that SOFES recipients (i) show better academic performance, and (ii) tend to have more part-time jobs than students without a credit from SOFES.
    Keywords: education; students; student finance, accessibility, student performance; Mexico
    JEL: I2 J24
    Date: 2004–07
  2. By: Philipp Bauer; Regina T. Riphahn
    Abstract: This study applies rich data from the 2000 Swiss census to investigate the patterns of intergenerational education transmission for natives and second generation immigrants. The level of secondary schooling attained by youth aged 17 is related to their parents\' educational outcomes using data on the entire Swiss population. Based on economic theories of child educational attainment we derive hypotheses regarding the patterns in intergenerational education transmission. The data yields substantial heterogeneity in intergenerational transmission across population groups. Only a small share of this heterogeneity is explained by the predictions of economic theory.
    Keywords: Intergenerational Transmission, Educational Attainment, Second Generation Immigrants
    JEL: I21 J61
    Date: 2005–01–05
  3. By: Meng, Xin (Australian National University); Gong, Xiaodong (Australian National University and IZA Bonn); Wang, Youjuan (Chinese State Statistical Bureau)
    Abstract: Although urban China has experienced a rapid income growth over the last twenty years, nutrition intake for the low income group declined in the 1990s. Does this imply a zero or negative income elasticity for the low income group? This paper examines this issue using large representative sample of repeated cross-sectional data for the period 1986-2000. It is found that income elasticities of calorie consumption for urban households are far from zero, and the lower the income level the higher the income elasticity. The main reason for the reduction in calorie consumption for the low income group in the early 1990s was a sharp increase in food price. In addition, in the mid to late 1990s large scale social welfare reform increased households’ need to pay for education, medical, housing expenses and the need to save for future consumption and income uncertainty. These factors seem to have played an important role in suppressing nutrition consumption of the low income group during this period.
    Keywords: poverty, income growth, inequality, China
    JEL: I31 D31 O40 O15
    Date: 2004–12
  4. By: Meng, Xin (Australian National University); Gregory, Robert (Australian National University and IZA Bonn); Wang, Youjuan (Chinese State Statistical Bureau)
    Abstract: Although urban China has experienced spectacular income growth over the last two decades, increases in inequality, reduction in social welfare provision, deregulation of grain prices, and increases in income uncertainty in the 1990s have increased urban poverty. Using a large repeated cross-section household survey data from 1986 to 2000, this study maps out the change in income, inequality, and poverty over the 15 year period and investigates the determinants of poverty. It is found that the increase in the poverty rate in the 1990s is associated with the increase in the relative food price, and the need to spend on education, housing and medical care which were previously paid by the state. In addition, the increase in the saving rate of the poor due to an increase in income uncertainty contributes significantly to the increase in poverty measured in terms of expenditure. Even though income growth reduces poverty, the radical reform measures implemented in the 1990s have sufficiently offset this gain that urban poverty is higher in 2000 than in 1986.
    Keywords: poverty, income growth, inequality, China
    JEL: I31 D31 O40 O15
    Date: 2005–01
  5. By: Kathleen Beegle (World Bank); Rajeev H. Dehejia; Roberta Gatti (World Bank)
    Abstract: Although there is extensive literature on the determinants of child labor and many initiatives aimed at combating it, there is limited evidence on the consequences of child labor on socioeconomic outcomes such as education, wages, and health. Beegle, Dehejia, and Gatti evaluate the causal effect of child labor participation on these outcomes using panel data from Vietnam and an instrumental variables strategy. Five years subsequent to the child labor experience, they find significant negative effects on school participation and educational attainment, but also find substantially higher earnings for those (young) adults who worked as children. The authors find no significant effects on health. Over a longer horizon, they estimate that from age 30 onward the forgone earnings attributable to lost schooling exceed any earnings gain associated with child labor and that the net present discounted value of child labor is positive for discount rates of 11.5 percent or higher. The authors show that child labor is prevalent among households likely to have higher borrowing costs, that are farther from schools, and whose adult members experienced negative returns to their own education. This evidence suggests that reducing child labor will require facilitating access to credit and will also require households to be forward looking. This paper—a joint product of the Investment and Growth and Poverty Teams, Development Research Group—is part of a larger effort in the group to understand the causes of poverty and child labor. The study was funded by the Research Support Budget under the research project “Child Labor and Access to Credit.”
    Keywords: Education; Labor & Employment; Poverty; Rural Development
    Date: 2005–01–06
  6. By: Christopher M. Cornwell (University of Georgia); Kyung Hee Lee (University of Georgia); David B. Mustard (University of Georgia)
    Abstract: A common justification for HOPE-style merit-aid programs is to promote and reward academic achievement, thereby inducing greater investments in human capital. However, grade-based eligibility and retention rules encourage other behavioral responses. Using the longitudinal records of all undergraduates who enrolled at the University of Georgia (UGA) between 1989 and 1997, we estimate the effects of HOPE on course enrollment, withdrawal and completion, and the diversion of course taking from the academic year to the summer, treating non-residents as a control group. First, we find that HOPE decreased full-load enrollments and increased course withdrawals among resident freshmen. The combination of these responses results in an 11\% lower probability of full-load completion and an annual average reduction in credits completed of 1.0. The latter implies that between 1993 and 1997 Georgia-resident freshmen completed 15,710 fewer credit hours or 3,142 individual course enrollments than non-residents. Second, the scholarship's influence on course-taking behavior is concentrated on students with GPAs on or below the scholarship-retention margin. Third, the effect increased as the income cap was lifted and more students became eligible for the award. Fourth, these freshmen credit-hour reductions represent an intertemporal substitution, not a general slowdown in academic progress. Finally, residents diverted an average of 1.65 more credits from the regular academic year to the first summer term after their matriculation, which amounts to a 72\% rise in summer course taking.
    Keywords: Education, Merit-based aid, Education Finance, HOPE Scholarship
    JEL: I
    Date: 2005–01–05
  7. By: Enriqueta Aragones (Autonomous University of Barcelona - Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC)); Itzhak Gilboa (Eitan Berglas School of Economics, Tel Aviv University); Andrew Postlewaite (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania); David Schmeidler (Eitan Berglas School of Economics, Tel Aviv University)
    Abstract: People may be surprised by noticing certain regularities that hold in existing knowledge they have had for some time. That is, they may learn without getting new factual information. We argue that this can be partly explained by computational complexity. We show that, given a knowledge base, finding a small set of variables that obtain a certain value of R2 is computationally hard, in the sense that this term is used in computer science. We discuss some of the implications of this result and of fact-free learning in general.
    Keywords: Learning, Behavioral Economics
    JEL: D11
    Date: 2003–10–01

This nep-edu issue is ©2005 by Joao Carlos Correia Leitao. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.