nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2005‒01‒23
six papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Does Work Pay in France? Monetary Incentives and the Guaranteed Minimum Income By Gurgand, Marc; Margolis, David N.
  2. What Factors Influence World Literacy? Is Africa Different? By Dorte Verner
  3. Protecting Education for the Poor in Times of Crisis: An Evaluation of a Scholarship Program in Indonesia By Robert Sparrow
  4. Unemployment and Welfare Participation in a Structural VAR: Rethinking the 1990s in the United States (Revised) By Corrado Andini
  5. Inequality in Child Academic Achievement in Single Parent Households: Evidence from Brazil By Andrew W. Horowitz; Andre Portela Souza
  6. Investing in Health: The Long-Term Impact of Head Start By Kathryn Anderson; James Foster; David Frisvold

  1. By: Gurgand, Marc (Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques, CREST and IRES); Margolis, David N. (TEAM, University of Paris 1, CNRS, CREST and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: Most welfare programs generate high marginal tax rates on labor income. This paper uses a representative sample of individua ls on France's main welfare program (the Revenu Minimum d'Insertion, or RMI) to estimate monetary gains to employment for welfare recipients. This is based on the distribution of potential monthly earnings faced by each individual, as in ferred from the distribution of observed wages and working time. Taking account of the welfare earnings top-up program (intéressement), we find that gains are almost always positive, but that their amount is very low, especially for single mothers. Intéressement is found to have a small impact, because of its provisional nature. Gains are positively related to the probability that a welfare recipient in 1996 will be observed in employment in 1998. Using a simple structural model, we interpret this as a labor supply effect.
    Keywords: welfare, labor earnings, transfers, tax-system
    JEL: I38 J31 C34
    Date: 2005–01
  2. By: Dorte Verner
    Abstract: Ninety-five percent of the world’s illiterate people live in developing countries, and about 70 percent are women. Female illiteracy rates are particularly high in Sub-Saharan Africa. In Niger and Burkina Faso, for example, more than 90 percent of women are illiterate. This paper presents a model of literacy. It shows that the main determinants of worldwide literacy are enrollment rates, average years of schooling of adults, and life expectancy at birth. Income has a weak nonlinear effect, negatively affecting literacy until a threshold level of per-capita income of about $2,200 a year is reached and positively affecting literacy thereafter. Finally, African countries do not have a significantly higher literacy rate when controlling for other factors. This paper—a product of the Social Development Family, Latin America and the Caribbean Region—is part of a larger effort in the Bank to reduce poverty and social exclusion.
    Keywords: Education; Governance; Poverty; Social Development
    Date: 2005–01–14
  3. By: Robert Sparrow (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam & Tinbergen Institute)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the impact of an Indonesian scholarship program, which was implemented in 1998 to preserve access to education for the poor during the economic crisis. Scholarships were targeted pro-poor and the allocation process followed a decentralised design, involving both geographic and individual targeting. The identification strategy exploits this decentralised structure, relying on instrumental variables constructed from regional mis-targeting at the initial phase of allocation. The program has increased enrolment, especially for primary school aged children from poor rural households. Moreover, the scholarships seem to have assisted households in smoothing consumption during the crisis, relieving pressure on households' investments in education and utilisation of child labour.
    Keywords: Social safety net, program evaluation, education, child labour, Asian economic crisis
    JEL: I28 J22 O15
    Date: 2005–01–20
  4. By: Corrado Andini (University of Rome 'La Sapienza' Department of Public Economics)
    Abstract: The Council of Economic Advisers (1997) started a large research effort about the relationship between the US unemployment rate and the welfare participation rate, with special regard to the 1990s. In this paper, this relationship is examined in a structural VAR over the period of 1960-2000. It is found that the unemployment rate does not Granger-cause the welfare participation rate, while the converse is true. Moreover, a negative shock to the welfare participation rate predicts a reduction in the unemployment rate. These results are robust to State and year heterogeneity over the period of 1990-1998. A first implication is that - contrarily to the majority view - the decline of the welfare participation rate in the last decade should be mainly attributed to restrictive welfare reforms, not to the fall in the unemployment rate. Further, the political choice to reduce the welfare participation rate may have inflated the reduction in the unemployment rate.
    Keywords: Welfare Unemployment VAR
    JEL: I
    Date: 2005–01–14
  5. By: Andrew W. Horowitz (Department of Economics, Sam M. Walton College of Business, University of Arkansas); Andre Portela Souza (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University and Department of Economics, University of Sao Paulo)
    Abstract: In this paper we compare the intra-household dispersion of children¹s education achievement in single female-parent households with two-parent households. We find significantly more dispersion across children in households¹ headed by females after controlling for household per-capita permanent income and other anticipated correlates. These results are robust and suggest that single-female parents are forced to alter the distribution as well as the level of household investment in children. Our empirical analysis is preceded by development of a theoretical model that suggests the correlation between the intra-household dispersion of academic achievement and single-parenthood may be general; i.e., not specific to Brazil. These results may have important policy implications for the interventions and incentives that target single parent households.
    Keywords: Human capital distributiuon, intra-household allocation, single-parent household
    JEL: D60 I20 J22
    Date: 2004–12
  6. By: Kathryn Anderson (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University); James Foster (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University); David Frisvold (Graduate Student at Vanderbilt University)
    Abstract: Head Start is a comprehensive, early childhood development program designed to augment the human capital and health capital levels of disadvantaged children. Grossman's (1972) health capital model suggests that early investments of this type should have lasting effects on health outcomes. This research evaluates the impact of Head Start on long-term health by comparing health outcome and behavioral indicators of adults who attended Head Start with those of siblings who did not. The results suggest that there are long-term health benefits from participation in Head Start and that these benefits result from lifestyle changes.
    Keywords: Early childhood education, Head Start, health, health capital, health disparities, human capital, program evaluation
    JEL: H51 I12 I21 I38
    Date: 2004–12

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