nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2005‒02‒01
four papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Escaping Mass Education – Why Harvard Pays By Bergh, Andreas; Fink, Günther
  2. School Vouchers Italian Style By Brunello, Giorgio; Checchi, Daniele
  3. Education, Redistributive Taxation and Confidence By Konrad, Kai A.; Spadaro, Amedeo
  4. Federal Oversight, Local Control, and the Specter of "Resegregation" in Southern Schools By Charles T. Clotfelter; Helen F. Ladd; Jacob L. Vigdor

  1. By: Bergh, Andreas (Department of Economics, Lund University); Fink, Günther (Bocconi University)
    Abstract: Private universities, as opposed to publicly financed ones, are dominant in some countries and almost non-existent in others. We develop a dynamic model to demonstrate that private providers emerge as soon as they can profitably sell an elite signal to the most highly talented. As private providers engage in cream skimming, the returns to publicly provided education decreases, but the average return to higher education increases because of the signaling benefit created. We use numerical simulations to demonstrate the dynamic implications of our model, and provide some basic empirical evidence in support of the theory presented
    Keywords: Higher education; tertiary education; Signaling
    JEL: H52 I22
    Date: 2005–01–11
  2. By: Brunello, Giorgio (University of Padua, CESifo and IZA Bonn); Checchi, Daniele (University of Milan and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: School vouchers introduced recently in some Italian regions have lowered the cost of private schools. On one side, we provide evidence that Italian private schools may be selected for different reasons than quality considerations. On the other side, by exploiting individual data on voucher applicants, we present evidence that the percentage of voucher applicants is higher the higher the average quality of private schools, which we explain with the fact that better quality schools provide better services to students, including information and consulting on vouchers. We show that enrolment in private schools responds sluggishly to changes in tuition induced by vouchers. Under stringent assumptions, we estimate the slopes of demand and supply of private education in the largest Italian region, Lombardy, during the first two years since implementation of a voucher scheme, and provide a quantitative assessment of the long-term impact of vouchers on tuition fees and enrolment in private schools.
    Keywords: school vouchers, Italy
    JEL: I22
    Date: 2005–01
  3. By: Konrad, Kai A. (Free University of Berlin, WZB Berlin and IZA Bonn); Spadaro, Amedeo (PSE Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques and Universitat de les Illes Balears)
    Abstract: We consider redistributional taxation between people with and without human capital if education is endogenous and if individuals differ in their perceptions about own ability. Those who see their ability as low like redistributive taxation because of the transfers it generates. Those who see their ability as high may also like redistributive taxation because it stops other people receiving education and increases the quasi rents on their own human capital. It is surprising that this rather indirect effect can overcompensate them for the income loss from taxation and make the overconfident want higher taxes than the less confident do. The results, however, turn out to be in line with empirical evidence on the desired amount of redistribution among young individuals.
    Keywords: education, redistribution, confidence
    JEL: D78 H23 I21
    Date: 2005–01
  4. By: Charles T. Clotfelter; Helen F. Ladd; Jacob L. Vigdor
    Abstract: Analyzing data for the 100 largest school districts in the South and Border states, we ask whether there is evidence of "resegregation" of school districts and whether levels of segregation can be linked to judicial decisions. We distinguish segregation measures indicating the extent of racial isolation from those indicating the degree of racial imbalance across schools. For the period 1994 to 2004 the trend in only one measure of racial isolation is consistent with the hypothesis that districts in these regions are resegregating. Yet the increase in this measure appears to be driven by the general increase in the nonwhite percentage in the student population rather than policy-determined increases in racial imbalance. Racial imbalance itself shows no trend over this period. Racial imbalance is nevertheless associated with judicial declarations of unitary status, suggesting that segregation in schools might have declined had it not been for the actions of federal courts. This estimated relationship is subject to a lag, which is in keeping with the tendency for courts to grant unitary status only if districts agree to limit their own freedom to reassign students.
    JEL: I28
    Date: 2005–01

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