nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2005‒02‒27
nine papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Hartz IV - The German "Word of the Year 2004" and the Country's Hope to overcome its Problem of Unemployment By Lohse, Tim
  2. School choice and segregation: evidence from an admission reform By Söderström, Martin; Uusitalo, Roope
  3. The Impact of Parental Income and Education on the Schooling of Their Children By Chevalier, Arnaud; Harmon, Colm; O’Sullivan, Vincent; Walker, Ian
  4. Does Teacher Testing Raise Teacher Quality? Evidence from State Certification Requirements By Angrist, Joshua D.; Guryan, Jonathan
  5. The Knowledge Lift: The Swedish Adult Education Program That Aimed to Eliminate Low Worker Skill Levels By Albrecht, James; van den Berg, Gerard J.; Vroman, Susan
  6. Vive la Révolution! Long Term Returns of 1968 to the Angry Students By Maurin, Eric; McNally, Sandra
  7. The Market for Teacher Quality By Eric A. Hanushek; John F. Kain; Daniel M. O'Brien; Steven G. Rivkin
  8. The Expansion of College Education in the United States: Is There Evidence of Declining Cohort Quality? By Chinhui Juhn; Dae-Il Kim; Francis Vella
  9. Cultural Attitudes and Economic Development: arguments for a pluralist political economy of development By Manuel Couret Branco

  1. By: Lohse, Tim
    Abstract: When the centre-left government came into power in Germany in 1998, a core promise of the new Chancellor, Schroeder, was to reduce the lack of jobs and to increase welfare. Facing persistently increasing unemployment rates from then on, the government finally launched Hartz IV in 2004; the largest social reform project in the history of the Federal Republic. This reform, that took effect at the beginning of 2005, aims to increase employment in Europe's biggest but slowest growing economy, whilst avoiding the financial collapse of its social systems. Its main aim is to strengthen individual responsibility whilst lowering transfers for those unemployed individuals that are capable of work. Therefore, it is also the most disputed reform of the German social welfare system. By characterising effects and defects of the German welfare system, we identify some of the most important obstacles facing higher employment. We provide an outline of the government's endeavours to handle the problem of unemployment and of the main changes in the country's laws of social contributions. Particular focus is given to the newly established unemployment benefit II and to the reasonableness of work, which reflects a new social valuation of labour. To conclude, potential welfare and employment effects under the new system are discussed.
    Keywords: Welfare, Unemployment, Poverty.
    JEL: I38 J64
    Date: 2005–02
  2. By: Söderström, Martin (Uppsala University); Uusitalo, Roope (Labour Institute for Economic Research)
    Abstract: This paper studies the effects of school choice on segregation. We analyze the effect of a reform in Stockholm that changed the admission system of public upper secondary schools. Before the year 2000, students had priority to the school situated closest to where they lived, but from the fall of 2000 and onwards, admission is based on grades only. We show that the distribution of students over schools changed dramatically as a response to extending school choice. As expected, the new admission policy increased segregation by ability. However, segregation by family background, as well as, segregation between immigrants and natives also increased significantly.
    Keywords: School choice; segregation
    JEL: I21 I28 J24
    Date: 2005–01–28
  3. By: Chevalier, Arnaud (University of Kent, London School of Economics and IZA Bonn); Harmon, Colm (University College Dublin, CEPR and IZA Bonn); O’Sullivan, Vincent (University College London); Walker, Ian (University of Warwick, Institute of Fiscal Studies and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: This paper addresses the intergeneration transmission of education and investigates the extent to which early school leaving (at age 16) may be due to variations in permanent income, parental education levels, and shocks to income at this age. Least squares estimation reveals conventional results - stronger effects of maternal education than paternal, and stronger effects on sons than daughters. We find that the education effects remain significant even when household income is included. Moreover, decomposing the income when the child is 16 between a permanent component and shocks to income at age 16 only the latter is significant. It would appear that education is an important input even when we control for permanent income but that credit constraints at age 16 are also influential. However, when we use instrumental variable methods to simultaneously account for the endogeneity of parental education and paternal income, we find that the strong effects of parental education become insignificant and permanent income matters much more, while the effects of shocks to household income at 16 remain important. A similar pattern of results are reflected in the main measure of scholastic achievement at age 16. These findings have important implications for the design of policies aimed at encouraging pupils to remain in school longer.
    Keywords: early school leaving, intergenerational transmission
    JEL: I20 J62
    Date: 2005–02
  4. By: Angrist, Joshua D. (MIT, NBER and IZA Bonn); Guryan, Jonathan (University of Chicago and NBER)
    Abstract: The education reform movement includes efforts to raise teacher quality through stricter certification and licensing provisions. Most US states now require public school teachers to pass a standardized test such as the Praxis. Although any barrier to entry is likely to raise wages in the affected occupation, the theoretical effects of such requirements on teacher quality are ambiguous. Teacher testing places a floor on whatever skills are measured by the required test, but testing is also costly for applicants. These costs shift teacher supply to the left and may be especially likely to deter high-quality applicants from teaching in public schools. Moreover, test requirements may disqualify some applicants that schools would otherwise want to hire. We use the Schools and Staffing Survey to estimate the effect of state teacher testing requirements on teacher wages and teacher quality as measured by educational background. The results suggest that state-mandated teacher testing increases teacher wages with no corresponding increase in quality.
    Keywords: occupational licensure, education reform, worker screening
    JEL: I28 J44 J45
    Date: 2005–02
  5. By: Albrecht, James (Georgetown University and IZA Bonn); van den Berg, Gerard J. (Free University Amsterdam, IFAU Uppsala, Tinbergen Institute, CEPR, IFS and IZA Bonn); Vroman, Susan (Georgetown University and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: The Swedish adult education program known as the Knowledge Lift is unprecedented in its size and scope, aiming to raise the skill level of all low-skilled workers towards the medium level. This paper evaluates the effects of program participation on individual labor market outcomes, notably employment and annual income, as well as on the labor market equilibrium. For the effects at the individual level, we apply fixed effect methods allowing for treatment effect heterogeneity. The data are based on a number of matched longitudinal administrative data sets covering the full population of Sweden. For the equilibrium effects, we analyze an equilibrium search model with heterogeneous worker skills. This model is calibrated using pre-program observations.
    Keywords: returns to education, training, program evaluation, wages, participation, unemployment, schooling, Swedish labor market, selectivity bias, treatment effect
    JEL: J24 I28
    Date: 2005–02
  6. By: Maurin, Eric (Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques (PSE), CEPR and IZA Bonn); McNally, Sandra (CEP, CEE, London School of Economics and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: The famous events of May 1968, starting with student riots, threw France into a state of turmoil. The period of ‘revolution’ coincided with the time in which important examinations are undertaken. Normal procedures were abandoned and the pass-rate for various qualifications increased enormously. These events were particularly important for students at an early (and highly selective) phase of higher education. They are shown to have pursued further years of education because thresholds were lowered at critical stages. These historic events provide a natural experiment to analyse the returns to years of higher education for the affected generation and to consider consequences for their children. Thus, we contribute to debate on two very controversial questions: What is the true causal relationship between educational attainment and its labour market value? Is there a causal relationship between the education of parents and that of their children? Unlike most of the literature, we consider the effect of an intervention which alters an individual’s years of higher education rather than compulsory schooling. The results show a relatively high return, which might indicate that private returns are higher for the former. Furthermore, the treatment group is on the margin of the higher education system. This study suggests that expanding the university system to accommodate such people can yield very high private returns. Hence our study suggests very positive effects of the ‘1968 events’ for affected cohorts and is of contemporary relevance given the current debate in many countries about widening access to higher education.
    Keywords: higher education, intergenerational, wages
    JEL: I2
    Date: 2005–02
  7. By: Eric A. Hanushek; John F. Kain; Daniel M. O'Brien; Steven G. Rivkin
    Abstract: Much of education policy focuses on improving teacher quality, but most policies lack strong research support. We use student achievement gains to estimate teacher value-added, our measure of teacher quality. The analysis reveals substantial variation in the quality of instruction, most of which occurs within rather than between schools. Although teacher quality appears to be unrelated to advanced degrees or certification, experience does matter -- but only in the first year of teaching. We also find that good teachers tend to be effective with all student ability levels but that there is a positive value of matching students and teachers by race. In the second part of the analysis, we show that teachers staying in our sample of urban schools tend to be as good as or better than those who exit. Thus, the main cost of large turnover is the introduction of more first year teachers. Finally, there is little or no evidence that districts that offer higher salaries and have better working conditions attract the higher quality teachers among those who depart the central city district. The overall results have a variety of direct policy implications for the design of school accountability and the compensation of teachers.
    JEL: I2 J4 H4
    Date: 2005–02
  8. By: Chinhui Juhn (Department of Economics, University of Houston); Dae-Il Kim (School of Economics, Seoul National University); Francis Vella (Department of Economics, European University Institute)
    Abstract: This paper documents the expansion of college education in the U.S. and examines to what extent the increase in the number of college graduates may have lead to a decline in the average quality of college graduates. Using the 1940-1990 Census, we compare across birth year cohorts with varying levels of college completion. We find some weak evidence that college graduate men from highly educated cohorts earn a relatively smaller wage premium even controlling for the relative supply effect. However, these cohort quality effects account for only a small fraction of the recent fluctuation in the college wage premium.
    JEL: I20 J24 J31
    Date: 2004–09
  9. By: Manuel Couret Branco (Department of Economics, University of Évora)
    Date: 2005

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