nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2005‒04‒03
eleven papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. “What Gets Measured Gets Done”: Headteachers’ Responses to the English Secondary School By Deborah Wilson; Bronwyn Croxson; Adele Atkinson
  2. Sorting and Choice in English Secondary Schools By Simon Burgess; Brendon McConnell; Carol Propper; Deborah Wilson
  3. Education and Training in a Model of Endogenous Growth with Creative Destruction By Zon,Adriaan ,van; Antonietti,Roberto
  4. Student time allocation, the learning environment and the acquisition of competencies By Meng,Christoph; Heijke,Hans
  5. People People: Social Capital and the Labor-Market Outcomes of Underrepresented Groups By Borghans,Lex; Weel,Bas,ter; Weinberg,Bruce
  6. Winners and Losers from a Demographic Shock under Different Intergenerational Transfer Schemes By Zamac , Jovan
  7. Higher Education, Localization and Innovation: Evidence from a Natural Experiment By Andersson, Roland; John M. Quigley, John M.; Wilhelmsson, Mats
  8. From Education to Democracy? By Daron Acemoglu; Simon Johnson; James A. Robinson; Pierre Yared
  9. The Labor Market Impact of High-Skill Immigration By George J. Borjas
  10. Anatomy of the Czech Labour Market:From Over-Employment to Under-Employment in Ten Years? By Vladislav Flek; Kamil Galuščák; Jaromír Gottvald; Jaromír Hurník; Štěpán Jurajda; David Navrátil; Petr Mareš; Daniel Münich; Tomáš Sirovátka; Jiří Večerník
  11. Gender Specific Peer Groups and Choice at 16 By Don J Webber

  1. By: Deborah Wilson; Bronwyn Croxson; Adele Atkinson
    Abstract: English secondary schools operate within a performance management system, which includes league tables reporting school performance across a number of indicators. This paper reports the results of an interview-based study, showing that head teachers care about their school’s place in the league tables, and that they believe this system affects behaviour. The effects they identify include some unintended consequences, not necessarily related to improved overall school performance, including focusing on borderline students who can boost a pivotal indicator: the number of students gaining five A*-Cs at GCSE. This behaviour reflects, in part, the dual role played by headteachers: they are both educationalists (serving the interests of all pupils); and school marketers, concerned with promoting the school to existing and prospective parents. The behaviour is also consistent with economic theory, which predicts a focus on that which is measured, potentially at the expense of that which is important, in sectors characterised by incomplete measurement, by multiple stakeholders and containing workers with diverse objectives. We conclude that, given that performance indicators do affect behaviour, it is important to minimise unintended consequences, and we suggest the use of value-added indicators of student performance.
    Keywords: education, performance measures
    JEL: I2
    Date: 2004–08
  2. By: Simon Burgess; Brendon McConnell; Carol Propper; Deborah Wilson
    Abstract: This paper focuses on one of the outcomes arising from England’s choice based education system; the extent to which different types of pupils are sorted across schools. Pupil sorting will in turn impact on attainment outcomes, if there are peer group effects operating within schools. We consider three dimensions across which sorting may occur: ethnicity, income, and, for the first time using UK data, ability. We use a very large administrative dataset which contains linked histories of test scores for every pupil in England, as well as pupil level markers for ethnicity and low household income, and their home postcode (zip code). We first establish that choice is both feasible for and exercised by the majority of pupils in England. We then characterise and describe ability sorting and related it to feasibility of choice. We compare sorting across schools with sorting across neighbourhoods. We establish that post-residential school choice is an important component of the overall schooling decision. We show that there is a difference in the school-neighbourhood sorting relationship between areas that operate under different student-to-school assignment rules.
    Keywords: choice, segregation, schools
    JEL: I2
    Date: 2004–10
  3. By: Zon,Adriaan ,van; Antonietti,Roberto (MERIT)
    Abstract: By formulating an endogenous growth model that combines elements from Romer (1990), Aghion and Howitt (1992), and van Zon and Yetkiner (2003), the present paper studies the contribution of education and training on economic growth through their impact on the rate of innovation. The article addresses two main issues. The first is the optimum provision of on-the-job training necessary to be able to adopt, and adapt to new technologies. The second is the impact of both formal education and on-the-job training on the innovative capacity of an economic system that is the ultimate cause of output growth. In our set-up, education enhances R&D activities and lowers adjustment costs to new technologies, thus facilitating their adoption, while on the other hand on-the-job training ensures the possibility to implement the new coming technologies and reap all the related future profits. We assume that the adoption of a new technology consists of two periods, i.e. the training phase during which newly hired workers acquire the right amount of know how in order to become familiar with the specific new technology, and the implementation or production phase in which profit flows arise for firms and in which the cost savings that can be realized arise from productivity increases in the previous phase. By extending the training phase, entrepreneurs run a greater risk of shortening the production phase for a given arrival rate of new technologies that progressively erode the profit flows obtained from existing technologies. The paper shows first that it is possible to find a profit-maximizing, endogenously determined, amount of training that depends on the workers’ educational attainment. Thus, a situation in which better educated workers may be disproportionately selected for training issues is possible, especially in times of rapid technological change. However, the paper also shows that a non-linear relationship between education and technological change (and growth) exists, so that an increase in the formal level of education can even result in a reduction in the rate of growth. The reason for this is the increase in creative destruction that raises ‘technology adoption costs’ in terms of output foregone during re-training spells that arrive at a faster rate. The results offer some insights that are interesting from an education policy perspective.
    Keywords: labour economics ;
    Date: 2005
  4. By: Meng,Christoph; Heijke,Hans (ROA rm)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the significance of the higher education learning environment and the student’s time allocation over study related activities for the acquisition of generic and discipline-specific competencies. We discern four learning environments according to the emphasis placed on activating learning methods and the emphasis placed on the teacher as main source of information. Time used is measured for attention of formal education, self-study, extra-curricula activities and paid work. Using a unique data set on European higher education graduates, providing detailed information, we investigate the competencies acquisitions process by stochastic frontier production function methods. The results suggest that activating learning methods are effective in both, the acquisition of generic competencies and the acquisition of discipline-specific competencies. Moreover, the results show that discipline-specific competencies are acquired by attending formal education, by self-study and by paid work, as long as there is a strong link between the work and the study. Generic competencies are acquired by self-study and paid work that is related to the study.
    Keywords: labour market entry and occupational careers;
    Date: 2005
  5. By: Borghans,Lex; Weel,Bas,ter; Weinberg,Bruce (ROA rm)
    Abstract: Despite indications that interpersonal interactions are important for understanding individual labor-market outcomes and have become more important over the last decades, there is little analysis by economists. This paper shows that interpersonal interactions are important determinants of labor-market outcomes, including occupations and wages. We show that technological and organizational changes have increased the importance of interpersonal interactions in the workplace. We particularly focus on how the increased importance of interpersonal interactions has affected the labor-market outcomes of underrepresented groups. We show that the acceleration in the rate of increase in the importance of interpersonal interactions between the late 1970s and early 1990s can help explain why women’s wages increased more rapidly, while the wages of blacks grew more slowly over these years relative to earlier years.
    Keywords: education, training and the labour market;
    Date: 2005
  6. By: Zamac , Jovan (Department of Economics)
    Abstract: This study investigates the general equilibrium effects of a fertility shock under different intergenerational transfer schemes. The effects on lifetime income and utility for different generations, as well as the effects on factor prices, are analyzed in a three-period overlapping generations model where the workers provide for the young and the retired under different tax schemes. The economic effects of a fertility shock vary substantially with different intergenerational transfer schemes. How wages, interest rate and savings will evolve differs not only quantitatively but also qualitatively. To minimize the effects from a fertility shock it is vital that the effects on human capital are minimized. For a baby boom shock this implies that a higher fraction of output must be devoted to human capital accumulation, during the educational years of the baby boom generation. With respect to transfers to the old, the tax rate should not be fixed.
    Keywords: Intergenerational transfers; demography; social security; education
    JEL: H52 H55 J13
    Date: 2005–03–01
  7. By: Andersson, Roland (CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology); John M. Quigley, John M. (University of CaliforniaBerkeley, CA, USA); Wilhelmsson, Mats (CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology)
    Abstract: During the past fifteen years, government policy has decentralized post-secondary education in Sweden. We investigate the economic effects of this decentralization policy on the level of innovation and its spatial distribution in the Swedish economy. We rely upon micro data on patent activity over time, which records the home address of each patent awardee during the past eight years. These measures of innovation, together with data documenting the decentralization of university-based researchers and students, permit us to estimate the effects of exogenous changes in educational policy upon the extent and locus of innovative activity. We find important and significant effects of this policy upon the locus of knowledge production, suggesting that the decentralization has affected regional development through local innovation and increased creativity. We also find some evidence that this policy has affected the aggregate output of “knowledge industries.”
    Keywords: Higher Education; Localization; Innovation; Natural Experiment
    JEL: N34 O31 R11
    Date: 2005–03–18
  8. By: Daron Acemoglu; Simon Johnson; James A. Robinson; Pierre Yared
    Abstract: The conventional wisdom views high levels of education as a prerequisite for democracy. This paper shows that existing evidence for this view is based on cross-sectional correlations, which disappear once we look at within-country variation. In other words, there is no evidence that countries that increase their education are more likely to become democratic.
    JEL: O10
    Date: 2005–03
  9. By: George J. Borjas
    Abstract: The rapid growth in the number of foreign students enrolled in American universities has transformed the higher education system, particularly at the graduate level. Many of these newly minted doctorates remain in the United States after receiving their doctoral degrees, so that the foreign student influx can have a significant impact in the labor market for high-skill workers. Using data drawn from the Survey of Earned Doctorates and the Survey of Doctoral Recipients, the study shows that a foreign student influx into a particular doctoral field at a particular time had a significant and adverse effect on the earnings of doctorates in that field who graduated at roughly the same time. A 10 percent immigration-induced increase in the supply of doctorates lowers the wage of competing workers by about 3 percent.
    JEL: J1 J4
    Date: 2005–03
  10. By: Vladislav Flek; Kamil Galuščák; Jaromír Gottvald; Jaromír Hurník; Štěpán Jurajda; David Navrátil; Petr Mareš; Daniel Münich; Tomáš Sirovátka; Jiří Večerník
    Abstract: In this volume we investigate the macroeconomic aspects of labour market behaviour and its microfoundations. In the first part we deal with aggregate labour market trends and issues relevant to macroeconomic policy. The second part analyses in more detail labour flexibility, namely labour market flows, long-term unemployment and labour force deprivation. The third part addresses wage flexibility and relative wages, with special attention paid to regional unemployment elasticity of wages and returns to education. Worsening labour market performance can be seen especially in a rising NAIRU, declining labour mobility, labour deprivation due to long-term unemployment, skill mismatch and emerging signs of inflexibility in wage structures. Our conclusions are of use for both macroeconomic and labour market policies, signalling, among other messages, limitations on potential output growth stemming from deteriorated labour market performance and a need for institutional and structural changes rather than counter-cyclical policies to solve the unemployment problem in the Czech Republic.
    Keywords: Employment, labour flows, labour force marginalisation, NAIRU, returns to education, unemployment, wage curve, wage differentials, wage inflation.
    JEL: E24 J21 J30 J31 J44 J61 J62 J63 J64 J65
    Date: 2004–12
  11. By: Don J Webber (School of Economics, University of the West of England)
    Abstract: The UK government’s aim of achieving a 50% staying on rate in higher education at the age of 16 might not be achievable because it is demandconstrained: not all students want to stay on in education at 16. Peer groups are known to be stronger for boys than for girls and often influence choice at 16. The purpose of this paper is to examine the influence of gender-specific peer groups on students’ intentions and realisations to stay-on into post-compulsory education at the age of 16. The results suggest that boys’ intentions and realisations are influenced by their male peers. However, girls’ intentions are influenced by their whole peer group while their realisations are influenced by their female peer group. Policy targeted to increase participation rates should recognise these gender differences.
    Keywords: Education economics, School choice.
    JEL: J24 J31 I2
    Date: 2004–03

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