nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2005‒05‒29
seven papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. The impact of teachers’ wages on students’ performance in the presence of heterogeneity and endogeneity. Evidence from Brazil. By Maresa, SPRIETSMA; Fabio, WALTENBERG
  2. Early Literacy Achievements, Population Density and the Transition to Modern Growth By Raouf, BOUCEKKINE; David, DE LA CROIX; Dominique, PEETERS
  3. Return Intentions of University-Educated Turkish Expatriates By Nil Demet Güngör; Aysit Tansel
  4. The Effects of School Class Size on Length of Post-Compulsory Education: Some Cost-Benefit Analysis By Paul Bingley; Vibeke Myrup Jensen; Ian Walker
  5. The Impact of Direct Democracy on Public Education: Performance of Swiss Students in Reading By Justina A.V. Fischer
  7. Adjusting Household Structure: School Enrollment Impacts of Child Fostering in Burkina Faso By Richard Akresh

    Abstract: In this paper we estimate the effect of teachers’ wages on students’ achievement in a developing country. We use test scores of pupils enrolled in the 8th grade of primary school, surveyed in 2001 in Brazil. We regress individual student test scores on gross monthly teacher wages allowing for nonlinearities. Given the strong heterogeneity of Brazilian pupils and teachers, we estimate quantile regressions (QR), which provide, instead of a constant mean coefficient, a detailed characterization of the effect of teachers’ wages on conditional pupils’s scores. For the same reason, we also run separate regressions for private and public schools. We then account for potential endogeneity of teachers’ wages through the estimation of instrumental variables models (IV). Finally, we estimate two-stage least absolute deviation models (2SLAD), that allow us to cope simultaneously with the heterogeneity of the student-teacher relationship and with the endogeneity of teachers’s wages. Our results show that wages of language teachers have a small, but positive and significant effect, on student test scores in private schools, controlling for endogeneity, but that they are insignificant, or even negative, in public schools. We also observe that teacher wages show a decreasing effect as we move along the conditional distribution of scores. The same effects are found for mathematics teachers, but the results are less robust and the coefficients are smaller.
    Keywords: economics of education; human capital; resource allocation; eduction production functions; instrumental variables; two-stage least-squares; quatile regression; two-stage least absolute deviation
    JEL: I2 J24 J31
    Date: 2005–03–25
  2. By: Raouf, BOUCEKKINE; David, DE LA CROIX; Dominique, PEETERS
    Abstract: The transition from economic stagnation to sustained growth is often modelled thanks to “population-induced” productivity improvements, which are assumed rather than derived from primary assumptions. In this paper the effect of population on productivity is derived from optimal behavior. More precisely, both the number and location of education facilities are chosen optimally by municipalities. Individuals determine their education investment depending on the distance to the nearest school, and also on technical progress and longevity. In this setting, higher population density enables the set-up costs of additional schools to be covered, opening the possibility to reach higher educational levels. Using conterfactual experiments we find that one third of the rise in literacy can be directly attributed to the effect of density, while one sixth is linked to higher longevity and one half to technical progress. Moreover, the effect of population density in the model is consistent with the available evidence from England, where it is shown that schools were established at a high rate over the period 1540-1620.
    Keywords: Human Capital; Population Density; Education Investment;School Location;Technical Progress
    JEL: O41 I21 R12 J11
    Date: 2005–03–18
  3. By: Nil Demet Güngör (Middle East Technical University); Aysit Tansel (Middle East Technical University and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: The study presents research findings on the return intentions of Turkish professionals residing abroad, where the targeted group comprises individuals working at a full time job abroad and possessing a tertiary-level degree. The data are obtained from an internet survey of Turkish professionals conducted by the authors during the first half of 2002. A total of 1224 usable responses were obtained from a combination of internet search and referral sampling methods. Student non-return appears to be more significant compared to professional migration, since participants with foreign degrees appear less likely to return. There is a strong, positive association between initial return intentions and current return intentions, although this weakens with the length of stay. The findings also tend to confirm that the recent economic crises in Turkey have had an adverse impact on the return intentions of university educated professionals working abroad.
    Keywords: skilled migration, brain drain, return intentions, higher education, Turkey
    JEL: F20 F22
    Date: 2005–05
  4. By: Paul Bingley (NCRR, University of Aarhus); Vibeke Myrup Jensen (NCRR, University of Aarhus); Ian Walker (University of Warwick, Institute for Fiscal Studies and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: This paper is concerned with the relationship between class size and the student outcome - length of time in post-compulsory schooling. Research on this topic has been problematic partly because omitted unobservables, like parents’ incomes and education levels, are likely to be correlated with class size. Two potential ways to resolve this problem are to exploit either experimental or instrumental variation. In both cases, the methods require that the variation in both class size and the outcome should not be contaminated by other unobservable factors that affect the outcome - like family background. An alternative approach, which we pursue here, is to take advantage of variation in class size between siblings which allows unobservable family effects to be differenced out. Our aim is to provide estimates of the effect of class size and use these to conduct an evaluation of the costs and benefits of a reduction in class sizes.
    Keywords: class size, regression discontinuity, sibling differences
    JEL: I22 C23
    Date: 2005–05
  5. By: Justina A.V. Fischer
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the impact of direct legislation at the cantonal level on the quality of public education in Switzerland, using a cross-section of individual data on reading performance similar to that used in the OECD-PISA study. For this purpose, a structural and a reduced form of an educational production function is estimated. The OLS esti­mate of a composite index of direct democracy supports the findings previously ob­tained for U.S. states in which initiative-driven tax limits have had a deleterious effect on student performance in public schools. For a more complete picture, the impact of direct democracy on several portions of the conditional test score distribution is also in­vestigated using a quantile regression method. The negative impact appears to be equal in size between the estimated quantiles and to occur exclusively through the budgetary channel. Moreover, the equipment of schools is found to matter for student per­formance. Finally, no redistributive influence on students attending the same class is found.
    JEL: H41 I28 H10
    Date: 2005–04
  6. By: Olga Alonso-Villar (Dpto. de Economia Aplicada. Universidad de Vigo)
    Abstract: There is no doubt that people like to migrate to large cities because they can acquire a wider range of products and jobs, but also because they can exchange information and ideas in an easier way. In this respect, we will attempt to explain the formation of metropolitan areas through a general equilibrium model in which concentration emerges not only from the interaction between increasing returns to scale at the rm level, transport costs and the mobility of labor, but also from human capital externalities. Our aim is to underline the role of human capital as a factor that fosters both the agglomeration of the economic activity and cities' growth. The paper shows that there is new scope for government activities.
    Keywords: Monopolistic Competition; Agglomeration; Human Capital; Education
  7. By: Richard Akresh (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
    Abstract: Researchers claim that children growing up away from their biological parents may be at a disadvantage and have lower human capital investment. This paper measures the impact of child fostering on school enrollment and uses household and child fixed effects regressions to address the endogeneity of fostering. Data collection by the author involved tracking and interviewing the sending and receiving household participating in each fostering exchange, allowing a comparison of foster children with their non-fostered biological siblings. Foster children are equally likely as their host siblings to be enrolled after fostering and are 3.6 percent more likely to be enrolled than their biological siblings. Relative to children from non-fostering households, host siblings, biological siblings, and foster children all experience increased enrollment after the fostering exchange, indicating fostering may help insulate poor households from adverse shocks. This Pareto improvement in schooling translates into a long-run improvement in educational and occupational attainment.
    Keywords: Human capital investment, Child fostering, Household structure
    JEL: J12 I20 O15 D10
    Date: 2004–11

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