nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2005‒07‒03
eleven papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Multidimensional Evaluation of Urban Green Spaces : A Comparative Study on European Cities By Levent, Tuzin Baycan; Vreeker, Ron; Nijkamp, Peter
  2. Assessing development strategies and Africa's food and nutrition security By Heidhues, Franz; Atsain, Achi; Nyangito, Hezron; Padilla, Martine; Ghersi, Gérard; Le Vallée, Jean-Charles
  3. Increasing the effective participation of women in food and nutrition security in Africa By Quisumbing, Agnes R.; Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela; Smith, Lisa C.
  4. Students and Teachers: A DEA Approach to the Relative Efficiency of Portuguese Public Universities By António Afonso; Mariana Santos
  5. Education, Matching and the Allocative Value of Romance By Alison Booth; Melvyn Coles
  6. Accounting for the Effect of Health on Economic Growth By David N. Weil
  7. Principals as Agents: Subjective Performance Measurement in Education By Brian A. Jacob; Lars Lefgren
  8. Social Capital, Public Spending and the Quality of Economic Development By Fabio Sabatini
  9. Earnings inequalities and educational mobility in Brazil over two decades By Denis Cogneau; Jérémie Gignoux
  10. Education, Employment and Earnings of Secondary School-Leavers in Tanzania: Evidence from a Tracer Study By Samer Al-Samarrai; Barry Reilly
  11. Overeducation and the Graduate Labour Market: A Quantile Regression Approach By Seamus McGuinness; Jessica Doyle

  1. By: Levent, Tuzin Baycan (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculteit der Economische Wetenschappen en Econometrie (Free University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics Sciences, Business Administration and Economitrics); Vreeker, Ron; Nijkamp, Peter
    Abstract: Urban green spaces play an important role in improving quality of life and sustainability in cities and require a careful empirical assessment. Several factors such as social, economic, ecological or planning aspects, and several functions such as utilization, production, employment, education, regulation and preservation of urban green spaces form the basis for the determination of the criteria and indicators relevant for the assessment of urban green spaces. This multi-faceted ramification of urban green spaces needs therefore, a multidimensional evaluation approach in an urban policy context. The aim of this paper is to investigate the complex and heterogeneous structure of urban green spaces from a multi-faceted assessment perspective. The paper examines urban green spaces from the viewpoint of quantity and availability of urban green spaces, changes in green spaces, planning of urban green spaces, financing of urban green spaces and level of performance, on the basis of a comparison of 24 European cities by deploying a multi-criteria analysis for mixed quantitative and qualitative information, coined Regime Analysis. It aims to highlight the present situation and priorities in decision-making and to compare the green performance of European cities in the process of urban green planning and management. A comparison of urban green spaces in European cities by means of multi-criteria analysis brings to light the critical elements in the present situation and sets out choice directions based on priorities in decision-making and policy evaluation. This evaluation of several experiences in different regions and countries provides a fascinating European picture in terms of urban green planning and management.
    Keywords: urban green spaces; cities; Europe
    Date: 2004
  2. By: Heidhues, Franz; Atsain, Achi; Nyangito, Hezron; Padilla, Martine; Ghersi, Gérard; Le Vallée, Jean-Charles
    Abstract: "On average, a typical developing country in Africa is assisted by about 30 aid institutions in the implementation of development strategies, yet Africa is still far from achieving food and nutrition security. Adequate access to food that is necessary for food security must be complemented with provision of health services, education, sanitary environments, and safe water sources, among other resources, to achieve nutrition security." from Text
    Keywords: Development assistance ,Food security Africa ,Nutrition Security ,Health services ,Water quality ,Sanitation ,Development strategies ,
    Date: 2004
  3. By: Quisumbing, Agnes R.; Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela; Smith, Lisa C.
    Abstract: What can be done to increase the effective participation of women in food and nutrition security in Africa? This brief advocates a two-pronged approach. First, eradicate discrimination against women, and second, promote catch-up by implementing more active measures in key areas such as control over land, water, and other assets, and investment in education, health, child care, and other services for women. Since the set of actions that are most appropriate in a given situation will be context specific, we present examples of approaches that have worked in Sub-Saharan Africa." from Text
    Keywords: Nutrition ,Property rights ,Child care ,Education ,Women ,Gender ,
    Date: 2004
  4. By: António Afonso; Mariana Santos
    Abstract: We employ a non-parametric methodology, Data Envelopment Analysis, to estimate efficiency scores for Portuguese public universities, using data mainly for 2003. The input measures are constructed from the number of teachers and from universities’ spending while the outputs measures are based on the undergraduate success rate and on the number of doctoral dissertations. Using frontier analysis we are able to separate universities that might qualify, as “performing well” from those were some improvement might be possible in terms of efficiency. This could imply a better allocation by the universities of the usually scarce public financial resources available to tertiary education.
    Keywords: tertiary education, efficiency, production possibility frontier, DEA
    JEL: C14 H52 I21
  5. By: Alison Booth (RSSS, Australian National University and IZA Bonn); Melvyn Coles (ICREA, IAE and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: Societies are characterized by customs governing the allocation of non-market goods such as marital partnerships. We explore how such customs affect the educational investment decisions of young singles and the subsequent joint labor supply decisions of partnered couples. We consider two separate matching paradigms for agents with heterogeneous abilities - one where partners marry for money and the other where partners marry for romantic reasons orthogonal to productivity or debt. These generate different investment incentives and therefore have a real impact on the market economy. While marrying for money generates greater investment efficiency, romantic matching generates greater allocative efficiency, since more high ability individuals participate in the labour market. The analysis offers the possibility of explaining cross-country differences in educational investments and labor force participation based on matching regimes.
    Keywords: education, participation, matching, marriage, cohabitation
    JEL: I21 J12 J16 J41
    Date: 2005–06
  6. By: David N. Weil
    Abstract: I use microeconomic estimates of the effect of health on individual outcomes to construct macroeconomic estimates of the proximate effect of health on GDP per capita. I use a variety of methods to construct estimates of the return to health, which I combine with cross-country and historical data on several health indicators including height, adult survival, and age at menarche. My preferred estimate of the share of cross-country variance in log income per worker explained by variation in health is 22.6%, roughly the same as the share accounted for by human capital from education, and larger than the share accounted for by physical capital. I present alternative estimates ranging between 9.5% and 29.5%. My preferred estimate of the reduction in world income variance that would result from eliminating health variations among countries is 36.6%.
    JEL: I1 O1 O4
    Date: 2005–07
  7. By: Brian A. Jacob; Lars Lefgren
    Abstract: In this paper, we compare subjective principal assessments of teachers to the traditional determinants of teacher compensation ¡V education and experience ¡V and another potential compensation mechanism -- value-added measures of teacher effectiveness based on student achievement gains. We find that subjective principal assessments of teachers predict future student achievement significantly better than teacher experience, education or actual compensation, though not as well as value-added teacher quality measures. In particular, principals appear quite good at identifying those teachers who produce the largest and smallest standardized achievement gains in their schools, but have far less ability to distinguish between teachers in the middle of this distribution and systematically discriminate against male and untenured faculty. Moreover, we find that a principal¡¦s overall rating of a teacher is a substantially better predictor of future parent requests for that teacher than either the teacher¡¦s experience, education and current compensation or the teacher¡¦s value-added achievement measure. These findings not only inform education policy, but also shed light on subjective performance assessment more generally.
    JEL: I0
    Date: 2005–07
  8. By: Fabio Sabatini (University of Rome La Sapienza)
    Abstract: This paper carries out an empirical assessment of the relationship between social capital and the quality of economic development in Italy. The analysis draws on a dataset collected by the author including about two hundred variables representing different aspects of economic development and four “structural” dimensions of social capital. The quality of development is measured through human development and indicators of the state of health of urban ecosystems, public services, gender equality, and labour markets, while social capital is measured through synthetic indicators representing strong family ties, weak informal ties, voluntary organizations, and political participation. The quality of development exhibits a strong positive correlation with bridging weak ties and a negative correlation with strong family ties. Particularly, the analysis shows a strong correlation between informal ties and an indicator of “social well-being” (synthetizing gender equality, public services and labour markets) and between voluntary organizations and the state of health of urban ecosystems. Active political participation proves to be irrelevant in terms of development and well-being. Finally, the role of public spending for education, health care, welfare work, and the environment protection is analysed, revealing a scarce correlation both with social capital and development indicators.
    Keywords: Social capital, Social networks, Public spending, Economic development, Principal component analysis
    JEL: O15 O18 R11
    Date: 2005–06–29
  9. By: Denis Cogneau (DIAL, IRD, Paris); Jérémie Gignoux (INED, IEP-Paris, Université Paris-IX Dauphine, LEA/INRA)
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of changes in educational opportunities on various definitions of labour market inequalities in Brazil over two decades (1976-96). Using four editions of the nationally representative PNAD survey, we analyze the evolution of overall inequalities and inequalities of opportunity in 40-49 year old males’ earnings. We design and implement semiparametric decompositions of the respective effects of (i) schooling expansion, (ii) changes in the structure of earnings, and (iii) changes in intergenerational educational mobility. Earnings inequalities varied little over the period, with a peak in the late 1980s that can be imputed to hyperinflation. First of all, the decompositions show that changes in the distribution of education contributed to the increase in both overall earnings inequalities and inequalities of opportunity among the oldest generations, before sharply reducing them among the post-WWII cohorts. Secondly, the decrease in returns to education also contributed to equalizing labour market opportunities in the 1988-96 period. Thirdly and lastly, the changes in educational mobility were not large enough to significantly affect earnings inequalities, whereas it is shown that they should play a prominent role in equalizing opportunities in the future. _________________________________ Ce papier étudie les conséquences des changements dans les opportunités scolaires sur plusieurs définitions des inégalités sur le marché du travail au Brésil sur deux décennies. En utilisant quatre éditions de l’enquête nationale représentative PNAD, nous analysons l’évolution des inégalités globales et de l’inégalité des chances de rémunérations des hommes de 40 à 49 ans. Nous construisons et mettons en oeuvre des décompositions semi-paramétriques des effets respectifs de (i) l’expansion de la scolarisation (ii) les changements dans la structure des rémunérations, et (iii) les changements dans la mobilité scolaire intergénérationnelles. Les inégalités de rémunération ont peu varié sur l’ensemble de la période, avec un pic à la fin des années 1980 attribuable à l’hyperinflation. Premièrement, les décompositions montrent que les changements dans la distribution de l’éducation ont contribué à l’accroissement des inégalités de rémunération globales et de l’inégalité des chances dans les générations les plus anciennes, avant de les réduire fortement parmi les cohortes nées dans l’aprèsguerre. Deuxièmement, la baisse des rendements de l’éducation a aussi contribué à égaliser les opportunités sur le marché du travail pendant la période 1988-96. Troisièmement et enfin, les évolutions de la mobilité scolaire n’ont pas été suffisamment importantes pour affecter significativement les inégalités de rémunération, alors qu’il est montré qu’elles devraient jouer un rôle primordial pour l’égalisation des opportunités dans le futur.
    Keywords: Equality of opportunities, Labour market, Inequality decomposition, Brazil,Egalité des chances, Marché du travail, Décomposition des inégalités, Brésil
    JEL: D63 J62 O15
    Date: 2005–06
  10. By: Samer Al-Samarrai (Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex); Barry Reilly (Poverty Research Unit at Sussex, Department of Economics, University of Sussex)
    Abstract: The extent of information on labour market outcomes and the earnings of educated groups in Tanzania, and Sub-Saharan Africa more generally, are limited. This is particularly so for individuals who fail to gain access to wage employment and are required to rely on exploiting self-employment opportunities. The current paper, using a recently completed tracer survey of secondary school completers, analyses the impact of education and training on individual welfare through the estimation of earnings equations. Our empirical evidence suggests that the rates of return to educational qualifications are not negligible and, at the margin, provide an investment incentive. However, we find little evidence of human capital effects in the earnings determination process in the self-employment sector. Information contained in the tracer survey allowed the introduction of controls for father’s educational background and a set of school fixed effects designed to proxy for school quality and potential labour market network effects. The analysis shows that the inclusion of these controls tends to reduce the estimated rates of return to educational qualifications. This emphasizes the potential confounding role of school quality/network effects and parental background for rate of return analysis. We would argue that a failure to control for such background variables potentially leads to an over-statement in the estimated returns to education. A comparison of our results with evidence from other countries in the region shows that despite an extremely small secondary and university education system the private rates of return to education in the Tanzanian wage employment sector are relatively low.
    Date: 2005–06
  11. By: Seamus McGuinness; Jessica Doyle (Economic Research Institute of Northern Ireland)
    Abstract: This paper uses quantile regression techniques to analyse the characteristics of the wage distribution of a cohort of Northern Ireland graduates. It was found that the penalty associated with graduate overeducation experienced by female graduates was much larger than that for male graduates. Whilst the impacts of male overeducation tended to be more heavily concentrated in the segments of the wage distribution usually associated with lower ability, the effect was found to be much more pervasive and constant throughout the entirety of the female wage distribution. The results provide only partial support for the hypothesis linking the incidence of overeducation with lower levels of ability. It is shown that the unequal distributional impacts of overeducation contribute, to some extent, to a widening of the gender pay gap, however, educational background and regional labour market characteristics were found to be much more important in this respect.
    JEL: I20 I21 J30 J31
    Date: 2004–10

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