nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2005‒11‒05
23 papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Freshman learning communities, college performance, and retention By Julie L. Hotchkiss; Robert E. Moore; M. Melinda Pitts
  2. Human capital growth in a cross section of U.S. metropolitan areas By Christopher H. Wheeler
  4. Does Marriage Make People Happy, Or Do Happy People Get Married? By Alois Sutzer; Bruno S. Frey
  5. Are US Wages Really Determined by European Labor-Market Institutions? By Jürgen Meckl
  6. Young Women's Religious Affiliation and Participation as Determinants of High School Completion By Evelyn L. Lehrer
  7. Does the Early Bird Catch the Worm? Instrumental Variable Estimates of Educational Effects of Age of School Entry in Germany By Patrick A. Puhani; Andrea M. Weber
  8. Where Have All The Home Care Workers Gone? By Margaret Denton; Isik Urla Zeytinoglu; Sharon Davies; Danielle Hunter
  9. Does Head Start Improve Children%u2019s Life Chances? Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design By Jens Ludwig; Douglas L. Miller
  10. Contraception as Development? New Evidence from Family Planning in Colombia By Grant Miller
  11. Using Experimental Economics to Measure the Effects of a Natural Educational Experiment on Altruism By Eric Bettinger; Robert Slonim
  12. Achieving Universal Primary Education: Can Kenya Afford it? By Rob Vos; Arjun Bedi; Paul K. Kimalu; Damiano K. Manda; Nancy N. Nafula; Mwangi S. Kimenyi
  13. Mind the Gap - Bridging the Gender Gap in Developing Regions By Alessandro Magnoli
  14. The Impact of Childhood Health on Adult Labor Market Outcomes By James Smith
  16. Matching Estimates of the Impact of Over-the-Counter Emergency Birth Control on Teenage Pregnancy By Sourafel Girma; David Paton
  17. Evidence of Returns to Schooling in Africa from Household Surveys: Monitoring and Restructuring the Market for Education By T. Paul Schultz
  18. Female Schooling, Non-Market Productivity, and Labor Market Participation in Nigeria By Adebayo B. Aromolaran
  19. Residential Segregation in General Equilibrium By Patrick Bayer; Robert McMillan; Kim Rueben
  20. Schooling Returns for Wage Earners in Burkina Faso: Evidence from the 1994 and 1998 National Surveys By Harounan Kazianga
  21. Female Household-Headship in Rural Bangladesh: Incidence, Determinants and Impact on Children's Schooling Shareen Joshi By Shareen Joshi
  22. On- and off-farm labor decisions by slash-and-burn farmers in Yucatan (Mexico) By Unai Pascual; Edward Barbier
  23. "A Dynamic General Equilibrium Analysis of the Political Economy of Public Education." By Jorge Soares

  1. By: Julie L. Hotchkiss; Robert E. Moore; M. Melinda Pitts
    Abstract: This paper applies a standard treatment effects model to determine that participation in Freshman Learning Communities (FLCs) improves academic performance and retention. Not controlling for individual self-selection into FLC participation leads one to incorrectly conclude that the impact is the same across race and gender groups. Accurately assessing the impact of any educational program is essential in determining what resources institutions should devote to it.
    Date: 2005
  2. By: Christopher H. Wheeler
    Abstract: Human capital is typically viewed as generating a number of desirable outcomes, including economic growth. Yet, in spite of its importance, few empirical studies have explored why some economies accumulate more human capital than others. This paper attempts to do so using a sample of more than 200 metropolitan areas in the United States over the years 1980, 1990, and 2000. The results reveal two consistently significant correlates of human capital growth, defined as the change in a city*s rate of college completion: population and the existing stock of college-educated labor. Given that population growth and human capital accumulation are both positively associated with education, these results suggest that the geographic distributions of population and human capital should have become more concentrated in recent decades. That is, larger, more educated metropolitan areas should have exhibited the fastest rates of increase in both population and education and thus #pulled away* from smaller, less-educated metropolitan areas. The evidence largely supports this conclusion.
    Keywords: Human capital
    Date: 2005
  3. By: Ono, Hiroshi (European Institute of Japanese Studies)
    Abstract: I examine the extent and causes of digital inequality in the three countries of East Asia – Japan, South Korea and Singapore. I take advantage of individual-level microdata collected in the three countries between 1997 and 2000, and highlight differences in the socio-economic and demographic patterns of technology adoption, usage, and skills across countries and over time. Despite the high overall diffusion rates of information communication technologies (ICT) in all three countries, there remains a clear divide in access and use between various demographic groups. I find that household income, education and gender are the key determinants of digital inequality in all three countries, but there is sizeable variation in their magnitudes. In general, I find that inequality in ICT access, use and skills reflects pre-existing inequality in other areas of economy and society in the three countries.
    Keywords: Internet; computers; digital inequality
    JEL: J16 L86 N35 O33
    Date: 2005–10–27
  4. By: Alois Sutzer (University of Zurich and IZA Bonn); Bruno S. Frey (University of Zurich)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the causal relationships between marriage and subjective well-being in a longitudinal data set spanning 17 years. We find evidence that happier singles opt more likely for marriage and that there are large differences in the benefits from marriage between couples. Potential, as well as actual, division of labor seems to contribute to spouses’ wellbeing, especially for women and when there is a young family to raise. In contrast, large differences in the partners’ educational level have a negative effect on experienced life satisfaction.
    Keywords: division of labor, marriage, selection, subjective well-being
    JEL: D13 I31 J12
    Date: 2005–10
  5. By: Jürgen Meckl (University of Giessen and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: This paper integrates institutionally determined wage rigidities into an otherwise standard Heckscher-Ohlin model of international trade. It accounts for differences in individual productivities and their implications for individual wage incomes and demand for education. Although preserving the factor-price-equalization property of the global equilibrium approach, the model does not support the view expressed by Davis (1998) that global equilibrium links insulate the US labor market from exogenous shocks. It provides a foundation of the derived from comparative studies that do not consistently account for the global general equilibrium links.
    Keywords: wage rigidities, international trade, education, skill-specific unemployment
    JEL: F11 J31
    Date: 2005–10
  6. By: Evelyn L. Lehrer (University of Illinois at Chicago and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: The far-reaching consequences of failing to complete secondary schooling are well known. The central questions addressed in this study are: Does religion make a difference in the likelihood of successfully completing the transition to high-school graduation? If so, how large are the influences? Based on a human capital framework, the paper develops hypotheses about the effects of two dimensions of religion during childhood - affiliation and participation - and tests them with data on non-Hispanic white, African-American, and Hispanic female respondents from the 1995 National Survey of Family Growth. The results are generally consistent with the hypotheses, revealing sizeable differentials in high-school graduation rates by affiliation and participation. The results also uncover pronounced differences by race/ ethnicity.
    Keywords: religion, education
    JEL: J24 J15 J22
    Date: 2005–10
  7. By: Patrick A. Puhani (Darmstadt University of Technology, SIAW, University of St. Gallen, WDI, and IZA Bonn); Andrea M. Weber (Darmstadt University of Technology)
    Abstract: We estimate the effect of age of school entry on educational attainment using three different data sets for Germany, sampling pupils at the end of primary school, in the middle of secondary school and several years after secondary school. Results are obtained based on instrumental variable estimation exploiting the exogenous variation in month of birth. We find robust and significant positive effects on educational attainment for pupils who enter school at seven instead of six years of age: Test scores at the end of primary school increase by about 0.42 standard deviations and years of secondary schooling increase by almost half a year.
    Keywords: education, immigration, policy, identification
    JEL: I21 I28 J24
    Date: 2005–10
  8. By: Margaret Denton; Isik Urla Zeytinoglu; Sharon Davies; Danielle Hunter
    Abstract: Because of the on-going need to co-ordinate care and ensure its continuity, issues of retention and recruitment are of major concern to home care agencies. The purpose of this study was to examine the factors affecting turnover decisions among visiting home care workers. In 1996, 620 visiting nurses and personal support workers from three non-profit agencies in a mid-sized Ontario city participated in a survey on their work and health. By the fall of 2001, 320 of these respondents had left the agencies. Analysis of the turnover data showed a temporal association between the implementation of managed competition and turnover. We mailed a self-completion questionnaire asking about their reasons for leaving the agency and about their subsequent work experience. One hundred and sixty nine (53%) responded to this survey. Respondents indicated dissatisfaction with the implementation of managed competition, with pay, hours of work, lack of organizational support and work load as well as health reasons, including work-related stress, as reasons for leaving. Less than one-third remained employed in the home care field, one-third worked in other health care workplaces and one-third were no longer working in health care. Their responses to our 1996 survey were used to predict turnover. Results show that nurses were more likely to leave if they had unpredictable hours of work, if they worked shifts or weekends and had higher levels of education. They were more likely to stay with the agency if they reported working with difficult clients, had predictable hours, good benefits, had children under 12 years of age in the home, and were younger. Personal support workers were more likely to leave if they reported higher symptoms of stress, and had difficult clients. They were more likely to stay if they worked weekends and perceived their benefits to be good.
    Keywords: turnover, home care workers, nurses, personal support workers, managed competition, home care sector, policy, for-profit agency, non-profit agency
    JEL: I11 I18
    Date: 2005–09
  9. By: Jens Ludwig; Douglas L. Miller
    Abstract: This paper exploits a new source of variation in Head Start funding to identify the program’s effects on health and schooling. In 1965 the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) provided technical assistance to the 300 poorest counties in the U.S. to develop Head Start funding proposals. The result was a large and lasting discontinuity in Head Start funding rates at the OEO cutoff for grant-writing assistance, but no discontinuity in other forms of federal social spending. We find evidence of a large negative discontinuity at the OEO cutoff in mortality rates for children ages 5-9 from causes that could be affected by Head Start, but not for other mortality causes or birth cohorts that should not be affected by the program. We also find suggestive evidence for a positive effect of Head Start on educational attainment in both the 1990 Census, concentrated among those cohorts born late enough to have been exposed to the program, and among respondents in the National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988.
    JEL: I18 I20 I38
    Date: 2005–10
  10. By: Grant Miller
    Abstract: There has been considerable debate in the last decade about whether or not family planning programs in developing countries reduce fertility or improve socio-economic outcomes. Despite suggestive associations, disagreement persists because the availability and use of modern contraceptives are generally determined by both supply- and demand-side factors. This paper provides new evidence on the role of contraceptive supply by exploiting the surprisingly haphazard expansion of one of the world’s oldest and largest family planning organizations  PROFAMILIA of Colombia. Its findings suggest that family planning allowed Colombian women to postpone their first birth and have approximately one-half fewer children in their lifetime. Delayed first births, in turn, seem to have enabled young women to obtain more education and to work more and live independently later in life. Although family planning explains only about 10% of Colombia’s fertility decline, it appears to have reduced the otherwise substantial costs of fertility control and may be among the most effective development interventions.
    JEL: I12 I31 J13 N36 O12
    Date: 2005–10
  11. By: Eric Bettinger; Robert Slonim
    Abstract: Economic research examining how educational intervention programs affect primary and secondary schooling focuses largely on test scores although the interventions can affect many other outcomes. This paper examines how an educational intervention, a voucher program, affected students' altruism. The voucher program used a lottery to allocate scholarships among low-income applicant families with children in K-8th grade. By exploiting the lottery to identify the voucher effects, and using experimental economic methods, we measure the effects of the intervention on children's altruism. We also measure the voucher program's effects on parents' altruism and several academic outcomes including test scores. We find that the educational intervention positively affects students' altruism towards charitable organizations but not towards their peers. We fail to find statistically significant effects of the vouchers on parents' altruism or test scores.
    JEL: I2 C9
    Date: 2005–10
  12. By: Rob Vos (Institute of Social Studies, The Hague); Arjun Bedi (Institute of Social Studies, The Hague); Paul K. Kimalu (Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis); Damiano K. Manda (Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis); Nancy N. Nafula (Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis); Mwangi S. Kimenyi (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: Kenya has experienced a rapid expansion of the education system partly due to high government expenditure on education. Despite the high level of expenditure on education, primary school enrolment has been declining since early 1990s and until 2003 when gross primary school enrolment increased to 104 percent after the introduction of free primary education. However, with an estimated net primary school enrolment rate of 77 percent, the country is far from achieving universal primary education. The worrying scenario is that the allocations of resources within the education sector seems to be ineffective as the increasing expenditure on education goes to recurrent expenditure (to pay teachers salaries). Kenya's Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) and the Economic Recovery Strategy for wealth and Employment Creation (ERS) outlines education targets of reaching universal primary education by 2015. The Government is faced with budget constrains and therefore the available resources need to be allocated efficiently in order to realize the education targets. The paper uses Budget Negotiation Framework (BNF) to analyze the cost effective ways of resource allocation in the primary education sector to achieve universal primary education and other education targets. Budget Negotiation Framework is a tool that aims at achieving equity and efficiency in resource allocation. Results from the analysis shows that universal primary education by the year 2015 is a feasible target for Kenya. The results also show that with a more cost- effective spending of education resources - increased trained teachers, enhanced textbook supplies and subsidies targeting the poor - the country could realize higher enrolment rates than what has been achieved with free primary education.
    JEL: I22 C53 H40
    Date: 2004–12
  13. By: Alessandro Magnoli (Harvard University)
    Abstract: According to conventional wisdom, health and education are important factors for economic and social development: they improve productivity and income distribution, and the poor gain the most. Nonetheless, in many regions of the world not all members of society receive these services equally. To a large extent, women are left out of health and education systems; as a consequence, they constitute an economically and socially disadvantaged group. Disproportionate poverty, low social status, and their reproductive role expose women to high health risks, resulting in needless and largely preventable suffering and death. A woman’s health and nutritional status is not only an individual welfare concern, but also a national one, because it has an impact on her children and her economic productivity. Similarly, women’s education still lags far behind men’s in most developing countries, with far- reaching adverse consequences for both the individual and national well being. Indeed, more schooling increases the incomes of males and females, but educating girls generates much larger social benefits. Why? Because women will use both the newly acquired knowledge and related extra income for the benefit of the family. This article analyzes the gender gaps within health and education in six regions of the developing world: Sub-Saharan Africa; South Asia; East and Southeast Asia; The Middle East and North Africa; Latin America and the Caribbean; Eastern Europe and Central Asia. In all of these regions, there is an unfinished agenda in terms of access and equity. Three substantial reasons support an active government interest in the field of women’s health and nutrition and justify public expenditure in gender-targeted educational policies: equity, economic development and social cohesion. On the one hand, investment in women’s health and nutrition promotes equality, widespread benefits for this generation and the next, and economic efficiency because many of the interventions that address women’s health problems are cost-effective. On the other hand, educating women brings about the potential benefit of educating the population. The failure to educate women can result in the loss of raised productivity, increased income, and improved quality of life. In general, the exclusion of women from health and education delivery can act as a severe constraint on the achievement of higher development levels. Hence, it is a high priority to invest more in these social services and to remodel their delivery systems.
    Keywords: Gender Gap; Health and education
    JEL: J
    Date: 2005–10–28
  14. By: James Smith (RAND Corporation)
    Abstract: This paper uses some unique data derived from the Panel Survey of Income Dynamics that has followed groups of siblings and their parents for as long as thirty years. Throughout that period, information on education, income, wealth, and health were collected mostly prospectively on all parties. Most important, following siblings from the same family offers a very unique opportunity to control for unmeasured family and other background effects common to children raised in the same family. Using this data, I present estimates that indicate that health conditions during childhood have quantitatively large impacts on virtually all the key adult indicators of socioeconomic status that are used by economists.
    JEL: J
    Date: 2005–11–03
  15. By: James P. Smith
    Abstract: In this paper I evaluated the new health information that has recently become available in the PSID to assess whether or not it can serve a constructive role in the ongoing SES-health debate. There are two types of information that appear to be promising—the self-reports of general health status that were first introduced in 1984, and the prevalence and incidence of new chronic conditions that were first added in 1999. In this evaluation, I place particular emphasis on the possibility of using the retrospective information on incidence of chronic conditions. The paper also offers several substantive conclusions. First, across the life course SES impacts future health outcomes although the primary culprit appears to be education and not an individual’s financial resources in whatever form they might be received. That conclusion appears to be robust to whether the financial resources are income or wealth or to whether the financial resources represent new information such as the largely unanticipated wealth that was a consequence of the recent stock market boom. Finally, this conclusion appears to be robust across new health outcomes that take place across the short and intermediate time frames of up to fifteen years in the future
    JEL: J
    Date: 2005–11–03
  16. By: Sourafel Girma (Nottingham University Business School); David Paton (Nottingham University Business School)
    Abstract: In this paper we demonstrate how matching estimators can be used to evaluate policy interventions which are implemented in relatively few regions at different times. Our technique is based on translating calendar time into 'experimental time' to provide a common starting point for entry by different areas into the scheme. Such an approach is likely to have many applications, in particular to cases of state- or country- level interventions for which only aggregate data are available. We illustrate the technique using the case of free over-the-counter access to emergency birth control (EBC) for teenagers in England. We construct matching estimates of the impact of this scheme on the under-18 conception rate in local authorities. Irrespective of either the matching or the adjustment procedure, we do not find evidence that pharmacy EBC schemes led to significantly lower teenage pregnancy rates.
    Keywords: matching estimators; family planning; teenage pregnancy; emergency birth control
    JEL: C21 I18 J13
    Date: 2005–10–22
  17. By: T. Paul Schultz (Economic Growth Center, Yale University)
    Abstract: Wage-differentials by education of men and women are examined from African household surveys to suggest private wage returns to schooling. It is commonly asserted that returns are highest at primary school levels and decrease at secondary and postsecondary levels, whereas private returns in six African countries are today highest at the secondary and post secondary levels, and rates are similar for women as for men. The large public subsidies for postsecondary education in Africa, therefore, are not needed to motivate students to enroll, and those who have in the past enrolled in these levels of education are disproportionately from the better-educated families. Higher education in Africa could be more efficient and more equitably distributed if the children of well-educated parents paid the public costs of their schooling, and these tuition revenues facilitated the expansion of higher education and financed fellowships for children of the poor and less educated parents.
    Keywords: Africa, Wage Returns to Schooling, Inequality, HIV/AIDS
    JEL: O15 O55 J31 J24
    Date: 2003–12
  18. By: Adebayo B. Aromolaran
    Abstract: Economists have argued that increasing female schooling positively influences the labor supply of married women by inducing a faster rise in market productivity relative to non-market productivity. I use the Nigerian Labor Force Survey to investigate how own and husband's schooling affect women's labor market participation. I find that additional years of postsecondary education increases wage market participation probability by as much as 15.2%. A marginal increase in primary schooling has no effect on probability of wage employment, but could enhance participation rates in self-employment by about 5.40%. These effects are likely to be stronger when a woman is married to a more educated spouse. The results suggest that primary education is more productive in non-wage work relative to wage work, while postsecondary education is more productive in wage work. Finally, I find evidence suggesting that non-market work may not be a normal good for married women in Nigeria.
    Keywords: Nigeria, Female Schooling, Women's Labor Market Participation, Non-Market Productivity
    JEL: I21 J22 J24 O15
    Date: 2004–01
  19. By: Patrick Bayer (Economic Growth Center, Yale University); Robert McMillan; Kim Rueben
    Abstract: This paper studies the causes and consequences of racial segregation using a new general equilibrium model that treats neighborhood compositions as endogenous. The model is estimated using unusually detailed restricted Census microdata covering the entire San Francisco Bay Area, and in combination with a rich array of econometric estimates, serves as a powerful tool for carrying out counterfactual simulations that shed light on the causes and consequences of segregation. In terms of causes, and contrasting with prior research, our GE simulations indicate that equalizing income and education across race would be unlikely to result in significant reductions in racial segregation, as minority households would sort into newly formed minority neighborhoods. Indeed, among Asian and Hispanic households, segregation increases. In terms of consequences, this paper provides the first evidence that sorting on the basis of race gives rise to significant reductions in the consumption of local public goods by minority households and upper-income minority households in particular. These consumption effects are likely to have important intergenerational implications.
    Keywords: Segregation, General Equilibrium, Endogenous Sorting, Urban Housing Market, Locational Equilibrium, Counterfactual Simulation, Discrete Choice
    JEL: H0 J7 R0 R2
    Date: 2004–05
  20. By: Harounan Kazianga
    Abstract: This paper uses national survey data to estimate up-to-date private rates of return to education in Burkina Faso. Mincer earning regressions are fitted to wage data for women and men, and for public and private sector workers. The main results indicate that rates of return rise by level of education, and the public sector does not compensate female primary education. The findings suggest that current education polices which focus on increasing primary schooling supply be complemented with support for children, especially girls from resource constrained households to reach the secondary and tertiary levels. The estimated returns to education are strongly influenced by sample selection. For both men and women, failing to control for both selection in the wage sector and sector choice leads to biased estimates based on my identification of the selection process.
    Keywords: Burkina, Education, Labor
    JEL: I21 J31
    Date: 2004–08
  21. By: Shareen Joshi
    Abstract: This paper uses data from Matlab, Bangladesh to examine the characteristics of female-headed households and estimate the impact of female-headship on children's schooling. Female householdheads in Matlab fall into two broad groups: widows and married women, most of whom are wives of migrants. These women differ from each other not only in their current socio-economic circumstances, but also in their backgrounds and circumstances prior to getting married. To identify the effects of female-headship on children's outcomes, I use a two-stage least squares strategy that controls for the possible endogeneity of both types of female-headship. Results indicate that children residing in households headed by married women have stronger schooling attainments than children in other households, while children of widows are more likely to work outside the home. The hypothesis of exogeneity of female-headship is rejected in most cases.
    Keywords: Female-headed Households, Widowhood, Migration, Schooling
    JEL: J12 J13 J16 I21 O15
    Date: 2004–09
  22. By: Unai Pascual (Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge); Edward Barbier (Department of Economics and Finance, University of Wyoming)
    Abstract: The availability of basic assets influences peasants’ economic behavior, their livelihood diversification strategies and their responses to land degradation. In addition, when pressed by economic hardships households can also expected to work more than better off ones. Whether this implies more or less on- or off-farm labor supply is an empirical question. This in turn can have an asymmetric effect on poverty traps and the extent of forest clearing under slash-and-burn farming. This paper examines the determinants of labor allocation among forest based shifting cultivating households in two communities from Yucatan (Mexico). The effects of wage rates and structural socio-economic factors are tested for both farming household heads and other family members and their implications discussed. While the former seems to be bound by structural factors, the latter are very sensitive to labor market signals and show a negative elasticity to off-farm labor supply. This calls for providing specialized training and education programs to increase human and social capital for household heads in order to reduce pressure on forest land and to assist households to avoid poverty traps arising from the predicted falling wage rates due to post-NAFTA liberalization of rural labor markets.
    Date: 2005–02
  23. By: Jorge Soares (Department of Economics,University of Delaware)
    Abstract: The primary objective of this paper is to highlight the distinct roles of altruism and of self-interest in the political determination of a public education policy. I assess the relative importance of three factors in the determination of the equilibrium level of this policy: altruism, the impact of public funding of education on social security benefits and its impact on factor prices. I then focus on the impact of implementing a social security system on the equilibrium levels of education funding and on welfare. I find that although, in the benchmark economy, the presence of social security might generate support for public funding of education, its overall effect on the well-being of individuals is negative for any level of social security taxation. are particularly well-suited for analyzing the dynamics going forward in time even though the dynamics are ill-defined in this direction. In particular, we analyze the inverse limit of the cash-in-advance model of money and illustrate how information about the inverse limit is useful for detecting or ruling out complex dynamics.
    Keywords: Public Education, Voting, General Equilibrium.
    JEL: D78 E62 I22
    Date: 2005

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