nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2005‒12‒09
thirteen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Guide to Reform of Higher Education: A European Perspective By Jacobs, Bas; van der Ploeg, Frederick
  2. International Capital Market Integration, Educational Choice and Economic Growth By Hartmut Egger; Peter Egger; Josef Falkinger; Volker Grossmann
  3. From the Cradle to the Labor Market? The Effect of Birth Weight on Adult Outcomes By Sandra E. Black; Paul J. Devereux; Kjell G. Salvanes
  4. Skinning the Cat: Education Distribution, Changes in the School Premium and Earnings Inequality By Sergio G. Ferreira
  5. Subsidizing Enjoyable Education By Robert A. J. Dur; Amihai Glazer
  6. Demographic Change and Public Education Spending: A Conflict between Young and Old? By Ueli Grob; Stefan C. Wolter
  7. An evaluation of labour market forecasts by type of education and occupation for 2002 By Dupuy,Arnaud
  8. Regional Disparities and Inequality of Opportunity: The Case of Italy By Daniele Checchi; Vitorocco Peragine
  9. Pension Design when Fertility Fluctuates: The Role of Capital Mobility and Education Financing By Jovan Zamac
  10. Introducing Time-to-Educate in a Job Search Model By Sascha O. Becker
  11. Does Training Trigger Turnover...or Not? By Sieben,Inge
  12. Why Is the Timing of School Tracking So Heterogeneous? By Kenn Ariga; Giorgio Brunello; Roki Iwahashi; Lorenzo Rocco
  13. Do Men and Women-Economists Choose the Same Research Fields? Evidence from Top-50 Departments By Juan J. Dolado; Florentino Felgueroso; Miguel Almunia

  1. By: Jacobs, Bas; van der Ploeg, Frederick
    Abstract: Although there are exceptions, most European universities and institutions of higher education find it difficult to compete with the best universities in the Anglo-Saxon world. Despite the Bologna agreement and the ambitions of the Lisbon agenda, European universities are in need of fundamental reforms. We look at structural reforms of higher education and propose more effective use of public subsidies, more efficient modes of financing institutions of higher education, more diversity, competition and transparency, and larger private contributions through income-contingent student loans. In the process we discuss the nature of an institution of higher education, grade inflation, fair competition, private and social returns to education, income-contingent loans, student poverty and transparency. We sum up with seven recommendations for reform of higher education.
    Keywords: central planning; education subsidies; equity; grade inflation; higher education; input funding; monopoly; output funding; peer review; policy reform; selection; student loans; transparency; tuition fees; variety
    JEL: H2 H4 I2
    Date: 2005–11
  2. By: Hartmut Egger (University of Zurich, CESifo and GEP Nottingham); Peter Egger (Ifo Institute, University of Munich, CESifo and GEP Nottingham); Josef Falkinger (University of Zurich, CESifo and IZA Bonn); Volker Grossmann (University of Fribourg, CESifo and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of capital market integration (CMI) on higher education and economic growth. We take into account that participation in higher education is noncompulsory and depends on individual choice. Integration increases (decreases) the incentives to participate in higher education in capital-importing (-exporting) economies, all other things equal. Increased participation in higher education enhances productivity progress and is accompanied by rising wage inequality. From a national policy point of view, education expenditure should increase after integration of similar economies. Using foreign direct investment (FDI) as a measure for capital flows, we present empirical evidence which largely confirms our main hypothesis: An increase in net capital inflows in response to CMI raises participation in higher education and thereby fosters economic growth. We apply a structural estimation approach to fully track the endogenous mechanisms of the model.
    Keywords: capital mobility, capital-skill complementarity, educational choice, education policy, economic growth, wage income inequality
    JEL: F20 H52 J24 O10
    Date: 2005–11
  3. By: Sandra E. Black (UCLA, NBER and IZA Bonn); Paul J. Devereux (University College Dublin and IZA Bonn); Kjell G. Salvanes (Norwegian School of Economics, Statistics Norway, Center for the Economics of Education (CEP) and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: Lower birth weight babies have worse outcomes, both short-run in terms of one-year mortality rates and longer run in terms of educational attainment and earnings. However, recent research has called into question whether birth weight itself is important or whether it simply reflects other hard-to-measure characteristics. By applying within twin techniques using a unique dataset from Norway, we examine both short-run and long-run outcomes for the same cohorts. We find that birth weight does matter; very small short-run fixed effect estimates can be misleading because longer-run effects on outcomes such as height, IQ, earnings, and education are significant and similar in magnitude to OLS estimates. Our estimates suggest that eliminating birth weight differences between socio-economic groups would have sizeable effects on the later outcomes of children from poorer families.
    Keywords: birth weight, twins, education, IQ, earnings
    JEL: J1 I1
    Date: 2005–11
  4. By: Sergio G. Ferreira (IBMEC Business School - Rio de Janeiro)
    Abstract: This paper applies the procedure in JUHN ET ALL (1993) to decompose changes in income inequality over time in terms of education-related causal factors: school premiums, educational distribution and residual changes. The main conclusion is that reductions in the school premiums have systematically had a negative impact on income inequality during the last twenty years. At the same time, education has become more unequally distributed for individuals below the median labor income level and more equally distributed for those above it. The combination of the two forces has reduced income dispersion for the top half of earners, and slightly increased it among the bottom half. This difference in trends of educational distribution lies behind an apparently stable profile of income inequality (considering the whole earnings distribution).
    Date: 2005–11–30
  5. By: Robert A. J. Dur; Amihai Glazer
    Abstract: We explain why means-tested college tuition and means-tested government grants to college students can be efficient. The critical idea is that attending college is both an investment good and a consumption good. If education has a consumption benefit and tuition is uniform, the marginal rich student is less smart than some poor people who choose not to attend college, thus reducing the social returns to education and increasing the college’s cost of education. We find that competition among profit-maximizing colleges results in means-tested tuition. In addition, to maximize the social returns to education government should means-test grants. We thus provide a rationale for means-tested tuition and grants which relies neither on capital market imperfections nor on redistributive objectives.
    Keywords: tuition policy, education subsidies, self-selection
    JEL: H52 I20
    Date: 2005
  6. By: Ueli Grob; Stefan C. Wolter
    Abstract: Demographic change in industrial countries will influence educational spending in potentially two ways. On the one hand, the decline in the number of school-age children should alleviate the financial pressure. On the other hand, the theoretical/empirical literature has established that the concomitantly increasing proportion of elderly in the population can influence the propensity of politicians to spend on education. Using a panel of the Swiss Cantons for the period from 1990 to 2002, we find that the education system has exhibited little elasticity in adjusting to changes in the school-age population, and that the share of the elderly population has a significantly negative influence on the willingness to spend on public education.
    Keywords: public finance, education finance, demographics, panel estimates, Switzerland
    JEL: H72 I22 J18
    Date: 2005
  7. By: Dupuy,Arnaud (ROA wp)
    Abstract: 1 Introduction1.1 BackgroundThe Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market generates everytwo years medium-term forecast of the labour market prospects of typesof education and occupations. The first forecast were generated in 1989,after a pilot in 1987, under a contract from the Ministry of Education andScience. The project intended in first instance to cover the developmentof an information system of use especially for providing educational andvocational guidance to apprentices and students in secondary and highereducation. Gained experience has shown that the information provided byROA’s forecast was also of primary interest for other labour market agents,namely policy makers and employers.The labour market information provided by ROA’s forecast are used variousinformation products at the national level, for instance by the NationalCareer Guidance Information Centre (LDC) and the Centre for Informationon Higher Education for Consumer and Expert (CHOICE). The first forecastwere used to supplement the labour market module I see!. This wasa computerised information system, established by LDC, bringing togetherinformation from many sources which might be relevant for the choice of a careeror course of study. Vocational guidance by teachers and others involvedin assisting students to make these choices could call up this information viatheir personal computer and obtain, along with other information on studyand vocational choices, an idea of the labour market consequences of thechoices which were available. The LDC brought out another informationsystem, ‘Traject’, which also makes use of labour market information providedby ROA. ROA’s forecast have also been one of the foundations of theLDC’s series of brochures for study and vocational guidance, and both the‘Keuzegids Hoger Onderwijs’ and the ‘Studiekeuze-Informatiedatabase’ publishedby CHOICE. In addition in their own database, the Central for Workand Income (CWI) used the current data and the forecast of the informationsystem to formulate policies on employment in general and vocationalguidance for the unemployed in particular.
    Keywords: education, training and the labour market;
    Date: 2005
  8. By: Daniele Checchi (University of Milan and IZA Bonn); Vitorocco Peragine (University of Bari)
    Abstract: In this paper we provide a new methodology to measure opportunity inequality and to decompose overall inequality in an "ethically offensive" and an "ethically acceptable" part. Moreover, we provide some empirical applications of these new evaluation tools: in the first exercise, we compare the income distributions of South and North of Italy on the basis of a measure of opportunity inequality. Then, we repeat the exercise using the cognitive abilities in a sample of 15-year old students. In both circumstances we find that the less developed regions in the South are characterized by greater incidence of inequality of opportunity.
    Keywords: equality of opportunity, justice, education
    JEL: D63
    Date: 2005–12
  9. By: Jovan Zamac
    Abstract: This study compares alternative designs of an unfunded pension system. Convex combinations between a fixed contribution rate and a fixed benefit rate are considered. The objective is to maximize the expected ex-ante welfare under stochastic fertility. The model is a three-period CGE framework where the design of the education system and effects on factor prices are accounted for. The effects on factor prices depend on the degree of capital mobility. For low degrees of capital mobility it is optimal to have a fixed benefit rate in the pension system. But for the small open economy, a fixed contribution rate is optimal if the education system has a fixed benefit rate. This design of education and pension systems assures that individuals in the small open economy are unaffected by fertility fluctuations.
    Keywords: pension schemes, demography, social security, education, fertility
    JEL: H52 H55 J13
    Date: 2005
  10. By: Sascha O. Becker
    Abstract: Transition patterns from school to work differ considerably across OECD countries. Some countries exhibit high youth unemployment rates, which can be considered an indicator of the difficulty facing young people trying to integrate into the labor market. At the same time, education is a time-consuming process, and enrolment and dropout decisions depend on expected duration of studies, as well as on job prospects with and without completed degrees. One way to model entry into the labor market is by means of job search models, where the job arrival hazard is a key parameter in capturing the ease or difficulty in finding a job. Standard models of job search and education assume that skills can be upgraded instantaneously (and mostly in the form of on-the-job training) at a fixed cost. This paper models education as a time-consuming process, a concept which we call time-to-educate, during which an individual faces the trade-off between continuing education and taking up a job.
    Keywords: job search, education, enrollment, dropouts
    JEL: E24 J31 J41 J64
    Date: 2005
  11. By: Sieben,Inge (ROA rm)
    Abstract: This study advances on previous research on training and turnover in two ways. First, insights from the human capital perspective are contrasted with insights from the commitment perspective. Second, several aspects of training are simultaneously studied in one model: training incidence, duration, specificity, location, costs, time, and objectives. Using survey data from the ‘Higher Education and Graduate Employment in Europe’ project, I find that, in line with the human capital perspective, specific training decreases the probability to search for a new job. Moreover, it seems that training not provided by the employer and not followed during working hours induces more job search behaviour, at least for men. This could be interpreted as a negative version of the commitment perspective. After controlling for training specificity, training location, costs, and time no longer influence job search behaviour, however.
    Keywords: education, training and the labour market;
    Date: 2005
  12. By: Kenn Ariga (Kyoto Institute of Economic Research); Giorgio Brunello (Padova University, CESifo and IZA Bonn); Roki Iwahashi (University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa); Lorenzo Rocco (Padova University)
    Abstract: Secondary schools in the developed world differ in the degree of differentiation and in the first age of selection of pupils into different tracks. In this paper, we account for the heterogeneity of tracking time with a simple stochastic model which conjugates the returns from specialization with the costs of early selection. We calibrate the model for 20 countries - including most of Europe, the US and Japan - and show that the model performs rather well in replicating the observed heterogeneity, with the remarkable exception of Germany.
    Keywords: tracking, secondary schools
    JEL: H52 H73
    Date: 2005–11
  13. By: Juan J. Dolado (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, CEPR and IZA Bonn); Florentino Felgueroso (Universidad de Oviedo and CEPR); Miguel Almunia (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)
    Abstract: This paper describes the gender distribution of research fields chosen by the faculty members in the top fifty Economics departments, according to the rankings available on the website. We document that women are unevenly distributed across fields and test some behavioral implications from theories underlying such disparities. Our main findings are that the probability that a woman chooses a given field is positively related to the share of women in that field (path-dependence), and that the share of women in a field at a given department increases with the sizes of the department and field, while it decreases with their average quality. However, these patterns seem to be changing for younger female faculty members. Further, by using Ph.D. cohorts, we document how gender segregation across fields has evolved over the last four decades.
    Keywords: men and women-economists, research fields, gender segregation, path-dependence, tobit and probit models
    JEL: A11 J16 J70
    Date: 2005–11

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