nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2006‒01‒24
23 papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Education Policy and Equality of Opportunity By Gabriela Schütz; Heinrich W. Ursprung; Ludger Woessmann
  2. Does Educational Tracking Affect Performance and Inequality? Differences-in-Differences Evidence across Countries By Eric A. Hanushek; Ludger Woessmann
  3. Who wins and who loses from school accountability? The distribution of educational gain in English secondary schools By Simon Burgess; Carol Propper; Helen Slater; Deborah Wilson
  4. Evaluating the Impact of Performance-related Pay for Teachers in England. By Adele Atkinson; Simon Burgess; Bronwyn Croxson; Paul Gregg
  5. Valuing Medical Schools in Japan: National versus Private Universities By Mototsugu Fukushige; Hideo Yunoue
  6. What Does it Take to Achieve Equality of Opportunity in Education ? An Empirical Investigation Based on Brazilian Data By F.D., WALTENBERG; V. , VANDENBERGHE
  7. Factors influencing income inequality across urban Argentina (1998-2003) By María Emma Santos
  8. Childhood Family Structure and Schooling Outcomes: Evidence for Germany By Francesconi, Marco; Jenkins, Stephen P; Siedler, Thomas
  9. Parental Transfers, Student Achievement, and the Labor Supply of College Students By Kalenkoski, Charlene Marie; Sabrina Wulff Pabilonia
  10. Integrable e-lements for Statistics Education By Wolfgang Härdle; Sigbert Klinke; Uwe Ziegenhagen
  11. The Dynamics of School Attainment of England’s Ethnic Minorities By Deborah Wilson; Simon Burgess; Adam Briggs
  12. Is Britain Pulling Apart? Area Disparities in Employment, Education and Crime By Stephen Gibbons; Anne Green; Paul Gregg; Stephen Machin
  13. A Human Capital Model of the Effects of Abilities and Family Background on Optimal Schooling Levels By Tracy L. Regan; Galen Burghardt; Ronald L. Oaxaca
  14. Gender and private returns to education : a cross-European analysis By Concetta, Mendolicchio
  15. Inequality and Heterogeneous Returns to Education in Mexico (1992-2002) By Aashish Mehta; Hector J. Villarreal
  16. Sketching Research in Education through Academic Journals (In French) By Philippe JEANNIN (LEREPS-GRES); Mathilde BOUTHORS (Collège de France, Paris)
  17. Do Home Computers Improve Educational Outcomes? Evidence from Matched Current Population Surveys and the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 By Daniel O. Beltran; Kuntal K. Das; Robert W. Fairlie
  18. Growth and Convergence across the U.S.: Evidence from County-Level Data By Matthew J. Higgins; Daniel Levy; Andrew T. Young
  19. Inequality of opportunity and economic development By Walton, Michael; Ferreira, Francisco H. G.
  20. To my Wife, with Love! Does Within-household Specialisation Explain Husbands' Better Job-education-match? By Aniela Wirz
  21. College cheating in Portugal: results from a large scale survey By Maria de Fátima Rocha; Aurora A.C. Teixeira
  22. The Demand for Educational Quality: Comparing Estimates from a Median Voter Model with those from an Almost Ideal Demand System By David Brasington; Don Haurin
  23. Why People Contribute Voluntarily to Innovation: Insights from South Africa 's Siyabuswa Educational Improvement & Development Trust By Siebeling, T.; Romijn, H.A.

  1. By: Gabriela Schütz (Ifo Institute, University of Munich); Heinrich W. Ursprung (University of Konstanz and CESifo); Ludger Woessmann (Ifo Institute, University of Munich, CESifo and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: We provide a measure of equality of educational opportunity in 54 countries, estimated as the effect of family background on student performance in two international TIMSS tests. We then show how organizational features of the education system affect equality of educational opportunity. Our model predicts that late tracking and a long pre-school cycle are beneficial for equality, while pre-school enrollment is detrimental at low levels of enrollment and beneficial at higher levels. Using cross-country variations in education policies and their interaction with family background at the student level, we provide empirical evidence supportive of these predictions.
    Keywords: equality of opportunity, educational production, family background, student performance, tracking, pre-school, efficiency-equity tradeoff
    JEL: I21 J62 H52
    Date: 2005–12
  2. By: Eric A. Hanushek (Hoover Institution, Stanford University, CESifo and NBER); Ludger Woessmann (Ifo Institute, University of Munich, CESifo and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: Even though some countries track students into differing-ability schools by age 10, others keep their entire secondary-school system comprehensive. To estimate the effects of such institutional differences in the face of country heterogeneity, we employ an international differences-in-differences approach. We identify tracking effects by comparing differences in outcome between primary and secondary school across tracked and non-tracked systems. Six international student assessments provide eight pairs of achievement contrasts for between 18 and 26 cross-country comparisons. The results suggest that early tracking increases educational inequality. While less clear, there is also a tendency for early tracking to reduce mean performance. Therefore, there does not appear to be any equity-efficiency trade-off.
    Keywords: tracking, streaming, ability grouping, selectivity, comprehensive school system, educational performance, inequality, international student achievement test, TIMSS, PISA, PIRLS
    JEL: I2
    Date: 2005–12
  3. By: Simon Burgess; Carol Propper; Helen Slater; Deborah Wilson
    Abstract: In 1988 the UK government introduced greater accountability into the English state school sector. But the information that schools are required to make public on their pupil achievement is only partial. The paper examines whether accountability measures based on a partial summary of student achievement influence the distribution of student achievement. Since school ratings only incorporate test results via pass rates, schools have incentives to improve the performance of students who are on the margin of meeting these standards, to the detriment of very low achieving or high achieving pupils. Using pupil level data for a cohort of all students in secondary public sector schools in England, we find that this policy reduces the educational gains and exam performance in high stakes exams of very low ability students.
    Keywords: school accountability, high stakes exams, educational value added
    JEL: I20 I28 D23
    Date: 2005–07
  4. By: Adele Atkinson; Simon Burgess; Bronwyn Croxson; Paul Gregg
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the impact of a performance-related pay scheme for teachers in England. Using teacher level data, matched with test scores and value-added, we test whether the introduction of a payment scheme based on pupil attainment increased teacher effort. Our evaluation design controls for pupil effects, school effects and teacher effects, and adopts a difference-in-difference methodology. We find that the scheme did improve test scores and value added, on average by about half a grade per pupil. We also find heterogeneity across subjects, with maths teachers showing no improvement.
    Keywords: Incentives, teachers pay, education reform, pupil attainment
    JEL: J33 J45 D23 I28
    Date: 2004–12
  5. By: Mototsugu Fukushige (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University); Hideo Yunoue (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University)
    Abstract: Medical school usually has the highest tuition fees among the university departments. The reason why students pay such expensive fees is that they estimate that their earnings will greatly increase after graduation. We construct a model about student behavior on entering college and estimate the value-added of medical schools using college data from Japan. Our results show that a school with a long tradition of providing high quality education is evaluated as rendering high value-added to students. Those empirical results enable us to simulate the effects of the privatization of a public university. This simulation indicates that there is no difference between public and private schools when the tuition fees of the public university become as high as those of the private university.
    Keywords: Value-added of University, Medical school tuition fee, Public and private schools, Privatization
    JEL: I21 L33
    Date: 2006–01
    Abstract: Roemer s’ 1998 seminal work on equality of opportunity has contributed to the emergence of a theory of justice that is modern, conceptually clear and easy to mobilize in policy design. In this paper, we apply Roemer’s theory to education policy. We first analyze the reallocations of educational expenditure required to equalize opportunities (taken to be test scores close to the end of compulsory education). Using Brazilian data, we find that implementing an equal-opportunity policy across pupils of different socio-economic background, by using per-pupil spending as the instrucment, and ensuring that nobody receives less that 1/3 of the current national average, requires multiplying by 8.6 the current level of spending on the lowest achieving pupils. This result is driven by the extremely low elasticity of scores to per-pupil spending. As such, it implies large reallocations that are probably politically unacceptable. By exploiting our knowledge of the education production function, we then identify ways of reducing financial reallocations needed to achieve equality of opportunity. We show that the simultaneous redistribution of monetary and non-moneary inputs, like peer group quality (i.e. desegregation) and school effectiveness (i.e. equalizing access to the best-run schools), considerably reduces - by almost 50% - the magnitude of financial redistribution needed. Implementing an EOp policy would not come at any particular cost (or benefit) in terms of efficiency
    Keywords: Equality of Opportunity; Education; Formula Funding
    JEL: I28 H52
    Date: 2005–12–01
  7. By: María Emma Santos (Vanderbilt University, Nashville)
    Abstract: This paper tries to disentangle the most relevant determinants of spatial inequality in the urban areas of Argentina. The analysis is restricted to the period 1998-2003. The study is performed with a Panel Data approach using a random effects model. Results suggest that human capital, measured by rates of education completion, is an important contributor to spatial inequality. High rates of primary education appear to reduce inequality while higher rates of secondary education appear to increase it. Labor market characteristics also play a role: urban areas with higher unemployment rates, higher returns to education and a lower percentage of people employed in the secondary sector tend to have higher levels of inequality. Also, dependency and the percentage of people with unsatisfied basic needs have increasing-inequality effects. Finally, there seems to be a relationship between inequality and the level of development, though not with a clear inverted-U pattern as hypothesized by Kuznets. Results are robust to different measures of inequality and different income specifications.
    JEL: D31 I21
    Date: 2005–11–08
  8. By: Francesconi, Marco; Jenkins, Stephen P; Siedler, Thomas
    Abstract: We analyse the impact on schooling outcomes of growing up in a family headed by a single mother. Growing up in a non-intact family in Germany is associated with worse outcomes in models that do not control for possible correlations between common unobserved determinants of family structure and educational performance. But once endogeneity is accounted for, whether by using sibling-difference estimators or two types of instrumental variable estimator, the evidence that family structure affects schooling outcomes is much less conclusive. Although almost all the point estimates indicate that non-intactness has an adverse effect on schooling outcomes, confidence intervals are large and span zero.
    Keywords: childhood family structure; educational success; instrumental variables; lone parenthood; sibling differences; treatment effects
    JEL: C23 D13 I21 J12 J13
    Date: 2005–12
  9. By: Kalenkoski, Charlene Marie (Ohio University); Sabrina Wulff Pabilonia (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
    Abstract: Using nationally representative data from the NLSY97, financial motivations for and the effects of employment on U.S. college students’ academic performance are examined. While it is expected that fewer financial resources and a higher cost of college cause greater student employment, the data indicate that the number of hours a student works per week is unaffected by either the level of parental transfers or the cost of schooling. Contrary to existing evidence that a greater number of hours worked leads to poorer academic performance, the number of hours worked per week does not negatively affect a student’s GPA and may actually improve it.
    Keywords: schooling, educational finance, grades, college students
    JEL: D1 I2 J22
    Date: 2005–12
  10. By: Wolfgang Härdle; Sigbert Klinke; Uwe Ziegenhagen
    Abstract: Without doubt modern education in statistics must involve practical, computer-based data analysis but the question arises whether and how computational elements should be integrated into the canon of methodological education. Should the student see and study high-level programming code right at the beginning of his or her studies? Which technology can be presented during class and which computational elements can re-occur (at increasing level of complexity) during the different courses? In this paper we address these questions and discuss where e-techniques have their limits in statistics education.
    Keywords: electronic books, hypertext, e-supported teaching, statistical software
    JEL: I21 C19
    Date: 2005–12
  11. By: Deborah Wilson; Simon Burgess; Adam Briggs
    Abstract: We exploit a universe dataset of state school students in England with linked test score records to document the evolution of attainment through school for different ethnic groups. The analysis yields a number of striking findings. First, we show that, controlling for personal characteristics, all minority groups make greater progress than white students over secondary schooling. Second, much of this improvement occurs in the high-stakes exams at the end of compulsory schooling. Third, we show that for most ethnic groups, this gain is pervasive, happening in almost all schools in which these students are found. We address some of the usual factors invoked to explain attainment gaps: poverty, language, school quality, and teacher influence. We conclude that our findings are more consistent with the importance of factors like aspirations and attitudes.
    Keywords: ethnic test score gap, school attainment, education
    JEL: I20 J15
    Date: 2005–10
  12. By: Stephen Gibbons; Anne Green; Paul Gregg; Stephen Machin
    Abstract: This paper explores the changing extent of concentration worklessness and deprivation in Britains communities over the last twenty years and seeks to identify what shapes patterns of relative affluence and deprivation. The paper goes on to explore the evidence that there are lasting consequences from concentrated deprivation for the residents, including children. The paper address issues of employment, educational outcomes and crime victimisation. Looking at the available evidence from the UK and abroad, the evidence suggests that concentrated deprivation has little effect on employment opportunities, (e.g. moving people to more affluent neighbourhoods would make little difference), has modest effects on childrens educational outcomes and propensity to get involved in deviant behaviours but substantial effects on crime victimisation. The paper then concludes on what policy agendas could be developed to address concentrated deprivation and above all its consequences on residents outcomes.
    Keywords: neighbourhoods, employment, education, crime
    JEL: R23 J61 I21
    Date: 2005–07
  13. By: Tracy L. Regan (University of Miami); Galen Burghardt (Calyon Financial); Ronald L. Oaxaca (University of Arizona and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: This paper develops a theoretical model of optimal schooling levels where ability and family background are the central explanatory variables. We derive schooling demand and supply functions based on individual wealth maximization. Using NLSY79 data we stratify our sample into one-year "FTE" work experience cohorts for 1985-1989. Mincer's (1974) "overtaking" cohort (the years of work experience at which individuals' observed earnings approximately equal what they would have been based on schooling and ability alone) corresponds to 13 FTE years of work experience yielding on average a rate of return of 9.6 percent and an average (optimal) 11.4 years of schooling.
    Keywords: human capital, ability, family background, schooling, earnings
    JEL: J24 J31 J22
    Date: 2006–01
  14. By: Concetta, Mendolicchio (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: The paper compares private returns to education of men and women for fourteen E.U. countries. Building on de la Fuente (2003), I define the rate of return as the discount rate equalizing marginal costs and benefits of education. I extend his model by estimating separately the values of the relevant parmeters for men and women and introducing variables specifically related to maternity leaves and benefits. The main result is that, given the profiles of earning of a man and a woman studying the average numbers of years in each country and working full-time up the end of their active lifes, women’s rates of return are higher for most countries
    Date: 2005–12–12
  15. By: Aashish Mehta (Asian Development Bank); Hector J. Villarreal (ITESM Campus Monterrey, EGAP / Mexico)
    Abstract: Within the attempts to understand Mexican economic inequality, returns to education have received a great deal of attention. The driving question has been: why are Mexican wages so unequal? This paper argues that not only the distribution of human capital matters, but also sociodemographic variables, which have their own dynamics and complex interactions with the former. A three-equation maximum likelihood specification in which employment, hours worked and log-wages, as well as their joint variance matrix is proposed, generalizing the Mincerian specification. The resulting is a complex story, where income profiles depend upon particular characteristics.
    JEL: O12 J31 D31
    Date: 2005–11–18
  16. By: Philippe JEANNIN (LEREPS-GRES); Mathilde BOUTHORS (Collège de France, Paris)
    Abstract: This contribution aims at coming up with serious grounds for an evaluation of French research published in scientific journals in the field of Education Science. A reliable method consists in criss-crossing the various databases which play an authoritative part – those of the ISI (Institute for Scientific Information) and others -, in listing the titles of journals they retrieve, and in asking the scientific community what its position is. Hence the scientificity of a journal: a journal is scientific when considered as such by the scientists of its community. In this contribution, a case study is built in Education Science. Some major journals are studied and some conclusions raised.
    Keywords: Educational Research, Evaluation, France, Psychology, Sociology, Sociology of Science, Scientific Journals, Scientometrics
    JEL: A14 I20 N34
    Date: 2006
  17. By: Daniel O. Beltran (University of California, Santa Cruz); Kuntal K. Das (University of California, Santa Cruz); Robert W. Fairlie (University of California, Santa Cruz, National Poverty Center and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: Nearly twenty million children in the United States do not have computers in their homes. The role of home computers in the educational process, however, has drawn very little attention in the previous literature. We use panel data from the two main U.S. datasets that include recent information on computer ownership among children - the 2000-2003 CPS Computer and Internet Use Supplements (CIUS) matched to the CPS Basic Monthly Files and the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 - to explore the relationship between computer ownership and high school graduation and other educational outcomes. Teenagers who have access to home computers are 6 to 8 percentage points more likely to graduate from high school than teenagers who do not have home computers after controlling for individual, parental, and family characteristics. We generally find evidence of positive relationships between home computers and educational outcomes using several estimation strategies, including controlling for typically unobservable home environment and extracurricular activities in the NLSY97, fixed effects models, instrumental variables, future computer ownership and "pencil tests". Some of these estimation techniques, however, provide imprecise estimates. Home computers may increase high school graduation by reducing nonproductive activities, such as truancy and crime, among children in addition to making it easier to complete school assignments.
    Keywords: computers, educational outcomes, technology
    JEL: I2
    Date: 2006–01
  18. By: Matthew J. Higgins; Daniel Levy; Andrew T. Young
    Abstract: We use U.S. county data (3,058 observations) and 41 conditioning variables to study growth and convergence. Using OLS and 3SLS-IV we report on the full sample and metro, non-metro, and 5 regional samples: (1) OLS yields convergence rates around 2 percent; 3SLS yields 6–8 percent; (2) convergence rates vary (e.g., the Southern rate is 2.5 times the Northeastern rate); (3) federal, state and local government negatively correlates with growth; (4) the relationship between educational attainment and growth is nonlinear; and (5) finance, insurance & real estate industry and entertainment industry positively correlates with growth while education employment negatively correlates.
    Date: 2005–09
  19. By: Walton, Michael; Ferreira, Francisco H. G.
    Abstract: Just as equality of opportunity becomes an increasingly prominent concept in normative economics, the authors argue that it is also a relevant concept for positive models of the links between distribution and aggregate efficiency. Persuasive microeconomic evidence suggests that inequalities in wealth, power, and status have efficiency costs. These variables capture different aspects of people ' s opportunity sets, for which observed income may be a poor proxy. One implication is that the cross-country literature on income inequality and growth may have been barking up the wrong tree, and that alternative measures of the relevant distributions are needed. The authors review some of the detailed microeconomic evidence, and then suggest three research areas where further work is needed.
    Keywords: Economic Theory & Research,Inequality,ICT Policy and Strategies,Poverty Impact Evaluation,Primary Education
    Date: 2006–01–01
  20. By: Aniela Wirz (Swiss Institute for Business Cycle Research (KOF), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH))
    Abstract: Married male workers are found to have a lower incidence of overeducation. A theoretical explanation for this phenomenon is lacking. We test in our study whether the traditional specialisation of spouses’ time between home and market production tends to improve a husband’s jobeducation- match (JEM). We test this hypothesis first by drawing on the method used in the marriage wage premia literature based mainly on the model of Becker (1985). In addition, we perform a new test following the theory of François (1998), which requires less restrictive assumptions. Overall, our results show that within-household specialisation (WHS) explains a substantial part of the superior JEM of husbands, regardless of whether a wife’s labour market participation (experience) or both spouses housework hours are used to measure specialisation. The results and in particular the independent and significant impact of women’s housework hours on their husbands’ JEM, however, speak clearly in favour of François’ theory and against the explanation of Becker. Testing for an endogeneity bias due to a possible sorting process of more able husbands with “traditional” spouses or a measurement error of the JEM does not alter these conclusions.
    Keywords: Overeducation; Household models, Human capital, Labour productivity
    JEL: I21 J16 J24
    Date: 2004–11
  21. By: Maria de Fátima Rocha (Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto and Universidade Fernando Pessoa); Aurora A.C. Teixeira (CEMPRE, Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto)
    Abstract: The phenomenon of cheating among academics is of overwhelming importance in that the students engaging in it are most unlikely to have the skills necessary for their future professional life. Despite its relevance, the empirical evaluation of college cheating has been almost exclusively focused on the US context. Little is known about college cheating at the European level let alone Portugal. Less even in investigated at the regional level. In this paper we present evidence on cheating perception by Portuguese undergraduate students of economics and business courses. We undertake a large scale survey, involving 2675 students from all Portuguese mainland public universities. We found that (1) the likelihood of copying is increased when the expected benefit in terms of grade is positive; (2) copying-favourable environments – the high frequency with which students observe the act of copying, familiarity with someone that copies regularly, and the students’ opinion regarding copying – are associated with higher cheating propensity; (3) the higher and more serious students perceive sanctions, fewer incentives they have to perpetrate dishonest behaviours – in universities where ‘codes of honour’ exist, the propensity for copying among students is lower; (4) the propensity for copying seems to be highly influenced by regions’ cultural systems and social related factors - students who reside on a permanent basis in southern, inland regions, especially in Alentejo-related areas, present a significantly higher propensity to academic fraud than students from other areas of Portugal.
    Keywords: cheating; university; cost/benefit; regions
    JEL: A22 R19
    Date: 2005–12
  22. By: David Brasington; Don Haurin
    Abstract: Communities differ in both the bundle of amenities offered to residents and the implicit price of these amenities. Thus, households are faced with a choice of which bundle to select when they select their residence. This choice implies households make tradeoffs among the amenities; that is, the amenities are substitutes or complements. We focus on estimating the demand for public school quality. After generating the implicit prices of community amenities from a hedonic house price equation, we use the median voter model and the AIDS model framework for estimating price and income elasticities of demand. The two models yield very similar estimates. The own price elasticity of demand for schooling is about -0.6 with an income elasticity of demand of 0.5. Public safety and school quality are substitutes as are the community’s income level and school quality.
  23. By: Siebeling, T. (Ecis, Technische Universiteit Eindhoven); Romijn, H.A. (Ecis, Technische Universiteit Eindhoven)
    Keywords: Innovation, South Africa
    Date: 2005

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