nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2006‒02‒19
thirteen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Higher Education: Does Public Expenditure Increase Enrollment? By Bergh, Andreas; Fink, Günther
  2. Social Class and Undergraduate Degree Subject in the UK By Massimiliano Bratti
  4. The Bologna Process: How student mobility affects multi-cultural skills and educational quality By Lydia Mechtenberg; Roland Strausz
  5. Children reading fiction books because they want to By Ours,Jan C. van
  6. Admission to Selective Schools, Alphabetically By Stepan Jurajda; Daniel Munich
  7. FISCAL COMPETITION AND PUBLIC EDUCATION IN REGIONS By Jorge Durán; Charles Figuieres; Alexandra Rillaers
  8. Role of Educational and R&D Institutions in City Clusters: An Exploratory Study of Bangalore and Pune Regions in India By Basant Rakesh; Chandra Pankaj
  10. Social Capital, Public Spending and the Quality of Economic Development: The Case of Italy By Fabio Sabatini
  11. Growth in Euro Area Labour Quality By Schwerdt, Guido; Turunen, Jarkko
  12. Are Specific Skills an Obstacle to Labour Market Adjustment? Theory and an Application to the EU Enlargement By Lamo, Ana; Messina, Julian; Wasmer, Etienne
  13. Las Tecnologías de la Información y Comunicación en la Docencia Universitaria Presencial. Aplicación en Distintas Titulaciones y Áreas de Conocimiento. By Karmele Fernández Aguirre; Juan Ignacio Modroño Herrán; Teodoro Palomares Casado

  1. By: Bergh, Andreas (The Ratio Institute); Fink, Günther (Bocconi University)
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the effects of public education expenditure on student enrollment in tertiary education. We use a cross-section of 132 countries to demonstrate that public expenditure on primary and secondary education positively affects tertiary enrollment rates, while the generosity of tertiary education subsidies themselves do not appear to have any signifcant impact on tertiary enrollment. The results presented are robust to various specifcations, and raise serious concerns regarding the within country allocation of public resources on education, which seems to be biased towards higher education, especially for less developed countries.
    Keywords: Higher (Tertiary) Education; Enrollment
    JEL: H52 I22
    Date: 2006–02–15
  2. By: Massimiliano Bratti (University of Milan, CHILD and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: Although past research has found strong social class effects on the decision to undertake higher education in the UK, there is only sparse empirical work investigating social class influences on the choice of degree subject at the undergraduate level. Using Universities’ Statistical Record data for the period 1981-1991, we find no social class effect on students’ undergraduate degree subjects enrolled. Our analysis suggests that in a period pre-dating the mass expansion of higher education, the replacement of student grants with student loans and the introduction of undergraduate student tuition fees, the UK university system granted equal opportunities to students from different social classes in terms of the degree subject enrolled.
    Keywords: degree subject, social class, UK, undergraduate
    JEL: C25 I21
    Date: 2006–02
  3. By: Iñigo Iturbe Ormaetxe (Universidad de Alicante); Guadalupe Valera (Universidad Pablo de Olavide)
    Abstract: The provision of pensions for the old and public education for the young represent a large share of public budgets. In most Western countries, current Social Security systems are under a big financial stress. Several reforms have been proposed to solve this problem. This paper deals with the impact that some of these reforms have, through a political process, on publicly financed education. We develop a model linking both public transfer schemes, in which heterogeneous individuals vote the educational tax. Our findings show that most of the proposals that entail a partial privatization of the pension system have a negative impact on public education and, thus, on economic growth.
    Keywords: Social Security Reform, Human Capital, Public Education, Voting.
    JEL: D72 H55 I22 J24
    Date: 2004–05
  4. By: Lydia Mechtenberg (Technical University of Berlin); Roland Strausz (Free University of Berlin, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: We analyze the two goals behind the European Bologna Process of increasing student mobility: enabling graduates to develop multi--cultural skills and increasing the quality of universities. We isolate three effects: 1) a competition effect that raises quality; 2) a free rider effect that lowers quality; 3) a composition effect that influences the relative strengths of the two previous effects. The effects lead to a trade--off between the two goals. Full mobility may be optimal, only when externalities are high. In this case, student mobility yields inefficiently high educational quality. For more moderate externalities partial mobility is optimal and yields an inefficiently low quality of education.
    Keywords: Student mobility, Quality of higher education, Multi--cultural skills, Bologna Process
  5. By: Ours,Jan C. van (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the reading of fiction books by 15-year-olds in 18 OECD countries. It appears that girls fiction books more often than boys, whereas boys read comic books more often than girls. The intensity by which children read fiction books is influenced by parental education, family structure, and the number of books and tv's at home. Reading comic books does not affect the reading of fiction books. Parents who want their children to read fiction books frequently should have a lot of books at home and at most one television.
    Keywords: reading;PISA-data; books
    JEL: L82 Z11
    Date: 2006
  6. By: Stepan Jurajda; Daniel Munich
    Abstract: One’s position in an alphabetically sorted list may be important in determining access to rationed goods or oversubscribed public services. Motivated by anecdotal evidence, we investigate the importance of the position in the alphabet of the last name initial of Czech students for their admission chances into oversubscribed schools. Empirical evidence based on the population of students applying to universities in 1999 suggests that, among marginal applicants, moving from the top to the bottom of the alphabet decreases admission chances by over 2 percent. The implication of such admission procedures for student ability sorting across differently oversubscribed schools is then confirmed by evidence based on a national survey of secondary students’ test scores.
    JEL: H4 J71 J78 I21
    Date: 2005–12
  7. By: Jorge Durán (Universidad de Alicante); Charles Figuieres (INRA); Alexandra Rillaers (Universidad de Alicante)
    Abstract: We explore an economy with two regions and independent local administrations. Local governments collect taxes to finance public education, but once educated agents can choose to migrate to the other region. The Nash equilibrium of the long-run game between the two governments is compared to a golden rule-type social optimum. Preliminary results show that the Nash equilibrium will result in over- or under-investment depending on the extent to which public education is subject to congestion.
    Keywords: Successive generations, Public education, Federal and local government, Fiscal games.
    JEL: E13 O41 I29
    Date: 2004–11
  8. By: Basant Rakesh; Chandra Pankaj
    Abstract: This paper explores the role played by academic institutions in Bangalore and Pune cities of India. It shows that there exists a large variety of linkages between industry and academia in the two Indian cities; a hierarchy of institutions satisfies a hierarchy of local demands ranging from skills to new technologies. While labor market linkages continue to dominate, global and local changes are creating opportunities for knowledge based linkages. With enhanced competition and privatization of research and education, these linkages are bound to undergo significant change in the future and policy should facilitate this transition.
    Keywords: India, South Asia, spatial clusters, academia-industry linkages
    Date: 2006–02–13
  9. By: Amparo Castelló-Climent (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)
    Abstract: This paper studies the empirical relationship between inequality and economic growth. It estimates a dynamic panel data model that controls for fixed effects and, therefore, solves the problem of omitted variable bias present in cross-section regressions. Forbes?(2000) results suggest that income inequality and economic growth are positively related when country specific effects are taken into account. This paper shows that this result holds even controlling for education inequality. However, neither the first difference nor the system GMM estimator, which seems to perform better in growth regressions, support a positive association between education inequality and economic growth. On the contrary, an increase in human capital inequality is related to lower subsequent growth rates not only in the long-term across-countries but also in the short-term within a country. In particular, the negative relationship between human capital inequality and growth is mainly due to a discouraging effect on the physical capital investment rates and, in line with the model of De la Croix and Doepke (2003), through a channel that connects inequality an fertility decisions.
    Keywords: Human capital and income inequality; Economic growth; Dynamic panel data model.
    JEL: O15
    Date: 2004–07
  10. 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” (synthesizing 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, Human development, Principal component analysis
    JEL: O15 O18 R11 Z13
    Date: 2006–01
  11. By: Schwerdt, Guido; Turunen, Jarkko
    Abstract: Composition of the euro area workforce evolves over time and in response to changing labour market conditions. We construct an estimate of growth in euro area labour quality over the period 1983-2004 and show that labour quality has grown on average by 0.6% year-on-year over this time period. Labour quality growth was significantly higher in the early 1990s than in the 1980s. This strong increase was driven by an increase in the share of those with tertiary education and workers in prime age. Growth in labour quality moderated again towards the end of the 1990s, possibly reflecting the impact of robust employment growth resulting in the entry of workers with lower human capital. Labour quality growth has on average accounted for nearly one third of euro area labour productivity growth. The results point to a significant decline in the contribution of total factor productivity to euro area growth.
    Keywords: growth accounting; human capital; labour quality; total factor productivity
    JEL: E24 J24 O47
    Date: 2006–02
  12. By: Lamo, Ana; Messina, Julian; Wasmer, Etienne
    Abstract: Countries react differently to large labour reallocation shocks. Some minimize the costs by adapting rapidly, while others suffer long periods of costly adjustment, typically high and persistent unemployment and temporary output losses. We argue that the existence of large amounts of specific human capital slows down the transitions and makes them costly. We illustrate this point by building a theoretical framework in which young agents' careers are heavily determined by the type of initial education, and analyze the transition to a new steady-state after a sectoral demand shift. In the absence of mobility, it can take as much as a generation for the economy to absorb the shock. An interesting case study is the European Union enlargement, which led to a modernization of many sectors in Eastern countries and to a fast decline of traditional industries and agriculture. Using labour force data from a large economy with rigid labour markets, Poland, and a small open economy with increased flexibility, Estonia, we document our main claim, namely that specialized education reduces workers' mobility and hence their ability to cope with economic changes. We find that holding a vocational degree is associated with much longer unemployment duration spells, relatively large wage penalties when changing jobs and higher likelihood of leaving activity for elder workers. Quantitative exercises suggest that the over-specialization of the labour force in Poland led to much higher and persistent unemployment compared to Estonia during the period of EU enlargement. Traditional labour market institutions (wage rigidity and employment protection) increased, but to a much lesser extent, the unemployment gap.
    Keywords: enlargement; labour reallocation; matching; specific skills; unemployment; vocational education
    JEL: J30
    Date: 2006–02
  13. By: Karmele Fernández Aguirre (Departamento de Economía Aplicada III); Juan Ignacio Modroño Herrán (Departamento de Economía Aplicada III); Teodoro Palomares Casado (Departamento de Cirugía y Radiología y Medicina Física)
    Abstract: El objetivo fundamental del presente estudio es analizar el impacto de la aplicación de las Tecnologías de la Información y Comunicación (TIC's) como elemento didáctico de autoaprendizaje y facilitador motivacional en la docencia universitaria presencial. El trabajo empírico realizado consiste en la aplicación de distintas herramientas académicas en ocho asignaturas de seis titulaciones de las siguientes áreas de conocimiento: Ciencias de la Salud, Ciencias Naturales, Ciencias Sociales e Ingeniería y Tecnología.
    Keywords: Motivación, Docencia Universitaria, Análisis de Correspondencias, Clasificación
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2006–02–13

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