nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2006‒03‒11
fourteen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Education Inequality, Human Capital Inequality and the Kuznets Curve By K.K.Tang; Lim, A. S. K
  2. The Apple Falls Increasingly Far: Parent-Child Correlation in Schooling and the Growth of Post-Secondary Education in Switzerland By Sandra Hanslin; Rainer Winkelmann
  3. 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
  4. Program Design and Student Outcomes in Graduate Education By Jeffrey Groen; George Jakubson; Ronald G. Ehrenberg; Scott Condie; Albert Yung-Hsu Liu
  5. Social Segregation in Secondary Schools: how does England compare with other countries By Stephen P. Jenkins; John Micklewright; Sylke V. Schnepf
  6. College Education and Wages in the U.K.: Estimating Conditional Average Structural Functions in Nonadditive Models with Binary Endogenous Variables By Tobias J. Klein
  7. Human Capital and Interethnic Marriage Decisions By Delia Furtado
  8. The Reservation Wage Theory, Vocational Rehabilitation and the Return to Work of Disabled Employees By Jan Høgelund; Anders Holm
  9. Inside the Black Box of Doctoral Education: What Program Characteristics Influence Doctoral Students%u2019 Attrition and Graduation Probabilities? By Ronald G. Ehrenberg; George Jakubson; Jeffrey Groen; Eric So; Joseph Price
  10. Do Students Benefit From Supplemental Instruction? Evidence From a First-Year Statistics Subject in Economics and Business By Lewis, Don; O'Brien, Martin; Rogan, Sally; Shorten, Brett
  11. The Distribution of Research Performance Across Australian Universities, 1992-2003, and Its Implications for Higher Education Funding Models By Ville, Simon; Valadkhani, Abbas; O'Brien, Martin
  12. Immigration in High-Skill Labor Markets: The Impact of Foreign Students on the Earnings of Doctorates By George J. Borjas
  13. Post-Secondary Education and Increasing Wage Inequality By Thomas Lemieux
  14. Intergenerational Educational Mobility in the Comprehensive Danish Welfare State: Testing the Primacy of Non-monetary Social Origin Effects By Mads Meier Jæger; Anders Holm

  1. By: K.K.Tang (MRG - School of Economics, The University of Queensland); Lim, A. S. K
    Abstract: This paper develops an improved measure of human capital. Using a Mincer specification of human capital, the improved measure takes into consideration rates of returns to schooling, education quality, and school dropouts. The paper applies the improved measure to evaluate national and global human capital inequality and compares them with education inequality. Human capital Kuznets curves are evident when relative inequality measures are used while education Kuznets curves are found when absolute inequality measures are used. It is also found that while global education inequality has been declining over the past four decades, global human capital inequality remains largely steady.
  2. By: Sandra Hanslin (Socioeconomic Institute, University of Zurich); Rainer Winkelmann (Socioeconomic Institute, University of Zurich)
    Abstract: In this paper, we analyze the completed highest education degree of two birth cohorts (1934-1943 and 1964-1973) in Switzerland, using data from the 1999 wave of the Swiss Household Panel. As expected, the fraction of tertiary graduates has increased over time, for women more so than for men. Also, the educational attainment depends strongly on the educational attainment of parents. We then decompose the overall trend into a parental background effect, a general expansion effect and a distribution effect. For women in particular, we find that a substantial fraction of the overall increase in participation in tertiary education can be explained by the fact that the gap in participation rates between women with lowly educated parents and women with highly educated parents has narrowed. We then investigate the role of financial constraints in explaining these trends. Although the number of individuals suffering financial hardship during youth has declined over time, logit models show that financial problems have become more important as an impediment for higher education.
    Keywords: education, schooling, Switzerland
    JEL: I21 J62
    Date: 2006–03
  3. By: Patrick A. Puhani; Andrea M. Weber
    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.
    JEL: I21 I28 J24
    Date: 2006–01
  4. By: Jeffrey Groen; George Jakubson; Ronald G. Ehrenberg; Scott Condie; Albert Yung-Hsu Liu
    Abstract: Doctoral programs in the humanities and related social sciences are characterized by high attrition and long times-to-degree. In response to these problems, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation launched the Graduate Education Initiative (GEI) to improve the quality of graduate programs and in turn reduce attrition and shorten times-to-degree. Over a 10-year period starting in 1991, the Foundation provided a total of over $80 million to 51 departments at 10 major research universities. We estimate the impact of the GEI on attrition rates and times-to-degree using competing risk duration models and student-level data. The data span the start of the GEI and include information for students at a set of control departments. We estimate that the GEI had modest impacts on student outcomes in the expected directions: reducing attrition rates, reducing times-to-degree and increasing completion rates. The impacts of the GEI appear to have been driven in part by reductions in entering cohort size, improvements in financial support and increases in student quality.
    JEL: I2
    Date: 2006–03
  5. By: Stephen P. Jenkins (Institute for Social and Economic Research); John Micklewright (University of Southampton); Sylke V. Schnepf (University of Southampton)
    Abstract: We provide new evidence about the degree of social segregation in England’s secondary schools, employing a cross-national perspective. Analysis is based on data for 24 OECD member countries from the 2000 and 2003 rounds of the Programme of International Student Assessment (PISA), using a number of different measures of social background and of segregation, and allowing for sampling variation in the estimates. England is shown to be a middle-ranking country, as is the USA. High segregation countries include Austria, Belgium, Germany and Hungary. Low segregation countries include the four Nordic countries and Scotland. In explaining England’s position, we argue that its segregation is mostly accounted for by unevenness in social background in the state school sector. Focusing on this sector, we show that cross-country differences in segregation are associated with the prevalence of selective choice of pupils by schools. The low-segregation countries in the Nordic area have negligible selection in schools. High segregation countries like Austria, Germany and Hungary have separate school tracks for academic and vocational schooling and, in each case, over half of this is accounted for by unevenness in social background between the different tracks rather than by differences within each track.
    Date: 2006–01
  6. By: Tobias J. Klein (University of Mannheim, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: We propose and implement an estimator for identifiable features of correlated random coefficient models with binary endogenous variables and nonadditive errors in the outcome equation. It is suitable, e.g., for estimation of the average returns to college education when they are heterogeneous across individuals and correlated with the schooling choice. The estimated features are of central interest to economists and are directly linked to the marginal and average treatment effect in policy evaluation. They are identified under assumptions weaker than typical exclusion restrictions used in the context of classical instrumental variables analysis. In our application for the U.K., we relate levels of expected wages to unobserved ability, measured ability, family background, type of secondary school, and the decision whether to attend college.
    Keywords: Returns to college education, correlated random coefficient model, local instrumental variables, local linear regression
    JEL: C14 C31 J31
    Date: 2006–02
  7. By: Delia Furtado (University of Connecticut and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: Despite a longstanding belief that education importantly affects the process of immigrant assimilation, little is known about the relative importance of different mechanisms linking these two processes. This paper explores this issue through an examination of the effects of human capital on one dimension of assimilation, immigrant intermarriage. I argue that there are three primary mechanisms through which human capital affects the probability of intermarriage. First, human capital may make immigrants better able to adapt to the native culture thereby making it easier to share a household with a native. Second, it may raise the likelihood that immigrants leave ethnic enclaves, thereby decreasing the opportunity to meet potential spouses of the same ethnicity. Finally, assortative matching on education in the marriage market suggests that immigrants may be willing to trade similarities in ethnicity for similarities in education when evaluating potential spouses. Using a simple spouse-search model, I first derive an identification strategy for differentiating the cultural adaptability effect from the assortative matching effect, and then I obtain empirical estimates of their relative importance while controlling for the enclave effect. Using U.S. Census data, I find that assortative matching on education is the most important avenue through which human capital affects the probability of intermarriage. Further support for the model is provided by deriving and testing some of its additional implications.
    Keywords: interethnic marriage, human capital, second-generation immigrants
    JEL: J12 I21 J15
    Date: 2006–02
  8. By: Jan Høgelund (Danish National Institute of Social Research); Anders Holm (Department of Sociology, University of Copenhagen)
    Abstract: Previous studies find that participation in educational measures does not increase sick-listed em-ployees’ chance of returning to work. This is surprising because education is supposed to increase human capital and raise productivity. However, a higher productivity may make the participants raise their reservation wage. Therefore, it is possible that educational measures increase the chance of returning to work in high pay jobs but reduce the chance of returning to work in low pay jobs. To test this hypothesis, we use panel data of 671 long-term sick-listed employees to estimate a random effects hazards rate model, with returning to work in high paid jobs and low-medium paid jobs, re-spectively, as the two outcomes. Our findings do not support the reservation wage hypothesis. We find that while participation in education significantly increases the probability of returning to work in medium or low paid jobs, it does not affect the probability of resuming work in high paid jobs.
  9. By: Ronald G. Ehrenberg; George Jakubson; Jeffrey Groen; Eric So; Joseph Price
    Abstract: The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation's Graduate Education Initiative (GEI) provided over $80 million to 51 treatment departments in the humanities and related social sciences during the 1990s to improve their PhD programs. Using survey data collected from students who entered the treatment and 50 control departments during a 15 year period that spanned the start of the GEI, we use factor analysis to group multiple aspects of PhD programs into a smaller number of characteristics and then estimate which aspects of PhD programs the GEI influenced and how these different aspects influenced attrition and graduation probabilities. From these analyses, we identify the routes via which the GEI influenced attrition and graduation rates and also indicate which aspects of PhD programs departments should concentrate on if they want to improve their programs' performance.
    JEL: I2
    Date: 2006–03
  10. By: Lewis, Don (University of Wollongong); O'Brien, Martin (University of Wollongong); Rogan, Sally (University of Wollongong); Shorten, Brett (University of Wollongong)
    Abstract: Peer assisted study sessions (PASS) are a type of supplemental instruction (SI) that provide students with out-of-class study review sessions with a group of peers. A student, who has successfully completed the subject and acts as a mentor, facilitates the voluntary sessions. Results of the PASS program at the University of Wollongong have been quite positive in that students, on average, who attend more PASS, achieve higher marks. However, a simple comparison does not control for self-selection bias. We control for self-selection in two ways. Firstly, we use Heckman’s two-stage correction technique to analyze the 2002 cohort. Secondly, students in the 2003 cohort were randomly allocated into three groups of equal size: 1. A control group that was allocated to normal tutorials with standard class sizes and ineligible to attend PASS; 2. A group that was eligible to attend PASS and had normal tutorials of standard sizes; 3. A group that was ineligible to attend PASS but allocated to normal tutorials with smaller class sizes. The results of both methods are consistent and indicate the PASS program has a positive impact on the academic performance of students after correcting for selection bias.
    Keywords: Economics Education; Teaching of Economics; Design of Experiments
    JEL: A2 C9
    Date: 2005
  11. By: Ville, Simon (University of Wollongong); Valadkhani, Abbas (University of Wollongong); O'Brien, Martin (University of Wollongong)
    Abstract: We contribute to the debate on research performance by comparing the distribution of research inputs and outputs across Australian universities during 1992-2003. We have calculated annual Gini coefficients for various performance measures and Lorenz curves for the final year of the study. Various findings are evident. Research-input measures have remained relatively unevenly distributed across universities. Output measures were more evenly distributed and this exhibited a gradual and rather consistent decline through time, supporting the view that the research output is being generated gradually more equally across Australia’s universities. Excluding the "Group of Eight" (Go8) universities, results in a more even distribution of performance. However, in 2003 this group took the lion’s share of research inputs but produced a smaller share of outputs. Our findings are relevant to current funding policy discussion.
    Keywords: Higher education, Research output distribution, Gini coefficient
    JEL: A11 A19 C63 I29
    Date: 2005
  12. By: George J. Borjas
    Abstract: The rapid growth in the number of foreign students enrolled in American universities has transformed the higher education system, particularly at the graduate level. Many of these newly minted doctorates remain in the United States after receiving their doctoral degrees, so that the foreign student influx can have a significant impact in the labor market for high-skill workers. Using data drawn from the Survey of Earned Doctorates and the Survey of Doctoral Recipients, the study shows that a foreign student influx into a particular doctoral field at a particular time had a significant and adverse effect on the earnings of doctorates in that field who graduated at roughly the same time. A 10 percent immigration-induced increase in the supply of doctorates lowers the wage of competing workers by about 3 to 4 percent. About half of this adverse wage effect can be attributed to the increased prevalence of low-pay postdoctoral appointments in fields that have softer labor market conditions because of large-scale immigration.
    JEL: J23 J61
    Date: 2006–03
  13. By: Thomas Lemieux
    Abstract: The paper presents descriptive evidence from quantile regressions and more "structural" estimates from a human capital model with heterogenous returns to show that most of the increase in wage inequality between 1973 and 2005 is due to a dramatic increase in the return to post-secondary education. The model with heterogenous returns also helps explain why both the relative wages and the within-group dispersion among highly-educated workers have increased in tandem over time. These findings add to the growing evidence that, far from being ubiquitous, changes in wage inequality are increasingly concentrated in the very top end of the wage distribution.
    JEL: J3
    Date: 2006–03
  14. By: Mads Meier Jæger (The Danish National Institute of Social Research); Anders Holm (Department of Sociology, University of Copenhagen)
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is investigate the extent to which monetary and non-monetary social background factors explain intergenerational educational attainment in Denmark. The main hypothesis tested is that non-monetary social background factors (cultural, social, and cognitive parental resources) are particularly important relative to economic factors within the institutional context of the comprehensive and highly redistributive Danish welfare state. Drawing on the notion of ‘capital’ by Pierre Bourdieu and a longitudinal Danish data set, we find that parental economic capital is of little importance in explaining educational outcomes, while different non-monetary social background resources, and especially cultural capital, are very important. Our findings then indicate that a particular Scandinavian institutional “mobility regime” may exist in which educational inequalities are predominantly generated by non-monetary forms of stratification. Several suggestions for future research are also discussed.
    Keywords: intergenerational educational mobility; Denmark; mobility regimes; Bourdieu; forms of capital; mixed logit model; concomitant variables; confirmatory factor analysis

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