nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2006‒03‒25
seventeen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Regional school comparison and school choice : how do they relate to student performance ? Evidence from PISA 2003 By Maresa, SPRIETSMA
  2. Competition and Public School Efficiency in Sweden By Waldo, Staffan
  3. Does More Generous Student Aid Increase Enrolment Rates into Higher Education? Evaluating the German Student Aid Reform of 2001 By Hans J. Baumgartner; Viktor Steiner
  4. Reconstructing School Segregation: On the Efficacy and Equity of Single-Sex Schooling By Sherrilyn M. Billger
  5. Educational attainment and ultimate fertility among Swedish women born in 1955-59 By Jan M. Hoem; Gerda R. Neyer; Gunnar Andersson
  6. Public education and growth: cost-effectiveness of educational policies in developing countries By Rossana Patrón
  7. School Vouchers and Public School Productivity - The Case of the Swedish Large Scale Voucher Program By Waldo, Staffan
  8. Ethnic segregation and educational performance at secondary school in Bradford and Leicester By Ron Johnston; Deborah Wilson; Simon Burgess
  9. Endogenous skill formation in developing countries By Rossana Patrón
  10. Education and Regional Job Creation by the Self-Employed: The English North-South Divide By Andrew E. Burke; Michael A. Nolan; Felix R. FitzRoy
  11. Religion and High School Graduation: A Comparative Analysis of Patterns for White and Black Young Women By Evelyn L. Lehrer
  12. Do Proctored Exams Matter In Online Classes? By Oskar R. Harmon; James Lambrinos
  13. Online Format vs. Live Mode of Instruction: Do Human Capital Differences or Differences in Returns to Human Capital Explain the Differences in Outcomes? By Oskar R. Harmon; James Lambrinos
  14. Respecting Priorities when Assigning Students to Schools By EHLERS, Lars
  15. Where are they Now? Tracking the Ph.D. Class of 1997 By Wendy A. Stock; John J. Siegfried
  16. Human Capital and Social Position in Britain: creating a measure of wage earning potential from BHPS data By Jonathan Gershuny; Man Yee Kan
  17. "On the Failure of University-Industry Research Collaboration to Stimulate High Quality Research in Japan" By Tsuyoshi Nakamura; Kazuo Ueda

  1. By: Maresa, SPRIETSMA (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))
    Abstract: School choice and accountability have become popular educational policies in the US and the UK. In Europe, such policies are less often applied and therefore less subject to research. The present paper uses recent international data to study the impact of schools comparing their pupil’s results to a regional or national performance standard and that of regional school choice on student test scores. School performance comparisons and school choice by parents are assumed to complement each other in increasing both school and teacher effort. We estimate an education production function controlling for the hierarchical nature of the data. We also estimate our model using quantiles of student test scores to identify potentially different effects at different levels of student performance. We find that both a higher regional percentage of schools comparing their results and regional intensity of school choice significantly improve student test scores. This positive effect varies in size according to whether we consider low or high-performancing students.
    Keywords: School choice; school performance standards; education production function; pupil performance; hierarchical models
    JEL: I20 I28
    Date: 2006–02–15
  2. By: Waldo, Staffan (Swedish Institute for Food and Agricultural Economics)
    Abstract: The focus in this study is on how efficiency in public education is affected by competition from private schools. The Swedish educational system is used, since the Swedish large scale voucher program implies that private and public schools compete on similar terms. In 2002 approximately 5% of the Swedish children attended private schools, and the share is rapidly increasing. Public school efficiency is estimated using Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA). Modelling education is difficult since educational production is not only dependent on factors under control of the school management, but also on the students’ socio-economic backgrounds. A number of approaches have been proposed concerning how to model this in a DEA setting. In this study, four different approaches are used and compared. Special focus is put on a second stage regression, where the efficiency estimates are regressed on competition and other explanatory variables. We can not show that the share of children attending private schools is related to public school performance.
    Keywords: Data Envelopment Analysis; competition; education
    JEL: H73 I21
    Date: 2006–03–23
  3. By: Hans J. Baumgartner (DIW Berlin); Viktor Steiner (Free University of Berlin, DIW Berlin and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: Students from low-income families are eligible to student aid under the federal students’ financial assistance scheme (BAfoeG) in Germany. We evaluate the effectiveness of a recent reform of student aid that substantially increased the amount received by eligible students to raise enrolment rates into tertiary education. We view this reform as a ‘natural experiment’ and apply the difference-in-difference methodology using a discrete-time hazard rate model to estimate the causal effect on enrolment rates into higher education. We find that the reform had a small positive but statistically insignificant effect on enrolment rates.
    Keywords: educational transitions, educational finance, natural experiment and difference-indifference estimation
    JEL: H31 I28 I22 J24
    Date: 2006–03
  4. By: Sherrilyn M. Billger (Illinois State University and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: A change to Title IX has spurred new single-sex public schooling in the US. Until recently, nearly all gender-segregated schools were private, and I therefore address potential selection bias in the effects on educational and labor market outcomes using within private sector comparisons, an index comparing expectations to outcomes, quantile regressions, and other techniques. Descriptive statistics suggest significant benefits, but more consideration of selection bias reveals less consistency. Girls' school alumnae are more likely than their coed peers to receive scholarships, but they are not more likely to pursue college degrees, and both genders are less likely to meet their own educational expectations. Moreover, single-sex schooling is not universally superior in supporting gender equity, as coeducational public schools yield the least segregated college major choices. On the other hand, I find 15-20% higher starting salaries among single-sex school graduates, but only persistently for men of median ability. Much of the benefit from single-sex schooling accrues to students already likely to succeed, but favorable selection is an insufficient explanation for all gains. Most notably, there are clear returns for both African-Americans and low income students.
    Keywords: single-sex education, labor outcomes, secondary schooling, gender
    JEL: I21 J24 J3 I28
    Date: 2006–03
  5. By: Jan M. Hoem (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Gerda R. Neyer (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Gunnar Andersson (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: This is the second of two companion papers addressing the association between educational attainment and fertility for some sixty educational groups of Swedish women, defined according to field of education as well as level of education. The first paper is about childlessness and education, the present one about the mean number of children ever born. We find that ultimate fertility decreases somewhat with an increasing educational level, but its dependence on the field of education is much more impressive. In general, educational groups with relatively little childlessness also have relatively high ultimate fertility, and educational groups with much childlessness have relatively low ultimate fertility. In particular, women educated for the teaching or health-care professions have less childlessness and a higher ultimate fertility than others. Conversely, women with an education for esthetic or (non-teacher) humanist occupations have unusually high fractions childless and low ultimate fertility. Women with religious educations stand out by having very high fractions childless but quite ordinary mean ultimate fertility nevertheless; such women have very little childbearing outside of marriage. Women with research degrees have remarkably ordinary childbearing behavior; they do not forego motherhood to the extent that some theories would predict.
    Keywords: Sweden, education, fertility
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2006–03
  6. By: Rossana Patrón (Departmento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República)
    Abstract: The paper analyses the short and long term effects of education activities for an open economy, linking current costs to future benefits of alternative educational policies. The simulations find that growth effects are higher for those policies that reduce the internal inefficiency of the education sector thus improving the productivity of public expenditure. The analysis has implications for policymakers in developing countries like Uruguay with failing educational systems, as it suggests a relation between cost effectiveness of policies and growth and not a relation between enrolments and growth or between public expenditure in education and growth as it is usually tested in growth regressions.
    Keywords: public education, growth, developing countries
    JEL: I F O
    Date: 2005–10
  7. By: Waldo, Staffan (Swedish Institute for Food and Agricultural Economics)
    Abstract: Since the school voucher reform in 1992/93 Sweden has experienced a rapid increase in private schools. School regulations allow private and public schools to compete for students on very similar terms. This makes the Swedish educational market interesting for studying how competition affects the provision of education. In this study competition and public school productivity are analyzed for 105 urban municipalities during the period 1998/99 to 2001/02. The empirical estimations are performed in two stages. In the first stage, productivity is estimated using Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) and a Malmquist productivity index. In the second stage, the estimated productivity is regressed on private school competition and a number of control variables. We cannot reject competition to be exogenous in a Hausman test. The coefficient for competition is not significant at the 5 percent level in any of the empirical specifications.
    Keywords: Malmquist index; competition; education
    JEL: H73 I21
    Date: 2006–03–23
  8. By: Ron Johnston; Deborah Wilson; Simon Burgess
    Abstract: Evidence suggests considerable variation among British ethnic groups in their performance at different stages of their educational careers. Many members of those groups are concentrated in particular parts of certain cities, and as a consequence many attend ethnically-segregated schools. Using pupil- and school-level data from the Pupil Level Annual School Census (PLASC) in England, this paper explores the relationship between performance and various student and school characteristics in Bradford (which has a large Pakistani population) and Leicester (with a large Indian population). It finds evidence of a correlation between school ethnic composition and performance in Bradford but not Leicester.
    Keywords: ethnic segregation, schools, attainment levels, Bradford, Leicester
    JEL: I20
    Date: 2006–03
  9. By: Rossana Patrón (Departmento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República)
    Abstract: The paper provides a flexible framework to deal with educational provision and public policies in developing countries, linking the impact of quality-quantity-equity of educational policies on labour markets and the external sector. The model includes typical aspects of developing countries that require some further deviations from the structure of a 'standard' single country model as the inclusion of informal activities, which are usually dominated by the poorest qualified workers. Simulation exercises allows us to argue that more sophisticated educational policies ("multiple targets") may increase the efficiency of the government expenditure in education in terms of the quantity-quality of the output (skills) delivered to the labour market. The potential of education and educational policies to produce allocative, growth and distributive effects is also shown in the simulation exercises.
    Keywords: public education, educational policies, developing countries
    JEL: I F
    Date: 2005–05
  10. By: Andrew E. Burke; Michael A. Nolan; Felix R. FitzRoy
    Abstract: Using decomposition analysis, the paper investigates the reasons why Northern England has less but higher performing self-employed businesses than the South. It finds the causes are mainly structural differences rather than due to regional variation in people's characteristics. The paper also unearths a regional dimension behind the impact of education on entrepreneurial job creation. It finds that, in the less developed North, education boosts self-employment job creation by enhancing performance per venture (quality). In the South, it reduces it by having no effect on quality alongside a negative effect on the number of people who become self-employed (quantity).
    Keywords: Self-employment, job creation, North-South divide, decomposition
    JEL: J23 R11 R23
    Date: 2006–03
  11. By: Evelyn L. Lehrer (University of Illinois at Chicago - Economics Department)
    Abstract: This paper examines how two dimensions of childhood religion—affiliation and participation—are related to the probability of graduating from high school. Hypotheses derived from a human capital model are tested with data on non-Hispanic white and black women from the 1995 National Survey of Family Growth. The empirical findings are generally consistent with the hypotheses, revealing sizeable differentials in the likelihood of obtaining a high-school diploma by affiliation and participation. The results suggest that the convergence of Catholics to the mainline Protestant pattern for non-Hispanic whites found here, and supported by many previous studies, has not taken place in the black population. In other respects, the relationships between religion and high school graduation are similar for the two racial groups.
    Keywords: religion; education; high-school graduation.
    JEL: J24 J15 J22
    Date: 2006–03–14
  12. By: Oskar R. Harmon (University of Connecticut); James Lambrinos (Union University)
    Abstract: Does the format of assessment (proctored or un-proctored exams) affect test scores in online principles of economics classes? This study uses data from two courses of principles of economics taught by the same instructor to gain some insight into this issue. When final exam scores are regressed against human capital factors, the R-squared statistic is 61.6% for the proctored format exams while it is only 12.2% for the un-proctored format. Three other exams in the class that had the proctored final were also un-proctored and also produced lower R-squared values, averaging 30.5%. These two findings suggest that some cheating may have taken place in the un-proctored exams. Although it appears some cheating took place, the results suggest that cheating did not pay for these students since the proctored exam grades were 4.9 points higher than the un-proctored exam grades although this difference was significantly different at only the 10% level. One possible explanation for this is that there was slightly higher human capital in the class that had the proctored exam although this must have occurred by chance since the students did not know if the exams were going to be proctored in advance so there is no issue of selection bias. A Oaxaca decomposition of this difference in grades was conducted to see how much was due to human capital and how much was due to the differences in the rates of return to human capital. This analysis reveals that 17% of the difference was due to the higher human capital with the remaining 83% due to differences in the returns to human capital. It is possible that the un-proctored exam format does not encourage as much studying as the proctored format reducing both the returns to human capital and the exam scores.
    Keywords: economic education, distance education, assessments, online instruction, pedagogy
    JEL: A2
    Date: 2006–03
  13. By: Oskar R. Harmon (University of Connecticut); James Lambrinos (Union University)
    Abstract: Our paper asks the question: Does mode of instruction format (live or online format) effect test scores in the principles of macroeconomics classes? Our data are from several sections of principles of macroeconomics, some in live format, some in online format, and all taught by the same instructor. We find that test scores for the online format, when corrected for sample selection bias, are four points higher than for the live format, and the difference is statistically significant. One possible explanation for this is that there was slightly higher human capital in the classes that had the online format. A Oaxaca decomposition of this difference in grades was conducted to see how much was due to human capital and how much was due to the differences in the rates of return to human capital. This analysis reveals that 25% of the difference was due to the higher human capital with the remaining 75% due to differences in the returns to human capital. It is possible that for the relatively older student with the appropriate online learning skill set, and with schedule constrains created by family and job, the online format provides them with a more productive learning environment than does the alternative traditional live class format. Also, because our data are limited to the student s academic transcript, we recommend future research include data on learning style characteristics, and the constraints formed by family and job choices.
    Keywords: economic education, distance education, online instruction, pedagogy
    JEL: A2
    Date: 2006–03
  14. By: EHLERS, Lars
    Abstract: We consider the problem of assigning students to schools on the basis of priorities. Students are allowed to have equal priority at a school. We characterize the efficient rules which weakly/strongly respect students’ priorities. When priority orderings are not strict, it is not possible to simply break ties in a fixed manner. All possibilities of resolving the indifferences need to be considered. Neither the deferred acceptance algorithm nor the top trading cycle algorithm successfully solve the problem of efficiently assigning the students to schools whereas a modified version of the deferred acceptance algorithm might. In this version tie breaking depends on students’ preferences.
    Keywords: School Choice, Equal Priority, Tie Breaking
    Date: 2006
  15. By: Wendy A. Stock (Department of Economics and Agricultural Economics, Montana State University); John J. Siegfried (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University and AEA)
    Abstract: We report early career outcomes of economics Ph.D.s by tracking the U.S. class of 1996-97. We examine employment outcomes, work activities, salaries, and graduates' attitudes toward their jobs. By 2003, all of the respondents were employed, although almost half changed employers during the six years. Salaries of the cohort increased at an average annual rate of 8.2 percent from 1997 through 2003. Academic-year salaries rose about 5.7 percent per year, while private sector salaries skyrocketed at 15 percent per year. Finally, the median salaries of first-year full-time permanent 9-10 month academic economists hired in 2002-03 actually exceed the 2003 salaries of their counterparts initially hired in 1997-98. Some of this apparent salary inversion reflects a different mix of employers and departments between the two cohorts, with the younger group securing relatively more jobs at higher paying institutions.
    Keywords: Economists, employment, salaries
    JEL: A11 J44 J40 J30
    Date: 2006–03
  16. By: Jonathan Gershuny (Institute for Social and Economic Research); Man Yee Kan (Institute for Social and Economic Research)
    Abstract: This paper develops a continuously scaled indicator of social position (the Essex Score), which is estimated as individuals’ potential wage in the labour market. The Essex Score is designed as a tool to investigate patterns of differentiation in life chances. It is constructed based on individuals’ educational qualifications, recent experience in employment and non-employment, and occupational attainment using data from all the currently available 13 waves of the British Household Panel Survey. The Essex Score represents those embodied economic resources salient to individuals’ participation in the labour market, equivalent to “human capital” in economic literature, and sometimes indicated by social class categories in sociological research. It has advantages over other social class measures. Being based on educational levels and on degrees of present and past attachment to the labour market as well as on present or previous occupational membership, it covers the entire adult population irrespective of their employment status and employment history. Its continuous level measurement also allows aggregation of scores from an individual to a household level, as well as the sensitive investigation of the determinants and consequences of changes in social position during the life course.
    Keywords: bhps, human capital, social class
    Date: 2006–02
  17. By: Tsuyoshi Nakamura (Faculty of Economics, Tokyo Keizai University); Kazuo Ueda (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo)
    Abstract: Using a panel of 30 Japanese chemical and pharmaceutical companies for the period of 1985 to 1998, we estimate the effects of university-industry research collaboration (UIC) on participating firms' research output. We find, as in other studies in the field, that UIC leads to more research output, in terms of the number of patents obtained. In contrast to the results for the U.S., however, we find no evidence that UIC significantly affects quality adjusted patents, that is, citation weighted patent counts. By looking finely at what part of the quality ladder of patents UIC stimulates, we find that UIC increases only those patents with a small number of citations, thus failing to affect the "average" quality of patents. Discussions of possible reasons for this finding are also offered.
    Date: 2006–03

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