nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2006‒04‒01
twelve papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Central versus Local Education Finance : A Political Economy Approach By Rainald Borck
  2. School choice : income and peer effect differentiation By Saïd Hanchane; Tarek Mostafa
  3. The Effects of Teacher Training on Teacher Value Added By Douglas Harris; Tim R. Sass
  4. Trust and Universities: Management of Research and Education under Changing Knowledge Regimes By Sörlin, Sverker
  5. Matriculation in U.S. Economics Ph.D. Programs: How Many Accepted Americans Do Not Enroll? By Wendy A. Stock; T. Aldrich Finegan; John J. Siegfried
  6. Early childhood development in Latin America and the Caribbean By Schady, Norbert
  7. Do Population Control Policies Induce More Human Capital Investment? Twins, Birthweight, and China's 'One Child' Policy By Mark R. Rosenzweig; Junsen Zhang
  8. Anticipatory analysis and its alternatives in life-course research. Part 1: Education and first childbearing By Jan M. Hoem; Michaela Kreyenfeld
  9. Childbearing, Marriage and Human Capital Investment By Jo Anna Gray; Jean Stockard; Joe Stone
  10. Attrition in Economics Ph.D. Programs By Wendy A. Stock; T. Aldrich Finegan; John J. Siegfried
  11. School Choice and the Flight to Private Schools: To What Extent Are Public and Private Schools Substitutes? By David M. Brasington
  12. Classroom Peer Effects and Student Achievement By Mary A. Burke; Tim R. Sass

  1. By: Rainald Borck
  2. By: Saïd Hanchane (LEST - Laboratoire d'économie et de sociologie du travail - - [CNRS : UMR6123] - [Université de Provence - Aix-Marseille I][Université de la Méditerranée - Aix-Marseille II] - []); Tarek Mostafa (LEST - Laboratoire d'économie et de sociologie du travail - - [CNRS : UMR6123] - [Université de Provence - Aix-Marseille I][Université de la Méditerranée - Aix-Marseille II] - [])
    Abstract: In this paper, we analyze the equilibrium on the market for schooling where both public and private schools coexist and where individuals are differentiated by income and ability. We study the distribution of students across sectors while examining the conditions for the existence of a majority voting equilibrium in the context of non single peaked preferences. Finally, we examine the existence of a hierarchy of school qualities, as a consequence of the discriminating pricing strategy used by private schools to internalize the effect of peer groups.
    Keywords: Education market; Majority voting equilibrium; Peer group effect; Pricing discrimination; Educational opportunity
    Date: 2006–03–28
  3. By: Douglas Harris (Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Florida State University); Tim R. Sass (Department of Economics, Florida State University)
    Abstract: We study the effects of various types of education and training on teacherproductivity. Previous studies on the subject have been hampered by inadequatemeasures of teacher training and difficulties addressing the non-random selectionof teachers to students and of teachers to training. We address all of theselimitations by estimating models with student, teacher, and school fixed effectsusing an extensive database from the state of Florida. Our results suggest thatteacher training generally has little influence on productivity. One exception isthat content-focused teacher professional development is positively associatedwith productivity in middle and high school math. In addition, more experiencedteachers appear more effective in teaching elementary and middle school reading.There is no evidence that either pre-service (undergraduate) training or thescholastic aptitude of teachers influences their productivity. These results callinto question previous findings based on models that do not adequately control forthe various forms of selection bias.
    Keywords: Teacher Quality, Teacher Training, Teacher Productivity, Student Achievement
    JEL: I2 J24 J44
    Date: 2006–03
  4. By: Sörlin, Sverker (CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology)
    Abstract: More explicitly than before, universities have become instruments of industrial and economic growth policies. This has led to an increase in accountability regimes and in the application of the so called New Public Management on universities hitherto governed by a Humboldtian, Weberian, or Mertonian norms and a high degree of internal freedom and autonomy. This paper reviews some of the literature on these phenomena and analyzes critically some of the positions taken. It is concluded that while there is arguably a considerable change in governance going on in Western university systems, the change is far from altering the academic ethos. Still, it is argued, institutional norms should also be defended, which could be achieved through differentiation of higher education and among research performing institutions and organizations. An important virtue of the university remains to deliver social value precisely because it is an institution of credibility, criticism, and trust.
    Keywords: University Governance; University Management; Higher Education Policy; Higher Education; Research Policy; University Licensing.
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2006–03–28
  5. By: Wendy A. Stock (Department of Economics and Agricultural Economics, Montana State University); T. Aldrich Finegan (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University); John J. Siegfried (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University and AEA)
    Abstract: Using a sample of 26 U.S. economics Ph.D. programs in Fall 2003, we estimate that only about 12 percent of the U.S. and Canadian students accepted for doctoral study did not enroll in any U.S. economics Ph.D. program in Fall 2003 or Fall 2004. It is not possible to increase the supply of new Ph.D. economists substantially by "closing the sale" on accepted applicants: additional qualified applicants are needed. Nonmatriculants are remarkably similar to enrollees in demographics, prior education, test scores, and fields of special interest, but express less interest in economic research and are less likely to have been offered financial aid. An expected financial aid deficiency was also the most-cited reason for deciding not to matriculate, followed by how long it takes to earn an economics Ph.D., and the expectation of higher lifetime earnings in a career other than economics. Most who decided against an economics Ph.D. enrolled in an alternative graduate program.
    Keywords: Matriculation, economics Ph.D. programs
    JEL: A14 A23 I2
    Date: 2006–03
  6. By: Schady, Norbert
    Abstract: There is considerable evidence that young children in many developing countries suffer from profound deficits in nutrition, health, fine and gross motor skills, cognitive development, and socio-emotional development. Early childhood development (ECD) outcomes are important markers of the welfare of children. In addition, the deleterious effects of poor outcomes in early childhood can be long-lasting, affecting school attainment, employment, wages, criminality, and measures of social integration of adults. This paper considers the theoretical case to be made for investments in early childhood, selectively reviews the literature on the impact of ECD programs in the United States, discusses the evidence from Latin America and the Caribbean, and makes suggestions for future research. The focus is on the relation between outcomes in early childhood and measures of household s ocioeconomic status, child health, and parenting practices, as well as on the impact of specific policies and programs. The knowledge base on early childhood outcomes is still thin in Latin America and the Caribbean. There are therefore very high returns to comparative descriptive analysis in the region, as well as to careful evaluations of the impact of various programs.
    Keywords: Educational Sciences,Primary Education,Early Childhood Development,Street Children,Youth and Governance
    Date: 2006–03–01
  7. By: Mark R. Rosenzweig (Economic Growth Center, Yale University); Junsen Zhang (Chinese University of Hong Kong)
    Abstract: In this paper we use a new data set describing households with and without twin children in China to quantify the trade-off between the quality and quantity of children using the incidence of twins that for the first time takes into account effects associated with the lower birthweight and closer-spacing of twins compared to singleton births. We show that examining the effects of twinning by birth order, net of the effects stemming from the birthweight deficit of twins, can provide upper and lower bounds on the trade-off between family size and average child quality. Our estimates indicate that, at least in one area of China, an extra child at parity one or at parity two, net of birthweight effects, significantly decreases the schooling progress, the expected college enrollment, grades in school and the assessed health of all children in the family. We also show that estimates of the effects of twinning at higher parities on the outcomes of older children in prior studies do not identify family size effects but are confounded by inter-child allocation effects because of the birthweight deficit of twins. Despite the evident significant trade-off between number of children and child quality in China, however, the findings suggest that the contribution of the one-child policy in China to the development of its human capital was modest.
    Keywords: Family size, Birthweight, Schooling, China
    JEL: J13 I12 I21
  8. By: Jan M. Hoem (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Michaela Kreyenfeld (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: Procedures that seek to explain current behavior by future outcomes (anticipatory analysis) constitute a widespread but problematic approach in life-course analysis because they disturb the role of time and the temporal order of events. Nevertheless the practice is often used, not least because it easily produces useful summary measures like the median age at first childbearing and the per cent permanently childless in various educational groups, defined by ultimate attainment. We use an empirical example to demonstrate the issues involved and to propose an alternative "non-anticipatory" research strategy, which, however, does not equally easily provide summary measures. (Keywords: anticipatory analysis, conditioning on the future, fertility by educational attainment)
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2006–03
  9. By: Jo Anna Gray (University of Oregon Economics Department); Jean Stockard (University of Oregon Department of Planning, Public Policy, and Management); Joe Stone (University of Oregon Economics Department)
    Abstract: This paper proposes and tests a simple joint explanation for i) increases in marital and nonmarital birth rates in the United States over recent decades, ii) the dramatic rise in the share of nonmarital births, and iii) the pronounced racial differences in the timing of childbearing. The explanation arises from differences across time and race in the attractiveness of marriage and opportunities for investment in human capital. For given preferences, a decline in the marriage rate necessarily causes both the marital and nonmarital birth rates to increase, with no change in the total birth rate. This model exhibits exceptional power in replicating salient features of childbearing behavior. Our results suggest that changes in marital and nonmarital birth rates, as well as in the share of nonmarital births, arose primarily from changes in marriage behavior, not from changes in fertility; and that racial differences in the timing of childbearing reflect early differences in human capital investment.
    Keywords: illegitimacy ratio, marriage, birth rates, education, welfare
    JEL: J12 J13 I38
    Date: 2006–02–01
  10. By: Wendy A. Stock (Department of Economics and Agricultural Economics, Montana State University); T. Aldrich Finegan (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University); John J. Siegfried (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University and AEA)
    Abstract: Information about 586 individuals who matriculated into 27 economics Ph.D. programs in Fall 2002 is used to estimate first and second year attrition rates. After two years, 26.5 percent of the initial cohort had left, equally divided between the first and second years. Attrition varies widely across individual programs. It is lower among the most highly rated 15 programs, for students with higher verbal and quantitative GRE scores, and for those on a research assistantship. Poor academic performance is the most cited reason for withdrawal. About 15 percent transfer to other economics programs because they are dissatisfied with some aspect of the particular program where they first enrolled.
    Keywords: Attrition, dropouts, economics Ph.D. programs
    JEL: A14 A23 I2
    Date: 2006–03
  11. By: David M. Brasington
    Abstract: Opponents of school choice sometimes charge that vouchers, charter schools, and tuition tax credits would strip funding and talented students from the public schools. Proponents say this is exactly what is needed to provide extra competition for public schools. Flight to private schools may happen if parents think private schools are good substitutes for public schools. For goods with explicit market prices, economists estimate substitutability by specifying a demand curve and finding a cross price elasticity, but the non-market nature of schooling has prevented this. The current study finds a way to estimate the demand for public schooling and calculate a cross price elasticity by exploiting Rosen’s (1974) two-stage hedonic technique. It estimates the cross price elasticity between public schooling and the price of private schooling to be 0.32: Americans view private schools as fairly weak substitutes for public schools. The use of spatial statistics accounts for potential spillovers and omitted variable bias in the house price hedonics and the demand curve estimation. In fact, the -1.72 price elasticity of demand is much larger than the -0.20 to -0.40 estimates generally found by non-spatial studies.
  12. By: Mary A. Burke (Research Department, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston); Tim R. Sass (Department of Economics, Florida State University)
    Abstract: In this paper we analyze a unique micro-level panel data set encompassing all publicschool students in grades 3-10 in the state of Florida for each of the years 1999/2000-2003/2004.We are able to directly link each student and teacher to a specific classroom and can thus identifyeach member of a student’s classroom peer group. The ability to track individual studentsthrough multiple classrooms over time and multiple classes for each teacher enables us to controlfor many sources of spurious peer effects such as fixed individual student characteristics andfixed teacher inputs, as well as to compare the strength of peer effects across different groupingsof peers, across grade levels, and to compare the effects of fixed versus time-varying peercharacteristics. We find mixed results on the importance of peers in the linear-in-means model,and resolve some of these apparent conflicts by considering non-linear specifications of peereffects. The results suggest that some grouping by ability may create Pareto improvements overuniformly mixed classrooms. In general we find that contemporaneous behavior wields strongerinfluence than peers’ fixed characteristics.
    Keywords: Peer Effects, Student Achievement
    JEL: I2 Z13
    Date: 2006–02

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