nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2006‒04‒29
fifteen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Does the Early Bird Catch the Worm? Instrumental Variable Estimates of Educational Effects of Age of School Entry in Germany By Puhani, Patrick A.; Weber, Andrea M.
  2. Comprehensive versus Selective Schooling in England in Wales: What Do We Know? By Jörn-Steffen Pischke; Alan Manning
  3. Determinants of Success in High School Economics: Lessons from the Field By Michael C. Kimmitt; Kimberly M. Burnett
  4. Social Class and Undergraduate Degree Subject in the UK By Massimiliano Bratti
  5. Close Neighbours Matter: Neighbourhood Effects on Early Performance at School By Dominique Goux; Eric Maurin
  6. Rethinking the Gains from Immigration: Theory and Evidence from the U.S. By Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano; Giovanni Peri
  7. Can Conditional Cash Transfers Serve as Safety Nets to Keep Children at School and Out of the Labor Market? By Alain de Janvry; Frederico Finan; Elisabeth Sadoulet
  8. Non-Pecuniary Returns to Higher Education: By Alfonso Miranda; Massimiliano Bratti
  9. e-Learning Statistics - A Selective Review By Wolfgang Härdle; Sigbert Klinke; Uwe Ziegenhagen
  10. Labor supply, school attendance, and remittances from international < BR > Migration : the case of El Salvador By Acosta, Pablo
  11. Italian Schools and New Linguistic Minorities: Nationality Vs. Plurilingualism. Which Ways and Methodologies for Mapping these Contexts? By Carla Bagna
  12. Is Europe becoming a knowledge-driven economy? Evidence from EU developed regions By Alessandro STERLACCHINI; Francesco VENTURINI
  13. Human capital accumulation over the life cycle under multiple sources of uncertainty By Saïd Hanchane; David Touahri
  14. Exports, university-industry linkages, and innovation challenges in Bangalore, India By D ' Costa, Anthony P.
  15. Academic careers : the effect of participation to post-doctoral program By Saïd Hanchane; Isabelle Recotillet

  1. By: Puhani, Patrick A.; Weber, Andrea M.
    Abstract: We estimate the effect of age of schoo entry on educational outcomes using two different data sets for Germany, sampling pupils at the end of primary school and in the middle of secondary school. Results are obtained based on instrumental variable estimation exploiting the exogenous variation in mont of birth. We find robust and significant positive effects on educational outcom for pupils who enter school at seven instead of six years of age: Test scores at the end of primary school increase by about bout 0.40 standard deviations and the probability to attend the highest secondary schooling track (Gymnasium) increases by about twelve percentage point.
    Keywords: education, immigration, policy, identification
    JEL: I21 I28 J24
    Date: 2006–04
  2. By: Jörn-Steffen Pischke; Alan Manning
    Abstract: British secondary schools moved from a system of extensive and early selection and tracking in secondary schools to one with comprehensive schools during the 1960s and 70s. Before the reform, students would take an exam at age eleven, which determined whether they would attend an academically oriented grammar school or a lower level secondary school. The reform proceeded at an uneven pace in different areas, so that both secondary school systems coexist during the 1960s and 70s. The British transition therefore provides an excellent laboratory for the study of the impact of a comprehensive versus a selective school system on student achievement. Previous studies analyzing this transition have typically used a value-added methodology: they compare outcomes for students passing through either type of school controlling for achievement levels at the time of entering secondary education. While this seems like a reasonable research design, we demonstrate that it is unlikely to successfully eliminate selection effects in who attends what type of school. Very similar results are obtained by looking at the effect of secondary school environment on achievement at age 11 and controlling for age 7 achievement. Since children only enter secondary school at age 11, these effects are likely due to selection bias. Careful choice of treatment and control areas, and using political control of the county as an instrument for early implementation of the comprehensive regime do not solve this problem.
    JEL: I21 I28
    Date: 2006–04
  3. By: Michael C. Kimmitt (Department of Economics, University of Hawaii at Manoa); Kimberly M. Burnett (Department of Economics, University of Hawaii at Manoa)
    Abstract: Recently, the Hawaii Council on Economic Education conducted a survey of high school seniors to gauge their understanding of basic economic concepts. Based on these results, we conduct a series of case studies, consisting of interviews with principals and economics teachers at eight Hawaii public high schools. We summarize the qualitative and quantitative results of these interviews. We then use these and other data to estimate the effects of school, demographic, and other characteristics on average student achievement on the survey. We find that the improvement in student test scores as a result of a one semester economics course is modest, but that the single greatest determinant of achievement is overall school quality. Based on these and other findings, we present recommendations for policy and further research.
    JEL: A20 A22 I20 I21
    Date: 2006
  4. By: Massimiliano Bratti (DEAS, University of Milan)
    Abstract: Although past research has established the existence of 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. We estimate trinomial probit models of undergraduate degree subject enrolled for the period 1981-1991 using Universities' Statistical Record data and generally find no social class effect. This finding is robust to different ways to aggregate degree subjects and the use of alternative econometric models. 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,
    Date: 2005–11–24
  5. By: Dominique Goux (INSEE); Eric Maurin (PSE, CEPR and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: Children’s outcomes are strongly correlated with those of their neighbours. The extent to which this is causal is the subject of an extensive literature. An identification problem exists because people with similar characteristics are observed to live in close proximity. Another major difficulty is that neighbourhoods measured in available data are often considerably larger than those which matter for outcomes (i.e. close neighbours). Several institutional features of France enable us to address these problems. We find that an adolescent’s performance at the end of junior high-school are strongly influenced by the performance of other adolescents in the neighbourhood.
    Keywords: neighborhood effects on education
    JEL: I21 J24
    Date: 2006–04
  6. By: Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano (University of Bologna); Giovanni Peri (University of California, Davis and NBER)
    Abstract: The standard empirical analysis of immigration, based on a simple labor demand and labor supply framework, has emphasized the negative impact of foreign born workers on the average wage of U.S.-born workers (particularly of those without a high school degree). A precise assessment of the average and relative effects of immigrants on U.S. wages, however, needs to consider labor as a differentiated input in production. Workers of different educational and experience levels are employed in different occupations and are therefore imperfectly substitutable. When taking this approach, one realizes that foreign-born workers are “complements” of U.S.-born workers in two ways. First, foreign-born residents are relatively abundant in the educational groups in which natives are scarce. Second, their choice of occupations for given education and experience attainments is quite different from that of natives. This implies that U.S.- and foreign-born workers with similar education and experience levels are imperfectly substitutable. Accounting carefully for these complementarities and for the adjustment of physical capital induced by immigration, the conventional finding of immigration’s impact on native wages is turned on its head: overall immigration over the 1980- 2000 period significantly increased the average wages of U.S.-born workers (by around 2%). Considering its distribution across workers, such an effect was positive for the wage of all native workers with at least a high school degree (88% of the labor force in year 2000), while it was null to moderately negative for the wages of natives without a high school degree.
    Keywords: Foreign-Born, Skill Complementarities, Wages, Gains from Migration
    JEL: F22 J61 J31
    Date: 2006–04
  7. By: Alain de Janvry (University of California, Berkeley); Frederico Finan (University of California, Berkeley); Elisabeth Sadoulet (University of California, Berkeley)
    Abstract: Conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs for education are known to be effective in increasing educational achievements among the rural poor. Using panel data from the Progresa experience with randomized treatment, we show that there is strong state dependence in school attendance. Short term shocks that take children out of school will consequently have long term consequences on their educational achievements. We show that idiosyncratic and covariate shocks do indeed push parents to take children out of school and to use child labor as risk coping instruments. However, CCT help protect children from these shocks, creating an additional benefit from these programs as effective safety nets with long term benefits.
    Keywords: child labor, education, government aid, rural poverty,
    Date: 2004–11–01
  8. By: Alfonso Miranda (University of Keele); Massimiliano Bratti (University of Milan and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: In this paper we investigate whether higher education (HE) produces non-pecuniary returns via a reduction in the consumption of health-damaging substances. In particular, the paper focuses on studying the smoking intensity of British individuals. We use data on current smokers from the 1970 British Cohort Study and estimate endogenous switching count models for cigarette consumption. Results show that HE is endogenous with smoking. Once endogeneity is controlled for, HE is found to have a higher negative effect on smoking than in models where it is treated as exogenous.The Effect on Smoking Intensity in the UK
    Keywords: endogenous switching, count data, higher education, smoking, UK
    JEL: C35 I12 I21
    Date: 2006–04
  9. By: Wolfgang Härdle; Sigbert Klinke; Uwe Ziegenhagen
    Abstract: Modern computing equipment is present at schools and universities at all levels of education. In the statistical sciences computers offer great opportunities to enrich the learning process by the means of e.g. animations, software integration or on-the-fly computations. A personal review of different e-learning platforms for statistics is done in this paper. This review reveals facts that could be taken into account for future e-learning platforms in statistics. One of the most striking discoveries of our analysis is that students of statistics actually do not use electronic media in the desired frequency and actually rely more on print media such as books,copies of slides, etc.
    Keywords: e-learning, electronic books, hypertext courseware, statistical software
    JEL: I21 C19
    Date: 2006–04
  10. By: Acosta, Pablo
    Abstract: The objective of this paper is to present microeconomic evidence on the economic effects of international remittances on households ' spending decisions. Remittances can increase the household budget and reduce liquidity constraint problems, allowing more consumption and investment. In particular, remittances can afford investing in children ' s human capital, a key outcome for the discussion of the perspective of growth in a high recipient developing country. Robust estimates that take into account both selection and endogeneity problems in estimating an average impact of remittances are substantially different from least squares (OLS) estimates presented in previous studies, indicating the importance of dealing with these methodological concerns. After controlling for household wealth and using selection correction techniques such as propensity score matching as well as village and household networks as instruments for remittances receipts, average estimates suggest that girls and young boys (less than 14 years old) from recipient households seem to be more likely to be enrolled at school than those from nonrecipient households. Remittances are also negatively related to child labor and adult female labor supply, while adult male labor force participation remains unaffected on average. The results signaling that the additional income derived from migration increases girls ' education and reduces women ' s labor supply, with no major impact on activity choice for males 14 years or older, suggest the presence of gender differences in the use of remittances across (and possibly, within) households.
    Keywords: Remittances,Gender and Development,Housing & Human Habitats,Economic Theory & Research,Anthropology
    Date: 2006–04–01
  11. By: Carla Bagna (Università per Stranieri di Siena)
    Abstract: According to the latest findings of the MIUR (Ministry of Education, University and Research), Alunni con cittadinanza non italiana 2004-2005 (MIUR, October 2005), 4.2% of the school population in Italy is made up of non-Italian citizens, with no reference to students who have one Italian parent or adopted children. These findings show that schools have become multilingual, not so much or solely because of the proposed linguistic offerings, nor for the linguistic heritage of Italian-speakers, which alternates among dialect, regional Italian and standard Italian, but mostly because of the dimension created by the contacts developed between different linguistic and cultural heritages. The paper aims at emphasizing and showing different ways for mapping the role played and the weight exercised by these “new linguistic minorities” – (defined as such) so-called because they are related to immigrant settlements in the territory and, hence, “immigrant languages” – in redefining the linguistic landscape of a school and of a territory.
    Keywords: Language Contact, Immigrant Languages, School System, Linguistic-Cultural Identity
    JEL: I I2 I21
    Date: 2006–04
  12. By: Alessandro STERLACCHINI (Universita' Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Management ed Organizzazione Aziendale); Francesco VENTURINI (Universita' Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Economia)
    Abstract: In this paper, a set of knowledge base indicators are used as explanatory variables of the 1995-2002 growth performances of 150 NUTSII regions belonging to ten countries of the former EU15. Their impact is estimated by controlling for the initial levels of the dependent variables, the structural features of the regions and the presence of spatial correlation. The results show that GDP per capita growth is positively affected by the intensity of R&D and the share of adults with tertiary education. The R&D intensity is particularly effective in explaining the growth of labour productivity while that of occupation ratio is significantly influenced by the intensity of higher education. Thus, although structural characteristics and starting levels of economic performances have differently shaped the rates of economic growth across regions, our findings strongly support the Lisbon strategy as they indicate that, also within the EU, a sustained investment in R&D, knowledge and education is rewarding.
    Keywords: knowledge innovation education endowment, regional economic growth
    JEL: O18 O33 R11
    Date: 2006–03
  13. 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] - []); David Touahri (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 analyse the human capital accumulation process over the life cycle of individuals under the hypothesis of earnings uncertainty. To do so, we develop a continuous time dynamic programming model which takes into account several sources of uncertainty, concerning the human capital accumulation process and the labour market. In particular, the risks over future wage rates and over-education are explicitly taken into account. The model permits an in-depth study of each source's effect of uncertainty on human capital investment. We demonstrate that investment in education may be encouraged, depending on the individual's perception of the different risks.
    Keywords: Human capital; Life cycle; Risk; Stochastic optimal control
    Date: 2006–04–18
  14. By: D ' Costa, Anthony P.
    Abstract: The success of the Indian software industry is now internationally recognized. Consequently, scholars, policymakers, and indus try officials everywhere generally anticipate the increasing competitiveness of India in high technology activities. Using a structural framework, the author argues that Bangalore ' s (and India ' s) information technology (IT) industry is predicated on an Indian business model which does not encourage thick institutional linkages such as those encapsulated by the triple helix model. Under this institutional arrangement there is cross-fertilization of new ideas and new modes of institutional interaction between industry, academia, and government. Though there are several hundred IT businesses in a milieu of numerous engineering and science colleges and high-end public sector research institutes, the supposed thick institutional architecture is in reality quite thin. This is due to a particular type of an export-oriented model which is based on off-shore development of software services, targeted mainly to the United States. Neither domestic market nor non-U.S. markets such as East Asia are pursued aggressively by Indian firms, which offer alternative forms of learning. Consequently, Bangalore ' s dynamism in the IT industry stems from linear and extensive growth rather than nonlinear and intensive growth. The author argues that Bangalore has serious innovation challenges with weak university-industry linkages, lack of inter-firm collaboration, and the absence of cross-fertilization between the knowledge-intensive defense/public sector and the commercial IT industry. To strengthen Bangalore ' s and India ' s innovation system, the Indian business model must be reformed by diversifying geographical and product markets, stemming international and internal brain drain, and contributing to urban infrastructure.
    Keywords: ICT Policy and Strategies,Technology Industry,Tertiary Education,Information Techno logy,Educational Technology and Distance Education
    Date: 2006–04–01
  15. 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] - []); Isabelle Recotillet (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: This paper is devoted to assessment of post-doctoral programs for young PhD awarded in French Universities. Using longitudinal from the French Ministry of Education, our question lead to the econometric evaluation of post-doctoral participation on the probability to obtain a job as researcher in the public sector of research. Based on the estimation of a conditional bivariate Probit model and computation of marginal effects, we demonstrate that going through a post-doctoral program increases of around 10% then chances to get an academic job. This result is reinforced by the effect of financial support, especially standard academic grant, which rises of more than 20% the probability to be recruited as researcher in the French public sector.
    Keywords: Post-doctoral program; PhD graduated; Bivariate Probit; Marginal effects
    Date: 2006–04–18

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