nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2006‒05‒27
eight papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Mexico : two decades of the evolution of education and inequality By Lopez-Acevedo, Gladys
  2. Public-private sector wage differentials and returns to education in Djibouti By Seshan, Ganesh; Anos Casero, Paloma
  3. Higher Education, the Bane of Fertility? An investigation with the HILDA Survey By Peng Yu
  4. Early childhood development through an integrated program : evidence from the Philippines By Lee, Nannette; King, Elizabeth M.; Gultiano, Socorro; Ghuman, Sharon; Duazo, Paulita; Behrman, Jere R.; Armecin, Graeme
  5. Evaluating Human Capital Obsolescence By Grip Andries de
  6. Reinventing education: Self-inquiry as a generator of new variety By Chris Sigaloff; Jan Gerrit Schuurman; Iselien Nabben
  7. Teacher quality and incentives - Theoretical and empirical effects of standards on teacher quality By Hendrik Jürges; Wolfram F. Richter; Kerstin Schneider
  8. Child Work and Schooling Costs in Rural Northern India By Gautam Hazarika; Arjun S. Bedi

  1. By: Lopez-Acevedo, Gladys
    Abstract: Mexico experienced a pronounced increase in the degree of inequality and earnings inequality over the 1980s and mid 1990s. Contrary to the trend in the distribution of total income inequality, there has been an improvement in the distribution of earnings inequality since 1996. This paper shows the following results. First, education has the highest gross contribution in explaining changes in earnings distribution. Second, both changes in the distribution of education and in the relative earnings among educational groups have always been in phase with the alterations in the earnings distribution. Specifically, when the income profile effect related to education became steeper and the inequality of education increased, the earnings distribution worsened (as in the 1988-96 period). Third, changes in the relative earnings among educational groups are always the leading force behind changes in inequality.
    Keywords: Inequality,Labor Markets,Economic Theory & Research,Access & Equity in Basic Education,Poverty Impact Evaluation
    Date: 2006–05–01
  2. By: Seshan, Ganesh; Anos Casero, Paloma
    Abstract: Do public sector workers earn a wage premium in Djibouti and are the returns to education different across the sectors? The authors estimate private and public sector wage earnings using 1996 household survey data, while controlling for selectivity using Heckman ' s two stage approach. They find that Djiboutian public sector employees earn a wage premium, independent of their personal attributes and human capital endowments, and are more likely to be males and have parents in the public sector. Workers in the public sector earn higher private rates of return to education than do private sector workers with post-secondary schooling. These results raise concerns about current government hiring and wage-setting practices that generate distortions in the labor market and are not efficiently allocating labor and public resources.
    Keywords: Labor Markets,Public Sector Economics & Finance,Public Sector Management and Reform,Education For All,Education and Digital Divide
    Date: 2006–05–01
  3. By: Peng Yu
    Abstract: This paper uses the first wave of HILDA in an analysis of the determinants of fertility, focusing in particular on the role of education. Estimating lifetime fertility from micro data sets is generally quite difficult since a large proportion of the sample, because of their age, will have incomplete fertility. The HILDA survey allows this problem to be addressed, however, because as well as measuring the actual number of children a person has, there is also information on the additional number of children a person expects to parent. Thus it is possible to estimate the determinants of fertility in three dimensions: the actual number of children a person has, the expected future number of children, and total intended lifetime fertility, the sum of the first two. The analysis is conducted in several stages. First, total intended lifetime fertility is modelled as a function of education and a host of other variables reflecting the opportunity costs and consumption elements of child rearing. The HILDA sample allows control for a host of other factors, reflecting both attitudes and values, and their roles are examined as well. The main result is that education lowers total lifetime fertility, although the strength of this relationship falls importantly with the addition of a range of variables, such as marital history and equivalised household income. A second set of estimations concerns the determinants of the expected future number of children, controlling for the number of children a person already has. The estimations reveal that more educated people tend to have significantly higher fertility expectations than others, and that the effect is non-linear. The juxtaposition of the results of the two approaches could be interpreted to mean that higher education per se does not lower people’s fertility expectation while the more educated tend to defer their fertility and may end up with fewer children due to some unexpected constraints such as deterioration or breakdown in relationship and fecundity problems at later stage. Realising these risks before hand along with appropriate institutional and financial supports from the government may help the educated people to achieve their fertility expectation. In addition to education, all fertility measures are influenced importantly by, among others: household income (negative for the first and positive for the second); partnering (positive); the significance of religion in people’s lives (positive); and values concerning motherhood (positive). Many different specifications were explored with the main conclusions being robust. It is recognised, however, that fertility decisions are likely to be made in combination with a host of other life-cycle issues, such as investment in education, and that the results of the estimations need to be qualified by this reality.
    Keywords: Fertility expectation; Education
    JEL: J13 I21
    Date: 2006–01
  4. By: Lee, Nannette; King, Elizabeth M.; Gultiano, Socorro; Ghuman, Sharon; Duazo, Paulita; Behrman, Jere R.; Armecin, Graeme
    Abstract: More attention and resources have been devoted in recent years to early childhood development (ECD) in low- and middle-income countries. Rigorous studies on the effectiveness of ECD-related programs for improving children ' s development in various dimensions in the developing world are scant. The authors evaluate an important ECD initiative of the Philippine government using longitudinal data collected over three years on a cohort of 6,693 children age 0-4 years at baseline in two " treatment " regions and a " control " region that did not receive the intervention. The initiative includes a wide range of health, nutrition, early education, and social services programs. The authors estimate its impact by using " intent-to-treat " difference-in-difference propensity score matching estimators to control for a variety of observed characteristics measured at the municipality, barangay, household, and child level and unobserved fixed characteristics, with differential impacts by age of children and duration of exposure to the program. There has been a significant improvement in the cognitive, social, motor, and language development, and in short-term nutritional status of children who reside in ECD program areas compared to those in non-program areas, particularly for those under age four at the end of the evaluation period. The proportions of children below age four with worms and diarrhea also have been lowered significantly in program compared to non-program areas, but there are effects in the opposite direction for older children so the overall impact on these two indicators is mixed.
    Keywords: Health Monitoring & Evaluation,Early Childhood Development,Youth and Governance,Primary Education,Educational Sciences
    Date: 2006–05–01
  5. By: Grip Andries de (ROA wp)
    Abstract: Human resources are playing a central role in the knowledge economy that emerged in the Western world as the human capital embodied in both high-tech capital goods and the working population is a main determinant of the performance of individuals, organizations and national economies. Human resources stimulate technological change, whereas technological change stimulates the use of human resources. First, human capital is an important input factor in research & development, which is in particular emphasized by endogeneous growth theory (e.g. Romer, 1990). This is called the research effect of human capital (Cörvers, 1999). Second, high-skilled workers are of crucial importance for the diffusion of new technologies in the various sectors of the economy (Bartel & Lichtenberg, 1987). This is the diffusion effect of human capital.
    Keywords: education, training and the labour market;
    Date: 2006
  6. By: Chris Sigaloff; Jan Gerrit Schuurman; Iselien Nabben (Nyenrode Business Universiteit)
    Abstract: In a public school organisation in the Netherlands a number of problems was met, failing internal governance being the most crucial one. In this kind of situation, the demand for change and improvement often leads to the adoption of a blueprint. A blueprint is a model for change, which has been applied elsewhere, and functions as an example for the situation at hand. Sadly enough, maintaining a blueprint of some sort often leads to meagre results and a number of negative side effects. A principal reason for this failure is that the efficacy of the blueprint depends on the control it exerts. However, most of the problems in society and institutions do not have to do with a lack of control, but with the problem that our institutions are not sufficiently capable of dealing with unexpected variation generated by the actors in a changing environment. In this paper we argue that this problem exists because often actors behave as if they were restricted instances of a category (e.g.: manager, teacher, parent). What is needed is an alternative approach. Hence, a construct is introduced, which was later articulated in terms of the myth of the round table. It is argued that the round table bypasses the imposition of a blueprint, by stimulating a process of selfinquiry and actor-configuration.
    Keywords: Change programs, management theory, management development, blueprint, source of authority, actor position, actor configuration, self-inquiry, reinvention, variation generator.
    Date: 2005
  7. By: Hendrik Jürges; Wolfram F. Richter; Kerstin Schneider (Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging (MEA))
    Abstract: Applying the theory of yardstick competition to the schooling system, we show that it is optimal to have central tests of student achievement and to engage in benchmarking because it raises the quality of teaching. This is true even if teachers’ pay (defined in monetary terms) is not performance related. If teachers value reputation, and if teaching output is measured so that it becomes comparable, teachers will increase their effort. The theory is tested using the German PISA-E data. Use is made of the fact that central exams exist in some federal states of Germany but not in all. The empirical evidence suggests that central exams have a positive effect on the quality of teaching.
    JEL: I28
    Date: 2005–06–30
  8. By: Gautam Hazarika (University of Texas at Brownsville and IZA Bonn); Arjun S. Bedi (Institute of Social Studies, The Hague)
    Abstract: It is widely held that work by children obstructs schooling, so that working children in impoverished families will find it difficult to escape poverty. If children’s school attendance and work were highly substitutable activities, it would be advisable to quell work in the interest of schooling and, if less child work were desirable for its own sake, to boost school attendance so as to reduce child work. Hence, this article examines the effects of schooling costs upon both children’s propensities to work and to attend school in rural northern India in a bid to assess the extent of trade-off between the activities. Analyses of data from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, two Northern Indian states, reveal a positive relation between child work and schooling costs, a negative relation between school enrollment and schooling costs, and that the decrease in the probability of child work from a decrease in schooling costs is comparable in magnitude to the corresponding increase in the probability of school enrollment, implying children’s work and school attendance are strongly substitutable activities. Thus, unlike recent studies of child work in India’s South Asian neighbors of Bangladesh and Pakistan, this paper uncovers evidence of substantial trade-off between child work and school attendance.
    Keywords: child labor, schooling costs, India
    JEL: J22 O12
    Date: 2006–05

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