nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2006‒06‒10
eleven papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Empowering parents to improve education : evidence from rural Mexico By Rubio-Codina, Marta; Patrinos, Harry; Gertler, Paul
  2. Education and Labor-Market Discrimination By Kevin Lang; Michael Manove
  3. Explaining Intergenerational Income Persistence: Non-cognitive Skills, Ability and Education By Jo Blanden; Paul Gregg; Lindsey Macmillan
  4. Parental unemployment and children's school performance By Öster, Anna
  5. The Economic Impact of Colleges and Universities By John J. Siegfried; Allen R. Sanderson; Peter McHenry
  6. The Undergraduate Origins of Ph.D. Economists By John J. Siegfried; Wendy A. Stock
  7. Cash transfers, conditions, school enrollment, and child work : evidence from a randomized experiment in Ecuador By Araujo, Maria Caridad; Schady, Norbert
  8. Tinkering toward accolades: School gaming under a performance accountability system By Randall Reback; Julie Berry Cullen
  9. A cross-country evaluation of cheating in academia: is it related to ‘real world’ business ethics? By Maria Fátima Rocha; Aurora A.C. Teixeira
  10. Does the Liberalization of Trade Advance Gender Equality in Schooling and Health? By T. Paul Schultz
  11. An Examination of Alternative Approaches to Measuring Congestion in British Universities By Tony Flegg; David O. Allen

  1. By: Rubio-Codina, Marta; Patrinos, Harry; Gertler, Paul
    Abstract: Mexico ' s compensatory education program provides extra resources to primary schools that enroll disadvantaged students in highly disadvantaged rural communities. One of the most important components of the program is the school-based management intervention known as AGEs. The impact of the AGEs is assessed on intermediate school quality indicators (failure, repetition and dropout), controlling for the presence of the conditional cash transfer program. Results prove that school-based management is an effective measure for improving outcomes, based on an over time difference-in-difference evaluation. Complementary qualitative evidence corroborates the veracity of such findings.
    Keywords: Education For All,Primary Education,Teaching and Learning,Secondary Education,Gender and Education
    Date: 2006–06–01
  2. By: Kevin Lang; Michael Manove
    Abstract: We propose a model that combines statistical discrimination and educational sorting that explains why blacks get more education than do whites of similar cognitive ability. Our model explains the difference between blacks and whites in the relations between education and AFQT and between wages and education. It cannot easily explain why, conditional only on AFQT, blacks earn no more than do whites. It does, however, suggest, that when comparing the earnings of blacks and whites, one should control for both AFQT and education in which case a substantial black-white wage differential reemerges. We explore and reject the hypothesis that differences in school quality between blacks and whites explain the wage and education differentials. Our findings support the view that some of the black-white wage differential reflects the operation of the labor market.
    JEL: J7
    Date: 2006–05
  3. By: Jo Blanden; Paul Gregg; Lindsey Macmillan
    Abstract: The recent literature on intergenerational mobility in the UK has been focused on measuring the level and change in the relationship between parental income and children’s earnings as adults among recent cohorts. This paper is the first to analyse in detail the factors that generate these links. The paper seeks to account for the level of income persistence in the 1970 BCS cohort and also to explore the decline in mobility in the UK between the 1958 NCDS cohort and the 1970 cohort. The mediating factors considered are childhood health, cognitive skills, non-cognitive traits, educational attainment and labour market attachment. We find that these variables together explain slightly more than half of the intergenerational link for men. Changes in the relationships between these variables, parental income and earnings are able to explain three quarters of the rise in intergenerational persistence across the cohorts. The increased persistence in the second cohort comes from an increased influence of parental income in determining educational attainment, especially higher education, and labour market attachment. It is also clear that the stronger relationship between parental income and education comes in part through the growing relationship between parental income and the non-cognitive characteristics that influence education outcomes.
    Keywords: Intergenerational Mobility, Earnings, Family Income, Education
    JEL: J62 I2 D31
    Date: 2006–04
  4. By: Öster, Anna (Konjunkturinstitutet)
    Abstract: This study investigates the effect of parental unemployment on children’s school performance. We use individual level data for all children completing lower secondary school in Sweden in 1990 directly moving on to three years of upper secondary school. We control for family and individual heterogeneity by means of lower secondary school GPA. The huge variation in Swedish unemployment during the beginning of the 1990s provides an ideal setting for testing the hypothesis that parental unemployment affects children’s school performance. Our results indicate that having an unemployed father has a negative effect on children’s school performance while having an unemployed mother has a positive effect.
    Keywords: School performance; unemployment
    JEL: E24 I21 J12
    Date: 2006–05–22
  5. By: John J. Siegfried (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University and AEA); Allen R. Sanderson (Department of Economics, University of Chicago); Peter McHenry (Department of Economics, Yale University)
    Abstract: This essay describes methodological approaches and pitfalls common to studies of the economic impact of colleges and universities. Such studies often claim local benefits that imply annualized rates of return on local investment exceeding 100 percent. We address problems in these studies pertaining to the specification of the counterfactual, the definition of the local area, the identification of "new" expenditures, the tendency to double count economic impacts, the role of local taxes, and the omission of local spillover benefits from enhanced human capital created by higher education, and offer several suggestions for improvement. If these economic impact studies were conducted at the level of accuracy most institutions require of faculty research, their claims of local economic benefits would not be so preposterous, and, as a result, trust in and respect for higher education officials would be enhanced.
    Keywords: Colleges, universities, local economic impact, economic impact study
    JEL: I23 R11
    Date: 2006–05
  6. By: John J. Siegfried (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University and AEA); Wendy A. Stock (Department of Economics and Agricultural Economics, Montana State University)
    Abstract: We document the types of undergraduate colleges and universities attended by those who earned a doctorate in economics from an American university from 1966 through 2003 and examine relationships between type of undergraduate institution and attrition and time-to-degree in Ph.D. programs. The total number of new economics Ph.D.s awarded to U.S. citizens has declined precipitously over the past thirty years. Concurrently, the number of economics doctorates who hold undergraduate degrees from U.S. universities has fallen by half: from a high of about 800 in 1972 to about 400 in 2003. Among those who have earned undergraduate degrees from American institutions, the mix of schools attended by the doctorates has remained relatively stable, with about 55 percent of those who earn a Ph.D. in economics each year holding their bachelors degree from a university that offers a Ph.D. in economics, and a bit more than 10 percent holding a bachelors degree from a selective liberal arts college. Currently, 18 of the 25 American undergraduate institutions that send the largest percentage of their graduating classes on to earn a Ph.D. in economics are liberal arts colleges. Graduates of liberal arts colleges also have shorter time-to-degree and higher verbal GRE scores than other economics Ph.D. students.
    Keywords: Ph.D. in economics, undergraduate degree
    JEL: A22 A23
    Date: 2006–05
  7. By: Araujo, Maria Caridad; Schady, Norbert
    Abstract: The impact of cash transfer programs on the accumulation of human capital is a topic of great policy importance. An attendant question is whether program effects are larger when transfers are " conditioned " on certain behaviors, such as a requirement that households enroll their children in school. This paper uses a randomized study design to analyze the impact of the Bono de Desarrollo Humano (BDH), a cash transfer program, on enrollment and child work among poor children in Ecuador. There are two main results. First, the BDH program had a large, positive impact on school enrollment, about 10 percentage points, and a large, negative impact on child work, about 17 percentage points. Second, the fact that some households believed that there was a school enrollment requirement attached to the transfers, even though such a requirement was never enforced or monitored in Ecuador, helps explain the magnitude of program effects.
    Keywords: Small Area Estimation Poverty Mapping,Primary Education,Land and Real Estate Development,Municipal Housing and Land,Real Estate Development
    Date: 2006–06–01
  8. By: Randall Reback (Barnard College, Columbia University); Julie Berry Cullen (UC-San Diego and NBER)
    Abstract: We explore the extent to which schools manipulate the composition of students in the test-taking pool in order to maximize ratings under Texas' accountability system in the 1990s. We first derive predictions from a static model of administrators' incentives given the structure of the ratings criteria, and then test these predictions by comparing differential changes in exemption rates across student subgroups within campuses and across campuses and regimes. Our analyses uncover evidence of a moderate degree of strategic behavior, so that there is some tension between designing systems that account for heterogeneity in student populations and that are manipulation-free.
    Keywords: school accountability; performance standard; caseload manipulation
    JEL: D82 H39 I28
    Date: 2006–05
  9. By: Maria Fátima Rocha (Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto and Universidade Fernando Pessoa); Aurora A.C. Teixeira (CEMPRE, Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto)
    Abstract: Today’s economics and business students are expected to be our future’s business people and potentially our tomorrow’s economic leaders and politicians. Thus, their beliefs and practices are likely to affect the definition of acceptable economics and business ethics. The empirical evaluation of the cheating phenomenon in academia has been almost exclusively focused on the US context, and the non-US studies involve, in general, a narrow scope of countries. In the present paper we perform a wide cross-country study on the determinants of economics and business undergraduate cheating which involves 21 countries from the American (4), European (14), Africa (2) and Oceania (1) Continents and 7213 students. We found that the average magnitude of copying among the economics and business undergraduates is quite high (62%) but with a significant cross-country heterogeneity. The probability of cheating is significantly lower in students enrolled in schools located in the Nordic or the US plus British Isles blocks when compared with their South Europe counterparts; quite surprisingly that probability is also lower for the African block. Distinctly, students enrolled in schools from the Western and especially from the Eastern Europe observe statistically significant higher propensities for perpetrating academic fraud. Our findings further suggest that average cheating propensity in academia is significantly correlated with ‘real world’ business corruption.
    Keywords: cheating; corruption; university; economics; business; countries
    JEL: A22 I23
    Date: 2006–06
  10. By: T. Paul Schultz (Yale University and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: This paper assesses the empirical relationship between the liberalization of international trade and the economic status of women. Although historically globalization is not generally linked to the advancement of women, several recent country studies find export led growth in middle and low income countries is associated with improvements in women’s employment opportunities. Does intercountry empirical evidence confirm this association across a wider range of countries, and suggest the mechanisms by which it operates? Measures of wages for men and women are an unreliable basis for study of gender inequality in many low income countries, and thus schooling and health are analyzed here as indicators of productivity and welfare and gender gaps. For a sample of 70 countries observed at five year intervals from 1965 to 1980, tariff, quota, and foreign exchange restrictions are found to be inversely associated with trade, and with the levels of education and health, especially for women. Natural resource exports, although providing foreign exchange for imports, appear to reduce investments in schooling and health, and delay the equalization of these human capital investments between men and women. Liberalization of trade policy is consequently linked in the cross section to increased trade, to greater accumulation of human capital, and to increased gender equality.
    Keywords: trade liberalization, schooling, health, gender equality
    JEL: I12 J16 I21
    Date: 2006–05
  11. By: Tony Flegg (School of Economics, University of the West of England); David O. Allen (School of Economics, University of the West of England)
    Abstract: This paper examines three alternative methods of measuring congestion, from both theoretical and empirical perspectives. These methods are the conventional approach of Färe and Grosskopf, the alternative proposed by Cooper et al., and a new method developed by Tone and Sahoo. Each method is found to have merits and demerits. The properties of the different methods are examined using data for 45 British universities in the period 1980/81 to 1992/93. Despite conceptual differences, Tone and Sahoo’s approach and that of Cooper et al. are found to produce fairly similar results. Contrary to expectations, Färe and Grosskopf’s approach generally indicates more congestion than the other two procedures. The main reason for this is identified as being its use of CRS rather than VRS as the assumed technology. Although the three alternative measures of congestion are found to be positively correlated, the correlations are not strong enough for them to be regarded as substitutes. Also contrary to expectations, the results suggest that academic overstaffing, rather than excessive numbers of undergraduates, was the largest single cause of congestion in British universities during the period under review. Even so, only a modest amount of congestion is identified.
    Keywords: British universities; congestion; DEA; Methods
    Date: 2006–05

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