nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2006‒07‒15
ten papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Education and Crime over the Lifecycle By Giulio Fella; Giovanni Gallipoli
  2. Peer Effects, Social Multipliers and Migrants at School: An International Comparison By Horst Entorf; Martina Lauk
  3. Can information campaigns spark local participation and improve outcomes ? A study of primary education in Uttar Pradesh, India By Khemani, Stuti; Glennerster, Rachel; Duflo, Esther; Banerji, Rukmini; Banerjee, Abhijit
  4. Educational attainment and intergenerational social mobility in South Africa By Megan Louw; Servaas van der Berg; Derek Yu
  5. Wage Dispersion, Markets and Institutions: The Effects of the Boom in Education on the Wage Structure By Erling Barth; Claudio Lucifora
  6. Returns to Education in Bangladesh By Mohammad Niaz Asadullah (SKOPE, Department of Economics)
  7. The long-term educational cost of war: evidence from landmine contamination in Cambodia By Ouarda Merrouche
  8. The Effect of Armed Conflict on Accumulation of Schooling: Results from Tajikistan By Olga Shemyakina
  9. Poland's Education and Training: Boosting and Adapting Human Capital By Paul O'Brien; Wojciech Paczynski
  10. Taxes, Government Expenditures, and State Economic Growth: The Role of Nonlinearities By Niel Bania; Jo Anna Gray; Joe Stone

  1. By: Giulio Fella (Queen Mary, University of London); Giovanni Gallipoli (University College London public)
    Keywords: Education, Crime, Equilibrium, Policy
    JEL: E10 D50 I20
    Date: 2006–07–04
  2. By: Horst Entorf (Darmstadt University of Technology and IZA Bonn); Martina Lauk (Darmstadt University of Technology)
    Abstract: This article analyses the school performance of migrants dependent on peer groups in different international schooling environments. Using data from the international OECD PISA test, we consider social interaction within and between groups of natives and migrants. Results based on social multipliers (Glaeser et al. 2000, 2003) suggest that both native-tonative and migrant-to-migrant peer effects are higher in ability-differencing school systems than in comprehensive schools. Thus, non-comprehensive school systems seem to magnify the already existing educational inequality between students with a low parental socioeconomic migration background and children from more privileged families. Students with a migration background and a disadvantageous parental status would benefit from higher diversity within schools.
    Keywords: peer effects, migration, education, social multipliers, school systems, parental socioeconomic background
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2006–06
  3. By: Khemani, Stuti; Glennerster, Rachel; Duflo, Esther; Banerji, Rukmini; Banerjee, Abhijit
    Abstract: There is a growing belief in development policy circles that participation by local communities in basic service delivery can promote development outcomes. A central plank of public policy for improving primary education services in India is the participation of village education committees (VECs), consisting of village government leaders, parents, and teachers. The authors report findings from a survey in the state of Uttar Pradesh, of public schools, households, and VEC members, on the status of education services and the extent of community participation in the public delivery of education services. They find that parents do not know that a VEC exists, sometimes even when they are supposed to be members of it; VEC members are unaware of even key roles they are empowered to play in education services; and public participation in improving education is negligible, and correspondingly, people ' s ranking of education on a list of village priorities is low. Large numbers of children in the villages have not acquired basi c competency in reading, writing, and arithmetic. Yet parents, teachers, and VEC members seem not to be fully aware of the scale of the problem, and seem not to have given much thought to the role of public agencies in improving outcomes. Learning failures coexist with public apathy to improving it through public action. Can local participation be sparked through grassroots campaigns that inform communities about the VEC and its role in local service delivery? Can such local participation actually affect learning outcomes, and can any impact be sustained? The authors describe information and advocacy campaigns that have been experimentally implemented to address some of the problems with local participation, and future research plans to evaluate their impact.
    Keywords: Primary Education,Education For All,Teaching and Learning,Tertiary Education,Access & Equity in Basic Education
    Date: 2006–07–01
  4. By: Megan Louw (Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University); Servaas van der Berg (Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University); Derek Yu (Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University)
    Abstract: To a large degree, the notoriously high levels of income inequality in South Africa have their roots in differential access to wage-earning opportunities in the labour market, which in turn are influenced by family background. This paper therefore investigates the role that parents’ education plays in children’s human capital accumulation. The study analyses patterns of educational attainment in South Africa during the period 1970-2001, asking whether intergenerational social mobility has improved. It tackles the issue in two ways, combining extensive descriptive analysis of progress in educational attainment with more a formal evaluation of intergenerational social mobility using indices constructed by Dahan and Gaviria (2001) and Behrman, Birdsall and Szekely (1998). Both types of analysis indicate that intergenerational social mobility within race groups improved over the period, with the indices suggesting that South African children are currently better able to take advantage of educational opportunities than the bulk of their peers in comparable countries. However, significant racial barriers remain in the quest to equalise educational opportunities across the board for South African children.
    Keywords: Analysis of education, intergenerational mobility
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2006
  5. By: Erling Barth (Institute for Social Research, University of Oslo and IZA Bonn); Claudio Lucifora (Catholic University of Milan, ERMES and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: In this paper, we investigate the effects of the boom in education on the wage structure in Europe. We use detailed information on the distribution of wages, estimated from microdata from 12 European countries from the beginning of the 1980’s to the present, to analyse the changes both between and within groups. We specify and estimate a model with supply and demand for different types of labour, as well as institutions affecting the bargained relative wage. Our results show that the boom in education closely matched the shifts in demand due to (skill biased) technological change, which in turn explains why the wage premia for education only rose moderately. We use the conditional wage spread within tertiary education, predicted from quantile log wage regressions, to investigate the hypothesis of skills erosion as a result of the large expansion in tertiary education. We find no evidence in favour of the hypothesis that the boom in higher education lead to an erosion of skills within the group of tertiary education, nor evidence of increasing “over-education” in Europe. Labour market institutions also matter: bargaining co-ordination and employment protection are shown to have a compressing effect on wages, but at different points of the wage distribution.
    Keywords: wage inequality, education, labour market institutions
    JEL: J3 J5 P5
    Date: 2006–06
  6. By: Mohammad Niaz Asadullah (SKOPE, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper reports labour market returns to education in Bangladesh using national level household survey data. Returns are estimated separately for rural and urban samples, males, females and private sector employees. Substantial heterogeneity in returns is observed; e.g. estimates are higher for urban (than rural sample) and female samples (compared to their male counterparts). Our ordinary least square estimates of returns to education are robust to control for types of schools attended by individuals and selection into wage work.
  7. By: Ouarda Merrouche
    Abstract: The economic impact of war may be visible in the long run and particularly its impact on human capital. I use unique district level data on landmine contamination intensity in Cambodia combined with individual survey data to evaluate the long run cost of Cambodia’s 30 years war (1970-1998) on education levels and earnings. These effects are identified using difference-in-differences (DD) and instrumental variables (IV) estimators. In the DD framework I exploit two sources of variation in an individual’s exposure to the conflict: her age in 1970 and landmine contamination intensity in her district of residence. The IV specification uses an indicator of distance to the Thai border-average district fluency in Thai- as an exogenous source of variation in landmine contamination intensity. I show that young individuals who had not yet attended school before 1970 received less education (relative to the older cohort) and this effect was higher in regions where conflict has been more intense. However, immediately after the war there are no visible effects on earnings. I argue that the destruction of physical capital is the major factor that drives down the returns to education in Cambodia post-war.
    JEL: O1 O55
    Date: 2006–06
  8. By: Olga Shemyakina (Department of Economics, University of Southern California)
    Abstract: From 1992 to 1998 Tajikistan was embroiled in one of the most devastating civil conflicts in the Former Soviet Union region. I examine the effect of this armed conflict on the schooling outcomes of individuals using two empirical strategies. To identify exposure to conflict by individuals I use data from the 1999 and 2003 Tajik Living Standards Surveys. The 1999 data suggest that homes of 6.8 percent of the households were damaged during the conflict and that at least 40% of 2000 households lived in a community where such damage occurred. My results imply that exposure to the conflict, as measured by past damage to household dwelling, had a significant negative effect on the enrollment of girls of ages 12-15, and little, or no, effect on enrollment of boys and younger girls. Furthermore, I find that girls who were of school age during the conflict and lived in conflict affected regions were i) 13% less likely to complete mandatory schooling as compared to girls who had the opportunity to complete their schooling before the conflict started, and ii) 7% less likely to complete school than girls of the same age group who lived in regions relatively unaffected by conflict. Thus, the armed conflict in Tajikistan may have created significant regional disparities in the education attained by girls. Interestingly, these disparities were not explained by unavailability or destruction of schools and other education related infrastructure in the regions affected by conflict.
    Date: 2006–05
  9. By: Paul O'Brien; Wojciech Paczynski
    Abstract: An effective system of education and training is important for both social and economic reasons. Its role in the Polish economy is to provide the current and future labour force with skills to facilitate both continuing productivity growth and reallocation of resources as structural adjustment proceeds. Important reforms to decentralise primary and secondary education in the late 1990s are now reaching maturity, as cohort sizes decline steeply. These reforms and PISA results have focused attention on quality control and the place of vocational education. Both are important in the tertiary sector, too, which has seen a four-fold expansion in 15 years, mushrooming of private-sector provision and questions on the appropriate balance of public and private funding. Participation in adult training is low too and, as elsewhere, seems to be concentrated among already relatively highly-educated groups but does not seem to be having much impact on improving the human capital of older and less skilled groups. This Working Paper relates to the 2006 OECD Economic Survey of Poland ( <P>Éducation et formation de la Pologne : Dynamiser et adapter le capital humain <BR>Les raisons pour lesquelles il est important d'avoir un système d'enseignement et de formation efficace sont d'ordre à la fois social et économique. Pour l'économie polonaise, le rôle d'un tel système est de fournir dès aujourd'hui et dans l'avenir une main-d'oeuvre dont les compétences permettront non seulement de continuer à accroître la productivité mais aussi de réaffecter les ressources selon les besoins de l'ajustement structurel. Les réformes importantes entreprises à la fin des années 90 pour décentraliser les enseignements primaire et secondaire sont désormais parvenues à maturité, avec des cohortes dont la taille décroît fortement. Ces réformes et les résultats des enquêtes PISA ont attiré l'attention sur le contrôle de la qualité et la place de l'enseignement professionnel. Ces deux aspects ont aussi leur importance en ce qui concerne l'enseignement supérieur, dont les effectifs ont quadruplé en quinze ans, un phénomène qui s'est accompagné d'un foisonnement de l'offre du secteur privé et de nombreuses interrogations sur le juste équilibre entre financements publics et privés. Du côté de la formation des adules, les taux de participation sont également faibles et, comme ailleurs, ce volet de la formation semble concerner essentiellement les personnes possédant déjà un niveau d'études relativement élevé et ne pas beaucoup contribuer à l'amélioration du capital humain des groupes plus âgés et moins qualifiés. Ce Document de travail se rapporte à l'Étude économique de l'OCDE de la Pologne, 2006 (
    Keywords: human capital, education, capital humain, labour markets, marché du travail, éducation, training, formation
    JEL: I20 I21 I28 J24
    Date: 2006–06–30
  10. By: Niel Bania (University of Oregon Department of Planning, Public Policy, and Management); Jo Anna Gray (University of Oregon Economics Department); Joe Stone (University of Oregon Economics Department)
    Abstract: BarroÕs (1990) model of endogenous growth implies that economic growth will initially rise with an increase in taxes directed toward ÒproductiveÓ expenditures (e.g., education, highways, and streets), but will subsequently decline. Previous tests of the model, including Barro (1989, 1990) and recently Bleaney et al (2001), focus on whether the linear incremental effect of taxes is positive, negative, or zero, with substantial evidence for all three conclusions. In this study, we test for nonlinearity directly by incorporating nonlinear effects for taxes, and based on U.S. states find that the incremental effect of taxes directed toward productive government expenditures is initially positive, but eventually declines. U.S. states on average appear to under invest in expenditures on productive government activities.
    Date: 2006–06–01

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