nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2006‒07‒21
four papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Education Policy and Intergenerational Income Mobility: Evidence from the Finnish Comprehensive School Reform By Tuomas Pekkarinen; Roope Uusitalo; Sari Pekkala
  2. On Migrant Selectivity By Eric R. Jensen; Sarah M. Gale; Paul E. Charpentier
  3. On the Distribution of Education and Democracy By Amparo Castello Climent
  4. How (not) to Choose Peers in Studying Groups By Thomas Gall; Roland Amann

  1. By: Tuomas Pekkarinen (Uppsala University and IZA Bonn); Roope Uusitalo (Labour Institute for Economic Research, Helsinki); Sari Pekkala (Government Institute for Economic Research, Helsinki)
    Abstract: Many authors have recently suggested that the heterogeneity in the quality of early education may be one of the key mechanisms underlying the intergenerational persistence of earnings. This paper estimates the effect of a major educational reform on the intergenerational income mobility in Finland. The Finnish comprehensive school reform of 1972-1977 significantly reduced the degree of heterogeneity in the Finnish primary and secondary education. The reform shifted the tracking age in secondary education from age 10 to 16 and imposed a uniform academic curriculum on entire cohorts until the end of lower secondary school. We estimate the effect of the reform on the correlation between son’s earnings in 2000 and father’s average earnings during 1970-1990 using a representative sample of males born during 1960-1966. The identification strategy relies on a difference-in-differences approach and exploits the fact that the reform was implemented gradually across municipalities during a six-year period. The results indicate that the reform reduced the intergenerational income correlation by seven percentage points.
    Keywords: generational mobility, education, comprehensive school reform
    JEL: D31 J62 I20
    Date: 2006–07
  2. By: Eric R. Jensen (Department of Economics, College of William and Mary); Sarah M. Gale (Accenture); Paul E. Charpentier (Department of Economics, University of Wisconsin)
    Abstract: Recent migrants to the United States have displayed lower earnings levels and a slower rate of earnings convergence with natives than previous immigrants. Borjas has argued that this reflects negative selectivity of immigrants; others, including Card, Chiquiar and Hanson, and Duleep and Regets, question this contention. Some of the ambiguity is due to measurement problems, with educational attainment (or its labor market consequences) used in place of unobserved migrant quality. We suggest that constraints in the supply of education in sending regions significantly limit the usefulness of educational attainment or related measures as proxies for migrant quality. We propose an alternative measure of migrant quality that incorporates education supply constraints, and present evidence of Mexican migrants self-selecting positively on ability.
    Date: 2006–07–13
  3. By: Amparo Castello Climent (Institute of International Economics, University of Valencia)
    Abstract: This paper empirically analyzes the influence of the distribution of education on democracy by controlling for unobservable heterogeneity and by taking into account the persistency of some of the variables. The most novel finding is that increase in the education attained by the majority of the population is what matters for the implementation and sustainability of democracy, rather than the average years of schooling. We show this result is robust to issues pertaining omitted variables, outliers, sample selection, or a narrow definition of the variables used to measure democracy.
    Keywords: Democracy, political economy, education inequality, dynamic panel data model
    JEL: O10 P16
    Date: 2006–06
  4. By: Thomas Gall (University of Bonn); Roland Amann (University of Konstanz)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes social group formation when agents are subject to peer effects within groups increasing human capital and instantaneous utility. When agents are heterogeneous on two dimensions, ability and social skills, and monetary payments are not feasible the model predicts segregation at the top and at the bottom of the attribute space and bunching for heterogeneous intermediate types. Groups may be heterogeneous in taste types and more heterogeneous types are more likely to participate. The equilibrium allocation does not induce cost-efficient human capital accumulation. Introducing ability tracking may produce beneficial results despite decreasing differences in human capital production.
    Keywords: Education, Peer-effects, Matching, Group Formation
    JEL: I21 C78 D51
    Date: 2006–05

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