nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2006‒09‒03
nine papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Does Aid for Education Educate Children? Evidence from Panel Data By Axel Dreher; Peter Nunnenkamp; Rainer Thiele
  2. Do School-to-Work Programs Help the “Forgotten Half”? By David Neumark; Donna Rothstein
  3. The skill content of technological change. Some conjectures on the role of education and job-training in reducing the timing of new technology adoption. By R. Antonietti
  4. Fields of study and graduates’ occupational outcomes in Italy during the 90s. Who won and who lost? By Gabriele BALLARINO; Massimiliano BRATTI
  5. Smoke Signals: Adolescent Smoking and School Continuation By Philip J. Cook; Rebecca Hutchinson
  6. Emerging Institutions: Pyramids or Anthills? By Czarniawska, Barbara
  7. The Benefits and Costs of Alternative Strategies to Combat Illiteracy By Orazem, Peter
  8. Human Capital, Sport Performance, and Salary Determination of Professional Athletes By R. Antonietti
  9. The Consequences of Teenage Childbearing By Adam Ashcraft; Kevin Lang

  1. By: Axel Dreher; Peter Nunnenkamp; Rainer Thiele
    Abstract: This paper empirically analyzes the impact of aid on education for about 100 countries over the period 1970-2005. We estimate a system of equations to test whether and to what extent the impact of sector-specific aid on educational attainment depends on (i) the extent to which aid adds to overall educational expenditure of the recipient government, (ii) the strength of the link between government expenditure and education, (iii) the quality of institutions in the recipient country, and (iv) whether aid encourages institutional reforms. According to our results, aid significantly increases primary school enrolment. This result is robust to the method of estimation, employing instruments to control for the endogeneity of aid, and the measure of institutional quality employed. The degree of institutional quality, however, has no robust impact on this relationship
    Keywords: Aid effectiveness, Education, Sector-specific aid
    JEL: F35 O11 H52 I22
    Date: 2006–08
  2. By: David Neumark (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine); Donna Rothstein (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor)
    Abstract: This paper tests whether school-to-work (STW) programs are particularly beneficial for those less likely to go to college in their absence—often termed the “forgotten half” in the STW literature. The empirical analysis is based on the NLSY97, which allows us to study six types of STW programs, including job shadowing, mentoring, coop, school enterprises, tech prep, and internships / apprenticeships. For men there is quite a bit of evidence that STW program participation is particularly advantageous for those in the forgotten half. For these men, among the strongest evidence is that mentoring and coop programs increase post-secondary education, and coop, school enterprise, and internship / apprenticeship programs boost employment and decrease idleness after leaving high school. There is less evidence that STW programs are particularly beneficial in increasing schooling among women in the forgotten half, although internship / apprenticeship programs do lead to positive earnings effects concentrated among these women.
    JEL: I28 J15 J24
    Date: 2005–10
  3. By: R. Antonietti
    Date: 2006
  4. By: Gabriele BALLARINO; Massimiliano BRATTI
    Abstract: Research on the transition from school to work is increasingly focusing on the horizontal stratification of educational systems, that is on how different educational tracks have an effect on students’ occupational chances. In the case of tertiary education, this means analyzing how different fields of study (faculties) make a difference in this transition, and how this difference varies in time. This paper studies how recent economic and social changes affected the role of undergraduate field of study in Italy. Two contrasting hypotheses are considered. The first one comes from the economic literature on “skill-biased technological change†and suggests that contemporary societies should give a premium to scientific and technical degrees, because of increasing competition in technological innovation. The second one, based on sociological theories of the “information economyâ€, suggests that contemporary societies should give a premium to academic degrees because of the increasing economic role of general, social and relational skills. Data come from four surveys of university graduates’ occupational careers that the Italian National Statistical Institute (Istat) has conducted from 1995 to 2004. By means of multivariate analyses of the quality of the occupational transitions, the paper will state how the effect of different fields of study on the transition has changed, and which one of the two contrasting hypotheses is better suited to account for this change
    Keywords: Employment, Field of study, Graduates, Italy
  5. By: Philip J. Cook; Rebecca Hutchinson
    Abstract: This paper presents an exploratory analysis using NLSY97 data of the relationship between the likelihood of school continuation and the choices of whether to smoke or drink. We demonstrate that in the United States as of the late 1990s, smoking in 11th grade was a uniquely powerful predictor of whether the student finished high school, and if so whether the student matriculated in a four-year college. For economists the likely explanation for this empirical link would be based on interpersonal differences in time preference, but that account is called in question by our second finding -- that drinking does not predict school continuation. We speculate that the demand for tobacco by high school students is influenced by the signal conveyed by smoking (of being off track in school), one that is especially powerful for high-aptitude students. To further develop this view, we present estimates of the likelihood of smoking as a function of school commitment and other, more traditional variables. There are no direct implications from this analysis for whether smoking is in some sense a cause of school dropout. We offer some speculations on this matter in the conclusion.
    JEL: I12 I2
    Date: 2006–08
  6. By: Czarniawska, Barbara (Gothenburg Research Institute)
    Abstract: In the present text, an institution is understood to be an (observable) pattern of collective action, justified by a corresponding social norm. By this definition, an institution emerges slowly, although it may be helped or hindered by various specific acts. From this perspective, an institutional entrepreneur is an oxymoron, at least in principle. In practice, however, there are and always have been people trying to create institutions. This paper describes the emergence of London School of Economics and Political Science as an institution and analyzes its founders and its supporters during crises as institutional entrepreneurs. A tentative theory of the phenomenon of institutional entrepreneurship inspired by an actor-network theory is then tested on two other cases described in brief.
    Keywords: higher education; institutions; entrepreneurs; actor-network theory
    Date: 2006–08–22
  7. By: Orazem, Peter
    Abstract: This paper reviews the stylized facts regarding the distribution of human capital investments and the returns to those investments in developing countries. It then examines recent evidence regarding which policies can induce increased human capital investments in the most efficient manner, using estimated benefits and costs as a guide.
    Keywords: illiteracy, education, returns, costs, benefits, policy, enrollment, developing countries
    JEL: O2
    Date: 2006–08–29
  8. By: R. Antonietti
    Date: 2006
  9. By: Adam Ashcraft; Kevin Lang
    Abstract: We examine the effect of teenage childbearing on the adult outcomes of a sample of women who gave birth, miscarried or had an abortion as teenagers. If miscarriages are (conditionally) random, then if all miscarriages occur before teenagers can obtain abortions, using the absence of a miscarriage as an instrument for a live birth provides a consistent estimate of the effect of teenage motherhood on women who give birth. If all abortions occur before any miscarriage can occur, OLS on the sample of women who either have a live birth or miscarry provides an unbiased estimate of this effect. Under reasonable assumptions, IV underestimates and OLS overestimates the effect of teenage motherhood on adult outcomes. For a variety of outcomes, the two estimates provide a narrow bound on the effect of teenage motherhood on adult outcomes and which is relatively modest. The bounds can also be combined to provide consistent estimates of the effects of teen motherhood. These effects are generally adverse but modest.
    JEL: I3 J13
    Date: 2006–08

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