nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2006‒09‒16
eight papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Using School Scholarships to Estimate the Effect of Government Subsidized Private Education on Academic Achievement in Chile By Priyanka Anand; Alejandra Mizala; Andrea Repetto
  2. Educational Homogamy: Preferences or Opportunities? By Helena Skyt Nielsen; Michael Svarer
  3. Capitalization of the quality of local public schools: what do home buyers value? By Theodore M. Crone
  4. Should Sixth Grade be in Elementary or Middle School? An Analysis of Grade Configuration and Student Behavior By Philip J. Cook; Robert MacCoun; Clara Muschkin; Jacob Vigdor
  5. Socioeconomic status or noise? Tradeoffs in the generation of school quality information By Alejandra Mizala; Pilar Romaguera; Miguel Urquiola
  6. U.S. Universities’ Net Returns from Patenting and Licensing: A Quantile Regression Analysis By Bulut, Harun; Moschini, GianCarlo
  7. Domanda di istruzione ed efficienza del sistema universitario. Una rassegna della letteratura By Chiara BROCCOLINI
  8. From Farmers to Merchants, Voluntary Conversion and Diaspora: A Human Capital Interpretation of Jewish History By Maristella Botticini; Zvi Eckstein

  1. By: Priyanka Anand; Alejandra Mizala; Andrea Repetto
    Abstract: This paper estimates the impact of private education on low-income students in Chile. We attempt to reduce selection bias by using reduced-tuition paying, low-income students in private schools as the treatment group, based on our finding that these students were, to some extent, randomly selected out of the public school control group. Propensity score matching is then used to calculate the difference in academic achievement of students in the treatment group versus their counterpart in the control group. Our results reveal that students in private voucher schools with tuition score slightly higher than students in public schools. The difference in standardized test scores is approximately 8 points, a test score gain of almost 0.15 standard deviations.
    Date: 2006
  2. By: Helena Skyt Nielsen (University of Aarhus and IZA Bonn); Michael Svarer (University of Aarhus and CAM)
    Abstract: Individuals match on length and type of education. We investigate whether the systematic relationship between educations of partners is explained by opportunities (e.g. low search frictions) or preferences (e.g. complementarities in household production or portfolio optimization). We find that half of the systematic sorting on education is due to low search frictions in marriage markets of the educational institutions. The other half is attributed to complementarities in household production, since income properties of the joint income process show no influence on partner selection.
    Keywords: positive assortative matching on education, search frictions, hedging, complementarities in household production
    JEL: J12 J24
    Date: 2006–08
  3. By: Theodore M. Crone
    Abstract: The expansion of state-mandated tests in the 1990s and the testing requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act have supplied researchers with an abundance of data on test scores that can be used as measures of school quality. This paper uses the state-mandated test scores for 5th grade and 11th grade in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, to examine three issues about the capitalization of school quality into house prices: (1) At what level do prospective home buyers evaluate the quality of local public education—at the district level or the level of the neighborhood school? (2) After accounting for student achievement as reflected in test scores, are other aspects of the local public school system, such as class size or expenditures, capitalized into the value of a house? (3) Are the positive results we get for the capitalization of school quality into house prices due simply to the correlation between high test scores and other desirable neighborhood characteristics? The results of our investigation suggest that to home buyers some test-score averages are significantly better indicators of the quality of the local public school system than others. In particular, home buyers seem to evaluate the quality of public education at the district level rather than at the level of the local school. Class size at the high-school level has some independent effect on house prices, but not class size at the elementary school level. And once we account for student achievement, expenditures per pupil have no further effect on house prices. Finally, restricting our sample to similar neighborhoods along school district boundaries confirms our earlier results for high school test scores but not for elementary school scores.
    Keywords: Education ; School choice
    Date: 2006
  4. By: Philip J. Cook; Robert MacCoun; Clara Muschkin; Jacob Vigdor
    Abstract: Using administrative data on public school students in North Carolina, we find that sixth grade students attending middle schools are much more likely to be cited for discipline problems than those attending elementary school. That difference remains after adjusting for the socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of the students and their schools. Furthermore, the higher infraction rates recorded by sixth graders who are placed in middle school persist at least through ninth grade. A plausible explanation is that sixth graders are at an especially impressionable age; in middle school, the exposure to older peers and the relative freedom from supervision have deleterious consequences.
    JEL: H52
    Date: 2006–08
  5. By: Alejandra Mizala; Pilar Romaguera; Miguel Urquiola
    Abstract: This paper calculates a time series of simple, standard measures of schools’ relative performance. These are drawn from a 1997-2004 panel of Chilean schools, using individual-level information on test scores and student characteristics for each year. The results suggest there is a stark tradeoff in the extent to which rankings generated using these measures: i) can be shown to be very similar to rankings based purely on students’ socioeconomic status, and ii) are very volatile from year to year. At least in Chile, therefore, producing a meaningful ranking of schools that may inform parents and policymakers may be harder than is commonly assumed.
    Date: 2006
  6. By: Bulut, Harun; Moschini, GianCarlo
    Abstract: In line with the rights and incentives provided by the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980, U.S. universities have increased their involvement in patenting and licensing activities through their own technology transfer offices. Only a few U.S. universities are obtaining large returns, however, whereas others are continuing with these activities despite negligible or negative returns. We assess the U.S. universities’ potential to generate returns from licensing activities by modeling and estimating quantiles of the distribution of net licensing returns conditional on some of their structural characteristics. We find limited prospects for public universities without a medical school everywhere in their distribution. Other groups of universities (private, and public with a medical school) can expect significant but still fairly modest returns only beyond the 0.9th quantile. These findings call into question the appropriateness of the revenue-generating motive for the aggressive rate of patenting and licensing by U.S. universities.
    Keywords: Bayh-Dole Act, quantile regression, returns to innovation, skewed distributions, technology transfer, university patents.
    Date: 2006–09–01
  7. By: Chiara BROCCOLINI ([n.a.])
    Abstract: Negli ultimi anni, l’Università italiana Š stata investita da un profondo cambiamento che ha comportato un vasto processo di revisione normativa, l'ampliamento e trasformazione della popolazione studentesca e l'intensificazione delle dinamiche concorrenziali tra gli Atenei. Il riconoscimento dell'autonomia organizzativa, gestionale e didattica ha mirato essenzialmente a garantire alle singole istituzioni accademiche la flessibilita' necessaria per far fronte ai mutamenti in atto nella domanda e nell'offerta di istruzione superiore. D'altra parte, assumono rilevanza questioni legate alla valutazione dell'efficienza ed efficacia con cui gli Atenei perseguono le proprie finalita'. Il presente lavoro contiene una rassegna della principale letteratura teorica ed empirica concernente l'analisi dei fattori rilevanti nella formulazione della domanda di istruzione (teoria del capitale umano e dello screening, scelte di investimento in condizioni di incertezza, modelli di non completamento) e nella definizione del livello di performance delle istituzioni accademiche (attraverso l'applicazione dei modelli di educational production function). Tali strumenti di analisi possono rivelarsi utili per individuare le modalita' migliori attraverso cui le istituzioni universitarie debbano perseguire obiettivi di efficienza (misurata, ad esempio, utilizzando misure di performance quali il tasso di dispersione degli studenti, la votazione media conseguita, le prospettive occupazionali dei laureati) nonche' di qualita' didattica e per tentare di analizzare gli effetti prodotti dall'introduzione della recente Riforma degli ordinamenti didattici.
    Keywords: educational production function, performance accademica, riforma universitaria, scelta della qualit… scolastica
    JEL: A23 I21 J22 J24
    Date: 2006–06
  8. By: Maristella Botticini; Zvi Eckstein
    Abstract: From the end of the second century C.E., Judaism enforced a religious norm requiring any Jewish father to educate his children. We present evidence supporting our thesis that this exogenous change in the religious and social norm had a major influence on Jewish economic and demographic history. First, the high individual and community cost of educating children in subsistence farming economies (2nd to 7th centuries) prompted voluntary conversions, which account for a large share of the reduction in the size of the Jewish population from about 4.5 million to 1.2 million. Second, the Jewish farmers who invested in education, gained the comparative advantage and incentive to enter skilled occupations during the vast urbanization in the newly developed Muslim Empire (7th and 8th centuries) and they actually did select themselves into these occupations. Third, as merchants the Jews invested even more in education–a pre-condition for the extensive mailing network and common court system that endowed them with trading skills demanded all over the world. Fourth, the Jews generated a voluntary diaspora by migrating within the Muslim Empire, and later to western Europe where they were invited to settle as high skill intermediaries by local rulers. By 1200, the Jews were living in hundreds of towns from England and Spain in the West to China and India in the East. Fifth, the majority of world Jewry (about one million) lived in the Near East when the Mongol invasions in the 1250s brought this region back to a subsistence farming economy in which many Jews found it difficult to enforce the religious norm regarding education, and hence, voluntarily converted, exactly as it had happened centuries earlier.
    Keywords: social norms, religion, human capital, Jewish economic and demographic history, occupational choice, migration.
    JEL: J1 J2 N3 O1 Z12 Z13
    Date: 2006

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