nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2006‒10‒21
nine papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. School Competition By Jaag, Christian
  2. A Simple Model of Educational Production By Jaag, Christian
  3. Evaluating the impact of Mexico ' s quality schools program : the pitfalls of using nonexperimental data By Skoufias, Emmanuel; Shapiro, Joseph
  4. Teacher Incentives By Jaag, Christian
  5. Estimating the returns to education : accounting for heterogeneity in ability By Patrinos, Harry Anthony; Ridao-Cano, Cris; Sakellariou, Chris
  6. Education, Demographics, and the Economy By Jaag, Christian
  7. Are the New British Universities Congested? By Tony Flegg; David O. Allen
  8. Reinvesting in Children? Policies for the very young in South Eastern Europe and the CIS By Kitty Stewart; Carmen Huerta; UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre
  9. Attendance and Exam Performance at University By David O. Allen; Don J. Webber

  1. By: Jaag, Christian
    Abstract: This paper considers the influence of spatial competition on education and its effect on students' school choice and educational achievement by explicitely modeling educational production and the students' participation decision. Education at school is a function of teacher effort and class size. Students decide which school to attend on the basis of an assessment of the associated costs and prospective benefits from doing so. We analyze how competition between schools affects equilibrium resource spending and school diversity as well as the level and distribution of student attainment and welfare. The consideration of spatial aspects of school choice without recourse to vertical differentiation is a unique contribution of this paper. We argue that schools in metropolitan areas with short ways to school and many potential students face fiercer competition which increases school productivity and student performance. This result confirms the findings in Hoxby (2000). Overall learning time in school is constant in the probability that students behave well if students are segregated by type. However, better behaved students have a higher achievement due to higher optimum resource spending. Finally, we support our argument by an empirical analysis of student performance in various matura schools in Switzerland.
    Keywords: Schools; Education; Competition
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2006
  2. By: Jaag, Christian
    Abstract: There is a large body of literature on the effect of educational resources on student performance, such as teacher qualification, class size, and physical resources in school. It is dominated by empirical studies which often find ambiguous effects of resource spending on student outcomes. The unique contribution of this paper is the provision of a framework to study educational production with differentiated input factors, which allows for closedform solutions. We try to interpret the empirical findings on the basis of a simple theoretical model of educational production: Class size, employed school resources and student effort are endogenously determined in order to account for differences in educational achievement. We also discuss the choice of integrated vs. segregated classes. Optimum class size and school quality increase with higher discipline, while in equilibrium overall classroom disruption is equal in all classes.
    Keywords: Schools; Education; Educational Production
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2006
  3. By: Skoufias, Emmanuel; Shapiro, Joseph
    Abstract: The authors evaluate whether increasing school resources and decentralizing management decisions at the school level improves learning in a developing country. Mexico ' s Quality Schools Program (PEC), following many other countries and U.S. states, offers US$15,000 grants for public schools to implement five-year improvement plans that the school ' s staff and community design. Using a three-year panel of 74,700 schools, the authors estimate the impact of the PEC on dropout, repetition, and failure using two common nonexperimental methods-regression analysis and propensity score matching. The methods provide similar but nonidentical results. The preferred estimator, difference-in-differences with matching, reveals that participation in the PEC decreases dropout by 0.24 percentage points, failure by 0.24 percentage points, and repetition by 0.31 percentage points-an economically small but statistically significant impact. The PEC lacks measurable impact on outcomes in indigenous schools. The results suggest that a combination of increased resources and local management can produce small improvements in school outcomes, though perhaps not in the most troubled school systems.
    Keywords: Tertiary Education,Education For All,Primary Education,Teaching and Learning,Secondary Education
    Date: 2006–10–01
  4. By: Jaag, Christian
    Abstract: This paper considers hidden teacher effort in educational production and discusses the implications of multiple teacher effort dimensions on optimum incentive contracts in a theoretical framework. The analysis of educational production in a multitask framework is a new and unique contribution of this paper to the economics of education. We first characterize the first-best and second-best outcomes. The model is extended to address specific questions concerning teacher incentive schemes: We compare input- to output-based accountability measures and study the implication of the level of aggregation in performance measures. Against the background of the empirical evidence on the effectiveness of teacher incentives, we argue that performance measures should be as broad as possible. Further, we present the optimum contract for motivated teachers. Finally, if education is produced in teacher teams, we establish the conditions for optimum team-based and individual incentives: The larger the spillover effects across teacher efforts and the better the measurability of educational achievement, the stronger the case for team-based incentives.
    JEL: M52 I21
    Date: 2006
  5. By: Patrinos, Harry Anthony; Ridao-Cano, Cris; Sakellariou, Chris
    Abstract: Typically estimates of the benefits of education investments show average private rates of return for the average individual. The average may not be useful for policy. An examination of the distribution of the returns across individuals is needed. The few studies that have examined these patterns focus on high-income countries, showing investments to be more profitable at the top of the income distribution. The implication is that investments may increase inequality. Extending the analysis to 16 East Asian and Latin American countries the authors observe mixed evidence in middle-income countries and decreasing returns in low-income countries. Such differences between countries could be due to more job mobility in industrial countries, scarcity of skills, or differential exposure to market forces.
    Keywords: Access & Equity in Basic Education,Education For All,Teaching and Learning,Primary Education,Education and Society
    Date: 2006–10–01
  6. By: Jaag, Christian
    Abstract: This paper deals with two issues concerning the effects of population aging on education decisions in the presence of a PAYG pension system: We first analyze the effects of an aging population per se on individual skill choices and continuous education and the production structure. Second, we study the implications of postponed retirement, which is often proposed as a measure to cope with the economic challenges of increased longevity. Our study uses a dynamic general equilibrium framework with overlapping generations and probabilistic aging. Themodel allows for capital-skill complementarity in the production of final output. As a response to population aging, in a small open economy with a fixed interest rate, our first simulation shows that GDP is depressed due to an adverse effect on skill choice and labor supply. We then introduce postponed retirement as a potentially dampening policy measure due to its encouragement of human capital formation. However, since there is less private saving in this scenario, the overall effect on GDP is even worse than in the pure aging scenario.
    Keywords: Education; Human Capital; Ageing; Demographics
    JEL: J24 J10
    Date: 2006–02–01
  7. 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 uses data envelopment analysis (DEA) to examine the issue of congestion in British universities. The focus of the paper is on 41 former polytechnics that became universities in 1992, and the analysis covers the period 1995/6 to 2003/4. These new universities differ from the older universities in many ways, especially in terms of their far higher student : staff ratios and substantially lower research funding per member of staff. The primary aim of the paper is to examine whether this under-resourcing of the new universities has led to ‘congestion’, in the sense that their output has been reduced as a result of having too many students. Three alternative methods of measuring congestion are examined and, to check the sensitivity of the results to different specifications, three alternative DEA models are formulated. The results reveal that a substantial amount of congestion was present throughout the period under review, and in a wide range of universities, but whether it rose or fell is uncertain, as this depends on which congestion model is used. The results indicate that an overabundance of undergraduate students was the largest single cause of congestion in the former polytechnics during the period under review. Less plausibly, the results also suggest that academic overstaffing was a major cause of congestion! By contrast, postgraduates and ‘other expenditure’ are found to play a noticeably smaller role in generating congestion.
    Keywords: British New Universities; congestion;
    Date: 2006–09
  8. By: Kitty Stewart; Carmen Huerta; UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre
    Abstract: Economic collapse in the former Communist bloc led to soaring levels of child poverty in the 1990s. The effects of rising unemployment, underemployment and wage arrears were exacerbated by the erosion of state support for families with children as governments responded to a collapse in revenue. Since 1998, even the poorer countries of the bloc - those in South Eastern Europe and the CIS - have seen a return to economic growth. But have the benefits of growth been felt by children? Are child support policies being restored or restructured as economic conditions improve, and to what effect? This paper examines three aspects of government support for the youngest children – maternity leave policy, child and family allowances and pre-school/nursery provision. The paper calls for governments and donors to pay greater attention to the needs of very young children. It calls for a substantial increase in public spending on each of these policy areas, and it further recommends that governments (a) introduce proxy means tests to improve the targeting of family allowances; (b) make maternity benefit available on a social assistance as well as a social insurance basis; and (c) make a commitment to ensuring that all 3-5 year olds have free access to some early years education each week, albeit on a part-time basis.
    Keywords: Child Poverty; Family Income;; Baltic States; Russia;
    JEL: J12
    Date: 2006
  9. By: David O. Allen (School of Economics, University of the West of England); Don J. Webber (School of Economics, University of the West of England)
    Abstract: Marburger (2006) explored the link between absenteeism and exam performance by assessing the impact on absenteeism of removing a university wide policy of mandatory attendance for a single class. His results indicate that while an attendance policy has a strong impact on reducing absenteeism the link between absenteeism and exam performance is weak.This paper presents an alternative exploration into the link between absenteeism and exam performance by assessing the impact of implementing a module-specific attendance policy. Our results suggest the link between absenteeism and exam performance is strong, and that student-specific factors are important, including revision strategies and peer group effects. These results question the uniformity of the relationship between attendance and exam performance.
    Keywords: absenteeism, attendance, exam performance, undergraduate, peer groups
    JEL: A19 A22
    Date: 2006–11

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