nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2006‒12‒09
seventeen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Does School Tracking Affect Equality of Opportunity? New International Evidence By Daniele Checchi; Giorgio Brunello
  2. Educational policy and intergenerational income mobility: evidence from the Finnish comprehensive school reform By Pekkarinen, Tuomas; Pekkala, Sari; Uusitalo, Roope
  3. Expanding Schooling Opportunities for 4-Year-Olds By Edwin Leuven; Mikael Lindahl; Hessel Oosterbeek; Dinand Webbink
  4. Estimates of the Effect of Parents’ Schooling on Children’s Schooling Using Censored and Uncensored Samples By Monique de Haan; Erik Plug
  5. Returns to Schooling in Kazakhstan: OLS and Instrumental Variables Approach By G. Reza Arabsheibani; Altay Mussurov
  6. Estimating the Return to Endogenous Schooling Decisions for Australian Workers via Conditional Second Moments By Roger Klein; Francis Vella
  7. Over-Education and the Skills of UK Graduates By Arnaud Chevalier; Joanne Lindley
  8. Is early learning really more productive? The effect of school starting age on school and labor market performance By Fredriksson, Peter; Öckert, Björn
  9. Democracy and Foreign Education By Spilimbergo, Antonio
  10. Intergenerational Conflict, Partisan Politics, and Public Higher Education Spending: Evidence from the German States By Ulrich Oberndorfer; Viktor Steiner
  11. Heterogeneous Human Capital and Migration: Who Migrates from Mexico to the US? By Vincenzo Caponi
  12. Employability Skills Initiatives in Higher Education: What Effects Do They Have On Graduate Labour Market Outcomes? By Geoff Mason; Williams, G., Cranmer, S.
  13. Population Aging and Continued Education By Regina T. Riphahn; Parvati Trübswetter
  14. Reported Progress under the Student Right-to-Know Act: How Reliable Is It? By Leslie S. Stratton; James N. Wetzel
  15. Investment in Schooling and the Marriage Market By Pierre-André Chiappori; Murat Iyigun; Yoram Weiss
  16. The Demand for Educational Quality: Combining a Median Voter and Hedonic House Price Model By David M. Brasington; Donald R. Haurin
  17. The Returns to General versus Job-Specific Skills: the Role of Information and Communication Technology By Simon Kirby; Rebecca Riley

  1. By: Daniele Checchi (University of Milan); Giorgio Brunello
    Abstract: This paper investigates whether at the interaction between family background and school tracking affects human capital accumulation. Our a priori view is that more tracking should reinforce the role of parental privilege, and thereby reduce equality of opportunity. Compared to the current literature, which focuses on early outcomes, such as test scores at 13 and 15, we look at later outcomes, including literacy, dropout rates, college enrolment, employability and earnings. While we do not confirm previous results that tracking reinforces family background effects on literacy, we do confirm our view when looking at educational attainment and labour market outcomes. When looking at early wages, we find that parental background effects are stronger when tracking starts earlier. We reconcile the apparently contrasting results on literacy, educational attainment and earnings by arguing that the signalling role of formal education - captured by attainment - matters more than actual skills - measured by literacy - in the early stages of labour market experience.
    Keywords: education, training, literacy,
    Date: 2006–11–17
  2. By: Pekkarinen, Tuomas (IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation); Pekkala, Sari (Charles River Associates International); Uusitalo, Roope (Helsinki School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper estimates the effect of a major education reform on the intergenerational income mobility in Finland. The Finnish comprehensive school reform of 1972-1977 replaced the old two-track school system with a uniform nine-year comprehensive school and significantly reduced the degree of heterogeneity in the Finnish primary and secondary education. We estimate the effect of this reform on the intergenerational income elasticity 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 country during a six-year period. The results indicate that the reform reduced the intergenerational income elasticity by about seven percentage points.
    Keywords: Intergenerational mobility; education; comprehensive school reform
    JEL: I20 J62
    Date: 2006–11–11
  3. By: Edwin Leuven (University of Amsterdam, SCHOLAR, Tinbergen Institute and IZA Bonn); Mikael Lindahl (SOFI, Stockholm University and IZA Bonn); Hessel Oosterbeek (University of Amsterdam, SCHOLAR and Tinbergen Institute); Dinand Webbink (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)
    Abstract: This study presents quasi-experimental estimates of the effect of expanding early schooling enrollment possibilities on early achievement. It exploits two features of the school system in Holland. The first is rolling admissions; children are allowed start school immediately after their 4th birthday instead of at the beginning of the school year. The second is that children having their birthday before, during and after the summer holiday are placed in the same class. These features generate sufficient exogenous variation in children’s maximum length of schooling to identify its effects on test scores. Making available one additional month of time in school increases language scores of disadvantaged pupils by 0.06 of a standard deviation and their math scores by 0.05 of a standard deviation. For non-disadvantaged pupils we find no effect.
    Keywords: early childhood intervention, early test scores, early schooling, achievement, policy, identification
    JEL: I21 I28 J24
    Date: 2006–11
  4. By: Monique de Haan (SCHOLAR, University of Amsterdam); Erik Plug (SCHOLAR, University of Amsterdam, Tinbergen Institute and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: In this paper we estimate the impact of parental schooling on child schooling, focus on the problem that children who are still in school constitute censored observations, and evaluate three solutions to it: maximum likelihood approach, replacement of observed with expected years of schooling, and elimination of all school-aged children. Plug (2004) - a recent mobility study that relies on censored data - serves as an illustration. With updated and uncensored versions of previous samples, we re-examine Plug’s estimates and test how the three correction methods deal with censored observations. The one that treats parental expectations as if they were realizations seems to fix the censoring problem quite well.
    Keywords: intergenerational mobility of education, censored observations
    JEL: I2 J62 C34
    Date: 2006–11
  5. By: G. Reza Arabsheibani (University of Wales Swansea, WELMERC and IZA Bonn); Altay Mussurov (KIMEP)
    Abstract: This paper examines rates of return to schooling in Kazakhstan using OLS and instrumental variable (IV) methodologies. We use spouse’s education and smoking as instruments. We find that spouse’s education is a valid instrument and that conventional OLS estimates that assume the exogenous nature of schooling, and hence do not control for endogeneity bias, may underestimate the true rates of return. The results indicate that the returns to schooling in Kazakhstan have increased with transition. This may reflect the relative scarcities of highly educated people in Kazakhstan with human capital that employers require and, following the market reforms, reward accordingly.
    Keywords: human capital, instrumental variables, rate of return to education
    JEL: C13 I21 J24
    Date: 2006–11
  6. By: Roger Klein (Rutgers University); Francis Vella (Georgetown University and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: This paper employs conditional second moments to identify the impact of education in wage regressions where education is treated as endogenous. This approach avoids the use of instrumental variables in a setting where instruments are frequently not available. We employ this methodology to estimate the returns to schooling for a sample of Australian workers. We find that accounting for the endogeneity of education in this manner increases the estimated return to education from 6 percent to 10 percent.
    Keywords: returns to schooling, endogeneity, heteroskedasticity
    JEL: J2 C31
    Date: 2006–10
  7. By: Arnaud Chevalier (Royal Holloway University of London, London School of Economics, University College Dublin and IZA Bonn); Joanne Lindley (University of Sheffield)
    Abstract: During the early Nineties the proportion of UK graduates doubled over a very short period of time. This paper investigates the effect of the expansion on early labour market attainment, focusing on over-education. We define over-education by combining occupation codes and a self-reported measure for the appropriateness of the match between qualification and the job. We therefore define three groups of graduates: matched, apparently over-educated and genuinely over-educated; to compare pre- and post-expansion cohorts of graduates. We find the proportion of over-educated graduates has doubled, even though over-education wage penalties have remained stable. This suggests that the labour market accommodated most of the large expansion of university graduates. Apparently over-educated graduates are mostly undistinguishable from matched graduates, while genuinely over-educated graduates principally lack non-academic skills such as management and leadership. Additionally, genuine over-education increases unemployment by three months but has no impact of the number of jobs held. Individual unobserved heterogeneity differs between the three groups of graduates but controlling for it, does not alter these conclusions.
    Keywords: over-education, skills
    JEL: J24 J31 I2
    Date: 2006–11
  8. By: Fredriksson, Peter (IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation); Öckert, Björn (IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation)
    Abstract: In Sweden, children typically start compulsary school the year they turn seven. Individuals born just before or just after the new year, have about the same date of birth but start school att different ages. We exploit this source of exogenous variation, to identify the effects of age at school entry on school and labor market outcomes. Using data for the entire Swedish population born 1935-84, we find that children who start school at an older age do better in school and go on to have more education than their younger peers. The longrun earnings effects are positive but small. However, since starting school later entails the opportunity cost of entering the labor market later, the net earnings effect over the entire life-cycle is negative. Exploiting within-school variation in peer age composition, we find that the school starting age effect primarily is due to absolute maturity rather than to the relative age in the class.
    Keywords: School starting age; school performance; labor market outcomes; regression-discontinuity design
    JEL: I21 J24
    Date: 2006–11–03
  9. By: Spilimbergo, Antonio
    Abstract: Do foreign educated individuals play a role in promoting democracy in their home country? Despite the large amount of private and public resources spent on foreign education, there is no systematic evidence that foreign educated individuals foster democracy in their home countries. Using a unique panel dataset on foreign students starting from 1950, I show that indeed foreign-educated individuals promote democracy in their home country, but only if the foreign education is acquired in democratic countries. The results are robust to reverse causality, country-specific omitted variables, and inclusion of a variety of control variables. The results are stronger for small countries.
    Keywords: democracy; development; education; institutions; international students
    JEL: D72 D74 H11
    Date: 2006–11
  10. By: Ulrich Oberndorfer (ZEW Mannheim); Viktor Steiner (Free University Berlin, DIW Berlin and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: We analyze potential effects of demographic change and political constellations on higher education spending. In our panel analysis of west German states (Laender) for the period 1985 to 2002 we find empirical evidence for the hypothesis of a negative relationship between demographic aging and spending on public higher education. In contrast to the hypothesis of the classical partisan theory that implies higher public expenditures under leftist parties, we find that governments under conservative parties or a coalition between social democrats and conservatives spend more on public higher education than governments run by the social-democratic party alone.
    Keywords: demographic change, public higher education spending, partisan politics
    JEL: H52 H72 I22
    Date: 2006–11
  11. By: Vincenzo Caponi (Ryerson University and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: In this paper I document the fact that the relationship between human capital, as measured by education, and migration choices among Mexicans is U-shaped: the highest and lowest educated tend to migrate more than the middle educated. I provide an explanation for the Ushaped relationship based on the interaction of two forces. On the one hand, there is a loss of human capital faced by emigrants, due to imperfect transferability, that is progressive with education and causes the negative relationship. On the other hand, the altruism towards future generations and the transmission of human capital from one generation to the next drives the positive relationship. I calibrate the model to match relevant moments from the Mexican and US Censuses, and use the calibrated model for policy evaluation. I evaluate the long run effect of the Progresa policy on education and migration. I show that, by giving a monetary contribution to poor families that send their children to school at lower grades, the Mexican government will improve the educational distribution of future generations and this in turn will shift the composition of immigrants towards the higher educated. Overall it will lower emigration from Mexico attenuating the pressure, especially of illegal immigrants.
    Keywords: migration, Mexico, heterogeneous human capital, Progresa
    JEL: F22 J61 O15
    Date: 2006–11
  12. By: Geoff Mason; Williams, G., Cranmer, S.
    Abstract: This paper makes use of detailed information gathered at university department level, combined with graduate survey data, to assess the impact of different kinds of employability skills initiative on graduate labour market performance. We find that structured work experience has clear positive effects on the ability of graduates, firstly, to find employment within six months of graduation and, secondly, to secure employment in ‘graduate-level’ jobs. The latter job quality measure is also positively associated with employer involvement in degree course design and delivery. However, a measure of departmental involvement in explicit teaching and assessment of employability skills is not significantly related to labour market outcomes.
    Date: 2006–09
  13. By: Regina T. Riphahn (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg and IZA Bonn); Parvati Trübswetter (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg)
    Abstract: This study investigates whether the incidence of continued vocational education has changed as the German workforce commenced an aging process which is expected to intensify. As the lifespan in productive employment, lengthens human capital investments for older workers become increasingly worthwhile. Using the data of a German population survey we describe recent trends in the development of human capital investments and apply decomposition procedures to the probability of continued education. Holding everything else constant the shift in the population age distribution by itself would have led to a decline in training participation over the considered period, 1996-2004. However, the decomposition analyses yield that behavioral changes caused an increase in training particularly among older workers.
    Keywords: specific human capital investment, training, population aging, demographic change
    JEL: J24 J10 M53
    Date: 2006–11
  14. By: Leslie S. Stratton (Virginia Commonwealth University and IZA Bonn); James N. Wetzel (Virginia Commonwealth University)
    Abstract: The Student Right-to-Know Act requires colleges to provide institution-specific information on graduation rates for students initially enrolling full-time in the fall term. Not all students, however, initially enroll full-time or in the fall term. We use longitudinal data on academic, degree-seeking students from the 1996/2001 Beginning Post-Secondary Survey to identify those students for whom statistics are and are not reported under the Act and to track their relative progress at two- and four-year institutions. We also examine the intra-institution correlation between reported and unreported students’ progress to determine if the published statistics will at least allow relative comparisons. Our results indicate that the published progress rates are substantially higher than the progress rates for the unreported populations. Furthermore, while these rates are relatively comprehensive for and comparable across four-year institutions, they are neither for two-year institutions. Policy makers and prospective students will not make efficient decisions using such unreliable information.
    Keywords: efficiency, resource allocation, graduation
    JEL: I28
    Date: 2006–11
  15. By: Pierre-André Chiappori (Columbia University); Murat Iyigun (University of Colorado, Sabanci University and IZA Bonn); Yoram Weiss (Tel Aviv University and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: We present a model with pre-marital schooling investment, endogenous marital matching and spousal specialization in homework and market production. Investment in schooling raises ages and generates two kinds of returns in our framework: a labor-market return and a marriage-market return because education can affect the intra-marital share of the surplus one can extract from marriage. When the returns to education and household roles are gender neutral, men and women educate in equal proportions and there is pure positive assortative matching in the marriage market. But if men and women have different market returns or household roles, then there may be mixing in equilibrium where some educated individuals marry uneducated spouses and those who educate less extract a relatively larger share of the marital surplus. The existence of large and frictionless marriage markets creates competition among potential spouses, precludes bargaining and generates premarital investments that are efficient. Given that the gender wage gap narrows with the level of education, women’s labor-market return from schooling is higher than that of men. Moreover, women’s household time obligations have declined over time, raising their marriage-market return from schooling. Combining these two effects, we explain why women now attain higher schooling levels than men.
    Keywords: pre-marital investments, matching, intra-household allocations
    JEL: C78 D61 D70
    Date: 2006–11
  16. By: David M. Brasington; Donald R. Haurin
    Abstract: Communities differ in both the bundle of amenities offered to residents and the implicit price of these amenities. Thus, households are faced with a choice of which bundle to select when they select their residence. This choice implies households make tradeoffs among the amenities; that is, the amenities are substitutes or complements. We focus on estimating the demand for one of the most important amenities -- public school quality. We use transaction prices from the housing market and the hedonic house price model to generate the implicit prices of community amenities. The median voter model is used to estimate the income and price elasticities of demand for educational quality. We find that the own price elasticity of demand for schooling is about -0.5 and the income elasticity of demand is about 0.5. New findings include estimates of a set of cross-price elasticities of demand for school quality. We find that a community’s income level, percentage white households, and level of public safety are substitutes for school quality.
  17. By: Simon Kirby; Rebecca Riley
    Abstract: This paper examines the effect of information and communication technologies (ICT) on the return paid to two different types of skill: general skills, acquired through schooling and work experience, and job-specific skills, acquired by experience in a particular job. Using the UK Labour Force Survey we estimate skill returns in different industries over the period 1994-2001. We evaluate the marginal effect on these returns of the ICT intensity of industry capital and find that the shift towards ICT capital has been associated with a rise in the return to general skills and a reduction in the return to job-specific experience.
    Date: 2006–06

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