nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2006‒12‒16
nine papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Do Students Care about School Quality? Determinants of Dropout Behavior in Developing Countries By Eric A. Hanushek; Victor Lavy; Kohtaro Hitomi
  2. The effects of higher education programme characteristics on allocation and performance of the graduates: a European view By Heijke Hans; Meng Christoph
  3. The Long-Term Impacts of Compulsory Schooling: evidence from a natural experiment in school leaving dates By Emilia Del Bono; Fernando Galindo-Rueda
  4. Education and Labour Market Outcomes in Sub-Saharan West Africa By Mathias Kuepie; Christophe Nordman; François Roubaud
  5. New technology, Human Capital and Growth for Developing Countries By Cuong Le Van; Manh-Hung Nguyen; Thai Bao Luong
  6. High school students' summer jobs and their ensuing labour market achievement By Wang, Iris J Y; Carling, Kenneth; Nääs, Ola
  7. Aspiration Levels and Educational Choices<br> An experimental study By Lionel Page; Louis Lévy-Garboua; Claude Montmarquette
  8. Human Capital Inequality, Life Expectancy and Economic Growth By Amparo Castello-Climent; Rafael Domenech
  9. Do academic laboratories correspond to scientific communities? Evidence from a large European university. By Rachel Levy; Paul Muller

  1. By: Eric A. Hanushek; Victor Lavy; Kohtaro Hitomi
    Abstract: School quality and grade completion by students are shown to be directly linked, leading to very different perspectives on educational policy in developing countries. Unique panel data on primary school age children in Egypt permit estimation of behavioral models of school leaving. Students perceive differences in school quality, measured as expected achievement improvements in a given school, and act on it. Specifically, holding constant the student's own ability and achievement, a student is much less likely to remain in school if attending a low quality school rather than a high quality school. This individually rationale behavior suggests that common arguments about a trade-off between quality and access to schools may misstate the real issue and lead to public investment in too little quality. Further, because of this behavioral linkage, there is an achievement bias such that common estimates of rates of return to years of school will be overstated. The paper demonstrates the analytical importance of employing output-based measures of school quality.
    JEL: H4 I2 J2 O15
    Date: 2006–12
  2. By: Heijke Hans; Meng Christoph (ROA rm)
    Abstract: This paper provides new insight into the role of higher educational programmes in allocation and performance during the transition from education to the labour market. Using a unique data set on the labour market situation of graduates in nine European countries, we investigate the significance of five characteristics of the higher education programmes: (1) The academic versus discipline-specific character of the competencies generated by the curriculum; (2) the level of standardization of the generated competencies; (3) the extent by which working and learning activities are combined, (4) the level of internationalization of the educational programme and (5) the extent to which a programme provides exclusive entrance to particular occupations.First, our results reveal in particular the importance of the competence orientation of the education programme. Allocation of graduates to occupations takes place in a manner that yields a situation wherein the competence orientation of the education is in congruence with the competence orientation of the occupation. Second, we show that the standardization of the education programme with respect to the competencies students acquire plays an important role in both informing the employer, and reducing the adjustment costs. By that, it allows for a higher remuneration of the graduates.
    Keywords: education, training and the labour market;
    Date: 2006
  3. By: Emilia Del Bono (Institute for Social and Economic Research); Fernando Galindo-Rueda (Department of Trade and Industry)
    Abstract: This paper investigates a unique feature of the English educational system to estimate the causal effect of compulsory schooling on labour market outcomes. We examine school leaving rules that allow for discrete variation in exit dates by date of birth within school cohorts. This natural experiment enables a regression discontinuity design that differences out confounding factors discussed in the literature. Individuals compelled to stay in school for as little as three months longer than their classmates tend to achieve significantly higher qualification levels and experience better labour market outcomes. Our analysis of variation of impacts by age of compulsory schooling allows us to provide valuable new insights on the role of education credentials in the labour market.
    Date: 2006–11
  4. By: Mathias Kuepie (DIAL,CEPS/INSTEAD); Christophe Nordman (DIAL, IRD, Paris); François Roubaud (DIAL, IRD, Paris)
    Abstract: (english) The purpose of this paper is to study the effects of education on urban labour market participation and earnings in seven major West African cities. Our results show that although education does not always guard against unemployment, it does increase individual earnings in Abidjan, Bamako, Cotonou, Dakar, Lome, Niamey and Ouagadougou and opens the door to get into the most profitable niches, which are found in the formal private and public sectors. We shed light on convex returns to education in all the cities considered. Besides, not controlling for the endogeneity of education leads to biased estimated returns (either upward or downward depending on the city) which stresses the complexity of the mechanisms linking education and earnings across cities and sectors. We also bring some support to the idea according to which social capital may largely be at work in this relationship. Finally, a major contribution of this paper is to provide evidence of significant effects of education on individual earnings in the informal sectors of the major WAEMU cities, even at high levels of schooling. _________________________________ (français) L'objectif de ce papier est d’étudier les effets de l’éducation sur la participation au marché du travail urbain et la rémunération du travail dans sept capitales d’Afrique de l’Ouest francophones. Nous montrons que si l’éducation ne constitue pas toujours un rempart contre le chômage, elle est un facteur incontestable d’accroissement des gains sur les marchés du travail d’Abidjan, Bamako, Cotonou, Dakar, Lomé, Niamey et Ouagadougou. Elle permet notamment aux individus les mieux dotés de s’insérer dans les créneaux les plus rentables à savoir les secteurs formels privé et public. Les rendements marginaux de l’éducation estimés sont convexes dans toutes les villes considérées. Nous montrons également que ne pas prendre en compte l’endogénéité supposée de la variable d’éducation dans les fonctions de gains conduit à surestimer ou à sous-estimer les rendements de l’éducation suivant les cas. Ce résultat rend compte de la complexité du lien entre éducation et revenus en fonction de la ville et du secteur d’affiliation des individus. De plus, nos estimations corroborent l’idée selon laquelle le capital social des travailleurs interférerait de façon significative dans ce mécanisme. Finalement, l’apport de notre étude est aussi de montrer que le capital éducatif, y compris à des niveaux élevés, permet un accroissement substantiel des gains dans le secteur informel de la plupart de ces grandes villes de l’UEMOA.
    Keywords: Returns to education, earnings, endogeneity, selectivity, informal sector, Sub-Saharan West Africa, Rendements de l’éducation, revenus, endogénéité, effet de sélection, secteur informel, Afrique de l’Ouest.
    JEL: J24 J31 O12
    Date: 2006–11
  5. By: Cuong Le Van (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - [CNRS : UMR8174] - [Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I]); Manh-Hung Nguyen (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - [CNRS : UMR8174] - [Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I]); Thai Bao Luong (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - [CNRS : UMR8174] - [Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I], CEPN - Centre d'économie de l'Université de Paris Nord - [CNRS : UMR7115] - [Université Paris-Nord - Paris XIII])
    Abstract: We consider a developing country with three sectors in economy: consumption goods, new technology, and education. Productivity of the consumption goods sector depends on new technology and skilled labor used for production of the new technology. We show that there might be three stages of economic growth. In the first stage the country concentrates on production of consumption goods; in the second stage it requires the country to import both physical capital to produce consumption goods and new technology capital to produce new technology; and finally the last stage is one where the country needs to import new technology capital and invest in the training and education of high skilled labor in the same time.
    Keywords: Optimal growth model, New technology capital, Human Capital, Developing country.
    Date: 2006–12–07
  6. By: Wang, Iris J Y (Dalarna University, Economics and Society); Carling, Kenneth (Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation); Nääs, Ola (Dalarna University, Economics and Society)
    Abstract: This paper seeks to determine the effect of summer jobs offered by the public sector on high-school students’ labour market achievement by use of quasi-experimental data. Many municipalities in Sweden offer summer jobs within their organizations to high-school students. The municipality of Falun randomly allocates about 200 such summer jobs per year by a lottery. Because of this, the effect of a summer job might be determined while the issue of self-selection bias is controlled. Our study finds that summer jobs slightly improve the earnings immediately after graduation from high school, but the effect does not persist.
    Keywords: intention-to-treat; on-treatment; Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney test
    JEL: C41 C93 J68
    Date: 2006–11–29
  7. By: Lionel Page; Louis Lévy-Garboua; Claude Montmarquette
    Abstract: The explanation of social inequalities in education is still a debated issue in economics. Recent empirical studies tend to downplay the potential role of credit constraint. This article tests a different potential explanation of social inequalities in education, specifically that social differences in aspiration level result in different educational choices. Having existed for a long time in the sociology of education, this explanation can be justified if aspiration levels are seen as reference points in a Prospect Theory framework. In order to test this explanation, this article applies the method of experimental economics to the issue of education choice and behaviour. One hundred twenty-nine individuals participated in an experiment in which they had to perform a task over fifteen stages grouped in three blocks or levels. In order to continue through the experiment, a minimum level of success was required at the end of each level. Rewards were dependent on the final level successfully reached. At the end of each level, participants could either choose to stop and take their reward or to pay a cost to continue further in order to possibly receive higher rewards. To test the impact of aspiration levels, outcomes were either presented as gains or losses relative to an initial sum. In accordance with the theoretical predictions, participants in the loss framing group choose to go further in the experiment. There was also a significant and interesting gender effect in the loss framing treatment, such that males performed better and reached higher levels. <P>Expliquer les inégalités sociales en éducation demeure un défi pour les économistes. Des études récentes tendent à indiquer que les contraintes de crédit ne joueraient pas un rôle déterminant dans l’explication. Notre étude examine l’importance de niveaux d’aspirations sociales différentes pour expliquer les différences observées dans les choix éducationnels. Cette explication trouve sa logique en associant les aspirations sociales à des points de référence dans le cadre de la théorie des perspectives (prospect theory). Notre article mobilise l’économie expérimentale pour étudier la question des choix éducationnels dans ce contexte. Cent trente-neuf sujets ont participé à une expérience dans laquelle ils devaient réaliser une tâche distribuée sur quinze étapes regroupées en blocs ou niveaux. Pour poursuivre l’expérience, un minimum de succès dans les tâches réalisées devait être atteint. À la fin de chaque niveau, les participants choisissaient d’arrêter et d’encaisser leurs gains acquis ou de poursuivre contre un tarif donné pour espérer réaliser des gains supérieurs. Pour tester l’impact des différents niveaux d’aspirations, les résultats étaient mesurés comme des gains ou des pertes relativement à un montant donné. En conformité avec les prédictions théoriques, les participants dans le traitement perte ont choisi de poursuivre plus souvent l’expérience que ceux dans le traitement gain. Nous avons également noté un effet lié au genre du participant dans le traitement perte, avec les hommes performant mieux que les femmes et atteignant des niveaux supérieurs.
    Keywords: education inequality, prospect theory, experimental economics, inégalité en éducation, théorie de la prospective, économie expérimentale
    JEL: I21 D80 J24 C91
    Date: 2006–12–01
  8. By: Amparo Castello-Climent (Institute of International Economics, University of Valencia); Rafael Domenech (Institute of International Economics, University of Valencia)
    Abstract: This paper presents a model in which inequality affects per capita income when individuals decide to invest in education taking into account their life expectancy, which depends to a large extent on the human capital of their parents. Our results show the existence of multiple steady states depending on the initial distribution of education. The low steady state is a poverty trap in which children raised in poor families have low life expectancy and work as non-educated workers. The empirical evidence suggests that the life expectancy mechanism explains a major part of the relationship between inequality and human capital accumulation.
    Keywords: Life expectancy, human capital, inequality.
    JEL: J10 O10 O40
    Date: 2006–09
  9. By: Rachel Levy; Paul Muller
    Abstract: Although acknowledged as central in the economic literature, the issue of intra academic collaboration has been, insofar, relatively overlooked. This paper fills this gap by stressing the importance of communities in academic research. By analysing the publication behavior of researchers from a large European scientific university, we argue that in certain cases, the community level constitutes a relevant level for analysing the collaborative nature of scientific investigation. Indeed, the reality of research collaborations doesn’t always fit the institutional division of academic work provided by laboratories.
    Keywords: Economics of Science, Knowledge Intensive Communities, Academic Collaborations, Social Network Analysis.
    JEL: L31 O31 O32
    Date: 2006

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