nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2007‒01‒02
twelve papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. How should we organize schooling to further children with migration background? By Nicole Schneeweis
  2. Higher Education in India: Seizing the Opportunity By Sanat Kaul
  3. Student Achievement and University Classes: Effects of Attendance, Size, Peers, and Teachers By Pedro Martins; Ian Walker
  4. Educational Inputs and Outcomes Before the Transition from Communism By John Beirne; Nauro F. Campos
  5. Higher Education as a Form of European Integration: How Novel is the Bologna Process? By Anne Corbett
  6. The Open Method of Coordination as practice - A watershed in European education policy? By Åse Gornitzka
  7. Public Education in an Integrated Europe: Studying to Migrate and Teaching to Stay? By Panu Poutvaara
  8. How did schooling laws improve long-term health and lower mortality? By Douglas Almond; Bhashkar Mazumder
  9. Which Factors Determine the Grades of Undergraduate Students in Economics? Some Evidence from Spain By Juan J. Dolado; Eduardo Morales
  10. Mortality Risks, Education and Child Labour By Baland, Jean-Marie; Estevan, Fernanda
  11. Starting Well or Losing their Way?: The Position of Youth in the Labour Market in OECD Countries By Glenda Quintini; Sébastien Martin
  12. Wage Gaps and Job Sorting in African Manufacturing By Benhassine, Najy; Fafchamps, Marcel; Söderbom, Måns

  1. By: Nicole Schneeweis (Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria)
    Abstract: Educational integration of children with migration background is an important issue in the social sciences. Few studies exist that quantify the disadvantage of immigrant children in education and there has not been any attempt to identify institutional conditions of the education system that contribute to educational integration. Using data from five international student assessments, this study tries to fill that gap. First, Blinder-Oaxaca decompositions are used to allow for a comparison of (dis)integration of students with migration background across countries and time. In a second step, (dis)integration is related to institutional characteristics of the schooling system. The study shows that early education, time in school and central exams furthers integration, while social segregation of students among schools is detrimental to educational integration.
    Keywords: Institution; Integration; Immigrant; Pisa; Timss; Education
    JEL: I21 I28 J15
    Date: 2006–12
  2. By: Sanat Kaul (Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations)
    Date: 2006–05
  3. By: Pedro Martins (Queen Mary, University of London, CEG-IST Lisbon and IZA Bonn); Ian Walker (University of Warwick, Princeton University and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: We examine the empirical determinants of student achievement in higher education, focusing our attention on its small-group teaching component (classes or seminars) and on the role of attendance, number of students per class, peers, and tutors. The empirical analysis is based on longitudinal administrative data from a major undergraduate program where students are allocated to class groups in a systematic way, but one which is plausibly uncorrelated with ability. Although, in simple specifications, we find positive returns to attendance and sizeable differences in the effectiveness of teaching assistants, most effects are not significant in specifications that include student fixed effects. We conclude that unobserved heterogeneity amongst students, even in an institution that imposes rigorous admission criteria and so has little observable heterogeneity, is apparently much more important than observable variation in inputs in explaining student outcomes.
    Keywords: education production functions, attendance, class size, peer effects
    JEL: I2 J2
    Date: 2006–12
  4. By: John Beirne (Brunel University); Nauro F. Campos (Brunel University, CEPR and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: Conventional wisdom suggests that the stocks of human capital were one of the few positive legacies from communism. However, if factories under communism were so inefficient, why would the education system not have been? Using the education production function approach and new data on educational inputs and outcomes from 1960 to 1989, we find evidence suggesting that the official human capital stocks figures were "over-estimated" during the communist period. In other words, we find that the official human capital stock numbers are significantly higher than those predicted not only in relation to countries at similar levels of development, but also on the basis of educational systems with comparable features and efficiency levels.
    Keywords: human capital, education, transition economies
    JEL: O11 J24 P27 P39
    Date: 2006–12
  5. By: Anne Corbett
    Keywords: multilevel governance; institutionalism; Europeanization; educational policy
    Date: 2006–12–18
  6. By: Åse Gornitzka
    Keywords: institutionalism; educational policy; Europeanization
    Date: 2006–12–21
  7. By: Panu Poutvaara (University of Helsinki and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes public provision of internationally applicable and country-specific education, when job opportunities available to those with internationally applicable education are uncertain. Migration provides a market insurance in case labor market opportunities in the home country are poor. An increasing international applicability of a given type of education encourages students to invest more effort when studying. Governments, on the other hand, face an incentive to divert the provision of public education away from internationally applicable education toward country-specific skills. This would mean educating too few engineers, economists and doctors, and too many lawyers.
    Keywords: public education, migration, brain drain and brain gain, European Union, common labor market
    JEL: H52 I28 F22 J24 J61
    Date: 2006–12
  8. By: Douglas Almond; Bhashkar Mazumder
    Abstract: Although it is well known that there is a strong association between education and health much less is known about how these factors are connected, and whether the relationship is causal. Lleras-Muney (2005) provides perhaps the strongest evidence that education has a causal effect on health. Using state compulsory school laws as instruments, Lleras-Muney finds large effects of education on mortality. We revisit these results, noting they are not robust to state time trends, even when the sample is vastly expanded and a coding error rectified. We employ a dataset containing a broad array of health outcomes and find that when using the same instruments, the pattern of effects for specific health conditions appears to depart markedly from prominent theories of how education should affect health. We also find suggestive evidence that vaccination against smallpox for school age children may account for some of the improvement in health and its association with education. This raises concerns about using compulsory schooling laws to identify the causal effects of education on health.
    Date: 2006
  9. By: Juan J. Dolado (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, CEPR and IZA Bonn); Eduardo Morales (Harvard University)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the determinants of grades achieved in three core subjects by first-year Economics undergraduate students at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, over the period 2001-2005. Gender, nationality, type of school, specialization track at high school and the grades at the university entry exam are the key factors we examine. Our main findings are that those students who did a technical track at high school tend to do better in mathematics than those who followed a social sciences degree and, that the latter do not perform significantly better than the former in subjects with less degree of formalism and more economic content. Moreover, students from public schools are predominant in the lower (with social sciences or humanities tracks) and upper (with a technical track) parts of the grade distribution, and females tend to perform better than males.
    Keywords: grade achievement, school type, gender, multinomial logit, quantile regressions
    JEL: I21 I29
    Date: 2006–12
  10. By: Baland, Jean-Marie; Estevan, Fernanda
    Abstract: In this paper, we investigate the role of young adult mortality on child labour and educational decisions. We argue that mortality risks are a major source of risks in returns to education in developing countries. We show that, in the absence of appropriate insurance mechanisms, the level of child labour is inefficient, but it can be too high or too low. It is too high when parents are not very altruistic or anticipate positive transfers from their children in the future. Uncertain returns to education, endogenous mortality or imperfect capital markets unambiguously increase child labour. When the level of child labour is inefficiently high, we also show that a cash transfer conditional on child's schooling can always restore efficiency regarding child labour.
    Keywords: child labour; conditional cash transfers; education; mortality risks; old-age security motive
    JEL: D13 D81 H31 I00 O12
    Date: 2006–12
  11. By: Glenda Quintini; Sébastien Martin
    Abstract: Despite the fact that today’s young cohorts are smaller in number and better educated than their older counterparts, high youth unemployment remains a serious problem in many OECD countries. This reflects a variety of factors, including the relatively high proportion of young people leaving school without a basic educational qualification, the fact that skills acquired in initial education are not always well adapted to labour market requirements, as well as general labour market conditions and problems in the functioning of labour markets. The paper highlights the trends in youth labour market performance over the past decade using a wide range of indicators. It also presents new evidence on i) the length of transitions from school to work; ii) the wages, working conditions and stability of jobs performed by youth; and iii) the degree of so-called “over-education”, i.e. the gap between the skills of young people and the jobs they get. <BR>Même si les cohortes des jeunes d’aujourd’hui sont moins nombreuses et mieux éduquées que leurs aînés, le taux de chômage élevé des jeunes demeure un sérieux problème dans beaucoup de pays de l'OCDE. Ceci tient à un ensemble de facteurs, comme la proportion relativement élevée de jeunes sortant de l'école sans qualification élémentaire, le fait que les qualifications acquises dans l'éducation initiale ne sont pas toujours bien adaptées aux exigences du marché du travail, tout comme les conditions générales et les problèmes de fonctionnement des marchés du travail. Ce papier met en lumière les tendances de la performance du marché du travail des jeunes au cours de la dernière décennie en utilisant une large variété d’indicateurs. Il présente aussi de nouveaux éléments sur i) la durée des transitions de l'école à l'emploi ; ii) les salaires, les conditions de travail et la stabilité des emplois des jeunes; et iii) le degré de « surqualification », c.-à-d. la différence entre les qualifications des jeunes et les emplois qu’ils occupent.
    JEL: J21 J22 J31 J68
    Date: 2006–12–01
  12. By: Benhassine, Najy; Fafchamps, Marcel; Söderbom, Måns
    Abstract: Using matched employer-employee data from eleven African countries, we investigate if there is job sorting in African labor markets. We find that much of the wage gap correlated with education is driven by selection across occupations and firms. This is consistent with educated workers being more effective at complex tasks like labor management. In all countries the education wage gap widens rapidly at high low levels of education. Most of the education wage gap at low levels of education can be explained by selection across occupations. We also find that the education wage gap tends to be higher for women, except in Morocco where many poorly educated women work in the export garment sector. A large proportion of the gender wage gap is explained by selection into low wage occupations and firms.
    Keywords: Africa; gender wage gap; job selection; manufacturing; return to education
    JEL: J24 J31 O14
    Date: 2006–12

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