nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2007‒02‒24
thirteen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of the Beira Interior

  1. Travail en cours d'études, échec et insertion professionnelle : le cas des DEUG non diplômés. By Pauline Domingo
  2. Educational Effects of Widening Access to the Academic Track: A Natural Experiment By Eric Maurin; Sandra McNally
  3. Trade, Education and Skills: A Theoretical Survey By Rossana Patrón
  4. Education, Unemployment and Earnings By Orley Ashenfelter; John Ham
  5. Race and School Quality Since Brown vs. Board of Education. By Michael A. Boozer; Alan B. Krueger; Shari Wolkon
  6. The changing face of public funding of higher education, with special reference to South Africa By Pierre de Villiers; Gert Steyn
  7. The Role of Education in Development By Marla, Ripoll; Juan, Cordoba
  8. Why Are Youth from Lower-income Families Less Likely to Attend University? Evidence from Academic Abilities, Parental Influences, and Financial Constraints By Frenette, Marc
  9. Enhancing the Public Provision of Education: The Economics of Education Reform in Developing Countries By Rossana Patrón
  10. Returns to schooling in Uruguay By Graciela Sanromán
  11. Scolarisation et travail des enfants : Un modèle économétrique à régimes endogènes appliqué à Madagascar - 2001-2005 By Jean-Pierre Lachaud
  12. Graduate Unemployment in the Context of Skills Shortages, Education and Training: Findings from a Firm Survey By Kalie Pauw; Haroon Bhorat; Sumayya Goga; Liberty Ncube; Morné Oosthuizen; Carlene van der Westhuizen
  13. University research and the location of business R&D By Laura Abramovsky; Rupert Harrison; Helen Simpson

  1. By: Pauline Domingo (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne)
    Abstract: This study examines the how in-school work experiences produce effects on educational achievement and school-to-work transition. More precisely, using Generation 98 data (gathered by CEREQ), we assess the impact of working while in higher education on the probability of graduation and labour market entry. The main results can be summarized as follows. In-school work experiences are not correlated with higher education dropout prior to graduation. On the other hand, it enhances noncompleters access to jobs. However, only regular jobs increase the probability of accessing to permanent contract jobs.
    Keywords: School-to-work transition, in-school work experiences, dropout, higher education.
    JEL: I23 J24
    Date: 2007–01
  2. By: Eric Maurin (PSE, CEPR, CEE and IZA); Sandra McNally (CEP, CEE, LSE and IZA)
    Abstract: It is difficult to know whether widening access to schools which provide a more academically oriented general education makes a difference to average educational achievement. We make use of reforms affecting admission to the ‘high ability’ track in Northern Ireland, but not England. The comparison of educational outcomes between Northern Ireland and England before and after the reform identifies the net effect of expanding the academic track to accommodate more students. This is composed of the direct effect of the more academic track on individual performance and the indirect effect arising on account of the change in peer group composition. Our paper is relevant to debate on the consequences of ability tracking and of expanding access to the academic track.
    Keywords: education, tracking, selection
    JEL: I2
    Date: 2007–02
  3. By: Rossana Patrón (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República)
    Abstract: This paper reviews the literature that relates trade, education and skills formation,intending to provide a theoretical background to policy discussions in education matters. The paper is organised as follows. Section 1 summarises the literature on education and human capital in trade models. Section 2 focuses on education as an investment and the process of human capital accumulation. Section 3 deals with the returns to education. Section 4 analyses the economic literature on the education production function and on issues of effectiveness, efficiency and quality. Section 5 discusses the public provision of education. Section 6 presents some concluding remarks.
    Keywords: public education, economics of education, trade
    JEL: I21 I28 F16
    Date: 2006–10
  4. By: Orley Ashenfelter; John Ham
  5. By: Michael A. Boozer; Alan B. Krueger; Shari Wolkon
  6. By: Pierre de Villiers (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch); Gert Steyn (Institutional Planning Division, University of Stellenbosch)
    Abstract: Higher education displays characteristics of both private and public goods and there is a trend worldwide to expect individuals to pay more of the costs of their higher education. In South Africa public funding of higher education decreased from 0.86% of GDP in 1986 to only 0.66% in 2006. Due to the decrease in state appropriations, student tuition fees had to be increased to compensate for this loss of income. In the process staff numbers were kept relatively constant, while student numbers increased at a much faster rate. Two future scenarios, based on public higher education expenditure as a percentage of GDP and on real state allocation per WFTES, are included. Although the qualifications awarded per FTE academic staff member increased over time, the graduation rates of the higher education institutions in South Africa are worsening. High-level research, measured in publication units per FTE academic staff member, shows a disturbing decreasing trend since 1997.
    Keywords: Higher education, education financing, qualifications
    JEL: H52 I22 I23
    Date: 2007
  7. By: Marla, Ripoll; Juan, Cordoba
    Abstract: Most education around the globe is public. Moreover, investment rates in education as well as schooling attainments differ substantially across countries. We construct a general equilibrium life-cycle model that is consistent with these facts. We provide simple analytical solutions for the optimal educational choices, which may entail pure public provision of education, and their general equilibrium effects. We calibrate the model to fit cross-country evidence on demographics and educational variables. The model is able to replicate a number of key regularities in the data beyond the matching targets. We use the model to identify and quantify sources of world income differences, and find that demographic factors, in particular mortality rates, explain most of the differences. We also use the model to the role of public education and the HIV/AIDS pandemic in development.
    Keywords: education; human capital; development; public education; income differences
    JEL: I22 J24 O11
    Date: 2006–09
  8. By: Frenette, Marc
    Abstract: In this study, I use new Canadian data containing detailed information on academic abilities, parental influences, financial constraints, and other socio-economic background characteristics of youth to try to account for the large gap in university attendance across the income distribution. I find that 96% of the total gap in university attendance between youth from the top and bottom income quartiles can be accounted for by differences in observable characteristics. Differences in long-term factors such as standardized test scores in reading obtained at age 15, school marks reported at age 15, parental influences, and high-school quality account for 84% of the gap. In contrast, only 12% of the gap is related to financial constraints. Similar results hold across different income quartiles and when I use standardized test scores in mathematics and science. However, reading scores account for a larger proportion of the gap than other test scores.
    Keywords: Education, training and learning, Children and youth, Educational attainment, Education finance, Low income families, Literacy
    Date: 2007–02–08
  9. By: Rossana Patrón (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República)
    Abstract: The paper argues that a comprehensive evaluation of education reform in particular in developing countries needs considering the triangle’ quality-quantity-equity of educational policies in the short, medium and long term in a broader context than the education system itself. There is no simple “recipe” for improving quality and internal and external efficiency in the public education system but some general results are found. Firstly, that the elasticity of the return of the reform is decreasing with the size of increased budget, making anti-economical the reliance on a reform consisting in more resources only to significantly improve the poor performance of the system. Indeed, very modest target set to improve the system performance, would require -without more sophisticated policies- huge increments in budget with a poor return. In this sense the paper investigate the capacity of focused policies to improve the productivity of the education expenditure, in particular toward basic education or the disadvantaged students. Secondly, the timing of the reform matters: most policies with very different return in the long term are almost undistinguishable by their short run merits, and policies that are more productive in the short term may be less convenient than competing alternatives in the longer term, so the actual policy may be influenced by the time horizon chosen by the policy makers. Thirdly, effects of the reform are accumulative, and to evaluate the reform by modest, in general, short run merits is myopic and may put the reform at risk of reversion or to deter future investment in the sector.
    Keywords: public education, developing countries, development of human resources
    JEL: I28 O15
    Date: 2006–10
  10. By: Graciela Sanromán (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República)
    Abstract: In this paper we analyze the economic returns to schooling in Uruguay. Instrumental variables are used to estimate mean and quantile regressions. An indicator of whether an Internet connection is available at home is used as an instrument for the years of schooling of the household head. The evidence shows that the simple Mincer OLS estimates are downward biased. When estimates are controlled for measurement error in schooling reports the results indicate that an additional year of schooling increases wage rates by 22 percent.
    Keywords: returns to schooling, schooling premium
    JEL: C13 I21 J24 J31
    Date: 2006–11
  11. By: Jean-Pierre Lachaud (CED, Université Montesquieu Bordeaux IV)
    Abstract: L’étude examine l’effet de la scolarisation sur la durée du travail des enfants de 6-14 ans à Madagascar en 2001 et 2005, à l’aide d’un modèle économétrique à régimes prenant en compte l’endogénéité de la fréquentation scolaire. Premièrement, le temps de travail des enfants scolarisés pourrait constituer une variable d’ajustement conjoncturel, liée à la fluctuation des gains des adultes, tandis que celui des non-scolarisés est susceptible de revêtir une dimension plus structurelle, conditionnée par la nécessité de dépasser le seuil de subsistance. Plusieurs éléments d’analyse semblent justifier cette hypothèse : (i) le temps de travail des enfants scolarisés diminue avec l’élévation des revenus par tête des adultes du ménage, contrairement à ceux qui ne fréquentent pas l’école ; (ii) le statut du travail du chef de ménage influence principalement la variation de la durée du travail des enfants non-scolarisés ; (iii) la durée du travail des enfants scolarisés décroît systématiquement avec l’élévation du niveau d’instruction du chef de ménage, un phénomène beaucoup moins perceptible pour les enfants non-scolarisés ; (iv) quels que soient le régime et l’année, les enfants de 10-14 ans travaillent plus que ceux de 6-9 ans, tout comme les garçons, comparativement aux filles ; (v) le temps de travail des enfants scolarisés croît avec la dimension des ménages, alors que cette évolution ne concerne pas ceux qui ne fréquentent pas l’école ; (vi) indépendamment des régimes et des périodes, le temps de travail est plus élevé en milieu rural, ainsi que dans les provinces de Toliara et d’Antananarivo. Deuxièmement, des simulations suggèrent d’importants bénéfices potentiels en termes de temps de travail. D’une part, les enfants scolarisés travaillent potentiellement 121,5 et 84,1 heures de moins par mois, respectivement, en 2001 et 2005, comparativement à une hypothétique situation de non-scolarisation. D’autre part, si les enfants qui ne fréquentent pas l’école avaient été scolarisés, ils auraient potentiellement travaillé 52,5 et 96,5 heures de moins par mois, respectivement, en 2005 et 2001. En réalité, les bénéfices potentiels moyens ont décliné au cours de la période, en partie, parce que la proportion et le temps d’activité des enfants travailleurs et allant à l’école ont fortement augmenté, en particulier dans les provinces d’Antananarivo et de Toliara. En définitive, la recherche montre que la scolarisation peut générer des gains potentiels importants en termes de réduction du temps de travail des enfants. The study examines the effect of schooling on child labour hours of aged 6-14 years in Madagascar in 2001 and 2005, using an endogenous switching regression model taking into account the endogeneity of the household decision of sending a child to school. Firstly, the working time of enrolled children could constitute a short-term adjustment variable, dependent on the fluctuation of the incomes of the adults, while that of not-enrolled children could have a more structural dimension, conditioned by the need for exceeding the level of subsistence. Several elements of analysis seem to justify this assumption: (i) the hours of work of enrolled children decreases with the rise in the incomes per capita of the adults of the household, contrary to those which do not attend school ; (ii) the labour statute of the household head influences mainly the variation of the working time of the not-enrolled children; (iii) the labour hours of the children enrolled in school decrease systematically with the rise in the educational level of the household head, a phenomenon much less perceptible for the not-enrolled children; (iv) whatever the regime and the year, the children of aged 10-14 years work more than those of aged 6-9 years, just like the boys, compared to the girls; (v) the working time of children with education grows with the size of the households, whereas this evolution does not relate to those which do not attend school; (vi) independently of the regimes and the periods, the working time is higher in rural areas, like in the provinces of Toliara and Antananarivo. Secondly, the simulations suggest important potential benefit in terms of working time. On the one hand, the children enrolled in school potentially work 121.5 and 84.1 hours less per month, respectively, in 2001 and 2005, compared to a hypothetical situation of not-schooling. In addition, if the children who do not attend school had been enrolled, they would have potentially worked 52.5 and 96.5 hours less per month, respectively, in 2005 and 2001. Actually, the average potential benefit declined during the period, partly because the proportion and the time of activity of children working and going to school strongly increased, in particular in the provinces of Antananarivo and Toliara. In conclusion, the study shows that schooling can generate important potential profits in terms of reduction of children labours hours. (Full text in french)
    JEL: I31 J4
    Date: 2007–02
  12. By: Kalie Pauw; Haroon Bhorat; Sumayya Goga; Liberty Ncube; Morné Oosthuizen; Carlene van der Westhuizen (Development Policy Research Unit,University of Cape Town)
    Abstract: Abstract: The paper reflects on the findings from a firm survey conducted among twenty of South Africa’s largest firms across a range of sectors. The survey formed part of research conducted by the Development Policy Research Unit on graduate unemployment in South Africa. The firm interviews traversed a range of issues relating, for example, to the schooling and higher education system, the learnership programme and National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS) and the nature of skills shortages and the skills deficit. In turn, a number of detailed long- and short-run policy suggestions emanated from the interviews and background research. In the context of skills shortages the persistence of unemployment among graduates is puzzling. However, the findings here suggest that reported skills shortages, especially in occupations such engineers, technicians and scientists, are most severe at the middle- to senior management level. Graduates do not compete for these positions; in fact, firms generally agree that there are enough graduates available in the economy. Firms do feel,however, that graduates often do not possess the necessary skills and experience to be considered even for entry-level positions. Poor education therefore lies at the heart of the graduate unemployment problem. While on-the-job training in the form of learnerships, implemented in accordance with the NSDS can potentially bridge the skills deficit of graduates, the survey findings rather suggest that this subsidised employment and training programme has not generated above-equilibrium employment in firms. While short-term interventions may help alleviate immediate skills shortages in the economy,it is clear from this research that a longer-term agenda of radically improving education and training in South Africa is the only sustainable solution to skills shortages and, eventually, the graduate unemployment problem.
    Keywords: graduate unemployment, skills shortages
    JEL: A1
    Date: 2006–11
  13. By: Laura Abramovsky (Institute for Fiscal Studies); Rupert Harrison (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London); Helen Simpson (Institute for Fiscal Studies)
    Abstract: <p>We investigate the relationship between the location of private sector R&D labs and university research departments in Great Britain. We combine establishment-level data on R&D activity with information on levels and changes in research quality from the Research Assessment Exercise. The strongest evidence for co-location is for pharmaceuticals R&D, which is disproportionately located near to relevant university research, particularly 5 or 5* rated chemistry departments. This relationship is stronger for foreign-owned labs, consistent with multinationals sourcing technology internationally. We also find some evidence for co-location with lower rated research departments in industries such as machinery and communications equipment.</p>
    JEL: O3 R11 R13 I23
    Date: 2007–01

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