nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2007‒04‒28
twenty-two papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of the Beira Interior

  1. Double Standards in Educational Standards – Are Disadvantaged Students Being Graded More Leniently? By Himmler, Oliver; Schwager, Robert
  2. Efficiency versus Effectiveness: Interpreting Education Production Studies. By Christopher C. Klein
  3. Can migration reduce educational attainments? Depressing evidence from Mexico By David McKenzie; Hillel Rapoport
  4. Does Health cause Schooling or Does Schooling cause Health? By Tiago Neves Sequeira
  5. Increasing Returns to Education: Theory and Evidence By Booth, Alison L; Coles, Melvyn G; Gong, Xiaodong
  6. Can Risk Aversion Explain Schooling Attainments? Evidence From Italy By Christian Belzil; Marco Leonardi
  7. Entrepreneurship, State Economic Development Policy, and the Entrepreneurial University By Audretsch, David B; Phillips, Ronnie
  8. Malaria and Primary Education : A cross-country analysis on primary repetition and completion rates. By Josselin Thuilliez
  9. Ethnic Segregation and Educational Outcomes in Swedish Comprehensive Schools By Szulkin, Ryszard; Jonsson, Jan O.
  10. La défense du droit à l'éducation passe par celle du service public. By Rémy Herrera
  11. Age-dependent Skill Formation and Returns to Education By Pfeiffer, Friedhelm; Reuß, Karsten
  12. Unemployment, Education and Skills Constraints in Post-Apartheid South Africa By Rosa Dias; Dorrit Posel
  13. Pour l'interdiction totale du travail des enfants et une redistribution mondiale des richesses. By Rémy Herrera
  14. University-community partnerships: 2006 Worcester speaker series By anonymous
  15. Transition of nuptiality and fertility onset in the Czech Republic since the 1990s – the role of women’s education and its expansion By Kryštof Zeman
  16. Planning and Financial Literacy: How Do Women Fare? By Annamaria Lusardi
  17. Measuring International Skilled Migration: New Estimates Controlling for Age of Entry By Michel Beinea; Frédéric Docquier; Hillel Rapoport
  18. Government expenditures on education, health, and infrastructure : a naive look at levels, outcomes, and efficiency By Trujillo,Lourdes; Gonzalez, Marianela; Estache, Antonio
  19. How Much Influence Do Economics Professors Have on Rankings? The Case of Australia and New Zealand By Sinha, Dipendra; Macri, Joseph
  20. Dumbing down rational players : Learning and teaching in an experimental game. By Antoine Terracol; Jonathan Vaksmann
  21. The Return to Schooling in Structural Dynamic Models: A Survey By Christian Belzil
  22. Decentralized allocation of human capital and nonlinear growth By Gomes, Orlando

  1. By: Himmler, Oliver; Schwager, Robert
    Abstract: A simple model of decentralised graduation standards is presented. It is shown that a school whose students are disadvantaged on the labour market applies less demanding standards because such students have less incentives to graduate. The model's predictions are tested using Dutch school-level data. Since students in the Netherlands have to participate both in a central and in a school specific examination, we can identify the grading policy of individual schools. We find that schools which harbour greater shares of disadvantaged students tend to set lower standards. This effect is largest in the branch of secondary schooling preparing for university.
    Keywords: education, grading, social status, schools, Netherlands
    JEL: I21 J15
    Date: 2007
  2. By: Christopher C. Klein
    Abstract: To gain analytical insight into whether input resources matter in public education, a Becker/Peltzman/Stigler model of the determination of local educational budgets and outputs by political authorities is constructed. The model results are consistent with empirical findings that resources don’t matter, even when all schools are efficient, if errors in measurement and specification occur. When all outputs are not observed, one cannot distinguish an inefficient school district from one that chooses an idiosyncratic output mix. Blind application of efficiency measurement techniques in this context yields perverse or counterintuitive findings. Interpretation of feasible approaches to education production studies are discussed.
    Keywords: Education, Efficiency, Productivity.
    JEL: I12
  3. By: David McKenzie (Development Research Group, World Bank); Hillel Rapoport (Department of Economics, Bar-Ilan University, CADRE, University of Lille II, and Stanford Center for International Development)
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of migration on educational attainments in rural Mexico. Using historical migration rates by state to instrument for current migration, we find evidence of a significant negative effect of migration on schooling attendance and attainments of 12 to 18 year-old boys and of 16 to 18 year-old girls. IV-Censored Ordered Probit results show that living in a migrant household lowers the chances of boys completing junior high-school and of boys and girls completing high-school. The negative effect of migration on schooling is somewhat mitigated for younger girls with low educated mothers, which is consistent with remittances relaxing credit constraints on education investment for the very poor. However, for the majority of rural Mexican children, family migration depresses educational attainment. Comparison of the marginal effects of migration on school attendance and on participation to other activities shows that the observed decrease in schooling of 16 to 18 year olds is accounted for by current migration of boys and increases in housework for girls.
    Keywords: Migration, migrant networks, education attainments, Mexico
    JEL: O15 J61 D31
    Date: 2006–03
  4. By: Tiago Neves Sequeira (Departamento de Gestão e Economia, Universidade da Beira Interior)
    Abstract: Using a panel data approach we investigate whether schooling cause health or health cause schooling. We found evidence that supports the influence of the level of health in increases in education and the influence of education growth in health improvements. Both effects are present in poor countries but not in rich ones.
    Keywords: Education, Health
    JEL: I00 J24 O15 O50
    Date: 2007
  5. By: Booth, Alison L; Coles, Melvyn G; Gong, Xiaodong
    Abstract: We model educational investment and labour supply in a competitive economy with home and market production. Heterogeneous workers are assumed to have different productivities both at home and in the workplace. Following Rosen (1983), we show that there are private increasing returns to education at the labour market participation margin. We show that these depend directly on the elasticity of labour supply with respect to wages. Thus the increasing returns to education problem will be most relevant for women or other types with large enough home productivity. We estimate a three equation recursive model of working hours, wages and years of schooling, and find empirical support for the main predictions of the model.
    Keywords: home production; labour supply; returns to education
    JEL: J22 J24 J31
    Date: 2007–04
  6. By: Christian Belzil (GATE - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - [CNRS : UMR5824] - [Université Lumière - Lyon II] - [Ecole Normale Supérieure Lettres et Sciences Humaines], IZA - Institute for the study of labor - [IZA][Institute for the study of labor]); Marco Leonardi (IZA - Institute for the study of labor - [IZA][Institute for the study of labor], Università degli studi di Milano - [Università di Milano][Università degli studi di Milano])
    Abstract: Using unique Italian panel data, in which individual differences in behavior toward risk are measured from answers to a lottery question, we investigate if (and to what extent) risk aversion can explain differences in schooling attainments. We formulate the schooling decision process as a reduced-form dynamic discrete choice. The model is estimated with a degree of flexibility virtually compatible with semiparametric likelihood techniques. We analyze how grade transition from one level to the next varies with preference heterogeneity (risk aversion), parental human capital, socioeconomic variables and persistent unobserved (to the econometrician) heterogeneity. We present evidence that schooling attainments decrease with risk aversion, but despite a statistically significant effect, differences in attitudes toward risk account for a modest portion of the probability of entering higher education. Differences in ability(ies) and in parental human capital are much more important. in the most general version of the model, the likelihood function is the joint probability of schooling attainments, and post-schooling wealth and risk aversion.
    Keywords: dynamic discrete choices ; education ; human capital ; risk aversion
    Date: 2007–04–19
  7. By: Audretsch, David B; Phillips, Ronnie
    Abstract: In this paper, we discuss the nature of the university-industry relationship and recommend specific policies to help achieve the goal of greater economic growth. We argue that state-supported research universities can be used to integrate entrepreneurship into state economic development and incubate entrepreneurial companies. Regional entrepreneurship policy is a new strategy that regards economic development as a process that goes from supporting research and development to creating and growing new businesses. Specifically, we believe that an entrepreneurial higher education system is a key to state-level economic policies. There is an opportunity at research universities to combine the human capital talent available on faculties with the needs and expertise of private industry to accelerate entrepreneurship and economic growth.
    Keywords: economic development; entrepreneurship; universities
    JEL: L26
    Date: 2007–04
  8. By: Josselin Thuilliez (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne)
    Abstract: This paper explores the link between P. Falciparum malaria - most of malaria morbidity and mortality is due to the malignant Plasmodium Falciparum - and primary education in terms of school performances at the macroeconomic stage. Cross-country regression analysis shows that the relation between school results (measured by repetition and completion rates) and the P. Falciparum malaria index is strong. The results implies that the achievement of the education Millennium Development Goals will require more than just focusing on expenditure in primary education. It does not imply that resources in education are unnecessary but that increasing resources in education and improving education resources management alone are unlikely to be sufficient. This paper suggests that health conditions and especially diseases that alter cognitive capacities of children such as malaria should be taken into account much more seriously. This study also sees the need to place emphasis on research that will improve the quality of interventions to prevent malaria. Specific education expenditure to face Malaria should be examined in addition to health policies.
    Keywords: Malaria incidence, human capital, development.
    JEL: O15 I10 I20
    Date: 2007–03
  9. By: Szulkin, Ryszard (Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS); Jonsson, Jan O. (Institutet för Social Forskning (SOFI))
    Abstract: We ask whether ethnic density in Swedish comprehensive schools affect teacher-assigned school grades in ninth grade (age 16). The data, based on two entire cohorts who graduated in 1998 and 1999 (188,000 pupils and 1,043 schools), link school information with Census data on social origin, and enable us to distinguish first- from second generation immigrants. Using multilevel analysis we find the proportion of first, but not the second, generation immigrant pupils in a school to depress grades in general, but particularly for (first generation) immigrant pupils. Passing a threshold of more than 40 percent immigrants reduces grades with around a fifth of a standard deviation, affecting fourteen percent of immigrant children. Our main results are robust to model specifications which address omitted variable bias both at individual- and school-level. One policy implication of our results is that desegregation policies which concentrated on the two per cent most segregated schools would probably improve school results and reduce ethnic inequality.
    Keywords: Ethnic inequality; Immigrant schooling; Educational attainment; Contextual effects; Ethnic inequality; Immigrant schooling
    JEL: I21 J15
    Date: 2007–04–20
  10. By: Rémy Herrera (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne)
    Abstract: This working paper dealing with the right to education is at the origin of a written statement presented by the Centre Europe Tiers-Monde (CETIM) during the March 2007 4th session of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations Organization in Geneva (item 2 : implementation of the General Assembly Resolution 60/251 of 15 March 2006, symbol : A/HRC/4/NGO/18). Education is one of the keys to successful development strategies and a means of realizing the objectives of socialization, fulfillment of the human person and equality. The principles that should underpin its policies are its public character, its universality and its cost-free access at all levels. It is a question of building a world based on the recognition of the non-commercial status of education, of scientific knowledge and of cultural productions.
    Keywords: Education, public service, development.
    JEL: H44 I21 I28 O15
    Date: 2007–04
  11. By: Pfeiffer, Friedhelm; Reuß, Karsten
    Abstract: In this study, we try to connect the economic literature on human capital formation with findings from neurobiology and psychology on early childhood development and self-regulation. Our basic framework for assessing the distribution of agespecific returns to investment in skills is an elaboration of the model of skill formation from Cunha, Heckman et al. (2006) over the life cycle. Our simulation based evidence illustrates the cumulative and synergetic nature of skill formation, the skill multiplier and the shaping role early childhood has for human capital formation, growth and inequality.
    Keywords: Intelligence, self-regulation, human capital, returns to education, life span
    JEL: J21 J24 J31
    Date: 2007
  12. By: Rosa Dias; Dorrit Posel (Division of Economics,University of KwaZulu-Natal)
    Abstract: Abstract: This paper investigates the relationship between education and unemployment in Post-Apartheid South Africa, and probes the argument that employment growth has been inhibited particularly by skills constraints. We use probit regression analysis to show that higher education protected against unemployment in both 1995 and 2003, and that overall, the relative benefits to tertiary education rose over the period. We show also that these aggregate trends mask substantial variation among race groups and within race groups, among men and women. However, after taking into account changes in the survey instruments used to measure employment, we find only modest evidence of skills-intensive employment growth. Rather, the increase in formally qualified labour was considerably larger than the increase in demand for skilled and semi-skilled labour over the period, and so unemployment rates even among graduates increased over the period.
    Keywords: South Africa: education, unemployment, skills constraints
    JEL: A1
    Date: 2007–03
  13. By: Rémy Herrera (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne)
    Abstract: This working paper dealing with the right to education is at the origin of a written statement presented by the Centre Europe Tiers-Monde (CETIM) during the March 2007 4th session of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations Organization in Geneva (item 2 : implementation of the General Assembly Resolution 60/251 of 15 March 2006, symbol : A/HRC/4/NGO/19). It analyzes child labour as a phenomenon not only massive (today, it could concern in the world more than 400 million children over 5 years of age), but also systemic in capitalism. It is urgent to obtain strict respect for the prohibition of child labour -the age limit to be decided internationally- and to enforce compulsory education, at the same time as establishing a true system of wealth redistribution worldwide.
    Keywords: Children, labour/work, education, development.
    JEL: I3 J13 J82 K14 K31
    Date: 2007–04
  14. By: anonymous
    Abstract: Over the last decade, partnerships between colleges and universities, government, and businesses have helped foster economic development in the city of Worcester, Massachusetts. In 2006, the Worcester UniverCity Partnership, a coalition of private and public sector organizations working with colleges, in collaboration with the New England Resource Center for Higher Education, organized a speaker series aimed at promoting the depth and impact of university-community partnerships in the city. This report provides highlights from the 2006 Worcester Speaker Series, discusses the history and characteristics of Worcester’s partnerships, and suggests steps toward a workable action agenda for the city. This is a portrait of one city’s approach to strengthening its partnerships, which can also serve as a model for other cities interested in promoting economic development through university-community partnerships. ; Prepared by Marga, Inc. with support from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
    Keywords: Economic development - Massachusetts ; Universities and colleges - Massachusetts ; Community development - Massachusetts ; Economic conditions - Massachusetts
    Date: 2007
  15. By: Kryštof Zeman (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: In this article we argue that social and economic changes in the past fifteen years have influenced distinct socio-economic categories of women differently. We show that the transition of family formation behaviours was not uniform but rather dependent on the educational level of women. We found wide differences between educational categories in terms of the changes in level, timing and sequencing of first birth and first marriage, using the techniques of nuptiality and fertility life tables and the hazard modelling of first marriage and first conception. Two different types of “trendsetters” were identified in Czech society. The trendsetters of non-marital fertility are women with primary education, who tend to be lone mothers or to cohabit even after childbirth. The second group of trendsetters are more highly educated women, who postpone their fertility onset until their 30s, but who still place their first childbirth traditionally inside marriage. The number of possible reasons for the family formation transition is manifold, ranging from the changing economic roles of women through actual setting of family policy to the post-modern value change, all further reinforced by educational expansion since the 1990s. There is no general explanation of the transitional behaviour, as women of different education levels are reacting differently to the social and economic changes.
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2007–04
  16. By: Annamaria Lusardi (Dartmouth College and NBER)
    Abstract: This study uses data from the module on planning and financial literacy devised for the Health and Retirement Study in 2004. It finds that women display much lower levels of literacy than respondents in the total sample. Lack of literacy has implications for planning: women who are less financially literate are less likely to plan for retirement and be successful planners. These findings have important implications for policy and for programs aimed at fostering financial security. Because financial illiteracy is widespread among women, a one-time financial education seminar is unlikely to sufficiently influence planning and saving decisions. Similarly, education programs targeted specifically at women may be better suited to addressing large differences in preferences, savings needs, and financial knowledge.
    Date: 2006–10
  17. By: Michel Beinea (University of Luxemburg and Université Libre de Bruxelles); Frédéric Docquier (FNRS and IRES, Université Catholique de Louvain); Hillel Rapoport (Department of Economics, Bar-Ilan University, CADRE, Université de Lille 2, and CReAM, University College London)
    Abstract: Recent data on international skilled migration define skilled migrants according to education level independently of whether education has been acquired in the home or in the host country. In this paper we use immigrants’ age of entry as a proxy for where education has been acquired. Data on age of entry are available from a subset of receiving countries which together represent more than 3/4 of total skilled immigration to the OECD. Using these data and a simple gravity model, we estimate the age-of-entry structure of skilled immigration and propose alternative brain drain measures by excluding those arrived before age 12, 18 and 22. The results for 2000 show that on average, 68% of the global brain drain is accounted for by emigration of people aged 22 or more upon arrival (78% and 87% for the 18 and 12 year old thresholds, respectively). For some countries this indeed makes a substantial difference. However, cross-country differences are globally maintained, resulting in extremely high correlation levels between corrected and uncorrected rates. Similar results are obtained for 1990.
    Date: 2006–10
  18. By: Trujillo,Lourdes; Gonzalez, Marianela; Estache, Antonio
    Abstract: All interested parties seem to agree that it is important to be able to monitor public sector performance at the sectoral level, but most current work based on multi-country databases does not lend itself to country-specific conclusions. This is due to a large extent to major data limitations both on sectoral expenditures and on sectoral outcomes. This paper discusses the related issues and shows what we can do with the current data inspite of the drastic limitations. The main conclusions of the paper are that any efforts to assess country-specific performances in relative terms are likely to be difficult in view of the data problems. A rough sense of performance across sectors can be estimated for groups of countries, allowing some modest benchmarking exercises. These estimates show that low-income countries generally lag significantly behind higher-income countries. Efficiency has improved during the 1990s in energy and education but has not improved significantly in transport.
    Keywords: Transport Economics Policy & Planning,Public Sector Expenditure Analysis & Management,Inequality,Economic Theory & Research,Poverty Monitoring & An alysis
    Date: 2007–05–01
  19. By: Sinha, Dipendra; Macri, Joseph
    Abstract: This study ranks Australian and New Zealand economics teaching departments on the basis of the research productivity of its economics professors in economics teaching departments using quality adjusted journal articles listed on the ECONLIT database for the periods 1988-2002 and for 1996-2002. The per capita research productivity of professors is highest for University of Melbourne, University of Western Australia and University of Canterbury. For a number of economics departments, the per capita research productivity is lower than the research productivity of all faculty members, using a number of criteria for 1988-2002 and 1996-2002. These universities are University of Auckland, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University, Griffith University and Macquarie University.
    Keywords: research productivity; economics professors; rankings of economics departments
    JEL: A14
    Date: 2007–01–11
  20. By: Antoine Terracol (GREMARS et Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne); Jonathan Vaksmann (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne)
    Abstract: This paper uses experimental data to examine the existence of a teaching strategy among bounded rational players. If players realize that their own actions modify their opponent's beliefs and actions, they might play certain actions to this specific end ; and forego immediate payoffs if the expected payoffs if the expected payoff gain from a teaching strategy is high enough. Our results support the existence of a teaching strategy in several ways : First they show that players update their beliefs in order to take account of the reaction of their opponents to their own action. Second, we examine if players actually use a teaching strategy by playing an action that induces a poor immediate payoff but is likely to modify the opponent's behavior so that a preferable outcome might emerge in the future. We find strong evidence of such a strategy in the data and confirm this finding within a logistic model which suggests that the future expected payoff that could arise from a teaching strategy has indeed a significant impact on choice probabilities. Finally, we investigate the effective impact of a teaching strategy on achieved outcomes and find that efficient teachers can successfully use teaching in order to reach their favorite outcome at the expense of their opponents.
    Keywords: Game theory, teaching, beliefs, experiment.
    JEL: C72 C91 D83
    Date: 2007–03
  21. By: Christian Belzil (GATE - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - [CNRS : UMR5824] - [Université Lumière - Lyon II] - [Ecole Normale Supérieure Lettres et Sciences Humaines])
    Abstract: This papers contains a survey of the recent literature devoted to the returns to schooling within a dynamic structural framework. I present a historical perspective on the evolution of the literature, from early static models set in a selectivity framework (Willis and Rosen, 1979) to the recent literature, stimulated by Keane and Wolpin (1997), and which uses stochastic dynamic programming techniques. After reviewing the literature thoroughly, I compare the structural approach with the IV (experimental) approach. I present their commonalities and I also discuss their fundamental di8erences. To get an order of magnitude, most structural estimates reported for the US range between 4% and 7% per year. On the other hand, IV estimates between 10% and 15% per year are often reported. The discrepancy prevails even when comparable (if not identical) data sets are used. The discussion is focussed on understanding this divergence. The distinction between static and dynamic model specifications is a recurrent theme in the analysis. I argue that the distinction between the IV approach and the structural approach may be coined in terms of a trade o8 between behavioral and statistical assumptions. For this reason, and unless one has very specific knowledge of the true data generating process, it is neither possible, nor sensible, to claim which approach to estimation is more flexible. More precisely, I show that structural and IV approaches differ mainly at the level of i) the compatibility of the underlying models with truly dynamic behavior, ii) the role of heterogeneity in ability and tastes, iii) the consideration of post-schooling opportunities, and (iv) the specification (and interpretation) of the Mincer wage equation.
    Keywords: ability bias ; dynamic self-selection ; human capital ; IV estimations ; natural experiments ; returns to education
    Date: 2007–04–19
  22. By: Gomes, Orlando
    Abstract: The standard two-sector growth model with physical and human capital characterizes a process of material accumulation involving simple dynamics; constant long run growth is observable when assuming conventional Cobb-Douglas production functions in both sectors. This framework is developed under a central planner scenario: it is a representative agent that chooses between consumption and capital accumulation, on one hand, and between allocating human capital to each one of the two sectors, on the other. We concentrate in this second choice and we argue that the outcome of the aggregate model is incompatible with a scenario where individual agents, acting in a market economy, are free to decide, in each time moment, how to allocate their human capital in order to produce goods or to create additional skills. Combining individual incentives, the effort of a central planner (i.e., government) to approximate the decentralized outcome to the optimal result and a discrete choice rule that governs the decisions of individual agents, we propose a growth framework able to generate a significant variety of long term dynamic results, including endogenous fluctuations.
    Keywords: Endogenous growth; Human capital; Endogenous business cycles; Discrete choice; Nonlinear dynamics; Chaos.
    JEL: C61 O41 E32
    Date: 2007–01

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