nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2007‒07‒27
ten papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of the Beira Interior

  1. Human Capital and Productivity in Microenterprises By Mungaray, Alejandro; Ramirez-Urquidy, Martin
  2. Changes in Math Prerequisites and Student Performance in Business Statistics: Do Math Prerequisites Really Matter? By Jeffrey J. Green; Courtenay C. Stone; Abera Zegeye; Thomas A. Charles
  3. The Effect of Relative Age in the First Grade of Primary School on Long-Term Scholastic Results: International Comparative Evidence using PISA 2003 By Sprietsma, Maresa
  4. What Makes a Successful Entrepreneur? Evidence from Brazil By Simeon Djankov; Yingyi Qian; Gerard Roland; Ekaterina Zhuravskaya
  5. Human Capital and Economic Growth: Pakistan, 1960-2003 By Abbas, Qaisar; Foreman-Peck, James
  6. Computers as Pedagogical Tools in Brazil: A Pseudo-panel Analysis By Sprietsma, Maresa
  7. From Brown to Busing By Elizabeth Cascio; Nora Gordon; Ethan Lewis; Sarah Reber
  8. Earnings Prospects for People with Migration Background in Germany By Aldashev, Alisher; Gernandt, Johannes; Thomsen, Stephan L.
  9. Heterogeneity of Patenting Activity and Its Implications for Scientific Research By Czarnitzki, Dirk; Glänzel, Wolfgang; Hussinger, Katrin
  10. Is Peer Review in Decline? By Glenn Ellison

  1. By: Mungaray, Alejandro; Ramirez-Urquidy, Martin
    Abstract: The hypothesis that human capital increases productivity is tested using data from a sample of low value-added microenterprises. A special attribute of this paper is the join treatment of formal learning or training in education institutions, and informal training by experience of the owner in the firm management. Following previous studies, the relation between human capital and productivity is determined by estimating production functions with the inclusion of dummy variables to control for formal education and informal training by experience. Evidence of the linkage of human capital and productivity is reported. It is also reported that both types of investment in human capital have asymmetrical contribution to productivity, where the impact of experience is predominant. This allows concluding that the long-run existence of the firms in the sample is explained by the accumulation of experience in the management. Returns to education occur primarily for technical education and are lower than those generated by experiential learning in the firm management.
    Keywords: Human Capital; Productivity; Small Enterprises
    JEL: M21
    Date: 2007–04
  2. By: Jeffrey J. Green (Department of Economics, Ball State University); Courtenay C. Stone (Department of Economics, Ball State University); Abera Zegeye (Department of Economics, Ball State University); Thomas A. Charles (Department of Economics, Ball State University)
    Abstract: We use a binary probit model to assess the impact of several changes in math prerequisites on student performance in an undergraduate business statistics course. While the initial prerequisites did not necessarily provide students with the necessary math skills, our study, the first to examine the effect of math prerequisite changes, shows that these changes were deleterious to student performance. Our results helped convince the College of Business to change the math prerequisite again beginning with the 2008/2009 academic year. Thus, this study is also the first to actually help strengthen math prerequisites and improve student performance in business statistics.
    Keywords: binary probit; business statistics; math prerequisites; student performance.
    Date: 2007–07
  3. By: Sprietsma, Maresa
    Abstract: In this paper, we estimate the effect of pupil’s relative age within the first grade of primary school on math and reading test scores at age 15. The main objective is to evaluate the long-term causal effect of relative age in the first grades of primary school on pupil’s test in 16 different countries. We use the national rule for admission to primary school to construct the predicted relative age of each pupil. We find that relative age at the start of primary school has a significant positive effect on test scores in most countries. Moreover, we identify some of the channels through which the effect occurs.
    Keywords: pupil performance, relative age, international comparison
    JEL: I21 I29
    Date: 2007
  4. By: Simeon Djankov (the World Bank); Yingyi Qian (UC Berkeley and CERP); Gerard Roland (UC Berkeley and CEPR); Ekaterina Zhuravskaya (New Economic School/CEFIR and CEPR)
    Abstract: We report the results of a new survey on entrepreneurship in Brazil. In September 2006, we interviewed 400 entrepreneurs and 550 non-entrepreneurs of the same age, gender, education and location in 7 Brazilian cities. The data are used to test three competing hypotheses on entrepreneurship: the role of economic and legal institutions (security of property rights; access to credit); the role of sociological characteristics (family background, social networks); and the role of individual features (attitude towards risk, I.Q., self-confidence) in becoming an entrepreneur. In line with our previous research in China and Russia, we find that sociological characteristics have the strongest influence on becoming an entrepreneur. In contrast, success as an entrepreneur is primarily determined by the individual’s smartness and higher education in the family. Entrepreneurs are not more self-confident than non-entrepreneurs; and overconfidence is bad for business success.
    Date: 2007–05
  5. By: Abbas, Qaisar; Foreman-Peck, James (Cardiff Business School)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the relationship between human capital and economic growth in Pakistan with time series data. The aggregate production function results reject the endogenous growth formulation but indicate broadly similar productivity of secondary schooling to that in OECD economies. Because schooling returns should be higher in a developing economy, this similarity is interpreted as evidence of low average quality schooling. Returns to health spending compare favorably with industrial investment. A substantial portion of growth is due to exogenous factors, including policies, the positive contribution of which appears to have declined after the 1980s. Human capital is estimated to have accounted for about 40 percent of the increase in GDP per head, a figure that is probably biased downwards because of the many unmeasured dimensions of human capital.
    Keywords: Human Capital; Economic Growth; ECM; Pakistan
    JEL: C13 C22 C51 O15 O53
    Date: 2007–07
  6. By: Sprietsma, Maresa
    Abstract: In this paper, we use repeated cross-section data on pupils in Brazil to estimate the effect of the availability and use of computers and internet as pedagogical tools on math and reading test scores. Computers are increasingly commonly used in schools and their effectiveness in improving learning is the subject of many recent evaluations in Europe and the US. We apply the pseudo panel technique to evaluate the effect of variation in the availability and use of computers and internet in Brazilian schools on pupils’ test scores.
    Keywords: Computers in schools, pupil performance
    JEL: I20
    Date: 2007
  7. By: Elizabeth Cascio; Nora Gordon; Ethan Lewis; Sarah Reber
    Abstract: An extensive literature debates the causes and consequences of the desegregation of American schools in the twentieth century. Despite the social importance of desegregation and the magnitude of the literature, we have lacked a comprehensive accounting of the basic facts of school desegregation. This paper uses newly assembled data to document when and how Southern school districts desegregated as well as the extent of court involvement in the desegregation process over the two full decades after Brown. We also examine heterogeneity in the path to desegregation by district characteristics. The results suggest that the existing quantitative literature, which generally either begins in 1968 and focuses on the role of federal courts in larger urban districts or relies on highly aggregated data, often tells an incomplete story of desegregation.
    JEL: H00 I20 I28 J15
    Date: 2007–07
  8. By: Aldashev, Alisher; Gernandt, Johannes; Thomsen, Stephan L.
    Abstract: Less than half of the people with migration background living in Germany possess foreign citizenship. Hence, using citizenship to analyze economic issues of immigration may be problematic for two reasons. On the one hand, a quite substantial share of persons with migration background is neglected in the group of interest, and, on the other hand, the reference group (native Germans) may be contaminated by effects from naturalized immigrants. This paper utilizes a wider definition covering all persons with migration background to analyze the earnings prospects. To shed light on differences to the common use of citizenship, estimates are presented in comparison to foreigner and German citizens. The results show that persons with migration background have similar earnings prospects to foreigners. Moreover, earnings prospects for native Germans do not differ much from those of German citizenship. Therefore, using citizenship to approximate natives and non- natives when analyzing earnings issues seems to be reasonable. A second question of the paper is whether degrees obtained in Germany lead to better earnings prospects compared to degrees obtained abroad for persons with migration background. Independently of gender and skill level, the estimates affirm higher earnings to educational attainment in Germany.
    Keywords: Migration background, earnings prospects, education, Germany
    JEL: I12 J15 J61
    Date: 2007
  9. By: Czarnitzki, Dirk; Glänzel, Wolfgang; Hussinger, Katrin
    Abstract: The increasing commercialization of university discoveries has initiated a controversy on the impacts for future scientific research. It has been argued that an increasing orientation towards commercialization may have a negative impact on more fundamental research efforts in science. Several scholars have therefore analyzed the relationship between publication and patenting activity of university researchers, and most articles report positive correlations. However, most studies do not account for heterogeneity of patenting activities ranging from university patents to corporate patents. While the former may have closer links to basic research, this is not what we expect from the latter. We argue that such efforts will indeed distract scientists from other activities, as collaborations with companies are usually assumed to have an applied character and do not necessarily coincide with basic research tasks. This paper investigates the incidence of patenting and publishing distinguishing between different types of patents for a large sample of professors active in Germany. Our results show that, while university patents as well as patents assigned to not-for-profit institutions complement publication quantity and quality, corporate patents yield negative effects.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurial universities, academic inventors, industry-science linkages, patents, technology transfer
    JEL: O31 O32 O34
    Date: 2007
  10. By: Glenn Ellison
    Abstract: Over the past decade there has been a decline in the fraction of papers in top economics journals written by economists from the highest-ranked economics departments. This paper documents this fact and uses additional data on publications and citations to assess various potential explanations. Several observations are consistent with the hypothesis that the Internet improves the ability of high-profile authors to disseminate their research without going through the traditional peer-review process.
    JEL: A14 I23 O30
    Date: 2007–07

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