nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2007‒08‒14
sixteen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of the Beira Interior

  1. Enhancing Incentives to Improve Performance in the Education System in France By Paul O'Brien
  2. Persistence of the School Entry Age Effect in a System of Flexible Tracking By Patrick A. Puhani; Andrea M. Weber
  3. Many Children Left Behind? Textbooks and Test Scores in Kenya By Paul Glewwe; Michael Kremer; Sylvie Moulin
  4. Institutional effects as determinants of learning outcomes : exploring state variations in Mexico By Alvarez, Jesus; Moreno, Vicente Garcia; Patrinos, Harry Anthony
  5. Labour Market Effects of Polytechnic Education Reform: The Finnish Experience By Böckerman, Petri; Hämäläinen, Ulla; Uusitalo, Roope
  6. Investing in Indonesia’s Education: Allocation, Equity, and Efficiency of Public Expenditures By Arze del Granado, Javier; Fengler, Wolfgang; Ragatz, Andrew; Yavuz, Elif
  7. Optimal Fiscal Policy with Private and Public Investment in Education By L. Marattin
  8. O impacto dos fatores familiares sobre a defasagem idade-série de crianças no Brasil By Danielle Carusi Machado; Gustavo Gonzaga
  9. Managing Term-Time Employment and study in Ireland By Merike Darmody; Emer Smyth
  10. Mechanisms and Impacts of Gender Peer Effects at School By Victor Lavy; Analía Schlosser
  11. How Much Do Public Schools Really Cost? Estimating the Relationship Between House Prices and School Quality By Ian Davidoff; Andrew Leigh
  12. Ranking universities : how to take better account of diversity By Henry, TULKENS
  13. Nutrición infantil,asistencia al preescolar y nivel educativo de las madres de los infantes en Colombia:una aproximación a nivel subregional 2000-2005 By Luis Fernando Aguado Quintero, Jaime Rodrigo Ahumada Castro, Beatrice Eugenia López Cabrera, Ana Mar
  14. Education and wage differentials by gender in Italy By Tindara ADDABBO; Donata Favaro
  15. Sustained Output Growth Under Uncertainty: A Simple Model With Human Capital By Dimitrios Varvarigos
  16. The Effects of Human Capital on Output Growth in ICT Industries: Evidence from OECD Countries By Gavin Murphy; Iula Traistaru-Siedshlag

  1. By: Paul O'Brien
    Abstract: The French education system has a mixed record. A generally very successful pre-school and primary school level contrasts with underfunded public universities with high dropout rates which exist alongside very successful higher education institutions for elites. Initial education, especially secondary education and the universities, along with labour market policies themselves, do not always succeed in improving labour market entry for a significant proportion of young people. Parts of the management of education have been decentralised, yet educational institutions themselves generally have a very restricted degree of autonomy. The system of performance measurement and incentives, at all levels of education, needs to be reviewed. This Working Paper relates to the 2007 OECD Economic Survey of France (, and is also available in French under the title “Renforcer les incitations à une meilleure performance du système éducatif en France”.
    Keywords: education, France
    JEL: H52 I2
    Date: 2007–08–01
  2. By: Patrick A. Puhani; Andrea M. Weber
    Abstract: In Germany, the streaming of students into an academic or nonacademic track at age 10 can be revised at later stages of secondary education. To investigate the importance of such revisions, we use administrative data on the student population in the German state of Hessen to measure the persistence of school entry age’s impact on choice of secondary school track. Based on exogenous variation in the school entry age by birth month, we obtain regression discontinuity estimates for different cohorts and grades up to the end of secondary education. We show that the effect of original school entry age on a student’s later attending grammar school disappears exactly at the grade level in which educational institutions facilitate track modification.
    Keywords: Education, identification, regression discontinuity design, instrumental variables, relative maturity
    JEL: I21 I28 J24
    Date: 2007–07
  3. By: Paul Glewwe; Michael Kremer; Sylvie Moulin
    Abstract: A randomized evaluation suggests that a program which provided official textbooks to randomly selected rural Kenyan primary schools did not increase test scores for the average student. In contrast, the previous literature suggests that textbook provision has a large impact on test scores. Disaggregating the results by students? initial academic achievement suggests a potential explanation for the lack of an overall impact. Textbooks increased scores for students with high initial academic achievement and increased the probability that the students who had made it to the selective final year of primary school would go on to secondary school. However, students with weaker academic backgrounds did not benefit from the textbooks. Many pupils could not read the textbooks, which are written in English, most students? third language. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that the Kenyan education system and curricular materials are oriented to the academically strongest students rather than to typical students. More generally, many students may be left behind in societies that combine 1) a centralized, unified education system; 2) the heterogeneity in student preparation associated with rapid expansion of education; and 3) disproportionate elite power.
    JEL: C93 I20 O15 P16
    Date: 2007–08
  4. By: Alvarez, Jesus; Moreno, Vicente Garcia; Patrinos, Harry Anthony
    Abstract: This paper uses the OECD ' s Program for International Student Assessment student-level achievement database for Mexico to estimate state education production functions, controlling for student characteristics, family background, home inputs, resources, and institutions. The authors take advantage of the state-level variation and representative sample to analyze the impact of institutional factors such as state accountability systems and the role of teachers ' unions in student achievement. They argue that accountability, through increased use of state assessments, will improve learning outcomes. The authors also cast ligh t on the role of teachers ' unions, namely their strength through appointments to the school and relations with state governments. The analysis shows the importance of good relations between states and unions. Furthermore, it demonstrates that accountability systems are cost-effective measures for improving outcomes.
    Keywords: Tertiary Education,Education For All,Teaching and Learning,Secondary Education,Primary Education
    Date: 2007–07–01
  5. By: Böckerman, Petri; Hämäläinen, Ulla; Uusitalo, Roope
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the labour market effects of the introduction of the polytechnic education system in Finland. The reform transformed former vocational colleges gradually into polytechnics. Since the timing of the reform differed across schools, we can control for macroeconomic changes by comparing the performance of the polytechnic graduates to the performance of vocational college graduates who graduated at the same time, and to control for both time and the school fixed effects at the same time. We discover that both employment levels and earnings of post-reform graduates are significantly higher when compared to pre-reform graduates from the same schools. The effects of the polytechnic reform differ between the three largest fields. In the field of business and administration the effects from the reform have been overwhelmingly positive. This is in accordance with the fact that the polytechnic reform extended the length of education mostly in this field.
    Keywords: educational economics; human capital; salary wage differentials
    JEL: I21 I23
    Date: 2007–08–09
  6. By: Arze del Granado, Javier; Fengler, Wolfgang; Ragatz, Andrew; Yavuz, Elif
    Abstract: What is the current level and main characteristics of public education spending in Indonesia? Is education spending insufficient? Is education spending efficient and equitable? This study reports the first account of Indonesia’s aggregated (national and sub-national) spending on education, as well as the economic and sub-functional (by programs) composition of education expenditures. It presents estimations of the expected (average) level of education spending for a country with similar economic and social characteristics. It sheds light on efficiency and equity of education spending by presenting social rates of return by level of education, an assessment of the adequacy of current teacher earnings relative to other paid workers, the distribution of teachers across urban, rural, and remote regions, and the determinants of education enrollment. It concludes that the current challenges in Indonesia are not anymore defined by the need to increase spending on the supply side, but rather to improve the quality of education services, and to improve the efficiency of education expenditures by re-allocating teachers to undersupplied regions and re-adjusting the spending mix within and between education programs of future additional spending in the sector. The study finds that poverty and student-aged labor are also significant constraints to education enrollment, stressing the importance of policies aimed to address demand-side factors affecting education access in Indonesia.
    Keywords: education Indonesia; expenditures education Indonesia; Indonesia's education; quality education; efficiency of education expenditures; equity of education expenditures; rates of return; teacher wages indonesia; education 20% rule Indonesia
    JEL: H41 I28 I22
    Date: 2007–07
  7. By: L. Marattin
    Date: 2007–04
  8. By: Danielle Carusi Machado; Gustavo Gonzaga (Department of Economics, PUC-Rio)
    Abstract: We study the impacts of family income and parental education on the probability of children’s schooling delay using the 1996 PNAD. With the adoption of some hypotheses about the links between generations of children, parents and grandparents, we control for the existence of non observable factors that simultaneously affect the income formation of parents and decisions concerning children schooling (simultaneity bias) or that are transmitted from one generation to another (hereditary bias). We work with three instruments: number of schools by the time parents were children; family factor changes across generations (parents/grandparents); and the 1971 change of the educational system.
    Keywords: escolaridade, atraso educacional, defasagem idade-série.
    JEL: I21 J13 J18 J24
    Date: 2007–07
  9. By: Merike Darmody (Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI)); Emer Smyth (Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI))
    Abstract: An increasing amount of research now relates to full-time higher education students who work part-time during their study. However, little is known about this issue in the Irish context, despite the fact that the latter provides an interesting case-study due to its unprecedented economic growth in recent years and subsequent changes in the labour market. This paper attempts to address this gap in research and reports on a postal survey carried out among 3,900 higher education students. It aims to establish the profile of full-time higher education students engaged in part-time work during term-time. It also explores the motivation for engaging in paid work and possible implications of work-load on levels of life satisfaction. It is argued in this paper that inadequate policy attention to the changing profile of higher education students, their work-load and needs risks reinforcing inequalities among students.
    Keywords: higher education, part-time employment, survey, Ireland, logistic
    Date: 2007–03
  10. By: Victor Lavy; Analía Schlosser
    Abstract: The consequences of gender social and learning interactions in the classroom are of interest to parents, policy makers, and researchers. However, little is known about gender peer effects in schools and their operational channels. In this paper, we estimate the effects of classroom gender composition on scholastic achievements of boys and girls in Israeli primary, middle, and high schools and identify the mechanisms through which these peer effects are enacted. In particular, we examine whether gender peer effects work through changes in classroom learning and social environment, teaching methods and pedagogy, and teacher burnout and work satisfaction. In assessing these mechanisms, we distinguish between the effects generated by changes in the classroom gender composition and those generated by changes in the behavior of students. To control for potentially confounding unobserved characteristics of schools and students that might be correlated with peer gender composition, we rely on idiosyncratic variations in gender composition across adjacent cohorts within the same schools. Our results suggest that an increase in the proportion of girls leads to a significant improvement in students' cognitive outcomes. The estimated effects are of similar magnitude for boys and girls. As important mechanisms, we find that a higher proportion of female peers lowers the level of classroom disruption and violence, improves inter-student and student-teacher relationships as well as students' overall satisfaction in school, and lessens teachers' fatigue. We find, however, no effect on individual behavior of boys or girls, which suggests that the positive peer effects of girls on classroom environment are due mostly to compositional change, namely due to having more girls in the classroom and not due to improved behavior of peers.
    JEL: I2 I21 J16
    Date: 2007–08
  11. By: Ian Davidoff; Andrew Leigh
    Abstract: This paper investigates the relationship between housing prices and the quality of public schools in the Australian Capital Territory. To disentangle the effects of schools and other neighbourhood characteristics on the value of residential properties, we compare sale prices of homes on either side of high school attendance boundaries. We find that a 5 percent increase in test scores (approximately one standard deviation) is associated with a 3.5 percent increase in house prices. Our result is in line with private school tuition costs, and accords with prior research from Britain and the United States. Estimating the effect of school quality on house prices provides a possible measure of the extent to which parents value better educational outcomes.
    Keywords: housing demand, school quality
    JEL: I22 R21
    Date: 2007–07
  12. By: Henry, TULKENS (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: In order to rank universities, rather than aggregating the indicators used by the Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) - using weightings which, though reasonable, are at the same time arbitrary and inflexible - one can compare universities in termes of dominance and hence deduce various partial or complete rankings. The resultant dominance ranking method is presented in this note. Data are recalled in Appendix 1. Appendix provides full details of the dominance analysis for each university. From this analysis two listings are derived : (i) a front runners list consisting of 34 Ônon-dominatedÕ universities (Table 4) and (ii) a (new) ranking of the 200 universities surveyed by the THES, based on their respective Ôactive-passive dominanceÕ scores (Table 5). Concluding remarks bear on limits of the data and of the exercise.
    Date: 2007–08–02
  13. By: Luis Fernando Aguado Quintero, Jaime Rodrigo Ahumada Castro, Beatrice Eugenia López Cabrera, Ana Mar
    Abstract: RESUMEN En el presente documento se realiza una aproximación conceptual sobre la importancia de la educación preescolar, la nutrición infantil y el nivel educativo de la madre en el desarrollo de la infancia, desde la perspectiva del desarrollo humano y la teoría del Enfoque de las Capacidades. Además, se construye un conjunto de indicadores relacionados con las tres variables mencionadas a partir de la información suministrada en las versiones 2000 y 2005 de la Encuesta Nacional de Demografía y Salud (ENDS), aplicadas por Profamilia. Esto con el propósito de ofrecer un panorama sobre la situación de los infantes en Colombia, para el período de las dos encuestas. Los resultados obtenidos se presentan a nivel de subregiones. ABSTRACT This paper presents a conceptual approach to the importance of preschool education, child nutrition and the mother’s level of education in childhood development, from the perspective of human development and the theory on Capability Approach. In addition, a set of indicators related to the three variables mentioned above is built from the information provided in the 2000 and 2005 versions of the “Encuesta Nacional de Demografía y Salud” (National Survey on Demography and Health) (ENDS), carried out by Profamilia. The purpose of these indicators is to give an overview of the situation of children in Colombia during the period covered by both surveys. The results are presented by sub-region.
    Date: 2007–07–18
  14. By: Tindara ADDABBO; Donata Favaro
    Abstract: The most recent literature on wage differentials highlights the need to evaluate the wage gap at different points of the wage distribution rather than at the average value alone. In this work we use quantile regressions and an adaptation of the procedure suggested by Machado and Mata (2005) to derive the predicted and counterfactual female wage distributions and to evaluate the extension of the unexplained part of the wage gap. We use data from the last available cross-section of the European Community Household Panel (2001). We show that in Italy the wage gap due to gender differences in the rewards to productive characteristics is higher in correspondence with the extremes of the female wage distribution, suggesting the presence of strong glass ceiling and sticky floor patterns. Controlling for different educational levels, we find that low-educated women suffer a higher unexplained wage gap along the whole distribution. However, we detect a strong sticky floor effect among low-educated women and some evidence of a glass ceiling pattern among highly-educated female workers.
    Keywords: Human capital, Gender wage gap, Discrimination
    JEL: J71
    Date: 2007–03
  15. By: Dimitrios Varvarigos (Dept of Economics, Loughborough University)
    Abstract: In a model where agents use their labour/education choice to adjust their consumption profile over time, I show that the impact of uncertainty on growth depends, critically, on agents’ attitudes towards risk, reflected by the coefficient of relative risk aversion. In this respect, the well known result from the literature on ‘saving under uncertainty’ can be extended into a broader context, whereby the intertemporal profile of consumption is determined via human capital accumulation rather than saving and physical capital investment.
    Keywords: Growth, Uncertainty
    JEL: O41
    Date: 2007–08
  16. By: Gavin Murphy (Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI)); Iula Traistaru-Siedshlag (Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI))
    Abstract: Information and communication technologies (ICT) play a central role in the transition to knowledge - based economies. In this paper we analyse the effects of human capital in fostering output growth in ICT manufacturing and services using data from a sample of twenty OECD countries over the period 1980-2002. We focus on within country between industry differences and estimate a system of simultaneous equations to account for simultaneous effects of human capital on physical investment and output growth. The results of our econometric analysis suggest that countries with a high human capital stock experienced faster output growth in ICT producing manufacturing and ICT using services. Also, in countries with high human capital improvement over the analysed period output grew relatively faster in ICT producing manufacturing industries. Furthermore, we find that past country level educational attainment reflected in the human capital stock and human capital accumulation over the analysed period had a direct positive and significant effect on physical capital investment. Our findings indicate that in developed countries human capital is an important factor driving the ICT industries growth.
    Keywords: Human capital, ICT industries, Economic growth
    JEL: E62 F43 O33
    Date: 2007–03

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