nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2007‒08‒18
ten papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of the Beira Interior

  1. Persistence of the School Entry Age Effect in a System of Flexible Tracking By Puhani, Patrick A.; Weber, Andrea M.
  2. Educational achievement and socioeconomic background: causality and mechanisms in Senegal By DUMAS Christelle; LAMBERT Sylvie
  3. Taxing Human Capital Efficiently – The Double Dividend of Taxing Nonqualified Labour More Heavily Than Qualified Labour By Wolfram F. Richter
  4. The Labour Market Effects of Alma Mater: Evidence from Italy By Giorgio Brunello; Lorenzo Cappellari
  5. School Nutrition Programs and the Incidence of Childhood Obesity By Rusty Tchernis; Daniel Millimet; Muna Hussain
  6. A gender-neutral approach to gender issues. By Alessandro Cigno
  7. On the Utility of E-Learning in Statistics By Wolfgang Härdle; Sigbert Klinke; Uwe Ziegenhagen
  8. The Impact of Cohort Size and Local Labor Market Conditions on Human Capital Accumulation in Europe By Torge Middendorf
  9. Brain Drain or Brain Gain? Micro Evidence from an African Success Story By Catia Batista; Aitor Lacuesta; Pedro C. Vicente
  10. Population Aging, Elderly Migration and Education Spending: Intergenerational Conflict Revisited By Mehmet Serkan Tosun; Claudia Williamson; Pavel Yakovlev

  1. By: Puhani, Patrick A.; Weber, Andrea M.
    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: 2007–08
  2. By: DUMAS Christelle; LAMBERT Sylvie
    Abstract: This paper addresses the relationship between schooling and socioeconomic background, in particular parents’ education. We use an original survey conducted in 2003 in Senegal that provides instruments to deal with the endogeneity of background variables. These instruments describe the environment in which parents lived when they were ten years old. The estimated effect of father’s education more than doubles when its endogeneity is accounted for and, unexpectedly, becomes much bigger than the impact of mother’s education. We focus on the understanding of the channels through which parental education affects children’s schooling and present results pointing at the role of parental education in shaping parental preferences for the education of their offspring. Finally, we present empirical evidence suggesting that family background has as much impact after entry to school as it does at younger ages.
    Keywords: schooling mobility, education demand.
    JEL: D12 I21 O12
    Date: 2007–05
  3. By: Wolfram F. Richter
    Abstract: Assuming isoelastic returns to education and an endogenous supply of qualified and nonqualified labour, it is shown to be second-best efficient not to distort the choice of education. Furthermore, taxation should set incentives so that qualified labour is substituted for nonqualified labour. As a result, it is efficient to tax labour income regressively with respect to qualification and to tax the monetary cost of education at a level that restores efficiency in education. Atax on capital income alleviates the distortion that progressive taxation of labour income exerts on human-capital investment.
    Keywords: Endogenous choice of education and labour, efficient taxation of human and nonhuman capital, double-dividend hypothesis
    JEL: H21 I28 J24
    Date: 2007–05
  4. By: Giorgio Brunello (Università di Padova,); Lorenzo Cappellari (Università Cattolica di Milano,)
    Abstract: We use data from a nationally representative survey of Italian graduates to study whether Alma Mater matters for employment and earnings three years after graduation. We find that the attended college matters, and that there are important college related differences, both among and within regions of the country. These differences, however, do not persist over time and are not large enough to trigger substantial mobility flows from poorly performing to better performing institutions. We also find evidence that going to a private university pays off at least in the early part of a career. Only part of this gain can be explained by the fact that private universities have lower pupil - teacher ratios than public institutions.
    Keywords: economic impact, efficiency, salary wage differential, school choice
    JEL: I21 J24
    Date: 2007–04
  5. By: Rusty Tchernis (Indiana University Bloomington); Daniel Millimet (Southern Methodist University); Muna Hussain (Southern Methodist University)
    Abstract: In light of the recent rise in childhood obesity, the School Breakfast Program (SBP) and National School Lunch Program (NSLP) have received renewed attention, despite the fact that they have existed for decades. The SBP, in particular, is viewed as a potentially important component of any policy reform designed to combat the increased prevalence of overweight children given the importance attributed to a nutritious breakfast. Using panel data on over 13,500 students from kindergarten through third grade, we assess the relationship between SBP and NSLP participation on (relatively) long-run measures of child weight. While we find more mixed evidence on the association between NSLP participation and child weight, we obtain a relatively robust positive association between SBP participation and child weight, particularly for white children, entering kindergarten in the `normal' weight range, with mothers of moderate education.
    JEL: C31 H51 I18 I28
    Date: 2007–07
  6. By: Alessandro Cigno
    Abstract: In this paper, I attempt to explain a number of facts, adverse to women, without assuming that the latter are discriminated against in the labour market, that mothers love children more fathers, or that parents treat sons better than daughters. Nor do I assume that individual behaviour is subject to any sort of social conditioning in particular, that women feel compelled to stay at home and look after their children just because they are women. I do this not because I believe it to be necessarily true in all circumstances, but in order to show that none of those assumptions is necessary to explain why, for example, girls might receive less education than boys, and women might participate in the labour market less than men or get less than their fair share of household consumption. I also provide a rationale for the institution of the dowry, and point out a possible link between compulsory education and non-cooperative marriages.
    Keywords: domestic division of labour, child care, bargaining with endogenous threat point, non cooperation, dowries, education, irreversibility
    JEL: D13 J12 J13 J24
    Date: 2006–10
  7. By: Wolfgang Härdle; Sigbert Klinke; Uwe Ziegenhagen
    Abstract: Students of introductory courses consider statistics as particularly difficult, as the understanding of the underlying concepts may require more time and energy than for other disciplines. For decades statisticians have tried to enhance understanding with the help of technical solutions such as animation, video or interactive tools. However it is not clear if the added value generated by these e-learning tools justifies the work invested. In this paper the experience with various e-learning solutions in terms of utility and the impact on teaching is discussed.
    Keywords: E-Learning, Statistics, Web-based Learning.
    JEL: I21 C19
    Date: 2007–08
  8. By: Torge Middendorf
    Abstract: Recent studies emphasize the impact of macroeconomic factors on educational attainment. They show that although individual factors like the educational level of one’s parents play a decisive role in determining the human capital accumulation of the children, the cohort size as well as the local labor market seem to have a significant impact, too. This paper analyzes the impact of birth cohort size as well as unemployment on educational attainment in Europe using the European Community Household Panel. Estimation results suggest that neither the size of the birth cohort nor the local unemployment rate induces a change in the individual’s schooling decision.
    Keywords: Educational attainment,demography, multivariate ordered probit
    JEL: I21 J21 J62
    Date: 2007–05
  9. By: Catia Batista; Aitor Lacuesta; Pedro C. Vicente
    Abstract: Does emigration really drain human capital accumulation in origin countries? This paper explores a unique household survey designed and conducted to answer this specific question for the case of Cape Verde - the sub-Saharan African country with the largest fraction of tertiary-educated population living abroad, despite also having a fast-growing stock of human capital. Unlike previous literature, the ideal characteristics of our tailored survey allow us to explicitly test "brain gain" arguments according to which the possibility of own future emigration positvely contributes to educational attainment in the origin country. In particular, we introduce a new method to estimate this effect by using full histories of current and return migrants (which enable controlling for migrant selection on unobservables), and a new set of exclusion restrictions both at the regional and household levels. Our results are robust to the inclusion of controls for remittances, family disruption, and general equilibrium effects of emigration. In constructing a counterfactual distribution of skills to answer our research question, we combine the survey data with information from censuses of the destination cuntries to account for the characteristics of the labour force that is (permanent and temporarily) lost due to emigration. Our results point to commonly used "brain dran" figures to be significantly exaggerated, whereas there may be substantial "brain gains" from allowing free migration and encouraging return migration.
    Keywords: Brain Drain, Brain Gain, International Migration, Human Capital, Effects of Emigration in Origin Countries, Household Survey, Cape Verde, Sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: F22 J24 O15 O55
    Date: 2007
  10. By: Mehmet Serkan Tosun (University of Nevada, Reno); Claudia Williamson (Department of Economics, West Virginia University); Pavel Yakovlev (Department of Economics, West Virginia University)
    Abstract: Elderly have been increasingly targeted as a group to enhance economic development and the tax base in communities. A major factor in their rise in importance is the rapid increase in the number of retired elderly through aging of the U.S. population. While recent literature on elderly migration tends to focus on how elderly migration patterns are influenced by state fiscal variables, the reverse effect from elderly population on fiscal variables is very plausible as shown to be the case for estate, inheritance, and gift taxes by Conway and Rork (2006). In this paper, we reexamine the intergenerational conflict in education financing raised by Poterba (1997) using U.S. state and county level data that allows to analyze how preferences for education might vary across different elderly age groups, which has not been explored before. Moreover, this paper uses a variety of advanced econometric techniques to estimate the impact of elderly population and elderly migration on education spending. Our state and county regression results broadly support the presence of intergenerational conflict in education financing. We also find dramatic age heterogeneity in preferences for education spending among elderly migrants.
    Keywords: Population aging, elderly migration, education spending, intergenerational conflict
    JEL: H75 R23
    Date: 2007–08

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