nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2007‒08‒27
thirteen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of the Beira Interior

  1. Causality Tests for Public School Performance and Funding. By Christopher C. Klein
  2. A Researcher's Guide to the Swedish Compulsory School Reform By Holmlund, Helena
  3. To Segregate or to Integrate: Education Politics and Democracy By David de la Croix; Matthias Doepke
  4. An Equity Perspective on Access to, Enrolment in and Finance of Tertiary Education By Rita Asplund; Oussama Ben-Abdelkarim; Ali Skalli
  5. International Students in the UK : how can we give them a better experience? By Warwick, Philip
  6. The Curious Dawn of American Public Schools By Sun Go; Peter H. Lindert
  7. A Dynamic Analysis of Educational Attainment, Occupational Choices, and Job Search By Sullivan, Paul
  8. The Effect of Credit Constraints on the College Drop-Out Decision A Direct Approach Using a New Panel Study By Todd R. Stinebrickner; Ralph Stinebrickner
  9. Markov Perfect Political Equilibria with Public Policy: The Role of Education Cost By Ryo Arawatari; Tetsuo Ono
  10. Optimal Portfolio Choice and Investment in Education By Egil Matsen; Snorre Lindset
  11. Big Men on Campus: Estimating the Economic Impact of College Sports on Local Economies By Robert Baade; Robert Baumann; Victor Matheson
  12. Academic licensing: a European study By Annamaria Conti; Patrick Gaulé; Dominique Foray
  13. The Name Game. Notes on the Choice of Methods in Ranking Institutes By Peter Huber; Angelina Keil

  1. By: Christopher C. Klein
    Abstract: This paper seeks to shed light on the role of school funding in individual school performance. A unique data set is utilized for the Metropolitan Nashville – Davidson County School District in Tennessee, known colloquially as Metro. In 2005 the Metro school board undertook the task of breaking down individual school spending levels by funding source. The resulting 2004-2005 financial data are combined with academic test scores and demographic data for 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 academic years for each of 70 elementary schools. Econometric tests are then conducted to examine whether contemporaneous test score performance is determined by funding, or whether funding is determined by prior performance, or whether other school characteristics influence both.
    Keywords: education, public schools, performance
    JEL: I22 I28
    Date: 2007–08
  2. By: Holmlund, Helena (Centre for Economic Performance)
    Abstract: When studying different types of returns to education, educational reforms are commonly used in the economics literature as a source of exogenous variation in education. The Swedish compulsory school reform is one example; the reform extended compulsory education throughout the country, in different municipalities at different points in time. Such variation across cohorts and regions can be used in a differences-in-differences framework, in order to estimate causal effects of education. This paper provides a guide to researchers who consider using the Swedish reform in an empirical analysis: I present a description and background of the reform, provide some baseline results, a reliability analysis of the reform coding, a discussion of whether the reform is a valid instrument, and comment on the interpretation of IV estimates of returns to schooling.
    Keywords: educational reform; instrumental variables
    JEL: I28
    Date: 2007–07–09
  3. By: David de la Croix; Matthias Doepke
    Abstract: The governments of nearly all countries are major providers of primary and secondary education to their citizens. In some countries, however, public schools coexist with private schools, while in others the government is the sole provider of education. In this study, we ask why different societies make different choices regarding the mix of private and public schooling. We develop a theory which integrates private education and fertility decisions with voting on public schooling expenditures. In a given political environment, high income inequality leads to more private education, as rich people opt out of the public system. More private education, in turn, results in an improved quality of public education, because public spending can be concentrated on fewer students. Comparing across political systems, we find that concentration of political power can lead to multiple equilibria in the determination of public education spending. The main predictions of the theory are consistent with state-level and micro data from the United States as well as cross-country evidence from the PISA study.
    JEL: H42 H52 I22 O10
    Date: 2007–08
  4. By: Rita Asplund; Oussama Ben-Abdelkarim; Ali Skalli
    Abstract: The failure to achieve equitable access to university studies has turned the focus to the funding of European higher education systems. Since the large amounts of public subsidies injected in tertiary-level education have not succeeded in reducing disparities in access for children from different social backgrounds, this is seen as compelling evidence for there being a need to revise higher education financing not only on efficiency but also on equity grounds. Such policies are already pursued, planned or intensively discussed in most of Europe. More equitable access to and participation in university education through changes in the funding sources and mechanisms is a challenging policy with long-term implications. Hence, it should preferably be based on reliable empirical evidence. This raises the question of what the theoretical and empirical literature actually tells us about these matters. How severe is the under-representation of students from a socially disadvantaged background? Has this inequality changed over time across and within European countries? What role does funding play? Have the changes in funding systems already undertaken in several European countries improved the participation of students from low-income families? This review paper aims to answer these important questions by drawing together the available evidence, by contrasting it against pursued educational policies and by pointing to still existing knowledge gaps.
    Keywords: access, equity, financing, tertiary education
    JEL: I22
    Date: 2007–08–17
  5. By: Warwick, Philip
    Abstract: This paper focuses on practical actions that can be taken to improve the learning experience of international students in the UK. Informed by personal experience in the UK, New Zealand and Australia, supplemented by an extensive literature search, a series of actions are recommended to improve the learning experience of international students from culturally diverse backgrounds. The suggested actions cover issue s for individual lecturers, Departments, Higher Education Institutions and national level bodies. The approach taken is to incorporate personal reflection and personal views and the ideas of writers in the field. The paper is written in the first person and sets out the author’s wish list of ideas, hopes and aspirations for the future, from the perspective of a teaching fellow working in a research focussed University in the UK.
    Date: 2006–10
  6. By: Sun Go; Peter H. Lindert
    Abstract: How did a frontier nation filled with agricultural and mineral potential become a leader in education? How did a nation supposedly born of aversion to taxes and government become a pioneer in using property taxes to pay for much, and eventually most, of its primary schooling? The puzzle is best explained by a combination of schooling affordability, local autonomy, and especially political voice. We present two kinds of evidence: broad contrasts with Europe, and statistical investigation of the differences among U.S. counties in the mid-nineteenth century. Two political voice variables stand out as determinants of schooling among U.S. counties: The extent of local suffrage and the ability of Southern elites to dominate the electorate. Other standard explanations of the demand for primary education need to be revised. Past writers have overemphasized the passage of national and state laws. Contrary to another common view, cities lagged in school attendance, while the Northern countryside led the way, because political voice was more widespread in the small Northern towns.
    JEL: H52 H75 I22 N11 N31
    Date: 2007–08
  7. By: Sullivan, Paul
    Abstract: This paper examines career choices using a dynamic structural model that nests a job search model within a human capital model of occupational and educational choices. Individuals in the model decide when to attend school and when to move between firms and occupations over the course of their career. Workers search for suitable wage and non-pecuniary match values at firms across occupations given their heterogeneous skill endowments and preferences for employment in each occupation. Over the course of their careers workers endogenously accumulate firm and occupation specific human capital that affects wages differently across occupations. The parameters of the model are estimated with simulated maximum likelihood using data from the 1979 cohort of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. The structural parameter estimates reveal that both self-selection in occupational choices and mobility between firms account for a much larger share of total earnings and utility than the combined effects of firm and occupation specific human capital. Eliminating the gains from matching between workers and occupations would reduce total wages by 31%, eliminating the gains from job search would reduce wages by 19%, and eliminating the effects of firm and occupation specific human capital on wages would reduce wages by only 2.8%.
    Keywords: occupational choice; job search; human capital; dynamic programming models
    JEL: J62 I21 J24
    Date: 2007–06
  8. By: Todd R. Stinebrickner; Ralph Stinebrickner
    Abstract: A serious difficulty in determining the importance of credit constraints in education arises because standard data sources do not provide a direct way of identifying which students are credit constrained. This has forced researchers to adopt a variety of indirect approaches. This paper differentiates itself from previous work by taking a direct approach for providing evidence about this issue which is made possible by unique longitudinal data that have been collected specifically for this type of purpose. Our results suggest that, while credit constraints likely play an important role in the drop-out decisions of some students, the large majority of attrition of students from low income families should be primarily attributed to reasons other than credit constraints.
    JEL: I2 I21 I3 J01 J24
    Date: 2007–08
  9. By: Ryo Arawatari (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University); Tetsuo Ono (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University)
    Abstract: This paper focuses on how education costs affect the political determination of public policy via individual decision-making. The paper extends the model in Hassler, Storesletten, and Zilibotti (2007, Journal of Economic Theory; henceforth HSZ) by generalizing the cost function of education and considers several cases, along with HSZ as a special case. In cases where education cost is high, the characterization of political equilibrium is similar to HSZ. In cases where education cost is low, the characterization is entirely different from HSZ: namely, a political equilibrium exists where (i) the rich are always politically decisive and (ii) the equilibrium outcome is unique.
    Keywords: Markov perfect equilibrium; Dynamic political economy; Public policy; Education cost
    JEL: D72 D78 E62
    Date: 2007–08
  10. By: Egil Matsen (Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology); Snorre Lindset (Department of Industrial Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and Trondheim Business School)
    Abstract: In this paper we analyze how an individual should optimally invest in her own human capital when she also has financial wealth. We treat the individual’s option to take more education as expansion options and apply real option analysis. We characterize the individual’s optimal consumption strategy and portfolio weights. The individual has a demand for hedging financial risk, labor income risk, and also wage level risk.
    Keywords: Optimal portfolio choice; Investment in human capital; Hedging demand
    JEL: C61 D14 G11 G13
    Date: 2007–07–06
  11. By: Robert Baade (Department of Economics and Business, Lake Forest College); Robert Baumann (Department of Economics, College of the Holy Cross); Victor Matheson (Department of Economics, College of the Holy Cross)
    Abstract: College football and men’s basketball are the largest revenue generators in college athletics. Studies funded by athletic boosters tout the economic benefits of a college athletic program as an incentive for host cities to construct new stadiums or arenas at considerable public expense. Our analysis of the economic impact of home football and men’s basketball games on Tallahassee (home of Florida State University) and Gainesville (home of the University of Florida) between 1980 to early-2007 fails to support these claims. Men’s basketball games at these universities have no statistically significant impact on taxable sales, while football yields a modest gain of $2 to $3 million per home game. While this positive finding is one of the first in the academic literature of the impact of sports, these gains pale in comparison to the figures in many of the studies funded by athletic boosters.
    Keywords: sports, basketball, football, college sports, impact analysis, mega-event
    JEL: L83 O18 R53
    Date: 2007–08
  12. By: Annamaria Conti (Chaire en Economie et Management de l'Innovation, Collège du Management de la Technologie, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne); Patrick Gaulé (Chaire en Economie et Management de l'Innovation, Collège du Management de la Technologie, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne); Dominique Foray (Chaire en Economie et Management de l'Innovation, Collège du Management de la Technologie, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne)
    Abstract: This paper is an empirical analysis of the impact that different organisational forms of the Technology Transfer Offices (TTOs) in Europe have on their licensing activity. Given the great diversity of organization forms prevailing across European TTOs, our paper attempts to shed more light on which of those forms might be more efficient. We use as a measure of efficiency and as dependent variable of our model the number of license agreements concluded. Controlling for staff, invention disclosures, quality of the academic institution, life science orientation and demand for technology, we find evidence for the importance of personnel with a PhD in science in the TTO to facilitate communication between academics and the TTO. We find that the age of the TTO has a significant but negative effect. We do not find a positive effect for private organization of the TTO. Our data is derived from the 2004-2005 survey on TTO activities by the Association of European Science and Technology Professionals (ASTP) and information collected from TTO web sites.
    Keywords: technology transfer offices, technology licensing, university licensing
    JEL: L3 O31 O32 O38
    Date: 2007–08
  13. By: Peter Huber (WIFO); Angelina Keil (WIFO)
    Abstract: Two recent studies published in "Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik" are used to discuss methods to develop bibliometric analyses and rankings of economic research institutions. According to them, standardisation methods using the number of staff or university graduates may have a crucial impact on results, especially when the weighting methods used are not sufficiently selective. Different methods to prepare the database also have considerable influence on the data quality and results. Rankings based on a variety of methods for weighting the quality are frequently highly correlated with each other, but they supply quite different placements for institutes.
    Keywords: Rankings Publikationstätigkeit empirische Wirtschaftsforschungsinstitute
    Date: 2007–01–16

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