nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2007‒12‒15
seventeen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of the Beira Interior

  1. Intergenerational Transmission of Educational Attainment in Germany : The Last Five Decades By Guido Heineck; Regina T. Riphahn
  2. Public Universities, Tuition and Competition: A Tiebout Model By Schwager, Robert
  3. Primary and Secondary Education in the United States By Peter Tulip; Gregory Wurzburg
  4. Entrepreneurial potential in Business and Engineering courses … why worry now? By Aurora A.C. Teixeira
  5. Risk Aversion and College Subject. By Paolo Buonanno; Dario Pozzoli
  8. Distributional effects of educational improvements :are we using the wrong model ? By Rogers, F. Halsey; Bourguignon, Francois
  9. Academic Entrepreneurship - social norms, university culture and policies By Braunerhjelm, Pontus
  10. Financing Higher Education in the United States By Peter Tulip
  11. Estimating heterogeneous costs of participation in the risky asset markets By Graciela Sanromán
  12. Inter District Disparities in Meghalaya: A Human Development Approach By Nayak, Purusottam; Ray, Santanu
  13. Learning from the Bangalore Experience: The Role of Universities in an Emerging Regional Innovation System. By Chaminade, Cristina; Vang-Lauridsen, Jan; Coenen, Lars
  14. Specialization of Regions and Universities - the new versus the old By Braunerhjelm, Pontus
  15. Evaluación de servicios educativos: El rendimiento en los centros públicos y privados medido en PISA-2003. By Jorge Calero; Josep-Oriol Escardíbul
  16. Elite Scientists and the Global Brain Drain By Ali, Showkat; Carden, Giles; Culling, Benjamin; Hunter, Rosalind; Oswald, Andrew J; Owen, Nicola; Ralsmark, Hilda; Snodgrass, Natalie
  17. The Classroom as a Potential Space-teaching Negotiation through Paradox By Laurence, de Carlo

  1. By: Guido Heineck; Regina T. Riphahn
    Abstract: Over the last decades the German education system underwent numerous reforms in order to improve "equality of opportunity", i.e. to guarantee all pupils equal access to higher education. At the same time internationally comparative evidence yields that Germany features particularly low intergenerational mobility with respect to educational attainment. This study investigates the development in intergenerational education mobility in Germany for the birth cohorts 1929 through 1978 and tests whether the impact of parental background on child educational outcomes changed over time. In spite of massive public policy interventions and education reforms our results yield no significant reduction in the role of parental background for child outcomes over the last decades.
    Keywords: education transmission, intergenerational mobility, schooling, human capital transmission
    JEL: I21 I28 J11
    Date: 2007
  2. By: Schwager, Robert
    Abstract: A simple Tiebout model is presented where states provide university education to both immobile and mobile students. State governments choose the quality of public universities by trading off the value of education for the local immobile student population and the costs, net of tuition revenues, of running the university. The quality of education and the assignment of students to universities in an efficient allocation are characterised. It is shown that decentralised decisions result in efficient choices if states are allowed to choose tuition levels freely. If tuition is capped, ine±ciently low qualities are likely to arise.
    Keywords: higher education, migration, fiscal externality, club good, tuition
    JEL: H75 H77 I28
    Date: 2007
  3. By: Peter Tulip; Gregory Wurzburg
    Abstract: The average educational attainment of US students is weak by international comparison. For example, mean results of PISA test scores are below the OECD average. This is despite substantial resources devoted to the schooling system. One partial explanation for this is that academic standards, curriculum and examinations are not sufficiently challenging in most US states. In 2001, Congress enacted the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) to raise achievement levels, especially of certain groups that perform badly. The Act requires states to establish clear content standards as to what students should know, to regularly assess performance and to set thresholds for adequate yearly progress; it also requires schools where students are failing to meet such thresholds to improve or close, while enhancing options for parents of children in such schools to place their children elsewhere. The law appears to be well conceived, addressing key problems in a sensible manner. Preliminary indications are consistent with it raising school performance and closing achievement gaps. The NCLB legislation should therefore be reauthorised. Moreover, the NCLB framework of standards, assessment and accountability should be extended through upper secondary education. That said, there are a number of areas in which improvements could be made. Though the federal government cannot set standards, it could strengthen incentives for more states to make their standards more challenging. As well, the federal government should help states and districts to better test student achievement and assess progress. <P>L'enseignement primaire et secondaire aux États-Unis <BR>Le niveau d’instruction moyen des élèves aux États-Unis est faible par rapport à ce qu’il est dans d’autres pays. Les résultats moyens au test du PISA, par exemple, sont inférieurs à la moyenne de l’OCDE en dépit des ressources considérables consacrées au système scolaire. L’une des explications possibles est que les États pour la plupart ne se montrent pas assez ambitieux, qu’il s’agisse du niveau d’acquis exigé, des programmes d’enseignement ou des examens. En 2001, le Congrès a voté la loi baptisée No Child Left Behind (NCLB) afin de relever le niveau des acquis, en particulier parmi certains groupes de population dont les performances laissent à désirer. Cette loi exige des États qu’ils définissent clairement les connaissances que les élèves doivent acquérir, qu’ils évaluent les performances à intervalles réguliers et qu’ils fixent de façon appropriée des objectifs de progression annuelle ; elle exige par ailleurs des établissements scolaires dont les élèves n’atteignent pas ces objectifs, qu’ils s’améliorent ou ferment, et parallèlement elle donne aux parents dont les enfants fréquentent ces établissements plus de possibilités pour les scolariser ailleurs. Cette loi est, semble-t-il, bien conçue et traite raisonnablement des problèmes essentiels. D’après les premiers constats, elle a permis d’améliorer les performances des établissements scolaires et d’atténuer les écarts de résultats. Cette législation devrait donc être reconduite. De plus, ses dispositions concernant le niveau d’exigence, l’évaluation et l’obligation de rendre compte devraient être appliquées au deuxième cycle de l’enseignement secondaire. Cela dit, des améliorations pourraient être apportées dans un certain nombre de domaines. S’il est vrai que le gouvernement fédéral ne peut fixer de normes en la matière, il pourrait renforcer les mesures incitatives afin qu’un plus grand nombre d’États revoient à la hausse leur niveau d'exigence. De même, il pourrait aider les États et les districts scolaires à améliorer l’évaluation des acquis des élèves et des progrès accomplis.
    Keywords: human capital, education, capital humain, United States, États-Unis, éducation, secondary education, éducation secondaire, primary education, éducation primaire
    JEL: H52 I22
    Date: 2007–12–06
  4. By: Aurora A.C. Teixeira (INESC Porto; CEMPRE, Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto)
    Abstract: Research on entrepreneurship potential targeting university students is emerging. However, it is in general focused on one school-one course. Few studies analyze the differences in entrepreneurial propensity between students of different subjects. In this paper we analyze the magnitude of this propensity in engineering and economics/business courses. The reason for such focus is that traditionally these courses are viewed as the ones concentrating individuals that are more likely to create new ventures. The empirical results, based on a large-scale survey of 2430 final-year students, reveal that no statistical difference exists in entrepreneurial potential of economics/business and engineering students, and that these two latter groups have lower entrepreneurial potential than students from other courses. This result proves to be quite unfortunate given the focus that previous studies have placed on these two majors, and the fact that a substantial part of entrepreneurial education is undertaken in business and engineering schools.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Students; Business; Engineering
    JEL: M13
    Date: 2007–12
  5. By: Paolo Buonanno; Dario Pozzoli
    Abstract: We investigate whether individual attitudes toward risk may explain why, though there exist huge dierences in the employment returns of graduates by elds of study, the most demanded subjects by the economy are less frequently chosen. The econometric methodology is based on a three step procedure which controls for selectivity bias in the rst stage (Heckman, 1979; Lee, 1983; Trost and Lee, 1984). Using a large data set from a survey on the 2001 Italian high school graduates, the main results indicate that students take into account the a priori probability of unsuccess when choosing the college subject. Moreover, students coming from a lower socio-economic background display more risk aversion.
    Keywords: Risk aversion, College subject, Self-selection
    JEL: C34 J24 I21
    Date: 2007–11
  6. By: Vladimir Ponczek
    Date: 2007
  7. By: Juliana Guimarães; Breno Sampaio
    Date: 2007
  8. By: Rogers, F. Halsey; Bourguignon, Francois
    Abstract: Measuring the incidence of public spending in education requires an intergenerational framework distinguishing between what current and future generations - that is, parents and children - give and receive. In standard distributional incidence analysis, households are assumed to receive a benefit equal to what is spent on their children enrolle d in the public schooling system and, implicitly, to pay a fee proportional to their income. This paper shows that, in an intergenerational framework, this is equivalent to assuming perfectly altruistic individuals, in the sense of the dynastic model, and perfect capital markets. But in practice, credit markets are imperfect and poor households cannot borrow against the future income of their children. The authors show that under such circumstances, standard distributional incidence analysis may greatly over-estimate the progressivity of public spending in education: educational improvements that are progressive in the long-run steady state may actually be regressive for the current generation of poor adults. This is especially true where service delivery in education is highly inefficient - as it is in poor districts of many developing countries - so that the educational benefits received are relatively low in comparison with the cost of public spending. The results have implications for both policy measures and analytical approaches.
    Keywords: ,Debt Markets,Access to Finance,Economic Theory & Research,Public Sector Expenditure Analysis & Management
    Date: 2007–12–01
  9. By: Braunerhjelm, Pontus (CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology)
    Abstract: Is a shift in intellectual property rights to universities the key instrument in increasing com-mercialization of publicly funded research? How much can actually be learned from the U.S. system, disregarding the ongoing debate as to whether the U.S. do actually outperform Europe in terms of commercializing university based research? Taking Sweden as a role model I claim that this policy will not work. This allegation stems from the analysis of a unique data-base giving individual university researchers view on participation in commercialization of public research, their commercialization experiences, and the obstacles researchers claim exist to increase academic entrepreneurship. Despite researchers positive attitudes towards engag-ing in commercial activities, the university culture, weak incentive structures and badly man-aged support facilities impede the creation of efficient links to markets. I conclude that meas-ures must be taken at primarily the national level, but also at the university level, to enhance commercialization activities.
    Keywords: academic entrepreneurship; commercialization; links; policies
    JEL: J24 O31 O57
    Date: 2007–12–11
  10. By: Peter Tulip
    Abstract: America’s higher education system is among the best in the world. Nevertheless, there is scope for improvement. In particular, there appear to be substantial financial barriers to higher education despite large government expenditures aimed at promoting access. Policy makers have proposed addressing these barriers by increasing student grants. However, grants are costly, inefficient, inequitable and ineffective. Income tax concessions and state government subsidies suffer from similar problems. In contrast, international best practice seems to be converging on student loans with repayments that vary according to income. Income-contingent loans facilitate access to college at low fiscal cost and without the inefficiency and inequities that accompany grants, subsidies or tax concessions. At the same time, they do not discourage risk-averse or uninformed students in the way that conventional loans do. The United States has an income-contingent loan programme that should be expanded. While the design of repayments could be improved, the main problem with this programme is that lending limits are too low. Higher limits, especially for unsubsidised direct loans, would benefit students and promote access at little cost to the government. Were a good system of loans in place, then less cost-effective means of promoting access, such as grants and tax concessions, should be cut back. <P>Financement de l’enseignement supérieur aux États-Unis <BR>L’enseignement supérieur américain compte parmi les meilleurs du monde. Cependant il y a des améliorations à apporter dans plusieurs domaines. En particulier il existe d’importantes barrières financières à l’entrée dans l’enseignement supérieur malgré d’importantes dépenses publiques destinées à en promouvoir l’accès. Les responsables politiques ont proposé d’alléger ces barrières en augmentant les bourses d’étudiants. Cependant les bourses ont un coût budgétaire élevé et sont d’une efficacité et d’une équité douteuses comme le montre l’étude. Les réductions d’impôt sur le revenu et les subventions de l’État souffrent des mêmes problèmes. Par contre, ce qui semble le mieux fonctionner au niveau international est le prêt aux étudiants avec des remboursements adaptés aux revenus. Des prêts conditionnés aux revenus faciliteraient l’accès à l’enseignement supérieur pour un faible coût fiscal, et sans l’inefficacité et l’iniquité qui accompagnent les dotations, subventions et réductions d’impôt. En même temps ils ne décourageraient pas les étudiants mal informés ou réticents à prendre des risques, comme le font les prêts conventionnels. Les États-Unis ont un programme de prêts aux étudiants remboursables selon le revenu, il devrait être développé. Tandis que l’aménagement des remboursements devrait être perfectionné, le principal problème de ce programme reste que le plafond des prêts est trop bas. Un plafond plus élevé, surtout pour les prêts directs non subventionnés, profiterait aux étudiants et encouragerait l’accès aux études supérieurs avec un moindre coût pour les pouvoirs publics. Une fois un bon système de prêts en place, les moyens à moindre coût effectif pour promouvoir l’accès, tels les subventions ou remises d’impôt, pourraient être réduits.
    Keywords: education, United States, États-Unis, éducation, income-contingent loans, pell grants, prêts remboursables selon le revenu, bourse pell
    JEL: H52 I22
    Date: 2007–12–06
  11. By: Graciela Sanromán (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República; CEMFI)
    Abstract: This paper develops and estimates a dynamic structural model of participation in the risky financial asset markets using household level panel data. We specify a simple economic model in order to capture the portfolio choice over the life cycle. We solve the model using numerical techniques. Then we embed the optimal solution into the statistical (auxiliary) model and estimate the structural parameters using Generalized Indirect Inference. This paper focuses on the estimation of the non proportional costs to participate in the risky asset markets. We consider heterogeneous costs among education groups. We find that participation costs in the risky asset markets are positive and significant. We also conclude that they vary a lot among education groups.
    Keywords: Portfolio choice, dynamic programming, indirect inference
    JEL: C15 C61 D14 D91 G11
    Date: 2007–06
  12. By: Nayak, Purusottam; Ray, Santanu
    Abstract: The present paper is an attempt to highlight the magnitude and the problems of unbalanced human development in the state of Meghalaya using data collected for a Major Research Project of UGC. The study reveals widespread variations in human development across all the seven districts and disparities between rural and urban areas and between male and female groups of population within the state. There exists a significant level of disparity both in income consumption and in non-income attainments over the districts. The inequality in economic attainment happens to be very high. However, both measures of variation and inequality index suggest that few non-income indicators such as intensity of formal education and infant mortality rate have disparities over economic indicators which are indeed a cause of considerable concern. In addition, economic inequality is much higher than the overall HDI inequality. With an evidence of a huge shortfall in HDI the existing level of variation and disabilities calls for a need to redesign the public policies that directly affect the welfare of the people.
    Keywords: Disparities; Human Development; HDI
    JEL: O15 O12
    Date: 2007–12–13
  13. By: Chaminade, Cristina; Vang-Lauridsen, Jan; Coenen, Lars
    Abstract: This paper is concerned with the role of universities and public research organizations initiating and sustaining the development of regional innovation systems in developing countries, focusing the discussion on the Bangalore software cluster. Innovation systems research has paid significant attention to the importance of universities and other publicly financed research institutions as engines of growth and innovative performance in regions. With noble exceptions these papers tend to ignore the specific context in which this interaction between the university and the industry takes place, that is, the specific competences and capabilities of the universities and the firms specific needs, particularly in developing countries. This papers aims at reducing this gap by making an empirically-based analysis of the role that universities can play in initiating, sustaining and deepening Bangalores regional innovation system for the IT-service and software industry embedding the discussion on the specificities of the strategies of the firms and the universities located in the cluster.
    JEL: O31 O32 O33 O34 O38 N5 O47 R58
    Date: 2007
  14. By: Braunerhjelm, Pontus (CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes whether there is a correspondence between a university’s research spe-cialization and industrial specialization in the region hosting the university, and to what extent universities influences regional productivity. Moreover, the analysis seeks to answer if a dif-ference can be detected between the influences of old and new universities on regional per-formance. To achieve this end we utilize a unique dataset on spatially disaggregated data for Sweden in the period 1975-1999. A two-step Heckman regression analysis is implemented to examine whether the universities research specialization match regional specialization in pro-duction as compared to the average region. The results suggest a correspondence in speciali-zation, as well as positive productivity effects. However, there are also considerable differ-ences across regions, albeit primarily unrelated to the age of the universities.
    Keywords: Universities; norms; regional specialization; policies
    JEL: J24 O31 O57
    Date: 2007–12–11
  15. By: Jorge Calero (Universitat de Barcelona (UB)); Josep-Oriol Escardíbul (Universitat de Barcelona (UB))
    Abstract: Este artículo tiene como objetivo principal conocer el efecto del tipo de centro educativo y, en concreto, su titularidad (pública o privada) sobre los resultados de los usuarios del sistema educativo español. El análisis empírico se basa en la aplicación de técnicas de regresión multinivel a los datos procedentes de la evaluación efectuada en el programa PISA-2003, de la OCDE. Los resultados del análisis dan respaldo a la hipótesis de trabajo, en la que se afirma que las diferencias de puntuaciones que se observan a favor de los centros privados no vienen explicadas por la titularidad del centro, sino por otras variables referidas a los usuarios (individuales y familiares), a sus compañeros y al propio centro.
    Keywords: Financiación de la educación, evaluación de servicios públicos, rendimiento educativo, análisis multinivel, programa PISA.
    JEL: H52 I21 I28
    Date: 2007
  16. By: Ali, Showkat; Carden, Giles; Culling, Benjamin; Hunter, Rosalind; Oswald, Andrew J (Department of Economics, University of Warwick); Owen, Nicola; Ralsmark, Hilda; Snodgrass, Natalie
    Abstract: There are signs – one is world university league tables – that people increasingly think globally when choosing the university in which they wish to work and study. This paper is an exploration of data on the international brain drain. We study highly-cited physicists, highly-cited bio-scientists, and assistant professors of economics. First, we demonstrate that talented researchers are being systematically funnelled into a small number of countries. Among young economists in the top American universities, for example, 75% did their undergraduate degree outside the United States. Second, the extent of the elite brain drain is considerable. Among the world’s top physicists, nearly half no longer work in the country in which they were born. Third, the USA and Switzerland are per capita the largest net-importers of elite scientists. Fourth, we estimate the migration ‘funnelling coefficient’ at approximately 0.2 (meaning that 20% of top researchers tend to leave their country at each professional stage). Fifth, and against our prior expectations, the productivity of top scientists, as measured by the Hirsch h-index, is similar between the elite movers and stayers. Thus it is apparently not true that it is disproportionately the very best people who emigrate. Sixth, there is extreme clustering of ISI Highly Cited Researchers into particular fields in different universities. Seventh, we debate the questions: are the brain drain and this kind of funnelling good or bad for the world, and how should universities and governments respond?
    Date: 2007
  17. By: Laurence, de Carlo (ESSEC Business School)
    Abstract: In this article, we describe and analyze a way of teaching negotiation which recognizes and accepts paradoxes, such as caring and frustrating the students at the same time and helping them being more autonomous while manipulating them. In this analysis, the classroom is considered tantamount to a transitional space (Winnicott). This way of teaching is not the easiest one for the professor and for the students, as it is shown. But it helps the students to really listen to others, to sincerely try to understand the rational of others, and finally be more creative in the options they propose, all skills and capacities necessary to better negotiate.
    Keywords: Creativity; Negotiation; Paradox; Teaching; Transitional Space; Winnicott
    JEL: I20 I29
    Date: 2007–06

This nep-edu issue is ©2007 by Joao Carlos Correia Leitao. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.