nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2007‒12‒19
eight papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of the Beira Interior

  1. Private School Quality in Italy By Bertola, Giuseppe; Checchi, Daniele; Oppedisano, Veruska
  2. (Mis-)Understanding Education Externalities By Mueller, Normann
  3. First in the Class? Age and the Education Production Function By Elizabeth Cascio; Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach
  4. The American High School Graduation Rate: Trends and Levels By James J. Heckman; Paul A. LaFontaine
  5. Incidencia del gasto en Educación sobre los hogares en Bogotá en 2003 By Luis Fernando Gamboa; José Alberto Guerra; Manuel Ramírez Gómez
  6. Human capital and university-industry linkages ' role in fostering firm innovation : an empirical study of Chile and Colombia By Thorn, Kristian; Blom, Andreas; Mark, Michael; Marotta, Daniela
  7. Too Bad to Benefit? : Effect Heterogeneity of Public Training Programs By Ulf Rinne; Marc Schneider; Arne Uhlendorff
  8. An Interview with Avinash Dixit By Oswald, Andrew J

  1. By: Bertola, Giuseppe; Checchi, Daniele; Oppedisano, Veruska
    Abstract: We discuss how a schooling system’s structure may imply that private school enrolment leads to worse subsequent performance in further education or in the labour market, and we seek evidence of such phenomena in Italian data. If students differ not only in terms of their families’ ability to pay but also in terms of their own ability to take advantage of educational opportunities (“talent” for short), theory predicts that private schools attract a worse pool of students when publicly funded schools are better suited to foster progress by more talented students. We analyze empirically three surveys of Italian secondary school graduates, interviewed 3 year after graduation. In these data, the impact of observable talent proxies on educational and labour market outcomes is indeed more positive for students who (endogenously) choose to attend public schools than for those who choose to pay for private education.
    Keywords: ability; education; vouchers
    JEL: I21 J24
    Date: 2007–12
  2. By: Mueller, Normann
    Abstract: This article reviews the current state of research on education externalities. It finds that much of the confusion regarding their magnitude results from conceptual misunderstandings about their nature. The concepts of 'education', 'teaching', and 'knowledge' need to be distinguished for a better understanding. Whereas pure teaching yields externalities on the primary and secondary level, only the generation of knowledge may produce the spillovers which are typically linked to the tertiary level. The accumulation of education itself does not have such an effect. Education is argued to be a private good with well defined property rights. Individuals may exploit those and provide the production sector with the efficient amount of human capital. Following this rationale, it is demonstrated that empirical studies, contrasting estimates of private and social returns to education, are unsuitable to substantiate the existence of externalities. As a consequence, subsidies to tertiary programs are called into question.
    Keywords: Public education finance; Education expenditures; Human capital externalities; Property rights; Endogenous economic growth; Private and social return to education
    JEL: O11 D62 H5 I28 H23 I22
    Date: 2007–11
  3. By: Elizabeth Cascio; Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach
    Abstract: Older children outperform younger children in a school-entry cohort well into their school careers. The existing literature has provided little insight into the causes of this phenomenon, leaving open the possibility that school-entry age is zero-sum game, where relatively young students lose what relatively old students gain. In this paper, we estimate the effects of relative age using data from an experiment where children of the same biological age were randomly assigned to different classrooms at the start of school. We find no evidence that relative age impacts achievement in the population at large. However, disadvantaged children assigned to a classroom where they are among the youngest students are less likely to take a college-entrance exam than others of the same biological age. Controlling for relative age also reveals no long-term effect of biological age at school entry in the aggregate, but striking differences by socioeconomic status: Disadvantaged children who are older at the start of kindergarten are less likely to take the SAT or ACT, while the opposite may be true for children from more advantaged families. These findings suggest that, far from being zero-sum, school-entry age has far-reaching consequences for the level of achievement and achievement gaps between the rich and poor.
    JEL: I20 J18 J24
    Date: 2007–11
  4. By: James J. Heckman; Paul A. LaFontaine
    Abstract: This paper uses multiple data sources and a unified methodology to estimate the trends and levels of the U.S. high school graduation rate. Correcting for important biases that plague previous calculations, we establish that (a) the true high school graduation rate is substantially lower than the official rate issued by the National Center for Educational Statistics; (b) it has been declining over the past 40 years; (c) majority/minority graduation rate differentials are substantial and have not converged over the past 35 years; (d) the decline in high school graduation rates occurs among native populations and is not solely a consequence of increasing proportions of immigrants and minorities in American society; (e) the decline in high school graduation explains part of the recent slowdown in college attendance; and (f) the pattern of the decline of high school graduation rates by gender helps to explain the recent increase in male-female college attendance gaps.
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2007–11
  5. By: Luis Fernando Gamboa; José Alberto Guerra; Manuel Ramírez Gómez
    Abstract: Se evalúa el impacto redistributivo de las políticas educativas en Bogotá mediante el Análisis de Incidencia del Beneficio. A pesar que los hogares son autónomos con respecto a la elección entre la educación oficial y no oficial, la provisión pública de la educación genera fuertes impactos progresivos en el ingreso que se explayan hacia reducciones de pobreza y desigualdad, sin importar el cálculo del subsidio que se impute al ingreso. ************************************************************************************************************ Applying Benefit Incidence Analysis we assessed the redistributive impact of public policies concerned with education in Bogotá. Though the household choices about public or private schooling are decentralized and respond to market constraints, the public provision policy of education achieves strong progressive impacts on income implying reductions both on poverty and inequality, no matter which calculation of subsidy is implemented.
    Date: 2007–11–24
  6. By: Thorn, Kristian; Blom, Andreas; Mark, Michael; Marotta, Daniela
    Abstract: A firm ' s absorptive capacity, human capital and linkages with knowledge institutions have been shown to increase the firm ' s probability of innovating in OECD economies. Despite its importance for national- and firm-level competitiveness, few papers examine the impact of the same variables for firms innovation in Latin America. This paper investigates the link between firm innovation and its absorption capacity as proxied by the presence of a R & D department, the firm ' s human capital, and its interaction with research centers and universities. We analyze the case of Chilean and Colombian manufacturing firms using data from innovation surveys. A probit regression model is applied to identify the determinants of innovation activity. We find that collaboration with university and research institutions is associated with an increase in the probability of introducing a new product in Chilean and Colombian firms of 29 and 44 percent, respectively, and it can increase up to 58 percent in the case of Colombian firms interacting with research centers. Moreover, firms whose employees have a higher level of education, or whose managers/supervisors have a higher (perceived) level of knowledge, are more likely to innovate. Although the estimates could be affected by biases and suffer from shortcomings in data, the findings suggest that policies and incentives to increase firm-level human capital and industry-university linkages are important to increase innovation in Latin America.
    Keywords: E-Business,Education for Development (superceded),Innovation,Agricultural Knowledge & Information Systems,Labor Policies
    Date: 2007–12–01
  7. By: Ulf Rinne; Marc Schneider; Arne Uhlendorff
    Abstract: This study analyzes the treatment effects of public training programs for the unemployed in Germany. Based on propensity score matching methods we extend the picture that has been sketched in previous studies by estimating treatment effects of medium-term programs for different sub-groups with respect to vocational education and age. Our results indicate that program participation has a positive impact on employment probabilities for all sub-groups. Participants also seem to find more often higher paid jobs than non-participants. However, we find only little evidence for the presence of heterogeneous treatment effects, and the magnitude of the differences is quite small. Our results are thus - at least in part - conflicting with the strategy to increasingly provide training to individuals with better employment prospects.
    Keywords: Program Evaluation; Active Labor Market Policy; Effect Heterogeneity; Public Training Programs; Matching
    JEL: J64 J68 H43
    Date: 2007
  8. By: Oswald, Andrew J (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)
    Abstract: In this interview, which was recorded in 2007 to celebrate the receipt of an honorary doctorate from Warwick University, Avinash Dixit of Princeton University discusses why he is an economist and how he approaches economic research. He argues, among other things, for doing what you enjoy rather than what you feel you ought to do.
    Date: 2007

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