nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2008‒01‒12
fifteen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of the Beira Interior

  1. Private School Quality in Italy By Giuseppe Bertola; Daniele Checchi; Veruska Oppedisano
  2. The Impact of Direct Democracy on Public Education: Evidence for Swiss Students in Reading, Mathematics and Natural Science By Fischer, Justina A.V.
  3. Why Are Hispanic and African-American Dropout Rates So High? By Magnus Lofstrom
  4. The American High School Graduation Rate: Trends and Levels By James J. Heckman; Paul A. LaFontaine
  5. Education and labour productivity in New Zealand By Razzak, Weshah; Timmins, Jason
  6. Trade and Investment Linkages in Higher Education Services in Malaysia By Tham Siew Yean; Andrew Kam Jia Yi
  7. A Gendered Assessment of the Brain Drain By Frédéric Docquier; B. Lindsay Lowell; Abdeslam Marfouk
  8. Public expenditure on education: A review of selected issues and evidence. By Mukherjee, Anit N.
  9. Telling the Truth May Not Pay Off: An Empirical Study of Centralised University Admissions in Germany By Sebastian Braun; Nadja Dwenger; Dorothea Kübler
  10. Is Education the Panacea for Economic Deprivation of Muslims? Evidence from Wage Earners in India, 1987–2005 By Sumon Kumar Bhaumik; Manisha Chakrabarty
  11. Within and Between Gender Disparities in Income and Education Benefits from Democracy By Ruth Uwaifo Oyelere
  12. A Hirsch Measure for the Quality of Research Supervision, and an Illustration with Trade Economists By Frances Ruane; Richard S.J. Tol
  13. The Effect of the Federal Student Loan Program On College Enrollment and Default Rates By Ionescu, Anamaria Felicia
  14. Aspiration Levels and Educational Choices : An experimental study By Lionel Page; Louis Lévy-Garboua; Claude Montmarquette
  15. Explaining Labour Market Inactivity in Migrant-Sending Families: Housework, Hammock, or Higher Education By Dennis Görlich; Toman Omar Mahmoud; Christoph Trebesch

  1. By: Giuseppe Bertola (University of Turin); Daniele Checchi (University of Milan and IZA); Veruska Oppedisano (University of Turin)
    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: private schooling, talent
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2007–12
  2. By: Fischer, Justina A.V. (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics)
    Abstract: Empirical analyses for the US suggest that stronger people’s control over the school budget is deleterious to student performance. Using Swiss data on ninth graders in mathematics, reading and natural science collected jointly with the PISA study 2000, this paper tests this hypothesis for Switzerland, exploiting inter-cantonal variation in political institutions. For both student performance in reading and mathematics, stronger popular rights appear to lower educational achievement through the school budget channel. In particular, the qualification of teachers is identified as most influential determinant of student achievement, which is shown to be linked to educational spending.
    Keywords: Direct democracy; public finance; economics of education; PISA
    JEL: H10 H41 I28
    Date: 2007–12–31
  3. By: Magnus Lofstrom (University of Texas at Dallas and IZA)
    Abstract: The proportion of students who do not graduate from high school is dramatically higher among the two largest minority groups, Hispanics and African-Americans, compared to non- Hispanic whites. In this paper we utilize unique student-level data from the Texas Schools Microdata Panel (TSMP) in an attempt to determine what factors contribute to the higher minority dropout rates. We show that poverty is a key contributor. Lack of English proficiency among Hispanic student is linked to the higher Hispanic dropout probability. Our results also suggest that neighborhood characteristics may be important in explaining the high African- American dropout rates. We also address the issue of the surprisingly low official dropout rates reported by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and show that the GED program explains some of the discrepancy.
    Keywords: dropout rate, educational attainment
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2007–12
  4. By: James J. Heckman (University of Chicago and IZA); Paul A. LaFontaine (American Bar Association)
    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.
    Keywords: high school dropout rate, high school graduation rates, educational attainment
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2007–12
  5. By: Razzak, Weshah; Timmins, Jason
    Abstract: We estimate the effect of four types of education qualifications, as a proxy for human capital and skill levels, on GDP per capita, and compute the average percentage returns. We also test the effect of the product of each proxy of human capital with R&D on GDP per capita. We find that only university qualification and its product with R&D to have a positive effect on the average economy-wide productivity.
    Keywords: Labour productivity; education qualification; R&D
    JEL: D20 J08 C23
    Date: 2007–02–21
  6. By: Tham Siew Yean; Andrew Kam Jia Yi (Institute of Malaysian and International Studies, Malaysia)
    Abstract: This study aims to explore the trade and investment links in private higher education in Malaysia. Specifically, the study assesses whether, and if so, how trade and investment policies in general, and in the education sector in particular, are coordinated at the national level.
    Keywords: Trade and Investment, Education Services,Mode 1,Malaysia
    JEL: F1
    Date: 2007–09
  7. By: Frédéric Docquier (FNRS, IRES, Catholic University of Louvain, World Bank and IZA); B. Lindsay Lowell (ISIM, Georgetown University); Abdeslam Marfouk (Free University of Brussels)
    Abstract: This paper updates and extends the Docquier-Marfouk data set on international migration by educational attainment. We use new sources, homogenize definitions of what a migrant is, and compute gender-disaggregated indicators of the brain drain. Emigration stocks and rates are provided by level of schooling and gender for 195 source countries in 1990 and 2000. Our data set can be used to capture the recent trend in women’s brain drain and to analyze its causes and consequences for developing countries. We show that women represent an increasing share of the OECD immigration stock and exhibit relatively higher rates of brain drain than men. The gender gap in skilled migration is strongly correlated with the gender gap in educational attainment at origin. Equating women’s and men’s access to education would probably reduce gender differences in the brain drain.
    Keywords: brain drain, gender, human capital, migration
    JEL: F22 J61
    Date: 2007–12
  8. By: Mukherjee, Anit N. (National Institute of Public Finance and Policy)
    Abstract: The role of education in economic development has been recognised for quite some time in mainstream economic literature. Divergence between the private and social rate of return from education is the rationale for intervention by the state in ensuring equity in opportunity across the population. The so-called `New Growth Theories' predict that higher levels of schooling and better quality of workforce will lead to an increase in the rate of growth, further strengthening the case for public expenditure on education. The outcome of these lines of research also has implications for the financing of education. However, the effectiveness and efficiency of resource allocation by the government has generated considerable debate, both from ideological and technical points of view. It is widely acknowledged that there is a large scope for improvement in both the level, and the quality of publicly-funded education. New institutional arrangements are being designed to address the deficiencies in incentives and monitoring, thereby improving quality.
    Keywords: Public expenditure ; Education
    Date: 2007–03
  9. By: Sebastian Braun (Humboldt University Berlin); Nadja Dwenger (DIW Berlin); Dorothea Kübler (Technical University Berlin and IZA)
    Abstract: We investigate the matching algorithm used by the German central clearinghouse for university admissions (ZVS) in medicine and related subjects. This mechanism consists of three procedures based on final grades from school ("Abiturbestenverfahren", "Auswahlverfahren der Hochschulen") and on waiting time ("Wartezeitverfahren"). While these procedures differ in the criteria applied for admission they all make use of priority matching. In priority matching schemes, it is not a dominant strategy for students to submit their true preferences. Thus, strategic behaviour is expected. Using the full data set of applicants, we are able to detect some amount of strategic behaviour which can lead to inefficient matching. Alternative ways to organize the market are briefly discussed.
    Keywords: matching, university admissions, strategic behaviour
    JEL: C78 D02 D78 I29
    Date: 2007–12
  10. By: Sumon Kumar Bhaumik (Brunel University, WDI and IZA); Manisha Chakrabarty (Indian Institute of Management and Keele University)
    Abstract: Few researchers have examined the nature and determinants of earnings differentials among religious groups, and none has been undertaken in the context of conflict-prone multireligious societies like the one in India. We address this lacuna in the literature by examining the differences in the average (log) earnings of Hindu and Muslim wage earners in India, during the 1987-2005 period. Our results indicate that education differences between Hindu and Muslim wage earners, especially differences in the proportion of wage earners with tertiary education, are largely responsible for the differences in the average (log) earnings of the two religious groups across the years. By contrast, differences in the returns to education do not explain the aforementioned difference in average (log) earnings. In conclusion, we discuss some policy implications.
    Keywords: earnings gap, education, decomposition, religion
    JEL: J31 J15 I28
    Date: 2007–12
  11. By: Ruth Uwaifo Oyelere (Georgia Institute of Technology and IZA)
    Abstract: There is data evidence that welfare has improved post democracy in Nigeria. However, the distribution or concentration of the benefits in subgroups of the population is unknown. In this paper, the question of differential welfare impacts, across and within gender, post democracy in Nigeria is explored. I make use of simple econometric tools to test two null hypotheses. First, there is no disparity in the income and returns to education benefits of the shift to democracy across gender in Nigeria. Second, there are no within gender disparities of the shift to democracy on income and returns to education in Nigeria. From the results, both null hypotheses are rejected. Though men and women benefited from reforms post democracy, gender differences exist. Specifically, I find on average higher income benefits for men post democracy. Nigeria. However, disparities in income benefits are at lower levels of education. Men and women have similar income benefits at the tertiary level. Interestingly, I find the reverse when considering returns to education. On average, women experienced a greater change in returns to education post democracy in Nigeria but this disparity is primarily at the tertiary level. I also find inequality has increased post democracy in Nigeria, more so among women than men.
    Keywords: gender, democracy, income gap, disparities, returns to education, Nigeria, inequality
    JEL: O15 P00 J16 D63
    Date: 2007–12
  12. By: Frances Ruane (Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI)); Richard S.J. Tol (Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI))
    Abstract: There is a growing literature measuring research excellence in economics. The h-index is noteworthy in combining quantity and research quality in a single measure of researcher excellence, and its ability to be extended to measure the quantity and quality of the researchers in a department. We extend the use of the first successive h-index further to measure the quality of graduate education, specifically excellence in research supervision, based on publication and citation data for individual researchers ascribed to their graduate supervisors.
    Keywords: h-index, international trade, PhD students
    JEL: A10 Z00
    Date: 2008–01
  13. By: Ionescu, Anamaria Felicia (Department of Economics, Colgate University)
    Abstract: I quantify the effects of alternative student loan policies on college enrollment, bor- rowing behavior, and default rates in a heterogeneous model of life-cycle earnings and human capital accumulation. I find that the combination of learning ability and initial human capital stock drives the decision to enroll in college while parental wealth has minimal effects on enrollment. Repayment flexibility increases enrollment significantly, whereas relaxation of eligibility requirements has little effect on enrollment or default rates. The former policy induces substantial welfare gains for bottom income quantiles, while the latter implies minimal welfare gains for bottom income quantiles.
    Keywords: Student loans; Human capital; Default
    JEL: D91 E44 J24 I28
    Date: 2007–12–31
  14. By: Lionel Page (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, Westminster Business School - University of Westminster); Louis Lévy-Garboua (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, CIRANO - Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en analyse des organisations - Université du Québec à Montréal, Ecole d'économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I); Claude Montmarquette (CIRANO - Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en analyse des organisations - Université du Québec à Montréal, Université de Montréal - Département de Sciences Economique - Université de Montréal)
    Abstract: The explanation of social inequalities in education is still a debated issue in economics. Recent empirical studies tend to downplay the potential role of credit constraint. This article tests a different potential explanation of social inequalities in education, specifically that social differences in aspiration level result in different educational choices. Having existed for a long time in the sociology of education, this explanation can be justified if aspiration levels are seen as reference points in a Prospect Theory framework. In order to test this explanation, this article applies the method of experimental economics to the issue of education choice and behaviour. One hundred twenty-nine individuals participated in an experiment in which they had to perform a task over fifteen stages grouped in three blocks or levels. In order to continue through the experiment, a minimum level of success was required at the end of each level. Rewards were dependent on the final level successfully reached. At the end of each level, participants could either choose to stop and take their reward or to pay a cost to continue further in order to possibly receive higher rewards. To test the impact of aspiration levels, outcomes were either presented as gains or losses relative to an initial sum. In accordance with the theoretical predictions, participants in the loss framing group choose to go further in the experiment. There was also a significant and interesting gender effect in the loss framing treatment, such that males performed better and reached higher levels.
    Keywords: Education inequality, Prospect Theory, Experimental Economics
    Date: 2007–12
  15. By: Dennis Görlich; Toman Omar Mahmoud; Christoph Trebesch
    Abstract: This article presents a new perspective on the impact of migration and remittances on labour market participation and time allocation in migrant-sending families. Departing from the common finding that labour market participation is lower in migrant households, we investigate whether the reasons for inactivity, i.e. leisure consumption, home production and higher education are affected by migration. Based on household survey data from Moldova, our results challenge the assertion that those who stay behind consume more leisure. Instead, living in a migrant household implies higher probabilities of intra-household labour substitution and a substantially higher likelihood of university enrolment.
    Keywords: Migration, Remittances, Labour Supply, Time Allocation, Moldova
    JEL: F22 J22 O15 C35
    Date: 2007–12

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