nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2008‒01‒19
fifteen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of the Beira Interior

  1. Age-dependent Effects of Socio-economic Background on Educational Attainment - Evidence from Germany By Wolter Hassink; Hannah Kiiver
  3. Interethnic Marriage Decisions: A Choice between Ethnic and Educational Similarities By Delia Furtado; Nikolaos Theodoropoulos
  5. Influencia de la Inmigración en la Elección Escolar. By Adriana Sánchez Hugalde
  6. Accurate performance measure but meaningless ranking exercise? An analysis of the English school league tables. By Deborah Wilson; Anete Piebalga
  7. The Changing Role of Family Income and Ability in Determining Educational Achievement By Philippe Belley; Lance Lochner
  8. The Role of Poverty and Community Norms in Child Labor and Schooling Decisions By Strulik, Holger
  9. Higher education funding reforms in England: the distributional effects and the shifting balance of costs By Lorraine Dearden; Emla Fitzsimons; Alissa Goodman; Greg Kaplan
  10. A Demand-Supply Analysis of the Spanish Education Wage Premium in the 1980s and 1990s. By Manuel A. Hidalgo
  11. Maternal education, home environments and the development of children and adolescents By Pedro Carneiro; Costas Meghir; Matthias Parey
  12. Screening Tests, Information, and the Health-Education Gradient By Ciro Avitabile; Tullio Jappelli; Mario Padula
  13. The entrepreneurial decision-making : a complex choice where taste, risk, endowments, necessity, opportunity, personals traits and behaviour matter By Jean Bonnet (CREM-CNRS-University of Caen); Thomas Brau (CREM-CNRS-University of Caen); Pascal Cussy (CREM-CNRS-University of Caen)Stéphane Auray (GREMARS - University of Lille 3)
  15. The Population Cycle Drives Human History - from a Eugenic Phase into a Dysgenic Phase and Eventual Collapse By Weiss, Volkmar

  1. By: Wolter Hassink; Hannah Kiiver
    Abstract: The impact of socio-economic background on a child's educational attainment has been discussed as a static concept so far. Existing economic literature as well as the psychology of education literature point however towards a dynamic process where the impact of socio-economic background depends on the age of the child. We explore this possibility using German micro-data. Using instrumental variable methods we estimate the causal effects of parental education and household income on school success of a child at two points in time of his school career. The estimates indicate that household income has a more important effect on the educational success of children in a more advanced point during the education while the effect of parental education seems to be stable.
    Keywords: school choice, demand for schooling, human capital
    JEL: I22 J13 J62
    Date: 2007–12
  2. By: Tiron Tudor , Adriana; Blidisel, Rodica
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to present experiences from the use of accrual accounting information in the public higher education sector in Romania and, thus, to contribute to our understanding of the prospects for using that kind of accounting in public organizations.
    Keywords: Public Sector; Accrual Accounting; Profession
    JEL: M41
    Date: 2007–12–19
  3. By: Delia Furtado (University of Connecticut); Nikolaos Theodoropoulos (University of Cyprus)
    Abstract: This paper examines the effect of education on intermarriage and specifically, whether the mechanisms through which education affects intermarriage differ by immigrant generation and race. We consider three main paths through which education affects marriage choice. First, educated people may be better able to adapt to different customs and cultures making them more likely to marry outside of their ethnicity. Second, because the educated are less likely to reside in ethnic enclaves, meeting potential spouses of the same ethnicity may involve higher search costs. Lastly, if spouse-searchers value similarities in education as well as ethnicity, then they may be willing to substitute similarities in education for ethnicity when evaluating spouses. Thus, the effect of education will depend on the availability of same-ethnicity potential spouses with a similar level of education. Using U.S. Census data, we find evidence for all three effects for the population in general. However, assortative matching on education seems to be relatively more important for the native born, for the foreign born that arrived at a fairly young age, and for Asians. We conclude by providing additional pieces of evidence suggestive of our hypotheses.
    Keywords: Ethnic intermarriage, Education, Immigration
    JEL: J12 I21 J61
    Date: 2007–12
  4. By: Tiron Tudor, Adriana; Blidisel , Rodica
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to present experiences from the use of accrual accounting information in the public higher education sector in Romania and, thus, to contribute to our understanding of the prospects for using that kind of accounting in public organizations.
    Keywords: Public Sector, Accrual Accounting, Profession
    JEL: M41
    Date: 2007–12–19
  5. By: Adriana Sánchez Hugalde (Grup de Recerca en Federalisme Fiscal i Economia Regional (Institut d'Economia de Barcelona - IEB), Departament Economia Política i Hisenda Pública. Facultat de Ciències Econòmiques i Empresarials de la Universitat de Barcelona.)
    Abstract: This empirical work studies the influence of immigrant students on individuals’ school choice in one of the most populated regions in Spain: Catalonia. It has estimated, following the Poisson model, the probability that a certain school, which immigrant students are already attending, may be chosen by natives as well as by immigrants, respectively. The information provided by the Catalonia School Department presents school characteristics of all the primary and secondary schools in Catalonia during the 2001/02 and 2002/03 school years. The results obtained support the evidence that Catalonia native families avoid schools attended by immigrants. Natives certainly prefer not to interact with immigrants. Private schools are more successful in avoiding immigrants. Finally, the main reason for non-natives’ choice is the presence of other non-natives in the same school.
    Keywords: School choice, immigration
    JEL: I21 J15
    Date: 2007
  6. By: Deborah Wilson; Anete Piebalga
    Abstract: Parental choice among schools in England is informed by annually published school performance (league) tables. The 2006 league tables included a measure of contextual value added (CVA) for the first time. By explicitly accounting for the characteristics of a school’s intake, CVA should provide a more accurate measure of the impact a school has on its pupils’ progress, i.e. on school effectiveness. In this paper we use UK government administrative data to replicate CVA and other key performance measures in order to investigate the extent to which the current league tables provide the information necessary to support parental choice on the basis of school effectiveness. We find that while CVA does provide a more accurate measure of school performance or effectiveness, school rankings based on CVA are largely meaningless: almost half of English secondary schools are indistinguishable from the national average.
    Keywords: education, performance measures, ranking
    JEL: I2 H4
    Date: 2008–01
  7. By: Philippe Belley (University of Western Ontario); Lance Lochner (University of Western Ontario)
    Abstract: This paper uses data from the 1979 and 1997 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth cohorts (NLSY79 and NLSY97) to estimate changes in the effects of ability and family income on educational attainment for youth in their late teens during the early 1980s and early 2000s. Cognitive ability plays an important role in determining educational outcomes for both NLSY cohorts, while family income plays little role in determining high school completion in either cohort. Most interestingly, we document a dramatic increase in the effects of family income on college attendance (particularly among the least able) from the NLSY79 to the NLSY97. Family income has also become a much more important determinant of college 'quality' and hours/weeks worked during the academic year (the latter among the most able) in the NLSY97. Family income has little effect on college delay in either sample. To interpret our empirical findings on college attendance, we develop an educational choice model that incorporates both borrowing constraints and a 'consumption' value of schooling -- two of the most commonly invoked explanations for a positive family income -- schooling relationship. Without borrowing constraints, the model cannot explain the rising effects of family income on college attendance in response to the sharply rising costs and returns to college experienced from the early 1980s to early 2000s: the incentives created by a 'consumption' value of schooling imply that income should have become less important over time (or even negatively related to attendance). Instead, the data are more broadly consistent with the hypothesis that more youth are borrowing constrained today than were in the early 1980s.
    Date: 2008
  8. By: Strulik, Holger
    Abstract: Household poverty is a powerful motive for child labor and working frequently comes at the expense of schooling for children. Accounting for these natural links we investigate whether and when there is an additional role for community norms and how the social evaluation of schooling evolves over time. The proposed model provides an explanation for why equally poor villages or regions display different attitudes towards schooling and why children who are not working are not sent to school either but remain idle instead. The conditions for a successful implementation of a half-day school vs. a full-day school are investigated. An extension of the model explores how an education contingent subsidy paid to the poorest families of a community manages to initiate a bandwagon effect towards an equilibrium where all children are sent to school.
    Keywords: School Attendance, Child Labor, Social Norms, Targeted Transfers
    JEL: I20 I29 J13 O12
    Date: 2008–01
  9. By: Lorraine Dearden (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Bedford Group, Institute of Education, University of London); Emla Fitzsimons (Institute for Fiscal Studies); Alissa Goodman (Institute for Fiscal Studies); Greg Kaplan (Institute for Fiscal Studies)
    Abstract: <p><p>This paper undertakes a quantitative analysis of substantial reforms to the system of higher education (HE) finance in England, first announced in 2004 and revised in 2007. The reforms introduced deferred fees for HE, payable by graduates through the tax system via income-contingent repayments on loans subsidised by the government. The paper uses lifetime earnings simulated by the authors to consider the likely distributional consequences of the reforms for graduates. It also considers the costs of the reforms for taxpayers, and how the reforms are likely to shift the balance of funding for HE between the public and private sectors.</p></p>
    Date: 2007–10
  10. By: Manuel A. Hidalgo (Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide)
    Abstract: We estimate the demand for education in Spain, and use the estimated demand curve to analyze whether the evolution of the education wage premium in the 1980s and 1990s can be explained by a demand-supply framework. We find that growth in the demand for education in the 1980s was very similar to growth in the 1990s. Our empirical results show that difference in the evolution of the education wage premium between the two decades can be explained by combining observed changes in labor supply with steady labor demand growth.
    Keywords: wage premium, relative demand, relative supply
    JEL: J24 J31 O33
    Date: 2008–01
  11. By: Pedro Carneiro (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London); Costas Meghir (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London); Matthias Parey (Institute for Fiscal Studies)
    Abstract: <p>There is a striking increase in inequality in children's home environments over the last 50 years (McLanahan, 2004). These are measured as differences in age of mothers of young children (below 5), maternal employment, single motherhood, divorce during the first 10 years of marriage, father's involvement, and family income, for mothers with different levels of education. This trend is cause for great concern because the home environment is probably the best candidate for explaining inequality in child development. </p><p> </p><p>Proposals to address this problem often rely on changes to the welfare system. However, given that home environments are rooted in the experiences of each family, they are probably difficult to change if we rely only the welfare system, while more direct interventions require invading family autonomy and privacy and are notoriously difficult to enforce. Therefore, one possible alternative is to target future parents in their youth, by affecting their education, before they start forming a family. In this paper we assess the potential for such a policy, by estimating the impact of maternal education on home environments and on child outomes. </p><p> </p><p>We provided a unified analysis of different aspects of child development, including cognitive, noncognitive, and health outcomes, across ages. We also estimate the impact of maternal education not only on parental characteristics like employment, income, marital status, spouse's education, age at first birth, but also on several aspects of parenting practices. Our paper provides a detailed analysis of the possible mechanisms mediating the relationship between parental education and child outcomes. Finally, we compare the relative roles of maternal education and ability, and we show how the role of maternal education varies with the gender and race of the child, and with the cognitive ability of the mother. </p><p> </p><p>We show that maternal education has positive impacts both on cognitive skills and behavioral problems of children, but the latter are more sustained than the former. This is perhaps because behavior is more malleable than cognition. Especially among whites, there is considerable heterogeneity in these impacts, which are larger for girls, and for mothers with higher cognition. </p><p> </p><p>More educated mothers are more likely to work and work for longer hours, especially among blacks. This is true independently of the child being in its infancy, childhood, and adolescence. Nevertheless, there is no evidence that more educated mothers do less breastfeeding, spend much less time reading to their children, or even taking them on outings. This is important because some studies suggest that maternal employment may be detrimental for child outcomes if it leads to reduced (quality) time with children. </p><p> </p><p>Due to the nature of the data, this paper focuses on the effect of maternal, but not paternal, schooling. Due to assortative mating, part of the effects we find may be driven by the father's schooling through a mating effect. However, unless the effect of partner's schooling is incredibly large, assortative mating cannot fully explain our main results, as suggested in some of the literature. </p><p></p>
    Date: 2007–09
  12. By: Ciro Avitabile (University College London, IFS, University of Salerno and CSEF); Tullio Jappelli (Università di Napoli, CSEF and CEPR); Mario Padula (Università di Venezia, and CSEF)
    Abstract: The association between health outcomes and education – the health-education gradient - is widely documented but little is known about its source. Using microeconomic data on a sample of individuals aged 50+ in eight European countries, we find that education and cognitive skills (such as numeracy, fluency, and memory) are associated with a greater propensity for standard screening tests (mammography and colonoscopy). However, the association is much weaker for people who have access to good health quality information, as proxied by a direct measure of the quality of general practitioners. We interpret this result as evidence in favor of the hypothesis that the positive health-education gradient is driven, at least in part, by information barriers rather than such other factors, as individual resources or preferences.
    Keywords: Health, education, information
    JEL: I0 I1 I2
    Date: 2008–01–02
  13. By: Jean Bonnet (CREM-CNRS-University of Caen); Thomas Brau (CREM-CNRS-University of Caen); Pascal Cussy (CREM-CNRS-University of Caen)Stéphane Auray (GREMARS - University of Lille 3)
    Date: 2008
  14. By: Bernarda Zamora (Universidad de Alicante)
    Abstract: This paper formally describes the Human Capital Theory as a Research Programme that fits into the classical economic Research Programmes. The fundamental ¿hard core¿ assumption which converts the Human Capital Theory into a Research Programme itself in Lakatosian terms is based upon the embodiment of the human capital in the person investing in it. The paper shows how the auxiliary ¿protective belt¿ assumptions and the empirical content of the theory are linked to and derived from the ¿hard core¿ assumptions in such a way that the Human Capital Theory satisfies the conditions to be considered a Scientific Research Programme.
    Keywords: Lakatos, Research Programme, Human Capital.
    JEL: B41 J24
    Date: 2007–12
  15. By: Weiss, Volkmar
    Abstract: In the period before the onset of demographic transition, when fertility rates were positively associated with income levels, Malthusian pressure gave an evolutionary advantage to individuals whose characteristics were positively correlated with child quality and hence higher IQ, increasing in such a way the frequency of underlying genes in the population. As the fraction of individuals of higher quality increased, technological progress intensified. Positive feedback between technological progress and the level of education reinforced the growth process, setting the stage for an industrial revolution that facilitated an endogenous take-off from the Malthusian trap. The population density rose and with it social and political friction, especially important at the top of the social pyramid. Thus, from a certain turning point of history, the well-to-do have fewer children than the poor. Once the economic environment improves sufficiently, the evolutionary pressure weakens, and on the basis of spreading egalitarian ideology and general suffrage the quantity of people gains dominance over quality. At present, we have already reached the phase of global human capital deterioration as the necessary prerequisite for a global collapse by which the overpopulated earth will decimate a species with an average IQ, still too mediocre to understand its own evolution and steer its course.
    Keywords: IQ; Dysgenics; Democracy; Poverty; Francis Galton; Darwinism; Fertility; Demographic transition; Human capital
    JEL: N3 J1 O4
    Date: 2007–07–10

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