nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2008‒02‒16
23 papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of the Beira Interior

  1. Social interactions and student achievement in a developing country : An instrumental variables approach By Chaudhury, Nazmul; Asadullah, Mohammad Niaz
  2. Is the GED an Effective Route to Postsecondary Education for School Dropouts? By John H. Tyler; Magnus Lofstrom
  3. Grants or Loans? Theoretical Issues Regarding Access and Persistence in Postsecondary Education By Lorne Carmichael; Ross Finnie
  4. Madrasas and NGOs : complements or substitutes ? non-state providers and growth in female education in Bangladesh By Chaudhury, Nazmul; Asadullah, Mohammad Niaz
  5. Differential Grading Standards and University Funding: Evidence from Italy By Manuel Bagues; Mauro Sylos Labini; Natalia Zinovyeva
  6. Modelling the Effects of Pupil Mobility and Neighbourhood on School Differences in Educational Achievement By George Leckie
  7. The Impact of Classroom Peer Groups on Pupil GCSE Results By Adele Atkinson; Simon Burgess; Paul Gregg; Carol Propper; Steven Proud
  8. Do tutorial programmes influence the performance of Economics students? A case study of the Economics 178 course at Stellenbosch University By Pietie Horn; Ada Jansen
  9. CREATIVITY IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION By Yar, Daniel; Wennberg, Karl; Berglund, Henrik
  10. Green Buildings in Use: Post Occupancy Evaluations By Chris Watson
  11. Primary Education in India: Prospects of meeting the MDG Target By Sonia Bhalotra; Bernarda Zamora
  12. Access of Poor Households to Primary Education in Rural India By Dholakia Ravindra H.;
  13. Longevity and Education: A Macroeconomic Perspective By Francesco Ricci; Marios Zachariadis
  14. WHY BUSINESS SCHOOLS DO SO MUCH RESEARCH:<br /> A SIGNALING EXPLANATION By Damien Besancenot; Joao Faria; Radu Vranceanu
  15. Level of participation among the audience attended primary education training using group observation method. By K, Srinivasan
  16. The Dynamic Effects of Skilled Labour Targeting in Immigration Programs By Richard G. Harris; Peter E. Robertson
  17. Girl Power? An analysis of peer effects using exogenous changes in the gender make-up of the peer group. By Steven Proud
  18. Short-term effects of new universities on regional innovation. By Robin Cowan; Natalia Zinovyev
  19. Human Capital, Aggregation, and Growth By Growiec, Jakub
  20. Complexity and Targeting in Federal Student Aid: A Quantitative Analysis By Susan Dynarski; Judith E. Scott-Clayton
  21. Is all Socioeconomic Inequality among Racial Groups in Brazil Caused by Racial Discrimination? By Rafael Guerreiro Osório
  22. Educating Urban Children By Richard J. Murnane
  23. A Citation-Based Ranking of Strategic Management Journals By Azar, Ofer H.; Brock, David M.

  1. By: Chaudhury, Nazmul; Asadullah, Mohammad Niaz
    Abstract: This paper identifies endogenous social effects in mathematics test performance for eighth graders in rural Bangladesh using information on arsenic contamination of water wells at home as an instrument. In other words, the identification relies on variation in test scores among peers owing to exogenous exposure to arsenic contaminated water wells at home. The results suggest that the peer effect is significant, and school selection plays little role in biasing peer effects estimates.
    Keywords: Tertiary Education,Education For All,Teaching and Learning,Primary Education,Secondary Education
    Date: 2008–02–01
  2. By: John H. Tyler; Magnus Lofstrom
    Abstract: We use data from the Texas Schools Microdata Panel (TSMP) to examine the extent to which dropouts use the GED as a route to post-secondary education. The paper develops a model pointing out the potential biases in estimating the effects of taking the "GED path" to postsecondary education. Lacking suitable instruments that would allow us to directly address potential biases, our approach is to base our estimates on a set of academically "at risk" students who are very similar in the 8th grade. We observe that the eventual high school graduates in this group have much better postsecondary education outcomes than do the similar at-risk 8th graders who dropped out and obtained a GED. Our model explains the observed differences, and allows for a discussion of the policy challenges inherent in improving the postsecondary outcomes of dropouts.
    JEL: I2 J18
    Date: 2008–02
  3. By: Lorne Carmichael (Queen's University); Ross Finnie (University of Ottawa)
    Abstract: Most economic investigations of access to education treat an investment in college or university as if it were a financial investment offering a particular expected rate of return. Since the average measured rates of return are quite favourable, other factors such as lack of information, contrary parental infl‡uence, or "debt aversion" must be invoked to explain the unwillingness of some qualified students from poorer backgrounds to borrow money and attend. However, a model that recognizes the hardship associated with low levels of expenditure suggests that, ceteris paribus, poorer students will actually need a higher measured rate of return before they will decide to attend. The result holds even when there is an efficient student loan system. This approach can provide some normative guidance for decisions about the choice of grants or loans as vehicles for student aid, and has positive implications about the effects of grants and loans on access and persistence.
    Keywords: postsecondary education, educational subsidies, student loans, equal access, hyperbolic preferences
    JEL: I20 I22 J24
    Date: 2007–12
  4. By: Chaudhury, Nazmul; Asadullah, Mohammad Niaz
    Abstract: There has been a proliferation of non-state providers of education services in the developing world. In Bangladesh, for instance, Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee runs more than 40,000 non-formal schools that cater to school-drop outs from poor families or operate in villages where there ' s little provision for formal schools. This paper presents a rationale for supporting these schools on the basis of their spillover effects on fema le enrollment in secondary (registered) madrasa schools (Islamic faith schools). Most madrasa high schools in Bangladesh are financed by the sate and include a modern curriculum alongside traditional religious subjects. Using an establishment-level dataset on student enrollment in secondary schools and madrasas, the authors demonstrate that the presence of madrasas is positively associated with secondary female enrollment growth. Such feminization of madrasas is therefore unique and merits careful analysis. The authors test the effects of the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee primary schools on growth in female enrollment in madrasas. The analysis deals with potential endoegeneity by using data on number of the number of school branches and female members in the sub-district. The findings show that madrasas that are located in regions with a greater number of Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee schools have higher growth in female enrollment. This relationship is further strengthened by the finding that there is, however, no effect of these schools on female enrollment growth in secular schools.
    Keywords: Primary Education,Tertiary Education,Education For All,Gender and Education,Teaching and Learning
    Date: 2008–02–01
  5. By: Manuel Bagues; Mauro Sylos Labini; Natalia Zinovyeva
    Abstract: This paper documents that grades vary significantly across Italian public universities and degrees. We provide evidence suggesting that these differences reflect the heterogeneity of grading standards. A straightforward implication of this result is that university funding schemes based on students' academic performance do not necessary favour universities that generate higher value added. We test this for the case of the Italian funds allocation system, which rewards universities according to the number of exams passed by their students. We find that university departments that rank higher according to this indicator actually tend to be significantly worse in terms of their graduates' performance in the labour market.
    Date: 2008–02
  6. By: George Leckie
    Abstract: Traditional studies of school differences in educational achievement use multilevel modelling techniques to take into account the nesting of pupils within schools. However, educational data are known to have more complex non-hierarchical structures. The potential importance of such structures is apparent when considering the impact of pupil mobility during secondary schooling on educational achievement. Movements of pupils between schools suggest that we should model pupils as belonging to the series of schools attended and not just their final school. Since these school moves are strongly linked to residential moves, it is important to additionally explore whether achievement is also affected by the history of neighbourhoods lived in. Using the national pupil database (NPD), this paper combines multiple-membership and cross-classified multilevel models to simultaneously explore the relationships between secondary school, primary school, neighbourhood and educational achievement. The results show a negative relationship between pupil mobility and achievement, the strength of which depends greatly on the nature and timing of these moves. Accounting for pupil mobility also reveals that schools and neighbourhoods are more important than shown by previous analysis. A strong primary school effect appears to last long after a child has left that phase of schooling. The additional impact of neighbourhoods, on the other hand, is small. Crucially, the rank order of school effects across all types of pupils is sensitive to whether we account for the complexity of the multilevel data structure.
    Keywords: Cross-classified models, Multiple-membership-models, Multilevel modelling, Pupil mobility, School effectiveness, Value-added models
    JEL: I2
    Date: 2008–01
  7. By: Adele Atkinson; Simon Burgess; Paul Gregg; Carol Propper; Steven Proud
    Abstract: The effect of a more able peer group on a child’s attainment is considered an integral part in estimating a pupil level educational production function. Examinations in England at age 16 are tiered according to ability, leading to a large stratification of pupils by ability. However, within tiers, there is a range of policies between schools regarding setting, ranging from credibly random to strict setting by results from examinations at age 14. We use this variation to estimate ordinary least squares (OLS) estimates, with school and teacher fixed effects, of the effect of a more able peer group using a subset of schools that has apparently random allocation of pupils. As a robustness test of the apparently random setting results, we use an instrumental variables (IV) methodology developed by Lefgren (2004b). We find significant, positive, and non-trivial effects of a more able peer group using both the OLS and IV estimations for English and mathematics.
    Keywords: peer groups, education
    JEL: J13 D1 I21 I38
    Date: 2008–01
  8. By: Pietie Horn (Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University); Ada Jansen (Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University)
    Abstract: The deteriorating performance of first-year Economics students has become a concern at many South African universities. Addressing the issue requires a thorough understanding of the factors influencing students’ success. Studies analysing academic performance usually use the education production function approach. This approach identifies inputs crucial to learning to achieve certain outputs. Factors that have been investigated in other studies include the impact of lecture attendance on performance, as well as other factors such as matric results (particularly performance in Mathematics), gender and the age of the student. This study adds to existing literature by analysing the impact of the tutorial programme as an input. The case study investigates the tutorial programme for first-year Economics students at Stellenbosch University (SU) using both a quantitative and qualitative analysis. Results confirm what previous studies have found, namely that lecture attendance, gender and matric results contribute positively to performance in first-year Economics. The main finding of the paper is that tutorial attendance also contributes positively to academic performance.
    Keywords: Tutor programme, Undergraduate, Academic performance
    JEL: A2 A22 A29
    Date: 2008
  9. By: Yar, Daniel (University College of Borås); Wennberg, Karl (Dept. of Business Administration, Stockholm School of Economics); Berglund, Henrik (Chalmers University of Technology)
    Abstract: This paper uses social cognitive theory to investigate entrepreneurial intent among participants in graduate entrepreneurship programs. To the best of our knowledge, the paper is the first to investigate the importance of creativity in entrepreneurship education and theoretical models of entrepreneurial intentions. Specifically, we test whether students creative potential is related to their intention to engage in entrepreneurship. Theoretically derived hypotheses are tested using multiple and ordinal regression analyses. We find that high scores on a creativity test and prior entrepreneurial experiences were positively associated with entrepreneurial intentions, whereas perception of risks had a negative influence. Our theoretical predictors of entreprenurial intention received strong support, indicating that creativity should be considered in models of entrepreneurial intentions. Yet, the use of intentions as dependent variable has its know weaknesses in that we might not distinguish between 'dreamers' and 'doers'. The findings indicate that exercises in creativity can be used to raise entrepreneurial intentions of students in entrepreneurship education. Heterogeneity in creative styles among students also points to the problems of a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to entrepreneurship education.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship education; intentions; creativity
    Date: 2008–01–01
  10. By: Chris Watson
    Abstract: This article briefly describes users’ experiences of two “green” education buildings. It goes on to conclude that stakeholders’ negotiation of building performance is necessary to minimise environmental impact, just as it is necessary to achieve other aspects of building performance.
    Keywords: sustainable development, evaluation, educational buildings, school infrastructure
    Date: 2007–09
  11. By: Sonia Bhalotra; Bernarda Zamora
    Abstract: This paper uses two large repeated cross-sections, one for the early 1990’s, and one for the late 1990’s, to describe growth in school enrolment and completion rates for boys and girls in India, and to explore the extent to which enrolment and completion rates have grown over time. It decomposes this growth into components due to change in the characteristics that determine schooling, and another associated with changes in the responsiveness of schooling to given characteristics. Our results caution against the common practice of using current data to make future projections on the assumption that the model parameters are stable. The analysis nevertheless performs illustrative simulations relevant to the question of whether India will be able to achieve the Millennium Development Goal of realising universal primary education by the year 2015. The simulations suggest that India will achieve universal attendance, but that primary school completion rates will not exhibit much progress.
    Keywords: Millennium Development Goals, primary schooling, attendance, completion rates, gender, India, decomposition
    JEL: I21 I28 O12 J18
    Date: 2008–01
  12. By: Dholakia Ravindra H.;
    Abstract: The Planning Commission’s premise that the growth in India has bypassed the weaker sections due to their ineffective access to the basic services like primary education needs to be tested against the evidence. Traditionally identified weaker section on social criteria (SC and ST population) seems to have a similar or relatively better access to the primary education. However, there is no direct evidence available for the weaker section on the economic criteria or the population living below poverty line (BPL). The present paper attempts to provide an empirical evidence for the premise of the Planning Commission from the household survey of BPL families in five states of India including the survey of primary schools for the same states and localities. Our findings suggest that there is a problem of access of the poor (BPL) households to the primary education services in rural areas. Primary enrolment ratios among the children of poor households are considerably lower than the respective state average and also the aggregate enrolment ratio of the country. Our findings also reveal that the incentives such as mid-day meals, free textbooks and cash subsidies given by government schools to the poor children do actually reach them. The problem of insufficient effective access of the poor to primary education still persists. It calls for a change in the policy level thinking. Qualitative aspects like school infrastructural deficiencies and functioning of teachers having a direct bearing on the quality and access of education in the rural areas need urgent attention.
    Keywords: Poor households, Primary education, Rural India.
    Date: 2008–02–11
  13. By: Francesco Ricci; Marios Zachariadis
    Abstract: This paper investigates the determinants of longevity at a macroeconomic level, emphasizing the important role played by education. To analyze the determinants of longevity, we build a model where households intentionally invest in health and education, and where education exerts external effects on longevity. Performing an empirical analysis using data across 71 countries, we find that society’s tertiary education attainment rate is important for longevity, in addition to any role that basic education plays for life expectancy at the individual level. This finding uncovers a key externality of education, consistent with the theoretical hypothesis advanced in our macroeconomic model.
    Keywords: Education, life expectancy, health, externalities, absorptive capacity, welfare
    Date: 2008–02
  14. By: Damien Besancenot (CEPN - Centre d'économie de l'Université de Paris Nord - CNRS : UMR7115 - Université Paris-Nord - Paris XIII); Joao Faria (Department of Economics - Nottingham Business School); Radu Vranceanu (Department of Economics - ESSEC)
    Abstract: Criticism is mounting on business schools for their excessive focus on research and for neglecting teaching. We show that if students have imperfect information about a school's overall capabilities and if business schools differ in their research productivity, the least productive schools may do as much research as the top-tier ones only to manipulate students' expectations. In turn, the most productive schools might resort to excess research in order to signal their type in the eyes of future students. This signaling equilibrium is characterized by a relative neglect of teaching by the top-tier schools. Such a situation is socially inefficient as compared to the perfect information case.
    Keywords: Business Schools; Research management; Research policy; Research vs. teaching; Signalling; Imperfect information
    Date: 2008–01–17
  15. By: K, Srinivasan
    Abstract: The article provides a detailed analysis of the teachers who attended the training for primary education viewed pre-recorded cassette using Group Observation method. First the paper discusses detailed methodology on group observation and in the second part the findings suggests that for better production of any video Programme for training the teachers should contain innovative and novel approaches.
    Keywords: Observation; Communication research; Anthropology; effectiveness
    JEL: I29
    Date: 2007–05
  16. By: Richard G. Harris (Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University); Peter E. Robertson (School of Economics, The University of New South Wales)
    Abstract: We consider the impact of the recent trend in immigration policies towards selecting migrants on the basis of skills. The analysis uses an inter-temporal general equilibrium model with endogenous skill formation. The model is calibrated to a steady state benchmark that represents Australia in 2000-2001. We then consider the impact of the increase in skilled migrants of approximately 20 thousand per year, which corresponds to the increase in flows of migrant Professionals in Australia since 2000. We find that this generates substantial crowding out of the higher Education sector in Australia. Moreover we show that, when this shock is anticipated as a permanent policy change, there is very little net increase in the stock of skilled labour due to falling student enrollments of 12%. Paradoxically, in this case, the decline in students increases the number of unskilled workers in the economy such that the ratio skilled to unskilled workers in the economy actually falls and the skill premium increases.
    Keywords: Immigration; Human Capital; Computable General Equilibrium Models
    Date: 2007–07
  17. By: Steven Proud
    Abstract: The effect of a child’s peers has long been regarded as an important factor in affecting their educational outcomes. However, these effects follow several different mechanisms and are often difficult to estimate, due to unobserved selection. This paper builds on the work of Hoxby (2000) and uses exogenous changes in the proportion of girls within UK school cohorts to estimate the effect of a more female peer group. I include estimates of effects at a classroom level for schools that appear to contain only one class per cohort to estimate the direct effect of a peer group. Further, I examine if there is a differential effect of boys and girls with differing socioeconomic status, and also examine the effect of a more female peer group on a child’s value added score. I find large significant negative effects of a more female peer group on boy’s outcomes in English, whilst in maths and science, both boys and girls benefit from a more able peer group up until age 11.
    Keywords: peer groups, education
    JEL: J13 D1 I21 I38
    Date: 2008–01
  18. By: Robin Cowan; Natalia Zinovyev
    Abstract: This paper analyzes empirically the channels through which university research affects industry innovation. We examine how the opening of new science, medicine and engineering departments in Italy during 1985-2000 affected regional innovation systems. We find that creation of a new univer- sity department increased regional innovation activity 3-4 years later. On average, an openning of a new department in a region has led to a ten per- cent change in the number of patents filed by regional firms. Given that this effect occurs within the first half decade of the appearance of a new depart- ment, it cannot be ascribed to improvements in the quality and quantity of graduates. At the same time, traditional measures of academic research activity can explain only around 30 percent of this effect.
    Date: 2008
  19. By: Growiec, Jakub
    Abstract: The famous Mincer equation regressing log earnings on years of schooling is derived from a linear human capital accumulation equation at the individual level. Even if the cross-sectional Mincer equation holds at the level of individuals, it does not hold at the macro level of countries because aggregation of human capital has to take into account its vintage structure: human capital is embodied in people of different generations whose lifespan is finite. Finiteness of people’s lives imposes also a limit on the potential of human capital accumulation to drive aggregate economic growth. Aggregate human capital accumulation may however become an engine of growth thanks to human capital externalities (knowledge spillovers). We use these findings to revisit the assumptions of the well-known Uzawa–Lucas growth model from an aggregation perspective.
    Keywords: human capital accumulation; Mincer equation; aggregation; vintage structure; balanced growth
    JEL: I20 J24 O40
    Date: 2007–07–04
  20. By: Susan Dynarski; Judith E. Scott-Clayton
    Abstract: A growing body of empirical evidence shows that some financial aid programs increase college enrollment. Puzzlingly, there is little compelling evidence that Pell Grants and Stafford Loans, the primary federal student aid programs, are effective in achieving this goal. In this paper, we provide an in-depth review of this evidence, which taken as a whole suggests that complexity and uncertainty in the federal aid system undermine its efficacy. We document complexity in the aid system, comparing it in particular to complexity in the tax system. We build on our previous work by showing that complexity in the aid process does little to improve the targeting of both student loans and grants, for both dependent and independent students. We conclude that the current targeting of aid can be reproduced with a much simpler aid process. While we show that the targeting benefits of complexity are small, we further document that the costs are large. We offer new estimates of the compliance costs faced by applicants and the administrative costs borne by the government and colleges. These costs total at least $4 billion per year. The perspective of behavioral economics suggests that the true cost is even higher, since complexity and uncertainty may discourage the target population from applying for student aid.
    JEL: H0 H21 I2 I22 I28
    Date: 2008–02
  21. By: Rafael Guerreiro Osório (International Poverty Centre)
    Abstract: This Working Paper addresses the issue of whether current racial discrimination is the decisive determinant of the wide and persistent inequalities in socioeconomic conditions between Whites and Blacks in Brazil. The paper highlights three main conclusions. The first is that factors, such as region of residence, parental education and household income, together, are responsible for the major proportion of the racial gaps that are observed today, but that racial discrimination remains a major source of inequalities among racial groups. The second conclusion is that whenever educational outcomes, such as literacy, can be easily attained, the ceteris paribus effect of race on the probability of attainment is small and diminishes as household income increases; but when outcomes are more difficult to attain, such as for secondary or higher education, the racial gap is large and increases with income. In other words, the effects of racial discrimination tend to be amplified when Black Brazilians are competing with White Brazilians for highly valued but low-supply social resources, such as higher levels of education. The third conclusion is that although younger age cohorts of Black Brazilians are advancing relative to their parents and to the Brazilian population as a whole, they are not advancing relative to their own age cohort. Thus, although younger age cohorts might be advancing relative to older age cohorts, young Black Brazilians remain in the same relative position vis-à-vis young White Brazilians as older generations of Blacks did vis-à-vis Whites. Thus, in a relative sense, there has been virtually no social mobility for Black Brazilians in the last three decades.
    Keywords: Racial Discrimination, Educational Attainment, Intergenerational Mobility.
    JEL: J15 I21 J62
    Date: 2008–02
  22. By: Richard J. Murnane
    Abstract: For a variety of reasons described in the paper, improving the performance of urban school districts is more difficult today than it was several decades ago. Yet economic and social changes make performance improvement especially important today. Two quite different bodies of research provide ideas for improving the performance of urban school districts. One group of studies, conducted primarily by scholars of organizational design, examines the effectiveness of particular district management strategies. The second, conducted primarily by economists, focuses on the need to improve incentives. Each body of research offers important insights. Each is somewhat insensitive to the importance of the insights offered by the other literature. A theme of this paper is that insights from both literatures are critical to improving urban school systems.
    JEL: I2
    Date: 2008–02
  23. By: Azar, Ofer H.; Brock, David M.
    Abstract: Rankings of strategy journals are important for authors, readers, and promotion and tenure committees. We present several rankings, based either on the number of articles that cited the journal or the per-article impact. Our analyses cover various periods between 1991 and 2006, for most of which the Strategic Management Journal was in first place and Journal of Economics & Management Strategy (JEMS) second, although JEMS ranked first in certain instances. Long Range Planning and Technology Analysis & Strategic Management also achieve a top position. Strategic Organization makes an impressive entry and achieves a top position in 2003-2006.
    Keywords: Journal rankings; Citation analysis; Strategic Management; Academic impact; Strategy
    JEL: L0 M0 M1 A12 M2
    Date: 2007

This nep-edu issue is ©2008 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.