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

  1. New Zealand: Modernising Schools in a Decentralised Environment By Bruce Sheerin
  2. Changing School Architecture in Zurich By Mark Ziegler; Daniel Kurz
  3. US Academic Libraries: Today’s Learning Commons Model By Susan McMullen
  4. Impact of school quality on child labor and school: the case of CONAFE Compensatory Education Program in Mexico By F. Rosati; M. Rossi
  5. Implications of Curriculum Reform for School Buildings in Scotland By W. Scott-Watson
  6. Recruitment of Seemingly Overeducated Personnel: Insider-Outsider Effects on Fair Employee Selection Practices By Fabel, Oliver; Pascalau, Razvan
  7. Accessibility and affordability of tertiary education in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Peru within a global context By Blom, Andreas; Murakami, Yuki
  8. Modernising Portugal’s Secondary Schools By Teresa V. Heitor
  9. Household Saving Behavior: The Role of Financial Literacy, Information, and Financial Education Programs By Annamaria Lusardi
  10. Child labour as a response to shocks: evidence from Cambodian villages By L. Guarcello; I. Kovrova; F. C. Rosati

  1. By: Bruce Sheerin
    Abstract: The government of New Zealand delegates property expenditure decisions to each individual school. Such a decentralised environment creates a challenge for school boards and principals to obtain advice on the complex issues around designing schools. To inform schools, the Ministry of Education provides numerous publications related to design and selected best practice samples via its website.
    Keywords: decentralisation, learning environment, educational buildings, school infrastructure
    Date: 2008–02
  2. By: Mark Ziegler; Daniel Kurz
    Abstract: Changes in the way education is delivered has contributed to the evolution of school architecture in Zurich, Switzerland. The City of Zurich has revised its guidelines for designing school buildings, both new and old. Adapting older buildings to today’s needs presents a particular challenge. The authors explain what makes up a good school building and provide a set of design recommendations.
    Keywords: school building design, learning environment, educational buildings, school infrastructure
    Date: 2008–02
  3. By: Susan McMullen
    Abstract: In 2007, the author examined existing academic libraries in the United States to determine best practices for the design, implementation and service of learning commons facilities. A primary objective of this study was to discover how to create a higher education learning environment that sustains scholarship, encourages collaboration and empowers student learning. This article explains how to plan for a modern learning commons and presents the various components that comprise the space.
    Keywords: innovation, technology, learning environment, educational buildings
    Date: 2008–02
  4. By: F. Rosati; M. Rossi
    Abstract: This paper focuses on the impact that two different types of policy interventions, namely enhancing school quality and contingent cash transfers , have on child labour and school attendance in Mexico. While there are many studies on the impact of Oportunidades on schooling outcomes, little evidence is available on whether school quality programs such as CONAFE also reduce child labour and help keep children in school. To carry out the analysis, we merge the Oportunidades panel dataset for the years 1997 to 2000 to the CONAFE dataset containing detailed information on the school quality program components. The econometric strategy involves a bivariate probit model for child labor and schooling, both for primary school aged children and adolescents. In this way, we are able to control whether the impact of the program on schooling differs according to the age of the targeted child. Our findings suggest that school quality programs are not only effective in increasing school attendance, but also act as derrents to child labor, especially for children of secondary school age.
    Date: 2007–09
  5. By: W. Scott-Watson
    Abstract: Scotland’s Building Excellence programme is exploring the implications of curriculum reform for school building design. It includes events which bring together teachers, designers, school managers and local authorities.
    Keywords: school building design, learning environment, educational buildings
    Date: 2008–02
  6. By: Fabel, Oliver; Pascalau, Razvan
    Abstract: We analyze a standard employee selection model given two institutional constraints: First, professional experience perfectly substitutes insufficient formal education for insiders while this substitution is imperfect for outsiders. Second, in the latter case the respective substitution rate increases with the advertised minimum educational requirement. Optimal selection implies that the expected level of formal education is higher for outsider than for insider recruits. Moreover, this difference in educational attainments increases with lower optimal minimum educational job requirements. Investigating data of a large US public employer confirms both of the above theoretical implications. Generally, the econometric model exhibits a good fit.
    Keywords: employee selection; overeducation; adverse impact; insiders vs outsiders
    JEL: I21 J78 M51 J53
    Date: 2007–10–24
  7. By: Blom, Andreas; Murakami, Yuki
    Abstract: This paper examines the financing of tertiary education in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, comparing the affordability and accessibility of ter tiary education with that in high-income countries. To measure affordability, the authors estimate education costs, living costs, grants, and loans. Further, they compute the participation rate, attainment rate, and socio-economic equity index in education and the gender equity index as indicators of accessibility. This is the first study attempting to estimate affordability of tertiary education in Latin America within a global context. The analysis combines information from household surveys, expenditure surveys, and administrative and institutional databases. The findings show that families in Latin America have to pay 60 percent of per-capita income for tertiary education per student per year compared with 19 percent in high-income countries. Living costs are significant, at 29 percent of gross domestic product per capita in Latin America (19 percent in high-income countries). Student assistance through grants and loans plays a marginal role in improving affordability. Moreover, the paper confirms previous findings of low access to tertiary education in the region. One policy implication of the findings is that Latin American governments could take steps to make tertiary education more affordable through student assistance.
    Keywords: Tertiary Education,,Access & Equity in Basic Education,Access to Finance,Teaching and Learning
    Date: 2008–02–01
  8. By: Teresa V. Heitor
    Abstract: In March 2007, the Portuguese government announced an ambitious plan to modernise secondary schools by improving the quality and usefulness of its teaching and learning facilities, while putting schools back into the centre of the community of which they are an integral part.
    Keywords: innovation, reforms, secondary schools, school building design, learning environment, educational buildings
    Date: 2008–02
  9. By: Annamaria Lusardi
    Abstract: Individuals are increasingly in charge of their own financial security after retirement. But how well-equipped are individuals to make saving decisions; do they possess adequate financial literacy, are they informed about the most important components of saving plans, do they even plan for retirement? This paper shows that financial illiteracy is widespread among the U.S. population and particularly acute among specific demographic groups, such as those with low education, women, African-Americans, and Hispanics. Moreover, close to half of older workers do not know which type of pensions they have and the large majority of workers know little about the rules governing Social Security benefits. Notwithstanding the low levels of literacy that many individuals display, very few rely on the help of experts or financial advisors to make saving and investment decisions. Low literacy and lack of information affect the ability to save and to secure a comfortable retirement; ignorance about basic financial concepts can be linked to lack of retirement planning and lack of wealth. Financial education programs can help improve saving and financial decision-making, but much more can be done to improve the effectiveness of these programs.
    JEL: D14 D91
    Date: 2008–02
  10. By: L. Guarcello; I. Kovrova; F. C. Rosati
    Abstract: The paper analyzes the effect of different shocks on household decisions concerning children’s involvement in work and school in rural Cambodia. We assess the differential impact of three different types of shocks using propensity score matching and double difference estimates extended to the case of multiple treatments. The findings indicate that household responses to shocks depend considerably on the specific type of shock encounterered. Of the three shocks considered, crop failure is the most damaging in terms of school attendance and child labour in the Cambodian context. Droughts appear far less relevant, while flooding does not seem to have any significant impact on children’s work and school attendance. The findings argue for the targeting of risk management policies to the specific types of shocks most damaging to children.
    Date: 2007–06

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