nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2008‒05‒31
eleven papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of the Beira Interior

  1. It takes three to tango in employment: Matching vocational education organisations, students and companies in labour market By Mika Maliranta; Satu Nurmi; Hanna Virtanen
  2. Does Speed Signal Ability? The Impact of Grade Repetitions on Employment and Wages By Brodaty, Thomas; Gary-Bobo, Robert J.; Prieto, Ana
  3. Who Leaves? Teacher Attrition and Student Achievement By Donald Boyd; Pam Grossman; Hamilton Lankford; Susanna Loeb; James Wyckoff
  4. Improving Education Outcomes in Germany By David Carey
  5. Education and Fertility: Evidence from a Natural Experiment By Monstad, Karin; Propper, Carol; Salvanes, Kjell G
  6. The Economic Returns to Field of Study and Competencies Among Higher Education Graduates in Ireland By Elish Kelly; Philip O'Connell; Emer Smyth
  7. Does Teacher Quality Affect Student Performance? Evidence from an Italian University By Maria, De Paola
  8. A signalling model of school grades: centralized versus decentralized examinations By Maria De Paola; Vincenzo Scoppa
  9. A Theoretical Framework for Understanding University Inventors and Patenting By Devrim Göktepe
  10. O Impacto de Infra-Estrutura Escolar na Taxa de Distorção Idade-Série das Escolas Brasileiras de Ensino Fundamental - 1998 a 2005 By Sergei Soares; Natália Sátyro
  11. Technology transfer offices and university patenting - a review By Sidonia von Ledebur

  1. By: Mika Maliranta (The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy (ETLA)); Satu Nurmi (Statistics Finland); Hanna Virtanen (The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy (ETLA))
    Abstract: We examine the determinants of labour market status after the initial vocational basic education (ISCED 3) by use of unique linked register data on students, their parents, teachers, educational organisations and business companies in Finland. We distinguish between four outcomes: 1) employment 2) further studies 3) non-employment and 4) drop-out. The explanatory factors are classified into three main groups: the characteristics of 1) the educational organisation and their institutions, 2) the students and 3) the local business conditions. Teaching expenditures do not matter but teachers’ skills do. Parental background plays a central role. Local business development matters for boys.
    Keywords: Education production, vocational education, employability, further studies, regional development, drop-out
    JEL: H52 I21 J23 J24
    Date: 2008–05
  2. By: Brodaty, Thomas; Gary-Bobo, Robert J.; Prieto, Ana
    Abstract: We propose a new test for the presence of job-market signalling in the sense of Spence (1973), based on an equation in which log-wages are explained by two endogenous variables: the student's degree and the student's time to degree, not simply by years of education. Log-wages are regressed on a measure of education, which is a position on a scale of certificates and degrees, and a measure of the student delay, defined as the difference between the individual's school-leaving age and the average school-leaving age of students holding the same certificate or degree. We use past school-opening instruments, and distance-to-the-nearest-college, also measured in the past, when students were entering grade 6, to identify the parameters. We find a robust, significant and negative impact of the delay variable on wages, averaged over the first five years of career. A year of delay causes a 9% decrease of the student's wage. The only reasonable explanation for this effect is the fact that longer delays signal unobserved characteristics with a negative productivity value. We finally estimate a nonlinear model of education choices and cannot reject the assumption that the data is generated by a job-market signalling equilibrium.
    Keywords: grade repetitions; Returns to education; Signalling; time to degree; wages
    JEL: I2 J3
    Date: 2008–05
  3. By: Donald Boyd; Pam Grossman; Hamilton Lankford; Susanna Loeb; James Wyckoff
    Abstract: Almost a quarter of entering public-school teachers leave teaching within their first three years. High attrition would be particularly problematic if those leaving were the more able teachers. The goal of this paper is estimate the extent to which there is differential attrition based on teachers' value-added to student achievement. Using data for New York City schools from 2000–2005, we find that first-year teachers whom we identify as less effective at improving student test scores have higher attrition rates than do more effective teachers in both low-achieving and high-achieving schools. The first-year differences are meaningful in size; however, the pattern is not consistent for teachers in their second and third years. For teachers leaving low-performing schools, the more effective transfers tend to move to higher achieving schools, while less effective transfers stay in lower-performing schools, likely exacerbating the differences across students in the opportunities they have to learn.
    JEL: I21 J24
    Date: 2008–05
  4. By: David Carey
    Abstract: Improving education outcomes is important for Germany’s long-term economic performance and social cohesion. While student achievement is above the OECD average in science and at the OECD average in reading and mathematics according to the 2006 OECD PISA study, weaker students tend to do badly by international comparison and socio-economic and/or immigrant backgrounds have a large impact. Another problem is that the proportion of younger people that completes tertiary education is relatively low. The authorities are undertaking wide ranging reforms touching all levels of education to tackle these problems. Nevertheless, there is scope to go further by: increasing participation in early childhood education and care of children from less advantaged socio-economic backgrounds and improving the quality of such education; improving teaching quality; reducing stratification in the school system; and making tertiary education more attractive and responsive to labour-market requirements. With the reforms underway or suggested, Germany would be able to look forward to higher education achievement and attainment and, especially, greater equality of education opportunity. <P>Améliorer les résultants de l’enseignement en Allemagne <BR>Il importe d’améliorer les résultats de l’enseignement pour les performances économiques à long terme et pour la cohésion sociale de l’Allemagne. Si les élèves réussissent mieux que la moyenne de l’OCDE en sciences et atteignent la moyenne en compréhension de l’écrit et en mathématiques selon l’enquête PISA 2006 de l’OCDE, les élèves en difficulté ont généralement des résultats faibles par rapport à ceux des autres pays et l’influence du milieu socio-économique et/ou de l’origine est forte. Autre problème : la proportion des jeunes qui achèvent leurs études supérieures est relativement faible. Les autorités ont entrepris une vaste réforme de l’ensemble du système éducatif afin de résoudre ces difficultés. Néanmoins, il est possible d’aller plus loin, notamment en augmentant le nombre d’enfants de familles défavorisées inscrits dans les services d’éducation et d’accueil des jeunes enfants et en améliorant la qualité de ces services, en rehaussant la qualité de l’enseignement, en réduisant la stratification du système scolaire, et en rendant l’enseignement supérieur plus avantageux et plus réactif face aux exigences du marché du travail. Avec les réformes en cours ou proposées, l’Allemagne pourrait espérer des résultats scolaires et des niveaux de formation plus élevés et surtout, une plus grande égalité des chances dans le domaine de l’éducation.
    Keywords: education, éducation, PISA, achievement, attainment, school system, stratification, PISA, réussite scolaire, stratification, accountability, responsabilité, cadre socio–économique
    JEL: I21 I28 J24
    Date: 2008–05–15
  5. By: Monstad, Karin; Propper, Carol; Salvanes, Kjell G
    Abstract: In many developed countries a decline in fertility has occurred. This development has been attributed to greater education of women. However, establishing a causal link is difficult as both fertility and education have changed secularly. The contribution of this paper is to study the connection between fertility and education over a woman’s fertile period focusing on whether the relationship is causal. We study fertility in Norway and use an educational reform as an instrument to correct for selection into education. Our results indicate that increasing education leads to postponement of first births away from teenage motherhood towards having the first birth in their twenties and, for a smaller group, up to the age of 35-40. We do not find, however, evidence that total fertility falls as a result of greater education.
    Keywords: causal effect; education; female fertility
    JEL: I20 J13
    Date: 2008–05
  6. By: Elish Kelly (Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI)); Philip O'Connell (Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI)); Emer Smyth (Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI))
    Abstract: This paper looks at the economic returns to different fields of study in Ireland in 2004 and also the value placed on various job-related competencies, accumulated on completion of higher education, in the Irish labour market. In examining these issues the paper seeks to control for potential selection influences by ensuring through quantile regression that comparisons are made within sections of the wage distribution where ability differences are likely to be minimal. The impact that education-job mismatch, both education-level and field, has on earnings is also taken into consideration. The results derived indicate that, relative to the base case, there are higher returns to Medicine & Veterinary, Education, Engineering & Architecture, Science and Computers & IT. The quantile regression analysis reveals that the OLS estimates are not particularly affected by unobserved heterogeneity bias. Furthermore, this approach indicates that field specific returns diminish the more able the graduate. Small but significant returns were found for some of the competencies analysed, in particular technical skills.
    Keywords: Field of Study, Competencies, Returns to Education, Quantile Regression, Ireland
    JEL: I20 J24 J30 J31
    Date: 2008–05
  7. By: Maria, De Paola
    Abstract: In this paper we analyse whether the characteristics of university teaching staff matter with regards students’ performance and interest in the discipline. We use data on about one thousand students enrolled on the first level degree course in Business and Economics at a medium sized Italian University. Thanks to the random assignment of students to different teaching sections during their first year, we are able to analyze the effect that teachers with different characteristics, in terms of experience and research productivity, produce both on students’ performance, measured in terms of the grades obtained at subsequent exams and courses chosen. Our results suggest that teacher quality has statistically significant effects on students’ grades on subsequent courses. These effects are also robust after controlling for unobserved individual characteristics. On the other hand, we find less clear evidence when relating teacher quality to student involvement with a subject. It emerges that more experienced teachers have a negative impact on the probability of a student’s undertaking additional courses in a subject, while research productivity does not produce a statistically significant effect.
    Keywords: teaching quality; student performance;
    JEL: A2
    Date: 2008–01
  8. By: Maria De Paola (Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica, Università della Calabria); Vincenzo Scoppa (Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica, Università della Calabria)
    Abstract: In this paper we examine the signalling value for skills of different examination systems in relation to errors that may affect grades obtained by students. We show that more precise evaluation systems, being associated to a higher reactivity of wages to school grades, induce an higher level of student effort. However, the effect is heterogeneous, low ability students tend to react less compared to high ability students. Moreover, from our analysis, it emerges that individuals endowed with low abilities may prefer less accurate evaluation systems. Nevertheless, when productivity increases the convenience of these systems reduces and the number of individuals preferring them shrinks. Our analysis highlights an important trade-off between centralized and decentralized evaluation systems. Frequent evaluations, typical of decentralized systems, reduce the impact on grades of errors that influence student performance and by this way diminish signal noise, on the other hand, different teachers generally adopt different performance assessment standards, and this tends to produce noisier evaluations. Conversely, centralized systems use common evaluation standards, but their frequency is limited by relevant administration costs and then produce evaluations that are more affected by errors influencing student performance. In the last part of the paper we investigate the relationship between the optimal class size and evaluation systems. We show that under decentralized evaluation systems class size also affects the signal noise. In fact, larger classes may reduce the frequency of evaluations undertaken by teachers.
    Keywords: signalling modell, school grades
    JEL: D02 H42 I28
    Date: 2008–05
  9. By: Devrim Göktepe (Max Planck Institute of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper develops theoretical standpoints to investigate and analyse university inventors and patenting activities. Although the studies on academic entrepreneurship and university patenting have substantially increased, first there have not been enough studies on individual inventors and second the current theoretical studies are not eclectic enough to capture the different factors that may explain university inventors patenting activities. The framework described here addresses this need. To accomplish this we inductively derive several factors from a substantial number of studies on university patenting and entrepreneurship, and develop these factors into a tentative framework. It is our hope that this framework is useful in future empirical research on university patenting and provides a point of departure for scientists.
    Keywords: theoretical approach, university patenting, inventors, incentives
    JEL: O31 O34 B31
    Date: 2008–04–08
  10. By: Sergei Soares; Natália Sátyro
    Abstract: O efeito dos insumos escolares sobre o desempenho educacional tem sido freqüentemente estudado na literatura, mas não há consenso sobre seu impacto. Este trabalho apresenta resultados que apontam para a existência de um impacto significativo desses insumos, nas escolas brasileiras de ensino fundamental, sobre a taxa de distorção idade-série escolar entre 1998 e 2005. A análise empírica é feita através de mais de um método de estimação, mas os principais resultados advêm do modelo de regressão linear para dados de painel com efeito fixo das escolas. O estudo se baseia em dados do Censo Escolar de 1998 a 2005 sobre uma coorte de 132.603 escolas, e, para os municípios, utilizaram-se dados do Censo Demográfico de 2000. O principal resultado é que os insumos escolares têm importância, sim, no desempenho educacional, principalmente no caso de escolas com maior precariedade das condições infra-estruturais. The effect of school inputs upon educational outcomes has been extensively studies in the literature but there are still no conclusions as to its impacts. This paper presents results that suggest a strong impact of inputs upon age-grade lag for Brazilian primary schools between 1998 and 2005. We use more than one estimation method, but the results we believe are those from a fixed effects model based upon a panel of schools. The data come from the annual School Census from 1998 to 2005 which provides information on a cohort of 132.603 schools; municipal data come from the 2000 Demographic Census. Our most important result is that school inputs have strong positive effects upon educational outcomes, particularly in the case of those schools whose inputs are especially low.
    Date: 2008–05
  11. By: Sidonia von Ledebur (Friedrich Schiller Universität Jena, Graduate School "Economis of Innovative Change")
    Abstract: This policy paper on science-industry technology transfer has four emphases: the rationale of recent changes in German science policy, the contribution of diverse transfer channels to economic development as well as the role of IPR in that context, the differences in the institutional framework between Europe and USA regarding academic patenting, and the organisational design of technology transfer offices (TTOs). The extensive literature review highlights the importance of TTOs, the necessity of supporting manifold transfer channels, and continuous government funding of intermediaries. Important open research questions are the relative importance of transfer channels and the optimal size of TTOs.
    Keywords: science-industry links, university patenting, technology transfer offices, science policy
    JEL: O34 O33 O31
    Date: 2008–04–18

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