nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2008‒06‒27
fourteen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of the Beira Interior

  1. Uncertainty, education, and the school-to-work transition: theory and evidence from Brazil By L. Guarcello; F. Rosati; P. Scaramozzino
  2. Evidence About the Potential Role for Affirmative Action in Higher Education By Braz Camargo; Ralph Stinebrickner; Todd Stinebrickner
  3. The Importance of Character Education for Tweens as Consumers By Noha El-Bassiouny; Ahmed Taher; Ehab M. Abou Aish
  4. The effect of availability and distance to school on children's time allocation in Ghana and Guatemala. By D. Vuri
  5. High School Employment, School Performance, and College Entry By Lee, Chanyoung; Orazem, Peter
  6. Educational Attainment, Growth and Poverty Reduction within the MDG Framework: Simulations and Costing for the Peruvian Case By Gustavo Yamada; Juan F. Castro; Arlette Beltran; Maria A. Cardenas
  7. Impact Assessment of an Entrepreneurship Course on Students’ Entrepreneurial Competencies: A Constructivist Perspective By E. IZQUIERDO; D. BUYENS
  8. Does Professor Quality Matter? Evidence from Random Assignment of Students to Professors By Scott E. Carrell; James E. West
  9. The Causes and Consequences of Cross-Country Differences in Schooling Attainment By Schoellman, Todd
  10. Academic Patenting in Europe: New Evidence from the KEINS Database. By Francesco Lissoni; Patrick Llerena; Maureen McKelvey; Bulat Sanditov
  11. Can Education Save Europe From High Unemployment? By Nicole Walter; Runli Xie
  12. Price and Real Output Measures for the Education Function of Government: Exploratory Estimates for Primary & Secondary Education By Barbara M. Fraumeni; Marshall B. Reinsdorf; Brooks B. Robinson; Matthew P. Williams
  13. If Johnny can’t work, can Johnny read better?: Child Labor Laws, Labor Supply and Schooling Outcomes By Lee, Chanyoung; Orazem, Peter
  14. Are leading papers of better quality? Evidence from a natural experiment By Tom Coupé; Victor Ginsburgh; Abdul Noury

  1. By: L. Guarcello; F. Rosati; P. Scaramozzino
    Abstract: This paper develops a model of investment in education and school-to-work transition under uncertainty. The main predictions of the model are tested for Brazilian households using PNAD data. Increased uncertainty on labour market outcomes is shown to be associated with higher levels of schooling by young people, consistent with a real options approach to education as an investment.
    Date: 2008–04
  2. By: Braz Camargo (University of Western Ontario); Ralph Stinebrickner (Berea College); Todd Stinebrickner (University of Western Ontario)
    Abstract: In two recent cases involving the University of Michigan, the Supreme Court examined whether race should be allowed to play an explicit role in the admission decisions of schools. The primary argument in these court cases and others has been that racial diversity strengthens the quality of education offered to all students. Underlying this argument is the notion that educational benefits arise if interactions between students of different races improve preparation for life after college by, among other things, fostering mutual understanding and correcting misperceptions. Then, a fundamental condition necessary for the primary legal argument to be compelling is that the types of students who choose to enter college actually have incorrect beliefs about individuals from different races at the time of college entrance. In this paper we provide, to the best of our knowledge, the first direct evidence about this condition by taking advantage of unique new data that was collected specifically for this purpose.
    Date: 2008
  3. By: Noha El-Bassiouny (Faculty of Management Technology, The German University in Cairo); Ahmed Taher (American University in Cairo); Ehab M. Abou Aish (Faculty of Management Technology, The German University in Cairo)
    Abstract: Tweens is a term that denotes a market segment mentality that falls between children at the lower end and teens at the upper end. Tweens marketing strategies are considered critical for most global brands. Advocates against excessive consumerism and materialism polluting innocent childhood, specifically tweens, call for values implantation through character education in the school to breed more educated consumers. The effect of implanting character building programs in schools on the consumer behavior of the exposed children in the marketplace, however, has never been tested before. This research endeavor is, in essence, an overlap between consumer behavior and educational psychology, investigating the link between personality and behavior in the market. It falls under both positivist and interpretive consumer research, specifically the consumer socialization of children. The aim of this work is to develop a conceptual model linking character education to purchasing lifestyles and consumption patterns of the exposed children as consumers. Following, prospects for future research are highlighted.
    Keywords: Educational psychology, character education, attitudes and lifestyles, opinion-leadership, humanitarianism, ethnocentrism, adolescents and middle schools
    JEL: M30 M31
    Date: 2008–06
  4. By: D. Vuri
    Abstract: In this paper we present evidence on the impact of distance to school and school availability on households’ decisions concerning primary age children’s time allocation between work, schooling and household chores activities using data from the Ghana Living Standard Survey 1998-99 (GLSS) and the Guatemalan Living Standards Measurement Survey 2000 (ENCOVI). Overall, our results indicate that the increased and eased access to school has a well-defined impact on children’s time use, with both similarities and striking dissimilarities between the chosen countries. In particular, in Ghana the availability and the travel distance to schools (both primary and middle) in the community influence children’s work in both economic activities and household chores and children’s school attendance. The longer the travel time to school the more difficult it is for children to reconcile work and school attendance. In Guatemala, secondary school access constraints have almost no effect on children’s time allocation. In addition, reducing the cost of access to primary education has an effect only on children’s school attendance but it reduces neither child work nor time spent in household chores. Our results are robust to control for the endogeneity of school location and per capita expenditures.
    Date: 2008–01
  5. By: Lee, Chanyoung; Orazem, Peter
    Abstract: The proportion of U.S. high school students working during the school year ranges from 23% in the freshman year to 75% in the senior year. This study estimates how cumulative work histories during the high school years affect probability of dropout, high school academic performance, and the probability of attending college. Variation in individual date of birth and in state truancy laws along with the strength of local demand for low-skill labor are used as instruments for endogenous work hours during the high school career. Working more hours during the academic year does not affect high school academic performance. However, increased high school work intensity raises the likelihood of completing high school but lowers the probability of going to college. These results are similar for boys and girls, and so working during high school does not explain the widening gap in college entry between men and women.
    Keywords: child labor,GPA, college enrollment, dropout,truancy age,
    JEL: N3
    Date: 2008–06–18
  6. By: Gustavo Yamada; Juan F. Castro; Arlette Beltran; Maria A. Cardenas
    Abstract: We propose a model that accounts for the potential feedback between schooling performance, human capital accumulation and long run GDP growth, and links these results with poverty incidence. Our simulation exercise takes into account targets for education indicators and GDP growth itself (as arguments in our planner's loss function) and provides two conclusions: (i) with additional funds which amount to 1 percent of GDP each year, public intervention could, by year 2015, add an extra 0.89 and 1.80 percentage points in terms of long-run GDP growth and permanent reduction in poverty incidence, respectively; and (ii) in order to engineer an intervention in the educational sector so as to transfer households the necessary assets to attain a larger income generation potential in the long run, we need to extend the original set of MDG indicators to account for access to higher educational levels besides primary education.
    Keywords: Millennium development goals, education, human capital, GDP growth, poverty, Peru
    JEL: O41 I32 C25 C41 C61
    Date: 2008
    Abstract: This paper reports on educational issues of an entrepreneurship course, supported by a constructivist perspective. The study discusses the relevance of constructivism in entrepreneurship education. As a way of assessing this issue, a pre-test-post-test multiple-group quasi-experimental design was performed with the data collected during an academic term. Data were collected by using three instruments to examine the students’ entrepreneurial competencies and self-efficacy levels; two of them were newly developed. Results indicate that an action-oriented instructional approach, fitting into the constructivist view, has a positive impact on the development of entrepreneurial competencies in undergraduate students. Furthermore, the findings reveal that students self-assessed higher on their entrepreneurial self-efficacy after the course completion. Discussion of the findings and implications for future research are presented.
    Keywords: Constructivist Perspective, Entrepreneurship, Competencies, Self-efficacy.
    Date: 2008–03
  8. By: Scott E. Carrell; James E. West
    Abstract: It is difficult to measure teaching quality at the postsecondary level because students typically "self-select" their coursework and their professors. Despite this, student evaluations of professors are widely used in faculty promotion and tenure decisions. We exploit the random assignment of college students to professors in a large body of required coursework to examine how professor quality affects student achievement. Introductory course professors significantly affect student achievement in contemporaneous and follow-on related courses, but the effects are quite heterogeneous across subjects. Students of professors who as a group perform well in the initial mathematics course perform significantly worse in follow-on related math, science, and engineering courses. We find that the academic rank, teaching experience, and terminal degree status of mathematics and science professors are negatively correlated with contemporaneous student achievement, but positively related to follow-on course achievement. Across all subjects, student evaluations of professors are positive predictors of contemporaneous course achievement, but are poor predictors of follow-on course achievement.
    JEL: I20
    Date: 2008–06
  9. By: Schoellman, Todd
    Abstract: This paper uses labor market evidence to quantify the importance of quality-adjusted schooling differences in accounting for cross-country income differences. I model labor markets that are consistent with cross-country data on schooling attainment, education quality, and the average returns to schooling of a country’s emigrants and its non-migrants. The model suggests that the Mincerian returns to schooling of immigrants to the United States measure the education qualities of their source countries. Measured this way, quality differences across countries are large, and the calibrated model shows that schooling accounts for a factor of 5 of the income difference between the U.S. and the poorest countries. The evidence suggests that immigrants to the U.S. are positively selected members of their source country, and that immigrants from developing countries are more selected than those from developed countries. Then the low education quality measured in the sample actually overestimates the education quality of the average non-migrant, particularly for developing countries. Two methods of controlling for selection among immigrants thus predict a moderately larger role for schooling, between a factor of 6.5 and 7.9.
    JEL: O47
    Date: 2008–05
  10. By: Francesco Lissoni; Patrick Llerena; Maureen McKelvey; Bulat Sanditov
    Abstract: The paper provides summary statistics from the KEINS database on academic patenting in France, Italy, and Sweden. It shows that academic scientists in those countries have signed many more patents than previously estimated. This re‐evaluation of academic patenting comes by considering all patents signed by academic scientists active in 2004, both those assigned to universities and the many more held by business companies, governmental organizations, and public laboratories. Specific institutional features of the university and research systems in the three countries contribute to explain these ownership patterns, which are remarkably different from those observed in the US. In the light of these new data, European universities’ contribution to domestic patenting appears not to be much less intense than that of their US counterparts.
    Date: 2008
  11. By: Nicole Walter; Runli Xie
    Abstract: Empirical observations show that education helps to protect against labor market risks. This is twofold: The higher educated face a higher expected wage income and a lower probability of being unemployed. Although this relationship has been analyzed in the literature broadly, several questions remain to be tackled. This paper contributes to the existing literature by looking at the above mentioned phenomena from a purely theoretic perspective and in a European context. We set up a model with search-and-matching frictions, collective bargaining and monopolistic competition in the product market. Workers are heterogeneous in their human capital level. It is shown that higher human capital increases the wage rate and reduces unemployment risks, which is consistent with empirical observations for European countries.
    Keywords: human capital, search frictions, collective bargaining, monopolistic competition
    JEL: E24 J24 J52
    Date: 2008–06
  12. By: Barbara M. Fraumeni; Marshall B. Reinsdorf; Brooks B. Robinson; Matthew P. Williams
    Abstract: In a previous paper, the authors took the first step in their research on measuring the education function of government by estimating real output measures (Fraumeni, et. al. 2004). In this paper, chain-type Fisher quantity indexes for those output measures are calculated to be more consistent with Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) methodology and the real output measures presented in the previous paper are refined. In addition, and more importantly, implicit price deflators are presented to give a more complete picture. Alternative price and real output measures are compared; it is clear that methodology choice matters. Price change is always greater than quantity change for the periods given; however, price changes are overstated to the extent quality changes are not captured in the quantity indexes. Quality-adjustments continue to be the most challenging aspect of decomposing nominal expenditures for government-provided education into price and quantity components.
    JEL: O40
    Date: 2008–06
  13. By: Lee, Chanyoung; Orazem, Peter
    Abstract: The two most common state child labor restrictions are work permit requirements for teenagers and school dropout ages that are more stringent than federal requirements. If these laws are effectively targeted and enforced, children living in states legislating more stringent child labor laws should be less likely to work, should work fewer hours if they do work, and they should have better average schooling outcomes. Data show that stricter state laws do not lower significantly the likelihood that 14-15 year old youths work or the likelihood their hours exceed federal guidelines. Child labor laws do have small positive effects on academic outcomes. State work permit requirements modestly increase the likelihood of college entry while more stringent truancy laws increase marginally high school academic performance.
    Keywords: child labor,legislation,GPA,college enrollment, dropout,truancy,work permit
    JEL: J4
    Date: 2008–06–18
  14. By: Tom Coupé (Kyiv School of Economics and Kyiv Economics Institute); Victor Ginsburgh (ECARES, Université Libre de Bruxelles and CORE, Université Catholique de Louvain); Abdul Noury (CORE, Université Catholique de Louvain)
    Abstract: Leading papers in a journal’s issue attract, on average, more citations than those that follow. It is, however, difficult to assess whether they are of better quality (as is often suggested), or whether this happens just because they appear first in an issue. We make use of a natural experiment that was carried out by a journal in which papers are randomly ordered in some issues, while this order is not random in others. We show that leading papers in randomly ordered issues also attract more citations, which casts some doubt on whether, in general, leading papers are of higher quality.
    Date: 2008–06

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.