nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2008‒07‒20
six papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of the Beira Interior

  1. The College Wage Premium and the Expansion of Higher Education in the UK By Ian Walker; Yu Zhu
  2. Human capital investment and growth: A dynamic education model By Ben Mimoun, Mohamed; Raies, Asma
  3. Educational Attainment and Other Characteristics of the Self-Employed: An Examination using Data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics By Chad Moutray
  4. The Evolution of University Access Programmes in Ireland By Patricia O’ Reilly
  5. Vers une convergence des modèles? Une réflexion à la lumière des expériences européennes de réforme des systèmes d'enseignement supérieur. By Jean-Luc De Meulemeester
  6. Does a generous welfare state crowd out student effort? Panel data evidence from international student tests By Justina Fischer; Torberg Falch

  1. By: Ian Walker (University of Warwick); Yu Zhu (University of Kent)
    Abstract: This paper reports estimates of the UK “college premium” for young graduates across successive cohorts from large cross section datasets for the UK pooled from 1994 to 2006 - a period when the higher education participation rate increased dramatically. The growth in relative labour demand suggests that graduate supply considerably outstripped demand which ought to imply a fall in the premium. We find no significant fall for men and even a large, but insignificant, rise for women. Quantile regression results reveal a fall in the premium only for men in the bottom quartile of the distribution of unobserved skills.
    Keywords: human capital, higher education, college premium
    JEL: I20 J3
    Date: 2008–04–30
  2. By: Ben Mimoun, Mohamed; Raies, Asma
    Abstract: The paper aims to explicitly determine the distribution of human capital across hierarchic educational stages along the transition process, and to analyse the determinants of its evolution. We apply optimal control principles in a model of endogenous growth with two successive stages of education. We show that with initial relative scarcity of advanced human capital, the duration of studies at the advanced level should increase until reaching its equilibrium level. We also find that, by raising the duration of studies at the advanced schooling level, improvements in the quality of education at this level also enhances the economy’s growth rate, both in the transition and in the long-run.
    Keywords: Human capital investment; growth; a dynamic model
    JEL: J24 H52 O40
    Date: 2008
  3. By: Chad Moutray
    Abstract: This study examines the relationship between education and the choice to become an entrepreneur. In doing so, it builds on previous research linking entrepreneurial activity with educationalattainment. Weaver, Dickson, and Solomon (2006), for example, survey the literature on this topic, and find that individuals with more education are more likely to be self-employed and successful. Brush and Manolova (2004) write that “human capital is the starting point for obtaining and developing other types of resources when a new venture is founded and directly influences its start-up process, survival, performance, and strategic direction.”
    Date: 2008
  4. By: Patricia O’ Reilly (Geary Institute, University College Dublin)
    Abstract: The aim of this report is to explore the historical development of third level access programmes in Ireland, that is, programmes aimed at improving access to third level education by the socio-economically disadvantaged. One key objective is to locate the UCD higher education access programme – New ERA – within the context of developments in national policy and access initiatives in Ireland. The report also presents a brief overview of previous evaluations of targeted initiatives in Ireland as well as barriers to Higher Education as outlined by Lynch & O Riordan’s 1996 study which provided the framework for the development of New ERA. Section 2 provides a definition of ‘access’ and ‘disadvantage’. Section 3 discusses the development of relevant policy on access to higher education. Section 4 examines previous evaluations of targeted initiatives. Section 5 describes the evolution of New ERA and section 6 places the New ERA programme in the context of tackling barriers to access as outlined by Lynch & O’Riordan. Section 7 focuses on current and possible future developments in the New ERA access programme and finally section 8 concludes.
    Date: 2008–07–03
  5. By: Jean-Luc De Meulemeester (DULBEA, Université libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Skope, University of Oxford.)
    Abstract: In this paper we compare the institutional evolution of the higher education systems in France and England from 1980 onwards. These two systems are interesting case-studies as they correspond to two topical opposite positions in terms of their elaborative structures : the French system was originally centralised whereas the English model was decentralised. The optimal way to reform higher education systems is different in both cases (and easier in a decentralised setting due to the noncooperative behaviour of higher education institutions). We show that England faced a centralising movement (especially since 1988) whereas in France a decentralising movement was a precondition for effective reforms. In a long run perspective there seems to be some convergence between the 2 models as well as institutional change.
    Keywords: reform – higher education - comparison
    JEL: I23 I28 P59
    Date: 2008–07
  6. By: Justina Fischer; Torberg Falch
    Keywords: Student achievement; welfare state; panel data, PISA, TIMSS
    Date: 2008

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.