nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2008‒08‒21
fifteen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Trends in the Black-White Achievement Gap:Clarifying the Meaning of Within- and Between-School Achievement Gaps By Lindsay C. Page; Richard J. Murnane; John B. Willett
  2. Retorno em Escolaridade no Paraná By Juliana K. Van Zaist; Luciano Nakabashi; Márcio A. Salvato
  3. O Programa Comunidade Escola e seus impactos sobre a violência entre Crianças e Jovens By Anna Karolina Selhorst Bezerra; Luciano Nakabashi
  4. Technology's Edge: The Educational Benefits of Computer-Aided Instruction By Lisa Barrow; Lisa Markman; Cecilia E. Rouse
  5. Harming the Best: How Schools Affect the Black-White Achievement Gap By Eric A. Hanushek; Steven G. Rivkin
  6. Measuring Progress with Tests of Learning: Pros and Cons for "Cash on Delivery Aid" in Education By Marlaine Lockheed
  7. The Gender Wage Gap as a Function of Educational Degree Choices in Greece By Pouliakas, Konstantinos; Livanos, Ilias
  8. Educational Reform in Developing Countries: Private Involvement and Partnerships By Argentino Pessoa
  9. A Model of Human Capital, Time Discounting and Economic Growth By Michal Bauer; Julie Chytilová
  10. The Effect of Classmate Characteristics on Individual Outcomes: Evidence from the Add Health By Robert Bifulco; Jason Fletcher; Stephen Ross
  11. A Panel Data Analysis of the Incidence and Impact of Over-education. By Joanne Lindley; Steven McIntosh
  12. Externalities in the Classroom: How Children Exposed to Domestic Violence Affect Everyone's Kids By Mark L. Hoekstra; Scott Carrell
  13. Uma análise do capital humano sobre o nível de renda dos estados brasileiros: MRW versus Mincer By Ricardo Corrêa Cangussu; Márcio A. Salvato; Luciano Nakabashi
  14. Do Research Assessment Exercises Raise the Returns to Publication Quality? Evidence from the New Zealand Market for Academic Economists By John Gibson; John Tressler; David L. Anderson
  15. Evaluación ex -ante y ex -post de proyectos de inversión pública en educación y salud metodologías y estudios de caso By Raúl Castro R.

  1. By: Lindsay C. Page; Richard J. Murnane; John B. Willett
    Abstract: We decompose black-white achievement gap trends between 1971 and 2004 into trends in within- and between-school differences. We show that the previous finding that narrowing within-school inequality explains most of the decline in the black-white achievement gap between 1971 and 1988 is sensitive to methodology. Employing a more detailed partition of achievement differences, we estimate that 40 percent of the narrowing of the gap through the 1970s and 1980s is attributable to the narrowing of within-school differences between black and white students. Further, the consequences for achievement of attending a high minority school became increasingly deleterious between 1971 and 1999.
    JEL: I2 I21
    Date: 2008–08
  2. By: Juliana K. Van Zaist; Luciano Nakabashi (Department of Economics, Universidade Federal do Paraná); Márcio A. Salvato (Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais)
    Abstract: The Brazilian educational system low quality is considered as an obstacle for its economic growth. One way to overcome such situation is to improve the quality of education which, in turn, depends on the correct identification of the investment priorities on the different levels of education, due to government budgetary restriction. Therefore, the present study main goal is to analyze which one is the most important level of education on income generation and economic growth in Paraná State by means of 2005 PNAD micro data and HECKMAN procedure (1979). To accomplish this objective, the returns of different levels of education were estimated and the conclusion is that the undergraduate level is the one that brings the highest return. However, this does not imply that the other educational levels are not crucial in the policy makers’ decision of educational resources allocation.
    Keywords: Returns of different levels of education; HECKMAN Procedure; Educational system investment
    JEL: C21 D31 I21 I28
    Date: 2008
  3. By: Anna Karolina Selhorst Bezerra; Luciano Nakabashi (Department of Economics, Universidade Federal do Paraná)
    Abstract: The present study’s objective is to analyze the violence reduction impacts of the Program Community School (Programa Comunidade Escola) on the participant and not participant schools and on their respective communities. First of all, a classification of different forms of violence is carried out. Additionally, there is a discussion about the violence causes on the basis of different theories. Subsequently, it is presented a relation between violence and school based on an exposition of different forms of violence into the school environment. Finally, the empirical analysis is carried out by means of data collect from questionnaires application. The results indicate that the Program Community School has a relevant impact on violence reduction.
    Keywords: Program Community School; Violence; Education
    Date: 2008
  4. By: Lisa Barrow; Lisa Markman; Cecilia E. Rouse
    Abstract: We present results from a randomized study of a well-defined use of computers in schools: a popular instructional computer program for pre-algebra and algebra. We assess the program using a test designed to target pre-algebra and algebra skills. Students randomly assigned to computer-aided instruction score 0.17 of a standard deviation higher on pre-algebra/algebra tests than students randomly assigned to traditional instruction. We hypothesize that the effectiveness arises from increased individualized instruction as the effects appear larger for students in larger classes and in classes with high student absentee rates.
    JEL: I2 J0
    Date: 2008–08
  5. By: Eric A. Hanushek; Steven G. Rivkin
    Abstract: Sizeable achievement differences by race appear in early grades, but substantial uncertainty exists about the impact of school quality on the black-white achievement gap and particularly about its evolution across different parts of the achievement distribution. Texas administrative data show that the overall growth in the achievement gap between third and eighth grade is higher for students with higher initial achievement and that specific teacher and peer characteristics including teacher experience and peer racial composition explain a substantial share of the widening. The adverse effect of attending school with a high black enrollment share appears to be an important contributor to the larger growth in the achievement differential in the upper part of the test score distribution. This evidence reaffirms the major role played by peers and school quality, but also presents a policy dilemma. Teacher labor market complications, current housing patterns, legal limits in segregation efforts, and uncertainty about the overall effects of specific desegregation programs indicate that effective policy responses will almost certainly involve a set of school improvements beyond simple changes in peer racial composition and the teacher experience distribution.
    JEL: H4 I2 I28 J18
    Date: 2008–08
  6. By: Marlaine Lockheed
    Abstract: This paper reviews, in non-technical terms, the case for and against using tests of learning for measuring annual educational progress within programs of “progressbased aid.” It addresses three questions about testing in developing countries. One, are valid and reliable measures of student learning currently available in developing countries? Two, are existing tests used in developing countries capable of registering the changes in educational results called for under “progress-based aid”? And three, do developing countries have the technical and administrative capacity to undertake annual assessments of learning? The paper includes a brief description of existing national, regional and international testing activities in developing and transition countries, a discussion of some technical topics related to testing and assessment, and various options for using learning assessments in the context of “progress-based aid.”
    Keywords: foreign aid, international education, international development
    Date: 2008–06
  7. By: Pouliakas, Konstantinos; Livanos, Ilias
    Abstract: This study investigates the extent to which differences in the subject of degree studied by male and female university graduates contributes to the gender pay gap in Greece. The case of Greece is interesting as it is an EU country with historically large gender discrepancies in earnings and one of the highest levels of occupational gender segregation among OECD economies. Using micro-data from the most recently available waves (2000-2004) of the Greek Labour Force Survey (LFS), the returns to academic disciplines are firstly estimated by gender. It is found that the subjects in which women are relatively over-represented (e.g. Education, Humanities) are also those with the lowest amortization in terms of wage returns. Oaxaca-Ransom decompositions subsequently imply that gender differences in the type of degree studied can explain an additional 22.5% of the male-female pay gap in Greece. Risk-augmented earnings functions also indicate that Greek women seek for less risky educations that consequently command lower wage premiums in the job market. The findings of the paper suggest that the promotion of gender equality in Greece should pay attention to the educational choices of men and women prior to them entering the labour market, via efficient career counselling and educational reforms that heed to the signals of the labour market.
    Keywords: Gender wage gap; subject of degree; returns; risk; Greece
    JEL: J31 J71 J24 J16
    Date: 2008–08–14
  8. By: Argentino Pessoa (Faculdade de Economia do Porto, Universidade do Porto)
    Abstract: The paper looks at recent changes in the role of government in the provision of education in Developing Countries. It begins with a reflection about the concept of public-private partnership (PPP), discusses the rationale that inspires the ‘contracting out’ of educational services and describes several cases of private sector involvement in education. After looking at the conditions for building PPPs and the necessary requirements for assuring an effective regulatory framework, the paper closes concluding that while contracting out needs not be made a priority there is a large room for other forms of private sector involvement in education in developing countries.
    Keywords: Contracting out, educational reform, market/government failure, NPM, public-private partnerships.
    JEL: H52 I28 L33
    Date: 2008–07
  9. By: Michal Bauer (Institute of Economic Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic); Julie Chytilová (Institute of Economic Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic)
    Abstract: Endogenous time discounting is introduced in a two-period human-capital-driven growth model: subjective discount rate depends upon the level of human capital. This assumption accords strongly with the micro-level evidence. In the model an individual optimizes consumption over two periods. Low human capital societies do not grow fast since high discount rate discourages schooling as the major form of savings. This implication is further reinforced by modeling the efficiency of schooling in the context of population pressure which is also driven by low human capital. The model may produce multiple development regimes and it illustrates wider role of education in tackling possible development traps.
    Keywords: banking; growth, human capital, education, time discounting, discount rate, poverty
    JEL: D9 I2 O1
    Date: 2008–08
  10. By: Robert Bifulco (Syracuse University); Jason Fletcher (Yale University); Stephen Ross (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: We use data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) to examine the effects of classmate characteristics on economic and social outcomes of students. The unique structure of the Add Health allows us to estimate these effects using comparisons across cohorts within schools, and to examine a wider range of outcomes than other studies that have used this identification strategy. We find that increases in the percent of classmates whose mother is college educated has significant, desirable effects on educational attainment and substance use. We do not find much evidence that the percent of classmates who are black or Hispanic has negative effects on individual outcomes, on average, but increases in the percent black or Hispanic does increase drop out rates among black students.
    Keywords: Education, Peer Effects, Cohort Study, Substance Abuse
    JEL: I21 I19 J13 J15
    Date: 2008–08
  11. By: Joanne Lindley; Steven McIntosh (Department of Economics, The University of Sheffield)
    Abstract: This paper adds to the overeducation literature using panel data from the British Household Panel Survey. Much has been written about who is more likely to be overeducated, and the impact of being overeducated on wages, at particular points in time using cross-sectional data. Panel data allows us to control for unobserved individual heterogeneity in the determinants of incidence and impact of overeducation. The paper goes on to estimate the determinants of transitions out of overeducation, providing new information about its duration, and the factors that influence being in, and escaping from, this state.
    Keywords: Over-education, Skills
    JEL: J24 J31 I2
    Date: 2008–07
  12. By: Mark L. Hoekstra; Scott Carrell
    Abstract: It is estimated that between ten and twenty percent of children in the United States are exposed to domestic violence annually. While much is known about the impact of domestic violence and other family problems on children within the home, little is known regarding the extent to which these problems spill over to other children. The widespread perception among parents and school officials is that these externalities are significant, though measuring them is difficult due to data and methodological limitations. We estimate the negative spillovers caused by children from troubled families by exploiting a unique data set in which children’s school records are matched to domestic violence cases filed by their parent. To overcome selection bias, we identify the effects using the idiosyncratic variation in peers from troubled families within the same school and grade over time. We find that children from troubled families significantly decrease their peers’ reading and math test scores and significantly increase misbehavior by others in the classroom. The effects are heterogeneous across income, race, and gender and appear to work primarily through troubled boys. The results are robust to within sibling differences and we find no evidence that non-random selection is driving the results. The presence of these externalities suggests that to the extent that education policy increases a group’s exposure to children from troubled families, student performance will be affected in a negative way. Furthermore, the results are also relevant for social policy in that they provide for a more complete accounting of the social costs of family conflict.
    JEL: J12 D62 I21
    Date: 2008–04
  13. By: Ricardo Corrêa Cangussu; Márcio A. Salvato (Department of Economics, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná); Luciano Nakabashi (Department of Economics, Universidade Federal do Paraná)
    Abstract: Human capital, productivity and physical capital are considered the main factors in the economies’ GDP per capita determination. According to the neoclassical approach, human capital accumulation explains about a third of the variation in per capita income across countries. However, there is no consensus on the ways in which human capital influences GDP per capita. The present study’s goal is to compare two production functions functional forms for the Brazilian States: the one developed by SOLOW (1956) and the one developed by MINCER (1974). The marginal return of education also has been estimated and we have analyzed the relevance of human capital on GDP per capita determination through a variety of estimation methods, for the 1980-2002 period. The empirical results rejected the neoclassical specification with human capital in favor of the mincerian’s specification. The estimated marginal return of education is 15% and the empirical findings support the theory that states that human capital is one of the main factors affecting income level.
    Keywords: Human Capital; Economic Growth; Mincerian Production Function; Return of Education
    JEL: C13 C23 O11 O41
    Date: 2008
  14. By: John Gibson (University of Waikato); John Tressler (University of Waikato); David L. Anderson (Queen's University)
    Abstract: Many countries have introduced research assessment exercises to help measure and raise the quality of research in their university sector. But there is little empirical evidence on how these exercises, such as the Quality Evaluation of the Performance Based Research Fund (PBRF) in New Zealand and the recently aborted Research Quality Framework (RQF) in Australia, affect the signals that researchers observe in the academic labour market. Since these assessments aim to raise research quality, individual academics should perceive rising returns to publication quality at the expense of the returns to quantity. Data we collected on the rank and publication records of New Zealand academic economists prior to the introduction of the PBRF and just after the second assessment round are used to estimate the changing returns to the quantity and quality of journal articles.
    Keywords: research assessment; PBRF; academic labor market; research quality
    JEL: I2 J5
    Date: 2008–08–12
  15. By: Raúl Castro R.
    Abstract: La evaluación de los proyectos de inversión pública en educación y salud es una tarea integral, desde la identificación hasta la evaluación de resultados, es tan importante la preinversión como la evaluación de los impactos. En el documento se plantean diferentes metodologías de evaluación ex –ante: análisis costo beneficio, costo efectividad, costo utilidad, con variantes en proyectos en salud: años de vida ajustados por calidad; se hace énfasis en una labor inicial de programación de inversiones: el marco de gasto de mediano plazo. Se destaca el esfuerzo necesario de separar los impacto en cantidad (cobertura) de los de calidad con el propósito de identificar el “trade off” tanto positivo como negativo que se pueda generar en forma integral y por tanto mitigar sus posibles impactos negativos. La metodología de evaluación de impacto presentada hace énfasis en los estimadores comúnmente utilizados en diseños no experimentales: estimador antes y después, el estimador de sección cruzada, el estimador de diferencia en diferencia, el estimador Matching, entre otros; todo con el propósito de abordar los dos problemas fundamentales en este tipo de evaluaciones: elegir el grupo de control adecuado para llevar a cabo la comparación de la situación sin y con proyecto de los beneficiarios y el segundo garantizar que los beneficios recibidos por la población objetivo (beneficiarios) pueden ser atribuibles en su totalidad al proyecto.
    Date: 2008–07–24

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.