nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2008‒09‒29
twenty papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Does School Privatization Improve Educational Achievement? Evidence from Sweden's Voucher Reform By Böhlmark, Anders; Lindahl, Mikael
  2. Group Differences in Educational Attainment Among the Children of Immigrants By Abada, Teresa; Hou, Feng; Ram, Bali
  3. Promotion with and without learning : effects on student enrollment and dropout behavior By King, Elizabeth M.; Orazem, Peter F.; Paterno, Elizabeth M.
  4. School vouchers and student achievement: recent evidence, remaining questions By Lisa Barrow; Cecilia Elena Rouse
  5. State of Elementary Education in Public Schools of Gujarat: A Study of Schools Run by the Bharuch Municipality By Raj, Madhusudan
  6. The Effect of High School Employment on Educational Attainment: A Conditional Difference-in-Differences Approach By Buscha, Franz; Maurel, Arnaud; Page, Lionel; Speckesser, Stefan
  7. Returns to Education and Increasing Wage Inequality in Latin America By Chiara Binelli
  8. Statistics E-learning Platforms Evaluation: Case Study By Taleb Ahmad; Wolfgang Härdle
  9. Do Community Colleges provide a Viable Pathway to a Baccalaureate Degree? By Bridget Terry Long; Michal Kurlaender
  10. An Exploratory Study of the Role of Educational Incentives in Primary Education in Gujarat By Banerjee Tathagata
  11. Implementation Dynamics of Performance Management in Higher Education By A. DECRAMER; J. CHRISTIAENS; A. VANDERSTRAETEN
  12. Peer Effects and Human Capital Accumulation: the Externalities of ADD By Anna Aizer
  13. Earning Motivation and The Conventional Earning Function By Muhammad Purnagunawan
  14. Human Capital, Multiple Income Risk and Social Insurance By Schindler, Dirk
  15. Secrets of the Academy: The Drivers of University Endowment Success By Josh Lerner; Antoinette Schoar; Jialan Wang
  16. Quasi-experimental estimates of the effect of class size on achievement in Norway By Marte Rønning; Edvin Leuven; Hessel Oosterbeek
  17. Human Capital Prices, Productivity and Growth By Audra J. Bowlus; Chris Robinson
  18. Initial Risk Matrix, Home Resources, Ability Development and Children's Achievement By Blomeyer, Dorothea; Coneus, Katja; Laucht, Manfred; Pfeiffer, Friedhelm
  19. Why and how do scientists commercialize their research? Towards a typology of inventors By Devrim Goktepe-Hultan
  20. The Transition from School to Jail: Youth Crime and High School Completion Among Black Males By Antonio Merlo; Kenneth I. Wolpin

  1. By: Böhlmark, Anders (SOFI, Stockholm University); Lindahl, Mikael (Uppsala University)
    Abstract: This paper evaluates general achievement effects of choice and competition between private and public schools at the nine-year school level by assessing a radical voucher reform that was implemented in Sweden in 1992. Starting from a situation where the public schools essentially were monopolists on all local school markets, the degree of privatization has developed very differently across municipalities over time as a result of this reform. We estimate the impact of an increase in private enrolment on short, medium and long-term educational outcomes of all pupils using within-municipality variation over time, and control for differential pre-reform and concurrent municipality trends. We find that an increase in the private school share moderately improves short-term educational outcomes such as 9th-grade GPA and the fraction of students who choose an academic high school track. However, we do not find any impact on medium or long-term educational outcomes such as high school GPA, university attainment or years of schooling. We conclude that the first-order short-term effect is too small to yield lasting positive effects.
    Keywords: private schooling, choice, competition, educational achievement
    JEL: I22 I28 H40
    Date: 2008–09
  2. By: Abada, Teresa; Hou, Feng; Ram, Bali
    Abstract: Using the 2002 Ethnic Diversity Survey, this article examines the group differences by national origin in university educational attainment among the children of immigrants in Canada. We found that children of immigrant parents in most source region groups achieve higher university completion rates than children of Canadian-born parents, partly due to higher education levels of their parents. Children of Chinese and Indian immigrants particularly attain higher academic achievements than children of Canadian-born parents. Parental education was also important in explaining the relatively low university completion rates among the second-generation Portuguese.
    Keywords: Education, training and learning, Ethnic diversity and immigration, Educational attainment, Education, training and skills, Ethnic groups and generations in Canada, Outcomes of education
    Date: 2008–09–22
  3. By: King, Elizabeth M.; Orazem, Peter F.; Paterno, Elizabeth M.
    Abstract: Many educators and policymakers have argued for lenient grade promotion policy - even automatic promotion - in developing country settings where grade retention rates are high. The argument assumes that grade retention discourages persistence or continuation in school and that the promotion of children with lower achievement does not hamper their ability or their peers'ability to perform at the next level. Alternatively, promoting students into grades for which they are not prepared may lead to early dropout behavior. This study shows that in a sample of schools from the Northwest Frontier Province of Pakistan, students are promoted primarily on the basis of merit. An econometric decomposition of promotion decisions into a component that is based on merit indicators (attendance and achievement in mathematics and language) and another that is uncorrelated with those indicators allows a test of whether parental decisions to keep their child in school is influenced by merit-based or non-merit-based promotions. Results suggest that the enrollment decision is significantly influenced by whether learning has taken place, and that grade promotion that is uncorrelated with merit has a negligible impact on school continuation.
    Keywords: Tertiary Education,Education For All,Secondary Education,Primary Education,Teaching and Learning
    Date: 2008–09–01
  4. By: Lisa Barrow; Cecilia Elena Rouse
    Abstract: In this article, we review the empirical evidence on the impact of education vouchers on student achievement, and briefly discuss the evidence from other forms of school choice. The best research to date finds relatively small achievement gains for students offered education vouchers, most of which are not statistically different from zero. Further, what little evidence exists regarding the potential for public schools to respond to increased competitive pressure generated by vouchers suggests that one should remain wary that large improvements would result from a more comprehensive voucher system. The evidence from other forms of school choice is also consistent with this conclusion. Many questions remain unanswered, however, including whether vouchers have longer-run impacts on outcomes such as graduation rates, college enrollment, or even future wages, and whether vouchers might nevertheless provide a cost-neutral alternative to our current system of public education provision at the elementary and secondary school level.
    Date: 2008
  5. By: Raj, Madhusudan
    Abstract: In India the 73rd and 74th constitutional amendments have given powers and responsibility of achieving the goal of Universal Elementary Education (UEE) to the local body governments. The present study has examined the situation of elementary schools run by Bharuch municipality. The evidence show that the situation of elementary education is unsatisfactory and in bad shape. The number of schools has declined rapidly, the learning levels of students are miserable, community participation is almost non-existent, private cost of so called free municipality education is high; and the state of the mid-day meal scheme looks very grim. Municipality schools are loosing ground in Bharuch city.
    Keywords: Bharuch municipality; Elementary education; Education; UEE; Local body government
    JEL: H75 H41 I21 H52
    Date: 2008
  6. By: Buscha, Franz (University of Westminster); Maurel, Arnaud (ENSAE-CREST); Page, Lionel (University of Westminster); Speckesser, Stefan (University of Westminster)
    Abstract: Using American panel data from the National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 (NELS:88) this paper investigates the effect of working during grade 12 on attainment. We exploit the longitudinal nature of the NELS by employing, for the first time in the related literature, a semiparametric propensity score matching approach combined with difference-in- differences. This identification strategy allows us to address in a flexible way selection on both observables and unobservables associated with part-time work decisions. Once such factors are controlled for, insignificant effects on reading and math scores are found. We show that these results are robust to a matching approach combined with difference-in-difference-in-differences which allows differential time trends in attainment according to the working status in grade 12.
    Keywords: education, evaluation, propensity score matching
    JEL: J24 J22 I21
    Date: 2008–09
  7. By: Chiara Binelli (Oxford University, UK; Institute for Fiscal Studies, UK and The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, Italy)
    Abstract: This paper studies a central feature that characterized the changes in wage inequality in Latin America in the 1990s: log wages became a convex function of the level of education. The wage gap between Higher and Intermediate Education increased and the one between Intermediate and Basic Education declined. The double change in the wage di¤erentials was driven by a signicant drop in the mean wage at Intermediate. I develop and simulate a dynamic general equilibrium model of savings and educational choices under credit constraints and uninsurable earningsrisk in which ability is an important component of individual wages. I estimate the parameters of the model using micro data from Mexico. The results show that the convexication was the result of changes in the prices of education due to changes in its supply. Absent the general equilibrium price e¤ects, the changes in ability composition by education needed to produce the convexication would have been unrealistically high.
    Keywords: Latin America, Wage Inequality, Education Choices, General Equilibrium filtering
    JEL: J23 J24 J31 C68
    Date: 2008–01
  8. By: Taleb Ahmad; Wolfgang Härdle
    Abstract: With the increase of e-learning by universities and educational institutes in the world through more electronic platforms, come the questions to researchers, educators and designers of electronic platforms about feasibility and using this method of learning. Are we achieving the desired goals and improving the quality of education? Are we improving their performance and ability to self-study without the need for a teacher? Is e-learning an effective and successful method from the students views? In this paper, we consider evaluate e-learning systems in statistics. We make an evaluation study, we analyze a students sample of the methods: Factor analysis, Logit model. The common aim of this evaluation is to provide data to justify the results or evidence to support that the e-learning platforms are helping the students to learn more effectively. The questionnaire covers information about e-learning evaluation criterias. Some of these criterias are: Navigability, applicability, instructional structure and interactivity.
    Keywords: E-learning, Evaluation, Statistical software
    JEL: I21 C19
    Date: 2008–08
  9. By: Bridget Terry Long; Michal Kurlaender
    Abstract: Community colleges have become an important entryway for students intending to complete a baccalaureate degree. However, many question the viability of the transfer function and wonder whether students suffer a penalty for starting at a two-year institution. This paper examines how the outcomes of community college entrants compare to similar students who initially entered four-year institutions within the Ohio public higher education system. Using a detailed dataset, we track outcomes for nine years and employ multiple strategies to deal with selection issues: propensity score matching and instrumental variables. The results suggest that straightforward estimates are significantly biased, but even after accounting for selection, students who initially begin at a community college were 14.5 percent less likely to complete a bachelor's degree within nine years.
    JEL: C1 I2 J24
    Date: 2008–09
  10. By: Banerjee Tathagata
    Abstract: This study explores the role of incentives—monetary or non-monetary compensation offered to children so that an educational need is fulfilled or perceived cost is brought down—in attaining certain expected educational enrolment and retention outcomes. It draws on a survey conducted in six villages in Gujarat. Incentives themselves may not be that critical in improving access and retention performance; other socio-economic and school-related factors may be more significant in ensuring access and retention. However, incentives may have help in keeping the poorer performers in school.
    Date: 2008–09–16
    Abstract: Purpose: This article discusses the issue of performance management in a higher education context, with particular attention to the extent to which employee performance management systems have been implemented, the antecedents that explain the approach taken; and the consequences of the emergent approach.<br>Approach: Most studies about Human Resource Management choices have been conducted under the resource based view approach. It is argued that present resource based view for analyzing implementation of HR practices, systems and policies in organizations is useful but inadequate. More recently, alternative theories like neo institutionalism in organizational theory have also been used by researchers. This article therefore combines both theoretical viewpoints and supports this position with a case analysis of implementation of an employee performance management system in a Flemish higher education institution. <br>Findings: This study finds that the nature of the PM system is created and formed by the internal as well as the external environment and that non-rational behaviour sometimes occurs because of the institutional environment. Among other findings, the paper illustrates the lack of integration between the performance management practices. The article concludes that multiple implementation rationales of performance management practices affect the building of a performance management system. <br> Practical Implications: This study represents an exploratory case study that is intended to explore reasons for implementing performance management practices. Such an endeavor can open a new path of research, which may improve our understanding of the factors that influence the implementation of performance management systems in higher education institutions. Paper type: Research paper
    Keywords: implementation, Belgium, Higher Education, Human Resource Management, rationales, employee performance management
    Date: 2008–07
  12. By: Anna Aizer
    Abstract: Although recent work has shown that peers affect human capital accumulation, the mechanisms are not well understood. Knowing why high achieving peers matter, because of their innate ability, disciplined behavior or some other factor, has important implications for our understanding of the education production function and for how we organize schools and classrooms. In this paper I provide evidence that peer behavior is an important mechanism. To identify the impact of peer behavior on achievement separate from ability or other characteristics, I exploit exogenous improvements in classmates' inattention/impulsivity that result from a diagnosis of ADD. After children with ADD are diagnosed, I show that their behavior improves, but that no other characteristics, including achievement, change. I find that peer behavior significantly affects cognitive achievement and that resources such as class size can overcome the negative peer effects observed, consistent with the model of education production proposed by Lazear (2001). These findings have important implications for our understanding not only of peer effects but also of the relationship between health, productivity and growth.
    JEL: I1 I18 I2
    Date: 2008–09
  13. By: Muhammad Purnagunawan (Department of Economics, Padjadjaran University)
    Abstract: People have different motivation for having a paid job, and this might came from different expectation, value and also gender roles. Nevertheless, most analysis of earning determinant has neglected this possibility. Using data from Household, Income and Labour Dynamics (HILDA) in Australia in 2001 and 2004, this paper investigates the structure of human capital earning equation and its stability after controlling for earning motivation. The results suggest that some measure of earning motivation have effects. However, even after controlling for earning motivation, the returns to schooling and experience do not change significantly. This suggests that the conventional earning function is stable and robust with respect to the influences of earning motivation.
    Keywords: return to education, earning motivation, wage
    JEL: I2 J24 O15
    Date: 2008–09
  14. By: Schindler, Dirk (University of Konstanz)
    Abstract: We set up an OLG-model, where households both choose human capital investment and decide on investing their endogenous savings in a portfolio of riskless and risky assets, exposing them to (aggregate) wage and capital risks due to technological shocks. We derive the optimal public policy mix of taxation and education policy. We show that risks can be efficiently diversified between private and public consumption. This results hinges on that the government can apply a wide set of instruments, including differentiated wage and capital taxation. We also show that for sufficient risk aversion the (Northern) European way of relying on progressive wage taxation and granting education subsidies is an optimal response to wage and capital risks.
    Keywords: Optimal Income Taxation; Multiple Income Risks; Human Capital Investment; Portfolio Choice
    JEL: H21 I28 J24
    Date: 2008–09–22
  15. By: Josh Lerner; Antoinette Schoar; Jialan Wang
    Abstract: In recent years, university endowments have received much attention for their spectacular returns and innovative investment strategies, but few papers have examined trends in the endowment sector at large. In this paper, we analyze a sample of 1,300 educational endowments between 1992 and 2005. A striking phenomenon emerges of the "rich getting richer", a dramatic widening of the size gap between the largest endowments, led by the Ivy League, and the average endowment. Growth in endowment size has been driven largely by high investment returns, which are in turn related to the quality of the student body and the use of alternative assets. Elite endowments seem to benefit not only from economies of scale in investment management, but genuine skill and expertise in choosing the right investments at the right times.
    JEL: G11 L3
    Date: 2008–09
  16. By: Marte Rønning (Statistics Norway); Edvin Leuven (School of Economics of the University of Amsterdam and the Tinbergen Institute); Hessel Oosterbeek (School of Economics of the University of Amsterdam and the Tinbergen Institute)
    Abstract: Using a comprehensive administrative database we exploit independent quasiexperimental methods to estimate the effect of class size on student achievement in Norway. The first method is based on a maximum class size rule in the spirit Angrist and Lavy (1999). The second method exploits population variation as first proposed by Hoxby (2000). The results of both methods (and of variations on these methods) are very similar and cannot reject that the class size effect is equal to zero. The estimates are very precise; we can rule out effects as small as 1.5 percent of a standard deviation for a one student change in class size during three years in a row.
    Date: 2008–04–20
  17. By: Audra J. Bowlus (University of Western Ontario); Chris Robinson (University of Western Ontario)
    Abstract: Separate identification of the price and quantity of human capital has important implications for understanding key issues in labor economics and macroeconomics. Price and quantity series are derived and subjected to robustness checks. The human capital price series associated with different education levels are highly correlated and exhibit a strong secular trend. Three resulting implications are explored: (1) using the derived quantities life-cycle profiles are re-examined; (2) the rising college premium is reinterpreted and found to be mainly driven by relative quantity changes, and (3) adjusting the labor input for quality increases dramatically reduces the contribution of MFP to growth.
    Date: 2008
  18. By: Blomeyer, Dorothea (ZI Mannheim); Coneus, Katja (ZEW Mannheim); Laucht, Manfred (ZI Mannheim); Pfeiffer, Friedhelm (ZEW Mannheim)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the role of self-productivity and home resources in ability formation from infancy to adolescence. In addition, we study the complementarities between basic cognitive, motor and noncognitive abilities and social as well as academic achievement. Our data are taken from the Mannheim Study of Children at Risk (MARS), an epidemiological cohort study following the long-term outcome of early risk factors. Results indicate that initial risk conditions cumulate and that differences in basic abilities increase during development. Self-productivity rises in the developmental process and complementarities are evident. Noncognitive abilities promote cognitive abilities and social achievement. There is remarkable stability in the distribution of the economic and socio-emotional home resources during the early life cycle. This is presumably a major reason for the evolution of inequality in human development.
    Keywords: initial conditions, home resources, intelligence, persistence, social competencies, school achievement
    JEL: D87 I12 I21 J13
    Date: 2008–09
  19. By: Devrim Goktepe-Hultan (Max Planck Institute of Economics)
    Abstract: Incentives and assistance provided by TTOs, university policies, patent legislation and scientific disciplines are certainly part of the explanations for academic entrepreneurship. But they are only one facet of the story. Another facet is related to the scientists' motives, expectations and perceptions about the importance and necessity of such activities. There are no comprehensive studies to date that cover both internal and external factors. This is an important, complex and relatively under-researched theme. Our findings suggest that scientists are rarely engage in patenting activities for economic profit reasons or due to institutional and organizational support. Individual relations and networks with firms and other actors found to be important factors for scientists' entrepreneurial activities. Serial inventors act as role models to other scientists and crucial in the creation of an entrepreneurial milieu at the universities, as others would be affected by these behaviours and tend to follow them. However, the fact that university policies and TTOs have provided little incentives for scientists to get involved in entrepreneurship should not be considered to rule out institutional effects.
    Keywords: university patenting, incentives, individual inventors, inventors’ typology
    JEL: O31 O34 O38 B31
    Date: 2008–09–15
  20. By: Antonio Merlo (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania); Kenneth I. Wolpin (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)
    Abstract: In this paper, we propose a new approach to the empirical study of the relationships among schooling, youth employment and youth crime which provides a comprehensive analysis of the dynamic interactions among these choices and exposure to the criminal justice system. The empirical framework takes the form of a multinomial discrete choice vector autoregression of a youth’s schooling, work and crime decisions as well as arrest and incarceration outcomes. We allow for observable initial conditions, unobserved heterogeneity, the possibility of measurement error and for missing data. We use data from the NLSY97 on black male youths starting from age 14. The estimates indicate an important role for heterogeneity in initial conditions. We also find that stochastic events that arise during one’s youth can be important in determining outcomes as young adults.
    Keywords: crime, schooling, work, VAR
    JEL: K42 J24 J15
    Date: 2008–09–17

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