nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2008‒10‒13
nineteen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Parental Labor Market Success and Children's Education Attainment By Carsten Ochsen
  2. Nurse Workforce Challenges in the United States: Implications for Policy By Linda H. Aiken; Robyn Cheung
  3. Measures for Assessing Basic Education in the Philippines By Maligalig, Dalisay S.; Albert, Jose Ramon G.
  4. Raising teacher supply - An assessment of three options for increasing wages By B.Minne; H.D. Webbink
  5. Human Capital Investment with Competitive Labor Search By Kaas, Leo; Zink, Stefan
  6. Family Background, Family Income, Cognitive Tests Scores, Behavioural Scales and their Relationship with Post-secondary Education Participation: Evidence from the NLSCY By Pierre Lefebvre; Philip Merrigan
  7. On Improving Social Science Education in Pakistan By Zaman, Asad
  9. Do Rankings Reflect Research Quality? By Bruno S. Frey; Katja Rost
  10. Growth and Competition in a Model of Human Capital Accumulation and Research By Bianco, Dominique
  11. Nepotism, Incentives and the Academic Success of College Students By Gevrek, Deniz; Gevrek, Zahide Eylem
  12. Intergenerational Education Mobility Among the Children of Canadian Immigrants By Aydemir, Abdurrahman; Chen, Wen-Hao; Corak, Miles
  13. Public Education and Growth in Developing Countries By Christiane Schuppert; Nadja Wirz
  14. The Transmission of Women's Fertility, Human Capital and Work Orientation across Immigrant Generations By Blau, Francine D.; Kahn, Lawrence M.; Liu, Albert Yung-Hsu; Papps, Kerry L.
  15. The Evolution of Education: A Macroeconomic Analysis By Diego Restuccia; Guillaume Vandenbroucke
  16. Human capital investment and long-term poverty reduction in rural Mexico By Paul Winters; Vera Chiodi
  17. The Elite and the Marginalised: An Analysis of Public Spending on Mass Education in the Indian States By Pal, Sarmistha; Ghosh, Sugata
  18. Recommendation, Class Repeating, and Children's Ability: German School Tracking Experiences By Carsten Ochsen
  19. Demand for Skills, Supply of Skills and Returns to Schooling in Cambodia By Chris SAKELLARIOU

  1. By: Carsten Ochsen (University of Rostock)
    Abstract: This study examines the effects of parental labor market activities on children's education attainment. In contrast to the existing literature we consider parental experiences until the children graduate from school. In addition, the effects of the regional economic environment during teacher's decision about the secondary school track are analyzed. Using data drawn from the German Socio-Economic Panel an ordered probit estimator is used to model children's education attainment. With respect to parental labor market participation we find that father's full-time and mother's part-time employment have significant positive effects on children's education attainment. Furthermore, we obtain evidence that the regional GDP growth rate and the regional unemployment rate when children are 10 years old are significantly related to the education that these children ultimately achieve. Our interpretation is that regional economic conditions affect teachers'recommendations for the secondary school track, which are given during the last year of primary school. The results reveal the less successful parents are on the labor market, the lower the average education level of their children. A second important conclusion is that children who live in regions which experience a poor economic performance over a longer period are, on average, less educated than children who live in more affluent regions.
    Keywords: education attainment, parental labor supply, macroeconomic uncertainty, family structure, intergenerational link
    JEL: I21 J22 E24 J10 J24
    Date: 2008
  2. By: Linda H. Aiken; Robyn Cheung
    Abstract: The United States has the largest professional nurse workforce in the world numbering close to 3 million but does not produce enough nurses to meet its growing demand. A shortage of close to a million professional nurses is projected to evolve by 2020. An emerging physician shortage will further exacerbate the nurse shortage as the boundaries in scope of practice necessarily overlap. Nurse immigration has been growing since 1990 and the U.S. is now the world’s major importer of nurses. While nurse immigration is expected to continue to grow, the shortage is too large to be solved by recruitment of nurses educated abroad without dramatically depleting the world’s nurse resources. Moreover, the domestic applicant pool for nursing education is very strong with tens of thousands of qualified applicants turned away annually because of faculty shortages and capacity limitations. The national shortage could be largely addressed by investments in expanding nursing school capacity to increase graduations by 25 percent annually and the domestic applicant pool appears sufficient to support such an increase. A shortage of faculty and limited capacity for expansion of baccalaureate and graduate nurse education require public policy interventions. Specifically public subsidies to increase production of baccalaureate nurses are required to enlarge the size of the pool from which nurse faculty, advanced practice nurses in clinical care roles, and managers are all recruited. Retention of nurses in the workforce is critical and will require substantial improvements in human resource policies, the development of satisfying professional work environments, and technological innovations to ease the physical burdens of caregiving. Because of the reliance of the U.S. on nurses educated abroad as well as the benefits to the U.S. of improving global health, the nation should invest in nursing education as part of its global agenda. <BR>Les États-Unis comptent le plus grand nombre d’infirmiers(ères) diplômés au monde – près de 3 millions – mais ils n’en forment pas suffisamment pour répondre à une demande en augmentation. Il devrait manquer près d’un million d’infirmiers(ières) diplômés, aux États-Unis, d’ici 2020. Et le déficit de médecins qui commence d’apparaître ne fera qu’exacerber le problème car les deux pratiques professionnelles sont nécessairement interdépendantes. L’immigration d’infirmiers(ères) n’a cessé d’augmenter depuis 1990 et les États-Unis sont désormais le premier pays d’accueil d’infirmiers(ères) étrangers au monde. Cette vague d’immigration devrait se poursuivre mais la pénurie est trop importante pour pouvoir être résorbée par des recrutements à l’étranger sans que cela ponctionne gravement les ressources en personnel infirmier au niveau mondial. Par ailleurs, les personnes désireuses de suivre une formation d’infirmier(ère) dans le pays sont nombreuses mais des dizaines de milliers de postulants qualifiés sont refusés chaque année en raison du manque de personnel enseignant et de l’insuffisance des capacités d’accueil dans les écoles d’infirmiers(ères). On pourrait largement pallier ces insuffisances en intensifiant les investissements consacrés aux écoles d’infirmiers(ières) de façon à accroître de 25 % par an le nombre des diplômés, ce qui paraît réaliste au regard du nombre actuel de candidats. Le manque de personnel enseignant et l’insuffisance des capacités de formation appellent l’intervention des pouvoirs publics. Précisément, des subventions publiques doivent aider à accroître le nombre d’infirmiers(ières) diplômés, ce qui élargira l’effectif au sein duquel on pourra recruter du personnel enseignant, des infirmiers(ères) cliniciens de haut niveau et des gestionnaires. Inciter les infirmiers(ères) à rester dans la profession est fondamental et cela nécessitera une amélioration significative des politiques de gestion des ressources humaines, la garantie d’un environnement de travail satisfaisant et des innovations technologiques pour alléger la charge physique que représente l’activité de soins. Compte tenu de l’importance des personnels infirmiers formés à l’étranger pour les États-Unis et des avantages qui résulteraient d’une amélioration générale de la santé publique, le pays devrait faire de l’investissement dans la formation d’infirmiers(ères) un des objectifs de l’action publique.
    Date: 2008–10–01
  3. By: Maligalig, Dalisay S.; Albert, Jose Ramon G.
    Abstract: The second goal of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is to achieve universal primary education. The target is to reach all the MDGs by 2015. Trends in education indicators for monitoring the second MDG suggest that Philippines may probably not meet the target on achieving universal primary education. Indicators that monitor gender disparity in primary and secondary education suggest that females are at an advantage over males. In this paper, various education indicators sourced from administrative reporting systems and surveys are looked into for assessing basic education in the country. Issues on the lack of comparability of figures from reporting systems, on the need to improve dissemination of education statistics, and on the need to properly link data with policy through a systematic monitoring and evaluation system are also discussed.
    Keywords: millennium development goal (MDG), education indicators, monitoring and evaluation
    Date: 2008
  4. By: B.Minne; H.D. Webbink
    Abstract: A shortage of teachers in primary and secondary schools in the Netherlands is expected in the near future as a large part of the current workforce will retire. Recently, the Dutch government has decided to increase wages of teachers. This paper qualitatively assesses the impact of three options for increasing teaching wages on teacher supply in the medium term: increasing wages at the start of the career, increasing wages at mid career or increasing wages at the end of the career.<BR> The first option, spending the whole additional budget on raising wages at the start of the career, is likely to lead to the largest increase in the supply of teachers. The main advantage of allocating the whole additional budget to the starting salaries of teachers is that a large share of the budget can be used for the ‘new supply’ of teachers. The current number of teachers in this group is relatively small and the wage level at the start of the career is low. As a consequence, there is budget for a relatively large increase of wages (more than for the two other options). In addition, the wage elasticity of teacher supply seems relatively large at the start of the career. However, the main effect will come from new enrolment in teacher studies and it takes a least four years before these new students can start in a teaching job. In addition, the wage elasticity of enrolment for teacher studies is unknown. Another disadvantage of this option is that the current level of teaching wages at the start of the career seems quite competitive as it equals the average level of starting wages in the market sector. At mid career teachers salaries are not competitive. Raising wages at the start of the career also has the disadvantage of making the age-wage profile less steep. This wage profile would stimulate enrolment in teacher studies and working in education at the start of the career but would not stimulate a long working career in education. Raising wages at the start of the career targets at only one source of new supply and is therefore more risky than the other options.<BR> The main advantage of the second option, raising teaching wages at mid career, is that it focuses on many different sources of teachers supply including the reservoir of young teachers. In addition, this option makes the age-wage profiles steeper, which increases the career opportunities for young teachers and makes it easier to keep them in a teaching job. Moreover, the relative wages of teachers at mid career are lower than at the start or the end of the career, which is another advantage of this option. However, the potential wage increase and the wage elasticity of teacher supply are probably smaller than in the case of the first option.<BR> For the third option, raising wages at the end of the career, the wage increase and wage elasticity of teacher supply will be even smaller than for the second option. We expect that raising wages at the end of the career is not very effective. However, policy measures that make working as a teacher more attractive compared to not working might be very effective for teachers at the end of their career. The reservoir of potential teachers is large at the end of the career and the wage elasticity might be large for this type of measures.
    Keywords: teacher; supply; wage
    JEL: I22 J45
    Date: 2008–03
  5. By: Kaas, Leo (University of Konstanz); Zink, Stefan (University of Konstanz)
    Abstract: We study human capital accumulation in an environment of competitive search. Given that unemployed workers can default on their education loans, skilled individuals with a larger debt burden prefer riskier but better paid careers than is socially desirable. A higher level of employment risk in turn depresses the skill premium and the incentives to invest in education. The equilibrium allocation is characterized by too much unemployment, underinvestment by the poor, and too little investment in skill-intensive technologies. A public education system funded by graduate taxes can restore efficiency. More generally, differences in education funding can account for cross-country variations in wage inequality.
    Keywords: directed search, investment, education finance
    JEL: I22 J24 J31
    Date: 2008–09
  6. By: Pierre Lefebvre; Philip Merrigan
    Abstract: This paper exploits the panel feature of the Canadian National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY) and the large diversity of measures collected on the children ad their families over 6 cycles (1994-1995 to 2004-2005) to explain high school graduation and postsecondary education (PSE) choices of Canadian youth aged 18 to 21 observed in the most recent wave of the survey. In estimating how family background, family income, cognitive abilities, non-cognitive abilities and behavioural scores influence schooling choices they can be used as markers for identifying children at risk of not pursuing PSE. We focus on the impact of measures that are specific to the NLSCY which contains a host of scores on several dimensions such as the cognitive achievement of children (reading and math test scores); behavioural scores that measure the levels of hyperactivity, aggression, and pro-sociality; scores that measure self-esteem and self-control (non-cognitive abilities); and, family scores that measure the quality of parenting, family dysfunction, of neighbourhoods and schools quality. The math and reading scores are particularly interesting because they are computed from objective tests and are not based on any type of recall, as compared, for example, with the Youth in Transition Survey (YITS) data set. Despite the fact that income, as measured as the mean income ($2002) of the family during cycles 1 to 4, does not seem to be a key player for PSE attendance or high school graduation, the sign of its effect is generally positive and non-linear, increases for children in very low income will have a large effect that those with higher levels. More importantly, several variables that are characteristics of low-income families play a key role for schooling attainment. For example, being from a single-parent/guardian home with a poorly educated PMK and with less than (perceived) excellent/very good health or with high levels of hyperactivity for males or high levels of aggression for young teenage females will almost negate any chance of attaining the level of PSE.
    Keywords: High school graduation, postsecondary education, schooling transition, gender, youth, longitudinal data
    JEL: I21 J13 J16 J24
    Date: 2008
  7. By: Zaman, Asad
    Abstract: How do we arrest the decline of the social sciences in Pakistan? Is it a matter of money or one of sending more students to the West who might then return to teaching at the local universities? In this article I argue that the solution lies elsewhere. Borrowing frames, concepts, and analytical techniques based on the concept of universalism runs a serious risk of imposing alien views on local problems. Moreover, attempts to become ‘scientific’ requires side stepping value judgments of good and bad. The current Western domination of the intellectual scene favours a single route for social science development, and kills all diversity. However, whilst we may borrow as much as we choose, we need to build our own frames that would underpin the social sciences, and this is possible only by reconnecting with our own past.
    Keywords: Eurocentricism; Western Universalism; Positive Science; History of Social Science; Western Social Science;
    JEL: A12 B29 B59
    Date: 2008–09
  8. By: CARMEN AINA; GIORGIA CASALONE; PAOLO GHINETTI (SEMEQ Department - Faculty of Economics - University of Eastern Piedmont)
    Abstract: This paper aims at analysing the educational outcomes of a cohort of youths living in an Italian province (Novara), which was interested by large migration phenomenon during the last decades and, therefore, it is particularly suited to study inter-regional mobility issues. In particular we aim at establishing if, once controlled for parental educational background, family origin affects human capital accumulation. We find that non native youths on average have a higher probability of early leaving educational system. If the 1st generation migrants are the less advantaged as for educational attainment, even 2nd generation migrants, that in principle should be completely integrated, perform worse than the native born. This evidence calls into question the integration of internal migrants, for whom education plays a crucial role, even in a period in which foreign immigration seems to be of major concern.
    Keywords: Internal migration; Education; Survival analysis; Unobserved heterogeneity.
    JEL: J24 R23
    Date: 2008–09
  9. By: Bruno S. Frey; Katja Rost
    Abstract: Publication and citation rankings have become major indicators of the scientific worth of universities and countries, and determine to a large extent the career of individual scholars. We argue that such rankings do not effectively measure research quality, which should be the essence of evaluation. For that reason, an alternative ranking is developed as a quality indicator, based on membership on academic editorial boards of professional journals. It turns out that especially the ranking of individual scholars is far from objective. The results differ markedly, depending on whether research quantity or research quality is considered. Even quantity rankings are not objective; two citation rankings, based on different samples, produce entirely different results. It follows that any career decisions based on rankings are dominated by chance and do not reflect research quality. Instead of propagating a ranking based on board membership as the gold standard, we suggest that committees make use of this quality indicator to find members who, in turn, evaluate the research quality of individual scholars.
    Keywords: Rankings, Universities, Scholars, Publications, Citations
    JEL: H43 L15 O38
    Date: 2008–10
  10. By: Bianco, Dominique
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to analyze the relationship between competition and growth in a model of human capital accumulation and research by disentangling the monopolistic mark-up in the intermediate goods sector and the returns to specialization in order to have a better measure of competition. We find that the steady-state output growth rate depends on the parameters describing preferences, human capital accumulation technology and R&D activity. We also show that the relationship between competition and growth is inverse U shaped. This result that seems to be in line this empirical results (Aghion and Gri±th (2005)) is explained by the resource allocation effect.
    Keywords: Endogenous growth; Horizontal differentiation; Technological change; Imperfect competition; Human capital
    JEL: L16 O41 J24 O31 D43
    Date: 2008–10–06
  11. By: Gevrek, Deniz (University of Southern Mississippi); Gevrek, Zahide Eylem (University of Arizona)
    Abstract: This study investigates the role of self-employed parents on their children's post-graduation plans and college success by using a unique data set from a private university in Turkey. We assembled data set by matching college students' administrative records with their responses to a survey we designed. Self-employed parents have a strong negative effect on college success even after accounting for possible ability bias, intergenerational human capital transfers and controlling for various individual characteristics. This suggests that the changing importance of self-employment can alter the amount and mix of human capital flows. The children of self-employed parents are also more likely to have entrepreneurial intent, and are less likely to plan to attend graduate school.
    Keywords: academic success, self-employment, post-graduation plans
    JEL: J24
    Date: 2008–09
  12. By: Aydemir, Abdurrahman; Chen, Wen-Hao; Corak, Miles
    Abstract: We analyse the intergenerational education mobility of Canadian men and women born to immigrants. A detailed portrait of Canadians is offered, as are estimates of the degree of intergenerational mobility among the children of immigrants. Persistence in the years of schooling across the generations is rather weak between immigrants and their Canadian-born children, and one third as strong as for the general population. Parental earnings are not correlated with years of schooling for second-generation children and, if anything, are negatively correlated. Finally, we find that the intergenerational transmission of education has not changed across the birth cohorts of the post-war period.
    Keywords: Education, training and learning, Population and demography, Ethnic diversity and immigration, Educational attainment, Mobility and migration, Ethnic groups and generations in Canada
    Date: 2008–10–02
  13. By: Christiane Schuppert (University of Dortmund); Nadja Wirz (University of St. Gallen)
    Abstract: Human capital plays a key role in fostering technology adoption, the major source of economic growth in developing countries. Consequently, enhancing the level of human capital should be a matter of public concern. The present paper studies public education incentives in an environment in which governments can invest in human capital to facilitate the adoption of new technologies invented abroad or, instead, focus on consumptive public spending. Although human capital is pivotal for growth, the model reveals that incentives to invest in public education vanish if a country is poorly endowed with human capital. Rather, governments of these poorly-endowed countries focus on consumptive public spending. As a result, while their better-endowed counterparts build up human capital thereby promoting technology adoption and growth, the growth process in poorly-endowed countries stagnates.
    Keywords: growth; public education; human capital; technology adoption
    JEL: O4 H4 F2
    Date: 2008–10
  14. By: Blau, Francine D. (Cornell University); Kahn, Lawrence M. (Cornell University); Liu, Albert Yung-Hsu (Cornell University); Papps, Kerry L. (Nuffield College, Oxford)
    Abstract: Using 1995–2006 Current Population Survey and 1970–2000 Census data, we study the intergenerational transmission of fertility, human capital and work orientation of immigrants to their US-born children. We find that second-generation women's fertility and labor supply are significantly positively affected by the immigrant generation's fertility and labor supply respectively, with the effect of mother's fertility and labor supply larger than that of women from the father's source country. The second generation's education levels are also significantly positively affected by that of their parents, with a stronger effect of father's than mother's education. Second-generation women's schooling levels are negatively affected by immigrant fertility, suggesting a quality-quantity tradeoff for immigrant families. We find higher transmission rates for immigrant fertility to the second generation than we do for labor supply or education: after one generation, 40-65% of any immigrant excess fertility will remain, but only 12-18% of any immigrant annual hours shortfall and 18-36% of any immigrant educational shortfall. These results suggest a considerable amount of assimilation across generations toward native levels of schooling and labor supply, although fertility effects show more persistence.
    Keywords: immigration, second generation, gender, labor supply, fertility, human capital
    JEL: D10 J16 J22 J24 J61
    Date: 2008–09
  15. By: Diego Restuccia; Guillaume Vandenbroucke
    Abstract: Between 1940 and 2000 there has been a substantial increase of educational attainment in the United States. What caused this trend? We develop a model of schooling decisions in order to assess the quantitative contribution of technological progress in explaining the evolution of education. We use earnings across educational groups and growth in gross domestic product per worker to restrict technological progress. These restrictions imply substantial skill-biased technical change (SBTC). We find that changes in relative earnings through SBTC can explain the bulk of the increase in educational attainment. In particular, a calibrated version of the model generates an increase in average years of schooling of 48 percent compared to 27 percent in the data. This strong effect of changes in relative earnings on educational attainment is robust to relevant variations in the model and is consistent with empirical estimates of the long-run income elasticity of schooling. We also find that the substantial increase in life expectancy observed during the period contributes little to the change in educational attainment in the model.
    Keywords: educational attainment, schooling, skill-biased technical progress, human capital
    JEL: E1 O3 O4
    Date: 2008–10–05
  16. By: Paul Winters; Vera Chiodi
    Abstract: By focusing on human capital investment, the Mexican Oportunidades program will inuence the economic choices of the rural poor. To understand how bene_ciaries may alter their behaviour as a result of this intervention, this paper uses administrative data to analyze the economic activities of the Mexican rural poor. Results indicate that investments in education are likely to shift recipients from agricultural wage employment toward non-farm wage employment. The magnitude of this impact will be inuenced by household assets and by the location of the household. The results suggest the need for policies that complement the government's focus on human capital investment.
    Date: 2008
  17. By: Pal, Sarmistha (Brunel University); Ghosh, Sugata (Brunel University)
    Abstract: In the context of strikingly low literacy rates among Indian women and low caste population, the paper explores whether and how far the interests of the marginalized poor are undermined by the dominant elite consisting mainly of the landed and the capitalists. We distinguish the dominant elite from the minority elite (i.e., elected women and low caste representatives in the ruling government) and also the marginalised as measured by the state poverty rate. Results based on the Indian state-level data suggest that a higher share of land held by the top 5% of the population lowers public spending on education while presence of capitalist elite, as reflected in greater degree of industrialisation enhances it, even in poorer states; the landed elite thus appears to be unresponsive to the underlying poverty rate. The effect of minority representation in the government appears to have a limited impact, indicating a possibility of their non-accountability to serve their cohorts and/or a possible alliance with the dominant elite.
    Keywords: literacy among women and low caste, dominant landed and capitalist elite, minority elite, poor and the marginalised, education spending, development and non-development spending, India
    JEL: I28 J15 O15 P48
    Date: 2008–09
  18. By: Carsten Ochsen (University of Rostock)
    Abstract: While the 2006 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study assesses the average ability of German primary school students as being higher than average, the Programme for International Student Assessment studies (2000, 2003, 2006) ranks German secondary school students at a considerably lower level. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, this paper examines whether a teacher's recommendation for the secondary school track and class repeating are causes for these ability differences. According to the estimates, failures as a result of teachers'recommendations given at the end of primary school are an important reason for the differences between the two types of studies. Being required to repeat a school class amplifies the inefficient management of children's abilities. In addition, we find evidence that regional economic performance at the time the recommendation is made affects the decision for the tracking path.
    Keywords: education attainment, school system, educational tracking
    JEL: I21 I28 J1
    Date: 2008
  19. By: Chris SAKELLARIOU (Division of Economics, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)
    Abstract: In this paper I take a detailed look into the returns to schooling in Cambodia using the 1997 and 2003-04 Socioeconomic Surveys of Households and alternative estimation techniques (OLS vs. Family Fixed Effects and Instrumental Variables). The main focus of the analysis has to do with differences by sector (public vs. private). In Cambodia, the average educational attainment of workers in the public sector is significantly higher compared to the private sector. Without considering issues of selection into the public vs. the private sector, the wage premium for one additional year of schooling in the private sector is about twice that in the public sector for both men and women. Furthermore, the average return to one additional year of potential labor market experience is higher in the private sector. This raises questions about the reasons for the self-selection of more educated workers in the public sector in Cambodia. The picture changes drastically, especially in the case of female employment, once the assumption that the location of individuals in the public and private sectors is the outcome of a random process. However, after correcting for selection bias using Heckman's correction, one additional year of schooling still increases earnings by more in the private sector for men, but the spread between sectors narrows. However for women, one additional year of schooling increases earnings in the public sector by more than in the private sector. Furthermore, now the return to one additional year of potential labor market experience is significantly higher in the public sector, for both men and women. Other findings indicate that the supply of more educated workers has outstripped demand, resulting in a decline in the return to tertiary education and a stable return to secondary education. The dynamics of the demand and supply of skills and their changes over the time suggest that the supply of post-primary skills is adequate, except perhaps in the private sector.
    Date: 2008–05

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