nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2008‒10‒28
fifteen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Technical University of Lisbon

  1. The Feudal Society in Today's University By Houck, James P.
  2. Intergenerational Education Mobility among the Children of Canadian Immigrants By Aydemir, Abdurrahman; Chen, Wen-Hao; Corak, Miles
  3. Estimating the Effect of Student Aid on College Enrollment: Evidence from a Government Grant Policy Reform By Helena Skyt Nielsen; Torben Sørensen; Christopher Taber
  4. Why Educated Mothers don’t make Educated Children? A Statistical Study in the Intergenerational Transmission of Schooling By Chiara Pronzato
  5. Attitudes of Higher Education students to new venture creation: a preliminary approach to the Portuguese case By Aurora A.C. Teixeira; Todd Davey
  6. The Evolution of the Returns to Human Capital in Canada, 1980-2006 By Riddell, Craig; Boudarbat, Brahim; Lemieux, Thomas
  7. Facilitating Classroom Economics Experiments with an Emerging Technology: The Case of Clickers By Liu, Donald J.; Walker, J.D.; Bauer, Theresa A.; Zhao, Meng
  8. The Impact of Outsourcing on the Japanese and South Korean Labor Markets: International Outsourcing of Intermediate Inputs and Assembly in East Asia By Sanghoon Ahn; Kyoji Fukao; Keiko Ito
  9. Class Origin, Family Culture, and Intergenerational Correlation of Education in Rural China By Hiroshi Sato; Li Shi
  10. Teacher Quality in Educational Production: Tracking, Decay, and Student Achievement By Jesse Rothstein
  11. Understanding Low Average Returns to Education in Africa: The Role of Heterogeneity across Education Levels and the Importance of Political and Economic Reforms By Uwaifo Oyelere, Ruth
  12. Inside the Black of Box of Ability Peer Effects: Evidence from Variation in Low Achievers in the Classroom By Victor Lavy; M. Daniele Paserman; Analia Schlosser
  13. Does Money Matter for Schools? By Holmlund, Helena; McNally, Sandra; Viarengo, Martina
  14. The Role of Business Planning Concepts in Balancing Mission and Financial Sustainability Responsibilities in Extension Programming By Klein, Thomas K.; Morse, George M.
  15. Household Income As A Determinant of Child Labor and School Enrollment in Brazil: Evidence From A Social Security Reform By Irineu E. Carvalho Filho

  1. By: Houck, James P.
    Abstract: Few institutions puzzle outsiders as much as the modern university. Even insiders may not grasp the primal essence of its life and behavior. The sheer size and diversity of many universities defeats orderly consideration. We adopt crude simplifications or, worse, numbing obfuscation. This is entirely unnecessary. The core of university life can be illuminated clearly through the prism of a rich and beguiling metaphor. This metaphor requires only that we see today's university as a thinly disguised feudal society such as existed in Europe during the 11th or 12th century A.D. In this medieval context, many otherwise baffling modern mysteries in academe become transparent.
    Keywords: Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession,
    Date: 2007–09–17
  2. By: Aydemir, Abdurrahman (Statistics Canada); Chen, Wen-Hao (Statistics Canada); Corak, Miles (University of Ottawa)
    Abstract: We analyze 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 generational 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 a third as strong as for the general population. Parental earnings is not correlated with years of schooling for second generation children, and if anything negatively correlated. Finally we find that the intergenerational transmission of education has not changed across the birth cohorts of the post-war period.
    Keywords: immigrants, education, intergenerational mobility
    JEL: F22 I20 J62
    Date: 2008–10
  3. By: Helena Skyt Nielsen; Torben Sørensen; Christopher Taber (School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus, Denmark)
    Abstract: In this paper, we investigate the responsiveness of the demand for college to changes in student aid arising from a Danish reform. We separately identify the effect of aid from that of other observed and unobserved variables such as parental income. We exploit the combination of a kinked aid scheme and a reform of the student aid scheme to identify the effect of direct costs on college enrollment. To allow for heterogeneous responses due to borrowing constraints, we use detailed information on parents' assets. We find that enrollment is less responsive than found in other studies and that the presence of borrowing constraints only deters college enrollment to a minor extent.
    Keywords: college attendance, educational subsidies, reform, kink regression
    JEL: I22 J24
    Date: 2008–10–20
  4. By: Chiara Pronzato (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: More educated parents are observed to have better educated children. From a policy point of view, however, it is important to distinguish between causation and selection. Researchers trying to control for unobserved ability have found conflicting results: in most cases, they have found a strong positive paternal effect but a negligible maternal effect. In this paper, I evaluate the impact on the robustness of the estimates of the characteristics of the samples commonly used in this strand of research: samples of small size, with low variability in parental education, not randomly selected from the population. The part of the educational distribution involved in any identification strategy seems to be a key aspect to take into account to reconcile previous results from the literature.
    Keywords: intergenerational transmission; education; twin-estimator; sibling-estimator; power of the test
    JEL: C23 I2
    Date: 2008–10
  5. By: Aurora A.C. Teixeira (INESC Porto, CEMPRE, Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto); Todd Davey (Muenster University of Applied Sciences)
    Abstract: Institutions of higher education have an important role in the generation of high tech ‘entrepreneurial capacity’. Being entrepreneurship in Portugal an emergent phenomenon there is an urgent need to better understand and develop this area not only by analysing the ‘supply side’ (i.e., the courses taught in this field) but also the ‘demand side’, that is, the attitudes of students, future potential entrepreneurs, to new venture creation. Based on 4413 responses of students enrolled in Portuguese higher education institutions, gathered in June-July 2008, we found, using a multivariate model, that students who had already created a firm although, on average, possess larger entrepreneurial experience and knowledge, they do not reveal high risk propensity or creativity. Those students that have taken some steps to create new businesses and, to a larger extent, those foreseeing their future career as owning their business have higher risk and creative profiles. Students who live in an environment which ‘breads’ entrepreneurship have stronger desire to become entrepreneurs. This supports the contention that entrepreneurship is a learned process and that school, teachers, and other institutions and individuals may encourage entrepreneurial behaviours. ‘Role models’ seem indeed to constitute a key factor fostering entrepreneurship among Portuguese higher education students – in the Portuguese case, the entrepreneur and entrepreneurial company references are, respectively, Belmiro de Azevedo and Sonae. Although in a descriptive analysis students enrolled in non-university (e.g., polytechnics) and private higher education institutions reveal higher effective and potential entrepreneurial propensities, when we (simultaneously) control for a vast number of factors which are likely to affect entrepreneurship propensity, such differences cease to be statistically relevant. Students’ personality (risk, creativity) and demographic traits (gender and age), competencies and familiarity with entrepreneurship (entrepreneurial experience, knowledge, awareness, interest), and contextual factors (professional experience, role models) are important determinants of entrepreneurial propensity, whereas the type of higher education institutions (public vs private, non-university vs university), and, to some extent, the degree (postgraduate vs undergraduate), and the scientific area, fail to emerge as key determinants.
    Keywords: students; entrepreneurship; attitudes
    Date: 2008–10
  6. By: Riddell, Craig; Boudarbat, Brahim; Lemieux, Thomas
    Abstract: This paper examines the evolution of the returns to human capital in Canada over the period 1980-2006. Most of the analysis is based on Census data, and on weekly wage and salary earnings of full-time workers. Our main finding is that the returns to education increased substantially for Canadian men between 1980 and 2000, in contrast to conclusions reached in previous studies. For example, the adjusted wage gap between men with exactly a bachelors’ degree and men with only a high school diploma increased from 34 percent to 43 percent during this period. Most of this rise took place in the early 1980s and late 1990s. Returns to education also rose for Canadian women, but the magnitudes of the increases were more modest. For instance, the adjusted BA-high school wage differential among women increased about 4 percentage points between 1980 and 1985 and remained stable thereafter. Results based on Labour Force Survey data show the upward trend in returns to education has recently been reversed for both men and women. Another important development is that after fifteen years of expansion (1980-1995), the return to work experience measured by the wage gap between younger and older workers declined between 1995 and 2000. Finally, we find little difference between measures based on means and those based on medians of log wages for both genders. Also, the use of broader earnings measures (such as including self-employment earnings, using weekly earnings of all workers, or using annual earnings of full-time workers) does not alter the main conclusions from the analysis based on weekly wage and salary earnings of full-time workers.
    Keywords: Human Capital, Wage Differentials, Returns to Education, Canada
    Date: 2008–10–22
  7. By: Liu, Donald J.; Walker, J.D.; Bauer, Theresa A.; Zhao, Meng
    Abstract: The authors discuss how they used the audience response system (ARS) to facilitate pit market trading in an applied microeconomics class and report the efficacy of the approach. Using the ARS to facilitate active learning by engaging students in economics experiments has pedagogical advantages over both the labor-intensive approach of pencil-and-paper and the capital-intensive route of relying on networked or on-line computer labs which oftentimes preclude or restrict face-to-face student interactions. Thus, the new method of conducting experiments represents an added advantage on top of such conventional functions as taking attendance and administering quizzes of this increasingly popular classroom technology.
    Keywords: Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession,
    Date: 2008–10–23
  8. By: Sanghoon Ahn; Kyoji Fukao; Keiko Ito
    Abstract: Applying a common empirical approach to comparable industry-level data on production, trade,and labor markets for Japan and South Korea, this paper aims to investigate the impacts of outsourcing on different sectors of the labor market focusing on differences in educational attainment. While outsourcing measures used in previous studies only take account of the outsourcing of intermediate inputs, this paper, utilizing the Asian International Input-Output Tables, incorporates the outsourcing of assembly. The econometric results indicate that outsourcing to Asia (particularly to China) has a negative impact on the demand for workers with lower education and a positive impact on the demand for workers with higher education both in Japan and Korea. Moreover, the international outsourcing of assembly has a significant impact on skill upgrading, particularly in the Korean electrical machinery sector.
    Keywords: Outsourcing, labor demand, skill upgrading, Japan, Korea, manufacturing, Asian International Input-Output Tables
    JEL: F14 F16
    Date: 2008–10
  9. By: Hiroshi Sato; Li Shi
    Abstract: This paper examines the intergenerational correlation of education in rural China. The focus is on the influence of family class origin (jiating chengfen), the political label hung on every family throughout the Maoist era. A nationally representative cross-sectional household survey for 2002 is used. It is shown that the effects of family class origin on family members' educational attainment varies across historical periods. Regarding the educational level of male heads of household with landlord/rich peasant background, we found a drop caused by the class-based discrimination in the Maoist era and a rebound in the postreform era. It was also found that family class origin remains significant for the educational achievement of the current younger generation. Children aged 16-18 who are of landlord/rich peasant and middle peasant origins are more likely to achieve higher educational attainment. We conclude that a class-specific, education-oriented family culture has been shaped first as a mixture of family cultural capital inherited from the pre-Maoist era and surfacing again in the postreform era, and, second, as intergenerational cultural reaction against class-based discrimination during the Maoist era.
    Keywords: education, intergenerational correlation, class origin, family culture, social discrimination
    JEL: D31 J24 N35 O15
    Date: 2008–10
  10. By: Jesse Rothstein
    Abstract: Growing concerns over the achievement of U.S. students have led to proposals to reward good teachers and penalize (or fire) bad ones. The leading method for assessing teacher quality is "value added" modeling (VAM), which decomposes students' test scores into components attributed to student heterogeneity and to teacher quality. Implicit in the VAM approach are strong assumptions about the nature of the educational production function and the assignment of students to classrooms. In this paper, I develop falsification tests for three widely used VAM specifications, based on the idea that future teachers cannot influence students' past achievement. In data from North Carolina, each of the VAMs' exclusion restrictions are dramatically violated. In particular, these models indicate large "effects" of 5th grade teachers on 4th grade test score gains. I also find that conventional measures of individual teachers' value added fade out very quickly and are at best weakly related to long-run effects.
    JEL: I21 J24 J33
    Date: 2008–10
  11. By: Uwaifo Oyelere, Ruth (Georgia Tech)
    Abstract: Until very recently, the conventional wisdom was that the return to education was very high in Africa. However, some recent analysis point to low average returns to education in some African countries including Nigeria. Given these low returns to education, a relevant question is what causes low returns or what can cause changes in returns to education? In this paper, I examine the hypothesis that economic and political reforms can lead to increased returns to schooling using the case of Nigeria. Following the sudden death of military general Sanni Abacha, Nigeria moved to democracy in 1999, ending an over 15 years stretch of military rule. This move was followed by significant institutional and economic reforms, which provide an opportunity to examine the short term impact of reforms on returns to education. The average return to education is estimated using instrumental variables exploiting a quasi experiment in Nigeria. The results provide evidence that reforms implemented post democracy in Nigeria led to a 2.6% point increase in average returns to education. Furthermore, I find that the low average return to schooling in Nigeria reflects more the low returns at the primary and secondary levels.
    Keywords: returns to education, wage reform, military, democratic reform
    JEL: J08 O12 O15 P5
    Date: 2008–10
  12. By: Victor Lavy; M. Daniele Paserman; Analia Schlosser
    Abstract: In this paper, we estimate the extent of ability peer effects in the classroom and explore the underlying mechanisms through which these peer effects operate. We identify as low ability students those who are enrolled at least one year behind their birth cohort ("repeaters"). We show that there are marked differences between the academic performance and behavior of repeaters and regular students. The status of repeaters is mostly determined by first grade; therefore, it is unlikely to have been affected by their classroom peers, and our estimates will not suffer from the reflection problem. Using within school variation in the proportion of these low ability students across cohorts of middle and high school students in Israel, we find that the proportion of low achieving peers has a negative effect on the performance of regular students, especially those located at the lower end of the ability distribution. An exploration of the underlying mechanisms of these peer effects shows that, relative to regular students, repeaters report that teachers are better in the individual treatment of students and in the instilment of capacity for individual study. However, a higher proportion of these low achieving students results in a deterioration of teachers' pedagogical practices, has detrimental effects on the quality of inter-student relationships and the relationships between teachers and students, and increases the level of violence and classroom disruptions.
    JEL: I2 I21 J24
    Date: 2008–10
  13. By: Holmlund, Helena (CEP, London School of Economics); McNally, Sandra (London School of Economics); Viarengo, Martina (London School of Economics)
    Abstract: There is considerable disagreement in the academic literature about whether raising school expenditure improves educational outcomes. Yet changing the level of resources is one of the key policy levers open to governments. In the UK, school expenditure has increased by about 40 per cent in real terms since 2000. Thus, providing an answer to the question as to whether such spending has an impact on educational outcomes (and whether it is good use of public money) is of paramount importance. In this paper we address this issue for England using much better data than what has generally been used in such studies. We are also able to test our identification assumption by use of a falsification test. We find that the increase in school expenditure over recent years has had a consistently positive effect on outcomes at the end of primary school. Back-of-envelope calculations suggest that the investment may well be cost-effective. There is also some evidence of heterogeneity in the effect of expenditure, with higher effects for students who come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.
    Keywords: education, resources
    JEL: I21 H52
    Date: 2008–10
  14. By: Klein, Thomas K.; Morse, George M.
    Abstract: The University of Minnesota Extension Service used program business plans, an effective tool in other sectors, to improve integration among campus-based state specialists, field educators, and administrative staff and to address operational and financial issues. The traditional semiautonomous work of educators contributed to silolike efforts, unclear roles and responsibilities, and difficulty communicating program benefits to stakeholders. Plans were written for fifty-four of fifty-six Extension programs in a nine-month time frame around a template developed in the Department of Applied Economics. This paper explores the rationale for program business plans in outreach education, key plan concepts, and the process used to develop the plans. We interviewed program team members to gather early insights and preliminary outcomes. Most program teams interviewed in this study recommend program business planning. We continue to use the plans and build our understanding of how this tool can strengthen Extension programming.
    Keywords: Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession,
    Date: 2008–02–23
  15. By: Irineu E. Carvalho Filho
    Abstract: This paper studies the effects of household income on labor participation and school enrollment of children aged 10 to 14 in Brazil using a social security reform as a source of exogenous variation in household income. Estimates imply that the gap between actual and full school enrollment was reduced by 20 percent for girls living in the same household as an elderly benefiting from the reform. Girls' labor participation rates reduced with increased benefit income, but only when benefits were received by a female elderly. Effects on boys' enrollment rates and labor participation were in general smaller and statistically insignificant.
    Keywords: Income distribution , Brazil , Labor , Women , Education , Social security , Human capital ,
    Date: 2008–10–07

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