nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2008‒12‒14
seventeen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Short Run Impacts of Accountability on School Quality By Jonah E. Rockoff; Lesley J. Turner
  2. Improving Educational Outcomes for Poor Children By Brian Jacob; Jens Ludwig
  3. How Do Crises Affect Schooling Decisions? Evidence from Changing Labor Market Opportunities and a Policy Experiment By Florencia Lopez-Boo
  4. Did PROGRESA send drop-outs back to school? By Maria Nieves Valdes
  5. Credit Constraints in the Demand for Education: Evidence from Survey Data By Sorokina, Olga V.
  6. A Longitudinal Analysis of Within-Education-Group Earnings Inequa By Gustavsson, Magnus
  7. Research Faculty, Entrepreneurship and Commercialization: The Case of Kansas State University By Amanor-Boadu, Vincent; Metla, Chandra Mohan Reddy
  8. Role of Extension in a Research University By Gustafson, Cole R.
  9. Dropping out and revising educational decisions: Evidence from vocational education By Donata Bessey; Uschi Backes-Gellner
  10. Estimating the Effect of Student Aid on College Enrollment: Evidence from a Government Grant Policy Reform By Helena Skyt Nielsen; Torben Sørensen; Christopher R. Taber
  11. Now, whose schools are really better (or weaker) than Germany's? A multiple testing approach By Hanck, Christoph
  12. The Value of School Facilities: Evidence from a Dynamic Regression Discontinuity Design By Stephanie Riegg Cellini; Fernando Ferreira; Jesse Rothstein
  13. Attitudes of College Students towards Agriculture, Food and the Role of Government By Carreira, R.I.; Mane, R.; Danforth, D.M.; Wailes, E.J.
  14. Determinants of Students€٠First Impressions of Instructors and Courses By Dicks, Michael R.; Pruitt, J. Ross; Tilley, Daniel S.
  15. Pobreza, salud y educación By Ezequiel Consiglio
  16. Assessing the Impact of the Bean/Cowpea Collaborative Research Support Program (B/C CRSP) Graduate Degree Training By Jamora, Nelissa; Bernsten, Richard; Maredia, Mywish
  17. Human Capital and New Firm Formation By Karlsson, Charlie; Backman, Mikaela

  1. By: Jonah E. Rockoff; Lesley J. Turner
    Abstract: In November of 2007, the New York City Department of Education assigned elementary and middle schools a letter grade (A to F) under a new accountability system. Grades were based on numeric scores derived from student achievement and other school environmental factors such as attendance, and were linked to a system of rewards and consequences. We use the discontinuities in the assignment of grades to estimate the impact of accountability in the short run. Specifically, we examine student achievement in English Language Arts and mathematics (measured in January and March of 2008, respectively) using school level aggregate data. Although schools had only a few months to respond to the release of accountability grades, we find that receipt of a low grade significantly increased student achievement in both subjects, with larger effects in math. We find no evidence that these grades were related to the percentage of students tested, implying that accountability can cause real changes in school quality that increase student achievement over a short time horizon. We also find that parental evaluations of educational quality improved for schools receiving low accountability grades. However, changes in survey response rates hold open the possibility of selection bias in these complementary results.
    JEL: H52 H75 I21 I28 L38
    Date: 2008–12
  2. By: Brian Jacob; Jens Ludwig
    Abstract: This review paper, prepared for the forthcoming Russell Sage volume Changing Poverty, considers the ability of different education policies to improve the learning outcomes of low-income children in America. Disagreements on this question stem in part from different beliefs about the problems with our nation's public schools. In our view there is some empirical support for each of the general concerns that have been raised about public schools serving high-poverty student populations, including: the need for more funding for those school inputs where additional spending is likely to pass a benefit-cost test; limited capacity of many schools to substantially improve student learning by improving the quality of instruction on their own; and the need for improved incentives for both teachers and students, and for additional operational flexibility. Evidence suggests that the most productive changes to existing education policies are likely to come from increased investments in early childhood education for poor children, improving the design of the federal No Child Left Behind accountability system, providing educators with incentives to adopt practices with a compelling research base while expanding efforts to develop and identify effective instructional regimes, and continued support and evaluation of a variety of public school choice options.
    JEL: I20
    Date: 2008–12
  3. By: Florencia Lopez-Boo
    Abstract: This paper examines the effect of labor market opportunities on schoolingemployment decisions in 12 urban areas in Argentina over 12 years, emphasizing the recession/crisis years 1998-2002. Over “typical” years deteriorating job rates increase the probability of attending school and decrease the probability of combining work and school, particularly for boys; the probability of being in school for secondary school children was about 6 percent higher in 2002 than in 1998. These estimates account for the fact that a new Federal Education Law (FEL) in 1996 extended mandatory education to 10 years. Differences across regions in implementation and differences in exposure across cohorts induced by the timing of the Law reveal that children in provinces fully implementing the FEL were 3 percent more likely to be in school and 1.6 percent points less likely to be working.
    Keywords: schooling decision, macroeconomic shocks, education policy
    JEL: I21 J31
    Date: 2008–12
  4. By: Maria Nieves Valdes
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the effect of PROGRESA education grants on school enrollment. It looks at its effect on total school enrollment and in particular on school enrollment of drop-outs, i.e. those children who face a re-enrollment decision since they were not enrolled in school the year prior to the implementation of the PROGRESA program. Estimates of the impact of PROGRESA education grants on drop-outs and non-drop-outs are obtained applying difference estimation and maximum likelihood estimation of a reduced form equation for schooling decision. Differences in results between both groups of children are discussed looking at the distribution of marginal effects. PROGRESA did send drop-outs back to school. It had a larger effect on drop-outs than on non-drop-outs. However, for the particular group of girls who dropped out of school just before attending secondary school PROGRESA grants only had a minor effect. This last finding highlights the fact that determinants of the schooling decision are different for young girls and that PROGRESA grants do not provide a strong enough incentive to send them back to school.
    Keywords: Anti-poverty program evaluation, School enrollment, Re-enrollment decision, Heterogeneous program effects, Correlated random effects model
    JEL: C21 C23 I28 I38
    Date: 2008–06
  5. By: Sorokina, Olga V.
    Abstract: How important are liquidity constraints in the demand for college education in the U.S.? Who is most likely to be affected? Persistent credit constraints can lead to inefficient skill allocations and, given the wide gap between college and high school earnings, can work to perpetuate imbalances in the distribution of economic well-being. Unfortunately, empirical evidence regarding the pervasiveness of credit constraints in the demand for college education has not been consistent in part because constraints tend to be inferred indirectly and approaches for gauging them differ. In contrast with existing studies I use a measure that is more direct, namely self-reported financial constraints available in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. I find that about 13 percent of college-age individuals expect to underinvest in education because of financial limitations. These are the youths from less well-off families who live in areas with no universities in the vicinity. The findings of this paper suggest that liquidity constraints are potentially more pervasive than earlier studies indicate.
    Keywords: Credit Constraints; Expectations; Demand for Education
    JEL: I2 D84 J24
    Date: 2008–11–15
  6. By: Gustavsson, Magnus (Department of Economics)
    Abstract: Using a large Swedish longitudinal database for the period 1982–2005, I estimate and compare within-group inequality in persistent and transitory earnings among men with highschool and college degrees. Analyses of inequality over the life cycle reveal that experiencevariance profiles of persistent earnings are very similar across the two education groups and also consistent with standard human capital models of on-the-job training. Transitory earnings shocks display a marked U-shaped variance pattern over the life-cycle for both groups, but are clearly larger for high-school graduates and also account for a larger proportion of their overall variance. Analyses of changes in within-group inequality over time, holding life-cycle effects constant, show that high-school and college graduates have been subject to similar trend growths in both persistent and transitory earnings differentials between 1982 and 2005.
    Keywords: Permanent inequality; Earnings instability; Life-cycle earnings; Schooling
    JEL: C33 D31 J39
    Date: 2008–12–05
  7. By: Amanor-Boadu, Vincent; Metla, Chandra Mohan Reddy
    Abstract: In this study, we assess the relationships between the demographic characteristics of researchers and their perspectives on entrepreneurship and the commercialization of their inventions, and analyze the relationship between faculty perceptions of university commercialization policies and their entrepreneurial orientation. We conclude that there is a need for effective educational programs to address each of the issues and increase awareness among faculty and researchers.
    Keywords: Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies, Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession,
    Date: 2008
  8. By: Gustafson, Cole R.
    Abstract: University administrators are placing greater emphasis on research and extramural funding in an effort to raise their stature among peer institutions. While Extension faculty could feel threatened, they actually have an opportunity to fill the void in land grant mission being vacated by research and teaching faculty. Assuming great roles in applied research and teaching activities will strengthen traditional Extension programs and provide new opportunities for growth.
    Keywords: Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession,
    Date: 2008–11–11
  9. By: Donata Bessey (Institute for Strategy and Business Economics, University of Zurich); Uschi Backes-Gellner (Institute for Strategy and Business Economics, University of Zurich)
    Abstract: Previous research on educational decisions has almost exclusively focused on individual decisions to start a particular education. At the same time, the decision to revise an educational choice has hardly been analyzed, unless it is the decision to drop out. However, dropping out is only one possibility of revising an educational choice. In this paper, we distinguish three different educational revisions, namely, dropping out, changing and upgrading. We analyze the determinants of these three different choices in apprenticeship training using hazard rate models for the empirical analysis. In a first research step, we carry out a simple hazard rate estimation of the decision to drop out vs. staying in the educational system because dropping out is associated with considerable risks, unlike the other two choices. Our most important finding here is that dropout decisions seem to be driven to a considerable amount by financial considerations such as the opportunity cost of apprenticeship training or financial distress, determinants that could rarely be analyzed in previous research due to lack of information. In a competing risks specification of the different educational choices, we find additional regional-level impact factors and remarkable differences in the determinants of the different choices. Less favorable local labor market conditions lead to lower hazards of staying within the educational system. These results underline the importance of distinguishing between the different choices instead of focusing exclusively on dropping out as one possible choice.
    Keywords: Apprenticeship training, human capital, regional labor markets
    JEL: J I J
    Date: 2008–12
  10. By: Helena Skyt Nielsen; Torben Sørensen; Christopher R. Taber
    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.
    JEL: I22
    Date: 2008–12
  11. By: Hanck, Christoph
    Abstract: Using PIRLS (Progress in International Reading Literacy Study) data, we investigate which countries' schools can be be classified as significantly better or weaker than Germany's as regards the reading literacy of primary school children. The `standard' approach is to conduct separate tests for each country relative to the reference country (Germany) and to reject the null of equally good schools for all those countries whose $p$-value satisfies p_i< 0.05. We demonstrate that this approach ignores the multiple testing nature of the problem and thus overstates differences between schooling systems by producing unwarranted rejections of the null. We employ various multiple testing techniques to remedy this problem. The results suggest that the `standard' approach may overstate the number of significantly different countries by up to 30%.
    Keywords: PIRLS; Multiple Testing; Multi-Country Comparisons
    JEL: C12 I21
    Date: 2008–11
  12. By: Stephanie Riegg Cellini; Fernando Ferreira; Jesse Rothstein
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the impact of voter-approved school bond issues on school district balance sheets, local housing prices, and student achievement. We draw on the unique characteristics of California's system of school finance to obtain clean identification of bonds' causal effects, comparing districts in which school bond referenda passed or failed by narrow margins. We extend the traditional regression discontinuity (RD) design to account for the dynamic nature of bond referenda, since the probability of future proposals depends on the outcomes of past elections. By law, bond revenues can be used only for school facilities projects. We find that bond funds indeed stick exclusively in the capital account, with no effect on current expenditures or other revenues. Our housing market estimates indicate that California school districts under-invest in school facilities: passing a referendum causes immediate, sizable increases in home prices, implying a willingness-to-pay on the part of marginal homebuyers of $1.50 or more for each $1 of facility spending. These effects do not appear to be driven by changes in the income or racial composition of homeowners, and the school bond impact on test scores cannot explain more than a small portion of the total housing price effect. Our estimates indicate that parents value improvements in other dimensions of school output (e.g., safety) that may be not captured by test scores.
    JEL: C23 H21 H41 H71 H75 I22 R13
    Date: 2008–12
  13. By: Carreira, R.I.; Mane, R.; Danforth, D.M.; Wailes, E.J.
    Abstract: In 2002 and 2007 we surveyed Agribusiness students€٠attitudes about agriculture, farming, food and agricultural policies. Responses were analyzed by year and student characteristics including farm background, citizenship and gender. Citizenship was a significant variable explaining differences in agreement with statements. Year and interactions with year were not significant.
    Keywords: agricultural policy, farming, logistic regression, student attitudes, Agricultural and Food Policy, Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession, A13, A22, C42, Q18,
    Date: 2008
  14. By: Dicks, Michael R.; Pruitt, J. Ross; Tilley, Daniel S.
    Abstract: Students evaluated instructors and courses in the first two weeks of the fall semester to determine the factors that form impressions in the early stages of the semester. Results indicate differences exist between upper and lower division courses with presentation of material and perceived workload as key factors that students use to form first impressions.
    Keywords: Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession,
    Date: 2008
  15. By: Ezequiel Consiglio
    Abstract: RESUMEN La salud y la educación se vinculan entre sí, y con la pobreza. El modelo epidemiológico de ciclo de la vida permite detectar períodos críticos durante los cuales estas relaciones producen resultados negativos caracterizados por alteraciones somáticas, cognitivas y psico-afectivas durante las etapas del desarrollo temprano. Algunas de estas alteraciones pueden ser irreversibles. Las vinculaciones entre la pobreza, la salud y la educación, implican estrategias de control en común donde el principio de eficiencia no debe estar reñido con el de equidad. La valoración del conocimiento de las personas en condición de pobreza sobre sus propios problemas, y el compromiso más estrecho de los técnicos de las políticas públicas con la población permitiría llevar adelante modelos de intervención como el de comunidad de pares extendida donde la eficiencia y la equidad puedan desarrollarse conjuntamente ABSTRACT The health and the education are linked between themselves, and with poverty. The Life-course epidemiological model allows identifying critical periods during which those relations can produce negative results characterized by somatic, cognitive and psychological severe injuries during early human development. Some of those disturbances would be irreversible. The links between poverty, health and education require a strategy for controlling them together taking account efficiency principle and equity one. The recognition of the knowledge of people living on poverty about their own problems, and a narrowed agreement between them and the public policies technicians should allow intervention models as Peer-Extended-Community where the efficiency and the equity should be consider together.
    Date: 2008–01–27
  16. By: Jamora, Nelissa; Bernsten, Richard; Maredia, Mywish
    Abstract: The study evaluated the impacts of the graduate degree training (GDT) component of the B/C CRSP. In their enhanced capacity, trainees have been playing important roles in strengthening teaching and research capacity in bean and cowpea sectors, both in the U.S. and in host countries. The study recommends the continued commitment and increased financial support to GDT.
    Keywords: impact assessment, B/C CRSP, training, graduate degree, beans, cowpeas, Crop Production/Industries, Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession, Q16, I23, O15, O19,
    Date: 2008
  17. By: Karlsson, Charlie (Jönköping International Business School); Backman, Mikaela (Jönköping International Business School)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact human capital has on new firm formation, traditionally expected to have a positive influence. Individuals are attracted to regions with a stimulating atmosphere and tend to stay within the same region. Since human capital is partly spatially bounded, the size of municipality accessibility to human capital is expected to have a larger impact than intra-regional and inter-regional interaction. The empirical analysis is based on data on new firm formation at the municipality level in Sweden and accessibility to human capital, defined as minimum three years at tertiary level. The new firm formation is both measured in absolute and in relative terms. In the analysis, the municipalities are divided into four groups; (i) all municipalities, (ii) central municipalities (ii) municipalities within the hinterland in large functional regions and (iii) municipalities within the hinterland in small functional regions. This is done to make the comparison easy. The results indicate that it is the local market, measured as the size of the municipality accessibility to human capital that has a positive impact on new firm formation. Income per capita has a positive impact and average firm size has a negative impact on new firm formation.
    Keywords: human capital; new firm formation; municipalities; accessibility; Sweden
    JEL: L26 R11
    Date: 2008–04–03

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