nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2009‒01‒10
eleven papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Reforming Higher Education: Issues before the Fifty Pay Commission By B.Venkatesh Kumar
  2. Equity and Efficiency in Education: motivations and targets By Neri, Marcelo
  3. Higher Education and Health Investments: Does More Schooling Affect Preventive Health Care Use? By Jason M. Fletcher; David Frisvold
  4. Is Privatization Necessary to achieve Quality of Universities? By Brezis, Elise S.
  5. What determines adult cognitive skills?: Impacts of preschooling, schooling, and post-schooling experiences in Guatemala By Behrman, Jere R.; Hoddinott, John; Maluccio, John A.; Soler-Hampejsek, Erica; Behrman, Emily L.; Martorell, Reynaldo; Ramírez-Zea, Manuel; Stein, Aryeh D.
  6. From Dakar to Brasilia: Monitoring Unesco´s Education Goals By Buchmann, Gabriel; Neri, Marcelo
  7. Gender Gap in Admission Performance under Competitive Pressure By Stepan Jurajda; Daniel Munich
  8. Schooling and Adolescent Reproductive Behaviour in Developing Countries By Cynthia B. Lloyd
  9. Ex Ante Efficiency in School Choice Mechanisms: An Experimental Investigation By Clayton Featherstone; Muriel Niederle
  10. Birth cohort and the black-white achievement gap: the role of health soon after birth By Kenneth Y. Chay; Jonathan Guryan; Bhashkar Mazumder
  11. Why Current Publication May Distort Science By Neal S Young

  1. By: B.Venkatesh Kumar
    Abstract: Higher education in the ountry is ripe for radical reforms. The Sixth Pay Review Committee for colleges and universities is set to make widenranging recommendations going beyond pay revisions. But how is their acceptance by state state governments which administer higher education, to be ensured?
    Keywords: education. higher education, colleges, university, Fifth Pay Commission
    Date: 2008
  2. By: Neri, Marcelo
    Abstract: The recently released "Educational PAC" attempts to place basic education at the center of the social debate. We have subsidized this debate, offering a diagnosis of how different education levels can impact individuals' lives through broad and easily interpreted indicators. Initially, we analyze how much each educational level reaches the poorest population. For example, how are those in the bottom strata of income distribution benefited by childcare centers, private secondary education, public university or adult education. The next step is to quantify the return of educational actions, such as their effects on employability and an individual's wages, and even health as perceived by the individual, be that individual poor, middle class or elite. The next part of the research presents evidence of how the main characters in education, aka mothers, fathers and children, regard education. The site available with the research presents a broad, user-friendly database, which will allow interested parties to answer their own questions relative to why people do not attend school, the time spent in the educational system and returns to education, which can all be cross-sectioned with a wide array of socio-demographic attributes (gender, income, etc.) and school characteristics (is it public, are school meals offered, etc.) to find answers to: why do young adults of a certain age not attend school? Why do they miss classes? How long is the school day? Aside from the whys and hows of teaching, the research calculates the amount of time spent in school, resulting from a combination between absence rates, evasion raters and length of the school day. The study presents ranks of indicators referring to objective and subjective aspects of education, such as the discussion of the advantages and care in establishing performance based incentives that aim at guiding the states in the race for better educational indicators.
    Date: 2008–12
  3. By: Jason M. Fletcher; David Frisvold
    Abstract: While it is well-known that individuals with higher levels of education consume more preventive medical care, there are several potential explanations for this stylized fact. These explanations include causal and non-causal mechanisms, and distinguishing among explanations is relevant for accessing the importance of educational spillovers on lifetime health outcomes as well as uncovering the determinants of preventive care. In this paper, we use regression analysis, sibling fixed effects, and matching estimators to attempt to distinguish between causal and non-causal explanations of the impact of education on preventive care. In particular, we use a cohort of 10,000 Wisconsin high school graduates that has been followed for nearly 50 years and find evidence that attending college increases the likelihood of using several types of preventive care by approximately five to fifteen percent for college attendees in the early 1960s. This effect of greater education operates partly through occupational channels and access to care. These findings suggest that increases in education have the potential to spillover on long-term health choices.
    Date: 2008–11
  4. By: Brezis, Elise S.
    Abstract: The purpose of this study is to analyze the relationship between privatization in higher education and the quality of universities. An interesting fact is that of the top 10 universities in the US, nine are private. Previous studies have claimed that there is a relationship between the privatization of universities and their quality, since countries with a high proportion of private resources have superior universities. The purpose of this paper is to analyze if indeed this supposed relationship is due to empirical regularities between quality and ownership, or whether the two are unrelated. The analysis presented herein is based on data collected on 508 universities in 40 countries. I show that flexibility is the important element affecting quality, and not ownership per se.
    Keywords: Higher Education; quality; privatization; ranking
    JEL: I23 I28
    Date: 2008–05
  5. By: Behrman, Jere R.; Hoddinott, John; Maluccio, John A.; Soler-Hampejsek, Erica; Behrman, Emily L.; Martorell, Reynaldo; Ramírez-Zea, Manuel; Stein, Aryeh D.
    Abstract: "Most investigations into the importance and determinants of adult cognitive skills assume that (1) they are produced primarily by schooling, and (2) schooling is statistically predetermined or exogenous. This study uses longitudinal data collected in Guatemala over 35 years to investigate production functions for adult cognitive skills—that is, reading-comprehension skills and nonverbal cognitive skills—as being dependent on behaviorally determined preschooling, schooling, and post-schooling experiences. We use an indicator of whether the child was stunted (child height-for-age Z-score < –2) as our representation of preschooling experiences, and we use tenure in skilled occupations as our representation of post-schooling experiences. The results indicate that assumptions (1) and (2) lead to a substantial overemphasis on schooling and an underemphasis on pre- and post-schooling experiences. The magnitudes of the effects of these pre- and post-schooling experiences are large. For example, the impact on reading-comprehension scores of not being stunted at age 6 is equivalent to the impact of four grades of schooling. These findings also have other important implications. For example, they (1) reinforce the importance of early life investments; (2) point to limitations in using adult schooling to represent human capital in the cross-country growth literature; (3) support the importance of childhood nutrition and work complexity in explaining the “Flynn effect,” or the substantial increases in measured cognitive skills over time; and (4) lead to doubts about the interpretations of studies that report productivity impacts of cognitive skills without controlling for skill endogeneity." from authors' abstract
    Keywords: Human capital, cognitive skills, Stunting, work experience, Development, Education, Gender, Health and nutrition,
    Date: 2008
  6. By: Buchmann, Gabriel; Neri, Marcelo
    Abstract: Active participation of Brazilian civil society, coupled with the 2007 education development plan, launched by the Brazilian government provides an interesting example of the influences of the Dakar Goals. The two domestic initiatives share the same name, spirit and direction proposed in Dakar 2000. We analyse here changes in the Brazilian policies and indicators related to the Dakar Education Goals since its creation, we note: (i) an increase in enrolment over the relevant period; (ii) access to primary education was nearly universal by 2000; (iii) over-aged youth and adult students fell considerably during the period, but access did not expand; (iv) illiteracy has been falling at a rate which, if sustained, will enable us to meet the goal; (v) gender discrimination did not take place in Brazil; (vi) most pupil proficiency indicators have progressively deteriorated from what was already a low standard. In summary, quantity indicators did improve over the period while most quality indicators worsened.
    Date: 2008–12
  7. By: Stepan Jurajda; Daniel Munich
    Abstract: Do women perform worse than equally able men in stressful competitive settings? We ask this question for competitions with a high payoff---admissions to tuition-free selective universities. With data on an entire cohort of Czech students graduating from secondary schools and applying to universities, we show that, compared to men of similar general skills and subject-of-study preferences, women do not shy away from applying to more competitive programs and perform similarly well when competition is less intense, but perform substantially worse (are less likely to be admitted) when applying to very selective universities. This comparison holds even when controlling for unobservable skills
    Keywords: Gender Gap in Performance, Test Anxiety, Competition, Admissions.
    JEL: J16 I29
    Date: 2008–11
  8. By: Cynthia B. Lloyd
    Abstract: Recent DHS data is used to document trends in schooling and adolescent reproductive behaviors among adolescents and then to explore the potential implications of rising school attendance rates for adolescent reproductive health. This exploratory analysis includes (1) comparisons of various aspects of adolescent reproductive behavior between students and the non-enrolled, (2) a review of the evidence on the links between school exit and marriage timing and (3) an assessment of the relative contribution of school girl pregnancy to overall pregnancy rates and non-enrolled among adolescents. [Paper presented at the Forum 9 conference].
    Keywords: schooling, girls, women, boys, adolescents, non-enrolled, reproductive behaviors, pregnancy, pregnant, adult, school, marriage
    Date: 2008
  9. By: Clayton Featherstone; Muriel Niederle
    Abstract: Criteria for evaluating school choice mechanisms are first, whether truth-telling is sometimes punished and second, how efficient the match is. With common knowledge preferences, Deferred Acceptance (DA) dominates the Boston mechanism by the first criterion and is ambiguously ranked by the second. Our laboratory experiments confirm this. A new ex ante perspective, where preferences are private information, introduces new efficiency costs borne by strategy-proof mechanisms, like DA. In a symmetric environment, truth-telling can be an equilibrium under Boston, and Boston can first-order stochastically dominate DA in terms of efficiency, both in theory and in the laboratory.
    JEL: C78 C9 I2
    Date: 2008–12
  10. By: Kenneth Y. Chay; Jonathan Guryan; Bhashkar Mazumder
    Abstract: A large literature documents the significant gap in average test scores between blacks and whites, while a related literature finds a substantial narrowing of the gap during the 1980’s, and a stagnation in convergence during the 1990’s. We use two data sources the Long Term Trends NAEP and AFQT scores for the universe of applicants to the U.S. military between 1976 and 1991 to show that most of the racial convergence in the 1980’s is explained by relative improvements across successive cohorts of blacks born between 1963 and the early 1970’s and not by a secular narrowing in the gap over time. Furthermore, these across-cohort test score gains occurred almost exclusively among blacks in the South. We then examine the potential causes of these large composition effects in the test score gap and their significant variation across U.S. states. We demonstrate that the timing of the cohort-based AFQT convergence closely tracks the convergence in measures of black and white infant health for those cohorts. For example, the cohort- specific AFQT gaps (adjusted for age and year effects and selection into test taking) and the racial gaps in post- neonatal mortality rates deaths between one month and one year of birth exhibit very similar patterns across states and birth cohorts. We show that the black-white convergence in AFQT scores appears to have been more closely linked with post- neonatal mortality rates than with earlier health measures such as neonatal mortality (deaths within one month of birth) and low birthweight. We also find little evidence that other potential confounders (e.g., schooling desegregation, family background) can explain these patterns in AFQT scores. Investments in health at very early ages after birth appear to have large, long-term effects on human capital accumulation. We also discuss preliminary evidence that the staggered timing of hospital integration across the South is consistent with the patterns of gains in black test scores 17 to 18 years after birth more so than other hypotheses for progress in black infant health (e.g., Food Stamps, AFDC, Medicaid).
    Date: 2008
  11. By: Neal S Young
    Abstract: The current system of publication in biomedical research provides a distorted view of the reality of scientific data that are generated in the laboratory and clinic. This system can be studied by applying principles from the field of economics.
    Keywords: scientific data, resources, medical, oligopoly, biological, sciences, publication, research, laboratory, clinic, biomedical, economics, winner's curse,
    Date: 2008

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