nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2009‒02‒07
twelve papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Healthy school meals and Educational Outcomes By Belot M; James J
  2. The Brazilian Education Quality Index (Ideb): Measurement and Incentives Upgrades By Neri, Marcelo; Buchmann, Gabriel
  3. Popularity By Conti G; Galeotti A; Mueller G; Pudney S
  4. Schooling and Political Participation in a Neoclassical Framework: Theory and Evidence By Campante, Filipe R.; Chor, Davin
  5. The Specialist in Today’s University of Wisconsin--Extension By Deller, Steven; Preissing, John
  6. Stereotype Threat and the Student-Athlete By Thomas S. Dee
  7. The Productivity Effects of Extension Appointments in Land Grant Colleges By Foltz, Jeremy D.; Barham, Bradford L.
  8. Getting Into Neutral: Climate Policy and the University By William Shobe
  9. Schooling, Production Structure and Growth: An Empirical Analysis on Italian Regions By Carina Hirsch; Giovanni Sulis
  10. Unobserved Worker Ability, Firm Heterogeneity, and the Returns to Schooling and Training By Ana Sofia Lopes; Paulino Teixeira
  11. Defense, Education and Health Expenditures in Selected Asian Countries By Hirnissa, M.T; Habibullah, M.S.; Baharom, A.H.

  1. By: Belot M (Department of Economics, University of Essex); James J (Department of Economics, University of Essex)
    Abstract: This paper uses the "Jamie Oliver Feed Me Better" campaign to evaluate the impact of healthy school meals on educational outcomes. The campaign introduced drastic changes in the meals offered in the schools of one Borough, shifting from low-budget processed meals towards healthier options. We evaluate the effect of the campaign on educational outcomes using a difference in differences approach; comparing key stage 2 outcomes in primary schools before and after the reform, using the neighbouring Local Education Authorities as a control group. We find evidence that healthy school meals did improve educational outcomes, in particular in English and Science.
    Date: 2009–01–28
  2. By: Neri, Marcelo; Buchmann, Gabriel
    Abstract: The increasing availability of social statistics in Latin America opens new possibilities in terms of accountability and incentive mechanisms for policy makers. This paper addresses these issues within the institutional context of the Brazilian educational system. We build a theoretical model based on the theory of incentives to analyze the role of the recently launched Basic Education Development Index (Ideb) in the provision of incentives at the sub-national level. The first result is to demonstrate that an education target system has the potential to improve the allocation of resources to education through conditional transfers to municipalities and schools. Second, we analyze the local government’s decision about how to allocate its education budget when seeking to accomplish the different objectives contemplated by the index, which involves the interaction between its two components, average proficiency and the passing rate. We discuss as well policy issues concerning the implementation of the synthetic education index in the light of this model arguing that there is room for improving the Ideb’s methodology itself. In addition, we analyze the desirable properties of an ideal education index and we argue in favor of an ex-post relative learning evaluation system for different municipalities (schools) based on the value added across different grades
    Date: 2008–12–29
  3. By: Conti G (Department of Economics, University of Chicago); Galeotti A (Department of Economics, University of Essex); Mueller G (Institute for Employment Research (IAB)); Pudney S (Institute for Social and Economic Research)
    Abstract: What makes you popular among your high-school peers? And what are the la- bor market returns to popularity? We investigate these questions using an objective measure of popularity derived from sociometric theory: the number of friendship nom- inations received from schoolmates. We provide novel evidence that early family en- vironment, school composition and school size play a signicant role in determining popularity. We show that the estimated wage return to one additional nomination is about 2 percent the popularity premium. This amounts to roughly 40 percent of the return to one more year of education.
    Date: 2009–02–05
  4. By: Campante, Filipe R. (Harvard U); Chor, Davin (Singapore Management U)
    Abstract: We investigate how the link between individual schooling and political participation is affected by country characteristics. We introduce a focus on a set of variables--namely factor endowments--which influence the relative productivity of human capital in political versus production activities. Using micro data on individual behavior, we find that political participation is more responsive to schooling in land-abundant countries, and less responsive in human capital-abundant countries, even while controlling for country political institutions and cultural attitudes. We develop these ideas in a model where individuals face an allocation decision over the use of their human capital. A relative abundance of land (used primarily in the least skill-intensive sector) or a scarcity of aggregate human capital will increase both the level of political participation and its responsiveness to schooling, by lowering the opportunity cost of production income foregone. In an extension, we further consider the problem of how much schooling a utility-maximizing ruler would choose to provide. An abundance of land tends to increase political participation ex post, and hence will lead the ruler to discourage human capital accumulation, a prediction for which we find broad support in the cross-country data. Our model thus offers a framework which jointly explains patterns of political participation at the individual level and differences in public investment in education at the country level.
    JEL: D72 D78 I20 I21 O15
    Date: 2008–09
  5. By: Deller, Steven (U of Wisconsin, Madison/Extension); Preissing, John (U of Wisconsin, Extension)
    Abstract: As part of a comprehensive strategic planning effort undertaken by the University of Wisconsin-Extension, Cooperative Extension Service (UWEX-CES), a web-based survey of state specialists was undertaken in the fall of 2007. This manuscript represents the “reporting-out” of the survey results. Based on the work of the strategic planning committee this survey covers a range of issues, but focuses on the role of the specialist in today’s UW-Extension as well as the notion of scholarship. Specialists in general reported that they felt comfortable in their own roles but expressed concern that non-Extension colleagues lacked an appreciation for Extension work and notions of scholarship. While specialists general enjoy wearing numerous “hats” they expressed concern that an increasingly smaller resource pool is pulling them in too many different directions. Specialists strongly subscribe to the idea that Extension educational programming is research based and that research must stand the test of peer review. There is disagreement, however, on what constitutes peer review. Many specialists have the opinion that publishing their work in appropriate scholarly journals is the standard barer of peer review while others disagree. Many noted in written and verbal comments, however, because of the wide heterogeneity of specialists it is difficult if not dangerous to talk about the “representative” specialist. Yet, the survey results suggest that on a range of issues, the specialists are generally in agreement.
    Date: 2008–01
  6. By: Thomas S. Dee
    Abstract: Achievement gaps may reflect the cognitive impairment thought to occur in evaluative settings (e.g., classrooms) where a stereotyped identity is salient (i.e., stereotype threat). This study presents an economic model of stereotype threat that reconciles prior evidence on how student effort and performance are influenced by this social-identity phenomenon. This study also presents empirical evidence from a laboratory experiment in which students at a selective college were randomly assigned to a treatment that primed their awareness of a stereotyped identity (i.e., student-athlete). This treatment reduced the test-score performance of athletes relative to non-athletes by 14 percent (effect size = -1.0).
    JEL: C9 D0 I2
    Date: 2009–02
  7. By: Foltz, Jeremy D. (U of Wisconsin); Barham, Bradford L.
    Abstract: A key piece in understanding the link between the extension and research missions of Land Grant universities is to understand the role of faculty with (and without) extension appointments within agricultural colleges. This article provides a comparative empirical portrayal of the primary activities of agricultural college faculty, and demonstrates the basic vitality of extension professors within the Land Grant system. Professors with smaller extension appointments are heavily engaged in the major research efforts of their universities at even greater levels of production than professors without extension responsibilities. Professors with heavy levels of extension appointments experience increasing tradeoffs between core extension activities and research outputs and graduate training. Professors with no extension appointments engage substantively in extension activities and frequently have links to core extension clientele.
    Date: 2008–07
  8. By: William Shobe (University of Virginia)
    Abstract: On March 11, 2008 the University of Virginia Faculty Senate voted in favor of having the university take steps to make it climate neutral. This paper examines whether such a policy is feasible, and further whether pursuing a policy of climate neutrality is likely the best way to spend university resources, if the goal is to reduce the university’s carbon footprint.
    Keywords: carbon nuetrality; university; Virginia
    JEL: Q4 Q54
    Date: 2008–05–01
  9. By: Carina Hirsch; Giovanni Sulis
    Abstract: This paper analyses the growth effects of high levels of human capital at the industry level. By favouring technology adoption, human-capital-intensive industries grow faster compared to less human-capital-intensive industries in economies that have higher levels of human capital. Using data for nine macro sectors of manufacturing industries in the twenty Italian regions, the results show positive and significant effects of human capital levels and accumulation on value added growth. This result is robust to a series of sensitivity checks such as measures of productivity growth and different indicators of human capital. This finding is particularly important for Italy, as it has always had a model of industrial specialization focused on the traditional sectors which have a low content of technology and human capital.
    Keywords: Growth, Human Capital, Technology Adoption, Regions, Sectors, Italy.
    JEL: O47 R11
    Date: 2008
  10. By: Ana Sofia Lopes (Departamento de Gestão e Economia, ESTG/Instituto Politécnico de Leiria (Portugal)); Paulino Teixeira (GEMF/Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra (Portugal))
    Abstract: It is well known that unobserved heterogeneity across workers and firms seriously impacts the computation of the determinants of individual earnings in standard human capital earnings functions. Following the tradition of AKM (Abowd, Kramarz, and Margolis, 1999), this paper offers an alternative way of controlling unknown worker and firm heterogeneity by taking full advantage of a matched employee-employer dataset based on two key Portuguese micro databases. Our modelling strategy assumes that the gap between individual and firm average wages, unexplained by differences in observable characteristics, gives the extent to which the unobserved ability of a given individual deviates from the unobserved worker average ability in the firm. This methodology has, in particular, the advantage of not relying exclusively on information on job switchers to identify worker and firm effects, thus avoiding any bias arising from endogenous worker mobility. Another important aspect of our treatment is that it allows the estimation of worker effects without risk of contamination from firm effects. To test our modelling we use an original 2-year longitudinal LEED dataset, comprising of more than 400 thousand workers and 1,500 firms in each year. We focus on two separate sets of individuals (i.e. stayers and switchers) and provide a variety of robustness tests, including replication of the original AKM methodology. After controlling worker and firm effects, our results show that the acquisition of schooling, labor market experience, and training, inter al., pays off. Moreover, we do find evidence of a large bias in standard OLS return rates to typical covariates. Evidence from Monte Carlo simulation and bootstrapping also shows that our estimated rates of return to human capital do not seem to be sensitive to changes in various assumptions. Our study does provide therefore further evidence that a wide set of individual and firm characteristics is crucial to understanding the true role of human capital variables in labor markets.
    Keywords: Human Capital, Unobserved Heterogeneity, Earnings, LEED
    JEL: J24 J31 C23 C81
    Date: 2009–03
  11. By: Hirnissa, M.T; Habibullah, M.S.; Baharom, A.H.
    Abstract: This study explores the inter-relationship between military expenditure, education expenditure and health expenditure in eight selected Asian countries namely Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and South Korea. Autoregressive Distributed Lag-Restricted Error Correction Model (ARDL-RECM) procedure was utilized in the analysis. The empirical results suggest that, except for the case of Malaysia and Sri Lanka, whereby no meaningful interrelationship was detected between these three variables, the results for the rest of the countries are mixed, with differing granger causality being detected among these variables. The mixed results obtained in this study is an indicator of differing policy being implemented and will result in varying implication. Generally the error correction term is significant. Implying there is long-run relationship between defense spending, education and health expenditure.
    Keywords: defense spending; health expenditure; education
    JEL: E62 H51 H56 H52
    Date: 2008–07–11
    Abstract: RESUMEN En este trabajo se presenta un análisis del grado de inserción de los estudiantes de la Facultad de Ciencias Económicas de la Universidad Nacional de Lomas de Zamora en el mercado laboral argentino entre los años 1999 y 2007, periodo en el cual se presenta una elevada proporción de estudiantes económicamente activos. Se encontró que los individuos ocupados trabajaban aproximadamente cuarenta horas semanales en promedio y se desempeñaron principalmente en los sectores comercio, servicios e industria; también hubo cierto nivel de trabajo no registrado así como de rotación de empleos. Existieron asimismo alumnos subocupados y sobreocupados. Los motivos por los cuales los estudiantes deseaban participar en el mercado laboral estuvieron relacionados principalmente con la voluntad de adquirir experiencia profesional así como con necesidades económicas. La tasa de desocupación fue siempre superior a la del mercado nacional, siendo el desempleo un fenómeno que afectó en mayor medida a las mujeres. Durante el período, el comportamiento de las tasas de ocupación y de desocupación tuvo su respectiva correspondencia con las fluctuaciones en el nivel de actividad económica con excepción del año 2006. ABSTRACT An analysis of the participation in the argentine labor market of the Lomas de Zamora University’s students, degree in business and accountancy, is described in this paper for the 1999-2007 period. It came out from the research that a high percentage of these students worked or were looking for a job if they were unemployed. The students worked approximately forty hours a week in average, mainly in the following sectors: commerce, services and industry. Not registered employment and employment rotation were also observed. There was a group of students that worked unvoluntarily less than thirty five hours a week and another group that worked more than forty five hours. Due to different reasons, the students decided to participate in the labor market, specially because they wanted to acquire professional experience as well as they wanted to satisfy some economical needs. The unemployment rate was higher than that observed in the national labor market and female students were principally affected by unemployment. The employment and unemployment rates behaved accordingly to the fluctuation of the economical activity level except during 2006.
    Date: 2008–05–18

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