nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2009‒02‒22
eight papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Raising Education Outcomes in Spain By Andrés Fuentes
  2. The Causal Effects of Education on Adaptability By Riddell, W. Craig; Song, Xueda
  3. Intergovernmental Transfers and Elementary Education: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from Brazil By Stephan Litschig
  4. Perception towards the Importance of Education among Muslim Women in Papar, Sabah (Malaysia) By Mansur, Kasim; Abd. Rahim, Dayangku Aslinah; Lim, Beatrice; Mahmud, Roslinah
  5. Access to Higher Education and Inequality: The Chinese Experiment By Belton Fleisher; Xiaojun Wang; Haizheng Li; Shi Li
  6. Did the 2006 covenant program reduce school dropout in the Netherlands? By Marc van der Steeg; Roel van Elk; Dinand Webbink
  7. On the consequences of university patenting: What can we learn by asking directly to academic inventors? By Julien Pénin
  8. Does sex education influence sexual and reproductive behaviour of women? Evidence from Mexico By Pamela Ortiz Arévalo

  1. By: Andrés Fuentes
    Abstract: Impressive progress has been made in raising participation in early childhood education as well as tertiary educational attainment over the past 30 years. However, the inflow of poorly educated youth into the labour market is unusually heavy for a high-income country, largely on account of high drop-out rates in lower secondary education which, in turn, reflect one of the highest grade repetition rates in the OECD. The supply of workers with intermediate vocational skills is surprisingly low, despite the high return, in terms of labour market outcomes that these skills offer, even if they have recently deteriorated. There is room to raise learning outcomes up to the end of compulsory school, as measured by the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), although, owing to a compressed distribution of such outcomes, the share of poorly performing pupils is not unusually large. While significant reforms have been undertaken to address these problems, more measures are needed to reduce grade repetition and raise education outcomes, by improving accountability of schools and school staff, as well as by raising school autonomy further than has already occurred. Vocational training needs to become more attractive. In tertiary education, few Spanish universities have attained a high level of international standing, and scope remains to improve the contribution tertiary attainment can make to gains in economic welfare, notably by reforming funding arrangements.<P>Améliorer les résultats de l’enseignement en Espagne<BR>En l’espace de trente ans, les effectifs des services d’éducation préscolaire et de l’enseignement supérieur ont progressé de manière spectaculaire. Pourtant, la proportion de jeunes peu qualifiés qui entrent sur le marché du travail est particulièrement élevée pour un pays à haut revenu, ce qui s’explique notamment par de forts taux d’abandon dans le premier cycle du secondaire, avec, en corollaire, l’un des taux de redoublement les plus élevés de la zone OCDE. L’offre de travailleurs possédant une formation professionnelle de niveau intermédiaire est singulièrement faible, malgré les grands avantages que ces qualifications procurent en termes de débouchés sur le marché du travail, encore que la situation dans ce domaine se soit récemment dégradée. Des possibilités s’offrent jusqu’à la fin de la scolarité obligatoire pour améliorer les résultats de l’enseignement, comme en témoigne l’étude du Programme international pour le suivi des acquis des élèves (PISA), même si la faible variance de ces résultats fait que la proportion des élèves faibles n’est pas particulièrement élevée. Des réformes importantes ont été entreprises pour résoudre ces problèmes, mais d’autres mesures sont nécessaires pour diminuer les redoublements et améliorer les résultats de l’enseignement. Il faut pour cela renforcer la responsabilité des établissements scolaires et de leur personnel, et développer leur autonomie. Par ailleurs, la formation professionnelle doit être rendue plus intéressante. S’agissant de l’enseignement supérieur, peu d’universités espagnoles ont acquis une réputation internationale, et il est possible de renforcer les avantages économiques résultant des formations supérieures, notamment en réformant les mécanismes de financement.
    Keywords: education, éducation, tertiary education, éducation tertiaire, Spain, Espagne, vocational training, formation professionnelle, secondary education, pre-school education, éducation secondaire, éducation préscolaire, primary education, éducation primaire, Rates of return to educational investment, university education, éducation universitaire, taux de rendement de l’éducation
    JEL: I2
    Date: 2009–02–17
  2. By: Riddell, W. Craig; Song, Xueda
    Abstract: This study investigates the causal effects of education on individuals’ adaptability to employment shocks. Specifically, we assess the extent to which education influences re-employment success for unemployed workers. We also examine the impact of education on job search intensity, one potential mechanism through which education may increase the probability of re-employment following unemployment. Given that the positive correlation between education and adaptability is likely to be confounded by the endogeneity of education, we make use of data on compulsory schooling laws to create instrumental variables to assess the causal effects of education on adaptability. Based on data from the Canadian Census and the Labour Force Survey, we find that education both significantly improves re-employment opportunities and exerts significant positive impacts on job search intensity for the unemployed.
    Keywords: Education, Human Capital, Adaptability, Displaced Workers, Unemployment, Job Search, Casual Effects, Compulsory Schooling Laws
    JEL: I21 J64
    Date: 2009–02–16
  3. By: Stephan Litschig
    Abstract: Whether providing additional resources to local communities leads to improved public services and better outcomes more generally, given existing management capacity and incentive and accountability structures, is an unresolved yet important question for public policy. This paper uses a regression-discontinuity design to evaluate the effect of unrestricted fiscal transfers on local spending (including on education), schooling and learning in Brazil. Results show that transfers increase local public spending almost one for one with no evidence of crowding out own revenue or other revenue sources. Extra per capita transfers of 1000 Reais lead to about 0.42 additional years of elementary schooling and student literacy rates increase by about 5.6 percentage points on average. Part of this effect arises through higher teacher-student ratios in municipal elementary school systems. Results also suggest that additional resources have stronger effects in more rural and less developed parts of Brazil.
    Keywords: Intergovernmental grants, school finance, foreign aid effectiveness
    JEL: H7 I2 O15
    Date: 2008–08
  4. By: Mansur, Kasim; Abd. Rahim, Dayangku Aslinah; Lim, Beatrice; Mahmud, Roslinah
    Abstract: Malaysian women have continued to play an increasingly important role in the national development of the country including greater participation in the economy and labor market. These improvements were made possible by the increasing numbers of females having access to education. Education provides better work opportunities and thus increases the level of income of an individual. Therefore education is perceived to be an important factor in human capital formation. In Islam, every Muslim is required to acquire knowledge as much as possible. Knowledge generates wealth. Thus, Islam condemns idleness, inactivity and poverty are condemned. A Muslim should be actively involved in the pursuit of increasing their knowledge and skill to ensure that their life is not of mere subsistence. This paper will look at the perception towards the importance of education among Muslim women. A total of 189 respondents were interviewed from selected kampongs in the district of Papar, Sabah. The data collected was analyzed and reported using descriptive statistics. About 42.4 percent respondents have obtained a diploma and degree level education. From the study, it is found that 78 percent of the total respondents perceived that education is very important. A total of 47.1 percent strongly agreed that education can influence future income. Essentially, a total of 78.8 per cent agreed that higher level of education leads to a higher level of income.
    Keywords: Women; Education
    JEL: I20 J20
    Date: 2009–02–16
  5. By: Belton Fleisher (Department of Economics, Ohio State University); Xiaojun Wang (Department of Economics, University of Hawaii at Manoa); Haizheng Li (School of Economics, Georgia Institute of Technology); Shi Li (School of Economics and Business, Beijing Normal University)
    Abstract: We apply a semi-parametric latent variable model to estimate selection and sorting effects on the evolution of private returns to schooling for college graduates during China’s reform between 1988 and 2002. We find that there were substantial sorting gains under the traditional system, but they have decreased drastically and are negligible in the most recent data. We take this as evidence of growing influence of private financial constraints on decisions to attend college as tuition costs have risen and the relative importance of government subsidies has declined. The main policy implication of our results is that labor and education reform without concomitant capital market reform and government support for the financially disadvantaged exacerbates increases in inequality inherent in elimination of the traditional "wage-grid."
    Keywords: Return to schooling, selection bias, sorting gains, heterogeneity, financial constraints, comparative advantage, China
    JEL: J31 J24 O15
    Date: 2009–02
  6. By: Marc van der Steeg; Roel van Elk; Dinand Webbink
    Abstract: Early school-leaving is considered to be one of the major problems in Dutch education. In order to reduce the number of dropouts in the school year 2006-2007 the Dutch government has offered a financial incentive scheme to 14 out of 39 regions. This scheme provides a reward of 2000 euro per school dropout less in 2006-07. The target of the scheme was a reduction of the total number of school dropouts by at least 10 percent in one year. This paper evaluates the effectiveness of this school dropout policy by comparing the change in school dropout in these 14 regions with the change in the remaining 25 regions before and after the introduction of the policy. We observe a modest decline in the probability of dropping out in the 14 covenants regions. However, the decline in the non-covenant regions was equally large. We therefore find no significant effect on the probability of dropping out in the post-covenant year. In both regions, the number of dropouts has fallen by 3 percent in the year after the covenants. This nationwide decline can be largely assigned to changes in the student populations among the preand post-covenant year. <br> The covenants also gave a reward to regions for a successful reintegration of dropouts in order to reduce school dropout in that way. However, estimates for the effect on the re-enrolment of previous dropouts are statistically insignificant as well. We conclude that 2006 covenant policy has not been effective in reducing early school-leaving.
    Keywords: school dropout; financial incentives; policy evaluation
    Date: 2008–12
  7. By: Julien Pénin
    Abstract: This paper examines the consequences of university patenting by using an original source of information: The point of view of French academic inventors, i.e. French university professors who are also inventors of European patents. Via a survey we collected information about 280 French academic inventors. This enables us to put forward new insights with respect to the effect of university patenting on the diffusion of scientific research, incentives to do basic research, commercialization of university inventions and access to upstream knowledge. In particular, the study suggests a tradeoff between enabling the transfer of university inventions to industry in some sectors and delaying the dissemination of scientific research. On the one hand, most academic inventors acknowledge a lag in their publication process directly attributable to the patent application but, on the other hand, in life science disciplines a large majority of respondents who have had one of their inventions commercialized, believe that this would not have been the case had a patent not been there.
    Keywords: University patenting, open science, intellectual property rights, technology transfer, university-industry relationships, Bayh-Dole Act.
    JEL: O3
    Date: 2009
  8. By: Pamela Ortiz Arévalo (Universidad de Alicante)
    Abstract: This article examines the influence of sex education on sexual and reproductive behavior in Mexican women. Exposure to in-school sex education is identified and duration-hazard models are estimated to assess its effects on initiation of sexual activity and use of contraception methods, and timing of first and second pregnancies. Results consistently reveal that women exposed to sex education begin using contraception methods earlier. Most evidence indicates that exposed women initiate sexual activity earlier. Findings suggest that timing of first pregnancy is not affected and that second pregnancy is postponed. Overall, outcomes from this study support the idea that sex education contributes to promote preventive sexual health.
    Keywords: Sex education; female sexual health; reproductive behavior
    JEL: I28 J13 J15
    Date: 2009–01

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