nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2009‒03‒07
eight papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Technical University of Lisbon

  1. The Importance of Relative Performance Feedback Information: Evidence from a Natural Experiment using High School Students By Ghazala Azmat; Nagore Iriberri
  2. Agency and similarity effects and the VC’s attitude towards academic spin-out investing By M. KNOCKAERT; B. CLARYSSE; M. WRIGHT; A. LOCKETT
  3. Past success and present overconfidence By Novarese, Marco
  4. ICT in Education: A Study of Public Health Education By Kannan, Srinivasan
  5. Do Legal Origins Affect Education and Labor Market Participation of Women? By Jan, Zilinsky
  6. Determinants of Schooling Outcomes: Empirical Evidence from Rural Ethiopia By Subha Mani; John Hoddinott; John Strauss
  7. The impact of EU accession on human capital formation : can migration fuel a brain gain ? By Farchy, Emily
  8. Education, Training and Economic Performance: Evidence from Establishment Survival Data By Anna Stepanova

  1. By: Ghazala Azmat; Nagore Iriberri
    Abstract: We study the effect of providing relative performance feedback information on performance under piece-rate incentives. A natural experiment that took place in a high school offers an unusual opportunity to test this effect in a real-effort setting. For one year only, students received information that allowed them to know whether they were above (below) the class average as well as the distance from this average. We exploit a rich panel data set and find that the provision of this information led to an increase of 5% in students’ grades. Moreover, the effect was significant for the whole distribution. However, once the information was removed the effect disappeared. To rule out the concern that the effect may be driven by teachers within the school, we verify our results using national level exams (externally graded) for the same students, and the effect remains.
    Keywords: School performance, relative performance, piece-rate, feedback, natural experiment, social comparison, self-perception, competitive preferences
    JEL: I21 M52 C30
    Date: 2009–02
    Abstract: In this paper, we study which VC firm and investment manager related factors drive the VC’s attitude towards academic spin-out investing by taking an agency and human capital perspective. In order to do so, we use a unique hand-collected dataset involving 68 investment managers working at early stage VCs in Europe who were interviewed and provided us with information on the fund characteristics and their human capital. First, the results show that academic spin-out investors work to a large extent at publicly funded VCs that often engage in a very hands-on type of postinvestment behaviour. Second, the results show that human capital is associated with the willingness of the investment manager to invest in academic spin-outs. Investment managers that had worked in an academic environment and thus have similar human capital compared to the academic founders were more inclined to invest in academic spin-outs. Other specific human capital, such as technical education, and general human capital were not found to be associated with the investment manager’s interest in academic spin-out investing, except for the amount of entrepreneurial experience that negatively affected the attitude towards academic spin-outs.
    Date: 2008–09
  3. By: Novarese, Marco
    Abstract: According to a wide literature persons are not able to evaluate their own skills and knowledge, but the discussion on the nature, extension and determinants of this phenomenon is still open. This paper aims at proposing new empirical evidence on overconfidence and its determinants, trying to find out the possible effect of past performance on present optimism. I test my students' calibration and confidence in predicting their future results, comparing their expectations and real grades. My analysis allows showing the existence of overconfidence, its reduction in two following tests, and its non linear relation with students' capacities. Besides, I focus my attention on the effect of the grade my students got at the end of high school. This is used a proxy of their past experience and habit to get good or bad grades. Past success determined overconfidence. This idea is connected to the literature on heuristics and rule based perception.
    Keywords: overconfidence; expectations; learning; inertia; rule based behavior; economic education
    JEL: D83
    Date: 2009–03
  4. By: Kannan, Srinivasan
    Abstract: Modern technologies such as Information Communication Technologies have helped many of the development sectors. One of the sectors it has lot of scope to develop is the Education. It is also evident from the experience that the benefits of these technologies have contributed much in the area of healthcare. However, these benefits come with few limitations. A technology is useful only if (a) the systems are designed keeping the user perspective mind, (b) if the users are trained on those systems, (c) users recognize the need for a system and (d) users feel there is a need for such system. Developing a system for an application does not necessarily lead to usage. Many developments ended without giving any benefit to society. For the better usage and the benefits, one has to have a commitment to promote the system among the appropriate users by demonstrating the benefits of such systems. This further discouraged by the restrictions imposed by the IPR regime. There is some relief now due to the popularization of the free software movements. This paper is an effort to highlight the benefits of such systems in public health education with special reference to the open source online tools. Author is a faculty of a Public Health school teaching health management course to the students of public health. The paper addresses the importance of ICT systems in training the public health professionals. It also discusses the benefits and limitations of such system. The present system is a complementary teaching method to the existing classroom teaching.
    Keywords: ICT Education; Online Tools; Learning Management System
    JEL: I20
    Date: 2009–02–24
  5. By: Jan, Zilinsky
    Abstract: Legal origins, interpreted as "highly persistent systems of social control of economic life" have large economic consequences (La Porta, de Silanes, and Shleifer, 2008). This paper examines whether social outcomes (female education and labor participation in particular) are also influenced by the origin of legal institutions. I use two data sources (and time periods) and two measures of education to verify the suspected link between female labor market participation, education and legal origins. Controlling for average GDP in the last 10 years, barriers to starting a business, corruption, public spending on health and distinct measures of cultural attitudes to women, I find that women tend to participate in the labor market at significantly lower rates in countries with English and French legal origins and at higher rates in countries with the legal system of German origin (although this effect is generally not significant). Girls are more likely to finish primary education in German legal origin countries (and less likely in countries with the English legal origin). Female-to-male literacy ratios are lower in countries where abuse of women is widespread but I find that legal origins are poor predictors of the prevalence of abuse.
    Keywords: female education; labor force; legal origins; institutions
    JEL: O10 K00 J23
    Date: 2009–01
  6. By: Subha Mani (Fordham University, Department of Economics); John Hoddinott (International Food Policy Research Institute); John Strauss (University of Southern California, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper examines the determinants of schooling outcomes - current enrollment status and relative grade attainment - among primary school children in rural Ethiopia. We use repeated cross-sectional data from 15 rural villages in Ethiopia to capture the impact of the changing socioeconomic environment on these outcomes between 1994 and 2004. We find that parental schooling is positively associated with schooling enrollment but its estimated effects declines over time. We observe a similar decline in the estimated impact of father’s schooling on relative grade attainment, while the impact of mother’s schooling increased during this period. OLS estimates of the impact of household income are biased downwards relative to IV results. Community characteristics are not associated with schooling enrollment. However, the provision of electricity is positively, and distance to primary school negatively, associated with relative grade attainment. These findings suggest that policies that address both supply and demand side constraints have the potential to improve the low levels of schooling attainments found in Ethiopia and elsewhere.
    Date: 2009
  7. By: Farchy, Emily
    Abstract: Can a brain drain be good for development? Many studies have established the theoretical possibility of such a brain gain. Yet it is only recently that the relaxation of data constraints has allowed for sound empirical assessments. In utilizing the dramatic policy change that accompanied European Union accession as a natural experiment, this paper is able to assuage fears of reverse causality between migration and human capital formation. The results highlight a significant impact of European Union accession on human capital formation indicating that the prospect of migration can indeed fuel skill formation even in the context of middle-income economies. And, if accompanied by policies to promote return migration, as well as a functioning credit market to enable private investment, international labor mobility could represent a powerful tool for growth.
    Keywords: Population Policies,Economic Theory&Research,Labor Policies,Tertiary Education,Access to Finance
    Date: 2009–02–01
  8. By: Anna Stepanova
    Abstract: In a two-stage R&D game of process innovation, we investigate the effect of exogenously changing R&D spillovers and market concentration on the equilibrium level of effective cost reduction, total output, profits and social welfare. Interpreting spillover as a measure of patent protection, we find that weaker patent protection results in less R&D. We also show that firms prefer weaker patent protection, but social welfare is maximized for higher levels of patent protection. In terms of market concentration we show that firm profits decrease with increasing numbers of firms. Social welfare is typically maximized under oligopoly with the optimal number of firms depending on the level of spillover and efficiency of R&D investment.
    Keywords: oligopoly; R&D; competition; spillover process; cost reduction; market concentration
    JEL: C72 L13 O31
    Date: 2009–02

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