nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2009‒06‒10
twelve papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Ability Bias, Skewness and the College Wage Premium By Naylor, Robin A.; Smith, Jeremy
  2. The quality of public education and private school enrollment: an assessment using Brazilian data By Fernanda Estevan
  3. Att undervisa i Business history By Nordlund, Therese
  4. Unemployment and subsequent earnings for Swedish college graduates: a study of scarring effects By Gartell, Marie
  5. Compulsory Education and Jack-of-all-trades Entrepreneurs By Douhan, Robin
  6. Educational Returns, ability composition and cohort effects : theory and evidence for cohorts of early-career UK graduates By Ireland, Norman; Naylor, Robin A.; Smith, Jeremy; Telhaj, Shqiponja
  7. On The Possibility that American College Students Are Not Human Capitalists. By Gregory A. Lilly; Samuel K. Allen
  8. Addressing educational disparity : using district level education development indices for equitable resource allocations in India By Jhingran, Dhir; Sankar, Deepa
  9. Immigrant wages in the Spanish labour market: does the origin of human capital matter? By Esteban Sanromà; Raúl Ramos; Hipólito Simón
  10. Neighbourhoods, economic incentives and post compulsory education choices By Lindvall, Lars
  11. Impact of Land Reforms on Human Capital Formation: Household Level Evidence from West Bengal By Deininger, Klaus; Jin, Songqing; Yadav, Vandana
  12. How does tacit knowledge transfer influence innovation speed? The case of science based entrepreneurial firms By Knockaert, M.; Ucbasaran, D.; Wright, M.; Clarysse, B.

  1. By: Naylor, Robin A. (Department of Economics, University of Warwick); Smith, Jeremy (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)
    Abstract: Changes in educational participation rates across cohorts are likely to imply changes in the ability-education relationship and thereby to impact on estimated returns to education. We show that skewness in the underlying ability distribution is a key determinant of the impact of graduate expansion on the college wage premium. Calibrating the model against the increased proportion of university students in Britain, we find that changes in the average ability gap between university students and others are likely to have mitigated demand-side forces.
    Keywords: Ability Bias ; College Wage Premium ; Graduate Returns ; Cohort Effects
    JEL: J31 J24 I21 D82
    Date: 2009
  2. By: Fernanda Estevan (PhD candidate, Department of Economics, CORE, Catholic University of Louvain)
    Abstract: In this paper, we test the hypothesis that private school enrollment is the households' response to the low quality of public schools. In order to deal with the simultaneity issue, we explore variations in public school funding caused by the FUNDEF reform that occurred in Brazil in 1998. Using data from the Brazilian School Census, we show that a positive impact of the reform is associated with an immediate reduction in the share of private enrollment for the first grade of primary school at the municipality level. The same effect is not observed for the subsequent primary school years. This con¯rms the intuition that the parents may be reluctant to switch schools after the beginning of their child's schooling track. Our estimation results are robust to variations in the school participation and changes in the income distribution. Thus, the improvement in the quality of public schools originated by the FUNDEF reform has attracted households that would otherwise enroll in private institutions. The same mechanism seems to explain the increase in the net attendance rate during the same period.
    Date: 2009–04
  3. By: Nordlund, Therese (Dept. of Economic History, Stockholm University)
    Abstract: This paper discusses Business history teaching, focusing on its possibilities and limitations in today’s higher education. In Sweden, Business history teaching is still dominated by male teachers and male students. This paper discusses a “gender-conscious pedagogy” in terms of dealing with gender, class and ethnicity in the classroom. This paper suggests the importance of achieving a learning enviroment that promotes equal treatment regardless of gender. In order to achieve this goal, the teacher must motivate and encourage university students. The teacher has to discover the power and hierarchies inside the university classroom. The historical perspective is important in order to learn analyse, relate and understand the present society and business life in the past, and to give the students the tools to understand and criticise organizations. This is also relevant for other subjects, for example, economics.
    Keywords: Business history; pedagogy; higher teaching; gender issues; learning environment; education
    JEL: A22 I23
    Date: 2009–05–21
  4. By: Gartell, Marie (Institute for Futures Studies)
    Abstract: Unemployment immediately upon graduation is associated with substantial and permanent future earnings losses. Even for very short unemployment spells the estimated earnings losses are statistically significant. These results are stable for the inclusion of a rich set of observable control variables, including grade point average from high school and parental educational level, and for choice of method i.e. OLS and propensity score matching. This lends some support for the interpretation that unemployment upon graduation has the causal effect of reducing future earnings prospects.
    Keywords: Scarring; State dependence; Higher education; College-to-work
    JEL: J24 J31 J64
    Date: 2009–04–23
  5. By: Douhan, Robin (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))
    Abstract: Can educational institutions explain occupational choice between wage employment and entrepreneurship? This paper follows Lazear's (2005) Jack-of-all-trades hypothesis according to which an individual with a more balanced set of abilities is more likely to enter into entrepreneurship. In the theoretical model proposed, abilities are an outcome of talent and educational institutions. Institutions, in turn, differ with respect to mandatory time in school and the scope of the curriculum. Implications of the theory are tested using Swedish data for a school reform. Empirical results support the main theoretical predictions.
    Keywords: Human Capital; Occupational Choice; Entrepreneurship; Education Institutions
    JEL: I21 J24 L26
    Date: 2009–06–01
  6. By: Ireland, Norman (Department of Economics, University of Warwick); Naylor, Robin A. (Department of Economics, University of Warwick); Smith, Jeremy (Department of Economics, University of Warwick); Telhaj, Shqiponja (CEP, London School of Economics)
    Abstract: An increase over time in the proportion of young people obtaining a degree is likely to impact on the relative ability compositions (i) of graduates and non-graduates and (ii) across graduates with different classes of degree award. In a signalling framework, we examine the implications of this on biases across cohorts in estimates of educational returns. In an empirical analysis, we exploit administrative data on whole populations of UK university students for ten graduate cohorts to investigate the extent to which early labour market outcomes vary with class of degree awarded. Consistent with our theoretical model, we find that returns by degree class increased across cohorts during a period of substantial graduate expansion. We also corroborate the empirical findings with evidence from complementary data on graduate sample surveys.
    Keywords: Educational Returns ; College Wage Premium ; Degree Class ; Ability Bias ; Statistical Discrimination
    JEL: J31 J24 I21 D82
    Date: 2009
  7. By: Gregory A. Lilly (Department of Economics, Elon University); Samuel K. Allen (Department of Economics, Virginia Military Institute)
    Abstract: We assess the likelihood that earnings premiums influence college students' behavior as human capital theory suggests. We highlight several key observable patterns of earnings by age, sex, and for numerous college majors in recent decades, and propose a model of heterogeneous human capital to explain the data. Next, we formulate and test the hypothesis that greater expected average annual earnings by college major will induce greater proportions of college students to select higher-paying majors. The evidence implies that - at least for the observed range of earnings premiums - monetary incentives are insufficient to fully explain behavior.
    JEL: I21 J24
    Date: 2009–06
  8. By: Jhingran, Dhir; Sankar, Deepa
    Abstract: The challenge of development work in the social sector in India today is one of bridging huge disparities across regions of the country, gender and social groups. Unless national and state policies specifically target resources to address these disparities, achieving higher level outcomes in an inclusive manner, which is the real goal for human development in education and health, will be a distant dream. This paper takes up the case of the Indian government’s Elementary Education for All Mission to understand how this flagship program relates investments to spatial and social disparities. For identifying the most deprived districts in terms of educational inputs, outputs and overall development, the authors estimate district level education development indices for 2003-2004. The contribution of the largest investment program is measured by"per child allocations"and expenditures at the state and district levels for 2005-2006. An analysis of comparing the ratio of allocations to expenditures with the ratio of district level indices to sub-dimensional indices shows that there is an apparent disconnect between the"real investment needs"of the districts, reflected in their level of educational development and the actual allocations made on an annual basis. The analysis shows that although all districts received more funds for investing in elementary education programs, the most disadvantaged and needy districts received proportionately more funds, which helped these districts to bridge access and infrastructure gaps and appoint more teachers. Benchmarking sector development by spatial entities helps not only in monitoring the outcomes, but also in targeting planning and funding to reduce disparities.
    Keywords: Primary Education,Education For All,Gender and Education,Access&Equity in Basic Education,
    Date: 2009–06–01
  9. By: Esteban Sanromà (Universitat de Barcelona); Raúl Ramos (Universitat de Barcelona); Hipólito Simón (Universitat de Alicante)
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to analyse the role played by the different components of human capital in the wage determination of recent immigrants within the Spanish labour market. Using microdata from the Encuesta Nacional de Inmigrantes 2007, the paper examines returns to human capital of immigrants, distinguishing between human capital accumulated in their home countries and in Spain. It also examines the impact on wages of the legal status. The evidence shows that returns to host country sources of human capital are higher than returns to foreign human capital, reflecting the limited international transferability of the latter. The only exception occurs in the case of immigrants from developed countries and immigrants who have studied in Spain. Whatever their home country, they obtain relatively high wage returns to education, including the part not acquired in the host country. Having legal status in Spain is associated with a substantial wage premium of around 15%. Lastly, the overall evidence confirms the presence of a strong heterogeneity in wage returns to different kinds of human capital and in the wage premium associated to the legal status as a function of the immigrants’ area of origin.
    Keywords: Immigration, wages, human capital.
    JEL: J15 J24 J31 J61
    Date: 2009
  10. By: Lindvall, Lars (Department of Economics, Uppsala University)
    Abstract: There are large differences in income and education levels, unemployment and ethnic composition between neighbourhoods. An interesting question is whether a neighbourhood’s characteristics affect the behaviour of its residents. This paper investigates neighbourhood effects on youths’ post primary education choice. Besides including usual variables the paper also includes neighbourhood specific economic incentives. Estimating linear probability models as well as multinomial logit models using Swedish register data, covering the county of Stockholm and the years 1988–1992, I find that both neighbourhood characteristics and economic incentives affect the choice. For the latter the results are quite clear although the size of the effect is small: an increase in the expected income of an alternative increases the probability that this alternative is chosen. For the neighbourhood variables the results differ to some extent depending on the model. The proportion of individuals with at most compulsory education in a neighbourhood does however seem to have a negative effect on applying for a university preparatory programme. The proportion of immigrants in a neighbourhood tend to have a positive effect on immigrants’ probability to apply for a university preparatory programme.
    Keywords: Neighbourhoods; economic incentives; educational choice
    JEL: I20 I22 R19
    Date: 2009–05–17
  11. By: Deininger, Klaus; Jin, Songqing; Yadav, Vandana
    Abstract: Land reforms in India were aimed at securing access to land for poor rural households. We use data from West Bengal to highlight the impact of the stateâs 1978 land reform program on human capital accumulation within the beneficiary households. The results from the study indicate that reform positively impacted the decision to invest in education. We ascertain a highly significant positive effect on long-term accumulation of human capital, and find that the size of benefit was modest in first generation and much larger for second generation beneficiaries. The second generation also does not have a gender bias, allowing women to catch up in their levels of education.
    Keywords: Human Capital, Impact Evaluation, Land Reforms, International Development,
    Date: 2009
  12. By: Knockaert, M.; Ucbasaran, D.; Wright, M.; Clarysse, B. (Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School)
    Abstract: The increased pressure put on public research institutes to commercialize their research results has given rise to an increased academic interest in technology transfer in general and science based entrepreneurial firms specifically. By building on innovation speed and knowledge literatures, this paper aims to improve understanding of how tacit knowledge can be effectively transferred from the research institute to the science based entrepreneurial firm. More specifically, we assess under which conditions tacit knowledge contributes to the generation of innovation speed, which is a crucial success parameter for technology based ventures. Using an inductive case study approach, we show that tacit knowledge can only be transferred effectively when a substantial part of the original research team joins the new venture as founders. Our analysis also reveals that the mere transfer of tacit knowledge is insufficient to ensure the successful commercialization of technology. Commercial expertise is also required on the condition that the cognitive distance between the scientific researchers and the person responsible for market interaction is not too large. Our findings have implications for science based entrepreneurs, technology transfer officers, venture capitalists, policy makers and the academic community.
    Keywords: science based entrepreneurial firms; tacit knowledge; technology transfer; innovation speed; cognitive distance
    Date: 2009–04–04

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