nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2009‒07‒17
eleven papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Non-instructional Spending Improves Non-cognitive Outcomes:Discontinuity Evidence from a Unique Elementary School Counselor Financing System By Randall Reback
  2. Household Composition and Schooling of Rural South African Children: Sibling Synergy and Migrant Effects By Katy Cornwell; Brett Inder; Pushkar Maitra; Anu Rammohan
  3. Frictional Matching: Evidence from Law School Admission By Pascal Courty; Mario Pagliero
  4. Schools’ Mental Health Services and Young Children’s Emotions, Behavior, and Learning By Randall Reback
  5. Evaluating the effects of decentralization on educational outcomes in Spain? By Albert Solé-Ollé; Paula Salinas
  6. The effect of education on women's propensity to be childless in Spain: Does the field of education matter? By Teresa Martín-García
  7. Educational Mismatch: Are High-Skilled Immigrants Really Working at High-Skilled Jobs and the Price They Pay If They Aren't? By Chiswick, Barry R.; Miller, Paul W.
  8. Determinants of Education Duration in Jamaica By Shiyuan Chen; Sally Wallace
  9. Virtuous interactions in removing exclusion: the link between foreign market access and access to education By Leonardo Becchetti; Pierluigi Conzo; Fabio Pisani
  10. Education and Economic Growth: A Review of Literature By Akram, Naeem; Pada, Itsham ul Haq
  11. Brains, drains, and roads, growth hills: complementarity between public education and infrastructure in a half-century panel of states By stone, joe/a.; bania, neil

  1. By: Randall Reback (Barnard College, Columbia University)
    Abstract: Children’s non-cognitive skills, mental health, and behavior are important predictors of future earnings and educational attainment. Their behavior in the classroom also affects their peers’ behavior and achievement. There is limited prior evidence, however, concerning the impact of school resources on student behavior. Some elementary schools employ counselors whose primary purpose is to help improve students’ behavior, mental health, and non-cognitive skill acquisition. This paper estimates regression discontinuity models exploiting Alabama’s unique financing system for school counselors. Alabama fully subsidizes counselor appointments for all elementary schools, with the number of appointments based on schools’ prior year enrollments using discrete enrollment cutoffs. The results suggest that greater counselor subsidies reduce the frequency of disciplinary incidents but do not strongly influence mean student achievement test scores. Increases in counselors moderate relatively severe behavioral problems without necessarily improving systemic behavior affecting classroom learning.
    Keywords: education, counselors, mental health, discipline, regression discontinuity
    JEL: I22 I10
    Date: 2009–06
  2. By: Katy Cornwell; Brett Inder; Pushkar Maitra; Anu Rammohan
    Abstract: In this paper we examine the demand for education among rural Black households in South Africa using nationally representative data from the 1990s. In particular our study focuses on factors affecting schooling decisions at the household level. Our estimation results reveal strong evidence of a sibling synergy effect, in that the presence of other school-age children in a household makes it more likely that a child will attend school. We also find that having working-age migrant adults improves educational participation and attainment of children. Our results point to strong gender effects, with the presence of female migrants increasing the likelihood of girls getting more education. Finally, our results show that pensions in the hands of the grandmother increases the probability of girls attending school, but has little effect on the schooling of boys.
    Keywords: Household composition, Schooling, Education Attainment, Sibling Synergy, Migrant Effects, South Africa
    JEL: O12 I21 C25
    Date: 2009–05
  3. By: Pascal Courty; Mario Pagliero
    Abstract: We measure friction in the matching of students and law schools as the number of unnecessary student applications and school admissions that have to be undertaken per actual matriculation. We show that friction increases with student and school attractiveness, but decreases for top schools and students. We discuss connections with the literature on frictional matching.
    Keywords: college admission, frictional matching, assortative matching, student portfolio, school standard
    JEL: D02 C78
    Date: 2009
  4. By: Randall Reback (Barnard College, Columbia University)
    Abstract: Recent empirical research has found that children’s non-cognitive skills play a critical role in their own success, that young children’s behavioral and psychological disorders can severely harm their future outcomes, and that disruptive students harm the behavior and learning of their classmates. Yet relatively little is known about wide-scale interventions designed to improve children’s behavior and mental health. This is the first nationally representative study of the provision, financing, and impact of school-site mental health services for young children. Elementary school counselors are school employees who provide mental health services to all types of students, typically meeting with students one-on-one or in small groups. It is particularly challenging to estimate the impact of these counselors on student outcomes, given counselors’ non-random assignment to schools. First, cross-state differences in policies provide descriptive evidence that students in states with more aggressive elementary counseling policies make greater test score gains and are less likely to report internalizing or externalizing problem behaviors compared to students with similar observed characteristics in similar schools in other states. Next, difference-in-differences estimates exploiting both the timing and the targeted-grade-levels of states’ counseling policy changes provide evidence that elementary counselors substantially influence teachers’ perceptions of school climate. The adoption of state-funded counselor subsidies or minimum counselorstudent ratios reduces the fraction of teachers reporting that their instruction suffers due to student misbehavior and reduces the fractions reporting problems with students physically fighting each other, cutting class, stealing, or using drugs. These findings imply that there may be substantial public and private benefits derived from providing additional elementary school counselors.
    Keywords: education, counselors, student behavior, mental health
    JEL: I22 I10
    Date: 2009–06
  5. By: Albert Solé-Ollé (Universitat de Barcelona); Paula Salinas (Universitat de Barcelona)
    Abstract: Several arguments derived from fiscal federalism theory suggest that decentralization may lead to improved levels of efficiency in the provision of public goods and services. The aim of this study is to examine this hypothesis by evaluating the effects of decentralization on educational outcomes in Spain. These are measured using a survival rate, defined as the ratio between the number of students who enrolled in upper-secondary (non-compulsory) education and the number of students enrolled in the final year of lower-secondary (compulsory) education during the previous academic year. We use a panel data set comprising the 50 provinces of Spain for the years 1978 to 2005, a period that covers the entire process of decentralization. Since education competences were devolved to the regions at different points in time, we can estimate the effects of these reforms by applying the differences-in-differences method and by using the non-decentralized autonomous regions as the comparison group. We find that decentralization in Spain had a positive impact on educational outcomes when pupils on vocational training programmes are not taken into account, and that the richer the region is the more marked the effect becomes. However, this improvement in educational outcomes is achieved at the expense of enrolment in vocational training programmes. These effects might reflect a better match between population preferences and educational policies consequent upon decentralization.
    Keywords: Decentralization, Policy Evaluation, Education
    JEL: H11 H43 H52 I28
    Date: 2009
  6. By: Teresa Martín-García
    Abstract: This article investigates the relationship between educational attainment, in terms of both level and field of education, and the probability of being childless in Spain. Findings demonstrate that there is a significant difference in childlessness by education level among women aged 34-50, while this significance disappears when the analysis is not confined to older women but includes all women (aged 18-50) and is controlled for heterogeneity. In this latter case, childlessness has more to do with later childbearing among young women than with the accumulation of human capital. However, women educated in those studies concerned with the care of individuals and/or emphasizing interpersonal skills have a lower probability of being childless than women in other fields of study, irrespective of their education level, in both samples. In addition, the results show that childlessness, departure from education and union formation are jointly determined. Young women who want to be childfree or end up being childless stay in school for a longer period of time and postpone their union formation, whilst those with strong family/fertility intentions accelerate the three processes. I use data from the Spanish Family and Fertility Survey (1995) and apply event history models that take into account unobserved heterogeneity.
    Keywords: childlessness, education, field of study, Spain
    JEL: J12 J13
    Date: 2009
  7. By: Chiswick, Barry R. (University of Illinois at Chicago); Miller, Paul W. (University of Western Australia)
    Abstract: This paper examines the incidence of the mismatch of the educational attainment and the occupation of employment, and the impact of this mismatch on the earnings, of high-skilled adult male immigrants in the US labor market. Analyses for high-skilled adult male native-born workers are also presented for comparison purposes. The results show that over-education is widespread in the high-skilled US labor market, both for immigrants and the native born. The extent of over-education declines with duration in the US as high-skilled immigrants obtain jobs commensurate with their educational level. Years of schooling that are above that which is usual for a worker's occupation are associated with very low increases in earnings. Indeed, in the first 10 to 20 years in the US years of over-education among high-skilled workers have a negative effect on earnings. This ineffective use of surplus education appears across all occupations and high-skilled education levels. Although schooling serves as a pathway to occupational attainment, earnings appear to be more closely linked to a worker's occupation than to the individual's level of schooling.
    Keywords: immigrants, skill, schooling, occupations, earnings, rates of return
    JEL: I21 J24 J31 J61 F22
    Date: 2009–07
  8. By: Shiyuan Chen; Sally Wallace (Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University)
    Abstract: In this paper we have applied discrete time survival analysis techniques to analyze education duration in Jamaica. Based on the Jamaica Survey of Living Conditions 2002, we are able to estimate the effects of household, individual, and other related covariates on the risks of students dropping out. We compare the discrete time Cox model and discrete time logit model and determined that the two estimations are consistent. The estimation results measure the effects of the covariates and can be used to predict the dropout risks of particular students in each grade, which could provide useful implications for the formation of policy to improve education in Jamaica.
    Keywords: education; dropout; time; survival analysis; poverty
    Date: 2008–12–01
  9. By: Leonardo Becchetti (University of Rome Tor Vergata); Pierluigi Conzo (University of Rome Tor Vergata); Fabio Pisani (University of Rome Tor Vergata)
    Abstract: We devise a retrospective panel data approach to evaluate the effects of fair trade affiliation on the schooling decisions of a sample of Thai organic rice producers across the past 20 years. We find that the probability of school enrolment in families with more than two children is significantly affected by affiliation years. The finding is robust when dealing with endogeneity and heterogeneity issues in the estimate. The nonpositive preaffiliation performance documents that our result is not affected by selection bias and that fair trade affiliation generates a significant break in the schooling decisions of affiliated households.
    Keywords: child schooling, market access, fair trade
    JEL: O19 O22 D64
    Date: 2009–07
  10. By: Akram, Naeem; Pada, Itsham ul Haq
    Abstract: Human Capital plays pivotal role for economic growth process. The aim of this paper is to present a brief overview of the studies conducted on the relationship between education and economic growth. Most of the studies are cross-sectional, including developing and developed countries and single country studies are very few in numbers. A general consensus emerges from the review of literature is that there exists a positive relationship between education and economic growth. However in cross section of countries it is assumed that data for each country is same but this assumption become void when studies uses data from opposing conditions of countries. So there is a need for a study on Pakistan that will account fall the impacts of traditional and nontraditional educational systems on economic growth.
    Keywords: Education; Growth; Human capital
    JEL: H5 J24 O4
    Date: 2009–07–12
  11. By: stone, joe/a.; bania, neil
    Abstract: Applying a Barro-style model of endogenous growth to a fifty-year panel of states from 1957 to 2007, We examine the extent to which expenditures on public education and infrastructure— together with the taxes necessary to support them— enhance or impede the steady-state growth of state and local economies, as measured by per capita personal income. Our findings suggest that the independent effect of tax expenditures on either public infrastructure or education alone is significantly negative, but the complementary effect of each on the other is positive enough to make their combined effect significantly positive— except at large scales, where we find diseconomies, consistent with the ‘growth hill’ predicted by theory. Policy effects are identified empirically using a recursive structure with very long lags, GMM/instrumental variables, and controls for both fixed and time-varying heterogeneity. Results are robust to a variety of alternative specifications.
    Keywords: growth human capital public infrastructure
    JEL: H4 H72 H00
    Date: 2009

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