nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2009‒10‒03
seventeen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Polytechnic Institute of Portalegre and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Estimating Teacher Effectiveness From Two-Year Changes in Students’ Test Scores By Andrew Leigh
  2. Long-Run Trends in School Productivity: Evidence From Australia By Andrew Leigh; Chris Ryan
  3. Convergence and divergence in welfare state development: an assessment of education policy in OECD countries By Jakobi, Anja P.; Teltemann, Janna
  4. Are Gender Differentials in Educational Capabilities Mediated through Institutions of Caste and Religion in India? By Jeemol Unni
  5. Impact of Paternal Temporary Absence on Children Left Behind By Alison Booth; Yuji Tamura
  6. Mismatch in the Graduate Labour Market Among Immigrants and Second-Generation Ethnic Minority Groups By Byrne, Delma; McGuinness, Seamus
  7. The private and social return to schooling in Italy By Federico Cingano; Piero Cipollone
  8. The Illusion of Equality: The Educational Consequences of Blinding Weak States, For Example By Lant Pritchett; Martina Viarengo
  9. The University Gender Gap in Australia: A Long-run Perspective By Alison L. Booth; Hiau Joo Kee
  10. Does Democracy Explain Gender Differentials in Education? By Arusha Cooray;
  11. Schoolchildren's wellbeing and life prospects: Justifying the universal tax on childhood By Thin, Neil
  12. Education and elections: a comparative analysis of party manifestos in OECD countries By Jakobi, Anja P.
  13. Student Placement in Egyptian Colleges By Selim, Tarek; Salem, Sherif
  14. Transforming education policy in New Zealand: a case study analysis By Dobbins, Michael
  15. Human Capital Convergence in Greece: A Panel Data Analysis By George Liaskos; Christos Papadas
  16. Risks, ex-ante actions, and public assistance: Impacts of natural disasters on child schooling in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and Malawi By Yamauchi, Futoshi; Yohannes, Yisehac; Quisumbing, Agnes R.
  17. Measuring transformation: a mixed-method-approach to the internationalization of education politics By Nagel, Alexander; Bieber, Tonia; Jakobi, Anja P.; Knodel, Philipp; Niemann, Dennis

  1. By: Andrew Leigh
    Abstract: Using a dataset covering over 10,000 Australian primary school teachers and over 90,000 pupils, I estimate how effective teachers are in raising students’ test scores from one exam to the next. Since the exams are conducted only every two years, it is necessary to take account of the teacher’s work in the intervening year. Even after adjusting for measurement error, the resulting teacher fixed effects are widely dispersed across teachers, and there is a strong positive correlation between a teacher’s gains in literacy and numeracy. Teacher fixed effects show a significant association with some, though not all, observable teacher characteristics. Experience has the strongest effect, with a large effect in the early years of a teacher’s career. Female teachers do better at teaching literacy. Teachers with a master’s degree or some other form of further qualification do not appear to achieve significantly larger test score gains. Overall, teacher characteristics found in the departmental payroll database can explain only a small fraction of the variance in teacher performance.
    Keywords: educational economics, educational finance, efficiency, productivity
    JEL: I21 J24 C23
    Date: 2009–08
  2. By: Andrew Leigh; Chris Ryan
    Abstract: Outside the United States (U.S.), very little is known about long-run trends in school productivity. We present new evidence using two data series from Australia, where comparable tests are available back to the 1960s. For young teenagers (aged 13-14), we find a small but statistically significant fall in numeracy over the period 1964- 2003, and in both literacy and numeracy over the period 1975-1998. The decline is in the order of one-tenth to one-fifth of a standard deviation. Adjusting this decline for changes in student demographics does not affect this conclusion; if anything, the decline appears to be more acute. The available evidence also suggests that any changes in student attitudes, school violence, and television viewing are unlikely to have had a major impact on test scores. Real per-child school expenditure increased substantially over this period, implying a fall in school productivity. Although we cannot account for all the phenomena that might have affected school productivity, we identify a number of plausible explanations.
    Keywords: education production function, literacy, numeracy
    JEL: H52 I21 I22
    Date: 2009–08
  3. By: Jakobi, Anja P.; Teltemann, Janna
    Abstract: In this paper, we quantitatively assess education policy change in OECD countries. While research in social policy has shown that convergence in welfare provision can only partially be assessed in OECD countries, it has yet to be assessed to what extent this also concerns the sector of education. By distinguishing educational expenditures, educational governance and educational outputs, we analyze this sector for OECD countries since the 1990s. The paper is structured as follows: We first outline the importance of education and schooling in contemporary social policy. In a second step, we present concepts of convergence and divergence in welfare state development, concluding with assumptions on the state of education policy. In a third step, we present the data and methods used. Afterwards, we track changes in educational expenditures, educational governance and educational outputs. In a concluding section, we compare the findings and outline their significance for research on policy convergence and social policies, as well as for internationalization of education policy. The paper has a mainly empirical aim, contributing to the debate on policy change and convergence in social policy.
    Date: 2009
  4. By: Jeemol Unni
    Abstract: In this paper, with empirical data, the Capabilities Approach to identify 'conversion factors' that are not typically addressed in the utility approach is used. The two approaches are juxtaposed to examine how institutions such as caste and religion mediate access and returns to education of men and women. The effort is to discuss whether, the capabilities approach provides any advantage in addressing questions of inequity that may be mediated through such institutions. The main innovation in this paper is a comparison between the knowledge generated through use of traditional data sources to measure access and returns to education compared with knowledge about the dynamics of capability formation generated through a mixture of traditional quantitative and some qualitative data within the capabilities approach.
    Keywords: institutions, knowledge, attendance,Child Labour, school, children, Education, Capabilities approach, human capital, caste, religion, India, traditional data, quantitative, qualitative, data, men, women,
    Date: 2009
  5. By: Alison Booth; Yuji Tamura
    Abstract: Using the first two waves of the Vietnam Living Standards Survey, we investigate how a father’s temporary absence affects children left behind in terms of their school attendance, household expenditures on education, and nonhousework labour supply in the 1990s. The estimating subsample is children aged 7-18 in households in which both parents usually coreside and the mother has not been absent. Our results indicate that paternal temporary absence increases non housework labour supply by his son. The longer the absence of the father, the larger the impact. One additional month of paternal temporary absence increases a son’s nonhousework labour supply by approximately one week. However, a daughter’s nonhousework labour supply is not affected. We find no evidence that paternal temporary absence influences his children in terms of school attendance or education-related household expenditures.
    Keywords: parental absence, temporary migration, schooling, human capital investment, child labour, Vietnam, VLSS
    JEL: I22 O15 P36
    Date: 2009–08
  6. By: Byrne, Delma (ESRI); McGuinness, Seamus (ESRI)
    Abstract: This paper uses graduate survey data and econometric methods to estimate the incidence and wage effects of over-education and overskilling among immigrant and ethnic minority graduates from UK universities. The paper empirically demonstrates that immigrant and second-generation ethnic minority graduates were no more likely to experience education or skill mismatch relative to their native counterparts. Furthermore, graduates from immigrant and ethnic minority backgrounds incurred overeducation and overskilling wage penalties that lie well below the level incurred by native graduates. The research stresses the importance of controlling for the effects of location-specific human capital and sample selection when undertaking studies of this nature.
    Keywords: Overeducation, overskilling, ethnic minorities, immigrants
    Date: 2009–09
  7. By: Federico Cingano (Banca d'Italia); Piero Cipollone (Banca d'Italia)
    Abstract: We estimate the private (individual) and social return to schooling in Italy and its macro regions. Our estimates take into account the effects of schooling on employment and wages, as well as the key features of the Italian tax and social security system. We find that the individual return to schooling compares favourably with the return to financial assets (especially in the South). At the social level, the available infrastructure-capital data indicates that the return to schooling exceeds that to infrastructures in the South. Recent evidence on peer effects and the consequences of increased education for health and crime suggest the overall social effects of schooling could be even greater
    Keywords: schooling, wages, employment probability
    JEL: I2 J31 O18 R11
    Date: 2009–09
  8. By: Lant Pritchett; Martina Viarengo
    Abstract: Does the government control of school systems facilitate equality in school quality? There is a trade-off. On the one hand, government direct control of schools, typically through a large scale hierarchical organization, could produce equalization across schools by providing uniformity in inputs, standards, and teacher qualifications that localized individually managed schools could not achieve. But there is a tendency for large scale formal bureaucracies to “see” less and less of localized reality and hence to manage on the basis of a few simple, objective, and easily administratively verified characteristics (e.g. resources per student, formal teacher qualifications). Whether centralized or localized control produces more equality depends therefore not only on what “could” happen in principle but what does happen in practice. When government implementation capacity is weak, centralized control could lead to only the illusion of equality: in which central control of education with weak internal or external accountability actually allows for much greater inequalities across schools than entirely “uncontrolled” local schools. Data from Pakistan, using results from the LEAPS study, and from two states of India show much larger variance in school quality (adjusted for student characteristics) among the government schools—because of very poor public schools which continue in operation. We use the PISA data to estimate school specific learning achievement (in mathematics, science, and reading) net of individual student and school average background characteristics and compare public and private schools for 34 countries. For these countries there is, on average, exactly the same inequality in adjusted learning achievement across the private schools as across the public schools. But while inequality is the same on average, in some countries, such as Denmark, there was much more equality within the public sector while in others, such as Mexico, there was much more inequality among the public schools. Among the 18 non-OECD participating PISA countries the standard deviation across schools in adjusted quality was, on average, 36 percent higher in government than in private schools. In cases with weak states the proximate cause of high inequality again was that the public sector distribution of performance had a long left tail—schools with extremely poor performance. Relying on blinded weak states for top-down control of educational systems can be lose-lose relative to localized systems relying on bottom-up control—producing worse average performance and higher inequality.
    Keywords: education; inequality; centralized; localized; bureaucracy
    JEL: I20 H42 H11
    Date: 2009–08
  9. By: Alison L. Booth; Hiau Joo Kee
    Abstract: According to the 1911 Census, the proportion female of those receiving university education was around 22%, growing to 29% in 1921. By 1952 it had dropped to under 20%, due to easy access into universities for returning war-veterans. From the early 1950s, the university-educated gender gap began to reduce in response to women’s changing expectations of labour-force participation, fertility and age at first marriage. By 1987, Australian women were more likely than men to be enrolled at university. However, these aggregate figures disguise considerable heterogeneity across fields of study.
    Keywords: higher education, gender, Australia
    JEL: I23 J1 N3
    Date: 2009–07
  10. By: Arusha Cooray;
    Abstract: This study shows that despite a strong empirical association between gender differentials in enrolment ratios and democracy, that democracy alone does not explain gender differentials in education in Africa and Asia. The results indicate that income, employment in agriculture, religious heterogeneity and colonialism also help explain the under-representation of girls in education in these regions. Countries in which the duration of suffrage has been longer, tend to perform better on average in terms of gender equality in education.
    JEL: O11 O15 O43 O57
    Date: 2009–08
  11. By: Thin, Neil
    Abstract: A comprehensive and child-focused 'wellbeing' approach to schooling is compared here with other approaches that emphasise poverty reduction, human rights, or capabilities, and which fall short of recognising the full range of wellbeing effects of school. Schooling is expected to optimise prospects for good lives and good societies, not just minimise ill-being and social injustice and fulfil the right to education. A capability approach takes wellbeing much more seriously, yet still falls short of recognizing the role of schools in facilitating directly the happiness of pupils. It is imperative that affordable and simple methods are developed to assess and analyse links between schooling and children's wellbeing and life prospects. Expanding on the WeD approach, a fourfold analytical framework is recommended here for exploring this theme by looking at resources, motivations, achievements, and meaning, plus minimizing avoidable harm.
    Date: 2009–02
  12. By: Jakobi, Anja P.
    Abstract: New institutionalism has repeatedly shown that education has become a common institution in current world society, but so far parties have not been the subject of inquiry. This is surprising, given the fact that institutionalization processes relevant to politics should be well observable in political statements. In this article, I compare the political aim to expand educational opportunities in party manifestos of 25 OECD countries. The research question is whether or not there are significant differences in favoring educational expansion over time, across countries and political positions. The article is structured as follows: In a first step, I present the theoretical background of new institutionalism, concluding with three hypotheses related to political parties and educational expansion: We should be able to observe a growing consensus on educational expansion over time; we should able to observe this development across countries; and we should be able to observe such institutionalization in manifestos with different political positions. In a second step, I present data and methods. In the third to fifth steps, I test each of the hypotheses, differentiating the institutionalization of education over time, across countries and across different political wings. The results strongly support the theoretical assumption of new institutionalism. ; Neo-institutionalistische Arbeiten haben wiederholt nachgewiesen, dass Bildung ein wesentlicher Bestandteil einer Weltkultur ist. Während die meisten dieser Analysen vorrangig auf den gesellschaftlichen Wandel auf der Individualebene oder auf die Formulierung nationaler Bildungsgrundsätze fokussierten, untersucht dieses Arbeitspapier mögliche Effekte auf Parteiprogramme. Die grundlegende Annahme ist, dass Institutionalisierungseffekte von Weltkultur spezifischer: die Befürwortung von Bildungsmaßnahmen sich auch in diesen programmatischen Dokumenten nachweisen lassen müssten. Dazu analysiere ich hier quantitativ 25 Länder der OECD-Welt im Hinblick auf Unterschiede über Zeit, über Länder oder zwischen politischen Richtungen. Das Papier ist wie folgt aufgebaut: Zunächst präsentiere ich den theoretischen Hintergrund des Neo-Institutionalismus und leite daraus drei Hypothesen ab, die für Parteiprogramme relevant sind: Es sollte ein zunehmender Konsens hinsichtlich der Befürwortung von Bildungsmaßnahmen sichtbar werden, es sollten dabei keine signifikanten nationalen Unterschiede deutlich werden, und diese Befürwortung sollte in verschiedenen politischen Lagern sichtbar werden. In einem nächsten Abschnitt präsentiere ich die verwendeten Daten das Manifesto-Dataset und die Methoden dieser Untersuchung. In drei weiteren Schritten teste ich dann jeweils die aufgestellten Hypothesen. Die Ergebnisse zeigen, dass in der Tat ein zunehmender Konsens im Hinblick auf Bildung besteht: Das Thema wird über Zeit insgesamt wichtiger, und dies fast ungeachtet der Länder und politischen Richtungen, wenngleich einige Differenzen bestehen bleiben.
    Date: 2009
  13. By: Selim, Tarek; Salem, Sherif
    Abstract: We study students placement in Egyptian colleges under the current demand/supply placement mechanism implemented in Egypt (e-mechanism). We show that the e-mechanism is not Pareto efficient nor strategy proof and, moreover, it can not be improved to accommodate Pareto efficiency nor strategy proofness. The final conclusion is that it is better, from an efficiency point of view, to adopt a matching algorithm, like the Gale-Shapley mechanism, in students placement.
    Keywords: Student placement; Gale-Shapley mechanism; e-mechanism; Egypt
    JEL: C78 D71
    Date: 2009–09
  14. By: Dobbins, Michael
    Abstract: This study provides a comprehensive analysis of the changing face of New Zealand education policy over the past 25 years. It highlights the phase of socio-economic trans-formation in the late 1980s and its far-reaching impact on the education system, before turning to the last two decades, in which New Zealand's education policy has been in-creasingly shaped by its system of education export, its willingness to engage in interna-tional comparison and its close cooperation with international organizations. The article also emphasizes the various domestic forces, which have shaped education policy-making. They include a unique willingness to experiment, pragmatism, and an underly-ing culture of balance and inclusion?, which account for the high degree of flexibility and adaptiveness of the country's secondary and tertiary education systems. ; Diese Studie gibt einen umfassenden Überblick des Wandels in der neuseeländischen Bildungspolitik, der bereits vor ca. 25 Jahren begann. Der Fokus wird zuerst auf die Phase der sozioökonomischen Transformation Ende der 1980er Jahre und deren Auswirklungen auf das Bildungssystem gelegt. Danach werden die Reformen der letzten zwei Jahrzehnte skizziert. Sowohl im tertiären als auch im sekundären Bildungsbereich wird Bildung in diesem Zeitraum zunehmend as liberalisiertes Servicegut interpretiert, welches zudem exportierbar ist. Gleichzeitig wurde die neuseeländische Hochschulpolitik durch die Ergebnisse internationaler Leistungsvergleiche und durch enge Zusammenarbeit mit internationalen Organisationen stark geprägt. Der Artikel zeigt außerdem wie verschiedene innenpolitische Faktoren bildungspolitische Reformen in Neuseeland beschleunigt haben. Dazu gehören eine starke Bereitschaft mit neuen Lösungsansätzen zu experimentieren, ein stark ausgeprägter Pragmatismus und eine für Neuseeland charakteristische Kultur des sozialen Gleichgewichtes und Ausgleiches. Diese Faktoren erklären den hohen Grad an Flexibilität sowie die Anpassungsfähigkeit des sekundären und tertiären Bildungssystems des Landes.
    Date: 2009
  15. By: George Liaskos (Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, Agricultural University of Athens); Christos Papadas (Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, Agricultural University of Athens)
    Abstract: The neoclassical growth model has been supported by a large amount of regional and cross-country studies providing evidence of â-convergence. Nevertheless, it faces theoretical and empirical challenges which are still the subject of research on the dynamics of growth. Consideration of human capital accumulation has strengthened the theoretical foundations of the model, especially its open economy version. It has also improved the explanatory power of the model and its usefulness in quantitative analysis. Human capital accumulation accounts for that part of observed per capita income and output disparities, not explained adequately by the initial approach. Newer versions of neoclassical growth modeling imply clearly that the process of growth and convergence depends heavily on human capital accumulation and convergence. This study investigates regional human capital convergence in Greece during the period 1971-2001, for the census years of which necessary data are available. Following the usual practice in the literature, human capital quality is expressed in terms of educational achievement. Panel data econometric analysis is conducted using census year data for the Greek prefectures (NUTS III areas). The existence of human capital â-convergence is examined. Changes in the distributions of educational achievement, using different criteria, are also examined in order to see if actual convergence occurs. Results show that both space and time effects are significant and so is the established conditional â-convergence. Nevertheless, actual convergence is not achieved over the examined period and the dispersion of the observed human capital distributions has been increasing.
    Date: 2009
  16. By: Yamauchi, Futoshi; Yohannes, Yisehac; Quisumbing, Agnes R.
    Abstract: "This paper uses panel data from Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and Malawi to examine the impacts of natural disasters on schooling investments, with a particular focus on the roles of ex-ante actions and ex-post responses. We find that the importance of ex-ante actions depends on disaster risks and the likelihood of public assistance, potentially creating substitution between the two actions. We find that higher future probabilities of disaster increase the likelihood of agents holding more human capital and/or livestock relative to land; this asset-portfolio effect is significant in disaster-prone areas. Our empirical results support the roles of both ex-ante and ex-post (public assistance) responses in coping with disasters, but we see interesting variations across countries. In Ethiopia, public assistance plays a more important role than ex-ante actions in mitigating the impact of shocks on child schooling. In contrast, Malawi households rely more on private ex-ante actions than on public assistance. The Bangladesh example shows that active roles are played by both ex-ante and ex-post actions. These observations are consistent with our findings on the relationship between ex-ante actions and disaster risks. Our results also show that among ex-ante actions, human capital accumulated in the household prior to disasters helps mitigate the negative effects of a disaster in both the short and long runs." from authors' abstract
    Keywords: Natural disasters, Ex-ante actions, Ex-post responses, Human capital investment, Poverty reduction, Social protection, Gender, Childcare and work,
    Date: 2009
  17. By: Nagel, Alexander; Bieber, Tonia; Jakobi, Anja P.; Knodel, Philipp; Niemann, Dennis
    Abstract: Despite of their methodological and practical significance mixed-methods-designs have so far largely been neglected by political science. In this working paper, we elaborate a mixed-methods-design combining qualitative methods, such as expert interviews and document analysis, and quantitative methods, such as network and regression analysis. This mixed-methods-approach is illustrated making use of an ongoing research project. After a detailed discussion of the respective strengths and weaknesses of the single methodical strategies applied we reconsider how their distinct logics can most fruitfully be intertwined to counterbalance their shortcomings and to pool their strengths. Here, we place special emphasis on the implementation timing and point to the particular advantages of concurrent implementation of methods over so called sequential designs. ; Trotz ihrer methodologischen und forschungspraktischen Bedeutung wurde die Anwendung von Mixed-Methods-Ansätzen in der Politikwissenschaft bisher weithin vernachlässigt. In diesem Arbeitspapier entwickeln wir ein Mixed-Methods-Design, das qualitative Methoden wie Experteninterviews und Dokumentenanalyse und quantitative Methoden wie Netzwerkanalyse und Regressionsanalyse miteinander verbindet. Wir veranschaulichen dieses Design am Beispiel eines laufenden Forschungsprojekts. Nach einer ausführlichen Diskussion der Stärken und Schwächen der einzelnen Forschungsstrategien gehen wir der Frage nach, wie ihre unterschiedlichen Logiken am besten verzahnt werden können, um Schwächen zu minimieren und Stärken zu bündeln. In diesem Zusammenhang gehen wir besonders auf das zeitliche Arrangement von Mixed-Methods-Designs ein und diskutieren die Vorteile einer simultanen gegenüber einer sequentiellen Gestaltung
    Date: 2009

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