nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2010‒01‒10
sixteen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Polytechnic Institute of Portalegre and Technical University of Lisbon

  2. Junior Cycle Education: Insights from a Longitudinal Study of Students By Smyth, Emer
  4. Parental Job Loss, Income Shocks and the Education Enrolment of Youth By Michael B Coelli
  5. Does Public Information about School Quality Lead to Flight from Low-Achieving Schools? By Friesen, Jane; Javdani, Mohsen; Woodcock, Simon D.
  6. Expected Future Earnings, Taxation, and University Enrollment: A Microeconometric Model with Uncertainty By Frank M. Fossen; Daniela Glocker
  7. On the Contribution of Mother’s Education to Children’s Nutritional Capabilities in Mozambique By Francesco Burchi
  8. The Impact of Parental Education on Earnings: New Wine in an Old Bottle? By Hudson, John; Sessions, John
  9. Public versus Private Education with Risky Human Capital By Fabian Kindermann
  10. The Quality of Life in Prisons: Do Educational Programs Reduce In-prison Conflicts? By María Laura Alzúa; Catherine Rodriguez; Edgar Villa
  11. The impact of Rosenwald Schools on Black achievement By Daniel Aaronson; Bhashkar Mazumder
  12. School Evaluation: Current Practices in OECD Countries and a Literature Review By Violaine Faubert
  13. Do Competitively Acquired Funds Induce Public Research Institutions to Behave Efficiently? By Thomas Bolli; Frank Somogyi
  14. Returns for Entrepreneurs vs. Employees: The Effect of Education and Personal Control on the Relative Performance of Entrepreneurs vs. Wage Employees By van Praag, Mirjam; van Witteloostuijn, Arjen; van der Sluis, Justin
  15. Did Children’s Education Matter? Family Migration as a Mechanism of Human Capital Investment. Evidence From Nineteenth Century Bohemia By Klein, Alexander
  16. Efficient Subsidization of Human Capital Accumulation with Overlapping Generations and Endogenous Growth By Richter, Wolfram F.; Braun, Christoph

  1. By: Michela Ponzo (Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica, Università della Calabria)
    Abstract: In this paper we study the impact of the degree of school competition on achievement of Italian students. Specifically, competition is measured as the number of schools available to students in a given area. The aim is to evaluate whether an increase in school choice improves the quality of education. Using the third cycle of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA 2006) we investigate with simple Least Squares regression models, controlling for a range of individual and schools characteristics, if secondary school students with a wider range of schools choices perform better than those students whose choice is more limited. We find a significant positive correlation between students’ academic performance and the degree of local schools competition. Moreover, we show that students achieve much better outcomes if schools operating in more competitive environments also experience a higher pressure on academic standards coming from parents.
    Keywords: Educational Production Function, School Competition, Students Achievement, PISA
    JEL: J24 I2 I21 H72
    Date: 2009–12
  2. By: Smyth, Emer
    Date: 2009–12
  3. By: Maria De Paola; Michela Ponzo; Vincenzo Scoppa (Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica, Università della Calabria)
    Abstract: In this paper we analyze class size effects on college students exploiting data from a project offering special remedial courses in Mathematics and Language skills to freshmen enrolled at an Italian medium sized public University. To estimate the effects of class size we take advantage of the fact that students and teacher where virtually randomly assigned to teaching classes of different sizes. From our analysis it emerges that, controlling for a number of individual characteristics, larger classes determine a significant and sizeable negative effect on student performance in Mathematics. Importantly, this negative effect is significantly larger for low ability students and negligible for high ability students. On the other hand, class size effects do not appear to be relevant for student achievement in Language Skills.
    Keywords: Class size, student achievement, educational production function
    JEL: C23 I21 J24
    Date: 2009–12
  4. By: Michael B Coelli
    Abstract: Parental job loss from layoffs and business failures that occur when youth complete high school completion are found to be negatively correlated with enrolment at university and community college. Estimates from a year-to-year education transition model using longitudinal data on youth and their parents are employed to identify both immediate and lagged effects of parental job loss on education transitions. It is argued that these results can be interpreted as evidence of a potential causal effect of parental income on youth education attainment, as job losses are likely to have persistent and exogenous negative effects on parental income.
    Keywords: Education; human capital; job loss; income shocks; causal effect
    JEL: I29 J63 I39
    Date: 2009
  5. By: Friesen, Jane (Simon Fraser University); Javdani, Mohsen (Simon Fraser University); Woodcock, Simon D. (Simon Fraser University)
    Abstract: We estimate the effect of publicly disseminated information about school-level achievement on students' mobility between elementary schools. We find that students are more likely to leave their school when poor school-level performance is revealed. In general, parents respond to information soon after it becomes available. Once the information is absorbed, they do not respond to subsequent releases, even when it is reframed and given widespread media attention. Parents in low-income neighborhoods and those who speak a non-English language at home respond most strongly. However, non-English speaking parents only respond when information is widely disseminated and discussed in the media.
    Keywords: information, school choice
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2009–12
  6. By: Frank M. Fossen; Daniela Glocker
    Abstract: Taxation changes the expectations of prospective university students about their future level and uncertainty of after-tax income. To estimate the impact of taxes on university enrollment, we develop and estimate a structural microeconometric model, in which a high-school graduate decides to enter university studies if expected lifetime utility from this choice is greater than that anticipated from starting to work right away. We estimate the ex-ante future paths of the expectation and variance of net income for German high-school graduates, using only information available to those graduates at the time of the enrollment decision, accounting for multiple nonrandom selection and employing a microsimulation model to account for taxation. In addition to income uncertainty, the enrollment model takes into account university dropout and unemployment risks, as well as potential credit constraints. The estimation<br /> results are consistent with expectations. First, higher risk-adjusted returns to an academic education increase the probability of university enrollment. Second, high-school graduates are moderately risk averse, as indicated by the Arrow-Pratt coefficient of risk aversion estimated within the model. Thus, higher uncertainty among academics decreases enrollment rates. A simulation based on the estimated structural model indicates that a revenue-neutral, flat-rate tax reform with an unchanged basic tax allowance would increase enrollment rates for men in Germany because of the higher expected net income in the higher income range.
    Keywords: University enrollment, income taxation, flat tax, income risk, risk aversion
    JEL: H24 I20 I28
    Date: 2009
  7. By: Francesco Burchi
    Abstract: This paper examines the role of mother’s education in expanding children’s nutritional capabilities in Mozambique, a country where both educational and nutritional deprivations are dramatic. The econometric results, based on data from the 2003 DHS survey, suggest that mother’s schooling is a key determinant of children’s nutrition, but its direct marginal contribution is declining after completion of primary education. Children whose mothers have completed primary education are far more likely to be well nourished than children whose mothers have lower or no educational attainments. Primary education works through the increase of mother’s general knowledge and, to a less extent, of her nutrition knowledge. Mother’s secondary schooling, instead, contributes only indirectly, by increasing household wealth. A further empirical analysis shows that there is no substantial difference in the benefits of mother’s education depending on whether she resides in urban or rural areas. Finally, the paper provides empirical evidence that female education is essential to improve children’s wellbeing in Mozambique, and that only a small part of this influence works through the traditional economic channel.
    Keywords: Development economics; capability approach; nutrition; women’s education; Mozambique.
    JEL: J13 O15 I20 R20 O55
    Date: 2009
  8. By: Hudson, John; Sessions, John
    Abstract: We examine the impact of parental education on the shape of an individual’s experience-earnings profile. A number of factors suggest that parental education will affect the ability of an individual to translate labor market experience into earnings. Our empirical analysis of US data suggests that this is indeed the case. Higher parental education shifts the earnings profile significantly to the left – the profile of individuals with parents who both have 15 years of education peaks at 16 years of experience when their wages are 52% (24%) greater than those whose parents both have only 5 (10) years of education.
    Keywords: Parental education; human capital; earnings
    Date: 2009–05
  9. By: Fabian Kindermann
    Abstract: This paper studies the long-run macroeconomic, distributional and welfare effects of tuition policy and student loans. We therefore form a rich model of risky human capital investment based on the seminal work of Heckman, Lochner and Taber (1998). We extend their original model by variable labor supply, borrowing constraints, idiosyncratic wage risk, uncertain life-span, and multiple schooling decisions. This allows us to build a direct link between students and their parents and make the initial distribution of people over different socio-economic backgrounds endogenous. Our simulation indicate that privatization of tertiary education comes with a vast reduction in the number of students, an increase in the college wage premium and longrun welfare losses of around 5 percent. Surprisingly, we find that from privatization of tertiary education, students are better off compared to workers from other educational classes, since the college wage premium nearly doubles. In addition, our model predicts that income contingent loans on which students don’t have to pay interest, improve the college enrolment situation for agents from all kinds of backgrounds.
    Keywords: public vs. private education, schooling choice, human capital investment, idiosyncratic uncertainty
    JEL: I22 J24 H52
    Date: 2009
  10. By: María Laura Alzúa (Centro de Estudios Distributivos, Laborales y Sociales (CEDLAS) - Universidad Nacional de La Plata y CONICET); Catherine Rodriguez (Universidad de los Andes); Edgar Villa (Pontificia Universidad Javeriana)
    Abstract: The harshness of punishment society chooses to impose on crime offenders is mandated by law. However, the quality of life in prison can make this punishment harsher. This creates a variation in the severity of punishment which is not legislated and may differ from society's taste for penalties. Indicators of in prison violence and conflicts seem to be appropriate proxy variables for prison conditions. Using indicators of in prison violent behavior, we use an exogenous source in education participation in educational programs in order to asses the effect of education on such measures of conflict. Applying instrumental variables techniques to census data for Argentine prisons, we find that educational programs significantly reduce indicators of property damages in prison. Such reductions amounts to a 60 percent decrease relative to the mean level of property damages.
    Keywords: Quality of life, prison, conflict, educational programs, education
    Date: 2009–12
  11. By: Daniel Aaronson; Bhashkar Mazumder
    Abstract: The Black-White gap in completed schooling among Southern born men narrowed sharply between the World Wars after being stagnant from 1880 to 1910. We examine a large scale school construction project, the Rosenwald Rural Schools Initiative, which was designed to dramatically improve the educational opportunities for Southern rural Blacks. From 1914 to 1931, nearly 5,000 school buildings were constructed, serving approximately 36 percent of the Black rural school-aged Southern population. We use historical Census data and World War II enlistment records to analyze the effects of the program on school attendance, literacy, high school completion, years of schooling, earnings, hourly wages, and migration. We find that the Rosenwald program accounts for at least 30 percent of the sizable educational gains of Blacks during the 1910s and 1920s. We also use data from the Army General Classification Test (AGCT), a precursor to the AFQT, and find that access to Rosenwald schools increased average Black scores by about 0.25 standard deviations adding to the existing literature showing that interventions can reduce the racial gap in cognitive skill. In the longer run, exposure to the schools raised the wages of blacks that remained in the South relative to Southern whites by about 35 percent. For blacks the private rate of return to a year of additional schooling induced by Rosenwald was about 18 percent. Moreover, Rosenwald significantly increased Northern migration of young adult Blacks, with no corresponding impact on schoolage Blacks or young adult Whites, likely fueling further income gains. Across all outcomes, the improvements were highest in counties with the lowest levels of Black school attendance suggesting that schooling treatments can have a very large impact among those at the bottom of the skill distribution.
    Date: 2009
  12. By: Violaine Faubert
    Abstract: This paper examines the current academic and policy literatures concerning school evaluation in primary and secondary education within the OECD countries. First, it provides a typology of the existing systems of school evaluation across the OECD. It encompasses the diverse criteria and instruments commonly used to carry out schools evaluation, as well as the players involved in the design and implementation of school evaluation. It also describes potential consequences for schools. Second, this paper analyses how school evaluation schemes are interrelated with other components of the evaluation framework, such as teacher evaluation and system evaluation. The potential complementarities, duplication and inconsistency of objectives stemming from these interrelations are discussed. Third, this paper presents the advantages and drawbacks of different approaches to school evaluation, the resistance and implementation difficulties resulting from misalignment of interests between different stakeholders, and possible ways to overcome impediments to implementation. Finally, it reviews the quantitative and qualitative evidence available on the impact of different school evaluation schemes on school performance, student learning and the incentives for the teaching staff. It concludes by considering the circumstances under which school evaluation schemes seem to be more conducive to school improvement. The effectiveness of school evaluation schemes relies on developing competencies for evaluation and for using feedbacks. Alignment of stakeholders' interests is also critical to have the support of those being assessed.<BR>Cet article dresse une revue de la littérature académique et empirique consacrée à l'évaluation des établissements scolaires primaires et secondaires au sein des pays de l'OCDE. Une typologie des différents systèmes d'évaluation existants est tout d'abord esquissée. Les différents instruments et critères utilisés pour procéder à l'évaluation des établissements scolaires, ainsi que les acteurs impliqués dans la conception et la mise en oeuvre des systèmes d'évaluation des écoles, sont précisés. Les conséquences induites par les résultats de l'évaluation pour les établissements sont également évoquées. Cette revue de littérature analyse ensuite les relations existant entre l’évaluation des établissement scolaires et autres composantes du cadre d'évaluation du système scolaire, notamment l'évaluation des enseignants et l'évaluation du système éducatif. Les sources de complémentarité, effets de doublon et possibles incompatibilités entre ces différentes composantes, sont évoqués. Les avantages et les inconvénients des différentes approches de l'évaluation des écoles, ainsi que les résistances et les difficultés rencontrées dans leur mise en oeuvre en raison des divergences d'intérêt et de point de vue des différents acteurs (autorités éducatives, inspecteurs, chefs d'établissement, corps enseignant…), sont soulignés. Les résultats quantitatifs et qualitatifs d'études empiriques destinées à tester l'impact de l'évaluation sur les performances des élèves, la gestion des établissements, la motivation des enseignants et, plus largement, sur les incitations des agents, sont mentionnés. Cette revue de littérature décrit enfin les environnements les plus favorables au développement des mécanismes d'évaluation les plus efficaces. Ceux-ci supposent notamment le développement de compétences en vue de procéder à des évaluations et d'en exploiter les résultats, ainsi que le soutien et la convergence de vues des acteurs impliqués dans le processus.
    Keywords: evaluation, évaluation
    JEL: I
    Date: 2009–12–15
  13. By: Thomas Bolli (KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich, Switzerland); Frank Somogyi (KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the effect of public and private third-party funds on the efficiency of departments of Swiss public research institutions. Estimating an output distance function assuming that labor is used to produce master students and scientific publications, we find no statistically significant effectcant effect of private or public third-party funding on research effciency. However, once we include technology transfer as an additional output, the coeffcient of private funding is statistically significant. We further find that this disciplining effect of private funding is qualitatively robust in a setting controlling for endogeneity.
    Keywords: Efficiency, Research, University, Technology Transfer, Third-Party Funding, Public Finance
    Date: 2009–11
  14. By: van Praag, Mirjam (University of Amsterdam); van Witteloostuijn, Arjen (University of Antwerp); van der Sluis, Justin (University of Amsterdam)
    Abstract: How valuable is education for entrepreneurs' performance as compared to employees'? What might explain any differences? And does education affect peoples' occupational choices accordingly? We answer these questions based on a large panel of US labor force participants. We show that education affects peoples' decisions to become an entrepreneur negatively. We show furthermore that entrepreneurs have higher returns to education than employees (in terms of the comparable performance measure 'income'). This is the case even when estimating individual fixed effects of the differential returns to education for spells in entrepreneurship versus wage employment, thereby accounting for selectivity into entrepreneurial positions based on fixed individual characteristics. We find these results irrespective of whether we control for general ability and/or whether we use instrumental variables to cope with the endogenous nature of education in income equations. Finally, we find (indirect) support for the argument that the higher returns to education for entrepreneurs is due to fewer (organizational) constraints faced by entrepreneurs when optimizing the profitable employment of their education. Entrepreneurs have more personal control over the profitable employment of their human capital than wage employees.
    Keywords: entrepreneurship, self-employment, returns to education, performance, personal control, locus of control, human capital, wages, incomes
    JEL: J23 J24 J31 J44 M13
    Date: 2009–12
  15. By: Klein, Alexander (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the rural-urban migration of families in the Bohemian region of Pilsen in 1900. Using a new 1300-family dataset from the 1900 population census I examine the role of children‘s education in rural-urban migration. I find that families migrated to the city such that the educational attainment of their children would be maximized and that there is a positive correlation between family migration and children being apprentices in urban areas. The results suggest that rural-urban migration was powered not only by the exploitation of rural-urban wage gaps but also by aspirations to engage in human capital investment.
    Keywords: migration ; human capital investment ; family decision-making
    Date: 2009
  16. By: Richter, Wolfram F. (University of Dortmund); Braun, Christoph (Ruhr Graduate School in Economics)
    Abstract: This paper studies second-best policies in an OLG model in which endogenous growth results from human capital accumulation. When young, individuals decide on education, saving, and nonqualified labour. When old, individuals supply qualified labour. Growth equilibria are inefficient in laissez-faire because of distortionary taxation. The inefficiency is exacerbated if selfish individuals externalize the positive effect of education on descendents' productivity. It is shown to be second best not to distort education if the human capital investment function is isoelastic. If the function is not isoelastic, a case is made for subsidizing education even relative to the first best.
    Keywords: OLG model, endogenous growth, endogenous labour, education and saving, intergenerational externalities, optimal taxation
    JEL: H21 I28 J24
    Date: 2009–12

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