nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2010‒01‒16
seven papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Polytechnic Institute of Portalegre and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Wages and Higher Education Participation By Eleftheriou, Konstantinos; Athanasiou, George; Petrakis, Panagiotis
  2. The Determinants of High School Closures: Lessons from Longitudinal Data throughout Illinois By Billger, Sherrilyn M.; Beck, Frank D.
  3. Parental choice of primary school in England: what ‘type’ of school do parents choose? By Simon Burgess; Ellen Greaves; Anna Vignoles; Deborah Wilson
  4. Recent Experiences and Emerging Cooperation Schemes on TA and Education: An Insight into Cases in Portugal and Germany By Moniz, António; Grunwald, Armin
  5. The Gender Wage Gap as a Function of Educational Degree Choices in an Occupationally Segregated EU Country By Livanos, Ilias; Pouliakas, Konstantinos
  6. Educating India’s poorest: A radical plan to attract private sector investment By Sreedharan, Ranjan
  7. The Determinants of Research Production by U.S. Universities By Quentin David

  1. By: Eleftheriou, Konstantinos; Athanasiou, George; Petrakis, Panagiotis
    Abstract: The paper develops a model for the screening mechanism for higher education, within an adverse selection framework. Specifically it examines the effect of wage earned by high school graduates on higher education participation. The model pinpoints a positive relation between the “high school” wage and the number of candidates entered in higher education with positive influences on the quality of selection mechanism. An empirical examination is conducted, using U.S. data, in order to investigate the validity of our analytical results.
    Keywords: Admissions; High school wage; Higher education; Quality
    JEL: J24 I28 J39
    Date: 2009–09–13
  2. By: Billger, Sherrilyn M. (Illinois State University); Beck, Frank D. (Illinois State University)
    Abstract: Facing substantial financial pressure, many districts close schools in order to preserve solvency and improve student outcomes. Using a new longitudinal data set on all non-Cook County Illinois schools, we examine the determinants of high school closure decisions from 1991 through 2005. Our dataset combines information from a wide variety of sources, including the Illinois State Board of Education, the Census Bureau, the Illinois Department of Revenue, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Prior studies in this area typically use cross-sectional data, short panels, or case-studies. Schools that close have lower enrollments, are located in more rural areas, and have higher per-pupil expenditures. Enrollments and fiscal resources are indeed the most important determinants of school closures. Neither math and reading test scores nor the sociodemographics of the students have a significant impact on high school closure decisions.
    Keywords: economics of education, education finance, human capital, secondary education
    JEL: I22 I21 J24
    Date: 2009–12
  3. By: Simon Burgess; Ellen Greaves; Anna Vignoles; Deborah Wilson
    Abstract: We investigate the central premise of the theory of markets in education, namely that parents value academic standards. We ask what parents really want from schools and whether different types of parents have similar preferences. We examine parents’ stated preferences and revealed preferences for schools (their actual choice of school as opposed to what they say they value in a school). More educated and higher socio-economic status (SES) parents are more likely to cite academic standards, whilst less educated and lower SES parents are more likely to cite proximity. More advantaged parents choose better performing schools, particularly in areas with many schools and therefore a lot of potential school choice. More advantaged parents also choose schools with much lower proportions of pupils eligible for free school meals, relative to other schools available to them. Hence whilst parents do not admit to choosing schools on the basis of their social composition, this happens in practice. Most parents get their first choice of school (94%) and this holds both for more and less advantaged parents, though this is partially because poorer parents make more ‘realistic’, i.e. less ambitious, choices. If, in areas where there is a lot of potential competition between schools, more advantaged families have a higher chance of achieving their more ambitious choices that do poorer parents, this could tend to exacerbate social segregation in our schools.
    Keywords: school preferences, school choice, parental choice
    JEL: I20
    Date: 2009–11
  4. By: Moniz, António; Grunwald, Armin
    Abstract: At the beginning of the 21st century there are new expectations and challenges towards Technology Assessment (TA). Among these there is a new awareness on TA issues in education, in particular at universities. While TA was mainly an activity at extra-universitarian research institutions for a long time now there are new developments and initiative towards integrating TA issues in university courses. We will first give an insight into the international development. Secondly we will focus on the “TA and education” landscape in Germany and Portugal in more detail, followed by a description of new and emerging forms of cooperation between Portugal and Germany in this field which might serve as a model or an example for further cooperation between other partners.
    Keywords: Technology Assessment; education; Portugal; Germany
    JEL: D70 D81 A23 A14
    Date: 2009–11
  5. By: Livanos, Ilias (University of Warwick); Pouliakas, Konstantinos (University of Aberdeen)
    Abstract: This study investigates the extent to which differences in the subject of degree studied by male and female university graduates contributes to the gender pay gap, and the reasons underlying their distinct educational choices. The case of Greece is examined due to the fact that it is an EU country with historically large gender discrepancies in earnings and occupational segregation. Using micro-data from the Greek Labour Force Survey (LFS), the returns to academic disciplines are firstly estimated by gender. It is found that the subjects in which women are relatively over-represented (e.g. Education, Humanities) are also those with the lowest wage returns. Oaxaca-Blinder decompositions subsequently imply that gender differences in the type of degree studied can explain an additional 8.4% of the male-female pay gap. Risk-augmented earnings functions of the Hartog-type also indicate that women seek for less risky educations that consequently command lower wage premiums in the job market.
    Keywords: gender wage gap, subject of degree, returns, risk, Greece
    JEL: J16 J24 J31 J71
    Date: 2009–12
  6. By: Sreedharan, Ranjan
    Abstract: Despite its recent economic successes, India still has a vast underclass where children either do not go to school or, if they did, they are forced to drop out early. In this brief paper, I outline a new model to attract private sector investment into the education of India’s poorest and most vulnerable children who, on present evidence, are unlikely to make their way out of the poverty trap anytime soon. The idea is radical but at its core the plan is simple and may be summed up thus: “The private sector will be invited to set up schools and educational institutions for our poorest and most disadvantaged children in return for an incentive never tried out before. As and when these children grow up and start earning their livelihood, the income tax paid by them to the central government over their life-time would be passed on to the entity that nurtured and educated them.” The financial viability of the model for Indian conditions was considered by Sankar Krishnan, a management consultant who was formerly a global partner with McKinsey and Company. His conclusions form an integral part of this paper.
    Keywords: education; education of the poor; private investment in educating the poor; radical plan for private investment in education of the poor
    JEL: H52 I22
    Date: 2009–01–15
  7. By: Quentin David (CREA, University of Luxembourg)
    Abstract: In this paper, we analyze the determinants of the production of research by higher edu- cation institutions in the U.S.. We use the information contained in the Shanghai ranking to estimate their performance in the production of top level academic research. We show that it is important to account for the presence of outliers, in both dimensions (x and y axes), among institutions. It appears that most of the top ranked institutions must be con- sidered as outliers. We also treat the endogeneity issue and test for the possible selection bias. We ?nd that the income, the share of this income devoted to expenses in research and the number of professors very significantly increase the ability of an institution to produce top level academic research. We also show that the relationship between the average quality (salary) of professors and the production of research is U-shaped with a signi?cant share of institutions located on the decreasing part of the curve.
    JEL: I23 I2 H52 C21
    Date: 2009

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