nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2010‒02‒20
nineteen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. A Stitch in Time: The Effects of a Novel Incentive-Based High-School Intervention on College Outcomes By C. Kirabo Jackson
  2. Who Benefits from KIPP? By Joshua D. Angrist; Susan M. Dynarski; Thomas J. Kane; Parag A. Pathak; Christopher R. Walters
  3. The Dog ATE my Economics Homework! Estimates of the Average Effect of Treating Hawaii’s Public High School Students with Economics* By Kimberly Burnett; Sumner La Croix
  4. A Litmus Test of Academic Quality By Orkodashvili, Mariam
  5. Demographics, Fiscal Health, and School Quality: Shedding Light on School Closure Decisions By Billger, Sherrilyn M.
  6. Spellings Commission Report on Affordability and Access to Higher Education: changing demographics, economic crisis and investment in human capital By Orkodashvili, Mariam
  7. University-Industry Spillovers, Government Funding, and Industrial Consulting By Richard Jensen; Jerry Thursby; Marie C. Thursby
  8. Academic achievement in sciences: the role of preferences and educative assets By Luis Fernando Gamboa; Mauricio Rodríguez Acosta; Andrés Felipe García Suaza
  9. Trust, discrimination and acculturation Experimental evidence on Asian international and Australian domestic university students By Daniel Ji; Pablo Guillen
  10. Transition Strategies and Labour Market Integration of Greek University Graduates. By Maria Karamessini
  11. Post-Independence Educational Development among Women in India By Balaji Pandey
  12. Modeling College Major Choices Using Elicited Measures of Expectations and Counterfactuals By Arcidiacono, Peter; Hotz, V. Joseph; Kang, Songman
  13. Women's Education and Family Behavior: Trends in Marriage, Divorce and Fertility By Adam Isen; Betsey Stevenson
  14. Modeling College Major Choices using Elicited Measures of Expectations and Counterfactuals By Peter Arcidiacono; V. Joseph Hotz; Songman Kang
  15. A metaheuristic for a teaching assistant assignment-routing problem By Maya P.; Sörensen K.; Goos P.
  16. Do Peers Affect Student Achievement? Evidence from Canada Using Group Size Variation By Vincent Boucher; Yann Bramoullé; Habiba Djebbari; Bernard Fortin
  17. Do Principals Fire the Worst Teachers? By Brian A. Jacob
  18. Seeking a greater impact: New challenges for business schools By Canals, Jordi
  19. Beyond the Classroom: Using Title IX to Measure the Return to High School Sports By Betsey Stevenson

  1. By: C. Kirabo Jackson
    Abstract: I analyze the longer-run effects of a program that pays both 11th and 12th grade students and teachers for passing scores on Advanced Placement exams. Using a difference-in-differences strategy, I find that affected students attend college in greater numbers, have improved college GPAs, and are more likely to remain in college beyond their freshman year. Moreover, the program improves college outcomes even for those students who would have enrolled in college without the program. I also find evidence of increased college graduation for black and Hispanic students ─ groups that tend to underperform in college. This evidence suggests that relatively late high-school interventions may confer lasting positive and large effects on student achievement in college, and may be effective at improving the educational outcomes of minority students. The finding of enduring benefits when extrinsic motivators are no longer provided is important in light of concerns that incentive-based-interventions may lead to undesirable practices such as “teaching-to-the-test” and cheating.
    JEL: I0 I20 I21 J0 J1
    Date: 2010–02
  2. By: Joshua D. Angrist; Susan M. Dynarski; Thomas J. Kane; Parag A. Pathak; Christopher R. Walters
    Abstract: Charter schools affiliated with the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) are emblematic of the No Excuses approach to public education. These schools feature a long school day, an extended school year, selective teacher hiring, strict behavior norms and a focus on traditional reading and math skills. We use applicant lotteries to evaluate the impact of KIPP Academy Lynn, a KIPP charter school that is mostly Hispanic and has a high concentration of limited English proficiency (LEP) and special-need students, groups that charter critics have argued are typically under-served. The results show overall gains of 0.35 standard deviations in math and 0.12 standard deviations in reading for each year spent at KIPP Lynn. LEP students, special education students, and those with low baseline scores benefit more from time spent at KIPP than do other students, with reading gains coming almost entirely from the LEP group.
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2010–02
  3. By: Kimberly Burnett (University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization); Sumner La Croix (Department of Economics, University of Hawaii at Manoa)
    Abstract: Hawaii is one of 27 states that do not require testing of public high school students regarding their understanding of economics. We report results for the first economics test administered to a large sample of students in Hawaii public high schools during the Spring 2004 semester. Our analysis focuses on evaluating the impact of a semester-long course in economics on student scores on a 20-question, multiple-choice economics test. We specify and estimate a regression analysis of exam scores that controls for other factors that could influence student performance on the exam. While student scores on the economics exam are relatively low, completion of an economics course and participation in a stock market simulation game each add about one point to student scores.
    Keywords: economic education, high school economics, stock market simulation
    JEL: A20 A21 I21
    Date: 2010–01–22
  4. By: Orkodashvili, Mariam
    Abstract: The paper discusses the major issues connected with the accreditation procedures in higher education system in the U.S. The questions raised are as follows: what are the reliable and credible indicators of quality instruction that could be measured in the process of accreditation of higher education institutions? How does greater transparency in the accreditation process serve students and the public? What is the role that accreditors on federal and state levels can play in improving institutional accountability or changing institutional behaviour; and hence, what are the standards and implications of federal vs. state involvement in the accreditation process? What is accreditation’s role in addressing problems raised by arbitrary denial of transfer of credit? And what role does accreditation play in assessing distance education? The paper supports the idea that high quality instruction, academic freedom, accountability and transparency should go hand in hand. Agreement should be reached between different parties involved on what to consider as reliable and credible indicators of quality instruction and how to best measure them for the purposes of accreditation. The evaluation data should be made a public knowledge to increase transparency and serve student interests. And finally, preserving the unique balanced relationship and golden medium that exists between peer review and appropriate levels of government involvement in the process of accreditation would be the best option for further development of higher education in the U.S.
    Keywords: accreditation; autonomy; accountability; regional and national standards of quality; federal and state funding of higher education; economic development; invetsment in human capital; economic growth; transparency; power struggles.
    JEL: D63 A23 I21 Z13 I22 A22 A13 H75 A12 I28 D61 H52 A14
    Date: 2009–10–27
  5. By: Billger, Sherrilyn M. (Illinois State University)
    Abstract: In our current challenging budgetary environment, school closures remain a potentially attractive choice. With a large panel of Illinois schools from 1991 to 2005, I investigate which factors contribute to school closures. Among elementary schools, declining enrolments and rural locations coincide with closures. However, schools with higher per-pupil spending are ceteris paribus less likely to close. Furthermore, better test scores also yield lower probabilities. High expenditures contribute to junior high closure, but the most significant predictors are the proportions of black and low income students. Administrators may claim that low enrolments and high spending motivate school closures, but in Illinois, that is not the whole story.
    Keywords: education finance, education administration, school closures, tax policy
    JEL: I22 I28 H75
    Date: 2010–02
  6. By: Orkodashvili, Mariam
    Abstract: The paper discusses report of The Spellings Commission for Future of Higher Education that was set up to look into the issues facing the higher education system in the U.S., outline the challenges and offer recommendations to tackle the problems. Most importantly, The Spellings Commission Report raised the issue of the role of federal government in the development of higher education system. The paper focuses on one of the issues raised by the Spellings Commission, access to higher education. The paper suggests that today access still remains an issue for higher education in the U.S. Adjusting to changing demographic trends, increased ethnic diversity and increased enrollments with limited federal resources and complicated federal aid system is still a challenge of the future. The question that remains to be answered is: ‘Will the federal government sustain its traditional commitment to equalizing opportunities for higher education?’
    Keywords: changing demographics; economic development; economic growth; access to higher education; equity and affordability; federal funding of higher education; workforce; investment in human capital; social capital growth.
    JEL: J41 Z13 H53 I22 J11 E24 N30 J0 A14 A23 O15 I21 A22 A13 A12 I28 H52
    Date: 2009–11–23
  7. By: Richard Jensen; Jerry Thursby; Marie C. Thursby
    Abstract: This paper presents a theoretical model of faculty consulting in the context of government and industry funding for research within the university, which then frames an empirical analysis of the funding and consulting of 458 individual faculty inventors from 8 major US universities. In the theory, firms realize that they free ride on government sponsored research of the faculty they hire as consultants and faculty realize their university research projects indirectly benefit from their firm experience. The model accounts for faculty quality, project characteristics, faculty share of license revenue from university research, and the university's research support. Empirically we find that government research funding is positively related to consulting, independent of faculty quality. We find that government and industry funding for university research are strategic complements as well as evidence of the ability of universities to leverage their research infrastructure to attract research funding.
    JEL: O31 O34 O38
    Date: 2010–02
  8. By: Luis Fernando Gamboa; Mauricio Rodríguez Acosta; Andrés Felipe García Suaza
    Abstract: This paper provides new evidence on the effect of pupil’s self-motivation and academic assets allocation on the academic achievement in sciences across countries. By using the Programme for International Student Assessment 2006 (PISA 2006) test we find that both explanatory variables have a positive effect on student’s performance. Self-motivation is measured through an instrument that allows us to avoid possible endogeneity problems. Quantile regression is used for analyzing the existence of different estimated coefficients over the distribution. It is found that both variables have different effect on academic performance depending on the pupil’s score. These findings support the importance of designing focalized programs for different populations, especially in terms of access to information and communication technologies such as internet.
    Date: 2010–02–08
  9. By: Daniel Ji (Federal Reserve Bank of Australia); Pablo Guillen (The University of Sydney)
    Abstract: Intercultural relations between Australia and Asia are pivotal to the economic prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region. However, there appears to be tension between Australian domestic and Asian international students at universities in Australia. To measure the degree of trust and patterns of discrimination between these groups, the Berg, Dickhaut and McCabe (1995) trust game and a series of control games were used in framework where each participant played each game against several partners. Controlling for individual heterogeneity, domestic students significantly discriminated against international students in the trust game, and individual discrimination was preference-based rather than based on beliefs towards international students’ trustworthiness. Moreover, the degree of in-group favouritism shown by domestic students was negatively correlated with the Big Five personality trait of Openness. Intercultural patterns across the games also pointed to a willingness of international students to build relations with domestic students. However, the average amount that they sent in the trust game was negatively related with the number of semesters studied at university in Australia, which may partly reflect cultural adjustment but also institutional disadvantages faced specifically by international students. The study furthers understanding of the patterns of discrimi-nation between domestic and international university students, the nature of this discrimination, and illustrates the extent of challenges faced by the Australian tertiary education sector.
    Keywords: rust, discrimination, intercultural differences, economic experiments
    Date: 2010–01–01
  10. By: Maria Karamessini
    Abstract: Greece has today the highest youth unemployment rate in the EU-27 while employment precariousness is disproportionately concentrated among young workers. Youth unemployment and employment precariousness are extremely high even among higher education graduates, generating a very long period of transition from education to work. Protracted transition calls for the development of diverse strategies for successful labour market integration before and after graduation. In this paper we use micro-data from a nation-wide survey conducted in 2005 to examine the incidence of different transition strategies among Greek university graduates, assess their effectiveness for successful labour market integration 5-7 years after graduation and test if the findings conform to the southern European pattern of labour market entry advanced by comparative socio-economic literature. The theoretical framework of our analysis is that of labour market segmentation and job competition theory in a context of high unemployment and imperfect information.
    Keywords: Early careers; Greek university graduates; Higher education; Labour market integration; Transition strategies.
    Date: 2010–02
  11. By: Balaji Pandey
    Abstract: This paper aims to examine the policy debates on women's education and highlight some of the basic issues affecting the progress of women's education since the introduction of planned development in the country. [CWDS].
    Keywords: women's, disability, Indian, opportiinity, girls, science, technology, cultivation, moral values, health, employment, post-independence, boys, girl's, education, development, policy debates,
    Date: 2010
  12. By: Arcidiacono, Peter (Duke University); Hotz, V. Joseph (Duke University); Kang, Songman (Duke University)
    Abstract: The choice of a college major plays a critical role in determining the future earnings of college graduates. Students make their college major decisions in part due to the future earnings streams associated with the different majors. We survey students about what their expected earnings would be both in the major they have chosen and in counterfactual majors. We also elicit students' subjective assessments of their abilities in chosen and counterfactual majors. We estimate a model of college major choice that incorporates these subjective expectations and assessments. We show that both expected earnings and students' abilities in the different majors are important determinants of student's choice of a college major. We also show that students' forecast errors with respect to expected earnings in different majors is potentially important, with our estimates suggesting that 7.5% of students would switch majors if they made no forecast errors.
    Keywords: choice of college major, subjective expectations
    JEL: I2 C81
    Date: 2010–02
  13. By: Adam Isen; Betsey Stevenson
    Abstract: This paper examines how marital and fertility patterns have changed along racial and educational lines for men and women. Historically, women with more education have been the least likely to marry and have children, but this marriage gap has eroded as the returns to marriage have changed. Marriage and remarriage rates have risen for women with a college degree relative to women with fewer years of education. However, the patterns of, and reasons for, marriage have changed. College educated women marry later, have fewer children, are less likely to view marriage as “financial security”, are happier in their marriages and with their family life, and are not only the least likely to divorce, but have had the biggest decrease in divorce since the 1970s compared to women without a college degree. In contrast, there have been fewer changes in marital patterns by education for men.
    JEL: I20 J1 J11 J12 J13 J15 J16
    Date: 2010–02
  14. By: Peter Arcidiacono; V. Joseph Hotz; Songman Kang
    Abstract: The choice of a college major plays a critical role in determining the future earnings of college graduates. Students make their college major decisions in part due to the future earnings streams associated with the different majors. We survey students about what their expected earnings would be both in the major they have chosen and in counterfactual majors. We also elicit students’ subjective assessments of their abilities in chosen and counterfactual majors. We estimate a model of college major choice that incorporates these subjective expectations and assessments. We show that both expected earnings and students’ abilities in the different majors are important determinants of student’s choice of a college major. We also show that students’ forecast errors with respect to expected earnings in different majors is potentially important, with our estimates suggesting that 7.5% of students would switch majors if they made no forecast errors.
    JEL: I2
    Date: 2010–02
  15. By: Maya P.; Sörensen K.; Goos P.
    Abstract: The Flemish Ministry of Education promotes the integrated education of disabled children by providing educational opportunities in common schools. In the current system, disabled children receive ambulant help from a teaching assistant (TA) employed at an institute for extra-ordinary education. The compensation that the TAs receive for driving to visit the students is a major cost factor for the institute that provides the assistance, therefore its management desires a schedule that minimizes the accumulated distance traveled by all TAs combined. We call this optimization problem the teaching assistants assignment routing problem (TAARP). It involves three decisions that have to be taken simultaneously: (1) pupils have to be assigned to TAs; (2) pupils assigned to a given TA have to be spread over the TA's dierent working days; and (3) the order in which to visit the pupils on each day has to be determined. We propose a solution strategy based on an auction algorithm and a variable neighborhood search which exhibit an excellent performance both in simulated and real instances. The total distance traveled in the solution obtained for the real data set improves the current solution by about 22% which represents a saving of around 9% on the annual budget of the institute.
    Date: 2009–11
  16. By: Vincent Boucher; Yann Bramoullé; Habiba Djebbari; Bernard Fortin
    Abstract: We provide the first empirical application of a new approach proposed by Lee (2007) to estimate peer effects in a linear-in-means model. This approach allows to control for group-level unobservables and to solve the reflection problem. We investigate peer effects in student achievement in Mathematics, Science, French and History in Quebec secondary schools. We estimate the model using maximum likelihood and instrumental variables methods. We find evidence of peer effects. The endogenous peer effect is positive, when significant, and some contextual peer effects matter. Using calibrated Monte Carlo simulations, we find that high dispersion in group sizes helps with potential issues of weak identification. <P>Nous présentons une première application empirique d’une nouvelle approche développée par Lee (2007) pour estimer les effets de pairs dans un modèle linéaire-en-moyenne. Cette méthode permet de tenir compte des variables non-observées au niveau du groupe et de solutionner le problème de réflexion. Nous estimons les effets de pairs sur la performance scolaire (mesurée par les résultats aux épreuves du ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport) en Mathématiques, en Science, en Français et en Histoire dans les écoles secondaires du Québec. À cette fin, nous utilisons des méthodes de maximum de vraisemblance et de variables instrumentales. Nos résultats corroborent la présence d’effets de pairs. L’effet de pair endogène est positif, lorsqu’il est significatif. En particulier, une hausse d’un point dans la note moyenne de ses pairs accroît la note de l’élève de 0,5 en Français, de 0,65 en Histoire et 0,83 en Math (514). En outre, certains effets contextuels ont de l’importance. À partir de simulations Monte Carlo, nous trouvons qu’une grande variabilité dans la taille des groupes peut réduire les problèmes d’identification faible.
    Keywords: peer effects, student achievement, reflection problem, effets de pairs, performance scolaire, problème de réflexion
    JEL: C31 I20 Z13
    Date: 2010–02–01
  17. By: Brian A. Jacob
    Abstract: This paper takes advantage of a unique policy change to examine how principals make decisions regarding teacher dismissal. In 2004, the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) signed a new collective bargaining agreement that gave principals the flexibility to dismiss probationary teachers for any reason and without the documentation and hearing process that is typically required for such dismissals. With the cooperation of the CPS, I matched information on all teachers that were eligible for dismissal with records indicating which teachers were dismissed. With this data, I estimate the relative weight that school administrators place on a variety of teacher characteristics. I find evidence that principals do consider teacher absences and value-added measures, along with several demographic characteristics, in determining which teachers to dismiss.
    JEL: I21 I28 J2 J3 J45 J63 J70
    Date: 2010–02
  18. By: Canals, Jordi (IESE Business School)
    Abstract: Business schools have made a very important contribution to management education over the past decades. The new economic and social context creates new challenges for them. Their capabilities will have to evolve if they want to have a deeper impact.
    Keywords: Corporate governance;
    Date: 2009–12–05
  19. By: Betsey Stevenson
    Abstract: Between 1972 and 1978 U.S. high schools rapidly increased their female athletic participation rates—to approximately the same level as their male athletic participation rates—in order to comply with Title IX, a policy change that provides a unique quasi-experiment in female athletic participation. This paper examines the causal implications of this expansion in female sports participation by using variation in the level of boys’ athletic participation across states before Title IX to instrument for the change in girls’ athletic participation. Analysis of differences in outcomes across states in changes between pre- and post-cohorts reveals that a 10-percentage point rise in state-level female sports participation generates a 1 percentage point increase in female college attendance and a 1 to 2 percentage point rise in female labor force participation. Furthermore, greater opportunities to play sports leads to greater female participation in previously male-dominated occupations, particularly in high-skill occupations.
    JEL: I2 I21 I28 J16 J18 J21 J22 J24 J44 K3 K36
    Date: 2010–02

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