nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2010‒03‒20
eleven papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Are we spending too many years in school? Causal evidence of the impact of shortening secondary school duration By Büttner, Bettina; Thomsen, Stephan L.
  2. Efficiency of public and publicly-subsidised high schools in Spain. Evidence from PISA 2006 By Mancebón-Torrubia, María-Jesús; Calero, Jorge; Choi, Álvaro; Ximénez-de-Embún, Domingo P.
  3. Krise der Universitäten in Europa – was nun? By Tausch, Arno
  4. Does Offering More Science at School Increase the Supply of Scientists? The Impact of Offering Triple Science at GCSE on Subsequent Educational Choices and Outcomes By Stijn Broeke
  5. Spanish publicly-subsidised private schools and equality of school choice By Mancebón-Torrubia, María Jesús; Ximénez-de-Embún, Domingo Pérez
  6. The Returns to English-Language Skills in India By Mehtabul Azam; Aimee Chin; Nishith Prakash
  7. Accounting for Intergenerational Earnings Persistence: Can We Distinguish Between Education, Skills, and Health? By Hirvonen, Lalaina
  8. Education and the Welfare Gains from Employment Protection By Olivier Charlot; Franck Malherbert
  9. Non-Response Biases in Surveys of School Children: The Case of the English PISA Samples By Micklewright, John; Schnepf, Sylke V.; Skinner, Chris
  10. Teacher Salaries and Teacher Unions: A Spatial Econometric Approach By Winters, John V
  11. As fontes da determinação da escolaridade dos trabalhadores da indústria de transformação brasileira By Rafael Camargo de Pauli; Luciano Nakabashi; Armando Vaz Sampaio

  1. By: Büttner, Bettina; Thomsen, Stephan L.
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the impact of shortening the duration of secondary schooling on the accumulation of human capital. In 2003, an educational policy reform was enacted in Saxony-Anhalt, a German state, providing a natural experimental setting. The thirteenth year of schooling was eliminated for those students currently attending the ninth grade. Tenth grade students were unaffected. The academic curriculum remained almost unaltered. Using primary data from the double cohort of Abitur graduates in 2007, significant negative effects were discovered for both genders in mathematics and for females only in English. The effects on literature were not statistically significant. --
    Keywords: student performance,school duration,learning intensity,natural experiment
    JEL: I21 J18 C21
    Date: 2010
  2. By: Mancebón-Torrubia, María-Jesús; Calero, Jorge; Choi, Álvaro; Ximénez-de-Embún, Domingo P.
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to compare the efficiency of the Spanish public and publicly-subsidised private high schools using Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) fed by the results provided by a hierarchical linear model (HLM) applied to PISA-2006 (Programme for International Students Assessment) microdata. This study places special emphasis on the estimation of the determinants of school outcomes, the educational production function being estimated through an HLM that takes into account the nested nature of PISA data. Inefficiencies are then measured through the DEA and decomposed into managerial (related to individual performance) and programme (related to structural differences between management models), following Silva Portela and Thanassoulis (2001) approach. Once differences in pupils’ background and individual management inefficiencies have been eliminated, results reveal that Spanish public high schools are more efficient than publicly-subsidised private ones.
    Keywords: Efficiency; data envelopment analysis; secondary education; educational outcome; PISA
    JEL: I21 I28 I22
    Date: 2010
  3. By: Tausch, Arno
    Abstract: This article attempts to develop a perspective for radical reform of the Austrian and European universities. The article takes up anew a simple idea, already presented in an article in the widely circulated European political magazine “Die Zukunft” (Vienna) in 1991, proposing full University democracy, implying free elections of the university governing bodies, combined with a net household income per capita income weighted fully-fledged and credit supported tuition system. Another "pillar" of a European university reform would imply stronger rewards for publications in peer-reviewed international journals. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the continental European university has become the last bastion of the inefficient command economy. Only a thorough Anglo-American reform perspective can nowadays save the continental European University from the abyss of the implosion of the system. A "Scandinavian" alternative, based on a government-taxation-funded reform would be possible only in principle, but under the present political economic conditions in continental Europe, too many special interests of small stakeholders in the political system block such an alternative. The harsh and bitter predictions of the 1991 article came true all too quickly - the empty “shelves” in the European command economy University system remind us of the all too well-known economics of shortage, Janos Kornai style. Our empirical multiple regressions, based on OECD and standard international higher education data show that the introduction of tuition fees would have a major impact on the performance criteria of the University system according to different operationalizations of the University of Shanghai global rankings. Our empirical calculations also show that tuition fees and a strong role of the private sector and its contributions to university life are the most efficient strategy to achieve a high number of world class universities and high number of University graduates per age cohort, controlling for the effects of development level. Additional partial correlations (again keeping constant the development level) also show that the level of annual tuition fees are also highly and significantly associated with other societal performance criteria, like the predictable recovery from the current crisis (based on IMF data), indicators of a liberal society, and indicators of avoiding passive globalization. It is also true that a high level of social protection (as measured by the OECD statistics on public social expenditures per GDP), does not impede a higher proportion of public educational expenditure on tertiary education. But it is also true that the political culture of social protection almost automatically tends to regard the university system as a preserve of the State, and culturally excludes new models of private funding, oriented at the best-practice Anglo-American model. Our data also analyse current global entrance examinations regimes to universities around the world, as well as the efficiency ratios of the amount of the estimated purchasing power of salaries of researchers and scientists to the status of a country as a headquarter of global universities (per capita number of "world class Universities"). While the author personally believes that numerus clausus regimes, knock-out tests in the studies orientation phase, and other access restrictions are the wrong way to guarantee a proper university landscape in a mature capitalistic society, the list of international tests and filtering by state authorities already in existence is really impressive, and – paradoxically enough for the proponents of a Scandinavian state oriented alternative higher education policy – includes many Scandinavian countries. So in effect, there is no alternative to the Anglo-Americanization of our continental European universities. Free access, functioning capitalist universities, paid at least partially by their consumers – the students - are essential to the "normal" functioning of a free, capitalist society. The continental European failure to reform its Universities deepens the societal inertia, parochialism, xenophobia and racism in our continent. The present command economic University system, in addition, excludes an atmosphere of social responsibility, and creates a mentality of the command economy and party cadres. The reorganization of the continental European and outdated “habilitation procedure”, creating an intellectual climate of serfdom of assistant professors to their masters – the professors - and its substitution by an innovation oriented impact analysis of the intellectual production of candidates in leading peer reviewed journals or international book publishing would be also a major step towards a solution of the continental European University crisis.
    Keywords: E24 - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; F15 - Economic Integration; H52 - Government Expenditures and Education; I21 - Analysis of Education; I22 - Educational Finance; I23 - Higher Education Research Institutions
    JEL: E24 I21 I23 H52 I22
    Date: 2010–03–09
  4. By: Stijn Broeke (Department of Economics, Royal Holloway)
    Abstract: I estimate the effects of an education policy (Triple Science) in England aimed at increasing the take-up and attainment of young people in science subjects. I identify the effect of the policy by comparing two adjacent cohorts of pupils in schools that offer Triple Science to one cohort, but not to the other. I find some large and significant effects on later subject choice and attainment, and these appear to be particularly strong for boys and pupils from more deprived backgrounds.
    Keywords: triple science, subject choice, attainment
    JEL: I20 I21 I28
    Date: 2010–03
  5. By: Mancebón-Torrubia, María Jesús; Ximénez-de-Embún, Domingo Pérez
    Abstract: This study analyses the system of Spanish publicly-subsidised private schools from the perspective of its contribution to the equalisation of opportunities in school choice. The theoretical framework is based on the contributions of researchers into school choice policies, while the empirical application uses a 2005 questionnaire answered by the final-year secondary school students of the Spanish region of Aragon. We conclude that the system of Spanish publicly-subsidised private schools has not entirely facilitated the integration of students from different socioeconomic strata. A probit model is estimated in the last section in order to discover which factors determine the choice of a publicly-subsidised private school. It is found that the higher the socioeconomic status, the higher the probability of choosing such schools, suggesting that the segregation found in this paper may be caused partly by the choice patterns of Spanish families.
    Keywords: school choice; publicly-subsidised private schools; cream skimming
    JEL: I21 I28 H52 C25 H44
    Date: 2009–11
  6. By: Mehtabul Azam (World Bank, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)); Aimee Chin (University of Houston & NBER); Nishith Prakash (Dartmouth College, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) & Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM))
    Abstract: India's colonial legacy and linguistic diversity give English an important role in its economy,and this role has expanded due to globalization in recent decades. It is widely believed that there are sizable economic returns to English-language skills in India, but the extent of these returns is unknown due to lack of a microdata set containing measures of both earnings and English ability. In this paper, we use a newly available data set - the India Human Development Survey, 2005 to quantify the effects of English-speaking ability on wages. We find that being fluent in English (compared to not speaking any English) increases hourly wages of men by 34%, which is as much as the return to completing secondary school and half as much as the return to completing a Bachelor's degree. Being able to speak a little English significantly increases male hourly wages 13%. There is considerable heterogeneity in returns to English. More experienced and more educated workers receive higher returns to English. The complementarity between English skills and education appears to have strengthened over time. Only the more educated among young workers earn a premium for English skill, whereas older workers across all education groups do.
    Keywords: English Language, Human Capital, India.
    JEL: J31 J24 O15
    Date: 2010–03
  7. By: Hirvonen, Lalaina (Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University)
    Abstract: This paper illustrates the difficulty in disentangling the underlying channels of intergenerational earnings persistence by means of path analysis and recursive models. On closer examination, these models manifest their shortcomings as regards accounting for how parental earnings have a direct impact on their offspring’s earnings, but also have an effect through other factors such as education, skills and health. The estimated effects of these mediating factors are likely to capture the influence of other mechanisms not taken into account in the analysis. Nonetheless, the results suggest that education is the most important mechanism in the earnings transmission process, although it is sensitive to the inclusion of other covariates and the order in which these are entered into the equation. Nonlinear specifications suggest that the effect of a father’s earnings on his son’s has the greatest impact primarily through education and IQ in the upper middle categories of the earnings distribution of the fathers, while health status is of secondary importance.
    Keywords: -
    Date: 2010–03–09
  8. By: Olivier Charlot; Franck Malherbert
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of an European-like labor market regulation on the return to schooling, equilibrium unemployment and welfare. We show that firing costs and temporary employment have opposite effects on educational choices. We furthermore demonstrate that a laissez faire economy with no regulation is inefficient as it is characterized by insufficient educational investments leading to excess job destruction and inadequate job creation. By stabilizing employment relationships, firing costs may spur educational investments and therefore lead to welfare and productivity gains, though a first-best policy would be to subsidize education. However, there is little chance for a dual labor market, as is common in many European countries, with heavily regulated long-term contracts and more flexible short-term contracts to raise the incentives to schooling and aggregate welfare.
    Keywords: Human capital, job destruction, matching frictions, efficiency
    JEL: I20 J20 J60
    Date: 2010
  9. By: Micklewright, John (Institute of Education, University of London); Schnepf, Sylke V. (University of Southampton); Skinner, Chris (University of Southampton)
    Abstract: We analyse response patterns to an important survey of school children, exploiting rich auxiliary information on respondents' and non-respondents' cognitive ability that is correlated both with response and the learning achievement that the survey aims to measure. The survey is the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which sets response thresholds in an attempt to control data quality. We analyse the case of England for 2000 when response rates were deemed high enough by the PISA organisers to publish the results, and 2003, when response rates were a little lower and deemed of sufficient concern for the results not to be published. We construct weights that account for the pattern of non-response using two methods, propensity scores and the GREG estimator. There is clear evidence of biases, but there is no indication that the slightly higher response rates in 2000 were associated with higher quality data. This underlines the danger of using response rate thresholds as a guide to data quality.
    Keywords: non-response, bias, school survey, data linkage, PISA
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2010–02
  10. By: Winters, John V
    Abstract: This paper uses the Schools and Staffing Survey to examine the determinants of teacher salaries in the U.S. using a spatial econometric framework. These determinants include teacher salaries in nearby districts, union activity in the district, union activity in neighboring districts, and other school district characteristics. The results confirm that salaries for both experienced and beginning teachers are positively affected by salaries in nearby districts. Investigations of the determinants of teacher salaries that ignore this spatial relationship are likely to be mis-specified. Including the effects of union activity in neighboring districts, the study also finds that union activity increases salaries for experienced teachers by as much as 18-28 percent but increases salaries for beginning teachers by a considerably smaller amount.
    Keywords: Teacher salaries; Teacher unions; Spatial econometrics
    JEL: J45 J50
    Date: 2010–01–01
  11. By: Rafael Camargo de Pauli; Luciano Nakabashi (Department of Economics, Universidade Federal do Paraná); Armando Vaz Sampaio (Department of Economics, Universidade Federal do Paraná)
    Abstract: In this article, we analyze the swings sources of demand for labor force, according to the level of schooling, in the Brazilian manufacturing industry, in the 1994-2008 period of time. We consider two theories to explain these swings sources: the Heckscher-Ohlin Theorem (H-O) and the ability bias hypothesis. In the empirical analysis, we make use of decomposition analysis to verify which one of them best fits the data employed. The results of the empirical analysis give little support to the ability bias hypothesis when we utilize higher education labor force. Additionally, we find out that the international trade forces emphasized by the H-O Theorem are relevant in the Brazilian economy. However, it was verified that the increase of intermediate level of education labor force supply was the main cause of schooling increase in the manufacturing industry labor force.
    Keywords: manufacturing industry; Heckscher-Ohlin Theorem; ability bias hypothesis; labor force qualification
    JEL: J23 J24 J31 L16
    Date: 2010

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