nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2010‒05‒08
ten papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Are Young People's Educational Outcomes Linked to their Sense of Control? By Barón, Juan D.; Cobb-Clark, Deborah A.
  2. Breadth vs. Depth: The Timing of Specialization in Higher Education By Ofer Malamud
  3. The Cost Inefficiency of Public Primary Education in Japan By Hitoshi Saito
  4. An Arrested Virtuous Circle? Higher Education And High-Tech Industries In India By Rakesh Basant; Partha Mukhopadhyay
  5. Ability, Parental Valuation of Education and the High School Dropout Decision By Foley, Kelly; Gallipoli, Giovanni; Green, David A.
  6. Preparing for Success in Canada and the United States: the Determinants of Educational Attainment Among the Children of Immigrants By Hou, Feng; Picot, Garnett
  7. The Falling Time Cost of College: Evidence from Half a Century of Time Use Data By Philip S. Babcock; Mindy Marks
  8. A Theory of School-Choice Lotteries By Onur Kesten; M. Utku Ünver
  9. The Economics of International Differences in Educational Achievement By Eric A. Hanushek; Ludger Woessmann
  10. Retornos a la educación en Argentina. Estructura regional. By Jorge A. Paz

  1. By: Barón, Juan D. (Banco de la República de Colombia); Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. (University of Melbourne)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the link between young people's sense (locus) of control over their lives and their investments in education. We find that young people with a more internal locus of control have a higher probability of finishing secondary school and, conditional on completion, meeting the requirements to obtain a university entrance rank. Moreover, those with an internal locus of control who obtain a university entrance rank achieve somewhat higher rankings than do their peers who have a more external locus of control. Not surprisingly, there is a negative relationship between growing up in disadvantage and educational outcomes. However, this effect does not appear to operate indirectly by increasing the likelihood of having a more external locus of control. In particular, we find no significant relationship between family welfare history and young people's locus of control.
    Keywords: locus of control, parental socio-economic background, education
    JEL: I38 J24 H31
    Date: 2010–04
  2. By: Ofer Malamud
    Abstract: This paper examines the tradeoff between early and late specialization in the context of higher education. While some educational systems require students to specialize early by choosing a major field of study prior to entering university, others allow students to postpone this choice. I develop a model in which individuals, by taking courses in different fields of study, accumulate field-specific skills and receive noisy signals of match quality in these fields. With later specialization, students have more time to learn about match quality in each field but less time to acquire specific skills once a field is chosen. I derive comparative static predictions between educational regimes with early and late specialization, and examine these predictions across British systems of higher education. Using survey data on 1980 university graduates, I find strong evidence in support of the prediction that individuals who switch to unrelated occupations initially earn lower wages but less evidence that the cost of switching differs between England and Scotland. Although more switching occurs in England where students specialize early, higher wage growth among those who switch eliminates the wage difference after several years.
    JEL: I21 J24
    Date: 2010–04
  3. By: Hitoshi Saito (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University)
    Abstract: Under the current fiscal conditions in many local, regional as well as the national government, the public schools face the substantial budget short falls . In order to alleviate the substantial budget shortage, it is important to raise efficiency, particularly in primary education as the costs of primary education are dominant part of the budget spending. Improving the productivity of human capital is also essential for providing bet ter quality service, and this can be also achieved by raising efficiency in primary education. This paper reports the empirical study on inefficient education spending in public schools, particularly for primary education by using Stochastic Front i e r Analysis (SFA). By applying Tobit Model in our analysis of ineff iciency of public school spending in primary education, we were able to locate the source of the problem was triggered by the decrease in the number of schools as a result of declining birth rates and the number of school children. Based upon our study using the estimated cost funct ions related t o ineff iciency of spending, we conclude that the larger schools with greater number of students perform better at cost efficiency than the smaller schools with smaller number of students.
    Keywords: Primary Education, Educational finance, Cost Inefficiency, Local government
    JEL: I22 I28 H75
    Date: 2010–04
  4. By: Rakesh Basant; Partha Mukhopadhyay
    Abstract: We provide a brief but comprehensive overview of linkages between higher education and the high tech sector and study the major linkages in India. We find that the links outside of the labor market are weak. This is attributed to a regulatory structure that separates research from the university and discourages good faculty from joining, which erodes the quality of the intellectual capital necessary to generate new knowledge. In the labor market, we find a robust link between higher education and high-tech industry, but despite a strong private sector supply response to the growth of the high-tech industry, the quality leaves much to be desired. Poor university governance may be limiting both labor market and non-labor market linkages. Industry efforts to improve the quality of graduates are promising but over reliance on industry risks compromising workforce flexibility. Addressing the governance failures in higher education is necessary to strengthen the links between higher education and high tech industry.
    Date: 2009–05–01
  5. By: Foley, Kelly; Gallipoli, Giovanni; Green, David A.
    Abstract: We use a large, rich Canadian micro-level dataset to examine the channels through which family socio-economic status and unobservable characteristics affect children's decisions to drop out of high school. First, we document the strength of observable socio-economic factors: our data suggest that teenage boys with two parents who are themselves high school dropouts have a 16% chance of dropping out, compared to a dropout rate of less than 1% for boys whose parents both have a university degree. We examine the channels through which this socio-economic gradient arises using an extended version of the factor model set out in Carneiro, Hansen, and Heckman (2003). Specifically, we consider the impact of cognitive and non-cognitive ability and the value that parents place on education. Our results support three main conclusions. First, cognitive ability at age 15 has a substantial impact on dropping out. Second, parental valuation of education has an impact of approximately the same size as cognitive ability effects for medium and low ability teenagers. A low ability teenager has a probability of dropping out of approximately .03 if his parents place a high value on education but .36 if their education valuation is low. Third, parental education has no direct effect on dropping out once we control for ability and parental valuation of education. Our results point to the importance of whatever determines ability at age 15 (including, potentially, early childhood interventions) and of parental valuation of education during the teenage years. We also make a small methodological contribution by extending the standard factor based estimator to allow a non-linear relationship between the factors and a covariate of interest. We show that allowing for non-linearities has a substantial impact on estimated effects.
    Keywords: Idiosyncratic Shocks, Disability, Insurance, Marriage
    JEL: I21 J08 J24 C3 C63
    Date: 2010–04–30
  6. By: Hou, Feng; Picot, Garnett
    Abstract: This paper reviews the recent research on the determinants of the educational attainment among the children of immigrants (the 2nd generation) in Canada and the United States. The focus is on the gap in educational attainment between the 2nd and 3rd-and-higher generations (the children of domestic born parents), as well as the intergenerational transmission of education between immigrants and their children. On average, the children of immigrants have educational levels significantly above their counterparts with domestic born parents in Canada. In the U.S., educational levels are roughly the same between these two groups. In both countries, conditional on the educational attainment of the parents and location of residence, the children of immigrants outperform the 3rd-and-higher generation in educational attainment. Parental education and urban location are major determinants of the gap in educational attainment between the children of immigrants and those of Canadian or American born parents. However, even after accounting for these and other demographic background variables, much of the positive gap between the 2nd and 3rd-and-higher generations remains in Canada. In Canada, parental education is less important as a determinant of educational attainment for the children in immigrant families than among those with Canadian-born parents. Less educated immigrant parents are more likely to see their children attain higher levels of education than are their Canadian-born counterparts. Outcomes vary significantly by ethnic/source region group in both countries. In the U.S., some 2nd generation ethnic/source region groups, such as those with Mexican, Puerto Rican, Central American backgrounds, have relatively low levels of education, even though conditional on background characteristics they outperform their 3rd-and-higher generation counterparts. In contrast, in Canada, children of the larger and increasingly numerically important immigrant groups (the Chinese, South Asians, Africans, etc) register superior educational attainment levels to those of the 3rd-and-higher generation. This result is partly related to the high levels of parental education and group-level “ethnic capital†among these immigrant groups.
    Keywords: Second Generation, Children of Immigrants, Education, Canada, United States
    JEL: J15 J24
    Date: 2010–04–30
  7. By: Philip S. Babcock; Mindy Marks
    Abstract: Using multiple datasets from different time periods, we document declines in academic time investment by full-time college students in the United States between 1961 and 2003. Full-time students allocated 40 hours per week toward class and studying in 1961, whereas by 2003 they were investing about 27 hours per week. Declines were extremely broad-based, and are not easily accounted for by framing effects, work or major choices, or compositional changes in students or schools. We conclude that there have been substantial changes over time in the quantity or manner of human capital production on college campuses.
    JEL: J22 J24
    Date: 2010–04
  8. By: Onur Kesten (Carnegie Mellon University); M. Utku Ünver (Boston College)
    Abstract: A new centralized mechanism was introduced in New York City and Boston to assign students to public schools in district school-choice programs. This mechanism was advocated for its superior fairness property, besides others, over the mechanisms it replaced. In this paper, we introduce a new framework for investigating school-choice matching problems and two ex-ante notions of fairness in lottery design, strong ex-ante stability and ex-ante stability. This frame- work generalizes known one-to-many two-sided and one-sided matching models. We first show that the new NYC/Boston mechanism fails to satisfy these fairness properties. We then propose two new mechanisms, the fractional deferred-acceptance mechanism, which is ordinally Pareto dominant within the class of strongly ex-ante stable mechanisms, and the fractional deferred- acceptance and trading mechanism, which satisfies equal treatment of equals and constrained ordinal Pareto efficiency within the class of ex-ante stable mechanisms.
    Keywords: Matching, School Choice, Deferred Acceptance, Stability, Ordinal Efficiency, Market Design
    JEL: C71 C78 D71 D78
    Date: 2010–05–01
  9. By: Eric A. Hanushek; Ludger Woessmann
    Abstract: An emerging economic literature over the past decade has made use of international tests of educational achievement to analyze the determinants and impacts of cognitive skills. The cross-country comparative approach provides a number of unique advantages over national studies: It can exploit institutional variation that does not exist within countries; draw on much larger variation than usually available within any country; reveal whether any result is country-specific or more general; test whether effects are systematically heterogeneous in different settings; circumvent selection issues that plague within-country identification by using system-level aggregated measures; and uncover general-equilibrium effects that often elude studies in a single country. The advantages come at the price of concerns about the limited number of country observations, the mostly cross-sectional character of available achievement data, and possible bias from unobserved country factors such as culture. This chapter reviews the economic literature on international differences in educational achievement, restricting itself to comparative analyses that are not possible within single countries and placing particular emphasis on studies trying to address key issues of empirical identification. While quantitative input measures show little impact, several measures of institutional structures and of the quality of the teaching force can account for significant portions of the immense international differences in the level and equity of student achievement. Variations in skills measured by the international achievement tests are in turn strongly related to individual labor-market outcomes and, perhaps more importantly, to cross-country variations in economic growth.
    JEL: H4 H5 I20 J24 J31 O15 O4 P5
    Date: 2010–04
  10. By: Jorge A. Paz (Instituto de Estudios Laborales y del Desarrollo Económico (IELDE), Facultad de Ceiencias Económicas, Universidad Nacional de Salta, Argentina)
    Abstract: En este trabajo se estiman retornos a la educación en Argentina y se exploran algunas hipótesis derivadas del marco teórico-conceptual propuesto por el trabajo de Knigth (1979) y Beccaria (1986), según el cual es importante incorporar consideraciones acerca de la estructura productiva en la cual se insertan los ocupados. Los datos provienen de la Encuesta Permanente de Hogares, modalidad puntual y corresponden al período 1995-2003. La metodología consiste en estimar funciones de Mincer total y por regiones y computar los retornos, tanto bajo la hipótesis de retornos lineales por año de educación, como así también por máximo nivel alcanzado. El resultado más relevante es la relativa uniformidad de los retornos a la educación entre las regiones que se compararon y el diferencial regional en cuanto al efecto que introduce la consideración del sesgo por inserción laboral de los ocupados. También pudo constatarse una disparidad entre géneros en los retornos corregidos por sesgo.
    Keywords: Retornos a la educación, capital humano, Argentina
    JEL: J24 R19
    Date: 2009–12

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