nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2010‒06‒26
eighteen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Estimating the Benefit of High School for College-Bound Students By Louis-Philippe Morin
  2. Ranking the Schools: How Quality Information Affects School Choice in the Netherlands By Koning, Pierre; van der Wiel, Karen
  3. Financial Aid and Higher Education Enrollment in Chile: A Government Policy Analysis By Meneses, Francisco; Blanco, Christian
  4. The Impact of Teacher Subject Knowledge on Student Achievement: Evidence from Within-Teacher Within-Student Variation By Metzler, Johannes; Woessmann, Ludger
  6. Education and the Political Economy of Environmental Protection By Natacha Raffin
  7. O ‘Mercado’ do Ensino Superior em Portugal: um diagnóstico da situação actual By Rego, Conceição; Caleiro, António
  8. EXTERNAL RETURNS TO HIGHER EDUCATION IN TURKEY By Ozan Bakis; Nurhan Davutyan; Haluk Levent; Sezgin Polat
  9. Quantity-Quality and the One Child Policy: The Only-Child Disadvantage in School Enrollment in Rural China By Nancy Qian
  10. Using M-quantile models as an alternative to random effects to model the contextual value-added of schools in London By Nikos Tzavidis; James J Brown
  11. The choice between fixed and random effects models: some considerations for educational research By Paul Clarke; Claire Crawford; Fiona Steele; Anna Vignoles
  12. An e-learning platform for delivering educational contents in a school environment By Crescenzio Gallo; Antonio Damato
  13. Why do children become disengaged from school? By Francesca Foliano; Elena Meschi; Anna Vignoles
  14. Income Inequality, the Median Voter, and the Support for Public Education By Sean Corcoran; William N. Evans
  15. Quantile Treatment Effects in the Regression Discontinuity Design: Process Results and Gini Coefficient By Frölich, Markus; Melly, Blaise
  16. What do Spanish Engineering Students Think about Innovation and Entrepreneurship? By Edwards, Mónica; Fernández-Diego, Marta; González-Ladrón-de-Guevara, Fernando
  17. School Proximity and Child Labor: Evidence from Rural Tanzania By Kondylis, Florence; Manacorda, Marco
  18. Are Happiness and Productivity Lower among University Students with Newly-Divorced Parents? An Experimental Approach By Sgroi, Daniel; Proto, Eugenio; Oswald, Andrew J.

  1. By: Louis-Philippe Morin (Department of Economics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON)
    Abstract: Studies based on instrumental variable techniques suggest that the value of a high school education is large for potential dropouts, yet we know much less about the size of the benefit for students who will go on to post-secondary education. To help fill this gap, I measure the value-added of a year of high-school mathematics for university-bound students using a recent Ontario secondary school reform. The subject specificity of this reform makes it possible to identify the benefit of an extra year of mathematics despite the presence of self-selection: one can use subjects unaffected by the reform to control for potential ability differences between control and treatment groups. Further, the richness of the data allows me to generalize the standard difference-in-differences estimator, correcting for heterogeneity in ability measurement across subjects. The estimated value-added to an extra year of mathematics is small for these students – of the order of 17 percent of a standard deviation in university grades. This evidence helps to explain why the literature finds only modest effects of taking more mathematics in high school on wages, the small monetary gain being due to a lack of subject-specific human capital accumulation. Within- and between-sample comparisons also suggest that the extra year of mathematics benefits lowerability students more than higher-ability students.
    Keywords: Human Capital, High School Curriculum, Education Reform, Mathematics, Factor Model
    JEL: I20 I21 I28
    Date: 2010
  2. By: Koning, Pierre (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis); van der Wiel, Karen (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes whether information on high school quality published by a national newspaper affects school choice in the Netherlands. For this purpose, we use both school level and individual student level data. First, we study the causal effect of quality scores on the influx of new high school students using a longitudinal school dataset. We find that negative (positive) school quality scores decrease (increase) the number of students choosing a school after the year of publication. The positive effects are particularly large for the academic school track. An academic school track receiving the most positive score sees its inflow of students rise by 15 to 20 students. Second, we study individual school choice behaviour to address the relative importance of the quality scores, as well as potential differences in the quality response between socio-economic groups. Although the probability of attending a school is affected by its quality score, it is mainly driven by the travelling distance. Students are only willing to travel about 200 meters more in order to attend a well-performing rather than an average school. In contrast to equity concerns that are often raised, we cannot find differences in information responses between socio-economic groups.
    Keywords: school quality, school choice, information, media
    JEL: I20 D10 D83
    Date: 2010–06
  3. By: Meneses, Francisco; Blanco, Christian
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the impact of the Chilean government's nancial aid on college and vocational education enrollment. We found that there is an endogenous process in the application for nancial aid. To solve this problem we use a two-step procedure with instrumental variables (IV) and found that nancial aid increases the probability of students going to college by over 30%. In the case of vocational education, we found that being pre-selected for college nancial aid decreases the enrollment. However, vocational nancial aid increases that probability of enrollment. Therefore, students choose college education over vocational education when they have nancial aid for both. Theoretical conclusion and public policy recommendations are provided.
    Keywords: Financial aid; college enrollment; Chile; education; public policy.
    JEL: I21 I28 I22
    Date: 2010–06–09
  4. By: Metzler, Johannes (University of Munich); Woessmann, Ludger (Ifo Institute for Economic Research)
    Abstract: Teachers differ greatly in how much they teach their students, but little is known about which teacher attributes account for this. We estimate the causal effect of teacher subject knowledge on student achievement using within-teacher within-student variation, exploiting a unique Peruvian 6th-grade dataset that tested both students and their teachers in two subjects. We circumvent omitted-variable and selection biases using student and teacher fixed effects and observing teachers teaching both subjects in one-classroom-per-grade schools. After measurement-error correction, one standard deviation in subject-specific teacher achievement increases student achievement by about 10 percent of a standard deviation.
    Keywords: teacher knowledge, student achievement, Peru
    JEL: I20 O15
    Date: 2010–06
  5. By: Djavad Salehi-Isfahani (Department of Economics, Virginia Tech University)
    Abstract: This paper presents a comparative study of private returns to schooling in Egypt, Iran, and Turkey using similar survey data and a uniform methodology. We employ three surveys for each country that span nearly two decades, ranging from 1987 to 2006. Our aim is to learn from survey data about the signals of rewards that individuals use in their decisions to invest in education. So we pay special attention to differences across countries and over time in the institutions of education and labor markets, and how these differences might be related to the observed patterns of rewards to education. We find a fair amount of consistency in the patterns of returns between the countries, as well as important differences that suggest the influence of institutions. We find that returns to education increase in years of schooling in all three countries, as one would expect in countries with relatively rigid labor markets, where heavy emphasis on higher terminal degrees reduce the value of basic education. Private returns to tertiary relative to upper secondary and vocational education are high, confirming that university education is highly attractive in these countries. Low returns to vocational training relative to general upper secondary, which have been observed in many developing countries, are true in Egypt and Iran, but not Turkey. We attempt to reconcile these facts with the institutional features of the countries and changes over time.
    Date: 2009–09
  6. By: Natacha Raffin (EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I)
    Abstract: We develop a political economy model that might explain the different environmental performance of countries, through educational choices. Individuals decide whether to invest in additional education according to their expectations regarding future environmental quality. They also vote on a tax that will be exclusively used to finance environmental protection. We show that the model may generate multiple equilibria and agents' expectations may be self-fulfilling when the public policy is endogenous. Then, we analyse the long-term implications of a public policy that would favour education and make it possible to select the higher equilibrium.
    Keywords: Environmental quality, human capital, education, self-fulfilling prophecies, public policy.
    Date: 2010–05
  7. By: Rego, Conceição; Caleiro, António
    Abstract: During the recent decades the higher education system in Portugal has experienced structural changes, including the substantial increase in the number of higher education institutions, scattered throughout the territory, in parallel with the increasing number of students and teachers. Recently, international organizations that analyze the behavior of the subsystem of higher education, in particular the OECD, pointed to the existence of negative trends, i.e. a shrinking demand for higher education, in addition to excess of supply. As an equilibrium in the ‘market’ of higher education seems to be essential, those features do not appear to be sustainable in the long term. This fact suggests the theme for this study, i.e. to analyze the characteristics of the current supply and demand within the subsystem of higher education in Portugal. As methodology we first make a characterization of key variables that shape the demand and supply of higher education in Portugal and, secondly, use tools of spatial analysis, namely multidimensional scaling, in order to verify how distant are the higher education institutions in Portugal.
    Keywords: Higher Education; Multidimensional Scaling; Spatial Location
    JEL: R53 C14 I23 R12
    Date: 2010
  8. By: Ozan Bakis (Department of Economics, Galatasaray University); Nurhan Davutyan; Haluk Levent; Sezgin Polat
    Abstract: This paper studies local human capital externalities and returns to education in Turkey. Data comes from 2006 Household Labor Survey. Instrumental Variables-OLS estimation indicates internal (external) returns amounting to 4.9% (2.4%), while IV estimates using quantile regression range from 3% to 6.9% (1.3% to 3.5%). We discuss further characteristics of the Turkish labor market segmented by gender and show that external returns are uniformly higher for women. Our results also indicate both internal and external returns increase or equivalently the wage distribution spreads out as education increases.
    Date: 2010–04
  9. By: Nancy Qian
    Abstract: Many believe that increasing the quantity of children will lead to a decrease in their quality. This paper exploits plausibly exogenous changes in family size caused by relax- actions in China's One Child Policy to estimate the causal effect of family size on school enrollment of the …first child. The results show that for one-child families, an additional child signi…ficantly increased school enrollment of …first-born children by approximately 16 percentage-points. The effect is larger for households where the children are of the same sex, which is consistent with the existence of economies of scale in schooling costs.[Working Paper No. 228]
    Keywords: Education, Development, Family Planning
    Date: 2010
  10. By: Nikos Tzavidis (University of Manchester.); James J Brown (Department of Quantitative Social Science, Institute of Education, University of London. 20 Bedford Way, WC1H 0AL)
    Abstract: The measurement of school performance for secondary schools in England has developed from simple measures of marginal performance at age 16 to more complex contextual value-added measures that account for pupil prior attainment and background. These models have been developed within the multilevel modelling environment (pupils within schools) but in this paper we propose an alternative using a more robust approach based on M-quantile modelling of individual pupil efficiency. These efficiency measures condition on a pupils ability and background, as do the current contextual value-added models, but as they are measured at the pupil level a variety of performance measures can be readily produced at the school and higher (local authority) levels. Standard errors for the performance measures are provided via a bootstrap approach, which is validated using a model-based simulation.
    Keywords: School Performance, Contextual Value-Added, M-Quantile Models, Pupil Efficiency, London
    JEL: C14 C21 I21
    Date: 2010–06–18
  11. By: Paul Clarke (Centre for Market and Public Organisation, University of Bristol, 2 Priory Road, Bristol, BS8 1TX.); Claire Crawford (Institute for Fiscal Studies, 7 Ridgmount Street, London, WC1E 7AE; Institute of Education, University of London, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL, UK.); Fiona Steele (Centre for Multilevel Modelling, Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol, 2 Priory Road, Bristol, BS8 1TX); Anna Vignoles (Department of Quantitative Social Science, Institute of Education, University of London. 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL, UK.)
    Abstract: We discuss the use of fixed and random effects models in the context of educational research and set out the assumptions behind the two modelling approaches. To illustrate the issues that should be considered when choosing between these approaches, we analyse the determinants of pupil achievement in primary school, using data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. We conclude that a fixed effects approach will be preferable in scenarios where the primary interest is in policy-relevant inference of the effects of individual characteristics, but the process through which pupils are selected into schools is poorly understood or the data are too limited to adjust for the effects of selection. In this context, the robustness of the fixed effects approach to the random effects assumption is attractive, and educational researchers should consider using it, even if only to assess the robustness of estimates obtained from random effects models. On the other hand, when the selection mechanism is fairly well understood and the researcher has access to rich data, the random effects model should naturally be preferred because it can produce policy-relevant estimates while allowing a wider range of research questions to be addressed. Moreover, random effects estimators of regression coefficients and shrinkage estimators of school effects are more statistically efficient than those for fixed effects.
    Keywords: fixed effects, random effects, multilevel modelling, education, pupil achievement
    JEL: C52 I21
    Date: 2010–06–18
  12. By: Crescenzio Gallo; Antonio Damato
    Abstract: Learning is a continuous process, without end, which takes place throughout life, and is the result of the interaction of an individual with a physical external environment, a social context or with herself. In what new technologies may help improving and making more effective the interaction of an individual during his learning process? This paper describes the use of a platform for delivering educational contents to students, to put theories into practice through the use of an LMS and highlight the strengths and weaknesses that have these learning tools in a school environment, in which - besides its formative aspect - upbringing is important.
    Keywords: learning management system, digital contents.
    Date: 2010–03
  13. By: Francesca Foliano (Department of Quantitative Social Science, Institute of Education, University of London. 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL, UK.); Elena Meschi (Department of Quantitative Social Science, Institute of Education, University of London. 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL, UK.); Anna Vignoles (Department of Quantitative Social Science, Institute of Education, University of London. 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL, UK.)
    Abstract: .
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2010–05–24
  14. By: Sean Corcoran; William N. Evans
    Abstract: Using a panel of U.S. school districts spanning 1970 – 2000, we examine the relationship between income inequality and fiscal support for public education. In contrast with recent theoretical and empirical work suggesting a negative relationship between inequality and public spending, we find results consistent with a median voter model, in which inequality that reduces the median voter’s tax share induces higher local spending on public education. We estimate that 12 to 22 percent of the increase in local school spending over this period is attributable to rising inequality.
    JEL: H72 I21 I22
    Date: 2010–06
  15. By: Frölich, Markus (University of Mannheim); Melly, Blaise (Brown University)
    Abstract: This paper shows nonparametric identification of quantile treatment effects (QTE) in the regression discontinuity design. The distributional impacts of social programs such as welfare, education, training programs and unemployment insurance are of large interest to economists. QTE are an intuitive tool to characterize the effects of these interventions on the outcome distribution. We propose uniformly consistent estimators for both potential outcome distributions (treated and non-treated) for the population of interest as well as other function-valued effects of the policy including in particular the QTE process. The estimators are straightforward to implement and attain the optimal rate of convergence for one-dimensional nonparametric regression. We apply the proposed estimators to estimate the effects of summer school on the distribution of school grades, complementing the results of Jacob and Lefgren (2004).
    Keywords: quantile treatment effect, causal effect, endogeneity, regression discontinuity
    JEL: C13 C14 C21
    Date: 2010–06
  16. By: Edwards, Mónica; Fernández-Diego, Marta; González-Ladrón-de-Guevara, Fernando
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the interrelationships between creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship as key enablers of an entrepreneurial and innovation-oriented culture. Empirical results of exploring perceptions and opinions about these three concepts are presented, using a sample of 121 engineering students. The findings show that the majority of students perceive the traditional linear model of innovation and consider innovation strongly related to creativity but moderately related to entrepreneurship. There are contradictions between the students' self-perceptions as entrepreneurs, their high desirability to start a new firm and their work preferences after graduation, which are principally to get a job in a private company and become public servants. Their low willingness for mobility and the poor contribution of the education system in developing their innovation and entrepreneurial competences constitutes other relevant obstacles for improving an entrepreneurial and innovation-oriented culture.
    Keywords: engineering students; perceptions; innovation; entrepreneurship; creativity; competences
    JEL: L26
    Date: 2010–04–08
  17. By: Kondylis, Florence; Manacorda, Marco
    Abstract: Is improved school accessibility an effective policy tool for reducing child labor in developing countries? We address this question using micro data from rural Tanzania and a regression strategy that attempts to control for non-random location of households around schools as well as classical and nonclassical measurement error in self-reported distance to school. Consistent with a simple model of child labor supply, but contrary to what appears to be a widespread perception, our analysis shows that school proximity leads to a rise in school attendance but no fall in child labor.
    Keywords: child labor; distance to school; school enrollment
    JEL: J22 J82 O12 O55
    Date: 2010–06
  18. By: Sgroi, Daniel (Department of Economics, University of Warwick); Proto, Eugenio (Department of Economics, University of Warwick); Oswald, Andrew J. (Department of Economics, University of Warwick and and Warwick Business School)
    Abstract: We live in a high-divorce age. Parents worry about the possibility of negative effects upon their children. This paper tests whether recent parental-divorce has deleterious consequences for grown children. Under controlled conditions, it measures students’ happiness with life, and their productivity in a standardized laboratory task. No negative effects from divorce can be detected. If anything, happiness and productivity are greater, particularly among males, if they have experienced parental divorce. Using longitudinal BHPS data -- to control for fixed effects -- we cross-check this result on happiness. Again, the evidence suggests that young people’s mental well-being improves after parental divorce.
    Keywords: Labor productivity ; divorce ; well-being ; happiness ; experimental economics JEL Codes: D03 ; J24 ; C91
    Date: 2010

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