nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2010‒07‒03
seventeen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Does Schooling Affect Health Behavior? Evidence from Educational Expansion in Western Germany By Steffen Reinhold
  2. School Shootings and Student Performance By Poutvaara, Panu; Ropponen, Olli
  3. Competition, wages and teacher sorting: four lessons learned from a voucher reform By Hensvik, Lena
  4. Inequality of Opportunities in the Educational Attainment of Chilean Students By Osvaldo Larrañaga; Amanda Telias
  5. Are educational mismatches responsible for the ‘inequality increasing effect’ of education? By Budria, Santiago
  6. Decentralization And Education Performance: A First View To The Brazilian Process By Leme, Maria Carolina; D. Paredes, Ricardo; Portela, André
  7. Education and Family Background: Mechanisms and Policies By Björklund, Anders; Salvanes, Kjell G.
  8. Double – shift schooling and EFA goals: assessing economic, educational and social impacts By Orkodashvili, Mariam
  9. The role of specific subjects in education production functions: evidence from morning classes in Chicago public high schools By Jesse Bricker; Kalena Cortes; Chris Rohlfs
  10. Financial Constraints, Endogenous Educational Choices and Self-Selection of Migrants By Juliano Assuncao; Leandro Carvalho
  11. Quality education through Child-Friendly Schools: resource allocation for the protection of children’s rights By Orkodashvili, Mariam
  12. Can subjective expectations data be used in choice models? Evidence on cognitive biases By Basit Zafar
  13. Formal education, mismatch and wages after transition: Assessing the impact of unobserved heterogeneity using matching estimators By Ana Lamo; Julián Messina
  14. Economic Freedom, Human Rights, and the Returns to Human Capital: An Evaluation of the Schultz Hypothesis By King, Elizabeth M.; Montenegro, Claudio E.; Orazem, Peter
  15. Regional growth in Portugal: assessing the contribution of earnings and education inequality By Adelaide Duarte; Marta Simões
  16. Selective Reductions in Labor Taxation: Labor Market Adjustments and Macroeconomic Performance By Batyra, Anna; Sneessens, Henri R.
  17. The Netherlands of 2040 By Bas ter Weel; Albert van der Horst; George Gelauff

  1. By: Steffen Reinhold (Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging (MEA))
    Abstract: During the postwar period German states pursued policies to increase the share of young Germans obtaining a university entrance diploma (Abitur) by building more academic track schools, but the timing of educational expansion differed between states. This creates exogenous variation in the availability of higher education, which allows estimating the causal effect of education on health behaviors. Using the number of academic track schools in a state as an instrumental variable for years of schooling, we investigate the causal effect of schooling on health behavior such as smoking and related outcomes such as obesity. We find large negative effects of education on smoking. These effects can mostly be attributed to reductions in starting rates rather than increases in quitting rates. We find no causal effect of education on reduced overweight and obesity.
    JEL: I12 I20
    Date: 2009–08–21
  2. By: Poutvaara, Panu (University of Helsinki); Ropponen, Olli (University of Helsinki)
    Abstract: In this paper, we study how high school students reacted to the shocking news of a school shooting. The shooting coincided with national high-school matriculation exams. As there were exams both before and after the shooting, we can perform a difference-in-differences analysis to uncover how the school shooting affected the test scores compared to previous years. We find that the average score of young men declined due to the school shooting, whereas we do not observe a similar pattern for women.
    Keywords: school shootings, school performance, shocking news, gender differences, treatment effect models
    JEL: C21 J16 I19
    Date: 2010–06
  3. By: Hensvik, Lena (IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation)
    Abstract: This paper studies how local school competition affects teacher wages at markets where wages are set via individual wage bargaining. Using regional variation in private school entry generated by a Swedish reform which allowed private schools to enter freely and a comprehensive matched employer employee data covering all high school teachers in Sweden over 16 years, I analyze the effects of competition on wages as well as labor flows. The results suggest that competition translates into higher wages, also for teachers in public schools. While the average increases are modest new teachers gain 2 percent and high ability teachers in math and science receive 4 percent higher wages in the most competitive areas compared to areas without any competition from private schools. Several robustness checks support a causal interpretation of the results which together highlight the potential gains from school competition through a more differentiated wage setting of teachers.
    Keywords: Private school competition; teacher wages; monopsony power
    JEL: J24 J31 J42
    Date: 2010–06–07
  4. By: Osvaldo Larrañaga; Amanda Telias
    Abstract: This study measures the contribution of inequality of opportunities on the educational attainment of Chilean students, captured through the SIMCE test scores. For this, it employs a recently introduced methodology that quantifies the effect of exogenous and endogenous factors on socioeconomic outcomes, using parametric and non-parametric techniques. The study applies this methodology for the SIMCE tests in Mathematics and Language in the 1999 to 2007 period for fourth grade primary, eighth grade primary and for second grade of secondary school. The results show a reduction in the percentage of inequality of SIMCE results arising from exogenous circumstances, which can be interpreted as a decrease in inequality of opportunities. This conclusion is robust to the estimation technique and the schooling grade. In addition, the results reveal that inequality of opportunities is greater in secondary school than in primary school.
    JEL: I21 D39 D63
    Date: 2010–06
  5. By: Budria, Santiago
    Abstract: This paper asks whether educational mismatches can account for the positive association between education and wage inequality found in the data. We use two different data sources, the European Community Household Panel and the Portuguese Labour Force Survey, and consider several types of mismatch, including overqualification, underqualification and skills mismatch. We test our hypothesis using two different measurement methods, the ‘statistical’ and the ‘subjective’ approach. The results are robust to the different choices and unambiguously show that the positive effect of education on wage inequality is not due to the prevalence of educational mismatches in the labour market.
    Keywords: Overeducation; returns to education; educational mismatch; within-groups wage inequality
    JEL: D31 J31
    Date: 2010–06–01
  6. By: Leme, Maria Carolina; D. Paredes, Ricardo; Portela, André
    Abstract: This paper analyses the impact of the decentralization in educational system that is taking place in Brazil inthe last decade, as a result of several laws that encourage municipalities to invest in fundamental education.The proficiency tests undertaken by the government allows to follow some public schools in two points intime. Therefore we were able to create an experimental group with the schools that were under state system inthe SAEB exam and have migrated to the municipality system by the time of Prova Brasil and a control groupwith the schools that were under the state system between the two exams and compare the difference in theirresults using a fixed effect panel data analysis. The difference in difference estimator indicates that there is nosignificant change in the performance of the students.
    Date: 2010–06–16
  7. By: Björklund, Anders (SOFI, Stockholm University); Salvanes, Kjell G. (Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)
    Abstract: In every society for which we have data, people’s educational achievement is positively correlated with their parents’ education or with other indicators of their parents’ socioeconomic status. This topic is central in social science, and there is no doubt that research has intensified during recent decades, not least thanks to better data having become accessible to researchers. The purpose of this chapter is to summarize and evaluate recent empirical research on education and family background. Broadly speaking, we focus on two related but distinct motivations for this topic. The first is equality of opportunity. Here, major the research issues are: How important a determinant of educational attainment is family background, and is family background – in the broad sense that incorporates factors not chosen by the individual – a major, or only a minor, determinant of educational attainment? What are the mechanisms that make family background important? Have specific policy reforms been successful in reducing the impact of family background on educational achievement? The second common starting point for recent research has been the child development perspective. Here, the focus is on how human-capital accumulation is affected by early childhood resources. Studies with this focus address the questions: what types of parental resources or inputs are important for children's development, why are they important and when are they important? In addition, this literature focuses on exploring which types of economic policy, and what timing of the policy in relation to children's social and cognitive development, are conducive to children's performance and adult outcomes. The policy interest in this research is whether policies that change parents' resources and restrictions have causal effects on their children.
    Keywords: intergenerational mobility, sibling correlations, education, education reform
    JEL: I21 J13 J24
    Date: 2010–06
  8. By: Orkodashvili, Mariam
    Abstract: The aim of the paper is to discuss the system of double-shift schooling and assess it from economic, social and educational angles referring to different cases from Sub-Saharan African countries. The paper makes an attempt to prove that despite certain challenges that it faces, the system of double-shift schooling is the best solution for poor countries to achieve the millennium goal of Education for All with limited resources, and an optimum strategy for rich countries to use resources more efficiently.
    Keywords: cost-benfit analysis; investment in school infrastructure; salaries; enrrollment; capital and recurrent costs; social equity; student scores; improved efficiency; extra-curricualr activities; universal education.
    JEL: A13 N30 I21 I28 A21 H52 I22
    Date: 2009–09–25
  9. By: Jesse Bricker; Kalena Cortes; Chris Rohlfs
    Abstract: Absences in Chicago Public High Schools are 3-7 days per year higher in first period than at other times of the day. This study exploits this empirical regularity and the essentially random variation between students in the ordering of classes over the day to measure how the returns to classroom learning vary by course subject, and how much attendance in one class spills over into learning in other subjects. We find that having a class in first period reduces grades in that course and has little effect on long-term grades or grades in related subjects. We also find moderately-sized negative effects of having a class in first period on test scores in that subject and in related subjects, particularly for math classes.
    Date: 2010
  10. By: Juliano Assuncao; Leandro Carvalho
    Abstract: The Roy model predicts that migrants will be disproportionately drawn from the lower half of the educational distribution of the sending country if the sending country has a higher return to schooling. However, Mexican immigrants in the U.S. tend to be disproportionately drawn from the middle of the distribution. This paper argues that financial constraints may explain why. It studies migrants' selectivity when agents that face credit constraints make joint decisions about how much to invest in education and whether to migrate. The results show that financial constraints can explain the intermediate selection of migrants observed in the data.
    Keywords: migration, financial constraints, self-selection, human capital
    JEL: O15 O16 R23
    Date: 2010–05
  11. By: Orkodashvili, Mariam
    Abstract: The paper discusses the idea and purpose of Child-Friendly Schools (CFSs) initiated by the UNICEF. It analyses the implications of CFSs in terms of improving children’s health and nutrition, promoting gender equality, protecting children’s rights, re-defining education quality and creating positive psycho-emotional environment at schools. Experience is now showing that a framework of rights-based, child-friendly schools can be a powerful tool for both helping to fulfill the rights of children and providing them an education of good quality. At the national level, for ministries, development agencies, and civil society organizations, the framework can be used as a normative goal for policies and programmes leading to child-friendly systems and environments, as a focus for collaborative programming leading to greater resource allocations for education, and as a component of staff training. At the community level, for school staff, parents, and other community members, the framework can serve as both a goal and a tool of quality improvement through localized self-assessment, planning, and management and as a means for mobilizing the community around education and child rights.
    Keywords: resource allocation; staff retraining; quality enhancement; protection of childre's rights; enrollment numbers; teacher capacity amd morale; gender equality; health education; friendly environment; affordable and accessible education.
    JEL: D63 I31 D31 A13 N30 A12 H75 I38 H83 D61 A21 A14
    Date: 2010–06–25
  12. By: Basit Zafar
    Abstract: A pervasive concern with the use of subjective data in choice models is that the data are biased and endogenous. This paper examines the extent to which cognitive biases plague subjective data, specifically addressing 1) whether cognitive dissonance affects the reporting of beliefs, and 2) whether individuals exert sufficient mental effort when probed about their subjective beliefs. For this purpose, I collect a unique panel data set of Northwestern University undergraduates that contains their subjective expectations about outcomes specific to different majors in their choice set. I do not find evidence of cognitive biases systematically affecting the reporting of beliefs: By analyzing patterns of belief updating, I can rule out cognitive dissonance being a serious concern in the current setting. Moreover, there seems to be no systematic (nonclassical) measurement error in the reporting of beliefs. In the reported beliefs for the various majors, I find no systematic patterns in mental recall of previous responses or in the extent of rounding. Comparison of subjective beliefs with objective measures suggests that students have well-formed expectations. Overall, the results paint a favorable picture for the use of subjective expectations data in choice models.
    Keywords: Bayesian statistical decision theory ; Human behavior ; Social choice ; Universities and colleges
    Date: 2010
  13. By: Ana Lamo (European Central Bank, Kaiserstrasse 29, 60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany.); Julián Messina (World Bank, Office of the Chief Economist for Latin America and the Caribbean, 1850 I St, NW 204 33 Washington, DC, USA.)
    Abstract: This paper studies the incidence and consequences of the mismatch between formal education and the educational requirements of jobs in Estonia during the years 1997-2003. We find large wage penalties associated with the phenomenon of educational mismatch. Moreover, the incidence and wage penalty of mismatches increase with age. This suggests that structural educational mismatches can occur after fast transition periods. Our results are robust for various methodologies, and more importantly regarding departures from the exogeneity assumptions inherent in the matching estimators used in our analysis. JEL Classification: J0.
    Keywords: Education mismatch, Wage determination, Matching Estimators.
    Date: 2010–06
  14. By: King, Elizabeth M.; Montenegro, Claudio E.; Orazem, Peter
    Abstract:   T.W. Schultz (1975) proposed that returns to human capital were highest in economic environments where technology, price or production shocks were common and managerial skills to adapt resource allocations to those shocks were most in need.  We hypothesize that variation in returns to human capital across developing countries can be explained in part by government institutions that blunt the magnitude of those shocks or that limit individual abilities to respond to those shocks.  Using estimated returns to schooling and experience from 122 household surveys from 86 developing countries, we demonstrate a strong positive correlation between economic freedom and returns to human capital. The positive effect is observed at all quantiles of the wage distribution.  Economic freedom benefits the most skilled who get higher returns to schooling; but it also benefits the least skilled who get higher returns from experience.  
    Keywords: Returns to education; Returns to experience; Economic freedom; inequality; quantiles
    JEL: J31 O15 P10
    Date: 2010–06–22
  15. By: Adelaide Duarte (GEMF/Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal); Marta Simões (GEMF/Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal)
    Abstract: Regional economic growth in Portugal has mainly been studied from the perspective of convergence with data ending by the early 2000’s. The country as a whole has stopped converging to the output levels of the richest European countries by this period and has also become one of the most unequal EU member-states in terms of income distribution in the meantime. It is thus important to analyze the growth performance at the regional level in a more recent period, 1995-2007, emphasizing regional disparities in inequality as explanatory factors. This study examines the relationship between inequality and regional growth in Portugal at NUTS III level exploring the explanatory power of earnings and education inequality measures computed with data from the Quadros de Pessoal database. The results point to a positive relationship between initial inequality and regional growth, stronger for education than for earnings inequality, but with earnings inequality measures revealing a higher explanatory power. Moreover, there is evidence that it is inequality at the top of the distribution that is the relevant to explain regional growth, a result that reinforces the higher propensities to save of the richer and the incentives mechanisms of transmission from inequality to growth. Additionally, the evidence does not support the existence of convergence among Portuguese NUTS III regions during the period under analysis. These findings are robust to the introduction of most additional control variables and the consideration of alternative measures of earnings and education inequality.
    Keywords: regional growth, Portugal, earnings inequality, education inequality
    Date: 2010–06
  16. By: Batyra, Anna (Université catholique de Louvain); Sneessens, Henri R. (University of Luxembourg)
    Abstract: We use a calibrated general equilibrium model with heterogeneous labor and search to evaluate the quantitative effects of various labor tax cut scenarios. The focus is on skill heterogeneity combined with downward wage rigidities at the low end of the skill ladder. Workers can take jobs for which they are overeducated. We compare targeted and non-targeted tax cuts, both with or without over-education effects. Introducing over-education changes substantially the employment, productivity and welfare effects of a tax cut, although tax cuts targeted on the least skilled workers always have larger effects.
    Keywords: minimum wage, job creation, job destruction, job competition, search unemployment, taxation, computable general equilibrium models
    JEL: C68 E24 J64
    Date: 2010–06
  17. By: Bas ter Weel; Albert van der Horst; George Gelauff
    Abstract: This study develops four scenarios that can be used to think about the future of the Dutch economy in 2040. The study addresses the question of how we will earn our money in 2040 by looking at people and cities. It is hard to predict how the Dutch economy will evolve in the next five years, or even in the next one or two years—let alone thirty years ahead. Yet, policymakers have to take decisions today that have long-lasting consequences—about infrastructure projects, investments in education and science and welfare state reforms, for example. How should policymakers deal with the uncertainty about the future—as far as 2040—when taking such strategically important decisions?
    Keywords: 2040; Long-term scenarios; human capital development; urban development; technological change; scope of government
    JEL: F1 H1 H2 O16
    Date: 2010

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