nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2010‒07‒24
twenty papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Overview of School Education in Delhi By Soumya Gupta
  2. The Role of Specific Subjects in Education Production Functions: Evidence from Morning Classes in Chicago Public High Schools By Cortes, Kalena E.; Bricker, Jesse; Rohlfs, Chris
  3. When you are born matters: the impact of date of birth on educational outcomes in England By Claire Crawford; Lorraine Dearden; Costas Meghir
  4. The relative effectiveness and costs of contract and regular teachers in India By Paul Atherton; Geeta Kingdon
  5. A Cross-national analysis of the relations between school choice and effectiveness differences between private-independent and public schools By Dronkers, Jaap; Avram, S
  6. A cross-national analysis of the relations between school choice and effectiveness differences between private-dependent and public schools By Dronkers, Jaap; Avram, S
  7. Gender inequality in education: Political institutions or culture and religion? By Arusha Cooray; Niklas Potrafke
  8. Health, Nutrition and Academic Achievement: New Evidence from India By Geeta Kingdon
  9. Money, mentoring and making friends: the impact of a multidimensional access program on student performance By Kevin Denny; Orla Doyle; Patricia O'Reilly; Vincent O'Sullivan
  10. Econometric methods for research in education By Costas Meghir; Steven Rivkin
  11. Widening participation in higher education: analysis using linked administrative data By Haroon Chowdry; Claire Crawford; Lorraine Dearden; Alissa Goodman; Anna Vignoles
  12. Dictator games in the lab and in nature: External validity tested and investigated in Ugandan primary schools By Abigail Barr; Andrew Zeitlin
  13. Gender Gap in Current School Enrolment in Cameroon: Selection Among "Irregular" Children? By TENIKUE Michel
  14. Globalization and public administration: a complex relationship By Elisabetta Croci Angelini
  15. Educational Mismatch: Are High-Skilled Immigrants Really Working at High-Skilled Jobs and the Price They Pay if They Aren’t? By Chiswick, Barry R.; Miller, Paul W.
  16. Residential Location and Youth Unemployment: The Economic Geography of School-To-Work By Regina T. Riphahn
  17. Parental Education and Child Health - Understanding the Pathways of Impact in Pakistan By Monazza Aslam; Geeta Kingdon
  18. Improving Education as Key to Enhancing Adaptive Capacity in Developing Countries By Wolfgang Lutz
  19. Who Participates in Higher Education in India? Rethinking the Role of Affirmative Action By Rakesh Basant; Gitanjali Sen
  20. The Allocation of Merit Pay in Academia By Finn Christensen; James Manley; Louise Laurence

  1. By: Soumya Gupta
    Abstract: This paper presents an overview of school education in Delhi. [Working Paper No. 0068]
    Keywords: School, Education, Delhi, literacy, Census, classroom, Fundamental rights
    Date: 2010
  2. By: Cortes, Kalena E. (Syracuse University); Bricker, Jesse (Federal Reserve Board); Rohlfs, Chris (Syracuse University)
    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.
    Keywords: education production, subject-specific, math, English, morning classes, first period, course schedule, quasi-experimental, attendance, absenteeism, Chicago, high school
    JEL: I20 I21 J13
    Date: 2010–06
  3. By: Claire Crawford (Institute for Fiscal Studies); Lorraine Dearden (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Bedford Group, Institute of Education, University of London); Costas Meghir (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London)
    Abstract: <p>This paper examines the impact of month of birth on national achievement test scores in England whilst children are in school, and on subsequent further and higher education participation. Using geographical variation in school admissions policies, we are able to split this difference into an age of starting school or length of schooling effect, and an age of sitting the test effect. We find that the month in which you are born matters for test scores at ages 7, 11, 14 and 16, with younger children performing significantly worse, on average, than their older peers. Furthermore, almost all of this difference is due to the fact that younger children sit exams up to one year earlier than older cohort members. The difference in test scores at age 16 potentially affects the number of pupils who stay on beyond compulsory schooling, with predictable labour market consequences. Indeed, we find that the impact of month of birth persists into higher education (college) decisions, with age 19/20 participation declining monotonically with month of birth. The fact that being young in your school year affects outcomes after the completion of compulsory schooling points to the need for urgent policy reform, to ensure that future cohorts of children are not adversely affected by the month of birth lottery inherent in the English education system.</p>
    JEL: I21 I28
    Date: 2010–05
  4. By: Paul Atherton; Geeta Kingdon
    Abstract: While use of contract teachers provides a low-cost way to increase teacher numbers, it raises the quality concern that these less trained teachers may be less effective. We estimate the causal contract-teacher effect on student achievement using school fixed effects and value-added models of the education production function, using Indian data. We allow for both homogenous and heterogeneous treatment effects, to highlight the mechanisms through which the contract teacher effect works. We also present school fixed effects teacher pay equations and predict achievement marks per Rupee spent on regular and contract teachers. We find that despite being paid just a third of the salary of regular teachers with similar observed characteristics, contract teachers produce higher student learning.
    Keywords: Student achievement, contract teachers, India
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2010
  5. By: Dronkers, Jaap; Avram, S
    Abstract: We apply propensity score matching to the estimation of the disparity in school effectiveness between the privately owned, privately funded school sector and the public one in a sample of 25 countries in Europe, America and Asia. This technique allows us to distinguish between school choice and school effectiveness processes and thus, to account for selectivity induced variation in school effectiveness. We find two broad patterns of private independent school choice: the choice as a social class reproduction choice; and the choice of an outsider’s for a good-equipped school. As regards school effectiveness, our results show that, after controlling for selectivity and school choice processes, the initial higher reading scores of students in private-independent schools become comparable to those public schools students in a majority of countries. However, in a few countries average reading scores remain higher in the private independent sector even after introducing controls for school choice induced selectivity. The opposite pattern, namely of higher average reading scores in the public sector has also been found in four countries.
    Keywords: school choice; school effectiveness; PISA data; public schools; private government-independent schools
    JEL: D71 I2 J24
    Date: 2010–07
  6. By: Dronkers, Jaap; Avram, S
    Abstract: We apply propensity score matching to the estimation of differential school effectiveness between the publicly funded private sector and the public one, in a sample of 26 countries. This technique allows us to distinguish between school choice and school effectiveness processes and thus, to account for selectivity issues involved in the comparison of the two. Concerning school choice, we found two patterns: a choice of the upwardly mobile parents for private schools and a preference for segregation by (lower-) middle class parents. As regards school effectiveness, our results indicate that, after controlling for selectivity, a substantial advantage in reading achievement remains among students in publicly funded private schools in ten out of the 26 countries.
    Keywords: school choice; school effectiveness; private-dependent and public schools; international comparison; PISA data
    JEL: D71 I21 J24 L33
    Date: 2009–11
  7. By: Arusha Cooray (School of Ecnomoics, University of Wollongong); Niklas Potrafke (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany)
    Abstract: We investigate empirically whether political institutions or culture and religion underlie gender inequality in education. The dataset contains up to 157 countries over the 1991-2006 period. The results indicate that political institutions do not significantly influence education of girls: autocratic regimes do not discriminate against girls in denying educational opportunities and democracies do not discriminate by gender when providing educational opportunities. The primary influences on gender inequality in education are culture and religion. Discrimination against girls is especially pronounced in Muslim dominated countries.
    Keywords: Gender discrimination, education, democracy, religion
    JEL: O11 O15 O43 O57 P26 P36 Z12
    Date: 2010–07–13
  8. By: Geeta Kingdon
    Abstract: Using new and unique panel data, we investigate the role of long-term health and childhood malnutrition in schooling outcomes for children in rural India, many of whom lack basic numeracy and literacy skills. Using data on students’ performance on mathematics and Hindi tests, we examine the role of the endogeneity of health caused by omitted variables bias and measurement error and correct for these problems using a household fixed effects estimator on a sub-sample of siblings observed in the data. We also present several extensions and robustness checks using instrumental variables and alternative estimators. We find evidence of a positive causal effect of long-term health measured as height-for-age z-score (HAZ) on test scores, and the results are consistent across several different specifications. The results imply that improving childhood nutrition will have benefits that extend beyond health into education.
    Keywords: Health, Nutrition, Schooling, India
    JEL: I12 I21
    Date: 2010
  9. By: Kevin Denny (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College Dublin); Orla Doyle; Patricia O'Reilly; Vincent O'Sullivan
    Abstract: <p><p>There is a well established socioeconomic gradient in educational attainment in all countries: young people from a low socioeconomic status (SES) will, on average, receive less education and do less well at school. While this is true virtually everywhere, this SES gradient is noticeably higher in Ireland compared to other OECD countries despite much effort in recent decades to address this inequality. This study evaluates a university access program in Ireland that provides financial, academic and social support to low SES students both prior to and after entry to university. It uses a natural experiment involving the gradual roll-out of the program to identify the effect of the program. The program has parallels with US Affirmative Action programs, although preferential treatment in this case is based on SES rather than ethnicity. Evaluating the effectiveness of programs targeting disadvantaged students in Ireland is particularly salient given the high rate of return to education and the lack of intergenerational mobility in educational attainment. Overall, we find positive treatment effects on first year exam performance, progression to second year and final year graduation rates, with the impact often stronger for higher ability students. We find similar patterns of results for students that entered through the regular system and the 'affirmative action' group i.e. the students that entering with lower high school grades. The program affects both male and female students, albeit in different ways. The study is unable to identify which specific component of the treatment is responsible for the effects but we find no evidence that changes in the financial support have an effect on student outcomes. This study suggests that access programs can be an effective means of improving academic outcomes for socio-economically disadvantaged students. </p><p></p><p> </p><p></p><p></p></p>
    Keywords: Education inequality, Access programs, Natural experiment, Economics of education
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2010–05
  10. By: Costas Meghir (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London); Steven Rivkin
    Abstract: <p>This paper reviews some of the econometric methods that have been used in the economics of education. The focus is on understanding how the assumptions made to justify and implement such methods relate to the underlying economic model and the interpretation of the results. We start by considering the estimation of the returns to education both within the context of a dynamic discrete choice model inspired byWillis and Rosen (1979) and in the context of the Mincer model. We discuss the relationship between the econometric assumptions and economic behaviour. We then discuss methods that have been used in the context of assessing the impact of education quality, the teacher contribution to pupils' achievement and the effect of school quality on housing prices. In the process we also provide a summary of some of the main results in this literature.</p>
    Date: 2010–05
  11. By: Haroon Chowdry (Institute for Fiscal Studies); Claire Crawford (Institute for Fiscal Studies); Lorraine Dearden (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Bedford Group, Institute of Education, University of London); Alissa Goodman (Institute for Fiscal Studies); Anna Vignoles (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute of Education)
    Abstract: <p>This paper makes use of newly linked administrative data to better understand the determinants of higher education participation amongst individuals from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds. It is unique in being able to follow two cohorts of students in England - those who took GCSEs in 2001-02 and 2002-03 - from age 11 to age 20. The findings suggest that while there remain large raw gaps in HE participation (and participation at high-status universities) by socio-economic status, these differences are substantially reduced once controls for prior attainment are included. Moreover, these findings hold for both state and private school students. This suggests that poor attainment in secondary schools is more important in explaining lower HE participation rates amongst students from disadvantaged backgrounds than barriers arising at the point of entry into HE. These findings highlight the need for earlier policy intervention to raise HE participation rates amongst disadvantaged youth.</p>
    Date: 2010–05
  12. By: Abigail Barr; Andrew Zeitlin
    Abstract: This paper tests the external validity of a simple Dictator Game as a laboratory analogue for a naturally occurring policy-relevant decision-making context. In Uganda, where teacher absenteeism is a problem, primary school teachers’ allocations to parents in a Dictator Game are positively but weakly correlated with their time allocations to teaching and, so, negatively correlated with their absenteeism. Guided by a simple theoretical model, we find that the correlation can be improved by allowing for (a) variations in behavioural reference points across teachers and schools and (b) the positive effect if some School Management Committees on teacher attendance .
    Keywords: Public service, Education, Experiments, Africa, external validity, Methodology
    JEL: C91 D64 I29 O15 O17
    Date: 2010
  13. By: TENIKUE Michel
    Abstract: Many developing countries face a pro-male gender gap in schooling, as boys are more likely to be enrolled at school than girls. This paper examines whether the current enrolment gap prevails equally both among children with a "regular" and an "irregular" schooling history. Children with a Regular schooling history are those who completed primary educa- tion between the ages of 12 and 15 years. Children with an Irregular schooling history are the rest. We investigate the gender gap in schooling empirically using data provided by the 2001 Cameroon Household Survey. The empirical framework allows for a dierent gender efect among regular and irregular children. It also accounts for selection into the two groups. Results show no male-female diference among regular children. Among irregular children however, females are more likely to stay out of schools. Our results suggest that, female children are given a schooling possibility to start with but are more exposed to dropping out if they display any form of irregularity in the course of their education.
    Date: 2010–03
  14. By: Elisabetta Croci Angelini (University of Macerata)
    Abstract: <div style="text-align: justify;">The paper examines the relationship between globalization and public administration through economic theory principles and an example. Starting from the consideration of early concerns about globalization, it argues that although the size of government has rarely declined, its power has been eroded, making room on the one hand to the quest for global public goods, while on the other hand urging for more local public goods and decentralization. University education, mainly publicly supplied in Italy as well as in many European countries, exemplifies the awkwardness of introducing best practices in a context of asymmetric information with many idiosyncratic features.</div>
    Keywords: globalization,university education,public goods,public administration
    JEL: H11 H42 H52
    Date: 2010–07
  15. By: Chiswick, Barry R. (Department of Economics, University of Illinois at Chicago); Miller, Paul W. (Business School, University of Western Australia)
    Abstract: This paper examines the incidence of the mismatch of the educational attainment and the occupation of employment, and the impact of this mismatch on the earnings, of high-skilled adult male immigrants in the US labor market. Analyses for high-skilled adult male native-born workers are also presented for comparison purposes. The results show that over-education is widespread in the high-skilled US labor market, both for immigrants and the native born. The extent of over-education declines with duration in the US as high-skilled immigrants obtain jobs commensurate with their educational level. Years of schooling that are above that which is usual for a worker’s occupation are associated with very low increases in earnings. Indeed, in the first 10 to 20 years in the US years of over-education among high-skilled workers have a negative effect on earnings. This ineffective use of surplus education appears across all occupations and high-skilled education levels. Although schooling serves as a pathway to occupational attainment, earnings appear to be more closely linked to a worker’s occupation than to the individual’s level of schooling.
    Keywords: Immigrants; Skill; Schooling; Occupations; Earnings; Rates of Return
    JEL: F22 I21 J24 J31 J61
    Date: 2010–07–12
  16. By: Regina T. Riphahn
    Abstract: In response to increased international policy attention to youth unemployment this study investigates post-secondary school transitions of school leavers. Multinomial log it models are estimated for male and female German youth. The models control for individual, parent, and household characteristics, for those of the youth’s region of residence and local labor markets. The findings suggest that immigrant youth has particularly low participation rates in continued education, and that youth unemployment is centered in high unemployment states and metropolitan areas. Recent changes in academic benefit policies do not seem to be correlated with changes in academic enrollment, whereas men’s transitions to the military do reflect recent changes in defense policies. [IZA DP No. 99]
    Keywords: School-to-Work, youth unemployment, local labor markets
    Date: 2010
  17. By: Monazza Aslam; Geeta Kingdon
    Abstract: This study investigates the relationship between parental schooling on the one hand, and child health outcomes (height and weight) and parental health-seeking behaviour (immunisation status of children), on the other. While establishing a correlational link between parental schooling and child health is relatively straightforward, confirming a causal relationship is more complex. Using unique data from Pakistan, we aim to understand the mechanisms through which parental schooling promotes better child health and health-seeking behaviour. The following ‘pathways’ are investigated: educated parents’ greater household income, exposure to media, literacy, labour market participation, health knowledge and the extent of maternal empowerment within the home. We find that while father's education is positively associated with the 'one-off' immunisation decision, mother's education is more critically associated with longer term health outcomes in OLS equations. Instrumental variable (IV) estimates suggest that father's health knowledge is most positively associated with immunisation decisions while mother's health knowledge and her empowerment within the home are the channels through which her education impacts her child's height and weight respectively.
    Keywords: parental schooling, mother's health knowledge, father's health knowledge, media exposure, maternal empowerment, child health, immunisation, Pakistan.
    JEL: I1 I2
    Date: 2010
  18. By: Wolfgang Lutz (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, and Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU))
    Abstract: This paper summarizes new scientific evidence supporting the hypothesis that among the many factors contributing to international development, the combination of education and health stands out as a root cause on which other dimensions of development depend. Much of this recent analysis is based on new reconstructions and projections of populations by age, sex and four levels of educational attainment for more than 120 countries using the demographic method of multi-state population dynamics. It also refers to a series of systems analytical population–development–environment case studies that comprehensively assess the role of population and education factors relative to other factors in the struggle for sustainable development. The paper also claims that most concerns about the consequences of population trends are in fact concerns about human capital, and that only by adding the ‘quality’ dimension of education to the traditionally narrow focus on size and age structure can some of the long-standing population controversies be resolved.
    Keywords: Human Capital, Education, Health, Root cause of development, ‘Quality’ dimension in population analysis
    JEL: I18 I28
    Date: 2010–06
  19. By: Rakesh Basant; Gitanjali Sen
    Abstract: This paper explores how socio-economic, especially socio-religious affiliations, and demographic characteristics of individuals influence participation in higher education (HE). It argues that appropriate measures of ‘deficits’ in participation should inform the nature and scope of affirmative action. The analytical and policy relevance of distinguishing between stock and flow measures, the differences in eligibility for HE across groups are emphasized. After controlling for relevant factors, the ‘hierarchy of participation in higher education’ that emerges from detailed analysis suggests that deficits for some marginalized groups are not high enough to justify reservation for these groups on the basis of low participation. [W.P. No. 2009-11-01]
    Keywords: India, Asia, Education, Affirmative Action, Reservation, Caste
    Date: 2010
  20. By: Finn Christensen (Department of Economics, Towson University); James Manley (Department of Economics, Towson University); Louise Laurence (Department of Economics, Towson University)
    Abstract: This paper investigates whether the widespread awarding of faculty merit pay at a large public university accurately reflects productivity. We show that pairwise voting on a quality standard by a committee can in theory be consistent with observed allocation patterns. However, the data indicate only nominal adherence to a quality standard. Departments with more severe compression issues are more likely to award merit pay as a countermeasure and some departments appear to be motivated by nonpecuniary incentives. Much of the variance in merit pay allocation remains unexplained. These results suggest reform is needed to improve transparency in the merit system.
    JEL: D7 I20 J33 M52
    Date: 2010–07

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