nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2010‒07‒31
twelve papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. The Determinants of Success in Primary Education in Spain By Brindusa Anghel; Antonio Cabrales
  2. Wage expectations for higher education students in Spain By Cesar Alonso-Borrego; Antonio Romero-Medina
  3. Aid and Universal Primary Education By Rohen D'AIGLEPIERRE; Laurent WAGNER
  4. School insertion of foreign students of first and second generation in Italy By Paola Bertolini; Michele Lalla; Valentina Toscano
  5. The Effects of School Quality in the Origin on the Payoff to Schooling for Immigrants By Chiswick, Barry R.; Miller, Paul W.
  6. The Effect of Part-Time Work on Post-Secondary Educational Attainment: New Evidence from French Data By Beffy, Magali; Fougère, Denis; Maurel, Arnaud
  7. Intergenerational Transmission of Education: An Alert to Empirical Implementation By Pereira, Pedro T.
  8. Inequality in pupils' educational attainment: How much do family, sibling type and neighbourhood matter? By Nicoletti C; Rabe B
  10. School to Work Transition, Employment Attainment and VET. Theories Guide for Policy Makers By Santos, Miguel
  11. Determinants of higher education students’ willingness to pay for violent crime reduction: a contingent valuation study By Mafalda Soeiro; Aurora A.C. Teixeira
  12. Composition and Performance of Research Training Groups By Birgit Unger; Kerstin Pull; Uschi Backes-Gellner

  1. By: Brindusa Anghel; Antonio Cabrales
    Abstract: This study reviews the recent literature on the economics of education, with a special focus on policy interventions. It also attempts to uncover the importance of school inputs, social environment and parental background on the outcomes of a standardized exam for all sixth grade students in the region of Madrid. We have data from all exam results from 2006 to 2009. These data can then be linked to individual level characteristics such as nationality, family type and parental education and profession. For public schools we also have school level data on variables such as number of students, teachers and their characteristics (type of contracts, experience), students’ nationalities, extra-curricular activities, and number of students needing special assistance.
    Date: 2010–07
  2. By: Cesar Alonso-Borrego; Antonio Romero-Medina
    Abstract: We use data on expected wages self-reported by college students to assess the hypothesis that the positive gap between expected and actual wages would decrease as students approach graduation. Our estimation results confirm this hypothesis. The amount and the quality of student information, used to forecast wages, improves with student experience. We find that expected wages for first-year students are affected not only by the degree type and academic performance, but also by the variables determining their degree preferences and their household environment. In the case of junior students, the degree type and length affects expected wages, though neither pre-university performance nor household environment influence their wage forecasts.
    Keywords: Wage differentials, College choice, Ordered response
    JEL: I23 J24 J31 C24 C25
    Date: 2010–07
  3. By: Rohen D'AIGLEPIERRE; Laurent WAGNER
    Abstract: Universal Primary Education (UPE) is one of the main objectives of development aid. However, very little empirical evidence of its effectiveness actually exists. Until very recently, the quality of available data was not sufficient to obtain robust results regarding the relationship between international aid and educational achievements. In this article, the latest, more disaggregated and more reliable data is used to study the relationship between aid to education and educational achievements. The focus here not only on educational variables in term of coverage, but also in term of equity and process. The year of Fast Track Initiative (FTI) endorsement is used as an original instrument to tackle the endogeneity problem of aid. Our results are very robust and indicate that aid to primary education has a strong effect on primary school enrollment and gender parity. A negative impact on repetitions rate is also indicated while no effect on the pupil teacher ratio can be observed. Diminishing return in the effectiveness of aid to primary education may also be highlighted. Finally, the governance variables do not appear to have an impact on this relationship.
    Keywords: aid effectiveness, education, Sector-specific aid
    JEL: O11 F35 I2
    Date: 2010
  4. By: Paola Bertolini; Michele Lalla; Valentina Toscano
    Abstract: The aim of the paper is the analysis of the immigrants' school insertion paths in Italy. The analysis focuses on the immigrants' school participation in the secondary school, considering also the first and the second generation. The data has been extracted from official statistical databases, mainly of the Ministry of Education and Istat (Italian National Statistics Institute). The analysis points out that the participation rates of foreign students in the secondary school are lower than those of the Italian students and both of them are different among regions and provinces. Five territorial areas are distinguished through some social and economic indicators (sectoral added value and number of industrial districts) in order to show the determinants of different participation rates between foreign and Italian students. A multivariate analysis by territorial areas reveals that the main factors affecting the education choices are related to the local characteristics and the economic variables, such as total families' income and gross national product (GNP) per capita. These results suggest that the immigrant students face with many difficulties in educational attainment preferring a fast entrance in the labour market.
    Keywords: immigrant students, educational territorial pattern, professional path, schooling determinants, seemingly unrelated regressions
    JEL: I21 J24
    Date: 2010–06
  5. By: Chiswick, Barry R. (University of Illinois at Chicago); Miller, Paul W. (Curtin University of Technology)
    Abstract: The payoff to schooling among the foreign born in the US is only around one-half of the payoff for the native born. This paper examines whether this differential is related to the quality of the schooling immigrants acquired abroad. The paper uses the Over-education/ Required education/Under-education specification of the earnings equation to explore the transmission mechanism for the origin-country school quality effects. It also assesses the empirical merits of two alternative measures of the quality of schooling undertaken abroad. The results suggest that a higher quality of schooling acquired abroad is associated with a higher payoff to schooling among immigrants in the US labor market. This higher payoff is associated with a higher payoff to correctly matched schooling in the US, and a greater (in absolute value) penalty associated with years of under-education. A set of predictions is presented to assess the relative importance of these channels, and the over-education channel is shown to be the more influential factor. This channel is linked to greater positive selection in migration among those from countries with better quality school. In other words, it is the impact of origin country school quality on the immigrant selection process, rather than the quality of immigrants’ schooling per se, that is the major driver of the lower payoff to schooling among immigrants in the US.
    Keywords: selectivity, earnings, school quality, schooling, immigrants
    JEL: I21 J24 J31 J61 F22
    Date: 2010–07
  6. By: Beffy, Magali (CREST-INSEE); Fougère, Denis (CREST-INSEE); Maurel, Arnaud (ENSAE-CREST)
    Abstract: In this paper, we provide new evidence on the effect of part-time work on postsecondary educational attainment. To do so, we use samples extracted from the French Labor Force Surveys conducted over the years 1992-2002. These samples are restricted to students in initial education following university studies and preparing an Associate, a Bachelor or a Master degree. We estimate probit models with two simultaneous equations accounting for part-time working while studying and for success on the final exam, along with the decision to continue the following year in one of the models. We take the working time into account by drawing in one of the models a distinction between jobs in which more or less than 16 hours are worked per week. We use variations across departements in low-skilled youth unemployment rates and in their interactions with the father's socio-economic status in order to identify the effect of part-time work on educational attainment. Our results suggest a statistically significant and very large detrimental effect of holding a regular part-time job on graduation probability. Still, a complementary analysis shows that working while studying does not have any significant effect on the probability of continuing studies.
    Keywords: post-secondary educational attainment, students' labor supply, bivariate Probit models
    JEL: C35 I20 J24
    Date: 2010–07
  7. By: Pereira, Pedro T. (University of Madeira)
    Abstract: The intergenerational transmission of education is certainly a problem that continues to challenge most countries. The level of education that an individual rises to is linked to the education level(s) of her/his parents. This note serves as an alert to researchers undertaking empirical investigation into how the parents' education should be considered with regard to the child's. Using Portuguese data we conclude that the parents should be viewed as a unit (i.e. as a couple), and we should examine all of the different education combinations, avoiding the temptation to aggregate them in larger categories.
    Keywords: transmission of education, human capital, parent’s education
    JEL: I21 J11
    Date: 2010–07
  8. By: Nicoletti C (Institute for Social and Economic Research); Rabe B (Institute for Social and Economic Research)
    Abstract: We explore the relative influence of family and neighbourhood on educational attainment and how this varies by sibling type. Using English register data we find sibling correlations in exam scores of 0.563 at the end of primary school and of 0.621 at the end of compulsory schooling. The neighbourhood explains at most 10-15% of the variance in educational attainment; whereas the family explains at least 43%. This percentage is significantly higher for twins and for siblings of the same sex. It is also higher for closely spaced siblings and siblings with a similar school starting age but only at age 11.
    Date: 2010–07–22
  9. By: Peter Friedrich; Janno Reiljan
    Abstract: In order to develop the necessary Estonian measures and policies the prevailing distribution of expenditures for these purposes are presented. Although the share of GDP used for financing education in Estonia is somewhat above the EU average the nominal amount of per capita education funds is comparatively low due to a low level of economic development. Moreover, because of thin population per square km many small schools exist in Estonia without a sufficient number of pupils, which makes the education system more costly. We consider two different basic strategies to improve the situation. The first strategy is an extension of a reform approach that was performed since January 2008 that refers mainly to the prevailing educational and spatial organization. We discuss the consequences and regional impacts of that policy. Criteria for a SWOT-analysis such as expenditure distribution, preserving regionally clear investment criteria, source of investment, etc. are used. The first strategy refers to improvements into the current system of financing schools that shows a state investment program for schools that considers the number of pupils per school and special educational needs. However, the performance of this policy is not based on a fair equal treatment of cases. Therefore a second strategy of improvement is discussed. It is based on the idea of Functional Overlapping Competitive Jurisdictions (FOCJ). The municipalities form FOCJ that are operating schools. In this way municipalities may form a school jurisdiction that can negotiate with central government institutions for the loan and the school equipment etc. A municipality can act individually or the FOCJ negotiates for the municipal members in total. Theories of FOCJ-establishment, FOCJ-contribution determination and FOCJ-negotiations with central government are demonstrated. The FOCJ can supplement positively the first strategy of reform.
    Keywords: funding of education, central government budget policy, local governments finance
    JEL: H52 I22
    Date: 2010
  10. By: Santos, Miguel
    Abstract: The employment attainment after a vocational training course, in a lifelong learning perspective is due to several factors, those inherent to the individual and those through exogenous scopes. In this theoretical revue we identify the most and the least notorious theories that can support policy maker’s decisions. This paper is a result of a subchapter of the author’s PhD thesis. The usefulness of the theories briefly described is under the reader’s verdict and judgment. The objective is barely to share a structured way to compare eleven “big groups” of theories, underneath ten different elements, that are commonly the aim of public and private policies.
    Keywords: employment attainment; vocational training; job search methods; constraints factors; employment; unemployment
    JEL: J6 J69 J64 J20
    Date: 2010
  11. By: Mafalda Soeiro (Faculdade de Engenharia, Universidade do Porto); Aurora A.C. Teixeira (CEF.UP, Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto; INESC Porto; OBEGEF)
    Abstract: By eliciting an individual’s Willingness to Pay (WTP) for a reduction in crime risks, the contingent valuation method is one of the most solid methodologies in use to estimate the intangible costs of crime. However, very few studies have applied contingent valuation methods to random samples of the population located in high crime rate areas. This study is, to the best of our knowledge, the first attempt to apply the contingent valuation method to estimate how much a specific group of society, which is relatively prone to falling victim to (violent) crime, i.e., students, is willing to pay to reduce the likelihood of being the victim of violent crime. In contrast to the existing literature, our study focuses on a rather unexplored context, Portugal, where criminality and violent crime rates are relatively low by international standards, even though they have been on the rise. Based on responses from 1122 higher education students in a broad range of degrees (from Economics to Psychology and the Humanities), we found that 33% of our respondents have been victims of crime in the past, although in general they did not result in physical or psychological injuries. A reasonable percentage of the students (almost 40%) is very worried about falling victim to a crime and 52.8% worries moderately. Over 40% of our respondents were willing to pay a certain amount but less than 50€, whereas 20.8% were willing to pay between 50€ and 250€. On average, all other determinants constant, younger and female students revealed that they were more inclined to pay so as to avoid violent crime than their older and male counterparts. Low and high income Portuguese students do not differ in their willingness to pay more to avoid being victims of violent crime. Cautious behaviour, such as locking doors at home, and a strong opinion about policies and payment vehicles with potential to reduce the risk of crime is positively associated with the WTP. Finally, the students’ field of study surfaced as a key determinant of WTP – students enrolled in Economics and Management revealed a higher WTP. Such findings are likely to have a critical impact on crime and insurance policies.
    Keywords: Contingent Valuation Method; Intangible costs; Crime costs
    Date: 2010–07
  12. By: Birgit Unger (Department of Human Resource Management and Organization, Eberhard Karls Universitaet Tuebingen); Kerstin Pull (Department of Human Resource Management and Organization, Eberhard Karls Universitaet Tuebingen); Uschi Backes-Gellner (Institute for Strategy and Business Economics, University of Zurich)
    Abstract: This chapter analyzes how one particular governance mechanism affects the performance of research teams. We look at an external requirement for interdisciplinarity and internationality of Research Training Groups (RTGs) and study how their performance is affected. We expect to observe two countervailing effects with changes in interdisciplinarity and/or internationality: first, increased performance due to an increase in productive resources and a second, decreased performance due to increased team problems (communication, conflicts etc). Since both effects are expected to vary with the disciplinary field of research, we separate our analysis for the Humanities & Social Sciences in comparison to the Natural & Life Sciences and indeed find different effects in the different disciplinary fields. Furthermore, we separately analyze the effects of interdisciplinarity on the one hand and internationality on the other hand. We conclude that the effectiveness of a particular governance mechanism varies substantially between the disciplinary fields and for the type of heterogeneity under consideration. Therefore governance of research should be either precisely engineered to a particular disciplinary field and a given type of heterogeneity or it should offer a menu of options that allows research teams to choose from according to their specific needs.
    Keywords: governance of Ph.D.-education, internationality, interdisciplinarity, performance, scientific visibility, doctoral completion rates, disciplinary fields
    JEL: I21 I23
    Date: 2010–07

This nep-edu issue is ©2010 by Joao Carlos Correia Leitao. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.