nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2010‒08‒06
eighteen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. "A Comparison of the Organization of Higher Education Systems in France and the USA" By Alain Alcouffe; Jeffrey B. Miller
  2. La Distinction reloaded: Returns to Education, Family Background, Cultural and Social Capital in Germany By Astrid Krenz
  3. Israeli Education Policy: How to Move Ahead in Reform By Philip Hemmings
  4. The Impact of the 1999 Education Reform in Poland By OECD
  5. The relative effectiveness and costs of contract and regular teachers in India By Paul Atherton; Geeta Kingdon
  6. Health, Nutrition and Academic Achievement: New Evidence from India By Geeta Kingdon
  7. The Choice between fixed and random effects models: some considerations for educational research. By Paul Clarke; Claire Crawford; Fiona Steele; Anna Vignoles
  8. Initial Teacher Education and Continuing Training Policies in a Comparative Perspective: Current Practices in OECD Countries and a Literature Review on Potential Effects By Pauline Musset
  9. Educational Inequality in Argentina: The best and worst performers. By Melisa Morales; Corina Paz Terán
  10. Building up Undergraduate Skills – empirical evidence from a Portuguese University By Eva Oliveira; Miguel Sottomayor; A. Meireles; A. Martins; M. Rocha
  11. Post-Secondary Attendance by Parental Income: Comparing the U.S. and Canada By Philippe Belley; Marc Frenette; Lance Lochner
  12. Evaluating the provision of school performance information for school choice By Rebecca Allen; Simon Burgess
  13. Patenting Public-Funded Research For Technology Transfer: A Conceptual-Empirical Synthesis of US Evidence and Lessons for India By Amit Shovon Ray; Sabyasachi Saha
  14. Entrepreneurship and Market Size: The Case of Young College Graduates in Italy By Di Addario, Sabrina; Vuri, Daniela
  15. Choosing secondary school by moving house: school quality and the formation of neighbourhoods By Rebecca Allen; Simon Burgess; Tomas Key
  16. The Impact of the Economic Crisis on Labour and Education in Europe By Bilal Barakat; Johannes Holler; Klaus Prettner; Julia Schuster
  17. Job Mismatches and Labour Market Outcomes: Panel Evidence on Australian University Graduates By Mavromaras, Kostas G.; McGuinness, Seamus; O'Leary, Nigel C.; Sloane, Peter J.; Wei, Zhang
  18. An evaluation of the effect of the 2003 reform on the retirement behaviour - The case of public secondary-school teachers By M. BARATON; M. BEFFY; D. FOUGÈRE

  1. By: Alain Alcouffe (Department of Economics, University of Toulouse); Jeffrey B. Miller (Department of Economics, University of Delaware)
    Abstract: Countries have many different ways of organizing higher education. Because of the high costs of higher education, reform efforts, of which the Bologna Process in Europe is an example, are underway in many places. Even where explicit governmental reform processes are less important, economic pressures are bringing about changes. This paper compares the higher education systems in the USA and France. They have been chosen for our study because the problems of high achievement, reasonable economic costs and accessibility are shared values, but their systems are organized very differently.
    Keywords: Organization of Higher Education Systems, Economics of Higher Education, Goals of National Systems of Higher Education, Autonomy of Universities, Enrollment in Higher Education, Higher Education in France, Higher Education in the US
    JEL: I21 I22 I23
    Date: 2010
  2. By: Astrid Krenz
    Abstract: The German educational system finds itself being criticized by the OECD in its Programme for International Student Assessment. Family background would heavily influence children’s academic achievements. A child stemming from a high class family has a 3.1 times higher chance to go to secondary school than a child from a working class family, controlling for ability. The chance for taking up university studies is even 7.4 times higher for children from high class families. In search of an explanation for this misery Pierre Bourdieu’s and James Coleman’s theories about cultural and social capital prove to be valuable. Based on their work this study will investigate returns to education and its interdependence with family background in Germany. Bourdieu basically explains that family background leads to acquire specific levels of manners, attitudes, self assurance etc. which in turn might influence job status, income e.g. A huge body of literature measuring returns to education all over the world already exists, however, studies for Germany, and in particular studies that focuss on the relation between income, education and social background, are rare. This study appears to be the first one following an interdisciplinary approach, incorporating measures of cultural and social capital along with family background and further variables into a common Mincer wage equation. Taking data from the German SOEP for the years 2001 and 2005 indices measuring cultural and social capital are constructed applying principal component analysis. Education, ability, motivation, cultural and social capital are endogenized and adequate regression techniques are applied. It can be shown that social background determines an individual’s amount of education which in turn will influence income. An individual’s amount of education does significantly depend on parents’ education, the father being a low-skilled laborer, the amount of cultural and social capital, ability and motivation. Males do get more education than women. Educational policy in Germany should concentrate on enhancing access to education for children from low class families on the one hand, on the other hand the German society should be sensitized to special needs of individuals stemming from low class families as well as to problems that these humans do face.
    Keywords: Returns to Education, Cultural Capital, Social Capital, Inequality, Index
    JEL: I21 J24 J31 Z13
    Date: 2010–07–15
  3. By: Philip Hemmings
    Abstract: Israel’s education system is complicated by multiple streams at the primary and secondary levels and by military conscription. Population growth and economic expansion have brought a massive increase in demand for all levels of education. Educational attainment statistics are impressive, but results show high-school students have poor basic skills. Reform efforts to tackle this are underway, including increased teachers’ pay in combination with more contact hours and increasing the length of compulsory education. As in other socio-economic spheres, there are significant gaps between Arab-Israelis and the rest of the population. Also, the Ultra-orthodox community’s independent education system presents specific concerns and challenges. In tertiary education, progress has been hindered by the collapse of a reform package that envisaged increased state funding combined with increased student tuition fees, expansion of government-backed student loans and a range of other structural reforms. This Working Paper relates to the 2010 OECD Economic Survey of Israel (<P>La politique d’éducation Israélienne : comment progresser dans la réforme<BR>Le système éducatif israélien est très complexe en raison des multiples filières d’enseignement primaire et secondaire et du service militaire. La croissance démographique et l’expansion économique ont entraîné une augmentation massive de la demande d’éducation à tous les niveaux. Les statistiques relatives au niveau d’études sont impressionnantes, toutefois les résultats montrent que les compétences de base des étudiants du secondaire sont d’un niveau médiocre. Des réformes ont été engagées pour y remédier, il s’agit notamment d’améliorer la rémunération des enseignants tout en ajoutant des heures supplémentaires d’enseignement direct et en allongeant la durée de la scolarité obligatoire. Comme dans d’autres domaines socio-économiques, on constate de fortes disparités entre les Arabes israéliens et le reste de la population. D’autre part, le système éducatif indépendant de la communauté ultra-orthodoxe se caractérise par des difficultés et des défis spécifiques. Dans l’enseignement supérieur, les progrès ont été freinés par l’échec d’un ensemble de réformes qui prévoyaient d’augmenter les financements publics tout en relevant les frais de scolarité et en lançant une série de changements structurels. Ce document de travail se rapporte à l’Étude économique de l’OCDE de l’Israel (
    Keywords: education, tertiary education, Policy, university, PISA, secondary education, primary school, Israel, Haredi, Arab, colleges, Ultra-orthodox, éducation, réformes, enseignement tertiaire, Politique, université, PISA, Israël, Haredi, Les Arabes, les collèges, ultra-orthodoxes, enseignement primaire, enseignement secondaire
    JEL: H52 I20 I21 I22 I23 I28
    Date: 2010–06–04
  4. By: OECD
    Abstract: Increasing the share of vocational secondary schooling has been a mainstay of development policy for decades, especially in formerly socialist countries. However, the transition to market economies led to significant restructuring of school systems and a decline in the number of vocational students. Exposing more students to a general curriculum could improve academic abilities. To test the hypothesis that delayed vocational streaming improves academic outcomes, this paper analyses Poland’s significant improvement in international achievement tests and the restructuring of the education system, which expanded general schooling. Using propensity-score matching and difference-in-differences estimates, the authors show that delaying vocational education had a positive and significant impact on student performance on the order of one standard deviation.<BR>L’expansion de l’enseignement secondaire professionnel a été un pilier de la politique de développement pendant plusieurs décennies, peut-être davantage dans les anciens pays socialistes que partout ailleurs. La transition a cependant conduit à une importante restructuration des systèmes scolaires, et notamment à une diminution de la proportion d’élèves en enseignement professionnel. L’augmentation de la proportion d’élèves inscrits en filières générales pourrait améliorer les aptitudes aux études supérieures. Cet article analyse la forte amélioration des scores obtenus par la Pologne aux tests internationaux et la restructuration du système éducatif qui a développé l’enseignement général afin de tester l’hypothèse de l’amélioration des résultats induite par une orientation plus tardive en classes de niveau. À partir d’estimations obtenues par appariement sur scores de propension et par différence de différences, les auteurs montrent que l’orientation plus tardive en filières professionnelles a eu un impact positif important, de l’ordre d’un écart-type, sur les résultats des élèves.
    Date: 2010–07–26
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. By: Paul Clarke; Claire Crawford; Fiona Steele; Anna Vignoles
    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 about 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
  8. By: Pauline Musset
    Abstract: To design policies that allow to educate and train teachers, capable of helping students to acquire the competencies needed to evolve in today‘s societies and labour markets is an amazing challenge. In today‘s context, with the undergoing economic and social changes, high-quality schooling is more important than ever.
    Date: 2010–07
  9. By: Melisa Morales (Inter-American Development Bank); Corina Paz Terán (Universidad Nacional de Tucumán)
    Abstract: What do we know about inequality in educational attainment across Argentina's cities? To answer this question, we present the education Gini coefficient for the period 2002-2007. Using microdata from the national household survey, we document the following results. First, educational inequality has declined in almost all metropolitan areas whereas i t has increased in Posadas, Mar del Plata, Rosario and Formosa. Second, although there are no important differences in the average years of schooling across cities, great disparities exist with respect to the education Gini. Buenos Aires City is in a leading position, especially in relation to the northeast region of the country and, particularly, Posadas city.
    Keywords: Gini, Inequality, Bootstrap
    JEL: C43 D3 J24
    Date: 2010–05
  10. By: Eva Oliveira (Faculdade de Economia e Gestão, Universidade Católica Portuguesa (Porto)); Miguel Sottomayor (Faculdade de Economia e Gestão, Universidade Católica Portuguesa (Porto)); A. Meireles (Faculdade de Economia e Gestão, Universidade Católica Portuguesa (Porto)); A. Martins (Students and Careers Service, Universidade Católica Portuguesa (Porto)); M. Rocha (Faculdade de Economia e Gestão, Universidade Católica Portuguesa (Porto))
    Abstract: This study presents preliminary results of the PSP Project, addressing students' soft skills development within the context of HEI. Theoretical framework is grounded in Person-Environment Fit theories (Rounds & Hesketh, 1994), and also in Evans (2001) starfish model. Study 1 aimed to identify Economics and Business graduates' Market-Valued Skills Profile, collecting data through semi-structured interviews with HR managers and former students focus groups. Study 2 assessed students' confidence level regarding skills using a self-report questionnaire (Miles & Grummon, 2006). Career development representations were also assessed (Savickas, 2002; Gonçalves, 2006). Additional data was collected through open-ended questions focusing on work and other extracurricular experiences. Results from Study 1 highlight soft skills as multidimensional construct where different interrelated skills contribute to graduates' employability. Study 2 reveals students' positive self-perception regarding those skills, although limited vocational experiences were reported.
    Keywords: Soft Skills, Career development, higher education students; employability
    Date: 2010–05
  11. By: Philippe Belley (Kansas State University); Marc Frenette (Social Research and Demonstration Corporation); Lance Lochner (University of Western Ontario)
    Abstract: This paper makes three contributions to the literature on educational attainment gaps by family income. First, we conduct a parallel empirical analysis of the effects of parental income on post- secondary (PS) attendance for recent high school cohorts in both the U.S. and Canada using data from the 1997 Cohort of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and Youth in Transition Survey. We estimate substantially smaller PS attendance gaps by parental income in Canada relative to the U.S., even after controlling for family background and adolescent cognitive achievement. Second, we develop an intergenerational schooling choice model that sheds light on the role of four potentially important determinants of the family income -- PS attendance gap: (i) borrowing constraints, (ii) a 'consumption value' of attending PS school, (iii) the earnings structure, and (iv) tuition policies and the structure of financial aid. Third, we document Canada -- U.S. differences in financial returns to PS schooling, tuition policy, and financial aid, discussing the extent to which these differences contribute to the stronger family income -- attendance relationship in the U.S. Most notably, we document the dependence of both non-repayable financial aid and government student loan access on parental income in both countries.
    Date: 2010
  12. By: Rebecca Allen; Simon Burgess
    Abstract: One of the key components of any school choice system is the information given to parents as the basis for choice. We develop and implement a framework for determining the optimal performance metrics to help parents choose a school. This approach combines the three major critiques of the usefulness of performance tables into a natural, implementable metric. The best content for school performance tables is the statistic that best answers the question: “In which feasible choice school will a particular child achieve the highest exam score?” We implement this approach for 500,000 students in England for a range of performance measures. Using performance tables is strongly better than choosing at random: a child who attends the highest ex ante performing school within their choice set will ex post do better than the average outcome in their choice set twice as often as they will do worse.
    Keywords: school choice, performance tables
    JEL: I21 I28
    Date: 2010–06
  13. By: Amit Shovon Ray; Sabyasachi Saha
    Abstract: The question of protecting intellectual property rights by academic inventors was never seriously contemplated until the introduction of the Bayh-Dole Act in 1980 in the US. The Act allowed universities to retain patent rights over inventions arising out of federally-funded research and to license those patents exclusively or non-exclusively at their discretion. This particular legislation was a response to the growing concern over the fact that federally funded inventions in the US were not reaching the market place. In this paper a critical review of the US experience after the Bayh-Dole Act is presented and argues that the evidence is far from being unambiguous. [Working Paper No. 244]
    Keywords: intellectual property, academic inventors, federally-funded, research,US, Bayh-Dole Act
    Date: 2010
  14. By: Di Addario, Sabrina (Bank of Italy); Vuri, Daniela (University of Rome Tor Vergata)
    Abstract: We analyze empirically the effects of urban agglomeration on Italian college graduates’ work possibilities as entrepreneurs three years after graduation. We find that each 100,000 inhabitant-increase in the size of the individual’s province of work reduces the chances of being an entrepreneur by 0.2-0.3 percent. This result holds after controlling for regional fixed effects and is robust to instrumenting urbanization. Province’s competition, urban amenities and dis-amenities, cost of labor, earning differentials between employees and self-employed workers, unemployment rates and value added per capita account for 40 percent of the negative urbanization penalty. Our result cannot be explained by the presence of negative large-city differentials in returns to education either. In fact, as long as they succeed in entering the largest markets, young entrepreneurs are able to reap-off the benefits of urbanization externalities: every 100,000-inhabitant increase in the province's population raises entrepreneurs' net monthly income by 0.2-0.3 percent.
    Keywords: labor market transitions, urbanization
    JEL: R12 J24 J21
    Date: 2010–07
  15. By: Rebecca Allen; Simon Burgess; Tomas Key
    Abstract: This paper uses the pupil census in England to explore how family house moves contribute to school and residential segregation. We track the moves of a single cohort as it approaches the secondary school admission age. We also combine a number of cohorts and estimate a dynamic nonlinear model for house moving with unobserved effects. These approaches yield the same result: moving is significantly negatively correlated with school quality, and segregation does increase as a cohort reaches age 11. However, this relationship is weak: the increase in segregation is slight and quantitative significance of the estimated relationship is low.
    Keywords: school quality, moving, segregation, neighbourhoods
    JEL: I20 R23
    Date: 2010–04
  16. By: Bilal Barakat; Johannes Holler; Klaus Prettner; Julia Schuster
    Abstract: In summer 2007, the US subprime crisis emerged and economic growth in industrialised countries started to slow down. The situation deteriorated after the default of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 and despite massive government interventions, the United States and most European countries slid into recession. We investigate the influence of the recent economic and financial crisis on European labour market perspectives and educational attainment decisions. Furthermore we disentangle the differential impacts of the crisis on various demographic subgroups. We find that young male workers have been hit hardest, while older workers and women have been partially protected by non-redeemable contracts and the fact that they work in sectors which have been less severely hit by the crisis. Focusing on the education sector, it seems that the demand for education increases because individuals try to circumvent the tight labour market, while the supply of education suffers because of the increased pressures on federal budgets in most European countries. However, we conclude that it is too early to make a definite statement because the full impact of the crisis on the education sector is still to come.
    Keywords: Economic crisis, labour market, education
    Date: 2010–07
  17. By: Mavromaras, Kostas G. (NILS, Flinders University); McGuinness, Seamus (Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin); O'Leary, Nigel C. (Swansea University); Sloane, Peter J. (Swansea University); Wei, Zhang (NILS, Flinders University)
    Abstract: The interpretation of graduate mismatch manifested either as overeducation or as overskilling remains problematical. This paper uses annual panel information on both educational and skills mismatches uniquely found in the HILDA survey to analyse the relationship of both mismatches with pay, job satisfaction and job mobility. We find that overeducation and overskilling are distinct phenomena with different labour market outcomes and that their combination results in the most severe negative labour market outcomes. Using panel methodology reduces strongly the size of many relevant coefficients, questioning previous cross-section results and suggesting the presence of considerable unobserved heterogeneity which varies by gender.
    Keywords: overeducation, overskilling, wages, satisfaction, mobility
    JEL: J24 J31
    Date: 2010–07
  18. By: M. BARATON (Drees); M. BEFFY (Insee); D. FOUGÈRE (Crest)
    Abstract: While a new retirement pension reform is currently discussed in France, it is crucial to evaluate previous reforms. Up to now, no evaluation of the 2003 reform is available, particularly for civil servants. This article deals with the impact of this reform on the retirement behaviour of public secondary-school teachers. On the one hand, the reform has had an impact on the retirement behaviour of secondary-school teachers who still work at 60. The probability to retire between 60 and 61 years old for those who have paid their social contributions for 37.5 years at 60 years old drops by 9 points. On the other hand, the reform seems to have changed teachers willingness to get the so-called full-pension rate. When the number of missing quarters of social contributions required to benefit from the full pension rate at 60 years old is low, the reform is not found to induce teachers born after 1944 to postpone their retirement after 61 years old. But a large number of missing quarters has still the same effect before and after the reform.
    Keywords: retirement pension reform, public secondary-school teachers, propensity score matching, regression-discontinuity
    JEL: C21 H55 J26
    Date: 2010

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