nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2010‒10‒09
fifteen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Positive but also negative effects of ethnic diversity in schools on educational performance? An empirical test using cross-national PISA data. By Dronkers, Jaap
  2. Does the Way in which Students Use Computers Matter for their Performance? By Ponzo, Michela
  3. Returns to Education in Four Transition Countries: Quantile Regression Approach By Staneva, Anita; Arabsheibani, Reza; Murphy, Philip D.
  4. Competition in the quality of higher education: the impact of students' mobility By Gabrielle Demange; Robert Fenge
  5. Gender inequality in education: Political institutions or culture and religion? By Arusha Cooray; Niklas Potrafke
  6. The Effect of Higher Education on Gender Wage-Gap By Livanos, Ilias; Nunez, Imanol
  7. Structural Estimates of the Intergenerational Education Correlation By Christian Belzil; Jörgen Hansen
  8. Assesing the Impact of Remittances on Child Education in Ecuador: The role of educational supply constraints By Benedictis, Geovana; Calfat, Germán; Jara, Karina
  9. Evidence of Class-size Effects on Bullying in Swedish Schools By Persson, Mattias; Svensson, Mikael
  10. Parental Risk Attitudes and Children's Secondary School Track Choice By Heineck, Guido; Wölfel, Oliver
  11. Human Capital and Population Growth in Non-Metropolitan U.S. Counties: The Importance of College Student Migration By Winters, John V
  12. Globalization and the Composition of Public Education Expenditures: A Dynamic Panel Analysis By Thushyanthan Baskaran; Zohal Hessami
  13. Education vs. Optimal Taxation: The Cost of Equalizing Opportunities By Stephens, Eric
  14. Does Government Expenditure on Education Promote Economic Growth? An Econometric Analysis By Abhijeet, Chandra
  15. Adopting New Technologies in the Classroom By Pedro Gomis Porqueras; José A. Rodrigues-Neto

  1. By: Dronkers, Jaap
    Abstract: In this inaugural lecture, I will estimate the effects on language skills of two characteristics of school populations: average/share and diversity, both on the ethnic and the sociocultural dimension. I will use the cross-national PISA 206 data, for both 15-year-old native pupils and pupils with an immigrant background. A larger ethnic diversity of schools in secondary education hampers the educational performance of both pupils with an immigrant background and native pupils, but the negative effects are smaller in education systems with little stratification and strongest in highly stratified education systems. The sociocultural diversity of schools does not have an effect on educational performance, but these effects are positive in highly stratified educational systems and negative in hardly stratified systems. However, the average parental educational level of schools is very important for the educational performance of children, and this hardly differs between education systems. A higher share of pupils with an immigrant background in a school hampers educational performance, but if these pupils have the same regional origin (Islamic countries; non-Islamic Asian countries), a higher share of pupils with an immigrant background at that school promotes educational performance. Pupils originating from Islamic countries have substantially lower language scores than equivalent pupils with an immigrant background from other regions. This cannot be explained by the individual socioeconomic backgrounds, school characteristics, or education systems.
    Keywords: immigration; educational performance; country of origin; ethnic school diversity; social-economic school diversity; ethnic and social-economic share/average of schools; educational systems
    JEL: I21 J61 J24
    Date: 2010–06–17
  2. By: Ponzo, Michela
    Abstract: In this paper we investigate possible differences in student performance depending on the frequency and the type of computer usage both at home and at school of 15-years-old Italian students. Using the PISA 2006 dataset and controlling for a wide range of individual and school characteristics, our results suggest that students using the computer at home very often obtain higher test scores than those who never use it. More importantly, we find a significant positive correlation between student achievement and the use of computer at home as educational/learning device. Focusing on the frequency of computer usage at school, it emerges that student achievement increases with the intensity of computer use but the effect becomes smaller the more often they use the computer and even negative when students use the computer at school almost every day
    Keywords: Educational production function; Computers at home; Computers at school; Students achievement; PISA.
    JEL: I2 I21
    Date: 2010
  3. By: Staneva, Anita (Swansea University); Arabsheibani, Reza (Swansea University); Murphy, Philip D. (Swansea University)
    Abstract: This paper uses quantile regression techniques to analyze heterogeneous patterns of return to education across the conditional wage distribution in four transition countries. We correct for sample selection bias using a procedure suggested by Buchinsky (2001), which is based on a Newey (1991, 2009) power series expansion. We also examine the empirical implications of allowing for the endogeneity of schooling, using the control function approach proposed by Lee (2007). Using household data from Bulgaria, Russia, Kazakhstan and Serbia in 2003, we show that the return to education is heterogeneous across the earnings distribution. It is also found that accounting for the endogeneity of schooling leads to a higher rate of return to education.
    Keywords: rate of return to education, endogeneity, sample selection, quantile regression
    JEL: C14 I2 J24
    Date: 2010–09
  4. By: Gabrielle Demange; Robert Fenge
    Abstract: This paper analyzes in a two-country model the impact of students' mobility on the country-specific level of higher educational quality. Individuals decide whether and where to study based on their individual ability and the implemented quality of education. We show that the mobility of students affects educational quality in countries and welfare in a very different way depending on the degree of return migration. With a low return probability, countries choose suboptimally differentiated levels of educational quality, or even no differentiation at all.
    Date: 2010
  5. By: Arusha Cooray (School of Economics, 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
  6. By: Livanos, Ilias; Nunez, Imanol
    Abstract: In this paper we investigate the effect of an academic degree on gender wage gap in Greece and the United Kingdom. Using Labour Force Survey (LFS) micro-data, first, we compare the returns to higher education for males and females, second, we decompose the gender wage gap between graduates and individuals with secondary education, and finally we analyse the effect of higher education on the (un)explained part of the wage gap. For that purpose, an extension of the Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition technique is used. We find that the unexplained part, which is often related to discrimination is lower for graduates in both countries.
    Keywords: Discrimination; graduates; gender
    JEL: A20 J01
    Date: 2010–01–01
  7. By: Christian Belzil; Jörgen Hansen
    Abstract: Using a structural dynamic programming model, we investigate the relative importance of family background variables and individual specific abilities in explaining cross-sectional differences in schooling attainments and wages. Given scholastic ability, household background variables (especially parents' education) account for 68% of the explained cross- sectional variations in schooling attainments. When the effects of household background variables on ability are also taken into account, the percentage raises to 85%. However, individual differences in wages are mostly explained by abilities. Only 27% of the explained variation in wages is accounted for by parents’ background variables as opposed to 73% by unobserved abilities (orthogonal to family background variables). When scholastic ability is correlated with family background variables, ability endowments explain as much as 81% of individual wages. [Working Paper No. 973]
    Keywords: intergenerational education correlation, endogenous schooling, household characteristics, dynamic programming
    Date: 2010
  8. By: Benedictis, Geovana; Calfat, Germán; Jara, Karina
    Abstract: We analyse the links between remittances and child education in Ecuador with special emphasis on the influences in supply conditions at the regional level. Our results point out to the favourable role of remittances on education, suggesting at the same time, the importance of an efficient basic infrastructure in the educational system, as a key element in fostering positive outcomes. The positive effect of remittances on child education is better understood within the context of public policies designed to improve and equalize educational supply conditions among the population.
    Date: 2010–05
  9. By: Persson, Mattias (Department of Business, Economics, Statistics and Informatics); Svensson, Mikael (Department of Business, Economics, Statistics and Informatics)
    Abstract: In this paper we estimate the effect of class-size on the prevalence of physical and verbal bullying in Swedish schools. We use self-reported individual level data from approx. 3 100 Swedish adolescents in the 9th grade (aged 15-16) regarding their experience of bullying in the school environment. The data covers 40 schools containing 159 classes. We run probit regressions, school fixed-effects probit regressions controlling for between-school endogeneity, as well as using an instrumental variable approach controlling for between- and within-school endogeneity. The results indicate, giving the same conclusion in all specifications, that bullying is not less or more prevalent in smaller classes. However, there are some results indicating that in smaller classes there is a higher probability that an adolescent self-identifies as a bully.
    Keywords: Bullying; Class-size; School; Adolescents; Sweden
    JEL: H75 I12 I21
    Date: 2010–09–08
  10. By: Heineck, Guido (IAB, Nürnberg); Wölfel, Oliver (IAB, Nürnberg)
    Abstract: It is well known that individuals' risk attitudes are related to behavioral outcomes such as smoking, portfolio decisions, and also educational attainment, but there is barely any evidence on whether parental risk attitudes affect the educational attainment of dependent children. We add to this literature and examine children's secondary school track choice in Germany where tracking occurs at age ten and has a strong binding character. Our results indicate no consistent patterns for paternal risk preferences but a strong negative impact of maternal risk aversion on children's enrollment in upper secondary school.
    Keywords: educational choice, risk attitudes, SOEP
    JEL: I21 J24
    Date: 2010–09
  11. By: Winters, John V
    Abstract: Researchers have consistently shown that the stock of human capital in an area, measured as the share of the adult population with a college degree, is a strong predictor of future population growth. This paper examines this relationship for U.S. non-metropolitan counties and posits that student migration for higher education may play an important role. Students often move to an area for college and then stay in the area after their education is complete, causing the area’s educated population to grow. Empirical evidence suggests that student migration explains nearly all of the greater in-migration to highly educated non-metropolitan counties. Implications for non-metropolitan brain drain are discussed.
    Keywords: population growth; migration; human capital; non-metropolitan counties; college
    JEL: R11 R23
    Date: 2010–10–01
  12. By: Thushyanthan Baskaran (Gothenburg Centre of Globalization and Development, Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg, Sweden); Zohal Hessami (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany)
    Abstract: This paper studies the relationship between globalization and the composition of public education expenditures. The theoretical model is embedded in a median voter setting and is based on the assumption that globalization leads to lower tax revenues as well as an increase in the relative wage of high-skilled workers. Overall, the theoretical discussion suggests that globalization induces a shift from primary to tertiary education expenditures, which is backed up by empirical evidence from dynamic panel estimations for 121 countries over the 1992 - 2006 period. A possible implication of the shift in educational priorities towards higher education is an increase in income inequality
    Keywords: Globalization, public education expenditures, educational policy
    JEL: F15 H42 H52
    Date: 2010–09–28
  13. By: Stephens, Eric (University of Alberta, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: If governments could reduce inequality in human capital outcomes, say by targeting education funds to low productivity neighborhoods or regions, should they do so? All things equal, a lower dispersion in the distribution of human capital is generally considered desirable. This paper examines the use of education spending as a redistributive tool, when there is a nonlinear tax system in place. It seems plausible that greater equality in productivity, which implies less redistribution through taxation, could mean less distortion to labor markets and an increase in social welfare. The results presented in this paper suggest the contrary. It is shown that tax redistributions that take place after education is obtained, not only eliminate the need for educational transfers, but imply an optimal education policy that generally spends even less on those with lower initial endowments.
    Keywords: optimal nonlinear taxation; redistribution; equality of opportunity
    JEL: D63 D82 H21 I22 I28
    Date: 2010–08–30
  14. By: Abhijeet, Chandra
    Abstract: Education being an important component of human capital has always attracted the interests of economists, researchers and policy makers. Governments across the globe in general and in India in particular are trying to improve the human capital by pumping more investments in education. But the issue that whether improved level of education resulting from more education spending can promote economic growth is still controversial. Some economists and researchers have supported the bi-directional relation between these two variables, while it has also been suggested that it is the economic growth that stimulates governments spend more on education, not the other way. Considering this research issue, the present paper uses linear and non-linear Granger Causality methods to determine the causal relationship between education spending and economic growth in India for the period 1951-2009. The findings of this paper indicate that economic growth affects the level of government spending on education irrespective of any lag effects, but investments in education also tend to influence economic growth after some time-lag. The results are particularly useful in theoretical and empirical research by economists, regulators and policy makers.
    Keywords: Education expenditure; Economic growth; Indian economy; Granger Causality; Non-linearity.
    JEL: E62 I21 C22 H52
    Date: 2010–08
  15. By: Pedro Gomis Porqueras; José A. Rodrigues-Neto
    Abstract: This paper explores the incentives that students and instructors face when a new technology that grants access to online class materials is introduced. We examine the consequences for attendance and for the composition of live lectures. We also analyze how various sources of heterogeneity in students' characteristics, learning styles, and technologies affect individual incentives to attend lectures when different degrees of access to online resources are available. In particular, we consider heterogeneity in the outside options of students and the effectiveness of different online materials. We obtain some testable implications that may guide empirical researchers towards estimation strategies that better capture how granting access to online class materials impacts attendance and class composition.
    JEL: D1 I1 J22 J24 O33
    Date: 2010–09

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