nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2010‒11‒20
sixteen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Are Immigrants Graded Worse in Primary and Secondary Education? – Evidence for German Schools By David Kiss
  2. Internationalization of Universities as Internationalization of Bildung By Lenz, Rainer; Steinhaus, Carol
  3. Diferencias Regionales en Rendimiento Educativo en España: ¿La Familia lo Explica Todo? By José Ignacio García Pérez; Marisa Hidalgo Hidalgo; José Antonio Robles Zurita
  4. The causal relationship between education, health and health related behaviour: Evidence from a natural experiment in England By Nils Braakmann
  5. Markets in Education: An Analytical Review of Empirical Research on Market Mechanisms in Education By Sietske Waslander; Cissy Pater; Maartje van der Weide
  6. Are Education and Entrepreneurial Income Endogenous and Do Family Background Variables Make Sense as Instruments?: A Bayesian Analysis By Jörn H. Block; Lennart F. Hoogerheide; A. Roy Thurik
  7. Neighborhood effects and parental involvement in the intergenerational transmission of education By Eleonora Patacchini; Yves Zenou
  8. Gender stereotyping and wage discrimination among Italian graduates By Castagnetti, Carolina; Rosti, Luisa
  9. The effect of social trust on achievement test performance of students in Japan By Yamamura, Eiji
  10. Geography or Economics? A Micro-Level Analysis of the Determinants of Degree Choice in the Context of Regional Economic Disparities in the UK By Philip Wales
  11. Education and Obesity in Four OECD Countries By Franco Sassi; Marion Devaux; Jody Church; Michele Cecchini; Francesca Borgonovi
  12. Teacher Pay, Class Size and Local Governments: Evidence from the Latvian Reform By Hazans, Mihails
  13. Early schooling and later outcomes : Evidence from pre-school extension in France By Dumas Christelle; Lefranc Arnaud
  14. Is the State University System in Sri Lanka a "White Elephant"? By K. Renuka Ganedogage; Alicia Rambaldi
  15. The Impact of University Research on Corporate Patenting By Christian Helmers; Mark Rogers
  16. Financial wellbeing and some problems in assessing its link to financial education By Tatom, John

  1. By: David Kiss
    Abstract: Using PIRLS 2001 and PISA 2003 data for Germany, this paper examines whether immigrants attending primary and secondary school are graded worse in math than comparable natives. Controlling for differences in math skills, class fixed effects regressions and results of a matching approach suggest that immigrants have grade disadvantages in primary education. In Germany, track choice after primary education is mainly determined by the average of grades obtained in math and German. Hence, grade disadvantages could lead to lower level track choice. Immigrants who attend the most common secondary school tracks are not graded differently from natives.
    Keywords: Grading; educational system; migration background; matching
    JEL: C40 I21 J15
    Date: 2010–11
  2. By: Lenz, Rainer; Steinhaus, Carol
    Abstract: Internationalization receives top priority in nearly any university mission state-ment. But why? What is the value of internationalization for a university? Is the purpose to improve a university’s ranking, or to explore new revenue sources by entering foreign, mostly Asian, educational markets? Internationalization is not - or better - should not be an institutional end in itself. Internationalization is a powerful means to fulfill a university’s central task “Bildung of individuals” as it significantly contributes to the learning process of students and professors within the university system. By focusing on the individual’s learning process this article provides a new perspective to internationalization and develops a different ap-proach for reaching the university’s mission of internationalization.
    Keywords: Internationalization; education; university systems; Bildung; formation; edification; cultural differences
    JEL: B31 A13 A2 A10 A14
    Date: 2010–09
  3. By: José Ignacio García Pérez (Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide); Marisa Hidalgo Hidalgo (Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide); José Antonio Robles Zurita (Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide)
    Abstract: PISA 2006 results showed huge differences in educational attainment across Spanish regions. The aim of this paper is to analyze the factors explaining these differences. Our results indicate that differences in family characteristics of students from different regions are crucial in explaining them. However, we also find that differences in regional educational systems are important factors explaining differences in education outcome. The variables related to regional particularities of the educational system are important in explaining the different results in different academic areas. The implications in terms of educational policies of the latter result are many, especially for the implementation of policies to reduce regional economic disparities.
    Keywords: PISA; Rendimiento educativo; Análisis Regional; Descomposición de las diferencias; Sistema educativo; Políticas Públicas.
    JEL: H52 I21 I28 D61 R50
    Date: 2010–11
  4. By: Nils Braakmann (Newcastle University, Business School – Economics, Newcastle upon Tyne)
    Abstract: I exploit exogenous variation in the likelihood to obtain any sort of academic degree between January- and February-born individuals for 13 academic cohorts in England. For these cohorts compulsory schooling laws interacted with the timing of the CGE and O-level exams to change the probability of obtaining an academic degree by around 2 to 3 percentage points. I then use data on individuals born in these two months from the British Labour Force Survey and the Health Survey for England to investigate the effects of education on health using being February-born as an instrument for education. The results indicate neither an effect of education on various health related measures nor an effect on health related behaviour, e.g., smoking, drinking or eating various types of food.
    Keywords: education, health, socio-economic gradient, education gradient
    JEL: I12 I20
    Date: 2010–11
  5. By: Sietske Waslander; Cissy Pater; Maartje van der Weide
    Abstract: In the last three decennia, many governments have introduced market mechanisms in education. They have done so by enhancing parental choice and encouraging school competition, through policies like abolishing catchment areas, creating voucher programmes and setting up charter schools. These market mechanisms have given rise to fierce debates in both political and scientific circles. However, most prior reviews of research literature in this area have concluded that the effects of market mechanisms in education are small, if they are found at all. This review tries to answer the question why that is the case, by analysing the causal pathways that link market mechanisms to educational outcomes and by reviewing the empirical evidence for each step along those causal pathways. The findings of this review point to the need for a nuanced and qualified discussion about market mechanisms in education. What market mechanisms mean in actual practice strongly depends on (local) contexts, while the impact of market mechanisms is related to other policies impacting on parental choice behaviour as well as actions taken by schools.<BR>Au cours des trois dernières décennies, de nombreux gouvernements dans le monde entier ont introduit des mécanismes de marché au sein de leur système éducatif. Ils ont procédé ainsi en valorisant le choix des parents d’élèves et en encourageant la compétition scolaire à travers des politiques telles que l’abolition des zones scolaires, la création de programmes accessibles à l’aide de chèques scolaires, et mise en place des écoles à charte. Ces mécanismes de marché ont donné naissance à des débats passionnés dans les milieux politiques et scientifiques. Cependant, les toutes premières recherches dans ce secteur ont conclu que les effets des mécanismes de marché dans le secteur éducatif sont mineurs, lorsqu’ils sont déterminés. Cette étude essaie de comprendre pourquoi il en est ainsi en analysant la chaîne causale qui lie les mécanismes de marché aux résultats dans le secteur éducatif, en passant en revue les données empiriques à chaque étape du processus. Les résultats de cette étude soulignent le besoin d’un débat nuancé et modéré sur les mécanismes de marché dans l’éducation. Ce que mécanismes de marché signifie en pratique dépend fortement du contexte, alors que l’impact des mécanismes de marché est lié à d’autres politiques qui influencent le choix des parents d’élèves ainsi que les actions mises en place dans les écoles.
    Date: 2010–10–21
  6. By: Jörn H. Block; Lennart F. Hoogerheide; A. Roy Thurik
    Abstract: Education is a well-known driver of (entrepreneurial) income. The measurement of its influence, however, suffers from endogeneity suspicion. For instance, ability and occupational choice are mentioned as driving both the level of (entrepreneurial) income and of education. Using instrumental variables can provide a way out. However, three questions remain: whether endogeneity is really present, whether it matters and whether the selected instruments make sense. Using Bayesian methods, we find that the relationship between education and entrepreneurial income is indeed endogenous and that the impact of endogeneity on the estimated relationship between education and income is sizeable. We do so using family background variables and show that relaxing the strict validity assumption of these instruments does not lead to strongly different results. This is an important finding because family background variables are generally strongly correlated with education and are available in most datasets. Our approach is applicable beyond the field of returns to education for income. It applies wherever endogeneity suspicion arises and the three questions become relevant.
    Keywords: Education, income, entrepreneurship, self-employment, endogeneity, instrumental variables, Bayesian analysis, family background variables
    JEL: C11 L26 M13 J24
    Date: 2010
  7. By: Eleonora Patacchini (Università di Roma "La Sapienza"); Yves Zenou (Stockholm University & Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))
    Abstract: We analyze the intergenerational transmission of education focusing on the interplay between family and neighborhood effects. We develop a theoretical model suggesting that both neighborhood quality and parental effort are of importance for the education attained by children. This model proposes a mechanism explaining why and how they are of importance, distinguishing between high- and low-educated parents. We then bring this model to the data using a longitudinal data set in Britain. The available information on social housing in big cities allows us to identify the role of neighbourhood in educational outcomes. We find that the better is the quality of the neighborhood, the higher is the parents’ involvement in their children’s education. A novel finding with respect to previous US studies is that family is of importance for children with highly-educated parents while it is the community that is crucial for the educational achievement of children from low-educated families.
    Keywords: Education, cultural transmission, cultural substitution, peer effects, social tenants.
    JEL: I21 J13 J24
    Date: 2010
  8. By: Castagnetti, Carolina; Rosti, Luisa
    Abstract: This paper addresses the gender pay gap among Italian university graduates on entry to the labour market and stresses the importance of gender stereotypes on subjective assessment of individual productivity. Our data show that in contexts where the stereotype is most likely to occur, the unexplained component of the gender pay gap is higher. Moreover, we find evidence that being excellent at school does not ensures that a woman will be rewarded as an equivalently performing man, but serves to counteract the gender bias in on-the-job evaluations
    Keywords: Labour market; Italy; Gender pay gap; Education; Stereotypes
    JEL: J30
    Date: 2010–09
  9. By: Yamamura, Eiji
    Abstract: Empirical results using Japanese data suggest that social trust improves student language and mathematics achievement test scores in primary and junior high school. After controlling for endogeneity bias, social trust had a greater effect on scores for primary school students than on scores for junior high school students.
    Keywords: Social trust; human capital
    JEL: I21 Z13
    Date: 2010–11–10
  10. By: Philip Wales
    Abstract: The importance of human capital to the economic performance of a national, regional or local economy is now well established. Labour markets are thought to reward individuals in proportion to their marginal productivity and to encourage an efficient allocation of skilled workers. However, labour markets also provide signals to students about the return to a particular level or type of skill, which in turn affects the future supply of skilled workers. This paper explores how labour market conditions affect one aspect of this supply: through an impact on the subject an individual chooses to study for their undergraduate degree. Using a large micro-level dataset on graduates from British universities between 2004/5 and 2006/7, this paper implements a series of linear probability models in subject choice and makes several contributions to the existing literature. Firstly, it uses a more detailed classification of subjects than has hitherto been employed. Second, it examines the impact of local economic conditions on the student‟s subject choice. Thirdly, the time dimension of the dataset is used to implement fixed effects to control for several forms of endogeneity. The results suggest that personal and academic characteristics, such as gender, ethnicity and prior academic attainment, strongly affect degree choice and suggest that individuals endogenously select into particular areas and schools. It finds that local labour market signals do encourage individuals to take up particular degrees in preference to others, and raises several policy issues.
    Keywords: Education, Human Capital, Skills, Regional Labour Markets
    JEL: C25 I2 J24 R23
    Date: 2010–09
  11. By: Franco Sassi; Marion Devaux; Jody Church; Michele Cecchini; Francesca Borgonovi
    Abstract: An epidemic of obesity has been developing in virtually all OECD countries over the last 30 years. Existing evidence provides strong suggestions that such epidemic has affected certain social groups more than others. In particular, education appears to be associated with a lower likelihood of obesity, especially among women. A range of analyses of health survey data from Australia, Canada, England and Korea were undertaken with the aim of exploring the relationship between education and obesity. The findings of these analyses show a broadly linear relationship between the number of years spent in full-time education and the probability of obesity, with most educated individuals displaying lower rates of the condition (the only exception being men in Korea). This suggests that marginal returns to education, in terms of reduction in obesity rates, are approximately constant throughout the education spectrum. The findings obtained confirm that the education gradient in obesity is stronger in women than in men. Differences between genders are minor in Australia and Canada, more pronounced in England and major in Korea. The causal nature of the link between education and obesity has not yet been proven with certainty; however, using data from France we were able to ascertain that the direction of causality appears to run mostly from education to obesity, as the strength of the association is only minimally affected when accounting for reduced educational opportunities for those who are obese in young age. Most of the effect of education on obesity is direct. Small components of the overall effect of education on obesity are mediated by an improved socio-economic status linked to higher levels of education, and by a higher level of education of other family members, associated with an individual’s own level of education. The positive effect of education on obesity is likely to be determined by at least three factors: (a) greater access to health-related information and improved ability to handle such information; (b) clearer perception of the risks associated with lifestyle choices; and, (c) improved self-control and consistency of preferences over time. However, it is not just the absolute level of education achieved by an individual that matters, but also how such level of education compares with that of the individual’s peers. The higher the individual’s education relative to his or her peers’, the lower is the probability of the individual being obese.
    Keywords: education, obesity
    JEL: I12 I21
    Date: 2009–12–10
  12. By: Hazans, Mihails (University of Latvia)
    Abstract: This paper employs a rich collection of survey and administrative datasets, including linked school-teacher payroll data, to document the reform of teacher compensation and school network implemented in Latvia amidst the economic crisis of 2008-2010, immediately after territorial reform. We explore diverse responses by local governments in terms of proportion of state subsidy transferred to schools, extent of redistribution of state funds between schools, degree of autonomy in compensation policies given to schools, and municipal contribution to school wage bills. Other things equal, municipalities tend to redistribute funds from schools with high student-teacher ratio (S/T) to ones with low S/T. Nevertheless, the reform has changed the effect of the local student-teacher ratio on teacher earnings per workload from negative to positive of the same size. Survived schools feature strong heterogeneity in terms of workload and staff reduction, change in class size, and compensation strategies. We provide evidence for a substantial incidence of using performance-related criteria for teacher base salary differentiation. We analyze school and individual level determinants of teacher pay using mixed models with municipality and school level random effects.
    Keywords: local governments, teacher compensation, linked employee-employer data
    JEL: H75 I22 I28 J31 J33 J45 M52 C23
    Date: 2010–10
  13. By: Dumas Christelle; Lefranc Arnaud (Universite de Cergy-Pontoise, THEMA, F-95000 Cergy-Pontoise.; Universite de Cergy-Pontoise, THEMA, F-95000 Cergy-Pontoise.)
    Abstract: Over the 1960s and 1970s, France undertook a large-scale expansion of preschool enrollment. As a result, during this period, the enrollment rate of 3 years old children rose from 35% to 90% and that of 4 years old rose from 60% to virtually 100%. This paper evaluates the eect of such an expansion on subsequent schooling outcomes (repetitions, test scores, high school graduation) and wages. We find some sizeable and persistent effect of preschool and this points to the fact that preschool can be a tool for reducing inequalities. Indeed, the analysis shows that children from worse-off or intermediate social groups benefit more from preschool than children from better-off socioeconomic backgrounds.
    Keywords: education; preschool; France
    JEL: I2 C3
    Date: 2010
  14. By: K. Renuka Ganedogage (MRG - School of Economics, The University of Queensland); Alicia Rambaldi (MRG - School of Economics, The University of Queensland)
    Abstract: Sri Lanka allocates considerable resources to maintaining universities each year; however, there has not been any empirical investigation of the impact of university education on national output. The paper covers the period 1959-2008, a period that includes substantial changes in economic policies, the ethnic war and civil insurgencies. We generalize Lau and Sin (1997 a and b) common methodological framework for both neoclassical and endogenous growth models and use an ARDL framework to estimate the econometric model. We found that there have been positive returns to investments in human capital (measured by a quality adjusted stock of university graduates); however, the returns are signicantly lower than those found for other developing economies. The returns to physical capital are higher. However, we find that higher returns from investment in physical capital cannot produce any sizable positive externalities under current conditions as it would be the case in a more developed economy. Civil unrest has had the expected negative effect on aggregate output.
  15. By: Christian Helmers; Mark Rogers
    Abstract: This paper analyses the association between the number of patenting manufacturing firms andthe quantity and quality of relevant university research across UK postcode areas. We showthat different measures of research `power' and `excellence' positively affect the patenting ofsmall firms within the same postcode area. Patenting by large firms, in contrast, is unaffectedby research undertaken in nearby universities. This confirms the commonly held view thatlocation matters more for small firms than large firms. We also investigate specific channelsof technology transfer, finding that university-industry knowledge transfer occurs throughboth formal and informal channels. From a methodological point of view, we contribute tothe existing literature by accounting for potential simultaneity between university researchand patenting of local firms by adopting an instrumental variable approach. Moreover, wealso allow for the effects of the presence of universities in neighbouring postcode areas toinfluence firms' patenting activity by incorporating spatial neighborhood effects.
    Keywords: Patents, universities, knowledge transfer, spillover, UK
    JEL: L22 L26 O34
    Date: 2010–09
  16. By: Tatom, John
    Abstract: In 2009, the National Endowment for Financial Education initiated a project to study the “Implications of a Quarter Century Research in Personal Finance.” As part of that effort, one of the major themes chosen was to study the measurement and evaluation of participant outcomes. This paper is part of the investigation of measurement and evaluation. It focuses more on what the macro-measures of financial wellbeing are that financial education is aimed at improving and the extent to which these larger scale measures can be improved by financial education, as well as obstacles to good evaluations and limitations of correlation outcomes. The case for improving financial education rests upon (1) the hypothesis that financial education can improve financial wellbeing, (2) the documented low state of financial literacy and individual satisfaction with their financial knowledge, behavior and financial outcomes of consumer decision making, and finally (3) the stress that recent financial shocks have put on household wellbeing. This article also reviews some of those recent changes and the initial recovery from the most recent shock to wellbeing. Section I reviews macro measures of wellbeing and the principal measures and approaches of most studies of the effects of financial education programs. Section II reviews the extent of two major shocks to household net worth in the past decade, some of the potential stress for households this created and the implications for the importance of financial education. Section III reviews some of the principal obstacles to effective assessment and the difficulties with reliance on simple correlations of financial programs and outcomes for such assessments.
    Keywords: Financial wellbeing; financial education; educational assessment.
    JEL: A20 I21 G00
    Date: 2010–10–01

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