nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2011‒01‒23
seventeen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. School Composition Effects in Spain By Antonio Di Paolo
  2. Do Neighbours Affect Teenage Outcomes? Evidence from Neighbourhood Changes in England By Stephen Gibbons; Olmo Silva; Felix Weinhardt
  3. Why do educated mothers matter? A model of parental help By Luciano Canova; Alessandro Vaglio
  4. Peers, neighborhoods and immigrant student achievement - evidence from a placement policy By Åslund, Olof; Edin, Per-Anders; Fredriksson, Peter; Grönqvist, Hans
  5. What are the causes of educational inequalities and of their evolution over time in Europe? Evidence from PISA By Veruska Oppedisano; Gilberto Turati
  6. Changes in Compulsory Schooling and the Causal Effect of Education on Health: Evidence from Germany By Daniel Kemptner; Hendrik Jürges; Steffen Reinhold
  7. Development of University Life-Science Programs and University-Industry Joint Research in Japan By Kato, Masatoshi; Odagiri, Hiroyuki
  8. Do Highly Educated Immigrants Perform Differently in the Canadian and U.S. Labour Markets? By Bonikowska, Aneta; Hou, Feng; Picot, Garnett
  9. The Impact of Teachers' Expectations on Students' Educational Opportunities in the Life Course By Dominik Becker
  10. Welfare regimes and the incentives to work and get educated By Andrés Rodríguez-Pose; Vassilis Tselios
  11. Alumni Giving of Business Executives to the Alma Mater: Panel Data Evidence at a Large Metropolitan Research University By Okunade, Albert A.; Wunnava, Phanindra V.
  12. Birth Order and Education: Evidence from a Korean Cohort By Cho, Hyunkuk
  13. Commercialization at Finnish Universities - Researchers’ Perspectives on the Motives and Challenges of Turning Science into Business By Antti-Jussi Tahvanainen; Tuomo Nikulainen
  14. The Determinants of University Students Success: a Bivariate Latent Variable Model By Claudia PIGINI
  15. Explaining the persisting mathematics test score gap between boys and girls By Sprietsma, Maresa
  16. Hot or Not: How Appearance Affects Earnings and Productivity in Academia By Anindya Sen; Marcel-Cristian Voia; Frances R. Woolley
  17. Return-to-job during and after maternity leave By Fitzenberger, Bernd; Steffes, Susanne; Strittmatter, Anthony

  1. By: Antonio Di Paolo (Departament d'Economia Aplicada, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB); Campus de Bellaterra, Edifici B 08193 Bellaterra (Cerdanyola), Spain. Institut d’Economia de Barcelona, Universitat de Barcelona)
    Abstract: Drawing on PISA data of 2006, this study examines the impact of socio-economic school composition on science test score achievement for Spanish students in compulsory secondary schools. We define school composition in terms of the average parental human capital of students in the same school. These contextual peer effects are estimated using a semi-parametric methodology, which enables the spillovers to affect all the parameters of the educational production function. We also deal with the potential problem of self-selection of student into schools, using an artificial sorting that we argue to be independent from unobserved student’s abilities. The results indicate that the association between socio-economic school composition and test score results is clearly positive and significantly higher when computed with the semi-parametric approach. However, we find that the endogenous sorting of students into schools plays a fundamental role, given that the spillovers are significantly reduced when this selection process is ruled out from our measure of school composition effects. Specifically, the estimations suggest that the contextual peer effects are moderately positive only in those schools where the socio-economic composition is considerably elevated. In addition, we find some evidence of asymmetry of how the external effects and the sorting process actually operate, which seem affect in a different way males and females as well as high and low performance students.
    Keywords: Educational Attainments, Peer Effects, PISA, Spain
    JEL: I20 I21 I29
    Date: 2010–12
  2. By: Stephen Gibbons; Olmo Silva; Felix Weinhardt
    Abstract: In this paper, we use census data on several cohorts of secondary school students in England matched to detailed information on place of residence to investigate the effect of neighbours' background characteristics and prior achievements on teenagers' educatioinal and behavioural outcomes. Our analysis focuses on the age-11 to age-16 time-lapse, and uses variation in neighbourhood composition over this period that is driven by residential mobility. Exploiting the longitudinal nature and detail of our data, we are able to scontrol for pupil unobserved characteristics, neighbourhood fixed-effects and time-trends, school-by-cohort unobservables, as well as students' observable attributes and prior attainments. Our results provide little evidence that neighbours' characteristics significantly affect pupil test score progression during secondary education. Similarly, we find that neighbourhood composition only exerts a small effect on pupil behavioural outcomes, such as general attitudes towards schooling, substance use and anti-social behaviour, UK
    JEL: C21 I20 H75 R23
    Date: 2010–10
  3. By: Luciano Canova (Enrico Matei School); Alessandro Vaglio (University of Bergamo)
    Abstract: The paper investigates the role of mothers in affecting childrens' performance at school. It develops a theoretical model in which household is treated as an individual, whose utility depends on the performance at school of the student and on consumption. The model focuses on the possibilities through which mother’s help may affect pupil's performance in terms of time devoted to supervision and spillover effects. Empirical evidence, using Italian PISA 2006, shows that highly educated mothers have a positive impact on students' score only when they are highly qualified in the job market.
    Keywords: Education; PISA; quantile regressions; parental help
    JEL: J12 J24 I21
    Date: 2010–12
  4. By: Åslund, Olof (Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation (IFAU)); Edin, Per-Anders (IFAU, UCLS); Fredriksson, Peter (Stockholm University, IZA, UCLS); Grönqvist, Hans (Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University)
    Abstract: We examine to what extent immigrant school performance is affected by the characteristics of the neighborhoods that they grow up in. We address this issue using a refugee placement policy which provides exogenous variation in the initial place of residence in Sweden. The main result is that school performance is increasing in the number of highly educated adults sharing the subject’s ethnicity. A standard deviation increase in the fraction of high-educated in the assigned neighborhood raises compulsory school GPA by 0.9 percentile ranks. Particularly for disadvantaged groups, there are also long-run effects on educational attainment.
    Keywords: Peer effects; Ethnic enclaves; Immigration; School performance
    JEL: I20 J15 Z13
    Date: 2010–11–11
  5. By: Veruska Oppedisano (University College London); Gilberto Turati (Department of Economics and Public Finance, University of Torino)
    Abstract: This paper provides evidence on the sources of differences in inequalities in educational scores in European Union member states, by decomposing them into their determining factors. Using PISA data from the 2000 and 2006 waves, the paper shows that inequalities emerge in all countries and in both period, but decreased in Germany, whilst they increased in France and Italy. Decomposition shows that educational inequalities do not only reflect background related inequality, but especially schools’ characteristics. The findings allow policy makers to target areas that may make a contribution in reducing educational inequalities.
    Keywords: Education expenditures, educational inequalities, Oaxaca decomposition
    JEL: I2 I38
    Date: 2010–12
  6. By: Daniel Kemptner; Hendrik Jürges; Steffen Reinhold (Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging (MEA))
    Abstract: In this paper we investigate the causal effect of years of schooling on health and health-related behavior in West Germany. We apply an instrumental variables approach using as natural experiments several changes in compulsory schooling laws between 1949 and 1969. These law changes generate exogenous variation in years of schooling both across states and over time. We find evidence for a strong and significant causal effect of years of schooling on long-term illness for men but not for women. Moreover, we provide somewhat weaker evidence of a causal effect of education on the likelihood of having weight problems for both sexes. On the other hand, we find little evidence for a causal effect of education on smoking behavior. Overall, our estimates suggest significant non-monetary returns to education with respect to health outcomes and not necessarily with respect to health-related behavior.
    JEL: I12 I21
    Date: 2010–07–05
  7. By: Kato, Masatoshi; Odagiri, Hiroyuki
    Abstract: How does the establishment of new university educational programs promote university-industry joint research? To study this question for the fields of life sciences and biotechnology, we first compile the data on the establishment of new undergraduate and graduate programs in these fields in Japanese universities since the 1950s. We then analyze statistically whether and how such establishment contributed to the occurrence and frequency of university-industry joint research in biotechnology. The results suggest that, first, the expansion of such university programs in fact contributed to the promotion of university-industry joint research and, second, these collaborations increased following the 1998 legislation to promote technology transfer from universities (the so-called TLO Act) and the 1999 legislation to allow universities to retain rights on their inventions made with government research funds (the so-called Japanese Bayh-Dole Act).
    Date: 2010–12
  8. By: Bonikowska, Aneta; Hou, Feng; Picot, Garnett
    Abstract: This paper compares changes in wages of university-educated new immigrant workers in Canada and in the U.S. over the period from 1980 to 2005, relative to those of their domestic-born counterparts and to those of high school graduates (university wage premium). Wages of university-educated new immigrant men declined relative to those of domestic-born university graduates over the entire study period in Canada, but rose between 1990 and 2000 in the U.S. The characteristics of entering immigrants underwent more change in Canada than in the U.S. over the 1980-to-2005 period; as a result, compositional changes in the immigrant population had a larger negative effect on the outcomes of highly educated immigrants in Canada than in the U.S. However, even after accounting for such compositional shifts, most of the discrepancy in relative earnings outcomes between immigrants to Canada and immigrants to the U.S. persisted. The university premium for new immigrants was fairly similar in both countries in 1980, but by 2000 was considerably higher in the U.S. than in Canada, especially for men.
    Keywords: Ethnic diversity and immigration, Education, training and learning, Population and demography, Educational attainment, Mobility and migration, Immigrants and non-permanent residents, Outcomes of education
    Date: 2011–01–14
  9. By: Dominik Becker (CGS, University of Cologne)
    Abstract: The substantial aim of this paper is to integrate the main idea of 'Pygmalion' or self-fulfilling prophecy research (Rosenthal and Jacobson, 1968; Jussim and Harber, 2005) into the general subjective expected utility framework about inequality in educational opportunities (Breen and Goldthorpe, 1997; Esser, 1999). In the theoretical section, a formal model of the impact of self-fulfilling prophecies on educational transitions is developed. In the empirical section, we test this model to predict both students' educational success (in terms of high school graduation) and their university transitions. Since we assume a conditional dependence of these outcomes, we control for sample selection bias (Heckman, 1979). We find that in our operationalization of self-fulfilling prophecies the latter show significant effects on both educational success and university transitions. However, while the results remain stable in case of educational success, we find that the conditional decision problem of university transitions leads to a selection bias for the estimates in the latter case. In a sensitivity analysis we find that only if unobserved heterogeneity would be disturbingly high, it could also affect the stability of self-fulfilling prophecy estimates.
    Keywords: Inequality in Educational Opportunities, Educational Transitions, Subjective Expected Utility Theory, Self-Fulfilling Prophecies, Pygmalion, Selection Bias, Sensitivity Analysis
    Date: 2010–12–15
  10. By: Andrés Rodríguez-Pose (IMDEA Social Sciences Institute); Vassilis Tselios (University of Newcastle upon Tyne)
    Abstract: This paper examines whether differences in welfare regimes shape the incentives to work and get educated. Using microeconomic data for more than 100,000 European individuals, the results show that welfare regimes make a difference for wages and education. First, people- and household-based effects (internal returns to education and household wage and education externalities) generate socioeconomic incentives for people to get an education and work, which are stronger in countries with the weakest welfare systems, i.e. those with what is known as 'Residual' welfare regimes (Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal). Second, place-based effects, and more specifically differences in regional wage per capita and educational endowment and in regional interpersonal income and educational inequality, also influence wages and education in different ways across welfare regimes. Place-based effects have the greatest incidence in the Nordic Social-Democratic welfare systems. These results are robust to the inclusion of a large number of people- and place-based controls.
    Keywords: education; employment; wages; welfare; regions; European Union
    JEL: H53 H75 I31 I38 J38
    Date: 2011–01–05
  11. By: Okunade, Albert A. (University of Memphis); Wunnava, Phanindra V. (Middlebury College)
    Abstract: Charitable giving to public and private institutions of higher learning in the US is a growing major source of financing academic and support programs. The novel contribution of this research is the estimation of an econometric model of gift-giving alumni business executives of a large public urban university using 10,192 individual donor observations [that is, a panel of 392 donors for 26 years]. Our theoretically consistent empirical results reinforce the earlier research findings that male alumni in Greek social organizations gave significantly more. New insights unique to this study are that alumni individuals with the higher-order executive job titles (proxy for permanent income) of a Chief Executive Officer or President (relative to the lesser ranks) are significantly more charitable, and that the number of other gift-giving alumni and friends known to donors, and national athletic conference (basketball and football) championship wins are also highly statistically significant positive drivers of alumni annual giving to the comprehensive metropolitan research university. The resulting profile of gift-giving alumni business executives can be profitably used to more effectively target likely donors and raise cost-effectiveness of fundraising efforts in these times of fiscal austerity in higher education.
    Keywords: educational economics, educational finance, charitable donations, alumni giving of business executives
    JEL: I2 L3
    Date: 2011–01
  12. By: Cho, Hyunkuk
    Abstract: This paper estimates the effects of birth order on education. This paper is the first to control for the mother’s age at first birth. While previous studies find that earlier-born children are better off, this paper finds no effects.
    Keywords: Birth order; education
    JEL: J13 I21
    Date: 2011–03
  13. By: Antti-Jussi Tahvanainen; Tuomo Nikulainen
    Abstract: For developed countries, continuous innovation has been a prerequisite for economic growth for some time. Because radical innovations often require considerable slack and freedom in researching the relevant underlying phenomena, universities are considered the primary loci for generating knowledge leading to radical leaps in the development of platforms on which future technologies build. Thus, to facilitate the improvement of premises for university research and its application in industry, much effort has been spent on understanding university innovation processes and the transfer of technology between universities and companies. Much of the research and the related discussions have been conducted on either the national, regional or organizational levels. The focus on institutional actors has largely orphaned another fundamentally important actor : the individual researcher. This report examines individual university researchers and their role in the commercialization of research in Finland. Based on a survey of roughly 2800 researchers active in different fields of science at 11 Finnish research universities, this report covers a variety of topics ranging from university-industry collaboration to ownership of intellectual property and the commercialization services provided to researchers. The primary theme uniting these topics, however, is the subjective motivation for researchers to engage in the commercialization of their research. Why do researchers cooperate with companies, and how do they expect to benefit from collaboration? What are the reasons why some researchers to commercialize their results, while others distance themselves from such endeavors? Do certain dedicated university services support researchers in their commercial ambitions or actually inhibit them? These are the specific questions this report seeks to descriptively answer. The results establish that commercial motives play only a minor role in the various activities in which researchers engage. For instance, potential commercial aspects have almost no impact on the choice of a researcher’s research orientation. Furthermore, direct industrial collaboration is relatively uncommon among researchers. Even those researchers that have experience with industry collaboration reported that collaboration mostly serves academic ends such as securing research funding and searching for new research ideas. In addition, only 10% of all researchers have received complementary business education. Given that approximately 40% of researchers are believed to have produced inventions with commercial potential, 10% seems a fairly small share. This is also reflected in the researchers’ clear lack of familiarity with the principles that govern the allocation of ownership rights to inventions that arise from academic research, a prerequisite to any commercial endeavors. In parallel with these findings, the propensity of researchers to commercialize their results is much less affected by economic factors such as potential economic returns than it is by altruistic, socio-cultural, or personal motives. This makes designing proper incentive mechanisms difficult. The three most important factors mentioned by inventors who have made the decision to facilitate the commercialization of their inventions include (i) the inventions’ potential to have a beneficial impact on society, (ii) the researchers’ ambition of self-fulfillment and (iii) securing funding for academic research. Societal goals and reasons related to pure intrinsic ambition seem to dominate other motives. It seems that commercialization and related economic aspects bear little value to researchers. Regarding support in commercialization, Finnish researchers are quite satisfied with the services provided to them by their respective research and innovation service units. Only a closer look at the possible needs of researchers and the degree that the service units match these needs through services reveals the true challenges regarding the operation of the units. In fact, the match between needs and provided services seems to be rather weak, and many researchers indicate that they do not need most of the services in the first place. This leads to only one conclusion : the service units are not an integral part of the university culture as yet. Being satisfied with services that do not match needs tells us that researchers have not yet embraced such services as a relevant part of their work or of the technology transfer process. To remedy this situation, much emphasis needs to be put on communicating the range of available services to the research community. This is a first step. The second step would be to design a set of services that address the true needs and ambitions of researchers and provide proper incentives for researchers to participate in the transfer of their research results.
    Keywords: commercialization of research, university-industry collaboration, motives for commercialization, challenges of commercialization, innovation support services
    JEL: O30 O38 O33 O34
    Date: 2011–01–12
  14. By: Claudia PIGINI (Universita' Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Economia)
    Abstract: The analysis of performance indicators of university students has become of wide interest expecially in Italy where, over the last few decades, graduation rates have been well below the average of both European and OECD countries. This paper proposes an alternative method to jointly estimate the determinants of students academic success, in terms of both potential credits and retention, one year after they rst enrolled and a further analysis to evaluate whether there are any factors signicantly determining the probability of dropping out, once we consider the students potential academic performance ceteris paribus. We implement the algorithm to estimate the parameters of a bivariate latent variable system and then of a conditional mean equation.
    Keywords: Academic Performance, Bivariate Model, Drop-out, Maximum Likelihood, Potential Credits
    JEL: C35 I21 I23
    Date: 2011–01
  15. By: Sprietsma, Maresa
    Abstract: This paper provides evidence on the sources of the persisting mathematics test score gap between boys and girls. In particular, we investigate the role of the share of female mathematics teachers in secondary school and of pupils self-confidence and extrinsic motivation in mathematics. We find that the share of female mathematics teachers does not seem to affect differences in test scores between boys and girls. The number of books at home as well as the included psychological factors significantly reduce the gender test score gap. A remaining gap of 14% of a standard deviation in test scores is unexplained. --
    Keywords: mathematics test score gap,gender,share of female teachers,self-confidence
    JEL: I28
    Date: 2010
  16. By: Anindya Sen (Department of Economics, University of Waterloo); Marcel-Cristian Voia (Department of Economics, Carleton University); Frances R. Woolley (Department of Economics, Carleton University)
    Abstract: In this paper we examine the impact of a professor’s appearance, as rated by students, on his or her salary, controlling for research and teaching productivity. We also estimate the impacts of a professor’s appearance on the quality of his or her teaching, as evaluated by students, and the impact of appearance on research productivity, as measured by citations, publications, co-authorship, and grant funding. Our study is based on data describing economics professors at sixteen universities. Although a relatively small proportion of our sample is rated “hot” by students, hotness generates, for some, a significant earnings premium, even with comprehensive controls for productivity. We find a strong relationship between hotness and teaching productivity, but a much weaker relationship between hotness and research productivity.
    Date: 2010–09–16
  17. By: Fitzenberger, Bernd; Steffes, Susanne; Strittmatter, Anthony
    Abstract: This paper studies the return-to-job of female employees after first birth based on exceptional longitudinal data from personnel records of a large German company. Given a very long maternity leave coverage, we investigate to what extent data available to management allow to predict the return-to-job during and after maternity leave. Our data show a large heterogeneity in transition patterns, which poses a challenge for management. Maternity leave durations often last for three years or longer. More than 50 percent of those in maternity leave do not return to their job afterwards, either because they leave the company or because they have a second child. At the same time, about 31 percent of female employees return to part-time work during maternity leave, which is often a stepping stone but no guarantee for a return-to-job afterwards. There is mixed evidence as to whether female employees in better job matches are more likely to return to their job in the company. Specifically, we find that the relative wage position, higher tenure, a combination of vocational training and university education, and an above average frequency of previous promotions show a positive association with the return-to-job and a higher employment stability afterwards. At the same time, female employees have their first child, when their careers have been particularly successful in comparison. Among these, a sizeable share does not continue to advance their career and many do not even return to their job. --
    Keywords: female employees,maternity leave,match quality,personnel data
    JEL: J13 J22 M50
    Date: 2010

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