nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2011‒03‒05
sixteen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Learning about Schools in Development - Working Paper 236 By Charles Kenny
  2. What Determines the Return to Education: An Extra Year or a Hurdle Cleared? By Dickson, Matt; Smith, Sarah
  3. Estimating the Return to College Selectivity over the Career Using Administrative Earning Data By Dale, Stacy; Krueger, Alan B.
  4. The Impact of International and NESB Students on Measured Learning and Standards in Australian Higher Education By Jennifer Foster
  5. Alcohol and Student Performance: Estimating the Effect of Legal Access By Lindo, Jason M.; Swensen, Isaac D.; Waddell, Glen R.
  6. Exit Exams and High School Dropout By Marcotte, Dave E.
  7. Scale Economies Can Offset the Benefits of Competition: Evidence from a School Consolidation Reform in a Universal Voucher System By de Haan, Monique; Leuven, Edwin; Oosterbeek, Hessel
  8. Long-term Effects of Early Childhood Malaria Exposure on Education and Health: Evidence from Colonial Taiwan By Chang, Simon; Fleisher, Belton M.; Kim, Seonghoon; Liu, Shi-yung
  9. Student Loan Reforms for German Higher Education: Financing Tuition Fees By Chapman, Bruce; Sinning, Mathias
  10. Determinantes socioeconómicos de las transiciones entre niveles educativos: un enfoque sobre género y ruralidad en el Perú By Denice Cavero; Verónica Montalva; José Rodríguez
  11. Migration and Education By Christian Dustmann; Albrecht Glitz
  12. Education Policies for Upward Social Mobility in Latin America By Christian Daude
  13. Income and Ideology: How Personality Traits, Cognitive Abilities, and Education Shape Political Attitudes By Rebecca Morton; Jean-Robert Tyran; Erik Wengström
  14. Overeducation and Mismatch in the Labor Market By Leuven, Edwin; Oosterbeek, Hessel
  15. Examining the University Industry Collaboration Policy in Japan: Patent analysis By MOTOHASHI Kazuyuki; MURAMATSU Shingo
  16. Entrepreneurial Origin, Technological Knowledge and the Growth of Spin-off Companies By B. CLARYSSE; M. WRIGHT; E. VANDEVELDE

  1. By: Charles Kenny
    Abstract: There has been considerable progress constructing schools worldwide over the past 50 years, a lot of progress hiring teachers, and global improvement in enrollment rates, recently encouraged by the rollout of payments for attendance around the world. Nonetheless, while education requires schools, it also needs students to be in class, motivated and able to learn. And they need teachers who are skilled and resourced enough to teach, and those teachers need an incentive to instruct. There is considerable evidence that these prerequisites are not met with alarming frequency across the developing world. Tested methods to strengthen the link between schooling and learning include school choice, conditional cash transfers to students on the basis of attendance and scores, decentralization combined with published information on learning outcomes, and teacher pay based on attendance and performance. Nonetheless learning outcomes (and especially development impact) are primarily affected by the broader social and economic environment in which students live. This suggests a need for realism regarding what can be accomplished by education ministries and a focus on that broader environment – for example health and media interventions that might have considerable returns in learning.
    Keywords: education, learning, schooling
    Date: 2010–12
  2. By: Dickson, Matt (University of Bristol); Smith, Sarah (University of Bristol)
    Abstract: The 1973 Raising of the School Leaving Age in England and Wales has been used to identify returns to years’ schooling. However, the reform affected the proportion with qualifications, as well as schooling length. To shed light on whether the returns reflect extra schooling or qualifications, we exploit another institutional rule – the Easter Leaving Rule – to obtain unbiased estimates of the effect of qualifications. We find sizeable returns to academic qualifications – increasing the probability of employment by 40 percentage points. This is more than 70% of the estimated return based on RoSLA, suggesting that qualifications drive most – but not all – of the returns to education.
    Keywords: returns to education, RoSLA, qualifications
    JEL: I21 I28 J24
    Date: 2011–02
  3. By: Dale, Stacy (Mathematica Policy Research); Krueger, Alan B. (Princeton University)
    Abstract: We estimate the monetary return to attending a highly selective college using the College and Beyond (C&B) Survey linked to Detailed Earnings Records from the Social Security Administration (SSA). This paper extends earlier work by Dale and Krueger (2002) that examined the relationship between the college that students attended in 1976 and the earnings they self-reported reported in 1995 on the C&B follow-up survey. In this analysis, we use administrative earnings data to estimate the return to various measures of college selectivity for a more recent cohort of students: those who entered college in 1989. We also estimate the return to college selectivity for the 1976 cohort of students, but over a longer time horizon (from 1983 through 2007) using administrative data. We find that the return to college selectivity is sizeable for both cohorts in regression models that control for variables commonly observed by researchers, such as student high school GPA and SAT scores. However, when we adjust for unobserved student ability by controlling for the average SAT score of the colleges that students applied to, our estimates of the return to college selectivity fall substantially and are generally indistinguishable from zero. There were notable exceptions for certain subgroups. For black and Hispanic students and for students who come from less-educated families (in terms of their parents’ education), the estimates of the return to college selectivity remain large, even in models that adjust for unobserved student characteristics.
    Keywords: return to higher education, college quality, payoff to college selectivity
    JEL: I21 J31
    Date: 2011–02
  4. By: Jennifer Foster
    Abstract: Do international students and/or students from non-English language speaking backgrounds (NESB students) perform worse than other students in Australian undergraduate classrooms? What happens to other students' marks when these students are added to classrooms? I provide new empirical evidence on these questions using very recent administrative panel data from the business faculties of two Australian Technology Network universities. Results show that both international students and NESB students perform significantly worse than other students, even controlling for selection into courses. Both effects are large and do not disappear after the first semester, but non-English speaking background predicts substantially more of a reduction in marks than international student status. Adding international NESB students to a tutorial leads to a reduction in the marks of English-speaking students in that tutorial, whereas the marks of all students benefit from the addition of domestic NESB students to tutorials.Finally, evidence of an upward buoying effect on marks is found from adding international NESB students to courses, which is likely due to the presence of grading on a curve at the course level, but this effect is only felt by international NESB students themselves. Logic suggests that this rise is unlikely to be due to a true learning effect, implying that on average, international NESB students' already low marks are inflated in courses with large fractions of such students.
    Keywords: higher education; Australia; peer effects; international students; NESB
    JEL: I23 J24
    Date: 2011–01
  5. By: Lindo, Jason M. (University of Oregon); Swensen, Isaac D. (University of Oregon); Waddell, Glen R. (University of Oregon)
    Abstract: We consider the effect of legal access to alcohol, which is known to increase drinking behavior, on academic performance. We first estimate the effect using an RD design but argue that this approach is not well-suited to the research question in our setting. Our preferred approach instead exploits the longitudinal nature of the data, essentially identifying the effect by comparing a student's academic performance before and after turning 21. We find that students' grades fall below their expected levels upon being able to drink legally, but by less than previously documented. We also show that there are effects on women and that the effects are persistent. The main results are robust to the inclusion of individual fixed effects, individual trends, and individual quadratics, in addition to other controls, that account for the expected evolution of performance as students make progress towards their degrees.
    Keywords: alcohol, post-secondary education, minimum legal drinking age
    JEL: I21 I18 K32
    Date: 2011–02
  6. By: Marcotte, Dave E. (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)
    Abstract: In this paper, I consider the impact of the expansion of exams students must pass in order to graduate high school on dropout rates. "Exit exams," as these tests are known, have become more common, and more difficult. These exams are controversial, with opponents claiming they drive marginal students out of school, and proponents arguing they align student interests with those of the school and encourage teachers and administrators to provide effort and resources on the students' behalf. I make use of the fact that when states implement exit exams, they first affect a specific graduating class. So in some states, some students in high school are required to pass these exams, while students in the grade above are not. Using a state-grade panel constructed from the Common Core of Data I find evidence that the recent expansion of exit exams has resulted in a modest increase in high school dropout rates in the aggregate, but a large increase among students in 12th grade, where additional attempts to pass exams are not possible. I also find that a policy often used to limit the impacts of exit exams on high school completion has only limited effect: Dropout rates in states where students can earn a diploma or credential even when unable to pass exit exams, dropout increases in 12th grade at about the same rate as in other states without such alternative pathways. This suggests that at least some of the impact is due to stop-out on the part of students.
    Keywords: high school dropout, exit exams, accountability, attainment
    JEL: I2 I28
    Date: 2011–02
  7. By: de Haan, Monique (University of Amsterdam); Leuven, Edwin (CREST (ENSAE)); Oosterbeek, Hessel (University of Amsterdam)
    Abstract: A large school consolidation reform in the Netherlands changed minimum school size rules underlying public funding. The supply of schools decreased by 15 percent, but this varied considerably across municipalities. We find that reducing the number of schools by 10 percent increases pupils' achievement by 3 percent of a standard deviation. A reduction in the supply of schools implies, for a given number of pupils, an increase in average school size. We present evidence that in our context scale economies dominated the effects of choice and competition. This points to an often ignored trade-off between scale and competition.
    Keywords: school choice, competition, school consolidation, achievement, economies of scale
    JEL: I21 I22 H75 D40
    Date: 2011–02
  8. By: Chang, Simon (Central University of Finance and Economics); Fleisher, Belton M. (Ohio State University); Kim, Seonghoon (Ohio State University); Liu, Shi-yung (Academia Sinica)
    Abstract: We estimate the effects of early childhood malaria exposure on education and health at older ages by exploiting variations in malaria exposure risk around birth that resulted from a universal malaria eradication campaign in colonial Taiwan in the early 20th century. We find that malaria exposure around birth leads to lower life-time educational attainment and to worse mental and physical health outcomes in old age as reflected in particular in worse cognitive function, a higher likelihood of cardiovascular diseases and a higher mortality hazard, compared to those who were not exposed.
    Keywords: malaria, early childhood, education, health, Taiwan
    JEL: I12 I18 I21 O15 O18
    Date: 2011–02
  9. By: Chapman, Bruce (Australian National University); Sinning, Mathias (Australian National University)
    Abstract: It is generally agreed that the funding base for German universities is inadequate and perhaps the time has come for serious consideration of the imposition of non-trivial tuition charges. Against this background, this paper compares conventional and income contingent loans for financing tuition fees at German universities. With the use of unconditional age-income quantile regression approaches our analysis considers two critical aspects of the loan debate: the size of repayment burdens associated with normal mortgage-style loans, and the time structure of revenue to the government from a hypothetical income contingent loan scheme. It is found tuition fees at German universities could increase considerably with the use of an income contingent loan system based on current policy approaches used in Australia, England and New Zealand.
    Keywords: educational finance, student financial aid, state and federal aid, government expenditures on education
    JEL: H52 I22 I28
    Date: 2011–02
  10. By: Denice Cavero; Verónica Montalva; José Rodríguez (Departamento de Economía- Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú)
    Abstract: An approach to progress through school is relevant since it allows us to analyze a broad range of educational levels, if a student is able to progress to the next grade, if he or she repeats the grade, or if he or she drops out of school. Our aim is to determine which are the factors associated with these educational results in Peru, where access and continuance in school is still a worrying matter. Our methodology comprises the estimation of both probit and multinomial models. It is important to mention that both models provide very similar results among those results which are comparable. Among the different factors, adolescent and child labor stands out as a constant disadvantage for individuals seeking to stay in the educational system. This result is maintained throughout the educational levels. The study focused particularly on rural areas of Peru and within this area on gender inequality. In rural areas of Peru, educational transition from primary to secondary school is clearly a breaking point because the proportion of individuals who progress in this transition is significantly lower than in other transitions. The situation of rural women is very interesting. We find that although they have lower repetition probabilities during primary school, they have greater dropout probabilities in the primary-secondary transition, which can turn out to be more detrimental for their long-term education acquisition. Doing chores is one of the factors that more significantly affects rural women’s dropout rate in the primary-secondary transition. Also, being behind in school (being older than one’s classmates) has a greater negative effect on women than on men. Finally, adolescent pregnancy prevents women’s progress to a large extent during secondary school. Although we do not consider our results as conclusive, we do believe that they contribute to deepen the knowledge about the dynamic of progress through school in Peru.
    Date: 2011
  11. By: Christian Dustmann (CReAM, University College London); Albrecht Glitz (CReAM, Universitat Pompeu Fabra)
    Abstract: Sjaastad (1962) viewed migration in the same way as education: as an investment in the human agent. Migration and education are decisions that are indeed intertwined in many dimensions. Education and skill acquisition play an important role at many stages of an individual’s migration. Differential returns to skills in origin- and destination country are a main driver of migration. The economic success of the immigrant in the destination country is to a large extent determined by her educational background, how transferable these skills are to the host country labour market, and how much she invests into further skills after arrival. The desire to acquire skills in the host country that have a high return in the country of origin may also be an important reason for a migration. From an intertemporal point of view, the possibility of a later migration may also affect educational decisions in the home country long before a migration is realised. In addition, the decisions of migrants regarding their own educational investment, and their expectations about future migration plans may also affect the educational attainment of their children. But migration and education are not only related for those who migrate or their descendants. Migrations of some individuals may have consequences for educational decisions of those who do not migrate, both in the home and in the host country. By easing credit constraints through remittances, migration of some may help others to go to school. By changing the skill base of the receiving country, migration may change incentives to invest in certain types of human capital. Migrants and their children may create externalities that influence educational outcomes of non-migrants in the destination country. This chapter will discuss some of the key areas that connect migration and education.
    Keywords: Migration, Education, Human Capital, Return Migration, Immigrant Selection, Second-generation Immigrants.
    Date: 2011–02
  12. By: Christian Daude
    Abstract: Income is very unequally distributed in Latin America - but so too are opportunities for upward mobility. Early childhood development is a powerful mechanism to level the social playing field. More and better secondary education is key. Better administration of schools, combining greater flexibility with more accountability, a modern system of evaluation and incentives for school administrators and teachers are important ingredients for reforms.
    Date: 2010–11
  13. By: Rebecca Morton (Department of Politics, New York University); Jean-Robert Tyran (Department of Economics, University of Vienna); Erik Wengström (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)
    Abstract: We find that cognitive abilities, educational attainment, and some personality traits indirectly affect ideological preferences through changes in income. The effects of changes in personality traits on ideology directly and indirectly through income are in the same direction. However, the indirect effects of cognitive abilities and education often offset the direct effects of these variables on ideological preferences. That is, increases in cognitive abilities and education significantly increase income, which reduces the tendency of individuals to express leftist preferences. These indirect effects are in some cases sizeable relative to direct effects. The indirect effects of cognitive abilities through income overwhelm the direct effects such that increasing IQ increases rightwing preferences. For ideological preferences over economic policy the indirect effects of advanced education also overwhelm the direct effects, such that individuals with higher education are more likely to express rightwing preferences than those with lower education.
    Date: 2011–01
  14. By: Leuven, Edwin (CREST (ENSAE)); Oosterbeek, Hessel (University of Amsterdam)
    Abstract: This paper surveys the economics literature on overeducation. The original motivation to study this topic were reports that the strong increase in the number of college graduates in the early 1970s in the US led to a decrease in the returns to college education. We argue that Duncan and Hoffman’s augmented wage equation – the workhorse model in the overeducation literature – in which wages are regressed on years of overschooling, years of required schooling and years of underschooling is at best loosely related to this original motivation. We discuss measurement and estimation issues and give an overview of the main empirical findings in this literature. Finally we given an appraisal of the economic lessons learned.
    Keywords: mismatch, overschooling, underschooling, wage equation
    JEL: I2
    Date: 2011–02
  15. By: MOTOHASHI Kazuyuki; MURAMATSU Shingo
    Abstract: This study is a quantitative analysis of Japanese patent information to examine the changes in the nature and the outcome of university-industry collaborations (UICs) following the enactment of UIC policies in the late 1990s. By considering UIC patents not only in joint university-industry patent applications but also in joint inventions organized by university personnel and corporate researchers, we discuss the status of UICs before the incorporation of national universities. Our analysis indicates that these policies increased the number of UIC patents in the late 1990s. However, strong IP policies pursued by universities may reduce the incentive for firms to commercialize inventions resulting from UIC collaborations.
    Date: 2011–02
    Abstract: We contribute to the literature on corporate spin-offs and university spin-offs by exploring how different characteristics in the technological knowledge base at start-up influence spin-off performance. We investigate how the technological knowledge characteristics endowed at start-up predict growth, taking into account whether the knowledge / technology is transferred from a corporation or university. We use a novel, hand-collected dataset involving 48 corporate and 73 university spin-offs, comprising the population of spin-offs in Flanders during 1991-2002. We find corporate spin-offs grow most if they start with a specific narrow-focused technology sufficiently distinct from the technical knowledge base of the parent company and which is tacit. University spin-offs benefit from a broad technology which is transferred to the spin-off. Novelty of the technical knowledge does not play a role in corporate spin-offs, but has a negative impact in university spin-offs unless universities have an experienced technology transfer office to support the spin-off.
    Keywords: technological knowledge, corporate spin-offs, university spin-off
    Date: 2010–12

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