nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2011‒03‒12
four papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Investing in Schooling in Chile: The Role of Information about Financial Aid for Higher Education By Taryn Dinkelman; Claudia Martínez A.
  2. Whose Children Gain from Starting School Later? Evidence from Hungary By Hámori, Szilvia; Kollo, Janos
  3. Estimating the Return to College Selectivity over the Career Using Administrative Earning Data By Stacy Dale; Alan B. Krueger
  4. The Expendi ture Impacts of Individual Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and their Students on the Northern Irish Economy: Homogeneity or Heterogeneity? By Kristinn Hermannsson; Katerina Lisenkova; Peter McGregor; Kim Swales

  1. By: Taryn Dinkelman (Princeton University); Claudia Martínez A. (Universidad de Chile)
    Abstract: Recent economic research shows that imperfect information about Mincer returns to education (in developing countries) or about financial aid (in the US) may undermine investments in schooling and exacerbate inequalities in access to education. We extend this literature by presenting the results of an experiment that provided children and a subset of their parents with specific information about financial aid for higher education, and measured the impact on effort in primary school. We developed a DVD information program and randomly assigned a sample of Chilean 8th graders in poor urban schools to information treatment and control groups. Half of the treatment group watched the DVD at school (Student group) and the other half received a copy of the program to watch at home (Family group). Using survey and matched administrative data to measure outcomes three to six months post-intervention, we show that knowledge of financial aid sources improves in treated schools and school-reported absenteeism falls by 14%. These responses appear to be driven by students with higher baseline grades; yet we find no significant effects on 8th Grade scores or 9th Grade enrolment for any students. While parents in the Family treatment group score significantly higher on tests of information related to DVD content, watching the DVD at home is no more effective at changing effort than watching at school, at least for high ability students likely to select in to watching the DVD. Our results suggest that Chile falls somewhere between developing and developed countries: exposure to information about financial aid for post-secondary schooling significantly affects student knowledge and absenteeism, but is insufficient for improving other educational outcomes.
    Keywords: finaicial aid, education, Chile, imperfect information, behavior, education investment
    JEL: D80 I20 O12
    Date: 2011–02
  2. By: Hámori, Szilvia (Hungarian Academy of Sciences); Kollo, Janos (Hungarian Academy of Sciences)
    Abstract: We look at the effect of school starting age on standardized test scores using data covering all grade four and grade eight students in Hungary. Instrumental variables estimates of the local average treatment effect suggest that children generally gain from starting school one year later and the effects are much stronger in the case of students coming from low-educated families. We test the robustness of the results by allowing for heterogeneity in the age effect, distinguishing between fields of testing, using discontinuity samples and relying on alternative data. The hypothesis that delayed entry has a stronger impact on low-status children is supported by the robustness checks. The observed patterns are most probably explained by the better performance of kindergartens, as opposed to schools, in developing the skills of low-status children.
    Keywords: education, student test scores, enrolment age, identification
    JEL: I21 I28 J24
    Date: 2011–02
  3. By: Stacy Dale (Mathematica Policy Research); Alan B. Krueger (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: college admissions, future income, SAT, GPA
    JEL: D19 I21 I28 J24
    Date: 2011–02
  4. By: Kristinn Hermannsson (Department of Economics, Strathclyde University); Katerina Lisenkova (Department of Economics, Strathclyde University); Peter McGregor (Fraser of Allander Institute, Strathclyde University); Kim Swales (Department of Economics, Strathclyde University)
    Abstract: This paper replicates the analysis of Scottish HEIs in Hermannsson et al (2010a) for the case of Northern Ireland in order to provide a self-contained analysis that is readily accessible by those whose primary concern is with the regional impacts of Northern-Irish HEIs. When we treat each of the four Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) that existed in Northern Ireland in 2006 as separate sectors in conventional input-output analysis, their expenditure impacts per unit of final demand appear rather homogenous, with the apparent heterogeneity of their overall impacts being primarily driven by scale. However, a disaggregation of their income by source reveals considerable variation in their dependence upon funding from the devolved Assembly and their ability to draw in income/funding from external sources. Acknowledging the binding budget constraint of the Northern Ireland Assembly and deriving balanced expenditure multipliers reveals large differences in the netexpenditure impact of HEIs upon the Northern Irish economy, with the source of variation being the origin of income. Applying a novel treatment of student expenditure impacts, identifying the amount of exogenous spending per student, modifies the heterogeneity of the overall expenditure impacts. On balance this suggests that the impacts of impending budget cut-backs will be quite different by institution depending on their sensitivity to public funding. However, predicting the outcome of budget cutbacks at the margin is problematic for reasons that we identify.
    Keywords: Higher Education Institutions, Input-Output, Northern Ireland, Impact study, Multipliers, Devolution.
    JEL: R51 R15 H75 I23
    Date: 2011–01

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