nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2011‒03‒19
nine papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. University funding systems: impact on research and teaching By Beath, John; Poyago-Theotoky, Joanna; Ulph, David
  2. What determines the return to education: An extra year or hurdle cleared? By Matt Dickson; Sarah Smith
  3. The Effects of Student Coaching in College: An Evaluation of a Randomized Experiment in Student Mentoring By Eric Bettinger; Rachel Baker
  4. The impact of peer ability and heterogeneity on student achievement: Evidence from a natural experiment By Kiss, David
  5. The Economic Efficiency of Swedish Higher Education Institutions By Daghbashyan, Zara
  6. Knowledge and Job Opportunities in a Gender Perspective: Insights from Italy By Angela Cipollone; Marcella Corsi; Carlo D'ippoliti
  7. Tougher educational exam leading to worse selection By de Carvalho Andrade, Eduardo; de Castro, Luciano I.
  8. On Integration Policies and Schooling By Alcalde, Jose; Subiza, Begoña
  9. Lifelong learning inequality? The relevance of family background for on-the-job training By Antoni, Manfred

  1. By: Beath, John; Poyago-Theotoky, Joanna; Ulph, David
    Abstract: We address the following question: how does a higher education funding system influence the trade-off that universities make between research and teaching? We do so by constructing a model that allows universities to choose actively the quality of their teaching and research when faced with different funding systems. In particular, we derive the feasible sets that face universities under such systems and show how, as the parameters of the system are varied, the nature of the university system itself changes. The culture of the university system thus becomes endogenous. This makes the model useful for the analysis of reforms in funding and also for international comparisons. --
    Keywords: university funding systems,higher education,research quality,teaching quality,university budget constraint
    JEL: I21 I22 I23
    Date: 2011
  2. By: Matt Dickson; Sarah Smith
    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: Eric Bettinger; Rachel Baker
    Abstract: College completion and college success often lag behind college attendance. One theory as to why students do not succeed in college is that they lack key information about how to be successful or fail to act on the information that they have. We present evidence from a randomized experiment which tests the effectiveness of individualized student coaching. Over the course of two separate school years, InsideTrack, a student coaching service, provided coaching to students from public, private, and proprietary universities. Most of the participating students were non-traditional college students enrolled in degree programs. The participating universities and InsideTrack randomly assigned students to be coached. The coach contacted students regularly to develop a clear vision of their goals, to guide them in connecting their daily activities to their long term goals, and to support them in building skills, including time management, self advocacy, and study skills. Students who were randomly assigned to a coach were more likely to persist during the treatment period, and were more likely to be attending the university one year after the coaching had ended. Coaching also proved a more cost-effective method of achieving retention and completion gains when compared to previously studied interventions such as increased financial aid.
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2011–03
  4. By: Kiss, David
    Abstract: This paper estimates the impact of peer achievement and variance on math achievement growth. It exploits exogenous variation in peer characteristics generated at the transition to upper-secondary school in a sample of Berlin fifth graders. Parents and schools are barely able to condition their decisions on peer characteristics since classes are newly built up from a large pool of elementary school pupils. I find positive peer effects on achievement growth and no effects for peer variance. Lower-achieving pupils benefit more from abler peers. Results from simulations suggest that pupils are slightly better off in comprehensive than in ability-tracked school systems. --
    Keywords: peer effects in secondary school,comparison between ability-tracked and comprehensive school,natural experiment
    JEL: I21 I28
    Date: 2011
  5. By: Daghbashyan, Zara (CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology)
    Abstract: The paper investigates the economic efficiency of higher education institutions (HEI) in Sweden to determine the factors that cause efficiency differences. Stochastic frontier analysis is utilized to estimate the economic efficiency of 30 HEI using both pooled and panel data approaches. HEI specific factors such as size, load, staff and student characteristics as well as government allocations are suggested to be the potential determinants of economic efficiency. The results suggest that HEI are not identical in their economic efficiency; though the average efficiency is high, they do perform differently. This variation is explained by the joint influence of HEI specific factors; the quality of labor is found to be highly significant for the cost efficiency of Swedish HEI.
    Keywords: Cost efficiency; Stochastic Frontier Analysis; Universities
    JEL: C21 C24 I21
    Date: 2011–03–11
  6. By: Angela Cipollone (Department of Ecoomics and Business, LUISS University); Marcella Corsi (Sapienza University of Rome); Carlo D'ippoliti (Sapienza University of Rome)
    Abstract: This paper proposes a multidimensional concept of knowledge, encompassing several formal and informal skills to complement education and on-the-job training, under a gender perspective. By considering the case of Italy, we estimate the impact of such a concept of knowledge on men’s and women’s employment status and wages. Results point out that despite much rhetoric about the fact that women have gradually overcome men in terms of educational attainments, women still lack of the main skills and competencies that can profitably be used on the labor market. In Italy, women’s accumulation of labor market experience is mostly constrained by unpaid work and care work burdens. These activities may be regarded as a source of potential knowledge in terms of social and interpersonal skills, managerial and organizational capacities; but they do not seem to be positively valued by the market, either in terms of employability nor in terms of wages. Gender segregation in education seems to be still a relevant issue, by compressing both women’s employment chances and wages. Thus educational and cultural policies aimed at overcoming traditional gender roles and images among the younger students seem a very sensible policy option.
    Keywords: gender differentials, returns to knowledge, human capital.
    JEL: J24 J16 C43 J71 C14
    Date: 2011
  7. By: de Carvalho Andrade, Eduardo; de Castro, Luciano I.
    Abstract: A parallel of education with transformative processes in standard markets suggest that a more severe control of the quality of the output will improve the overall quality of the education. This paper shows a somehow counterintuitive result: an increase in the exam difficulty may reduce the average quality (productivity) of selected individuals. Since the exam does not verify all skills, when its standard rises, candidates with relatively low skills emphasized in the test and high skills demanded in the job may no longer qualify. Hence, an increase in the testing standard may be counterproductive. One implication is that policies should emphasize alignment between the skills tested and those required in the actual jobs, rather than increase exams' difficulties. --
    Keywords: school standards,signaling model,cognitive skills,non-cognitive skills
    JEL: I2 J24
    Date: 2011
  8. By: Alcalde, Jose; Subiza, Begoña
    Abstract: This paper proposes a reform for school allocation procedures in order to help integration policies reach their objective. For this purpose, we suggest the use of a natural two-step mechanism. The (stable) first step is introduced as an adaptation of the deferred-acceptance algorithm designed by Gale and Shapley (1962), when students are divided into two groups. The (efficient) second step captures the idea of exchanging places inherent to Gale's Top Trading Cycle. This latter step could be useful for Municipal School Boards when implementing some integration policies.
    Keywords: Integration Policy; School Allocation; Affirmative Action
    JEL: I28 J18 C72
    Date: 2011–02–24
  9. By: Antoni, Manfred (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])
    Abstract: "Despite ample evidence on intergenerational persistence of formal education as well as on the determinants of non-formal training, these issues have not yet been analysed jointly. The question remains whether people from low-qualified family backgrounds make up for their relatively sparse own formal education by means of non-formal training during adulthood. Hypotheses based on economic theory and findings from various other disciplines suggest otherwise. I use the German ALWA survey to estimate the influence of family background on non-formal training participation. Count data analyses show that a low-qualified family background is negatively related to both likelihood and frequency of on-the-job training. This result holds when controlling for education, ability and personality as well as job and firm characteristics." (author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))
    JEL: C25 I21 J24 J62
    Date: 2011–03–10

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