nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2011‒03‒26
fourteen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Constraints to school effectiveness: what prevents poor schools from delivering results? By Debra L. Shepherd
  2. The when and how of leaving school: The policy implications of new evidence on secondary schooling in South Africa By Martin Gustafsson
  3. Quality of education and the labour market: A conceptual and literature overview By Eldridge Moses
  4. The Impact of Education on Unemployment Incidence and Re-employment Success: Evidence from the U.S. Labour Market By Riddell, Craig; Song, Xueda
  5. Kaderschmieden der Wirtschaft und/oder Universitäten? Der Auftrag der Wirtschaftsuniversitäten und -fakultäten im 21. Jahrhundert By Gebhard Kirchgässner
  6. ‘Economics with Training Wheels’:Using Blogs in Teaching and Assessing Introductory Economics By Michael Cameron
  7. Effects of age at school entry (ASE) on the development of non-cognitive skills: Evidence from psychometric data By Mühlenweg, Andrea M.; Blomeyer, Dorothea; Laucht, Manfred
  8. Scarring Effects of the First Labor Market Experience By Nordström Skans, Oskar
  9. The separation of lower and higher attaining pupils in the transition from primary to secondary schools: a longitudinal study of London By Richard Harris
  10. Returns to Compulsory Schooling in Britain: Evidence from a Bayesian Fuzzy Regression Discontinuity Analysis By Chib, Siddhartha; Jacobi, Liana
  11. Delay and secrecy: Does industry sponsorship jeopardize disclosure of academic research? By Czarnitzki, Dirk; Grimpe, Christoph; Toole, Andrew A.
  12. Ascendance by Descendants? On Intergenerational Education Mobility in Latin America By Christian Daude
  13. A practical comparison of the bivariate probit and linear IV estimators By Chiburis, Richard C.; Das, Jishnu; Lokshin, Michael
  14. Variation of learning intensity in late adolescence and the impact on noncognitive skills By Büttner, Bettina; Thiel, Hendrik; Thomsen, Stephan L.

  1. By: Debra L. Shepherd (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)
    Abstract: The poor state of quality education in South Africa is confirmed by the weak performance of South African students on international tests, even when compared to countries with comparatively poorer education systems. This paper aims to shed light on this issue through the use of the PIRLS 2006 dataset and education production function techniques. A unique feature of this dataset is that schools were able to choose the language in which the test was conducted. This provided a proxy for former school department, a feature that has not been captured in international survey datasets. A clear distinction between the historically black and the historically white, coloured and Indian school systems is needed in order to identify the different data generating processes at work. The regression model results reveal that family and student characteristics are undoubtedly important for performance within both school samples. At the level of the school, quite divergent school factors and classroom processes were found to have significant impacts on student performance across the two school systems. It is concluded that a lack of enabling conditions such as effective leadership, flexibility and autonomy, and a capable teaching force may contribute to certain school and classroom processes not playing a significant role in determining performance in the less affluent black school system.
    Keywords: South Africa, Education, Education production function, Educational Achievement, Educational Inequality
    JEL: C20 C21 I20 I21 I30
    Date: 2011
  2. By: Martin Gustafsson (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)
    Abstract: South African and international household and education datasets are analysed to characterise patterns of dropping out, grade repetition, academic under-performance and under-preparedness for post-school life in South African secondary schools. A number of measurement error problems are moreover discussed and in some cases remedied. The proportion of South African youths entering upper secondary schooling is above the trend found in comparable middle income countries, the proportion entering the last grade (Grade 12) is about average, but the proportion successfully completing secondary schooling (40%) is below average. The data suggest improving quality should be a greater planning priority than increasing enrolments. A what-if subject choice analysis using examination data moreover suggests that successful completion could be greatly enhanced by guiding students to more appropriate subject choices, possibly through a more standardised set of assessments in Grade 9. Any attempt to reduce dropping out must pay close attention to financial constraints experienced by students with respect to relatively low-cost inputs such as books. Teenage pregnancies must be reduced as these explain half of female dropping out. The quality problem in schools underlined by the fact that income returns and test score gains associated with each additional year of secondary schooling are well below those associated with a year of post-school education.
    Keywords: Human capital, Unemployment, Earnings function, South Africa, Secondary schools, Examinations, Education policy
    JEL: E24 I28 J31
    Date: 2011
  3. By: Eldridge Moses (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)
    Abstract: In South Africa earnings inequality between races still persists despite the convergence of educational attainment between races. There is a now a growing body of evidence which suggests that the quality of education received by South Africans differs markedly amongst and within race groups, and that schools differ substantially in their ability to impart cognitive skills. This paper reviews the international and South African literature which considers the role of education quality in improving labour market prospects. Education quality is considered from both from an input and output perspective. This paper concludes that education output quality, particularly the ability of a school system to impart cognitive skills, is a crucial determinant of labour market success.
    Keywords: South Africa, Education, Earnings Functions, Education Quality, Cognitive Skills, Labour Market
    JEL: I20 I21 I30 J30
    Date: 2011
  4. By: Riddell, Craig (University of British Columbia, Vancouver); Song, Xueda (York University, Canada)
    Abstract: This study investigates the causal effects of education on individuals’ transitions between employment and unemployment, with particular focus on the extent to which education improves re-employment outcomes among unemployed workers. Given that positive correlations between education and labour force transitions are likely to be confounded by the endogeneity of education, we make use of data on compulsory schooling laws and child labour laws as well as conscription risk in the Vietnam War period to create instrumental variables to identify the causal relationships. Results indicate that education significantly increases re-employment rates of the unemployed. Particularly large impacts are found in the neighborhoods of 12 and 16 years of schooling. Evidence on the impact of formal schooling on unemployment incidence is mixed.
    Keywords: education, labour market transitions, unemployment, causal effects, compulsory schooling laws, child labour laws, Vietnam War draft
    JEL: I20 J64
    Date: 2011–03
  5. By: Gebhard Kirchgässner
    Abstract: After a short sketch of the history of modern business schools in the German speaking countries, their four major activity fields are considered: (i) academic teaching, (ii) scientific research, (iii) consulting and (iv) executive education. While teaching was traditionally dominant, research has gained more importance in recent decades, not only in Economics but also in Management departments. With respect to consulting, we have to distinguish between consulting for governments by economists and for private companies by professors of management. Executive education is mainly a domain of management (and law) departments; economists only play a minor role in this area. We conclude with discussing some of the ethical questions with which Economics and Management departments are confronted today.
    Date: 2011–03
  6. By: Michael Cameron (University of Waikato; University of Waikato)
    Abstract: Blogs provide a dynamic interactive medium for online discussion, consistent with communal constructivist pedagogy. This paper explores the use of blogs in the teaching and assessment of a small (40-60 students) introductory economics paper. The role of blogs as a teaching, learning and assessment tool are discussed. Using qualitative and quantitative data collected across four semesters, students’ participation in the blog assessment is found to be associated with student ability, gender, and whether they are distance learners. Importantly, students with past economics experience do not appear to crowd out novice economics students. Student performance in tests and examinations does not appear to be associated with blog participation after controlling for student ability. However, students generally report overall positive experiences with the blog assessment.
    Keywords: economics education; blogs; teaching; assessment
    JEL: A20 A22
    Date: 2011–03–15
  7. By: Mühlenweg, Andrea M.; Blomeyer, Dorothea; Laucht, Manfred
    Abstract: We identify effects of age at school entry (ASE) on the development of child temperament. Our analysis is based on psychometric measures from a longitudinal cohort study of children in the Rhine-Neckar region in central Germany. In children with a higher ASE due to a birthday late in the year, we find more favorable outcomes with respect to several temperamental dimensions: These children are more persistent and less often hyperactive. The findings are robust if we control for the respective temperamental dimension before entering school. We also show that the ASE effect on persistence is stable over time by comparing the children at age eight and age eleven, after the children have entered Germany's segregated secondary-school tracks. At age eleven, we additionally find significant ASE effects on adaptability to change. Overall, the results point to a high degree of malleability in the considered non-cognitive skills after school entrance. --
    Keywords: Education,identification,instrumental variables,age at school entry (ASE)
    JEL: I21 I28 J24
    Date: 2011
  8. By: Nordström Skans, Oskar (IFAU)
    Abstract: The paper studies the relationship between teenagers' first labor market experience and subsequent labor market performance using data on all Swedish youths graduating from vocational high schools in the recession years of 1991-94. Sibling fixed-effects combined with detailed data on high school programs, grades and work experience during high school are used in order to identify the causal long-run effects of post-graduation unemployment. The results show significant scarring effects resulting in higher risks of unemployment up to 5 years later. The results imply that poor labor market performance as a teenager result in persistent, but not permanent, negative effects.
    Keywords: youth unemployment, scarring, state dependence, siblings
    JEL: J64
    Date: 2011–03
  9. By: Richard Harris
    Abstract: This paper uses methods of spatial analysis to show that lower and higher attaining pupils are separating from each other as they make the transition from primary to secondary schools in London. The observation is not simply a function of geography – that some places are more affluent, with a link between wealth and educational advantage – because separations emerge between locally competing secondary schools: those that are drawing their intakes from the same primary schools. Whilst the separations are partly exacerbated by selective and by faith schools, in all but one year during the period 2003‐8 they remain statistically significant even when those schools are omitted. However, there is no evidence to suggest the separation of lower and higher attaining pupils is getting worse or better, suggesting the geographical determinants of “choice” are strong and not easily changed.
    Keywords: primary school, secondary school, transition, London, spatial analysis
    JEL: I28
    Date: 2011–03
  10. By: Chib, Siddhartha (Washington University, St. Louis); Jacobi, Liana (University of Melbourne)
    Abstract: In this paper we reevaluate the returns to education based on the increase in the compulsory schooling age from 14 to 15 in the UK in 1947. We provide a Bayesian fuzzy regression discontinuity approach to infer the effect on earnings for a subset of subjects who turned 14 in a narrow window around the policy change and whose schooling was affected by the policy change. Our approach and our results are quite different from previous work that has focused on large sets of cohorts and 2SLS based approaches and has reported positive earnings and wage effects of 5% and above. Our empirical analysis, using data from the UK General Household Surveys, yields considerably lower earnings and wage effects for the additional year of compulsory schooling than previous work. These findings are consistent with the implementation of the policy change that affected students at the lower end of the schooling distribution and did not lead students to acquire additional qualifications. The results add further evidence to a number of recent studies that have found no effect from this policy change on socio-economic outcomes correlated with earnings.
    Keywords: Bayesian inference, causal effects, imperfect compliance, natural experiment, principal stratification, regression discontinuity, returns to schooling
    JEL: C11 C21 I21
    Date: 2011–03
  11. By: Czarnitzki, Dirk; Grimpe, Christoph; Toole, Andrew A.
    Abstract: The viability of modern open science norms and practices depend on public disclosure of new knowledge, methods, and materials. Aggregate data from the OECD show a broad shift in the institutional financing structure that supports academic research from public to private sponsorship. This paper examines the relationship between industry sponsorship and restrictions on disclosure using individual-level data on German academic researchers. Accounting for selfselection into extramural sponsorship, our evidence strongly supports the perspective that industry sponsorship jeopardizes public disclosure of academic research. --
    Keywords: Open science,research funding,industry sponsorship,disclosure,secrecy
    JEL: O31 O32 L33
    Date: 2011
  12. By: Christian Daude
    Abstract: This paper studies intergenerational social mobility in Latin America. We show that persistence in educational achievements across generations is high compared to other parts of the world. That is, not only is the income distribution in Latin America highly unequal, but profound differences in opportunities persist from one generation to the next. This persistence arises from a combination of factors: high returns to education, relatively low progressivity in public investment in human capital and lack of access to proper financing for poor and middle-income families. Education and other social policies to boost upward mobility in the region are discussed.<BR>Cet article porte sur la mobilité sociale intergénérationnelle en Amérique latine. L’auteur montre que la persistance des résultats scolaires d’une génération à l’autre est grande dans cette région par rapport à d’autres parties du monde. Il ressort que, non seulement la distribution des revenus est très inégale en Amérique latine, mais que de profondes différences en termes d’opportunités persistent d’une génération à l’autre. Cette persistance provident d’une combinaison de facteurs: un rendement élevé de l’éducation, le caractère relativement peu progressif des investissements publics de capital humain et le manque d’accès au financement pour les familles défavorisées ou de la classe moyenne. L’article analyse l’éducation et d’autres politiques sociales susceptibles de promouvoir la mobilité ascendante dans la région.
    Keywords: education, Latin America, intergenerational education mobility, éducation, Amérique latine, mobilité intergénérationnelle
    JEL: I20 J62
    Date: 2011–03
  13. By: Chiburis, Richard C.; Das, Jishnu; Lokshin, Michael
    Abstract: This paper presents asymptotic theory and Monte-Carlo simulations comparing maximum-likelihood bivariate probit and linear instrumental variables estimators of treatment effects in models with a binary endogenous treatment and binary outcome. The three main contributions of the paper are (a) clarifying the relationship between the Average Treatment Effect obtained in the bivariate probit model and the Local Average Treatment Effect estimated through linear IV; (b) comparing the mean-square error and the actual size and power of tests based on these estimators across a wide range of parameter values relative to the existing literature; and (c) assessing the performance of misspecification tests for bivariate probit models. The authors recommend two changes to common practices: bootstrapped confidence intervals for both estimators, and a score test to check goodness of fit for the bivariate probit model.
    Keywords: Scientific Research&Science Parks,Science Education,Statistical&Mathematical Sciences,Econometrics,Educational Technology and Distance Education
    Date: 2011–03–01
  14. By: Büttner, Bettina; Thiel, Hendrik; Thomsen, Stephan L.
    Abstract: Despite the interdependence between cognitive and noncognitive skills, empirical studies have shown a longer period of acquisition in life-time for the latter besides relevance for educational and labor market success. Analyzing returns of investments during different periods of life is therefore economically meaningful. We evaluate the effects of a substantial increase in the amount of curriculum per unit of time (learning intensity) at the end of higher secondary schooling on nine types of these skills. The results show no influence on the acquisition of noncognitive skills, indicating that personality does rather not depend on schooling investments in late adolescence. --
    Keywords: Noncognitive skills,human capital formation,learning intensity,natural experiment,Big Five,Locus of Control,Reciprocity,Self-Control
    JEL: I21 I28 J24 C21
    Date: 2011

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