nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2011‒05‒07
twelve papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Education outcomes, school governance and parents'demand for accountability : evidence from Albania By Serra, Danila; Barr, Abigail; Packard, Truman
  2. Evaluating public per-student subsidies to low-cost private schools : regression-discontinuity evidence from Pakistan By Barrera-Osorio, Felipe; Raju, Dhushyanth
  3. The Dynamics of Labor Productivity in Swiss Universities By Thomas Bolli; Mehdi Farsi
  4. Doble jornada escolar y calidad de la educación en Colombia By Leonardo Bonilla Mejía
  5. Influence of Course Delivery Method and Proctoring on Performance in Introductory Economics By Wachenheim, Cheryl J.
  6. Employability and skill set of newly graduated engineers in India By Blom, Andreas; Saeki, Hiroshi
  7. School Breakfast and Lunch Costs: Are There Economies of Scale? By Ollinger, Michael; Ralston, Katherine; Guthrie, Joanne
  8. Do Schooling Years Improve the Earning Capacity of Lower Income Groups? By Mamoon, Dawood
  9. Industry-Science Connections in Agriculture: Do public science collaborations and knowledge flows contribute to firm-level agricultural research productivity? By Toole, Andrew A; King, John L
  10. Funding Scientific Knowledge: Selection, Disclosure and the Public-Private Portfolio By Joshua Gans; Fiona E. Murray
  11. Subsidy Incidence in Agricultural Land Markets: An Experimental Investigation By Nagler, Amy M.; Menkhaus, Dale J.; Bastian, Christopher; Ehmke, Mariah D.
  12. Positioning A Value Added Entrepreneurship Course in A New College Curruculum: A CFANS Example By Nefstead, Ward E.

  1. By: Serra, Danila; Barr, Abigail; Packard, Truman
    Abstract: The extent to which teachers and school directors are held to account may play a central role in determining education outcomes, particularly in developing and transition countries where institutional deficiencies can distort incentives. This paper investigates the relationship between an expanded set of school inputs, including proxies for the functionality of"top-down"and"bottom-up"accountability systems, and education outputs in Albanian primary schools. The authors use data generated by an original survey of 180 nationally representative schools. The analysis shows a strong negative correlation between measures of top-down accountability and students'rates of grade repetition and failure in final examinations, and a strong positive correlation between measures of top-down accountability and students'excellence in math. Bottom-up accountability measures are correlated to various education outputs, although they tend lose statistical significance once parent characteristics, school resources and top-down accountability indicators are considered. An in-depth analysis of participatory accountability within the schools focuses on parents'willingness to hold teachers to account. Here, the survey data are combined with data from lab-type experiments conducted with parents and teachers in the schools. In general, the survey data highlight problems of limited parental involvement and lack of information about participatory accountability structures. The experiments indicate that the lack of parental participation in the school accountability system is owing to information constraints and weak institutions that allow parent class representatives to be appointed by teachers rather than elected by parents.
    Keywords: Tertiary Education,Education For All,Primary Education,Teaching and Learning,Secondary Education
    Date: 2011–04–01
  2. By: Barrera-Osorio, Felipe; Raju, Dhushyanth
    Abstract: This study estimates the causal effects of a public per-student subsidy program targeted at low-cost private schools in Pakistan on student enrollment and schooling inputs. Program entry is ultimately conditional on achieving a minimum stipulated student pass rate (cutoff) in a standardized academic test. This mechanism for treatment assignment allows the application of regression-discontinuity (RD) methods to estimate program impacts at the cutoff. Data on two rounds of entry test takers (phase 3 and phase 4) are used. Modeling the entry process of phase-4 test takers as a sharp RD design, the authors find evidence of large positive impacts on the number of students, teachers, classrooms, and blackboards. Modeling the entry process of phase-3 test takers as a partially-fuzzy RD design given treatment crossovers, they do not find evidence of significant program impacts on outcomes of interest. The latter finding is likely due to weak identification arising from a small jump in the probability of treatment at the cutoff.
    Keywords: Tertiary Education,Education For All,Primary Education,Teaching and Learning,Secondary Education
    Date: 2011–04–01
  3. By: Thomas Bolli (KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich, Switzerland); Mehdi Farsi (CEPE, ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the labor productivity of Swiss university departments between 1995 and 2007. Using a parametric input distance function we estimate and decompose the Malmquist productivity indexes in line with Fuentes et al. (2001) and Atkinson et al. (2003). By contrast to those studies, this paper proposes a panel data specification to account for unobserved heterogeneity across production units. The adopted model is a mixed-effects model with department fixed effects as well as random coefficients for time variables. We also use an autoregressive stochastic term to model inefficiency shocks while allowing for gradual improvement of persistent inefficiencies. The results indicate a negative trend in overall productivity measured by Malmquist index, particularly after 2002, with an average productivity decline of about one percent per year. A major part of this productivity decline coincides with the recent developments in Switzerland’s higher education system following the adoption of the Bologna agreement. However, the results do not provide any evidence of statistically significant relationship between productivity and reforms. Our decomposition analysis suggests that the observed productivity decline could be contributed to technical regress but also to a rising inefficiency with a relatively high level of persistence. The results also point to various patterns across different fields. In particular, economics and business departments and law schools show the lowest performance, whereas science departments stand out as an exception with productivity improvement.
    Keywords: Swiss Universities, Parametric Distance Function, Heterogeneity, Malmquist Index, Decomposition, Autocorrelation
    JEL: C23 D24 I23 J24
    Date: 2011–04
  4. By: Leonardo Bonilla Mejía
    Abstract: La calidad de la educación es uno de los principales determinantes del crecimiento económico y el desarrollo. El principal objetivo del presente documento es evaluar si la doble jornada escolar tiene efectos negativos sobre la calidad de la educación en Colombia. Para esto se estima el efecto local promedio del tratamiento a partir de regresiones con variables instrumentales. Los resultados son consistentes con la evidencia internacional: estudiar en jornada completa tiene un impacto positivo sobre los resultados académicos, especialmente cuando se compara con los estudiantes de la jornada de la tarde. Además, se aproximan los costos fijos de la implementación de una jornada diurna única en Colombia. Se trata sin duda de una suma considerable, pero alcanzable, sobre todo si se compara con el presupuesto de inversión de otras áreas. ABSTRACT: Quality of education is one of the most important determinants of economic growth and development. The main purpose of this paper is to evaluate if double-shift schooling has a negative effect on the quality of education in Colombia. Instrumental variables regressions are used to estimate the local average treatment effects. Results are consistent with international evidence: Attending single-shift schools has a positive impact on academic performance, particularly if compared to students attending the afternoon shift. The fixed costs of implementing a single-shift school system in Colombia are also estimated. Without any doubt, it is a very big investment, yet reachable, especially when compared to the public expenditures on other areas.
    Date: 2011–04–28
  5. By: Wachenheim, Cheryl J.
    Abstract: This work was published in the Review of Agricultural Economics. See Wachenheim, C.J. 2009. Final Exam Scores in Introductory Economics Courses: Effect of Course Delivery Method and Proctoring. Review of Agricultural Economics 31(3), pp. 640-652.
    Keywords: Online, Assessment, Education, Economics, Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession,
    Date: 2011
  6. By: Blom, Andreas; Saeki, Hiroshi
    Abstract: Skill shortage remains one of the major constraints to continued growth of the Indian economy. This employer survey seeks to address this knowledge-gap by answering three questions: (i) Which skills do employers consider important when hiring new engineering graduates? (ii) How satisfied are employers with the skills of engineering graduates? and (iii) In which important skills are the engineers falling short? The results confirm a widespread dissatisfaction with the current graduates -- 64 percent of employers hiring fresh engineering graduates are only somewhat satisfied with the quality of the new hires or worse. After classifying all skills by factor analysis, the authors find that employers perceive Soft Skills (Core Employability Skills and Communication Skills) to be very important. Skill gaps are particularly severe in the higher-order thinking skills ranked according to Bloom's taxonomy. In contrast, communication in English has the smallest skill gap, but remains one of the most demanded skills by the employers. Although employers across India asks for the same set of soft skills, their skill demands differ for Professional Skills across economic sectors, company sizes, and regions. These findings suggest that engineering education institutions should: (i) seek to improve the skill set of graduates; (ii) recognize the importance of Soft Skills, (iii) refocus the assessments, teaching-learning process, and curricula away from lower-order thinking skills, such as remembering and understanding, toward higher-order skills, such as analyzing and solving engineering problems, as well as creativity; and (iv) interact more with employers to understand the particular demand for skills in that region and sector.
    Keywords: Teaching and Learning,ICT Policy and Strategies,Primary Education,Educational Sciences,Knowledge for Development
    Date: 2011–04–01
  7. By: Ollinger, Michael; Ralston, Katherine; Guthrie, Joanne
    Abstract: On a given school day, over 31 million lunches and 10.1 million breakfasts are served to children in participating American schools through the USDA National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. The United States Department of Agriculture reimburses schools for some or all of their costs. Reimbursement rates are based on an average meal cost, adjusted each year based on the national CPI for food away from home. There is no adjustment for school characteristics such as size, although there can be as much as a seven-fold difference in the number of meals served, from the smallest to largest schools. Yet, economists have shown that economies of scale exist in a variety of commercial and industrial settings. Thus, we use a multiproduct translog cost function to estimate the costs of school breakfasts and lunches. Results indicate substantial and persistent economies of scale across 21 locations for school breakfasts but few unexploited scale economies in school lunches.
    Keywords: National School Lunch Program, school meal costs, school breakfast costs, School breakfast program, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Food Security and Poverty,
    Date: 2011
  8. By: Mamoon, Dawood
    Abstract: The paper analyses the relationship between the popular Barro and Lee (2001) ‘Average years of Schooling’ with income inequality, wage inequality, and income deciles and income percentiles for the sample of developed and developing countries. The results suggest that countries where students complete higher numbers of years of schooling on average also perform better on relative incomes meaning that increase in average income comes from improvements in the earning capacity of the lower income groups or unskilled labor. The paper also finds that an educated population means that there is redistribution of income from the rich to the poor creating thriving middle class.
    Keywords: Education; Inequality
    JEL: D31 D33 A2
    Date: 2011–04–26
  9. By: Toole, Andrew A; King, John L
    Abstract: Prior research identifies a direct positive link between the stock of public scientific knowledge and agricultural productivity; however, an indirect contribution to agricultural productivity is also possible when this stock facilitates private sector invention. This study examines how âconnectednessâ between the stock of public scientific knowledge and private firms influences firm-level research productivity. Bibliographic information identifies the nature and degree to which firms use public agricultural science through citations and collaborations on scientific papers. Fixed effects models show that greater citations and collaborations with university researchers are associated with greater agricultural research productivity.
    Keywords: public science, research productivity, patents, citations, collaboration, R&D, Productivity Analysis, Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies, Q16, O31,
    Date: 2011–04–27
  10. By: Joshua Gans; Fiona E. Murray
    Abstract: This paper examines argues that while two distinct perspectives characterize the foundations of the public funding of research – filling a selection gap and solving a disclosure problem – in fact both the selection choices of public funders and their criteria for disclosure and commercialization shape the level and type of funding for research and the disclosures that arise as a consequence. In making our argument, we begin by reviewing project selection criteria and policies towards disclosure and commercialization (including patent rights) made by major funding organizations, noting the great variation between these institutions. We then provide a model of how selection criteria and funding conditions imposed by funders interact with the preferences of scientists to shape those projects that accept public funds and the overall level of openness in research. Our analysis reveals complex and unexpected relationships between public funding, private funding, and public disclosure of research. We show, for example, that funding choices made by public agencies can lead to unintended, paradoxical effects, providing short-term openness while stifling longer-term innovation. Implications for empirical evaluation and an agenda for future research are discussed.
    JEL: O34 O38
    Date: 2011–04
  11. By: Nagler, Amy M.; Menkhaus, Dale J.; Bastian, Christopher; Ehmke, Mariah D.
    Abstract: We use laboratory market experiments to control for market power and social norms in order to evaluate market outcomes associated with subsidy incidence. We estimate the incidence of a stylized agricultural subsidy in laboratory land rental negotiations and compare the market behavior of university students to agricultural professionals. In separate sessions with both subject groups, 21.5 percent of a per-unit subsidy paid to the buyer (tenant) was passed on to sellers (landlords). The consistent treatment effect between students and professionals is encouraging, particularly in the use of experimental laboratory methods for ex ante analyses of agricultural policy impacts.
    Keywords: agricultural subsidies, ex ante policy analysis, laboratory market experiments, land market, professional versus student subject pools, subsidy incidence, Agricultural and Food Policy, Institutional and Behavioral Economics, Q1, Q18, C92,
    Date: 2011
  12. By: Nefstead, Ward E.
    Keywords: Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession,
    Date: 2011

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