nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2011‒05‒24
seventeen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Illinois Guidance Counselors' Knowledge and Perceptions of Career and Technical Education (CTE) Fields and Implications for Higher Education and Employers In the Agricultural Field By Spaulding, Aslihan D.; Steffen, Richard
  2. Educational Aspirations By Paweł Strawiński
  3. The Effect of Student Time Allocation on Academic Achievement By Barbara S. Grave
  4. Quality differentials in Italian Universities' freshmen: the case of Medical and Dental Surgery schools By Paolo Sestito; Marco Tonello
  5. Help students to think outside the box with entrepreneurship education in the Colleges of Agriculture By Liang, Chyi-lyi
  6. Salary Schedules, Teacher Sorting, and Teacher Quality By Gregory Gilpin
  7. Spillover Effects of Maternal Education on Child's Health and Schooling By Daniel Kemptner; Jan Marcus
  8. Gender disparities in primary education across siblings: is intra household disparity higher in regions with low child sex ratios? By Husain, Zakir; Dutta, Mousumi; Saha, Manashi
  9. University-Industry interactions and knowledge transfer mechanisms: a critical survey By Azele Mathieu
  10. The associations between early life circumstances and later life health and employment in the Netherlands and Spain By Manuel Flores; Adriaan Kalwij
  11. Participation in the USDA National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs: Evidence from a Nationally Representative Elementary School Survey By Powell, Lisa M.; Turner, Lindsey; Ralston, Katherine
  12. The Employment Advantages of Skilled Urban Areas By Ana Maria DIAZ ESCOBAR
  13. Unbundling the Degree Effect in a Job Training Program for Disadvantaged Youth By Bampasidou, Maria; Flores, Carlos A.; Flores-Lagunes, Alfonso
  14. Higher Education and agricultural careers: the relative importance of and returns to an agricultural major By Artz, Georgeanne M.; Kimle, Kevin L.; Orazem, Peter F.
  15. Do Leader and Organizational Characteristics Affect Scientist's Productivity? A Multilevel Analysis of Nigerian Agricultural Research System By Ragasa, Catherine; Babu, Suresh C.; Abdullahi, Aliyu Sabi
  16. Efficiency, equality and reciprocity in social preferences: A comparison of students and a representative population. By Cappelen, Alexander W.; Nygaard, Knut; Sørensen, Erik Ø.; Tungodden, Bertil
  17. What motivates academic scientists to engage in research commercialization: ‘gold’, ‘ribbon’ or ‘puzzle’? By Lam, Alice

  1. By: Spaulding, Aslihan D.; Steffen, Richard
    Abstract: The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) cites the 2005 National Association of Manufacturerâs Skills Gap Report that over 80 percent of respondents to that survey said that they were experiencing a shortage of qualified workers. It is the Career and Technical Education (CTE) field that tries to close this gap by preparing students for the 21st century workforce. Sustaining educationally sound and robust CTE programs depends on a stable level of enrollment. When student demand for CTE classes suffers due to increased academic demands, opportunities for CTE to play a role in enhancing the performance of schools through practical application of academics to the âreal worldâ suffers. One of the factors playing a direct role in the success of CTE programs at the secondary level is the knowledge and perceptions of guidance counselors. It is logical to believe that if the guidance counselor understands the career and higher education opportunities related to those fields, they would be more likely to advise students to explore CTE. Guidance Counselor knowledge of the opportunities for careers and for higher education in a specific career field is vital to the continued success of CTE, the schools and to industry needing a well trained work force. CTE leaders and proponents are often concerned about School Counselorsâ(SC) knowledge of CTE career and higher education opportunities and their willingness to encourage students to consider CTE fields (Brand, 2008). Anecdotally, counselorâs knowledge and support of CTE is often cited as a concern. The importance of the role of the SC in promoting or discouraging students for CTE fields has been examined (Matulis, and Osborne 1990). Research by Dyer (2003) found that agriculture teachers perceived support of guidance counselors the second most influential factor behind scheduling conflicts as a problem preventing students from taking agriculture. In fact, the Association of California School Administrators (2008) identified guidance counselors as a key component in efforts to improve graduation rates and achievement scores by strengthening CTE. In an attempt to understand more clearly, the role of Illinois school counselors in the guidance process, and to identify support the CTE fields might provide school counselors to assist with their professional duties, a series of research projects were conducted. The initial two studies in this series sought to identify the knowledge levels and perceptions of school counselors about the career and higher education opportunities in agriculture. This was followed by a two part study, first to assess knowledge levels and perceptions of school counselors about the career and higher education opportunities in Career and Technical Education (CTE) fields, and in the second phase, to use a consensus process to identify tools and methods to help educate the school counselors about opportunities in CTE.
    Keywords: School Counselors, CTE, Guidance for Careers in Agriculture, Agriculture Education, Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession, I23,
    Date: 2011
  2. By: Paweł Strawiński (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw)
    Abstract: The purpose of this study is to check to what extent different environmental and institutional surroundings affect educational aspirations. We conduct a comparison study between different local municipalities in Poland. We use statistical description to compare educational aspirations in selected regions of Poland and apply econometric techniques to test formally the relation between educational aspirations and education, income and other socioeconomic factors. We show that the level of aspirations is well diversified and is higher in developed areas of Poland. We also found that contrary to the existing literature, the educational aspirations seem to rise with age of the respondent.
    Keywords: aspirations, returns to education
    JEL: J31 J61 I21
    Date: 2011
  3. By: Barbara S. Grave
    Abstract: There is a large literature on the influence of institutional characteristics on student academic achievement. In contrast, relatively little research focuses on student time allocation and its effects on student performance. This paper contributes to the literature by investigating the effect of student time allocation on the average grade of undergraduate students, by gender, ability and field of study. The results suggest that time spent on attending courses is positively associated with grades for females, high ability students and students of Social Sciences and Sciences/Engineering. Spending time on self-study, on other study-related activities or on working as a student assistant or tutor is positively correlated with grades for almost all students. Devoting time for attending tutorials or student work groups is negatively correlated with grades if the ability of the students is below average or if they study Sciences/ Engineering. Using a translog production function, the results indicate that spending time on courses, on self-study, and on other study-related activities are substitutes. However, time spent on courses and time spent on working as a student assistant or tutor are complements.
    Keywords: Student time allocation; student performance; educational production function
    JEL: I21 J2
    Date: 2010–12
  4. By: Paolo Sestito (Bank of Italy, Structural Economic Analysis Department); Marco Tonello (Catholic University of Milan and University of Milano-Bicocca)
    Abstract: The paper compares the quality of Italian Medical schools’ freshmen on the basis of the scores obtained in the locally conducted entry exams which are using a common national test frame. The test is quite selective (partly because of the reduced size of the intake yearly allowed): winners are people on average better than the average graduates of their own secondary schools and 15% of them have already had some college education in other fields. Among Universities there appear to be sizable and stable over time differences in the average quality of freshmen; while students from the South have on average worse results in the tests, those of them moving to Northern Universities contribute to the higher average quality of these Universities’ freshmen. Comparing, for Dental Surgery schools which have used both, local tests and a national test (the position in the national test governing the priority in the choice of the school where to enroll), it seems that the latter amplifies (shrinks) the difference between (within each of the several) Universities in the freshmen’s composition.
    Keywords: college enrollment, freshmen quality, selection mechanisms
    JEL: I23 I21
    Date: 2011–04
  5. By: Liang, Chyi-lyi
    Abstract: This paper presents a sample road map of creating and implementing a successful entrepreneurship curriculum in the College of Agriculture.
    Keywords: College of Agriculture, Entrepreneurship Education, Curriculum Development, Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession, Q0,
    Date: 2011
  6. By: Gregory Gilpin (Montana State University)
    Abstract: This study investigates how salary rigidities affect teacher quality across teaching subjects and high schools and whether high quality teachers can be compensated sufficiently to attract them into unfavorable schools. For identification, we rely on idiosyncratic variations in compensation across adjacent districts within the same state. The results indicate that, on average, math/science teachers’ scholastic aptitudes are 8.5 percentiles lower and humanities teachers are 4.5 percentiles lower compared to other teachers. Furthermore, we find that schools with higher percentages of student eligible for free lunch hire teachers with, on average, 7 to 17 percentiles lower scholastic aptitudes with the math/science teachers being even lower. Increases in lifetime compensation is found to raise the scholastic aptitude of teachers hired across all schools, with diminishing returns in schools with more favorable working conditions. However, the lower 26% of the teacher aptitude distribution seems to not respond to compensation at all with only marginal gains up to the 60th percentile. Furthermore, bonus/merit pay or additional school activity income do not seem to be significant in recruiting/retaining high aptitude teachers.
    Date: 2011–05
  7. By: Daniel Kemptner; Jan Marcus
    Abstract: This is the first study investigating the causal effect of maternal education on child’s health and schooling outcomes in Germany. We apply an instrumental variables approach that has not yet been used in the intergenerational context. For that purpose, we draw on a rich German panel data set (SOEP) containing information about three generations. This allows instrumenting maternal education by the number of her siblings while conditioning on a set of variables describing the grandparents’ social status and the area where the mother grew up. Given these variables, the number of siblings generates exogenous variation in the years of education by affecting the household resources available per child. We present evidence for strong and significant effects on schooling outcomes for both sexes. And, we find substantial effects on health behaviour for adolescent daughters, but not for adolescent sons. We show that possible concerns for the validity of the instrument are unlikely to compromise these results. We also discuss assortative mating and household income as possible channels of causality.
    Keywords: Intergenerational mobility, returns to education, health, instrumental variables
    JEL: I12 I21 J62
    Date: 2011
  8. By: Husain, Zakir; Dutta, Mousumi; Saha, Manashi
    Abstract: Strong son preference in developing countries often motivates parents to undertake sex selection at birth, infanticide, and subsequent neglect of daughters, leading to low child sex ratios in these countries. An interesting question is whether such attitudes also lead to gender discrimination in primary education. While there is a vast literature on inter-household gender discrimination in education, studies of discrimination between siblings is comparatively rare. This paper asks the question: Do parents tend to educate sons more than daughters? Using unit level National Sample Survey Organization data for the 61st Round (2004-2005), we analyze disparity in primary educational attainments between siblings and examine whether such intra-household disparity is higher in areas where child sex ratios are low. Findings indicate that parental attitude towards education and practices may be more complicated and less uniformly negative at lower levels of education than commonly portrayed.
    Keywords: Education; Gender; Sibling; India
    JEL: I21 C25 J16
    Date: 2011–05–05
  9. By: Azele Mathieu
    Abstract: This article reviews the literature on knowledge transfer mechanisms (KTMs) used in university-industry interactions. The literature may be articulated around four dimensions: (i) the relative importance of KTM as perceived by the involved stakeholders, (ii) the factors affecting the organisation of university-industry interactions, (iii) the interrelatedness of different KTMs and, (iv) the impact of increased university-interactions on traditional academic missions. An outstanding fact stemming from this review is that spin-offs and patents are not considered by the university and the industry as the most important KTMs. Traditional KTMs, such as publications or collaborative research however, are perceived as more significant ways of transferring knowledge. A large variety of factors influence the use of a KTM (for instance, characteristics of researchers or of the involved firms). While some trends may be outlined, not much is known so far about the interweaving of different KTMs. Consequently, no simple model of knowledge transfer between universities and the business sector is possible, and should certainly not be restricted to “new” KTMs. As regards to the risks of increased reliance of university on the business sector, I suggest that those risks could be limited under some conditions.
    Keywords: Knowledge transfer mechanisms; University-industry interactions; Impact on academic research
    JEL: L30 O31 O34
    Date: 2011–05
  10. By: Manuel Flores; Adriaan Kalwij
    Abstract: Using data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe, this paper provides empirical evidence for the Netherlands and Spain on the associations between individuals' early life circumstances - measured by health and socioeconomic status (SES) during childhood - educational attainment, and later life health and employment (at ages 50-64). We find that for both men and women in the Netherlands and Spain, favorable early life circumstances (i.e., better childhood health and higher SES) are associated with a higher level of education, which is in turn associated with better health later in life. This latter is also linked to early life circumstances conditional on educational attainment. For men only, favorable early life circumstances are associated with a higher incidence of later life employment, primarily because of better later life health. Our findings thus suggest that policies aimed at improving children's s health and SES may have long-term benefits through increased individual educational attainment and later life health and employment.
    Keywords: Early life circumstances, health, employment
    JEL: D00 I10 J10 J20
    Date: 2011–04
  11. By: Powell, Lisa M.; Turner, Lindsey; Ralston, Katherine
    Keywords: school meals, NSLP, SBP, Agricultural and Food Policy, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety,
    Date: 2011–07
  12. By: Ana Maria DIAZ ESCOBAR (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))
    Abstract: This paper explores whether the agglomeration of human capital leads to social employment advantages in urban labor markets of a developing country: Colombia. I estimate the social effects of human capital agglomeration by comparing employment opportunities of individuals located in urban areas in which the level of education differs. Results show that employment opportunities are higher on average in skilled urban areas. Three explanations have been offered: human capital externalities, production complementarities, and consumption spillovers. To distinguish between them, I analyze the effect of an increase on the college share on the employment rate for different education groups. Spatial employment differences in Colombia are mostly explained by human capital externalities and production complementarities.
    Keywords: local labor markets, employment, human capital externalities, production complementarities, consumer demand spillovers, signaling, congestion
    JEL: R23 J21 J24
    Date: 2011–04–26
  13. By: Bampasidou, Maria; Flores, Carlos A.; Flores-Lagunes, Alfonso
    Abstract: Government-sponsored education and training programs have the goal to enhance participants' skills so as to become more employable, productive and dependable citizens and thus alleviate poverty and decrease public dependence. While most of the literature evaluating training programs concentrates on estimating their total average treatment effect, these programs offer a variety of services to participants. Estimating the effect of these components is of importance for the design and the evaluation of labor market programs. In this paper, we employ a recent nonparametric approach to estimate bounds on the "mechanism average treatment effect" to evaluate the causal effect of attaining a high school diploma, General Education Development or vocational certificate within a training program for disadvantaged youth 16-24 (Job Corps) relative to other services offered, on two labor outcomes: employment probability and weekly earnings. We provide these estimates for different demographic groups by race, ethnicity, gender, and two age-risk groups (youth and young adults). Our analysis depicts a positive impact of a degree attainment within the training program on employment probability and weekly earnings for the majority of its participants which in general accounts for 55 - 63 percent of the effect of the program. The heterogeneity of the key demographic subgroups is documented in the relative importance of a degree attainment and of the other services provided in Job Corps.
    Keywords: Causal Inference, Treatment Effects, Mechanism Average Effects, Nonparametric Bounds, Potential Outcomes, Principal Stratification, Training Programs, Job Corps, Active Labor Market Policies, Labor and Human Capital, Public Economics, C14, I20, J01,
    Date: 2011
  14. By: Artz, Georgeanne M.; Kimle, Kevin L.; Orazem, Peter F.
    Abstract: Agribusiness firms are increasingly hiring non-agriculture college graduates. Unclear is whether the demand for non-agriculture graduates is predicated on an undersupply of agriculture graduates or if non-agriculture graduates have skills that are not being developed in traditional agriculture programs. This study uses a large random sample of graduates of a Midwestern Land-Grant University to explore the returns by major in the agricultural and non-agricultural sectors. The strength of the study is its ability to identify the value of agricultural sector-specific skills versus general skills developed by major. The results suggest that there are substantial returns to agriculture majors working in agriculture, but only when the firms are located in urban areas. In addition, the pay gap between working in agriculture and outside of agriculture varies by majors within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. This suggests that some majors develop substantial sector-specific skills, while others, notably Agricultural Business/Agricultural Economics develop more generally valued skills.
    Keywords: salary models, agricultural economics, college of agriculture graduages, industry specific skills, Agribusiness, Labor and Human Capital,
    Date: 2011
  15. By: Ragasa, Catherine; Babu, Suresh C.; Abdullahi, Aliyu Sabi
    Abstract: Organizations offer employees with opportunities to cultivate their innovativeness and facilitate greater productivity. In this paper we analyze preconditions for individual productivity of agricultural researchers in Nigeria, measured in terms of the self-reported number of scholarly publications and technologies produced; presence of external collaborators; number of dissemination events for publications produced; and perceived adoption level of technologies developed. It utilizes a multilevel analysis to systematically examine what characteristics of individual scientists and organizations promote greater individual productivity. The statistically significant random-effect estimates show that there is considerable variance across the 47 organizations after adjusting for the effects of differences in individual characteristics. Moreover, several measures of organizational characteristics are statistically significant in explaining variations in individual productivity. This paper contributes to limited studies that systematically analyze the influence of organizational factors and the organization headâs characteristics on individual researcherâs performance.
    Keywords: organizational culture, multilevel analysis, poisson, productivity, research, motivation, Institutional and Behavioral Economics, Productivity Analysis, Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies, Q16, L32, D23,
    Date: 2011
  16. By: Cappelen, Alexander W. (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration); Nygaard, Knut (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration); Sørensen, Erik Ø. (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration); Tungodden, Bertil (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)
    Abstract: The debate between Engelmann and Strobel (2004, 2006) and Fehr, Naef, and Schmidt (2006) highlights the important question of the extent to which lab experiments on student populations can serve to identify the motivational forces present in society at large. We address this question by comparing the lab behavior of a student group and a non-student group, where the non-student group on all observable factors is almost identical to the representative adult population in Norway. All participants take part in exactly the same lab experiment. Our study shows that students may not be informative of the role of social preferences in the broader population. We nd that the representative participants differ fundamentally from students both in their level of selfishness and in the relative importance assigned to different moral motives. It is also interesting to note that while we do not find any substantial gender differences among the students, males and females in the representative group differ fundamentally in their moral motivation.
    Keywords: Representative sample; Social preferences; Laboratory experiment.
    JEL: C91 D63
    Date: 2010–11–15
  17. By: Lam, Alice
    Abstract: This paper employs the three concepts of ‘gold’ (financial rewards), ‘ribbon’ (reputational/career rewards) and ‘puzzle’ (intrinsic satisfaction) to examine the extrinsic and intrinsic aspects of scientists’ motivation for pursuing commercial activities. The study is based on 36 individual interviews and an on-line questionnaire survey of 735 scientists from five major UK research universities. It finds that there is a diversity of motivations for commercial engagement, and that many do so for reputational and intrinsic reasons and that financial rewards play a relatively small part. The paper draws on self-determination theory in social psychology to analyse the relationship between scientists’ value orientations with regard to commercial engagement and their personal motivations. It finds that those with traditional beliefs about the separation of science from commerce are more likely to be extrinsically motivated, using commercialization as a means to obtain resources to support their quest for the ‘ribbon’. In contrast, those identify closely with entrepreneurial norms are intrinsically motivated by the autonomy and ‘puzzle-solving’ involved in applied commercial research while also motivated by the ‘gold’. The study highlights the primacy of scientists’ self motivation, and suggests that a fuller explanation of their commercial behaviour will need to consider a broader mix of motives to include the social and affective aspects of intrinsic motivation. In conclusion, the paper argues that policy to encourage commercial engagement should build on reputational and intrinsic rather than purely financial motivations.
    Keywords: Academic scientists; entrepreneurial university; motivation; scientific norms and values; self-determination theory; research commercialization; knowledge transfer
    JEL: L2 I23 O31
    Date: 2010–12

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