nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2011‒06‒11
eleven papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. How well do South African schools convert grade 8 achievement into matric outcomes? By Stephen Taylor; Servaas van der Berg; Vijay Reddy; Dean Janse van Rensburg
  2. Determinants of undergraduate GPAs in China: college entrance examination scores, high school achievement, and admission route By Bai, Chong-en; Chi, Wei
  3. Students today, teachers tomorrow ? identifying constraints on the provision of Education By Andrabi, Tahir; Das, Jishnu; Khwaja, Asim Ijaz
  4. Are girls the fairer sex in India? Revisiting intra-household allocation of education expenditure By Mehtabul Azam; Geeta Kingdon
  5. Disadvantaged children’s ``low'' educational expectations: Are the US and UK really so different to other industrialized nations? By John Jerrim
  6. Changes in test scores distribution for students of the fourth grade in Brazil : a relative distribution analysis for the years 1997 to 2005 By Rodrigues, Clarissa G.; Rios-Neto, Eduardo L G; Pinto, Cristine Campos de Xavier
  7. Non Cognitive Skills and Personality Traits: Labour Market Relevance and their Development in Education & Training Systems By Brunello, Giorgio; Schlotter, Martin
  8. The impact of higher education institution-firm knowledge links on establishment-level productivity in British regions By Richard Harris; Qian Cher Li; John Moffat
  9. University patenting, licensing and technology transfer: how organizational context and available resources determine performance. By Manuel Mira Godinho; Rui Cartaxo
  10. A Consumer Demand Approach to Estimating the Education Quality Component of Housing Cost By Sofia Andreou, Panos Pashardes and Nicoletta Pashourtidou
  11. Graduation tables: a proposal for a demographic analysis of educational indicators in Brazil By José Irineu Rangel Rigotti; Renato Moreira Hadad

  1. By: Stephen Taylor (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch); Servaas van der Berg (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch); Vijay Reddy (Human Sciences Research Council); Dean Janse van Rensburg (Human Sciences Research Council)
    Abstract: School retention in South Africa and performance in the major school-leaving matric examination are characterised by significant inequalities on the basis of race and socio-economic status. In order to know at what point in the educational trajectory policy interventions and school improvement programmes will be most effective, it is necessary to trace the development of these educational inequalities to earlier phases of schooling and before. This paper reports on findings from a unique dataset that tracks individuals who participated in TIMSS in 2002 as grade 8 students to matric in 2006 and 2007. This permits an investigation into the extent to which educational inequalities are already evident by the eighth grade, and what if anything is achieved by secondary schools to reduce them. Several noteworthy findings emerge. The overall level of achievement, at both grade 8 and matric, differs widely across the historically different parts of the school system. There are also intriguing differences in the abilities of different parts of the system to convert grade 8 achievement into matric outcomes. What is clear is that inequalities in the cognitive ability of students at the outset of secondary school persist and that there is no observable evidence of a closing of these gaps by matric. This points to the importance of interventions prior to secondary school – at the primary school level and even at the level of early childhood development. Finally, it is also demonstrated that the decision to take mathematics in matric is characterised by a high degree of randomness within the historically black part of the school system. This points to the value of meaningful assessment practices and feedback to students, which serve as an important signal as to whether or not to choose mathematics as a matric subject.
    Keywords: South Africa, Socio-economic Status, Education, Educational Achievement, Educational Inequality
    JEL: I20 I21 I30 O15
    Date: 2011
  2. By: Bai, Chong-en; Chi, Wei
    Abstract: Each year, millions of Chinese high school students sit the National College Entrance Examination (CEE). For the majority of students, the CEE score is the single determinant in whether they gain admission into a college and to what college they enter. Despite the significance of the exam, there is very little empirical evidence on the predictive power of the CEE with respect to students’ later academic performance in college. The purpose of this paper is to determine whether and how well the CEE score predicts college academic success. We also consider high school achievement and admission route in predicting college grades. We find that the CEE total and subject test scores predict undergraduate GPAs for all four years in college. High school achievement is also a significant predictor of college grades. Moreover, students’ academic performance in college varies significantly with regard to their admission route.
    Keywords: Undergraduate GPA; Student Attributes; Admission Route
    JEL: I2
    Date: 2011–04
  3. By: Andrabi, Tahir; Das, Jishnu; Khwaja, Asim Ijaz
    Abstract: With an estimated 115 million children not attending primary school in the developing world, increasing access to education is critical. Resource constraints limit the effectiveness of demand-based subsidies. This paper focuses on the importance of a supply-side factor -- the availability of low-cost teachers -- and the resulting ability of the market to offer affordable education. The authors first show that private schools are three times more likely to emerge in villages with government girls'secondary schools (GSS). Identification is obtained by using official school construction guidelines as an instrument for the presence of GSS. In contrast, there is little or no relationship between the presence of a private school and girls'primary or boys'primary and secondary government schools. In support of a supply-channel, the authors then show that, for villages that received a GSS, there are over twice as many educated women and that private school teachers'wages are 27 percent lower in these villages. In an environment with poor female education and low mobility, GSS substantially increase the local supply of skilled women lowering wages locally and allowing the market to offer affordable education. These findings highlight the prominent role of women as teachers in facilitating educational access and resonate with similar historical evidence from developed economies. The students of today are the teachers of tomorrow.
    Keywords: Education For All,Primary Education,Tertiary Education,Secondary Education,Teaching and Learning
    Date: 2011–06–01
  4. By: Mehtabul Azam (The World Bank and IZA.); Geeta Kingdon (Institute of Education, University of London.)
    Abstract: This paper revisits the issue of the intra-household allocation of education expenditure with the recently available India Human Development Survey which refers to 2005 and covers both urban and rural areas. In addition to the traditional Engel method, the paper utilizes a Hurdle model to disentangle the decision to enroll (incur any educational expenditure) and the decision of how much to spend on education, conditional on enrolling. Finally the paper also uses household fixed effects to examine whether any gender bias is a within-household phenomenon. The paper finds that the traditional Engel method often fails to pick up gender bias where it exists not only because of the aggregation of data at the household-level but also because of aggregation of the two decisions in which gender can have opposite signs. It is found that pro-male gender bias exists in the primary school age group for several states but that the incidence of gender bias increases with age – it is greater in the middle school age group (10-14 years) and greater still in the secondary school age group (15-19 years). However, gender discrimination in the secondary school age group 15-19 takes place mainly through the decision to enroll boys and not girls, and not through differential expenditure on girls and boys. The results also suggest that the extent of pro-male gender bias in educational expenditure is substantially greater in rural than in urban areas. Finally, our results suggest that an important mechanism through which households spend less on girls than boys is by sending sons to fee-charging private schools and daughters to the fee-free government-funded schools.
    Keywords: Gender bias, educational expenditure, Engel curve, Hurdle model, India
    JEL: I21 J16 J71
    Date: 2011–06–01
  5. By: John Jerrim (Department of Quantitative Social Science, Institute of Education, University of London, 20 Bedford Way London, WC1H 0AL.)
    Abstract: In most countries, children from disadvantaged backgrounds are under-represented amongst the undergraduate population. One explanation is that they do not see higher education as a realistic goal; that it is ‘not for the likes of them’. In this paper, I use the Programme for International Assessment data to investigate whether 15 year olds from disadvantaged backgrounds are less likely to expect to complete university than their advantaged peers. I explore this issue across the OECD nations, though paying particular attention to the US and UK. My results suggest that children from less fortunate families are not as likely to make early plans for university as their affluent peers. Yet the extent to which these findings differ across countries is rather modest, with little evidence to suggest that the UK stands out from other members of the OECD. The US, on the other hand, appears to be a nation where the relationship between socio-economic background and the expectation of completing higher education is comparatively weak.
    Keywords: Higher Education, University Access, Educational Expectations, PISA
    JEL: I21 I28 J62
    Date: 2011–06–06
  6. By: Rodrigues, Clarissa G.; Rios-Neto, Eduardo L G; Pinto, Cristine Campos de Xavier
    Abstract: To assess the quality of school education, much of educational research is concernedwith comparisons of test scores means or medians. In this paper, we shift this focus andexplore test scores data by addressing some often neglected questions. In the case ofBrazil, the mean of test scores in Math for students of the fourth grade has declinedapproximately 0,2 standard deviation in the late 1990s. But what about changes in thedistribution of scores? It is unclear whether the decline was caused by deterioration instudent performance in upper and/or lower tails of the distribution. To answer thisquestion, we propose the use of the relative distribution method developed by Handcockand Morris (1999). The advantage of this methodology is that it compares twodistributions of test scores data through a single distribution and synthesizes all thedifferences between them. Moreover, it is possible to decompose the total differencebetween two distributions in a level effect (changes in median) and shape effect(changes in shape of the distribution). We find that the decline of average-test scores ismainly caused by a worsening in the position of all students throughout the distributionof scores and is not only specific to any quantile of distribution.
    Date: 2011–05–27
  7. By: Brunello, Giorgio (University of Padova); Schlotter, Martin (Ifo Institute for Economic Research)
    Abstract: This paper reviews the empirical economic literature on the relative importance of non cognitive skills for school and labour market outcomes, with a focus on Europe. There is evidence that high cognitive test scores are likely to result not only from high cognitive skills but also from high motivation and adequate personality traits. This suggests that part of the contribution of cognitive skills to economic growth could be due to personality traits. Across large parts of the literature, there is consensus that non cognitive skills have important effects both on school attainment and on labour market outcomes. These effects might be as important as the effects of cognitive skills. Less consensus exists on the malleability of non cognitive skills, with some arguing that these skills can be altered until the end of teenage years and others claiming that emotional intelligence can be changed at any age. Most of what economists know about the technology of non cognitive skill formation concerns early educational levels, such as preschools and schools. While it is difficult to argue that all relevant skill formation ends before labour market entry, there is scant evidence on the role of the workplace in the maintenance and development of existing skills. Clearly, more research in this area is needed.
    Keywords: non cognitive skills, Europe
    JEL: J24
    Date: 2011–05
  8. By: Richard Harris (Department of Economics, University of Glasgow); Qian Cher Li (Imperial College, London); John Moffat (University of Strathclyde)
    Abstract: This paper estimates whether sourcing knowledge from and/or cooperating on innovation with higher education institutions impacts on establishment-level TFP and whether this impact differs across domestically-owned and foreign-owned establishments and across the regions of Great Britain. Using propensity score matching, the results show overall a positive and statistically significant impact although there are differences in the strength of this impact across production and non-production industries, across domestically-owned and foreign-owned firms, and across regions. These results highlight the importance of absorptive capacity in determining the extent to which establishments can benefit from linkages with higher education institutions.
    Keywords: Universities; University-Industry knowledge links; Firm-level productivity
    JEL: D24 I23
    Date: 2010–09
  9. By: Manuel Mira Godinho (UECE and ISEG/UTL); Rui Cartaxo (ISEG/UTL)
    Abstract: The paper assesses the performance of the technology licensing offices (TLO) and technology transfer offices (TTO) which have been active in Portuguese higher education institutions. Data stemming from a survey of these entities was analyzed in successive steps through factor analysis, cluster analysis and estimation of a model using the Partial-Least Squares methodology. It is shown that the institutional nature of each of the surveyed organizations implies different behaviours and outcomes. Further it has also became clear that the type of resources and activities in the surveyed organizations determine both their “primary outcome” (patent applications and technology transfer processes) and their “final outcome” (technology licensing contracts and technology-based spin-offs). The results of this paper might be particularly relevant for other similar economies as Portugal where high-tech and knowledge-intensive industries have not been dominant.
    Keywords: technology transfer; university-industry relationships; university patenting; university spin-offs
    JEL: O32 O34 I23
    Date: 2011
  10. By: Sofia Andreou, Panos Pashardes and Nicoletta Pashourtidou
    Abstract: A consumer demand-based approach is proposed for estimating the shadow price of education relative to housing for households with children in state schools. This approach can be used together with or in place of a hedonic approach in countries where the location of households is not disclosed in publicly available data. An empirical illustration is provided using UK data from the family expenditure surveys.
    Keywords: Consumer demand, hedonic analysis, school quality
    Date: 2011–06
  11. By: José Irineu Rangel Rigotti (Cedeplar-UFMG); Renato Moreira Hadad (PUC-Minas)
    Abstract: Demographic censuses usually contain information about a graded education system, i.e. age and grade declarations. This information can be used to estimate a series of indicators, useful for diagnostics and prognostics of the educational system. One of the principal goals of this paper is to provide a new technical framework to forecast population by levels of schooling, in a country or region. It follows in the tradition of formal demographic methodologies used in analyzing and projecting population, such as Life Tables. Thus, one could study the probable social consequences of the implementation of any educational policies related to promotion and retention practices, over the medium and long runs. The methodological procedures were applied to the five Brazilian Regions, although it could be applied to other countries or regions that have the information of grades concluded by age.
    Keywords: Demographic analysis, trends and forecast of educational indicators, regional inequalities.
    JEL: J11
    Date: 2011–05

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