nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2011‒06‒25
nineteen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. The Kunskapsskolan (“The Knowledge School”): A Personalised Approach to Education By Odd Eiken
  2. How do Performance Targets Affect Future Performance by Students and Schools? By M. Sartarelli; A. Tampieri
  3. Federal Aid and Equality of Educational Opportunity: Evidence from the Introduction of Title I in the South By Elizabeth U. Cascio; Nora E. Gordon; Sarah J. Reber
  4. Quel enseignement supérieur pour une meilleure insertion professionnelle au Bénin ? By SENOU, Barthélemy Mahugnon
  5. Measuring school value added with administrative data: the problem of missing variables By Alfonso Miranda; Sophia Rabe-Hesketh; Lorraine Dearden
  6. The effect of free primary school choice on ethnic groups – Evidence from a policy reform By Kerstin Schneider; Claudia Schuchart; Horst Weishaupt; Andrea Riedel
  7. Social Transformation and the Transition from Vocational Education to Work By Clemens Noelke; Daniel Horn
  9. The Effect Of Academic Consulting On Research Performance: Evidence From Five Spanish Universities By Rentocchini, Francesco; Manjarrés-Henrìquez, Liney; D'Este, Pablo; Grimaldi, Rosa
  10. Are England’s Academies More Inclusive or More ‘Exclusive’? The Impact of Institutional Change on the Pupil Profile of Schools By Joan Wilson
  11. Educational expansion, earnings compression and changes in intergenerational economic mobility : Evidence from French cohorts, 1931-1976 By Arnaud Lefranc
  12. The Quantity and Quality of Teachers: Dynamics of the Trade-off By Gregory Gilpin; Michael Kaganovich
  13. Access to universities' public knowledge: Who's more nationalist? By Azagra-Caro, Joaquín M.
  14. College Degree Supply, Productivity Spillovers and Occupational Allocation of Graduates in Central European Countries By Anna Lovasz; Barbara Pertold-Gebicka
  15. Gendered Career Expectations of Students: Perspectives from PISA 2006 By Joanna Sikora; Artur Pokropek
  16. User Participation: A New Approach to School Design in Korea By Sun-Young Rieh; Jin-Wook Kim; Woong-Sang Yu
  17. Transforming Pedagogical Ethos into an Effective Learning Environment By Jens Guldbaek; Hanna Bohn Vinkel; Mie Guldbaek Broens
  18. The cyclicality of skill acquisition: evidence from panel data By Facundo Sepulveda; Fabio Mendez
  19. Improving College Performance and Retention the Easy Way: Unpacking the ACT Exam By Eric P. Bettinger; Brent J. Evans; Devin G. Pope

  1. By: Odd Eiken
    Abstract: Kunskapsskolan is a chain of independent secondary schools which functions as a comprehensive platform for personalised education, known as the Kunskapsskolan programme (KED). What is special about this programme is that students set their own objectives, work independently and are assessed against their personal academic goals.
    Keywords: personalising education, personal coaching, individual goals, monitoring, multiple function areas
    Date: 2011–04
  2. By: M. Sartarelli; A. Tampieri
    Abstract: The paper examines whether meeting performance targets in tests at school has an effeect on students' subsequent achievement in education and the take-up by schools of financial support from the government for students. We build a theoretical model to describe the channels through which students' belief of their ability, as proxied by previous performance in tests, affect their current effort in preparing for a test, and how previous performance affects the effort in teaching by a school. We find that an increase in the performance target in the first test has an ambiguous effect on the effort exerted for the second test. A higher performance target in the current test increases the effort of low-ability students and teaching effort for low ability students, while it has an ambiguous effect on high ability ones. Finally, an increase in government funding per student increases the effort by students.
    JEL: I22 I28
    Date: 2011–06
  3. By: Elizabeth U. Cascio; Nora E. Gordon; Sarah J. Reber
    Abstract: Title I of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act substantially increased federal aid for education, with the goal of expanding educational opportunity. Combining the timing of the program’s introduction with variation in its intensity, we find that Title I increased school spending by 46 cents on the dollar in the average school district in the South and increased spending nearly dollar-for-dollar in Southern districts with little scope for local offset. Based on this differential fiscal response, we find that increases in school budgets from Title I decreased high school dropout rates for whites, but not blacks.
    JEL: H7 I2 J15
    Date: 2011–06
  4. By: SENOU, Barthélemy Mahugnon
    Abstract: This article aims to identify factors that influence the integration of graduates of higher education on the labor market in Benin. To this end, we adopted a methodology based on an analysis of empirical data collected from graduates from universities and higher education centers over the past decade. Processing and analysis of results show the mismatch between training opportunities in higher education in Benin, and constraints related to employability of graduates. Among these constraints is the lack of professional training, poor quality of education both in public universities than in private higher education centers and the lack of multidisciplinary graduate.
    Keywords: marché du travail; emploi; insertion professionnelle ; adéquation ; chômage ; formation professionnelle.
    JEL: E24
    Date: 2011–02
  5. By: Alfonso Miranda (Department of Quantitative Social Science, Institute of Education, University of London. 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL, UK.); Sophia Rabe-Hesketh (Graduate School of Education and Graduate Group in Biostatistics, University of California, Berkeley, USA. Institute of Education, University of London, London, UK.); Lorraine Dearden (Institute for Fiscal Studies, 7 Ridgmount Street, London, WC1E 7AE; Institute of Education, University of London, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL, UK.)
    Abstract: The UK Department for Education (DfE) calculates contextualised value added (CVA) measures of school performance using administrative data that contain only a limited set of explanatory variables. Differences on schools’ intake regarding characteristics such as mother’s education are not accounted for due to the lack of background information in the data. In this paper we use linked survey and administrative data to assess the potential biases that missing control variables cause in the calculation of CVA measures of school performance. We find that ignoring the effect of mother’s education leads DfE to erroneously over-penalise low achieving schools that have a greater proportion of mothers with low qualifications and to over-reward high achieving schools that have a greater proportion of mothers with higher qualifications. This suggests that collecting a rich set of controls in administrative records is necessary for producing reliable CVA measures of school performance.
    Keywords: contextualised value added, missing data, informative sample selection, administrative data, UK
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2011–06–17
  6. By: Kerstin Schneider (Department of Economics Universität Wuppertal and CESifo); Claudia Schuchart (ZBL, University of Wuppertal); Horst Weishaupt (University of Wuppertal, DIPF - Frankfurt); Andrea Riedel (University of Wuppertal, DIPF - Frankfurt)
    Abstract: In 2008, school districts were abolished in North Rhine-Westphalia, the most populous German federal state. Critics have argued that free school choice will lead to increased segregation and educational disparities. The data used is from Wuppertal, a major city in NRW. Since the Turkish population is the largest minority in Germany, but also one of the least integrated, the focus of this paper is on the effect of the new school law on the school choice of Turkish (Muslim) versus non-Turkish (non-Muslim) families. Free school choice has led, in fact, to increased choice on the part of both advantaged and (to a lesser extent) disadvantaged families. Motives behind choice include proximity, the composition of the school, and the academic quality of the school. The effect of this increased choice on segregation is inconclusive.
    Keywords: educational policy reform, school districts, school choice, segregation
    JEL: I20 H75 J15
    Date: 2011–02
  7. By: Clemens Noelke (Department of Sociology, Harvard University); Daniel Horn (Institute of Economics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences)
    Abstract: Social research has long pointed to the apparent effectiveness of vocational education and training (VET) at the secondary level combining school-based vocational education with employer-provided training (so called "dual systems") in preparing non-college bound youth for the labor market. This study uses the Hungarian transformation process to better understand what makes dual system VET sustainable and effective. The two key questions we address are: Can employer involvement in dual system VET be sustained in the context of liberal labor market reforms? Is employer involvement required for the effectiveness of VET? Hungary had inherited an extensive dual system VET sector, but the liberal reform approach in the course of transformation has created a hostile environment for voluntary employer provision of training places for VET students. The decline in employer-provided training places has, however, been compensated by increasing training provision inside vocational schools. Results from differences-in-differences and triple-differences analyses show that the substitution of employer- with school-provided training did not affect the quality of VET graduates' jobs. However, the shift in training provision between 1994 and 2000 alone has raised young male VET graduates unemployment rate by 10 percentage points in the first year after graduation.
    Keywords: school to work transition, VET, on-the-job training
    JEL: I21 J24 J64
    Date: 2011–05
  8. By: Elisa Birch (UWA Business School, The University of Western Australia); Phil Hancock (UWA Business School, The University of Western Australia)
    Abstract: The use of online lecture recordings as a supplement to physical lectures is an increasingly popular tool at many universities. As its popularity grows, however, there is increasing evidence that some students are using these recordings as a substitute to attending the actual lectures, rather than as a complement that helps them revisit difficult content, or for study purposes. Does this trend matter? If students receive as much (if not more) benefit from viewing their lectures online as they do by attending in person, then this is surely the student’s right. However, this has potentially significant consequences for the delivery of lecture content in higher education. This paper combines survey data with student record data for students in a first year Microeconomics class to examine this issue. The main finding is that, whilst there are indeed some students using online lecture recordings as a substitute to attending lectures, they are ultimately at a fairly severe disadvantage in terms of their final marks. Controlling for a wide variety of student characteristics, we find that, relative to attending zero to six lectures (out of 26), those attending essentially all lectures in person (25 or 26 lectures) have a direct advantage of nearly eight marks. Moreover, students attending zero to six lectures do not close this gap by viewing more lectures online, despite having double the number of lecture recording hits as their colleagues who attended 25-26 lectures. In contrast to this, students who attend the majority of lectures in person do receive a benefit from additional use of the lecture recordings. The results provide evidence that, when used as a complementary tool, lecture recordings are a valuable supplement for students. However, when used as a substitute, lecture recordings provide no additional benefit.
    Date: 2011
  9. By: Rentocchini, Francesco; Manjarrés-Henrìquez, Liney; D'Este, Pablo; Grimaldi, Rosa
    Abstract: This paper investigates whether engagement in consulting activities has a significant impact on the research performance of academic scientists. The study relies on a sample of 2678 individual faculty, from five Spanish universities, who have been recipients of publicly funded grants or have been principal investigators in activities contracted by external agents over the period 1999-2004. By implementing a propensity score matching estimator method, we show that engaging in consulting activities has an overall negative impact on the average number of ISI-publications. However, the effect of consulting on the scientific productivity of academic scientists depends on the scientific fields and the intensity of engagement in consulting activities. Academic consulting is found to have a negative impact in the fields of ?Natural and Exact Sciences? and ?Engineering?, but not in the case of ?Social Sciences and Humanities?. When the intensity of consulting activity is taken into account at the discipline level, engaging in consulting activities has an overall negative impact on scientific productivity only for high levels of involvement in consulting activities, but not for moderate ones.
    Keywords: Academic consulting; Economics of science; Technology transfer
    JEL: O31 O32 O33 Z19 L31
    Date: 2011–06–17
  10. By: Joan Wilson
    Abstract: In 2002 the former Labour government launched the Academies Programme of school improvement. This scheme has targeted entrenched issues of pupil underachievement within state secondary schools located in deprived areas, by enabling private sponsors to run the renewed schools and by granting Academies independence from local authority control. A total of 203 institutions were established by the end of Labour's time in power (April 2010). This paper considers the efficacy of the scheme in delivering on an objective determined at its inception - that requiring Academies to feature a more inclusive and mixed-ability background of pupils. Administrative information in the National Pupil Database is combined with school-level data to assess how the academic quality and composition of pupils entering year 7 of Academies and how their whole school composition has compared to those in predecessor and non-Academy schools. Difference-in-differences regression analysis is applied to a sample of 33 Academies and 326 control schools over the period 1997-2007. Findings reveal an immediate boost to intake quality among Academies once the policy came into effect and a fall in entry by pupils of weaker prior ability, while sampled Academies have also taken in fewer pupils from underprivileged backgrounds. Thus Academies have actually featured a more 'exclusive' pupil profile. The Coalition government - formed since May 2010 - has extended the policy to allow all state schools to become Academies. Newer Academies, like the original ones, may adapt their admissions in a performance-favouring way, implying a worsening of educational opportunity under both policy versions.
    Keywords: Academies, school improvement, school renewal, institutional change, pupil profile, pupil intake, pupil composition
    JEL: I2 I21 I28
    Date: 2011–05
  11. By: Arnaud Lefranc (THEMA, Universite de Cergy-Pontoise)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes long-term trends in intergenerational earnings mobility in France. I estimate intergenerational earnings elasticities for male cohorts born between 1931 and 1975. This time period has witnessed important changes in the French labor market and educational system, in particular a large expansion in access to secondary and higher education as well as an important compression of earnings differentials. Intergenerational mobility is estimated using a two-sample instrumental variables approach. Over the period, intergenerational earnings mobility exhibits a V-shaped pattern. Mobility falls between cohorts born in the mid 1930s and those born in the mid 1950s, but subsequently rises. For cohorts born in the first half of the 1970s, age-adjusted intergenerational earnings elasticity amount to around .55. This value is significantly higher than the elasticity estimated for the baby-boom cohorts. It is also slightly lower than the elasticity estimated for cohorts born in the 1930s but the difference is not statistically significant. Changes in the extent of mobility mostly reflects the evolution of cross-section earnings inequality, rather than variations in positional mobility.
    Keywords: Intergenerational mobility, earnings, inequality, trends, elasticity, correlation, education, France.
    JEL: D1 D3 J3
    Date: 2011
  12. By: Gregory Gilpin (Montana State University); Michael Kaganovich (Indiana University)
    Abstract: The paper addresses the two-fold rise in teacher-student ratio in the American K-12 school system in the post-World War II period accompanied by the evidence of a decline in the relative quality of teachers. We develop a dynamic general equilibrium framework for analyzing the teacher quantity-quality trade-off and offer an explanation to the observed trends. Our OLG model features two stages of education: basic and advanced (college), the latter required of teachers. The cost of hiring teachers is influenced by the outside opportunities for college graduates in the production sector. We show that the latter factor strengthens in the process of endogenous growth and that it affects the optimal trade-off between quantity and quality of teachers such that the number of teachers hired will grow over time while their relative, but not the absolute, human capital attainment will fall. This is accompanied by increasing inequality, among the group of college educated workers in particular. We show that this effect, which we call the rising talent premium, applies whether teacher salaries are determined based on merit pay or, alternatively, by collective bargaining. Moreover, the salary compression characterizing the collective bargaining regime has an additional effect exacerbating the loss of the more talented workers by the teaching profession. Further, we analyze a comparative dynamics effect of exogenous skill-biased technological change which raises the college premium. We show that the effect is detrimental to the aggregate quality of teachers and to the quality of basic education. An important insight from this analysis is that in the process of human capital driven economic growth the rise in premium for high ability outpaces that for the average, whereby this effect is accelerated by technological change. This puts a downward pressure on the “real” quality of education inputs and therefore can create a negative feedback effect on human capital development as a factor of economic growth.
    Date: 2011–06
  13. By: Azagra-Caro, Joaquín M.
    Abstract: Access to public knowledge is a prerequisite for the good functioning of developed economies. Universities strive and are also requested to contribute to this knowledge both locally and internationally. Traditional studies on the geography of knowledge flows have identified a localisation effect; however, these studies do not use the country as the unit of observation and hence do not explore national patterns. In this paper, we hypothesise that the localisation of university knowledge flows is directly related to share of firm expenditure on research and development. To test this hypothesis, we use references to universities in patent documents as indicators based on a data set of around 20,000 university references, for 37 countries in the period 1990-2007. We build indicators for the university knowledge flows both inside and outside the applicant country, which we explain as a function of some proxies for national scientific size and structure based on econometric estimations. We draw some conclusions as to the importance of national business scientific strength for fostering increased domestic university knowledge flows.
    Keywords: Universities; Knowledge flows; R&D expenditure
    Date: 2011–06–13
  14. By: Anna Lovasz (Institute of Economics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences); Barbara Pertold-Gebicka (School of Economics and Management Aarhus University)
    Abstract: Public funding drives much of the recent growth of college degree supply in Europe, but few indicators are available to assess its optimal level. In this paper, we investigate an indicator of college skills usage - the fraction of college graduates employed in "college" occupations. Gottschalk and Hansen (2003) propose to identify "college" occupations based on withinoccupation college wage premia; we build on their strategy to study the local-labor-market relationship between the share of college graduates in the population and the use of college skills. Empirical results based on worker-level data from NUTS-4 districts in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia suggest a positive relationship, thus supporting the presence of an endogenous influence of the number of skilled workers on the demand for them.
    Keywords: education, labor demand, college degree supply, occupational allocation, productivity spillovers
    JEL: I28 J24
    Date: 2011–04
  15. By: Joanna Sikora; Artur Pokropek
    Abstract: This paper provides a comprehensive overview of adolescent career plans reported in PISA 2006. Its main focus is on the differences in the status and area of employment expected by girls and boys in high school. In almost all countries, girls lead boys in their interest in non-manual, high status professional occupations. This can be seen as a vertical dimension of gender segregation in occupational preferences. Students also differ by gender in selecting particular fields of employment within status categories. These differences make up the horizontal segregation of students' expectations and, in PISA 2006, are prominent in the gendered choices of specific subfields of science. Both the vertical and the horizontal dimensions must be considered to appreciate the cultural and institutional factors which promote and reinforce systematic divides in career choices of adolescent boys and girls.
    Date: 2011–02–17
  16. By: Sun-Young Rieh; Jin-Wook Kim; Woong-Sang Yu
    Abstract: The Korean Educational Development Institute (KEDI) has recently initiated a pilot project to develop a new prototype school, involving users in the design phase. This is the first time in Korea that users have been consulted on issues relating to school design.
    Keywords: design process, user participation, educational facilities, feedback
    Date: 2011–04
  17. By: Jens Guldbaek; Hanna Bohn Vinkel; Mie Guldbaek Broens
    Abstract: The world has been changing so fast that educational systems have not had time to keep pace. We therefore need to rethink, renew and modernise our schools, as well as develop a new educational experience for children. In order to do this, it is crucial that we devise a new approach to developing our educational systems. This article proposes a novel way of generating new ideas, based on empirical knowledge.
    Keywords: user participation, personalised learning, decision-making processes, fun learning
    Date: 2011–04
  18. By: Facundo Sepulveda; Fabio Mendez
    Abstract: This paper presents new empirical evidence regarding the cyclicality of skill acquisition activities. The paper studies both training and schooling episodes at the individual level using quarterly data from the NLSY79 for a period of 19 years. We find that aggregate schooling is strongly countercyclical, while aggregate training is acyclical. Several training categories however behave procyclically. The results also indicate that firm-financed training is procyclical while training financed through other means is countercyclical; and that the cyclicality of skill acquisition investments depends significantly on the educational level and the employment status of the individual.
    Date: 2011–06
  19. By: Eric P. Bettinger; Brent J. Evans; Devin G. Pope
    Abstract: Colleges rely on the ACT exam in their admission decisions to increase their ability to differentiate between students likely to succeed and those that have a high risk of under-performing and dropping out. We show that two of the four sub tests of the ACT, English and Mathematics, are highly predictive of positive college outcomes while the other two subtests, Science and Reading, provide little or no additional predictive power. This result is robust across various samples, specifications, and outcome measures. We demonstrate that focusing solely on the English and Mathematics test scores greatly enhances the predictive validity of the ACT exam.
    JEL: I23
    Date: 2011–06

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