nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2011‒07‒13
seventeen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Length of Compulsory Education and Voter Turnout - Evidence from a Staged Reform By Panu Pelkonen
  2. Earnings Returns to the British Education Expansion By Paul J Devereux; Wen Fan
  4. "Debating as a classroom tool for adapting learning outcomes to the European higher education area" By Juan Luis Jiménez; Jordi Perdiguero; Ancor Suárez
  5. Effective Schools: Teacher Hiring, Assignment, Development, and Retention By Susanna Loeb; Demetra Kalogrides; Tara Béteille
  6. The Impact of Parental Earnings and Education on the Schooling of Children By Arnaud Chevalier; Colm Harmon; Vincent O'Sullivan; Ian Walker
  7. Measuring teacher and school effectiveness at improving student achievement in Los Angeles elementary schools By Buddin, Richard
  8. Heterogenous peer effects, segregation and academic attainment By Lugo, Maria Ana
  9. The Century of Education By Christian Morrisson; Fabrice Murtin
  10. 100 years of educational reforms in Europe: a contextual database By Garrouste, Christelle
  11. Cost-Effective Hiring in U.S. High Schools: Estimating Optimal Teacher Quantity and Quality Decisions By Anton Bekkerman; Gregory Gilpin
  12. To Leave or Not to Leave? A Regression Discontinuity Analysis of the Impact of Failing High School Exit Exam By Dongshu Ou
  13. Demand for private tuition classes under the free education policy. Evidence based on Sri Lanka By Pallegedara, Asankha
  14. How Teacher Turnover Harms Student Achievement By Matthew Ronfeldt; Hamilton Lankford; Susanna Loeb; James Wyckoff
  15. Career Changers in Teaching Jobs: A Case Study Based on the Swiss Vocational Education System By Hof, Stefanie; Strupler, Mirjam; Wolter, Stefan
  16. Explaining Educational Attainment across Countries and over Time By Diego Restuccia; Guillaume Vandenbroucke
  17. Recent Dynamics of Returns to Education in Transition Countries By Tom Coupe; Hanna Vakhitova

  1. By: Panu Pelkonen
    Abstract: In this study, a long-term impact of additional schooling at the lower end of the educational distribution is measured on voter turnout. Schooling is instrumented with a staged Norwegian school reform, which increased minimum attainment by two years - from seven to nine. The impact is measured at two levels: individual, and municipality level. Both levels of analysis suggest that the additional education has no effect on the turnout rates. At the individual level, the impact of education is also tested on various measures of civic outcomes. Of these, only the likelihood of signing a petition is positively affected by education.
    Keywords: Education, Externalities, Voting, School reform
    JEL: H23 I21
    Date: 2009–09
  2. By: Paul J Devereux (University College Dublin); Wen Fan (University College Dublin)
    Abstract: We study the effects of the large expansion in British educational attainment that took place for cohorts born between 1970 and 1975. Using the Quarterly Labour Force Survey, we find that the expansion caused men to increase education by about a year on average and gain about 8% higher wages; women obtained a slightly greater increase in education and a similar increase in wages. Clearly, there was a sizeable gain from being born late enough to take advantage of the greater educational opportunities offered by the expansion. Treating the expansion as an exogenous increase in educational attainment, we obtain instrumental variables estimates of returns to schooling of about 6% for both men and women.
    Keywords: return to education; higher education expansion
    Date: 2011–06–28
  3. By: Seyed Ahmad Hashemi (Vice-president for education, Islamic Azad University, Lamerd Branch, Iran)
    Abstract: Rapid changes in information age has faced all organizations and human based associations like education departments with challenges such as globalization, heavy competition, lack of supplies as well as unpredictable fluctuations. So to meet the new conditions education has to reform and use more information and communication technology, as ICT plays an important role in education. Thus for changing communications technology to public culture, a detailed analysis of this important subject with a systematic attitude in education, establishment of virtual schools, cooperation and coordination in all official organizations, private sectors and legislation is required. This essays discusses how the application of ICT would lead to efficiency in education systems, equal educational opportunities for students in all levels, quantitative and qualitative progress in education, creating a research spirit among teachers and students, enrichment of self-assessment, improvement of decision making and understanding knowledge, educating experts and finally the prevention of brain drain
    Keywords: Quality, technology, Information, Communication and brain drain
    JEL: M00
    Date: 2011–06
  4. By: Juan Luis Jiménez (Facultad de Economía, Empresa y Turismo, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria); Jordi Perdiguero (Departament de Política Econòmica i Estructura Econòmica Mundial, University of Barcelona.); Ancor Suárez (Facultad de Economía, Empresa y Turismo, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria)
    Abstract: The creation of the European Higher Education Area has meant a number of significant changes to the educational structures of the university community. In particular, the new system of European credits has generated the need for innovation in the design of curricula and teaching methods. In this paper, we propose debating as a classroom tool that can help fulfill these objectives by promoting an active student role in learning. To demonstrate the potential of this tool, a classroom experiment was conducted in a bachelor’s degree course in Industrial Economics (Regulation and Competition), involving a case study in competition policy and incorporating the techniques of a conventional debate (presentation of standpoints, turns, right to reply and summing up). The experiment yielded gains in student attainment and positive assessments of the subject. In conclusion, the incorporation of debating activities helps students to acquire the skills, be they general or specific, required to graduate successfully in Economics.
    Keywords: European Higher Education Area; Debating; Industrial Organization; Academic Success; European Credit Transfer System. JEL classification:A23, B4, I2.
    Date: 2011–06
  5. By: Susanna Loeb; Demetra Kalogrides; Tara Béteille
    Abstract: The literature on effective schools emphasizes the importance of a quality teaching force in improving educational outcomes for students. In this paper, we use value-added methods to examine the relationship between a school’s effectiveness and the recruitment, assignment, development and retention of its teachers. We ask whether effective schools systematically recruit more effective teachers; whether they assign teachers to students more effectively; whether they do a better job of helping their teachers improve; whether they retain more effective teachers; or whether they do a combination of these processes. Our results reveal four key findings. First, we find that more effective schools are able to attract and hire more effective teachers from other schools when vacancies arise. Second, we find that more effective schools assign novice teachers to students in a more equitable fashion. Third, we find that teachers who work in schools that were more effective at raising achievement in a prior period improve more rapidly in a subsequent period than do those in less effective schools. Finally, we find that more effective schools are better able to retain higher-quality teachers, though they are not differentially able to remove ineffective teachers. The results point to the importance of personnel, and perhaps, school personnel practices, for improving student outcomes.
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2011–06
  6. By: Arnaud Chevalier (Royal Holloway, University of London, IZA); Colm Harmon (University College Dublin, Australian National University, IZA); Vincent O'Sullivan (TILDA, Trinity College Dublin, The ESRI); Ian Walker (Lancaster University Management School, IZA)
    Abstract: This paper addresses the intergenerational transmission of education and investigates the extent to which early school leaving (at age 16) may be due to variations in parental background. An important contribution of the paper is to distinguish between the causal effects of parental income and parental education levels. Least squares estimation reveals conventional results – weak effects of income (when the child is 16), stronger effects of maternal education than paternal, and stronger effects on sons than daughters. We find that the education effects remain significant even when household income is included. However, when we use instrumental variable methods to simultaneously account for the endogeneity of parental education and paternal income, only maternal education remains significant (for daughters only) and becomes stronger. These estimates are consistent across various sets of instruments. The impact of paternal income varies between specifications but becomes insignificant in our favored specifications. Our results provide only limited support for policies that alleviate income constraints at age 16 in order to alter schooling decisions. In contrast, our results do suggest that policies which increase permanent income would lead to increased participation (especially for daughters).
    Keywords: Early school leaving, intergenerational transmission
    JEL: I20 J62
    Date: 2011–06–29
  7. By: Buddin, Richard
    Abstract: This study uses longitudinal student-level test score data to examine the effectiveness of elementary teachers and schools in Los Angeles. The results show that teacher effectiveness varies widely both across the Los Angeles school district and within district schools. Controlling for student background and preparation, we find only modest difference across schools in improving student achievement. We explore the sensitivity of teacher and school effectiveness measures to alternative regression controls. We find that teacher and school effectiveness measures are relatively insensitive to detailed controls for student and peer heterogeneity.
    Keywords: Student achievement; Teacher effectiveness; Value-added;
    JEL: J08 I2 J01 I21
    Date: 2011–05
  8. By: Lugo, Maria Ana
    Abstract: Socioeconomic segregation is often decried for denying poorer children the benefits of positive'peer effects'. Yet standard, linear-in-means models of peer effects (a) implicitly assume that segregation is zero sum, with gains and losses to rich and poor perfectly offsetting, and (b) rule out theories of'social distance'whereby peer effects are strongest among similar pairings. The paper exploits the random assignment of pupils between classes to identify more general peer effects in Argentine test-score data. Estimates violate both assumptions (a) and (b), and provide micro foundations for the correlations between school segregation, average test-scores, and test-score inequality in municipality-level data.
    Keywords: Tertiary Education,Education For All,Secondary Education,Primary Education,Teaching and Learning
    Date: 2011–06–01
  9. By: Christian Morrisson; Fabrice Murtin
    Abstract: This paper presents a historical database on educational attainment in 74 countries for the period 1870-2010, using perpetual inventory methods before 1960 and then the Cohen and Soto (2007) database. The correlation between the two sets of average years of schooling in 1960 is equal to 0.96. We use a measurement error framework to merge the two databases, while correcting for a systematic measurement bias in Cohen and Soto (2007) linked to differential mortality across educational groups. Descriptive statistics show a continuous spread of education that has accelerated in the second half of the twentieth century. We find evidence of fast convergence in years of schooling for a sub-sample of advanced countries during the 1870-1914 globalization period, and of modest convergence since 1980. Less advanced countries have been excluded from the convergence club in both cases.
    Keywords: Education, school enrolment, inequality
    Date: 2009–09
  10. By: Garrouste, Christelle
    Abstract: This report presents the macro data on educational reforms collected for the Survey on Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). The first and chore part provides an analytical overview of the educational reforms that may have affected the skill level of Europe’s elderly population. More specifically, it targets the national institutional plans or movements that have brought (or attempted to bring) systemic change in educational practices during the last century (e.g., pedagogical theories, curriculum reforms and operational structures). Furthermore, through a simple application correlating compulsory education laws and the evolution of the number of years of education, this report demonstrates the scope and potentialities of the database. Finally, the appendix lists all the data collected by country and level of education.
    Keywords: SHARELIFE; contextual data; education reforms
    JEL: I2 Y1 J1 J24 H52
    Date: 2010
  11. By: Anton Bekkerman (Montana State University); Gregory Gilpin (Montana State University)
    Abstract: Extensive literature has shown that student attainment outcomes are affected by schools’ decisions to alter student-to-teacher ratios and overall teacher aptitude levels. However, these findings provide little information to policymakers and school administrators for understanding which teacher input decision provides the greatest student attainment return relative to the associated costs. This study estimates cost-effective teacher input strategies for U.S. high schools seeking to either increase graduation rates or four-year college attendance rates by graduating students. Empirical results indicate that reducing student-to-teacher ratios is the most cost-effective teacher input decision for high schools seeking to improve graduation rates. However, for schools whose objective is to increase four-year college attendance rates, it is more cost-effective to allocate funds to improving teacher quality levels. These results put into question policies such as class size reduction mandates, which disregard schools’ student attainment objectives and institute generalized teacher hiring constraints.
    Date: 2011–06
  12. By: Dongshu Ou
    Abstract: The high school exit exam (HSEE) is rapidly becoming a standardized assessment procedure for educational accountability in the United States. I use a unique state-specific dataset to identify the effect of failing the HSEE on the likelihood that a student drops out early based on a Regression Discontinuity design. It shows that students who barely fail the exam are more likely to exit than those who barely pass despite being offered retest opportunities. The discontinuity amounts to a large proportion of the dropout probability of barely-failers, particularly for minority and low-income students, suggesting that the potential benefit of raising educational standards might come at the cost of increasing inequalities in the educational system.
    Keywords: high school exit exam, student dropout, regression discontinuity
    JEL: I21 I28 J24
    Date: 2009–08
  13. By: Pallegedara, Asankha
    Abstract: Private tuition classes are growing phenomenon in Sri Lanka especially among students who prepare for competitive national school qualifying examinations. It is one of major education issues under the free education policy in Sri Lanka. It can tarnish the real purpose of free education policy. In this paper, we examine the demand for private tuition classes in Sri Lanka by using two waves of Household Income and Expenditure Surveys (HIES) conducted by the Department of Census and Statistics (DCS) of Sri Lanka in 1995/96 and 2006/07. We find that the demand for private tuition classes has increased in recent time among households. It seems that the private tuition expenditure has changed from a luxury good in 1995/96 to a necessity good in 2006/07. If the increased demand for private tuition classes is reflecting parents’ concerns on inadequate and poor, but free education in public schools, the Sri Lanka government needs to reconsider its free education policy.
    Keywords: Economics of education; Private tutoring; Tobit model;Demand analysis
    JEL: O1 D1
    Date: 2011–07
  14. By: Matthew Ronfeldt; Hamilton Lankford; Susanna Loeb; James Wyckoff
    Abstract: Researchers and policymakers often assume that teacher turnover harms student achievement, but recent evidence calls into question this assumption. Using a unique identification strategy that employs grade-level turnover and two classes of fixed-effects models, this study estimates the effects of teacher turnover on over 600,000 New York City 4th and 5th grade student observations over 5 years. The results indicate that students in grade-levels with higher turnover score lower in both ELA and math and that this effect is particularly strong in schools with more low-performing and black students. Moreover, the results suggest that there is a disruptive effect of turnover beyond changing the composition in teacher quality.
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2011–06
  15. By: Hof, Stefanie (Swiss Co-ordination Center for Research in Education); Strupler, Mirjam (University of Bern); Wolter, Stefan (University of Bern)
    Abstract: This study investigates the determinants and motives of professionals who change career to vocational teaching. The framework for this study is the Swiss vocational education system, which requires that teachers of vocational subjects must have a prior career in that specific field. Thus, to work in teaching, every vocational teacher has to change his or her initial career. This paper focuses on the relevance of monetary motives for changing a career to teaching. Using a unique data set of trainee teachers, we show that professionals who change their careers to teaching earned on average more in their first career than comparable workers in the same occupation. Our findings additionally demonstrate that the average career changer still expects to earn significantly more as a teacher than in the former career. However, the study shows substantial heterogeneity and a zero wage elasticity of the teacher supply, suggesting that non-monetary motives are more relevant for career change than monetary factors.
    Keywords: career change, occupational change, rate of return to education, wage differentials, teacher wages, vocational education and training
    JEL: C21 I20 J24 J45 J62
    Date: 2011–06
  16. By: Diego Restuccia; Guillaume Vandenbroucke
    Abstract: Consider the following facts. In 1950 the richest ten-percent of countries attained an average of 8.1 years of schooling whereas the poorest ten-percent of countries attained 1.3 years, a 6-fold difference. By 2005, the difference in schooling declined to 2-fold. The fact is that schooling has increased faster in poor than in rich countries even though the per-capita income gap has generally not decreased. What explains educational attainment across countries and their evolution over time? We develop a model of human capital accumulation that emphasizes productivity and life expectancy differences across countries and time. Calibrating the parameters of the model to reproduce historical data for the United States, we find that the model accounts for 95 percent of the difference in schooling levels between rich and poor countries in 1950 and 78 percent of the increase in schooling over time in poor countries. The model generates a faster increase in schooling in poor than in rich economies even when their income gap does not decrease. These results have important implications for educational policy.
    Keywords: Educational attainment, productivity, life expectancy, education policy, labor supply.
    JEL: O1 O4 E24 J22 J24
    Date: 2011–06–14
  17. By: Tom Coupe (Kyiv School of Economics, Kyiv Economic Institute); Hanna Vakhitova (Kyiv School of Economics, Kyiv Economic Institute)
    Abstract: This study provides recent estimates of returns to education in transition countries, investigating how the economic boom in the region has affected these returns. We find that transition countries continue to have relatively low returns to education and that the economic boom did not lead to a clear change in these returns. A more detailed investigation for one specific country, Ukraine, confirms these results.
    Keywords: returns to education, transition countries
    JEL: J24 J31 P2 P3 P5
    Date: 2011–06

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