nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2011‒07‒21
twenty-two papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  2. Gender stereotyping and wage discrimination among Italian graduates By Carolina Castagnetti; Luisa Rosti
  3. Reform of the Italian University Educational System and Evolution of Selected Characteristics of Its Graduates (2000-2009) By Giancarlo Gasperoni
  4. Whether to Hire Local Contract Teachers? Trade-off Between Skills and Preferences in India By Sonja Fagernäs; Panu Pelkonen
  5. Is it always good to let universities select their students? By Guido Friebel Dario Maldonado
  6. Whether to Hire Local Contract Teachers? Trade-off Between Skills and Preferences in India. By Sonja Fagernäs; Panu Pelkonen
  7. Empirical Essays in Health and Education Economics By Wuppermann, Amelie Catherine
  8. Graduates’ employment and employability after the “Bologna Process” reform. Evidence from the Italian experience and methodological issues By Gilberto Antonelli; Andrea Cammelli; Furio Camillo; Angelo di Francia; Silvia Ghiselli; Matteo Sgarzi
  9. Peer Effects in Education, Sport, and Screen Activities: Local Aggregate or Local Average? By Liu, Xiaodong; Patacchini, Eleonora; Zenou, Yves
  10. Improving quality assessment of composite indicators in university rankings: a case study of French and German universities of excellence By Monica Benito; Rosario Romera
  11. Lobbying for Education in a Two-sector Model. By Debora Di Gioacchino; Paola Profeta
  12. Aprendiendo con las XO : el impacto del Plan Ceibal en el aprendizaje By Mery Ferrando; Alina Machado; Ivone Perazzo; Adriana Vernengo
  13. FACILITIES MANAGEMENT COMPETENCY IMPERATIVES TO REALISE POLYTECHNIC TRANSFORMATION GOALS By Mariah Binti Awang; Abd Hakim Bin Mohammed; Suwaibatul Islamiah Bt Abdullah Sani; Fatin Syazwina Bt Abdul Shukor
  14. Life long learning and mobility for the creation of European Identity in local governments. Experiences and perspectives. By Bianchi, Massimo
  15. Conceptualising Cluster Evolution: Beyond the Life-Cycle Model? By Ron Martin; Peter Sunley
  17. What do we know from the literature on public e-services?. By Davide Arduini; Antonello Zanfei
  18. Knowledge in economics and economic reform : An analysis of French survey data By Vranceanu, Radu; Barthélémy, Jérôme
  19. Is there still a wage penalty for being overeducated but well-matched in skills? A panel data analysis of a Swiss graduate cohort By Marco PECORARO
  20. On the Evolution of Preferences By Astrid Gamba
  21. Management Control System Use and Team Commitment By Laura María Gómez-Ruiz; David Naranjo-Gil; Concepción Álvarez-Dardet Espejo

  1. By: Maria De Paola; Francesca Gioia (Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica, Università della Calabria)
    Abstract: Does the choice of the field of study depend on individual risk aversion? The direction of the relationship between individual risk attitudes and type of college major chosen is potentially ambiguous. On the one hand, risk adverse individuals may prefer majors allowing high returns on the labour market; on the other hand, if these majors expose students to a higher probability of dropping out, those who are more risk adverse may be induced to choose less challenging fields. Using data from a sample of students enrolled in 2009 at a middle-sized Italian public University, we find that, controlling for a large number of individual characteristics, including cognitive abilities, personality traits and family background, more risk adverse students are more likely to choose any other field (Humanities, Engineering and Sciences) compared to Social Sciences. We interpret this result considering that some of these fields, such as Humanities, allow to reduce the risk of dropping out, while others (such as Engineering and Sciences)involve a lower risk on the labour market. It also emerges that the effect of risk aversion on major choice is related to student ability. Risk adverse students characterized by high abilities tend to prefer Engineering, while the propensity of risk adverse students to enrol in Humanities decreases when ability increases, suggesting that the attention paid to labour market risks and drop out risks varies according to student skills.
    Keywords: Risk aversion, College choice, Education
    JEL: I21 Z13 J24
    Date: 2011–07
  2. By: Carolina Castagnetti (Department of Economics and Quantitative Methods, University of Pavia); Luisa Rosti (Department of Economics and Quantitative Methods, University of Pavia)
    Abstract: This paper addresses the gender pay gap among Italian university graduates on entry to the labour market and stresses the importance of gender stereotypes on subjective assessment of individual productivity. Our data show that in contexts where the stereotype is most likely to occur, the unexplained component of the gender pay gap is higher. Moreover, we find evidence that being excellent at school does not ensures that a woman will be rewarded as an equivalently performing man, but serves to counteract the gender bias in on-the-job evaluations.
    Date: 2010–09
  3. By: Giancarlo Gasperoni (University of Bologna, AlmaLaurea Inter-University Consortium)
    Keywords: university reform, Bologna Process, graduates’ performance, graduates’ employment condition
    Date: 2011–06
  4. By: Sonja Fagernäs; Panu Pelkonen
    Abstract: Whether to hire teachers locally on a contract basis, or via competitive examinations as government officials, is a major policy question in developing countries. We use a Discrete Choice Experiment to assess the job preferences of 700 future elementary school teachers in the state of Uttarakhand in India. The students have been selected using either competitive examination or from a pool of locally hired contract teachers. Skills in English, Arithmetic and Vocabulary are also tested. We find a trade-off between skills and preferences, as students hired using competitive examination have higher skills, but prefer posts in less remote regions.
    Keywords: Discrete choice experiment, education, para-teachers, preferences, skills
    JEL: H75 J24 J41 J45
    Date: 2011–07
  5. By: Guido Friebel Dario Maldonado
    Abstract: ABSTRACT: We undertake a first step to investigating a reform that has been applied in numerous universities across Europe: the right to select students. We ask to what extent this right will increase the effciency of the university. While it seems evident that giving universities the right to select students that match best with the human capital of professors should increase efficiency measures in the productivities of students in the labor market, we point to a potentially negative effect. We argue that allowing universities to select the students they prefer can reduce the incentives of the universities to improve the human capital of their professors.
    Date: 2011–07–12
  6. By: Sonja Fagernäs (Department of Economics, University of Sussex); Panu Pelkonen (Department of Economics, University of Sussex)
    Abstract: Whether to hire teachers locally on a contract basis, or via competitive examinations and training as government officials, is a major policy question in developing countries. Recruitment practices can have implications for the competence, motivation and the cost of teachers. This study relies on a Discrete Choice Experiment to assess the job preferences of a sample of 700 future elementary school teachers in the state of Uttarakhand in India. The students have been selected using either district-wide competitive examination or from a pool of locally hired, experienced contract teachers (para-teachers). Skills in English, Arithmetic and Vocabulary are also tested. We find a trade-off between skills and preferences, as teacher students hired using competitive examination have higher skills, but prefer posts in less remote regions. Most of the differences in job preferences between the two groups can be explained by geographic origin of the teachers, skills, experience and education.
    Keywords: Education, Para-teachers, Discrete Choice Experiment, Skills, Preferences, India
    JEL: H75 I28 J24 J28 J41 J45
    Date: 2011–02
  7. By: Wuppermann, Amelie Catherine
    Date: 2011–06–01
  8. By: Gilberto Antonelli (AlmaLaurea Inter-University Consortium, University of Bologna); Andrea Cammelli (AlmaLaurea Inter-University Consortium, University of Bologna); Furio Camillo (University of Bologna, AlmaLaurea Inter-University Consortium); Angelo di Francia (AlmaLaurea Inter-University Consortium); Silvia Ghiselli (AlmaLaurea Inter-University Consortium); Matteo Sgarzi (AlmaLaurea Inter-University Consortium)
    Abstract: In a phase of depression and systemic crisis investments are essential assets in organizing the recovery, and the more so when innovation is relevant. This is why universities, companies, households and graduates implement strategies for overcoming the present crisis, leading to structural changes and competition both at the local and international level. In this framework, tracer studies on graduates transition to the labour markets provides fundamental insights and information not only to the organizations responsible for their training, but also to the economic system as a whole. Moreover, any such study is all the more useful when it can draw upon reliable and up-to-date information. This paper emphasizes three main points. First we present the results achieved by the AL model in tracing the transition path of graduates from the time they enrolled at the university until a few years after earning the degree. The survey is carried out every year by the AL and makes it possible to analyze the most recent labour market trends through the scrutiny of the career opportunities available for the graduates after 1, 3 and 5 years on from graduation. More specifically, we will present the results of the 2008 survey. This survey involved also all first and second level graduates from the 2007 vintage. Second, we examine the revision in our survey method, adopted in order to face the need to monitor a much higher number of post-reform graduates (more than 140 thousand overall) and the call of the Ministry and the universities to keep the information as much detailed as possible in assessing the employment outcomes for each single degree course, without losing feasibility in terms of costs and data collection time. In fact, we resorted to a mixed method: the computer assisted web interviewing (CAWI) and the computer assisted telephone interviewing (CATI). This is why it became necessary to measure and assess the effect of this approach on the answers given by interviewed graduates. In third place, we outline the results of some preliminary experiments carried on in order to allow for specific and recurrent comparisons between the results achieved with the AL model and other similar models dealing with the employment conditions of Italian graduates.
    Keywords: Graduates’ employment; Graduates’ employability; Bologna Process; University reform; University governance; Assessment of the higher education system; CAWI and CATI survey techniques; Propensity score matching; Data quality control; Counter factual analysis; Labour supply, Human capital.
    Date: 2011–06
  9. By: Liu, Xiaodong; Patacchini, Eleonora; Zenou, Yves
    Abstract: We develop two different social network models with different economic foundations. In the local-aggregate model, it is the sum of friends' efforts in some activity that affects the utility of each individual while, in the local-average model, it is costly to deviate from the average effort of friends. Even though the two models are fundamentally different in terms of behavioral foundation, their implications in terms of Nash equilibrium are relatively close since only the adjacency (social interaction) matrix differs in equilibrium, one being the row-normalized version of the other. We test these alternative mechanisms of social interactions to study peer effects in education, sport and screen activities for adolescents in the United States using the AddHealth data. We extend Kelejian's (2008) J test for spatial econometric models helping differentiate between these two behavioral models. We find that peer effects are not significant for screen activities (like e.g. video games). On the contrary, for sport activities, we find that students are mostly influenced by the aggregate activity of their friends (local-aggregate model) while, for education, we show that both the aggregate performance at school of friends and conformism matter, even though the magnitude of the effect is higher for the latter.
    Keywords: conformism; econometrics of networks; peer effects; Social networks
    JEL: A14 D85 Z13
    Date: 2011–07
  10. By: Monica Benito; Rosario Romera
    Abstract: Composite indicators play an essential role for benchmarking higher education institutions. One of the main sources of uncertainty building composite indicators and, undoubtedly, the most debated problem in building composite indicators is the weighting schemes (assigning weights to the simple indicators or subindicators) together with the aggregation schemes (final composite indicator formula). Except the ideal situation where weights are provided by the theory, there clearly is a need for improving quality assessment of the final rank linked with a fixed vector of weights. We propose to use simulation techniques to generate random perturbations around any initial vector of weights to obtain robust and reliable ranks allowing to rank universities in a range bracket. The proposed methodology is general enough to be applied no matter the weighting scheme used for the composite indicator. The immediate benefit achieved is a reduction of the uncertainty associated with the assessment of a specific rank which is not representative of the real performance of the university, and an improvement of the quality assessment of composite indicators used to rank. To illustrate the proposed methodology we rank the French and the German universities involved in their respective 2008 Excellence Initiatives.
    Keywords: Composite indicators, Rankings, Benchmarking, Higher education institutions, Weighting schemes, Simulation techniques
    Date: 2011–07
  11. By: Debora Di Gioacchino; Paola Profeta
    Abstract: Modern economies devote a relevant share of their resources to education. However, even among industrialised countries, there are differences in the traits of the education system and in its outcome in terms of human capital composition. The question we pose in this paper is why the composition of human capital is so diversied. The answer we propose is that the education system responds to the economy’s structure of production. Skills are required by firms according to their needs and are supplied through the education system. We analyse the political economy of education in a two-period model in which heterogeneous firms, specialised in two different sectors, try to induce the government to finance the type of education which is complementary to their production. In the first period, the policy-maker decides the skill composition of new-workers which will determine the supply of skills in the second period. Firms may lobby to obtain their preferred skill composition. We show that in the political equilibrium in which firms in both sectors get organised, the policy-maker chooses the same skill composition that would be chosen by the social planner. Moving to endogenous lobbying, we are able to show that, if there are no costs of lobbying, then both sectors will lobby in equilibrium. However, in the more realistic case in which if lobbying is costly it may be that only one sector will find it profitable to offer monetary contribution; which sector gets organised depends on sectors’ share in total output, relative productivity and prices of the two sectors.
    Keywords: Endogenous lobbying, human capital composition, structure of production.
    JEL: I2 D72
    Date: 2010–12
  12. By: Mery Ferrando (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía); Alina Machado (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía); Ivone Perazzo (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía); Adriana Vernengo (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía)
    Abstract: This research estimates the impact of Plan Ceibal in students’ achievement at public primary school in Uruguay. Plan Ceibal is the first national model of One Laptop per Child (OLPC) which is being carried out in Uruguay since 2007 in some provinces, but reached national scale during 2009. The program consists in the distribution of one laptop to every child in public primary schools. We analyze the effects of the program on learning achievement on mathematics and language. We also evaluate effects on other important outcomes such as children’s satisfaction with school, parents and teachers’ perceptions towards children motivation, and teachers’ commitment with the Plan. Even though the effects of Information and Communications Technologies on learning have been debated and there is not a consensual conclusion, in this research we find that Plan Ceibal has a positive impact on children's achievement in mathematics in the regions of the country analyzed, but we did not find any impact on learning achievement on language. These results are verified in different specifications of the model, and also when we apply DD with PSM. It holds both when we evaluate all children and when the analysis is restricted to 6th. graders. The estimation of the incremental effect is close to one fifth of standard deviations from the mean.
    Keywords: impact evaluation, learning, computers, Plan Ceibal
    JEL: H75 I21 I28
    Date: 2011–03
  13. By: Mariah Binti Awang; Abd Hakim Bin Mohammed; Suwaibatul Islamiah Bt Abdullah Sani; Fatin Syazwina Bt Abdul Shukor (Faculty of Geoinformation and Real Estate,Universiti Teknologi Malaysia)
    Abstract: The profession of facilities management has emerged in parallel with the current technological revolution and that has been accepted by many countries all over the world. The involvement of facilities managers from various professional backgrounds will be able to contribute the successful or more significant of facility management practices. Regarding to this, the competency of facilities manager is needed in an organization to achieve the objectives of the organization. The discussion here will look into the facility management competencies and core competency of facilities manager. Besides that, this article also discusses the needs for competence in the management of facilities in the polytechnics. Therefore there are three (3) major issues that will contribute to the requirements of competence in the management of the polytechnic. To resolve the issue, the author suggests to use the competency modeling and taking into account the four (4) core competencies recommended by the facility management of higher education institutions
    Keywords: Facilities Management, competencies, Higher Education Institution
    JEL: M00
    Date: 2011–06
  14. By: Bianchi, Massimo
    Abstract: Local Public Administrations could play a relevant role in the building of a strongest European identity. This issue derives not only from the capability to be directly in touch with citizens but also because they represent the culture of service delivered from the bottom. This means that Europe has to facilitate the Life Long Learning of Managers and Staff of local administrations with programs of temporary mobility and learning. As the Directorate-General for Education and Culture of the European Commission recommended some years ago, initiatives like the PLOTEUS portal for learning opportunities, work in this direction but for a more effectiveness of this strategy is necessary a strongest policy of incentives and facilities and a clear framework similar to experienced Tempus and Leonardo programs for Universities and Research.
    Keywords: Local Public Administrations; local government; European Identity
    Date: 2011
  15. By: Ron Martin; Peter Sunley
    Abstract: Although the literature on the evolution of industrial clusters is not vast, a preferred approach has already become evident, based around the idea of a cluster 'life-cycle'. This approach has several limitations. In this paper we explore a different conception of cluster evolution drawing on the 'adaptive cycle' model that has been developed in evolutionary ecology. Using this model, cluster evolution is viewed as an adaptive process with different possible outcomes based on episodic interactions of nested systems. Though not without limitations, this approach offers greater scope as a framework for shaping the research agenda into the evolution of clusters.
    Keywords: Clusters, Evolution, Life-cycle model, Complex systems, Adaptive cycle model
    JEL: R00 R1 R3
    Date: 2011–07
  16. By: Rahman Ebrahimi Tabar (Faculty of Human Scientific, Islamic Azad Universiity, Shootar Branch, Iran)
    Abstract: In the knowledge society of the 21 century human resources development (HRD) is of critical importance in both enhancing the competitiveness of nations and ensurance social integration to wards national development
    Keywords: Knowledge society, resources management, social welfare, national development, information technology, national innovation system, research and development, vocational education
    JEL: M00
    Date: 2011–06
  17. By: Davide Arduini (Department of Economics, Society & Politics, Università di Urbino "Carlo Bo"); Antonello Zanfei (Department of Economics, Society & Politics, Università di Urbino "Carlo Bo")
    Abstract: Public e-services are a broad and growing research field in which scholars and practitioners from different domains are involved. However, the increasing attention devoted to public e-services only partially captures the extreme variety of aspects and implications of the diffusion of information and communication technologies at all levels of public administrations. The paper aims to develop a meta-analysis of the literature on the delivery, diffusion, adoption and impact of public e-services and examines current research trends in terms of differences in methodologies, approaches and key indicators across five service platforms: eGovernment, eEducation, eHealth, Infomobility and eProcurement. We examined 751 articles appeared in 2000-2010 in the top international academic journals listed in the Social Science Citation Index (SSCI) of the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), as classified in the following fields: Communication, Economics, Education, Environmental Studies, Geography, Health Policy & Services, Information Science & Library Science, Law, Management, Planning & Development, Public Administration, Transportation and Urban Studies. We highlight a significant heterogeneity in scientific production across service domains, countries covered by empirical analyses, indicators used, and affiliation of authors. We also show an increasing diffusion of quantitative methods applied to different research fields which still appears to be constrained by data limitations. The overall picture emerging from the analysis is one characterized by largely unexplored service domains as well as scarcely analyzed issues both across and within individual service platforms (e.g. front vs. back office issues). Thus many research opportunities seem to emerge and need to be exploited from different disciplinary perspectives in this field of analysis.
    Keywords: eGovernment, eEducation, eHealth, Infomobility, eProcurement, Bibliometrics, Metaanalysis, Innovation in services, Public e-services
    JEL: H83 O38
    Date: 2011
  18. By: Vranceanu, Radu (ESSEC Business School); Barthélémy, Jérôme (ESSEC Business School)
    Abstract: The coexistence of a predominantly poor opinion of free markets and lack of education in economics are two documented features of France. In this paper, we use data collected through an Internet-based survey conducted in December 2009 in order to test whether this situation is more than a mere coincidence. A first regression model allows us to study how personal characteristics, general and economics education, occupation and personal interest in economics affect knowledge in economics. We then apply factor analysis in order to build an aggregate indicator of opinion on promarket reforms. This opinion indicator becomes the dependent variable in a second multiple regression model; it turns out that knowledge in economics contributes by 3.5% to explain the favorable opinion on pro-market reforms.
    Keywords: Economic knowledge; Policy reform; Survey methods; France
    JEL: A11 A14 A20
    Date: 2011–07–11
  19. By: Marco PECORARO (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) and SFM, Université de Neuchâtel)
    Abstract: Using two periods’ panel data from the Swiss Graduate Survey, this study examines the incidence and wage effects of overeducation. Contrary to most prior research, we account for graduate heterogeneity in perceived skills mismatch when measuring overeducation and correct for potential omitted ability bias in the estimated pay penalty associated with overeducation. We find that graduates who are overeducated and mismatched in skills (i.e. genuinely overeducated) are the most penalized in terms of earnings. This evidence is still valid when using the fixed effects approach, while the pay penalty is no more significant for graduates who are overeducated but matched in skills (i.e. apparently overeducated). This indicates that the wage effects for apparently overeducated graduates are mainly due to the omission of unobserved ability.
    Keywords: Overeducation, skills mismatch, wages, panel data analysis
    Date: 2011–05–09
  20. By: Astrid Gamba (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena, Germany)
    Abstract: A common feature of the literature on the evolution of preferences is that evolution favors nonmaterialistic preferences only if preference types are observable at least to some degree. We argue that this result is due to the assumption that in each state of the evolutionary dynamics some Bayesian Nash equilibrium is played. We show that under unobservability of preference types, conditional on selecting some self-confirming equilibrium as a rule for mapping preference into behavior, non-selfish preferences may be evolutionarily successful.
    Keywords: evolution of preferences, altruism, learning, self-confirming equilibrium
    JEL: A13 C72 D64 D83
    Date: 2011–07–04
  21. By: Laura María Gómez-Ruiz (Department of Business Administration, Universidad Pablo de Olavide); David Naranjo-Gil (Department of Business Administration, Universidad Pablo de Olavide); Concepción Álvarez-Dardet Espejo (Department of Business Administration, Universidad Pablo de Olavide)
    Abstract: Recent Organizations are adopting teams’ structures to react to competition and enhance performance, but they do not fully achieve these objectives. Psychology literature argues that one of the main reasons for that is the lack of team commitment, which could be enhanced partially for the social identity of the team. Accounting literature argues that management control systems can be used as mechanism to motivate individuals in teams, and so enhance commitment. Using an experiment conducted among 120 post-graduate students, we test how team social identity and the interactive and diagnostic uses of the management control systems influence commitment to team’s objectives. Results generally support our hypotheses. Our findings show that an interactive use of management controls in teams is positively related to high level of teams’ commitment. Moreover, our results also support that the effect of social identity on teams´ commitment is moderated by the level of interactive use of management control systems in teams.
    Keywords: Teams, Use of Management Control Systems, Social identity, Commitment, Experiments
    Date: 2011–06
  22. By: Dr. Masoud Haghighi; Mahrokh Alimohammadi; Dr. Qolamali Sarmad (Educational Administration Dept, Roudehen Branch Islamic Azad University, Roudehen, Tehran, Iran)
    Abstract: The objective of the present research is to investigate the employees' empowerment functions of Tehran education organization. The research's method is the descriptive survey method. All employees of the city of Tehran's education organization whom add up to 586 people form its statistical population, samples were selected according to Morgan table which has been 230 person. Questionnaire, which has been made by researcher, was used for gathering information. The validity of the questionnaire has been confirmed by the comments of the guide and co-guide and reliability of it was achieved by the Cronbach's alpha coefficient test of 0/956. Chi square has been used for analyzing data. The results showed that there is a meaningful relationship between empowerment and motivational factors, increase staff confidence, strengthening cordiality and honesty of employees, increasing efficiency partnership and teamwork, strengthening communication, increasing information, knowledge and skills of employees, optimizing work flow and procedures
    Keywords: Empowerment, Employees, Education Organization
    JEL: M00
    Date: 2011–06

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