nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2011‒08‒02
fifteen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. The Elite Illusion: Achievement Effects at Boston and New York Exam Schools By Atila Abdulkadiroglu; Joshua D. Angrist; Parag A. Pathak
  2. The effectiveness of English secondary schools for pupils of different ability levels By Lorraine Dearden; John Micklewright; Anna Vignoles
  3. Stepping Stones: Principal Career Paths and School Outcomes By Tara Béteille; Demetra Kalogrides; Susanna Loeb
  4. Estimating the rate of return to education in Sudan By Nour, Samia
  5. Education, training and skill development policies in Sudan: Macro-micro overview By Nour, Samia
  6. On the design of education conditional cash transfer programs and non education outcomes: the case ofteenage pregnancy By Darwin Cortés, Juan Gallego, Darío Maldonado
  7. The Portability of New Immigrants' Human Capital: Language, Education and Occupational Matching By Goldmann, Gustave; Sweetman, Arthur; Warman, Casey
  8. The Diffusion of Information Technology and the Increased Propensity of Teams to Transcend Institutional and National Borders By Winkler, Anne E.; Glänzel, Wolfgang; Levin, Sharon; Stephan, Paula
  9. Child mental health and educational attainment: multiple observers and the measurement error problem By David Johnston; Carol Propper; Stephen Pudney; Michael Shields
  10. Assessment of skill and technology indicators at the macro-micro levels in Sudan By Nour, Samia
  11. Where to Put the Kids? Effects of Type of Non-parental Child Care on Pre-teen Skills and Risky Behavior By Datta Gupta, Nabanita; Simonsen, Marianne
  12. Conditional Cash Transfers in Brazil: Treatment Evaluation of the “Bolsa Família” Program on Education By Elke Schaffland
  13. Graduate labor mismatch in Central and Eastern Europe By Aleksander Kucel; Montserrat Vilalta-Bufi; Peter Robert
  14. Education, vocational training and R&D: towards new forms of labor market regulation By Lopes, Margarida
  15. Human Capital Spillovers in Families: Do Parents Learn from or Lean on their Children? By Ilyana Kuziemko

  1. By: Atila Abdulkadiroglu; Joshua D. Angrist; Parag A. Pathak
    Abstract: Talented students compete fiercely for seats at Boston and New York exam schools. These schools are characterized by high levels of peer achievement and a demanding curriculum tailored to each district's highest achievers. While exam school students clearly do very well in school, the question of whether an exam school education adds value relative to a regular public education remains open. We estimate the causal effect of exam school attendance using a regression-discontinuity design, reporting both parametric and non-parametric estimates. We also develop a procedure that addresses the potential for confounding in regression-discontinuity designs with multiple, closely-spaced admissions cutoffs. The outcomes studied here include scores on state standardized achievement tests, PSAT and SAT participation and scores, and AP scores. Our estimates show little effect of exam school offers on most students' achievement in most grades. We use two-stage least squares to convert reduced form estimates of the effects of exam school offers into estimates of peer and tracking effects, arguing that these appear to be unimportant in this context. On the other hand, a Boston exam school education seems to have a modest effect on high school English scores for minority applicants. A small group of 9th grade applicants also appears to do better on SAT Reasoning. These localized gains notwithstanding, the intense competition for exam school seats does not appear to be justified by improved learning for a broad set of students.
    JEL: I20
    Date: 2011–07
  2. By: 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.); John Micklewright (Depatment of Quantitative Social Science - Institute of Education, University of London.); Anna Vignoles (Department of Quantitative Social Science, Institute of Education, University of London. 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL, UK.)
    Abstract: 'League table' information on school effectiveness in England generally relies on either a comparison of the average outcomes of pupils by school, e.g. mean exam scores, or on estimates of the average value added by each school. These approaches assume that the information parents and policy-makers need most to judge school effectiveness is the average achievement level or gain in a particular school. Yet schools can be differentially effective for children with differing levels of prior attainment. We present evidence on the extent of differential effectiveness in English secondary schools, and find that even the most conservative estimate suggests that around one quarter of schools in England are differentially effective for students of differing prior ability levels. This affects an even larger proportion of children as larger schools are more likely to be differentially effective.
    Keywords: school effectiveness, school choice, value added, England
    JEL: I2
    Date: 2011–07–22
  3. By: Tara Béteille; Demetra Kalogrides; Susanna Loeb
    Abstract: More than one out of every five principals leaves their school each year. In some cases, these career changes are driven by the choices of district leadership. In other cases, principals initiate the move, often demonstrating preferences to work in schools with higher achieving students from more advantaged socioeconomic backgrounds. Principals often use schools with many poor or low-achieving students as stepping stones to what they view as more desirable assignments. We use longitudinal data from one large urban school district to study the relationship between principal turnover and school outcomes. We find that principal turnover is, on average, detrimental to school performance. Frequent turnover of school leadership results in lower teacher retention and lower student achievement gains. Leadership changes are particularly harmful for high poverty schools, low-achieving schools, and schools with many inexperienced teachers. These schools not only suffer from high rates of principal turnover but are also unable to attract experienced successors. The negative effect of leadership changes can be mitigated when vacancies are filled by individuals with prior experience leading other schools. However, the majority of new principals in high poverty and low-performing schools lack prior leadership experience and leave when more attractive positions become available in other schools.
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2011–07
  4. By: Nour, Samia (UNU-MERIT, Maastricht University, and Khartoum University)
    Abstract: This paper examines the rate of return to education in Sudan. One advantage and interesting element in our analysis in this paper is that we explain three stylised facts on the rate of return to education using new primary data in Sudan: first, positive but low rate of return to education and correlations between education, experience, its square and wages for men and women defined by gender, second, positive and significant rate of return to education and correlations between education, experience, its square and wages defined by firm size and industry at the micro level across industrial firms and third, an increase in skill levels and firm size leads to improved relationship between actual education, required education, experience, its square and wages at the micro level across industrial firms. Our paper is relevant and consistent with the recent growing interest in the literature that confirms the importance of investment in education and rate of return to education. Different from the Sudanese literature that estimates the return to human capital at the macro level, we investigate the rate of return to education using new primary data at the micro level. A novel element of our analysis is that we use new primary survey data at the micro level obtained from the university survey (2009) and the firm survey (2010), we present a new contribution and fill the gap in the Sudanese literature by estimating first the rate of return to education for men and women and explaining differences defined by gender and second for industrial firms and explaining differences defined by firm size and industry, since these issues are not adequately discussed in the Sudanese literature. Our findings indicate the importance of investment in education to facilitate enhancing educational attainment and improvement of the rate of return to education in Sudan.
    Keywords: Education, returns to education, gender, industry, Sudan
    JEL: J01 J16 J21 J24 J31 I21
    Date: 2011
  5. By: Nour, Samia (UNU-MERIT, Maastricht University, and Khartoum University)
    Abstract: This paper discusses the education, training and skill development policies in Sudan using a combination of new secondary and primary data. A novel element in our paper is that we use new primary macro and micro (firm) surveys data to discuss and compare the macro and micro perspectives concerning policies implemented to improve skill upgrading through enhancing the educational system, provision of training and transfer of knowledge. Different from the Sudanese literature, an interesting element in our analysis is that we discuss both the supply and demand sides of educational policies and we provide a more comprehensive analysis by explaining the low commitment to the standardised international adequacy, equity and efficiency criterion related to the supply and demand sides of education and training policies in Sudan. We provide a new contribution and fill important gap in the Sudanese literature by explaining that the regional disparity in the demand for education (share in enrolment in education) is most probably due to economic reasons (per capita income and poverty rate), demographic reasons (share in total population) and other reasons (degree of urbanization) in Sudan. We find that the increase in the incidence of high poverty rate and low per capita income seem to be the most important factor limiting the demand for education, notably, the demand for primary education, especially for females in Sudan. The major policy implication from our findings is that poverty eradication is key for the achievement of universal access to primary education and gender equality and therefore, fulfillment of the second and third United Nations Millennium Development Goals in Sudan by 2015. We recommend further efforts to be made to improve quality, increase firm commitment to the standardised international adequacy, equity and efficiency criterion in the provision of education and training, increase incentives at tertiary and technical education, enhance consistency of education, training and skill development policies and encourage collaboration between public and private sectors.
    Keywords: Education, training, supply, demand, adequacy, efficiency, equity, skill development, Sudan
    JEL: H52 I20 I21 I28 M53 O15
    Date: 2011
  6. By: Darwin Cortés, Juan Gallego, Darío Maldonado
    Abstract: ABSTRACT We investigate the effect of education Conditional Cash Transfer programs (CCTs) on teenage pregnancy. Our main concern is with how the size and sign of the effect may depend on the design of the program. Using a simple model we show that an education CCT that conditions renewal on school performance reduces teenage pregnancy; the program can increase teenage pregnancy if it does not condition on school performance. Then, using an original data base, we estimate the causal impact on teenage pregnancy of two education CCTs implemented in Bogotá (Subsidio Educativo, SE, and Familias en Acción, FA); both programs differ particularly on whether school success is a condition for renewal or not. We show that SE has negative average effect on teenage pregnancy while FA has a null average effect. We also Find that SE has either null or no effect for adolescents in all age and grade groups while FA has positive, null or negative effects for adolescents in different age and grade groups. Since SE conditions renewal on school success and FA does not, we can argue that the empirical results are consistent with the predictions of our model and that conditioning renewal of the subsidy on school success crucially determines the eect of the subsidy on teenage pregnancy.
    Date: 2011–07–18
  7. By: Goldmann, Gustave (University of Ottawa); Sweetman, Arthur (McMaster University); Warman, Casey (Queen's University)
    Abstract: The implications of human capital portability – including interactions between education, language skills and pre- and post-immigration occupational matching – for earnings are explored for new immigrants to Canada. Given the importance of occupation-specific skills, as a precursor we also investigate occupational mobility and observe convergence toward the occupational skill distribution of the domestic population, although four years after landing immigrants remain less likely have a high skilled job. Immigrants who are able to match their source and host country occupations obtain higher earnings. However, surprisingly, neither matching nor language skills have any impact on the return to pre-immigration work experience, which is observed to be statistically significantly negative. Crucially, English language skills are found to have an appreciable direct impact on earnings, and to mediate the return to pre-immigration education but not labour market experience.
    Keywords: immigration, human capital portability, occupation, language, education
    JEL: J24 J61 J62
    Date: 2011–07
  8. By: Winkler, Anne E. (University of Missouri-St. Louis); Glänzel, Wolfgang (K.U.Leuven); Levin, Sharon (University of Missouri-St. Louis); Stephan, Paula (Georgia State University)
    Abstract: This study examines the relationship between the diffusion of IT and changes in collaboration patterns across institutional and national borders. To undertake the research, the authors match an explicit measure of institutional IT adoption (domain names, e.g. with institutional data on all published papers indexed by ISI for over 1,200 U.S. four-year colleges, universities and medical schools for the years 1991-2007. The publication data examined cover the social sciences and natural sciences and narrower fields such as economics and biology. Two measures of institutional collaboration are examined: (1) percent of papers produced by a U.S. institution with one or more co-authors at another U.S. institution (US-US); and (2) percent of papers produced by a U.S. institution with one or more non-U.S. coauthors (US-INTL). We first describe collaboration patterns across universities and then use regression analysis to examine the impact of IT exposure on multi-institution collaboration. IT exposure is measured by the number of years elapsed since an institution’s adoption of a domain name. Results indicate dramatic growth in the percentage of both US-US and US-INTL collaborations, as well as important differences by field. The study provides modest evidence that length of IT exposure has had a positive and significant effect on both US-US and US-INTL collaborations.
    Keywords: coauthorship, collaboration, information technology, diffusion, higher education
    JEL: A14 I23 O33
    Date: 2011–07
  9. By: David Johnston; Carol Propper; Stephen Pudney (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Social and Economic Research); Michael Shields
    Abstract: <p>We examine the effect of survey measurement error on the empirical relationship between child mental health and personal and family characteristics, and between child mental health and educational progress. Our contribution is to use unique UK survey data that contains (potentially biased) assessments of each child's mental state from three observers (parent, teacher and child), together with expert (quasi-) diagnoses, using an assumption of optimal diagnostic behaviour to adjust for reporting bias. We use three alternative restrictions to identify the effect of mental disorders on educational progress. Maternal education and mental health, family income, and major adverse life events, are all significant in explaining child mental health, and child mental health is found to have a large influence on educational progress. Our preferred estimate is that a 1-standard deviation reduction in 'true' latent child mental health leads to a 2-5 months loss in educational progress. We also find a strong tendency for observers to understate the problems of older children and adolescents compared to expert diagnosis.</p>
    Date: 2011–07
  10. By: Nour, Samia (UNU-MERIT, Maastricht University, and Khartoum University)
    Abstract: In this paper we examine skill and technology indicators at the macro and micro levels in Sudan. Different from the Sudanese literature, a novel element in our analysis is that we use new primary data from the macro and firm surveys and we provide a new contribution and fill the gap in the Sudanese literature by examining five hypotheses on the causes and consequences of low skill and technology indicators at the macro and micro levels in Sudan. We verify our first hypothesis that the interaction between the deficient educational system -caused by low quality of education- and the high share of unskilled workers leads to poor provision of training; low skill levels; skills mismatch; low transfer of knowledge/external schooling effect; weak technology indicators and dependence on foreign technologies at the micro level. We confirm our second hypothesis that the poor local technology indicators/indigenous capability to build the local technology and heavy dependence on foreign technology can be attributed to lack of R&D activities/efforts, due to a lack of funding, low skill levels, weak linkages, lack of networks systems and collaboration between universities and industry/firms, low transfer of knowledge and a lack of entrepreneur perspective. We support our third hypothesis that the transfer of knowledge/external schooling effects is successful at the micro level but unsuccessful at the macro level due to low educational qualifications and deficient educational and training systems. We confirm our fourth hypothesis that skill and technology indicators are significantly determined by firm size and industry. We support our fifth hypothesis concerning the consistency of upskilling plans at the macro-micro levels. Finally, one advantage and interesting element in our analysis is that we provide a new contribution to the Sudanese literature, since we explain the causes, consequences and interaction between the low skill and technology indicators and the transfer of knowledge. We recommend further efforts to be made to improve skill and technology indicators and transfer of knowledge at the macro and micro levels which are all essential for economic growth and development in Sudan.
    Keywords: Skill, technology, firm size, industry, Sudan
    JEL: J24 L25 O12 O15 O30
    Date: 2011
  11. By: Datta Gupta, Nabanita (Aarhus School of Business); Simonsen, Marianne (University of Aarhus)
    Abstract: This paper investigates pre-teenage effects of the choice of type of non-parental child care at age three (preschool relative to more informal family day care). We exploit a Danish panel data child survey merged with administrative records along with a pseudo-experiment that generates variation in the take-up of preschool across municipalities. As outcomes, we consider measures of overall and risky behavior in addition to objective and self-evaluated abilities. We find no strong evidence that one type of non-parental care outperforms the other, though children who have been placed in preschool tend to like school better.
    Keywords: child care, skills, risky behaviors, evaluation
    JEL: J13
    Date: 2011–07
  12. By: Elke Schaffland
    Abstract: Brazil has experienced a substantial amount of change in the last few years. Some of the changes in development policy have led to decreases in poverty and inequality. For example, conditional cash transfers were one of the most widespread poverty-alleviation programs in Brazil becoming one of the biggest programs of this kind in the world. These transfers give grants to eligible poor families to allow increased consumption in the short-term while building human capital through requirements for school attendance and health care. Given these goals, it is important to evaluate the effect of these transfers on human capital. This paper discusses two methodologies for the evaluation of programs’ effect on education: Regression Discontinuity Design and Propensity Score Matching (PSM). Using PSM we find that the probability of school enrollment rises by around 4 percentage points for children of families that receive the transfers. Our results also point to a positive impact on school attendance; recipients miss around less school over a two month period than families without the transfers. However, the dimension of the programs effect differs between age groups; the program has a greater impact on younger children than on older ones.
    Keywords: conditional cash transfers; propensity score matching; education
    Date: 2011–07–21
  13. By: Aleksander Kucel; Montserrat Vilalta-Bufi; Peter Robert (Universitat de Barcelona)
    Abstract: Using crosssection data from the REFLEX/HEGESCO surveys, this paper explores the likelihood of educationjob mismatch in Central and Eastern Europe. We classify countries in two groups according to the signaling strength of their educational credentials: the occupational labor market group (Poland, Czech Republic and Slovenia) and the internal labor market group (Hungary, Lithuania and Estonia). We analyze three types of mismatch: the vertical mismatch (under/overeducation), horizontal mismatch (inadequacy of the field of study) and, finally, skills mismatch. We are particularly interested in studying how fields of study and individual competencies affect mismatch in the labor market in these economies. Results indicate that fields of study and individual competencies both significantly affect the likelihood of various types of mismatch. There are important differences between occupational and internal labor market structures in terms of mismatch determinants.
    Keywords: competencies, educationlabor mismatch, occupational labor market, fields of study, eastern europe, internal labor market, overeducation
    JEL: I28 J44 I23 J24
    Date: 2011
  14. By: Lopes, Margarida
    Abstract: Abstract Labor market regulation and its relations with education and training have been performing an historical trajectory which closely intertwined with developments in economic thought. Under the form of human capital theories, neo-classical economics set the bridge between labor market equilibrium and education outputs for decades. The functionalist approach behind that lasting relationship was to be challenged by economic crises and globalization, which imposed the unquestionable supremacy of the demand for skilled work. Likewise, even if only that more strict perspective of education would prevail, which fortunately is not the case, time and hazard came to undertake its denigration on the grounds of a severe loss of regulatory efficiency as globalization was setting up. In this paper we shed light on the increasing role which innovation is called to perform in labor market hetero regulation in the present phase of globalization. Depending on the institutional design throughout which R&D become embedded in nowadays societies, evidence clearly reveals how innovation strategies are to be found so asymmetrically implemented between developed and developing countries, thereby leading to the enlarging divide between the “new North” and “new South” globalization off springs.
    Keywords: Key Words: labor market regulation; education and training; innovation; knowledge.
    JEL: J08 D84 A23 I21
    Date: 2011–05–07
  15. By: Ilyana Kuziemko
    Abstract: I develop a model in which a child's acquisition of a given form of human capital incentivizes adults in his household to either learn from him (if children act as teachers then adults' cost of learning the skill falls) or lean on him (if children's human capital substitutes for that of adults in household production then adults' benefit of learning the skill falls). I exploit regional variation in two shocks to children's human capital and examine the effect on adults. The rapid introduction of primary education for black children in the South during Reconstruction not only increased literacy of children but also of adults living in the same household ("learning" outweighs "leaning"). Conversely, the 1998 introduction of English immersion in California public schools appears to have increased the English skills of children but discouraged adults living with them from acquiring the language ("leaning" outweighs "learning"). Whether family members learn from or lean on each other has implications for the externalities associated with education policies.
    JEL: H23 I2 I28 J12 J13 J24
    Date: 2011–07

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