nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2011‒09‒05
nine papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Classroom Grade Composition and Pupil Achievement By Leuven, Edwin; Rønning, Marte
  2. Revisiting the Role of Education for Agricultural Productivity By Malte Reimers; Stephan Klasen
  3. Conflict and its Impact on Educational Accumulation and Enrollment in Colombia: What We Can Learn from Recent IDPs By Wharton, Kate; Uwaifo Oyelere, Ruth
  4. A Model for the Delivery of Evidence-Based PSHE (Personal Wellbeing) in Secondary Schools By John Coleman; Daniel Hale; Richard Layard
  5. Las desigualdades en la distribución del nivel educativo de los docentes en Colombia By Luis Armando Galvis; Leonardo Bonilla Mejía
  6. Trade and Divergence in Education Systems By Pao-Li Chang; Fali Huang
  7. Whither Human Capital? The Woeful Tale of Transition to Tertiary Education in India By Sumon Bhaumik; Manisha Chakrabarty
  8. Rankings Games By Bruno S. Frey; Margit Osterloh
  9. ATTENTION AND SCHOOL SUCCESS: The Long-Term Implications of Attention for School Success among Low-Income Children By Rachel A. Razza; Anne Martin; Jeanne Brooks-Gunn

  1. By: Leuven, Edwin (University of Oslo); Rønning, Marte (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: This paper exploits discontinuous grade mixing rules in Norwegian junior high schools to estimate how classroom grade composition affects pupil achievement. Pupils in mixed grade classrooms are found to outperform pupils in single grade classrooms on high stake central exit tests and teacher set and graded tests. This effect is driven by pupils benefiting from sharing the classroom with more mature peers from higher grades. The presence of lower grade peers is detrimental for achievement. Pupils can therefore benefit from de-tracking by grade, but the effects depend crucially on how the classroom is balanced in terms of lower and higher grades. These results reconcile the contradictory findings in the literature.
    Keywords: educational production, combination classes, class size, peer effects
    JEL: I2
    Date: 2011–08
  2. By: Malte Reimers (Georg-August-University Göttingen); Stephan Klasen (Georg-August-University Göttingen)
    Abstract: While the majority of micro studies finds that rural education increases agricultural productivity, various recent cross-country regressions analysing the determinants of agricultural productivity were only able to detect insignificant or even surprising negative effects of schooling. In this paper, we argue and show that this failure to find a positive impact of education in the international context is rather a data problem related to the use of enrolment and literacy indicators. Using a panel of 95 developing and middle-income countries from 1961 to 2002 together with the newest version of the Barro-Lee educational attainment dataset, we show that education indeed has a highly significant, positive effect on agricultural productivity which is robust to changes in the control variables and in the econometric methods applied. Distinguishing between different levels of education further reveals that only primary and secondary schooling have significant positive impacts while tertiary education remains insignificant. Finally, the effect of education is estimated separately for countries with different income levels. Results indicate that the coefficient of the education variable remains insignificant for countries from the poorest three income quintiles, while it is positive and highly significant for the richest two quintiles. This finding can be interpreted as support for the prominent argument claiming that education leads to higher agricultural productivity only in the presence of rapid technical change where education will help farmers to adjust more readily to the new opportunities.
    Keywords: Agricultural productivity; agricultural production function; cross‐country regression; education; human capital
    JEL: I20 O13 O15 O47 Q10
    Date: 2011–08–26
  3. By: Wharton, Kate (Georgia Institute of Technology); Uwaifo Oyelere, Ruth (Georgia Tech)
    Abstract: Forty years of low-intensity internal armed conflict has made Colombia home to the world's second largest population of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). The effect of being directly impacted by conflict on a child's educational accumulation and enrollment is of particular concern because of the critical role that education plays in increasing human capital and productivity. This paper explores the educational accumulation and enrollment gap created by being directly affected by conflict. First, we show that children living in municipality with high conflict have a gap in education enrollment and accumulation. However, this gap is much smaller than the attainment and enrollment gap for those directly affected by the conflict (IDPs). We estimate the education accumulation and enrollment gaps for IDPs in comparison to non-migrants and other migrants respectively. Our results suggest significant education accumulation and enrollment gaps for children of IDPs that widens to over half a year in secondary school. The disparity in effects when we focus on direct exposure to conflict versus living in a municipality with conflict suggests a need to be careful when using the latter to estimate the impact of conflict.
    Keywords: educational attainment, school enrollment, Colombia, internal displacement, conflict
    JEL: O12 O15 J10
    Date: 2011–08
  4. By: John Coleman; Daniel Hale; Richard Layard
    Abstract: Personal Social Health and Economic (PSHE) education is a non-statutory school subject designed to facilitate the delivery of a number of key competencies relevant to health, safety and wellbeing. As well as contributing to learning objectives in regards to these topics PSHE education has been ascribed with weighty expectations for outcomes well beyond the classroom relating to physical, mental, sexual and emotional health and safety. This paper reviews a programme of research aimed at providing guidance for the evidence-based provision of PSHE education, including a summary of the major impediments and facilitators of evidence-based programming, as well as a model curriculum for the delivery of evidence-based PSHE. An extensive literature review was conducted along with a series of interviews with programme developers, researchers, teachers and other school practitioners with the aim of developing a cohesive rationale for PSHE education and identifying evidence-based programmes which could be implemented to contribute to PSHE aims. The proposed model curriculum is comprised of evidence-based programmes which are PSHE-relevant and applicable or adaptable to the PSHE-education implementation context. While the provision of evidence-based PSHE presents a number of challenges and is limited by a lack of resources and evidence of effectiveness, with appropriate guidance PSHE education can be improved so that a comprehensive syllabus of evidence-based programmes is enacted in secondary schools. This will increase the likelihood that PSHE has the intended effect on adolescent mental and physical health and wellbeing.
    Keywords: Health education, social-emotional learning, life-skills, prevention
    JEL: I1 I18 I2
    Date: 2011–08
  5. By: Luis Armando Galvis; Leonardo Bonilla Mejía
    Abstract: Resumen: El presente documento tiene por objetivo estudiar las desigualdades en la distribución de la formación académica de los docentes en Colombia. Para esto, se descomponen las desigualdades en la dotación de profesores según el grado de profesionalización de éstos a través de los índices de Theil. Además, se llevan a cabo estimaciones de los determinantes de esa profesionalización teniendo en cuenta características del colegio y de los municipios donde funcionan las instituciones. Se evalúan dos hipótesis: por un lado, si un mayor gasto público en personal educativo por parte de los entes territoriales ha contribuido a mejorar el nivel de formación de los docentes de las instituciones oficiales. Por otro lado, se evalúan los efectos del Nuevo Estatuto de Profesionalización Docente de 2002 sobre el nivel educativo promedio de los profesores. ABSTRACT: This paper aims to study the differences in the degree of professionalization of teachers in educational institutions in Colombia. We decompose the inequalities in the supply of teachers according to their degree of professionalization through the Theil index. Next, we carry out estimates of the determinants of professionalization, taking into account characteristics of the school and the municipalities where the institutions operate. We evaluate two hypotheses: first, whether more public spending on education personnel by local authorities has helped to improve the level of training of the teachers in government institutions; next, we assess the impact of the teacher professionalization law of 2002 on the degree of teacher professionalization.
    Date: 2011–08–25
  6. By: Pao-Li Chang (School of Economics, Singapore Management University); Fali Huang (School of Economics, Singapore Management University)
    Abstract: This paper presents a theory on the endogenous choice of a country's education policy and the two-way causal relationship between trade and education systems. The setting of a country's education system determines its talent distribution and comparative advantage in trade; the possibility of trade by raising the returns to the sector of comparative advantage in turn induces countries to further differentiate their education systems and reinforces the initial pattern of comparative advantage. Speci…cally, the Nash equilibrium choice of education systems by two countries interacting strategically are necessarily more divergent than their autarky choices,although the difference is still less than what is socially optimal for the world. We provide some preliminary empirical evidence on the relationship between education, talent distribution, and trade.
    Keywords: Education System, Talent Distribution, Comparative Advantage, Trade Pattern
    JEL: F16 I20 J24
    Date: 2010–12
  7. By: Sumon Bhaumik; Manisha Chakrabarty
    Abstract: In this paper we examine the issue of high dropout rates in India which has adverse implications for human capital formation, and hence for the country’s long term growth potential. Using the 2004-05 National Sample Survey employment-unemployment survey data, we estimate transition probabilities of moving from a number of different educational levels to higher educational levels using a sequential logit model. Our results suggest that the overall probability of reaching tertiary education is very low. Further, even by the woeful overall standards, women are significantly worse-off, particularly in rural areas.
    Keywords: Education; Transitional probability; India
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2011–07–01
  8. By: Bruno S. Frey; Margit Osterloh
    Abstract: Research rankings based on publications and citations today dominate governance of academia. Yet they have unintended side effects on individual scholars and academic institutions and can be counterproductive. They induce a substitution of the "taste for science" by a "taste for publication". We suggest as alternatives careful selection and socialization of scholars, supplemented by periodic self-evaluations and awards. Neither should rankings be a basis for the distributions of funds within universities. Rather, qualified individual scholars should be supported by basic funds to be able to engage in new and unconventional research topics and methods.
    Keywords: Academic governance; rankings; motivation; selection; socialization
    JEL: A10 D02 H83 L23 M50
    Date: 2011–08
  9. By: Rachel A. Razza (Syracuse University); Anne Martin (Columbia University); Jeanne Brooks-Gunn (Columbia University)
    Abstract: This study examined the longitudinal associations between sustained attention in preschool and children’s school success in later elementary school within a low-income sample (N = 2,403). Specifically, two facets of sustained attention (focused attention and lack of impulsivity) at age 5 were explored as independent predictors of children’s academic and behavioral competence across eight measures at age 9. Overall, the pattern of results indicates specificity between the facets of attention and school success, such that focused attention was primarily predictive of academic outcomes while impulsivity was mainly predictive of behavioral outcomes. Both facets of attention predicted teacher ratings of children’s academic skills and approaches to learning, which suggests that they jointly influence outcomes that span both domains of school success. Patterns of association were similar for children above and below the poverty line. Implications of these findings for interventions targeting school readiness and success among at-risk children are discussed.
    Keywords: sustained attention, academic achievement, behavioral competence, low-income children
    JEL: D19 D69 I21 I32 J13
    Date: 2011–08

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