nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2011‒10‒01
twelve papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. The study pace among college students before and after a student aid reform: some Swedish results By Avdic, Daniel; Gartell, Marie
  2. Everybody Needs Good Neighbours? Evidence from Students' Outcomes in England By Gibbons, Steve; Silva, Olmo; Weinhardt, Felix
  3. School-based management, school decision-making and education outcomes in Indonesian primary schools By Chen, Dandan
  4. Violent Conflict and Human Capital Accumulation By Patricia Justino
  5. Academic Performance and Single-Sex Schooling: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Switzerland By Gerald Eisenkopf; Zohal Hessami; Urs Fischbacher; Heinrich Ursprung
  6. Academic Performance and Single-Sex Schooling: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Switzerland By Gerald Eisenkopf; Zohal Hessami; Urs Fischbacher; Heinrich Ursprung
  7. TreKker Model - Case study on TreKker Model’s impact on self-beliefs By Marina Ventura; Magda Rocha; Margarida Amorim
  8. Is the Persistence of Teacher Effects in Early Grades Larger for Lower-Performing Students? By Konstantopoulos, Spyros; Sun, Min
  9. Non-cognitive Skills and the Gender Disparities in Test Scores and Teacher Assessments: Evidence from Primary School By Cornwell, Christopher; Mustard, David B.; Van Parys, Jessica
  10. Pension-Induced Rigidities in the Labor Market for School Leaders By Cory Koedel; Jason A. Grissom; Shawn Ni; Michael Podgursky
  11. A Community College Instructor Like Me: Race and Ethnicity Interactions in the Classroom By Fairlie, Robert W.; Hoffmann, Florian; Oreopoulos, Philip
  12. Rising Wage Inequality and Postgraduate Education By Lindley, Joanne; Machin, Stephen

  1. By: Avdic, Daniel (Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation); Gartell, Marie (Institute for Futures Studies)
    Abstract: In 2001, the Swedish system of student aid for college students was substantially reformed; the grant-share of the total aid was increased, students were allowed to earn more without a reduction in student aid, and the repayment schedule of the loans was significantly tightened. In this paper, we examine the effects of the reform on individual study efficiency, measured as the number of credit points achieved each semester. We use all program students with a first registration at a Swedish college between 1995 and 2001(before the reform) and estimate a linear regression model including individual fixed effects. There is a slightly positive and significant effect of the reform on the aggregate level. However, dividing the sample conditionally on the parental educational level reveals that the individual study efficiency has increased only for students from a strong academic background. In other words, the relative study efficiency has decreased for students from a weak academic background. The different results between students from different parental backgrounds appear to be related to the reallocation of time between work and studies.
    Keywords: study efficiency; time-to-graduation; university education; student aid
    JEL: I29
    Date: 2011–09–02
  2. By: Gibbons, Steve (London School of Economics); Silva, Olmo (Harvard Kennedy School); Weinhardt, Felix (London School of Economics)
    Abstract: We estimate the effect of neighbours' characteristics and prior achievements on teenage students' educational and behavioural outcomes using census data on several cohorts of secondary school students in England. Our research design is based on changes in neighbourhood composition caused explicitly by residential migration amongst students in our dataset. The longitudinal nature and detail of the data allows us to control for student unobserved characteristics, neighbourhood fixed effects and time trends, school-by-cohort fixed effects, as well as students' observable attributes and prior attainments. The institutional setting also allows us to distinguish between neighbours who attend the same or different schools, and thus examine interactions between school and neighbourhood peers. Overall, our results provide evidence that peers in the neighbourhood have no effect on test scores, but have a small effect on behavioural outcomes, such as attitudes towards schooling and anti-social behaviour.
    Keywords: peer and neighbourhood effects, cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes, secondary schools
    JEL: C21 I20 H75 R23
    Date: 2011–09
  3. By: Chen, Dandan
    Abstract: This paper examines the key aspects of the practices of school-based management in Indonesia, and its effect on education quality. Using a conceptual framework of an accountability system of public service delivery, the paper explores the relations among Indonesian parents, school committees, schools, and government education supervisory bodies from three tenets: participation and voice; autonomy; and accountability. Using the data from a nationally representative survey of about 400 public primary schools in Indonesia, the paper finds that the level of parental participation and voice in school management is extremely low in Indonesia. While the role of school committees is still limited to community relations, school facilities, and other administrative areas of school management, school principals, together with teachers, are much more empowered to assert professional control of the schools. The accountability system has remained weak in Indonesia's school system, which is reflected by inadequate information flow to parents, as well as seemingly low parental awareness of the need to hold schools accountable. The accountability arrangement of the Indonesian school system currently puts more emphasis on top-down supervision and monitoring by government supervisory bodies. The findings show that although the scope of school-based management in Indonesia is limited, it has begun to help schools make the right decisions on allocation of resources and hiring additional (non-civil servant) teachers, and to create an enabling environment of learning, including increasing teacher attendance rates. These aspects are found to have significantly positive effects on student learning outcomes.
    Keywords: Education For All,Tertiary Education,Primary Education,Teaching and Learning,Disability
    Date: 2011–09–01
  4. By: Patricia Justino (Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Sussex)
    Abstract: This paper reviews and discusses available empirical research on the impact of violent conflict on the level and access to education of civilian and combatant populations affected by violence. Three main themes emerge from this empirical review. The first is that relatively minor shocks to educational access can lead to significant and long-lasting detrimental effects on individual human capital formation in terms of educational attainment, health outcomes and labour market opportunities. Secondly, the destruction of infrastructure, the absence of teachers and reductions in schooling capacity affect secondary schooling disproportionately. Finally, the exposure of households to violence results in significant gender differentials in individual educational outcomes. The paper then turns its attention to the specific mechanisms that link violent conflict with educational outcomes, an area largely unexplored in the literatures on conflict and education. The paper focuses six key mechanisms: soldiering, household labour allocation decisions, fear, changes in returns to education, targeting of schools, teachers and students and displacement.
    Date: 2011–09
  5. By: Gerald Eisenkopf (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany); Zohal Hessami (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany); Urs Fischbacher (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany); Heinrich Ursprung (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany)
    Abstract: We study the effects of random assignment to coeducational and single-sex classes on the academic performance of female high school students. Our estimation results show that single-sex schooling improves the performance of female students in mathematics. This positive effect increases if the single-sex class is taught by a male teacher. An accompanying survey reveals that single-sex schooling also strengthens female students’ selfconfidence and renders the self-assessment of their mathematics skills more level-headed. Single-sex schooling thus has profound implications for human capital formation and the mind-set of female students.
    JEL: I21 J16
    Date: 2011–09–19
  6. By: Gerald Eisenkopf; Zohal Hessami; Urs Fischbacher; Heinrich Ursprung
    Abstract: We study the effects of random assignment to coeducational and single-sex classes on the academic performance of female high school students. Our estimation results show that single-sex schooling improves the performance of female students in mathematics. This positive effect increases if the single-sex class is taught by a male teacher. An accompanying survey reveals that single-sex schooling also strengthens female studentsÕ selfconfidence and renders the self-assessment of their mathematics skills more level-headed. Single-sex schooling thus has profound implications for human capital formation and the mind-set of female students.
    Date: 2011
  7. By: Marina Ventura (Faculdade de Economia e Gestão, Universidade Católica Portuguesa - Porto); Magda Rocha (Faculdade de Economia e Gestão, Universidade Católica Portuguesa - Porto); Margarida Amorim (Faculdade de Economia e Gestão, Universidade Católica Portuguesa - Porto)
    Abstract: TreKker is an intervention model designed for students which aims to develop the individual as an integrated whole. This model was created to be used as a framework for individual skills development in an academic environment. As a result of the implementation of the Bologna Process, Higher Education Institutions in Europe are required to be more focused on skills and competences than on traditional lectures centered on technical skills (European Commission, 2009a). This article presents an exploratory study with students from the Catholic University of Portugal, Biotechnology College. In 2009/ 2010 we experimented with combining degree courses. These courses would then both focus on the same skills development and share assessment techniques. In this framework, the TreKker model was used to support the development of lifelong learning, emotional intelligence and transferable skills. Early results following the intervention appear promising in terms of increases in students’ self-esteem, self-efficacy and self-confidence. The study had some limitations related to number of subjects and execution time and must be repeated in order to have more consistent results.
    Keywords: Skills; Emotional intelligence; Continuing Education; Self Efficacy
    Date: 2011–09
  8. By: Konstantopoulos, Spyros (Michigan State University); Sun, Min (Virginia Polytechnic University)
    Abstract: We examined the persistence of teacher effects from grade to grade on lower-performing students using high-quality experimental data from Project STAR, where students and teachers were assigned randomly to classrooms of different sizes. The data included information about mathematics and reading scores and student demographics such as gender, race, and SES. Teacher effects were computed as residual classroom achievement within schools and within grades. Then, teacher effects were used as predictors of achievement in following grades and quantile regression was used to estimate their persistence. Results consistently indicated that all students benefited similarly from teachers. Overall, systematic differential teacher effects were not observed and it appears that lower-performing students benefit as much as other students from teachers. In fourth grade there was some evidence that lower-performing students benefit more from effective teachers. Results from longitudinal analyses suggested that having effective teachers in successive grades is beneficial to all students and to lower-performing students in particular in mathematics. However, having low-effective teachers in successive grades is detrimental to all students and to lower-performing students in particular in reading.
    Keywords: teacher effects, low-achievers, quantile regression
    JEL: I20
    Date: 2011–09
  9. By: Cornwell, Christopher (University of Georgia); Mustard, David B. (University of Georgia); Van Parys, Jessica (Columbia University)
    Abstract: We extend the analysis of early-emerging gender differences in academic achievement to include both (objective) test scores and (subjective) teacher assessments. Using data from the 1998-99 ECLS-K cohort, we show that the grades awarded by teachers are not aligned with test scores, with the disparities in grading exceeding those in testing outcomes and uniformly favoring girls, and that the misalignment of grades and test scores can be linked to gender differences in non-cognitive development. Girls in every racial category outperform boys on reading tests and the differences are statistically significant in every case except for black fifth-graders. Boys score at least as well on math and science tests as girls, with the strongest evidence of a gender gap appearing among whites. However, boys in all racial categories across all subject areas are not represented in grade distributions where their test scores would predict. Even those boys who perform equally as well as girls on reading, math and science tests are nevertheless graded less favorably by their teachers, but this less favorable treatment essentially vanishes when non-cognitive skills are taken into account. White boys who perform on par with white girls on these subject-area tests and exhibit the same non-cognitive skill level are graded similarly. For some specifications there is evidence of a grade "bonus" for white boys with test scores and behavior like their girl counterparts. While the evidence is a little weaker for blacks and Hispanics, the message is essentially the same.
    Keywords: gender differences, test scores, grades, educational attainment
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2011–09
  10. By: Cory Koedel (Department of Economics, University of Missouri-Columbia); Jason A. Grissom; Shawn Ni (Department of Economics, University of Missouri-Columbia); Michael Podgursky (Department of Economics, University of Missouri-Columbia)
    Abstract: Educators in public schools in the United States are typically enrolled in defined-benefit pension plans, which penalize across-plan mobility. We use administrative data from Missouri to examine how the mobility penalties affect the labor market for school leaders. We show that pension borders greatly affect leadership flows across schools – for two groups of schools separated by a pension border, our estimates indicate that removing the border will increase leadership mobility between them by 97 to 163 percent. We consider the implications of the pension-induced rigidities in the leadership labor market for schools near pension borders in Missouri. Our findings are of general interest given that thousands of public schools operate near pension boundaries nationwide.
    Keywords: Educator pensions, backloaded compensation, principal quality, leadership quality, compensation in education
    JEL: H5 I2 J3
    Date: 2011–09–15
  11. By: Fairlie, Robert W. (University of California, Santa Cruz); Hoffmann, Florian (University of British Columbia, Vancouver); Oreopoulos, Philip (University of Toronto)
    Abstract: This paper uses detailed administrative data from one of the largest community colleges in the United States to quantify the extent to which academic performance depends on students being of similar race or ethnicity to their instructors. To address the concern of endogenous sorting, we use both student and classroom fixed effects and focus on those with limited course enrolment options. We also compare sensitivity in the results from using within versus across section instructor type variation. Given the computational complexity of the 2-way fixed effects model with a large set of fixed effects we rely on numerical algorithms that exploit the particular structure of the model's normal equations. We find that the performance gap in terms of class dropout and pass rates between white and minority students falls by roughly half when taught by a minority instructor. In models that allow for a full set of ethnic and racial interactions between students and instructors, we find African-American students perform particularly better when taught by African-American instructors.
    Keywords: race, education, minorities, college
    JEL: I23
    Date: 2011–09
  12. By: Lindley, Joanne (University of Surrey); Machin, Stephen (University College London)
    Abstract: This paper considers what has hitherto been a relatively neglected subject in the wage inequality literature, albeit one that has been becoming more important over time, namely the role played by increases in postgraduate education. We document increases in the number of workers with a postgraduate qualification in the United States and Great Britain. We also show their relative wages have risen over time as compared to all workers and more specifically to graduates with only a college degree. Consideration of shifts in demand and supply shows postgraduates and college only workers to be imperfect substitutes in production and that there have been trend increases over time in the relative demand for postgraduate vis-à-vis college only workers. These relative demand shifts are significantly correlated with technical change as measured by changes in industry computer usage and investment. Moreover, the skills sets possessed by postgraduates and the occupations in which they are employed are significantly different to those of college only graduates. Over the longer term period when computers have massively diffused into workplaces, it turns out that the principal beneficiaries of this computer revolution has not been all graduates, but those more skilled workers who have a postgraduate qualification. This has been an important driver of rising wage inequality amongst graduates over time.
    Keywords: wage inequality, postgraduate education, computers
    JEL: J24 J31
    Date: 2011–09

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