nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2011‒10‒09
nineteen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Out-of-school suspensions and parental involvement in children’s education By Maria E. Canon
  2. Classroom peer effects and student achievement By Mary Burke; Tim R. Sass
  3. Age at pubertal onset and educational outcomes By Dreber, Anna; von Essen, Emma; Ranehill, Eva
  4. Equity in an educational boom: Lessons from the expansion and marketization of tertiary schooling in Poland By Herbst, Mikolaj; Rok, Jakub
  5. Migration and Education By Christian Dustmann; Albrecht Glitz
  6. Changing Academic Environment and Diversity in Students’ Study Philosophy, Beliefs, and Attitudes in Higher Education By Mohammad Alauddinh; Adrian Ashman
  7. Profesionalización docente y la calidad de la educación escolar en Colombia By Luis Armando Galvis; Leonardo Bonilla Mejía
  8. Methods for Evaluating Educational Programs – Does Writing Center Participation Affect Student Achievement? By Julia Bredtmann; Carsten J. Crede; Sebastian Otten
  9. Returns to education across Europe: A comparative analysis for selected EU countries By Glocker, Daniela; Steiner, Viktor
  10. Educational Achievement of Second Generation Immigrants: An International Comparison By Christian Dustmann; Tommaso Frattini; Gianandrea Lanzara
  11. Explaining Diversity in Students’ Views and Expectations about Teaching and Learning Process in Higher Education By Mohammad Alauddinh; Adrian Ashman
  12. Diversity in Students’ Study Practices in Higher Education By Mohammad Alauddinh; Adrian Ashman
  13. Trade-off between Child Labour and Schooling in Bangladesh: Role of Parental Education By Salma Ahmed
  14. The Use of Bibliometrics to Measure Research Performance in Education Sciences By Andrea Diem; Stefan C. Wolter
  15. Do School Lunch Subsidies Change the Dietary Patterns of Children from Low- Income Households? By Larry Howard; Nishith Prakash
  16. The Determinants of Child Schooling in Nigeria By Olanrewaju Olaniyan
  17. Creating Quality Undergraduate Research Programs in Economics: How, when, where (and why) By Stephen B. DeLoach; Elizabeth Perry-Sizemore; Mary O. Borg
  18. Belief updating among college students: evidence from experimental variation in information By Matthew Wiswall; Basit Zafar
  19. Migration and Foreign Direct Investment: Education Matters By Masood Gheasi; Peter Nijkamp; Piet Rietveld

  1. By: Maria E. Canon
    Abstract: Do parents alter their investment in their child’s human capital in response to changes in school inputs? If they do, then ignoring this effect will bias the estimates of school and parental inputs in educational production functions. This paper tries to answer this question by studying out-of-school suspensions and their effect on parental involvement in children’s education. The use of out-of- school suspensions is the novelty of this paper. Out-of-school suspensions are chosen by the teacher or the principal of the school and not by parents, but they are a consequence of student misbehavior. To account for the nature of these out-of-school suspensions, they are instrumented with measures of “principal’s preference toward discipline.” The estimates show that, without controlling for selection, the level of parental involvement is negatively correlated with the number of out-of-school suspensions. Once selection is accounted for, the effect disappears—that is, out-of-school suspensions do not affect parental involvement in children’s education.
    Keywords: Education ; School choice
    Date: 2011
  2. By: Mary Burke; Tim R. Sass
    Abstract: In this paper we analyze the impact of classroom peers' ability on individual student achievement with a unique longitudinal data set covering all Florida public school students in grades 3-10 over a five-year period. Unlike many data sets used to study peer effects in education, ours identifies each member of a student's classroom peer group in elementary, middle, and high school as well as the classroom teacher responsible for instruction. As a result, we can control for student fixed effects simultaneously with teacher fixed effects, thereby alleviating biases due to endogenous assignment of both peers and teachers, including some dynamic aspects of assignment. Our estimation strategy, which measures the influence on individual test scores of peers' fixed characteristics (including unobserved components), also alleviates potential bias due to measurement error in peer ability. Under linear-in-means specifications, estimated peer effects are small to nonexistent, but we find sizable and significant peer effects in nonlinear models. We find that peer effects depend on an individual student's own ability and on the relative ability level of peers, results suggesting that some degree of tracking by ability may raise aggregate achievement. Estimated peer effects tend to be smaller when teacher fixed effects are included than when they are omitted, a result that emphasizes the importance of controlling for teacher inputs. We also find that classroom peers exert a greater influence on individual achievement than the broader group of grade-level peers at the same school.
    Keywords: Achievement tests
    Date: 2011
  3. By: Dreber, Anna (Institute for Financial Research (SIFR), Stockholm); von Essen, Emma (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm University); Ranehill, Eva (Stockholm School of Economics)
    Abstract: Education has important short and long run implications for individual outcomes. In this paper we explore the association between age at pubertal onset and educational outcomes in a sample of Swedish girls. Previous research suggests that girls that mature earlier perform worse in school compared to girls that mature later. To test if this is also true among Swedish girls, we investigate the association between pubertal development and grades, educational aspirations and educational choice. We also investigate whether changes in risk attitudes, time preferences and priorities concerning school versus friends mediate this potential correlation. We confirm that earlier maturing girls have lower grades and lower educational aspirations, but find that they make educational choices similar to those of later maturing girls. Furthermore, we do not find that these differences in grades and aspirations are mediated by risk attitudes, time preferences or priorities.
    Keywords: educational outcomes; puberty; pubertal timing; grades
    JEL: I00 J10 J16
    Date: 2011–09–27
  4. By: Herbst, Mikolaj; Rok, Jakub
    Abstract: The transformation of Polish economy toward a free market system and related changes on the Polish labour market released the demand for higher education, held for decades at an artificially low level. The impressive increase in enrolment was possible because the Polish government allowed the private sector to establish higher education institutions. This paper demonstrates how the probability of enrolment in tertiary schools evolves for different social groups in Poland over the period of educational boom. It also investigates how the socio-economic status influences the choices between full-time and part-time studies (the latter being of relatively low quality), and the probability of admission to subsidized, free programs versus programs requiring tuition. Between 1994 and 2008 Poland has undoubtedly improved the participation of students with low socio-economic status in the university education. However, if we look at the change in the ratios of enrolment probabilities for different layers of the social strata, we find that the improvement refers to those with low family educational background and living in small settlements, but not to individuals suffering from the low income. Further investigation shows that the policy makers should focus not only on ensuring equal access to tertiary education for the whole social strata, but on allowing the unprivileged groups access to education of acceptable quality.
    Keywords: Higher education; equity; participation; transformation; Poland
    JEL: A22 D63 A23 H52 I22
    Date: 2011–09–26
  5. By: Christian Dustmann (CReAM, University College London); Albrecht Glitz (CReAM, Universitat Pompeu Fabra)
    Abstract: Sjaastad (1962) viewed migration in the same way as education: as an investment in the human agent. Migration and education are decisions that are indeed intertwined in many dimensions. Education and skill acquisition play an important role at many stages of an individual's migration. Differential returns to skills in origin- and destination country are a main driver of migration. The economic success of the immigrant in the destination country is to a large extent determined by her educational background, how transferable these skills are to the host country labour market, and how much she invests into further skills after arrival. The desire to acquire skills in the host country that have a high return in the country of origin may also be an important reason for a migration. From an intertemporal point of view, the possibility of a later migration may also affect educational decisions in the home country long before a migration is realised. In addition, the decisions of migrants regarding their own educational investment, and their expectations about future migration plans may also affect the educational attainment of their children. But migration and education are not only related for those who migrate or their descendants. Migrations of some individuals may have consequences for educational decisions of those who do not migrate, both in the home and in the host country. By easing credit constraints through remittances, migration of some may help others to go to school. By changing the skill base of the receiving country, migration may change incentives to invest in certain types of human capital. Migrants and their children may create externalities that influence educational outcomes of non-migrants in the destination country. This chapter will discuss some of the key areas that connect migration and education.
    Keywords: Migration, Education, Human Capital, Return Migration, Immigrant Selection, Second-generation
    Date: 2011–02
  6. By: Mohammad Alauddinh (School of Economics, The University of Queensland); Adrian Ashman (School of Education, The University of Queensland)
    Abstract: The diversity of students in higher education in Australia and elsewhere has changed significantly over the past two decades. The existing literature has provided limited clarity in terms of their effects on teaching and learning or on the way in which social and cultural changes shape what university students think about the teaching and learning process. Employing a large data set of survey responses from a leading Australian university, this paper provides an analysis of student perceptions of the teaching and learning process, in regard to their study philosophy, beliefs, and attitudes. Survey data were analysed in two stages. First, factor analysis was used to explore themes (or dimensions) within the survey. Multivariate analysis of variance was then undertaken using students’ factor scores as dependent variables, and age, sex, ethnicity, study discipline, study level, academic performance, and sex-ethnicity interaction as grouping variables. Three factors (Deep Learning, Expediency, and Responsibility) appeared to reflect students’ study philosophy, beliefs, and attitude toward teaching and learning. Students’ response on the three factors varied according to age, sex, ethnicity, study discipline, and academic performance, and sex-ethnicity effects. Students in business-related disciplines appeared to display greater expediency than peers in other disciplines, treating university education like any other commodity.
    Date: 2011
  7. By: Luis Armando Galvis; Leonardo Bonilla Mejía
    Abstract: This paper aims to study the impact of teachers’ professionalization degree on the quality of schools, measured by student performance on the standardized test SABER11. We use instrumental variables (IV) models, in order to overcome possible endogeneity problems. The results indicate that the professionalization degree has a positive effect on students’ performance. This effect is more noticeable in math than in language. Moreover, we find that public spending on education is positively correlated with degree of professionalization, while the adoption of the New Statute of 2002 has a negative impact. Resumen: El presente documento tiene por objetivo estudiar el impacto del grado de profesionalización de los docentes sobre los resultados en la calidad de la educación escolar, medida a través del desempeño académico de los estudiantes en la prueba SABER 11. Para esto, se emplean modelos de variables instrumentales (VI) que permiten enfrentar los posibles problemas de endogeneidad. Los resultados muestran que el grado de profesionalización docente tiene un efecto positivo sobre el desempeño de los alumnos, y que el impacto tiende a ser mayor en el área de matemáticas que en la de lenguaje. Además, se encuentra que el gasto público en educación incide positivamente sobre la profesionalización de los docentes, mientras que la adopción del Estatuto de profesionalización docente de 2002 tiene un efecto negativo.
    Date: 2011–09–26
  8. By: Julia Bredtmann; Carsten J. Crede; Sebastian Otten
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the eff ectiveness of the introduction of a Writing Center at a university. The center has the purpose to provide subject-specifi c courses that aim to improve students‘ abilities of scientifi c writing. In order to deal with presumed selfperceptional biases of students in feedback surveys, we use diff erent quantitative evaluation methods and compare the results to corresponding qualitative student surveys. Based on this evaluation, we present and discuss the validity of the approaches to evaluate educational programs. Although almost all students reported the writing courses to be helpful, we fi nd no signifi cant eff ect of course participation on students‘ grades. We attribute the diff erence in the results between quantitative methods and qualitative surveys to the inappropriateness of student course evaluations for assessing the eff ectiveness of educational measures.
    Keywords: Performance evaluation; educational programs; student evaluation; empirical methods
    JEL: I20 I21 C81
    Date: 2011–08
  9. By: Glocker, Daniela; Steiner, Viktor
    Abstract: Incentives to invest in higher education are affected by both the direct wage effect of human capital investments and the indirect wage effect resulting from lower unemployment risks and shorter spells in unemployment associated with higher educated. We analyse the returns to education in Austria, Germany, Italy, Sweden and the United Kingdom, countries which differ significantly regarding both their education systems and labour market structure. We estimate augmented Mincerian wage equations accounting for the effects of unemployment on individual wages using EU-SILC data. Across countries we find a high variation of the effect of education on unemployment duration. Overall, the returns to education are estimated to be the highest in the UK, and the lowest for Sweden. A wage decrease due to time spent in unemployment results in a decline in the hourly wages in Austria, Germany and Italy. --
    Keywords: Returns to education,unemployment,EU-SILC
    JEL: I21 J31 H42
    Date: 2011
  10. By: Christian Dustmann (University College London and CReAM); Tommaso Frattini (Università  degli Studi di Milano, CReAM, IZA and LdA); Gianandrea Lanzara (University College London and CReAM)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the educational achievements of second generation immigrants in several OECD countries in a comparative perspective. We first show that the educational achievement (measured as test scores in PISA achievement tests) of children of immigrants is quite heterogeneous across countries, and strongly related to achievements of the parent generation. The disadvantage considerably reduces, and even disappears for some countries, once we condition on parental background characteristics. Second, we provide novel analysis of cross-country comparisons of test scores of children from the same country of origin, and compare (conditional) achievement scores in home and host countries. The focus is on Turkish immigrants, whom we observe in several destination countries. We investigate both mathematics and reading test scores, and show that the results vary according to the type of skills tested. For mathematics, in most countries and even if the test scores achievement of the children of Turkish immigrants is lower than that of their native peers, it is still higher than that of children of their cohort in the home country - conditional and unconditional on parental background characteristics. The analysis suggests that higher school quality relative to that in the home country is important to explain immigrant children's educational advantage.
    Date: 2011–07
  11. By: Mohammad Alauddinh (School of Economics, The University of Queensland); Adrian Ashman (School of Education, The University of Queensland)
    Abstract: This paper provides a quantitative analysis of student perceptions in regard to their views and expectations about the purpose of university study. Over 800 survey responses from students attending a leading Australian university forms the empirical basis. Factor analysis was used to explore themes (or dimensions) based on data collected via a paper-and-pencil survey. Multivariate analysis of variance was then undertaken using students’ factor scores as dependent variables, and age, sex, ethnicity, study discipline, study level, and academic performance as grouping variables. Four factors (Approach to Teaching, Active Participation, Communication and Feedback, and Clarity of Focus and Purpose) reflected students’ views and expectations about the university teaching and learning process. These labels typified behaviour that reflected students’ keen interest in the lecturer’s teaching approach, active participation in the teaching and learning process, and the lecturers’ responsiveness to students’ needs. In turn, students’ perceived views about and expectations were affected by their sex, ethnicity, study discipline, level of study, sex-ethnicity interaction.
    Date: 2011
  12. By: Mohammad Alauddinh (School of Economics, The University of Queensland); Adrian Ashman (School of Education, The University of Queensland)
    Abstract: A plethora of studies document the profound contextual changes leading amongst other things to diversity of the student population in the higher education sector in the developed world in the last two decades. However, the existing literature is less clear about (a) patterns of students’ study practices, and (b) how the factors underpinning diversity of the student population shape their study practices. This paper seeks to fill this gap. Employing a large data set of survey responses from a leading Australian university, this paper provides a quantitative analysis of students’ perceptions about their study practices in the teaching and learning process. Analysis of the survey data entailed two stages. First, factor analysis explored themes (or dimensions) within the survey. Multivariate analysis of variance was then undertaken using students’ factor scores as dependent variables, with their age, sex, ethnicity, study discipline, study level, and academic performance as grouping variables. Four factors, (Concordance and Engagement; Disconnection and Disengagement; Reflection and Realisation; and Learning Impediments) reflected students’ study practices. The core difference between students in their study practices was influenced by age, ethnicity, academic performance, and sex-ethnicity interaction.
    Date: 2011
  13. By: Salma Ahmed
    Abstract: The paper examines whether there is any trade-off between child labour hours and child schooling outcomes. By drawing on Bangladesh National Child Labour Survey data, we find that children’s work, even in limited amounts, does adversely affect child human capital. This is reflected in reduced school attendance and age-adjusted school attendance rates. We find that parents do not have identical preferences towards boys’ and girls’ schooling decisions. While both, educated mother and father shifts the trade-off towards girls’ schooling as opposed to market work, the differential impact of mother’s education on girls is significantly larger. These conclusions persist even after allowing for sample selection into child’s work. Our results intensify the call for better enforcement of compulsory schooling for children.
    Keywords: Child labour, education, Bangladesh
    JEL: J13 J22 J24 O12
    Date: 2011–09
  14. By: Andrea Diem (Swiss Coordination Centre for Research in Education (SCCRE), Aarau); Stefan C. Wolter (Swiss Coordination Centre for Research in Education (SCCRE), Aarau, and University of Bern, CESifo and IZA)
    Abstract: This paper uses bibliometric data to investigate the research performance of Swiss professors in the field of education sciences. The analyses are based on two separate databases: Web of Science and Google Scholar. A comparison of the various indicators used to measure research performance (quantity of publications and citation impact) from the two data sources indicates highly positive correlations between all of them, to a greater or lesser degree. At the same time, there is evidence that significant individual factors that would serve to explain the great variance in research performance can be identified only if the Web of Science is used as a benchmark of research performance. However, the Web of Science inclusion policy is associated with certain issues that put some research authors at a disadvantage. Therefore, problems currently exist in regard to both citation databases when used to benchmark individual research performance: Web of Science adopts a selective approach, but some of the criteria employed are problematic. Google Scholar on the other hand is so inclusive that it is virtually impossible to identify explanatory variables for the existing major individual differences in research performance.
    Keywords: bibliometrics, education sciences, research performance, scientometric methods, science research
    JEL: I23 I29
    Date: 2011–09
  15. By: Larry Howard (California State University, Fullerton); Nishith Prakash (Cornell University, CReAM, and IZA)
    Abstract: This article examines the effects of school lunch subsidies provided through the meanstested component of the National School Lunch Program on the dietary patterns of children age 10- to 13 yr in the USA. Analyzing data on 5,140 public school children in 5th grade during spring 2004, we find significant increases in the number of servings of fruit, green salad, carrots, other vegetables, and 100 percent fruit juice consumed in one week for subsidized children relative to unsubsidized children. The effects on fruit and other vegetable consumption are stronger among the children receiving a full subsidy, as opposed to only a partial subsidy, and indicate the size of the subsidy is an important policy lever underlying the program's effectiveness. Overall, the findings provide the strongest empirical evidence to date that the means-tested school lunch subsidies increase children's consumption over a time period longer than one school day.
    Keywords: National School Lunch Program, Dietary Patterns, Means-Tested Subsidies
    JEL: H51 I12 I38
    Date: 2011–01
  16. By: Olanrewaju Olaniyan
    Abstract: This study explores the determinants of child schooling in Nigeria and takes current enrolment and delayed entry into schools as measures of schooling outcome. The study utilized reduced form relationships for male and female children within urban and rural households. Using data from the 1999 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) of Nigeria, the study found that socioeconomic backgrounds of children are significant determinants of schooling with education of parents being the most important determinant. Educated parents desire more schooling for their children. Our decomposition analysis revealed that the way a household treats boys and girls in urban areas contracts the gender gap in enrolment, while it widens the gap in rural areas.
    Date: 2011–01
  17. By: Stephen B. DeLoach (Department of Economics, Elon University); Elizabeth Perry-Sizemore (Department of Economics, Randolph College); Mary O. Borg (Department of Economics, University of North Florida)
    Abstract: While undergraduate research (UR) has been growing across the academy for decades, economics has been relatively slow to adopt it as pedagogy. We argue for the development of comprehensive UR programs that not only require capstone research experiences, but integrate the development of foundational research skills throughout the curriculum. Fundamentally, there is a hierarchy whereby students learn basic research skills in lower-level courses, develop ability integrating content knowledge and research skills in upper-levels, and produce independent or collaborative research projects in later semesters. Successful UR programs depend on understanding this developmental model, integrating it into the curriculum, and taking advantage of resources to support it. To facilitate such improvements, we make six recommendations for departments to consider when building or strengthening their UR environment.
    Keywords: undergraduate research, senior thesis, honors thesis, service learning, active learningQuality UGR
    JEL: A2
    Date: 2011–05
  18. By: Matthew Wiswall; Basit Zafar
    Abstract: We investigate how college students form and update their beliefs about future earnings using a unique “information” experiment. We provide college students true information about the population distribution of earnings and observe how this information causes respondents to update their beliefs about their own future earnings. We show that college students are substantially misinformed about population earnings and logically revise their self-beliefs in response to the information we provide, with larger revisions when the information is more specific and is good news. We classify the updating behaviors observed and find that the majority of students are non-Bayesian updaters.
    Keywords: Prediction (Psychology) ; Wages ; Universities and colleges ; Demography ; Uncertainty ; Bayesian statistical decision theory
    Date: 2011
  19. By: Masood Gheasi (VU University Amsterdam); Peter Nijkamp (VU University Amsterdam); Piet Rietveld (VU University Amsterdam)
    Abstract: The rapid growth in the foreign-born population in many high and middle-income countries in recent decades has prompted much research on the socio-economic determinants and impacts of immigration. This paper investigates the relationship between the stock of foreign population by nationality living in the UK and the bilateral volume of foreign direct investment (FDI), both inward FDI into the UK and outward FDI from the UK. This study contributes to the literature on the above-mentioned association between migration and FDI, by using the UK annual data from 2001 to 2007 for 22 countries on the inward volume of FDI and for 27 countries on the outward volume of FDI. Our study finds a significant and positive relationship between migration and outward FDI. This result also holds, if we correct for endogeneity by using an instrumental variable approach. If we then include the education level of migrants living in the UK, our results indicate that the more educ ated migrants from a certain country are, the stronger positive effect they have on FDI in both directions (inward and outward).
    Keywords: foreign direct investment; immigration; gravity model; instrumental variable
    JEL: F22 P45
    Date: 2011–09–27

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