nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2011‒11‒07
twenty-two papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. School Resources and Educational Outcomes in Developing Countries: A Review of the Literature from 1990 to 2010 By Paul W. Glewwe; Eric A. Hanushek; Sarah D. Humpage; Renato Ravina
  2. Individual policy preferences for vocational versus academic education: Microlevel evidence for the case of Switzerland By Marius R. Busemeyer; Maria Alejandra Cattaneo; Stefan C. Wolter
  3. In brief... House Prices and School Quality: Evidence from State and Private Education in Paris By Gabrielle Fack; Julien Grenet
  4. Promoting School Competition Through School Choice: A Market Design Approach By John William Hatfield; Fuhito Kojima; Yusuke Narita
  5. Teaching Practices and Social Capital By Algan, Yann; Cahuc, Pierre; Shleifer, Andrei
  6. A Community College Instructor like Me: Race and Ethnicity Interactions in the Classroom By Fairlie, Robert W.; Hoffmann, Florian; Oreopoulos, Philip
  7. Formal, non-formal and informal learning and higher education graduates' reemployment: evidence for Portugal By Lopes, Margarida; Fernandes, Graca
  8. The Role of Education in Technology Use and Adoption: Evidence from the Canadian Workplace and Employee Survey By Riddell, W. Craig; Song, Xueda
  9. Teachers' Pay and Pupil Performance By Peter Dolton; Oscar Marcenaro Gutierrez
  10. Common tongue: The impact of language on economic performance By Jain, Tarun
  11. Time to Work or Time to Play: The Effect of Student Employment on Homework, Sleep, and Screen Time By Charlene Marie Kalenkoski; Sabrina Wulff Pabilonia
  12. The Rich or the Poor: Who Gains from Public Education Spending in Ghana? By Mawuli Gaddah; Alistair Munro
  13. The Boom in Postgraduate Education and Its Impact on Wage Inequality By Joanne Lindley; Stephen Machin
  14. Labour Market Under-Utilisation of Recent Higher Education Graduates: New Australian Panel Evidence By Carroll, David; Tani, Massimiliano
  15. When should children start school? By Dionissi Aliprantis
  16. The Impact ofStructured Teaching Methods on the Quality of Education By Maria Carolina da Silva Leme; Andre Portela; Vladimir Ponczek; PaulaLouzano
  18. Estimation of Average Years of Schooling for Japan, Korea and the United States By Godo, Yoshihisa
  19. The Contribution of Universities to Growth: Empirical Evidence for Italy By M. Carree; A. Della Malva; E. Santarelli
  20. Estimating the returns to educational mismatch with panel data: the role of unobserved heterogeneity By Marco PECORARO
  21. Regional Growth and Convergence: The Role of Human Capital in the Portuguese Regions By Catarina Cardoso; Eric J. Pentecost
  22. What Explains Schooling Differences Across Countries? By Juan Carlos Cordoba; Marla Ripoll

  1. By: Paul W. Glewwe; Eric A. Hanushek; Sarah D. Humpage; Renato Ravina
    Abstract: Developing countries spend hundreds of billions of dollars each year on schools, educational materials and teachers, but relatively little is known about how effective these expenditures are at increasing students’ years of completed schooling and, more importantly, the skills that they learn while in school. This paper examines studies published between 1990 and 2010, in both the education literature and the economics literature, to investigate which specific school and teacher characteristics, if any, appear to have strong positive impacts on learning and time in school. Starting with over 9,000 studies, 79 are selected as being of sufficient quality. Then an even higher bar is set in terms of econometric methods used, leaving 43 “high quality” studies. Finally, results are also shown separately for 13 randomized trials. The estimated impacts on time in school and learning of most school and teacher characteristics are statistically insignificant, especially when the evidence is limited to the “high quality” studies. The few variables that do have significant effects – e.g. availability of desks, teacher knowledge of the subjects they teach, and teacher absence – are not particularly surprising and thus provide little guidance for future policies and programs.
    JEL: H4 J24 O15
    Date: 2011–10
  2. By: Marius R. Busemeyer (Department of Politics and Public Administration, University of Konstanz, Konstanz, Germany); Maria Alejandra Cattaneo (Swiss Coordination Centre for Research in Education (SKBF-CSRE), Aarau, Switzerland); Stefan C. Wolter (University of Bern, Centre for Research in Economics of Education and Swiss Coordination Centre for Research in Education (SKBF-CSRE), Aarau, Switzerland, and CESifo & IZA)
    Abstract: This paper uses an original dataset from a survey conducted in Switzerland in 2007 to explore the dynamics of education policy preferences. This issue has largely been neglected in that most studies on welfare state attitudes do not look at preferences for education. We argue that education policy preferences vary along two dimensions: the distribution of resources across different sectors of the education system (that is, vocational training versus academic education) and the level of investment in education both from public and private sources. With regard to the former, the findings suggest that individual educational experience matters most, that is, individuals prefer to concentrate resources on those educational sectors that are closest to their own educational background. With regard to the latter, we find that affiliation to partisan ideologies matters much more than other variables. Proponents of the left demand more investment both from the state as well as from the private sector and oppose individual tuition fees.
    Keywords: academic education, vocational training, individual policy preferences, Switzerland
    Date: 2011–10
  3. By: Gabrielle Fack; Julien Grenet
    Abstract: It is now widely understood that the quality of state schools in a neighbourhood has an impact on local house prices. Analysing data for Paris, Gabrielle Fack and Julien Grenet have looked deeper into this link by exploring how the presence of private schools influences parents' willingness to pay to live near good state schools.
    Keywords: School catchment areas, France, private education, public education, housing, house prices
    Date: 2011–10
  4. By: John William Hatfield (Graduate School of Business, Stanford University); Fuhito Kojima (Department of Economics, Stanford University); Yusuke Narita (Department of Economics, MIT)
    Abstract: We study the effect of different school choice mechanisms on schools' incentives for quality improvement. To do so, we introduce the following criterion: A mechanism respects improvements of school quality if each school becomes weakly better off whenever that school becomes more preferred by students. We first show that no stable mechanism, or mechanism that is Pareto efficient for students (such as the Boston and top trading cycles mechanisms), respects improvements of school quality. Nevertheless, for large school districts, we demonstrate that any stable mechanism approximately respects improvements of school quality; by contrast, the Boston and top trading cycles mechanisms fail to do so. Thus a stable mechanism may provide better incentives for schools to improve themselves than the Boston and top trading cycles mechanisms.
    Keywords: Matching; School Choice; School Competition; Stability; Efficiency
    JEL: C78 D78 H75 I21
    Date: 2011–09
  5. By: Algan, Yann (Sciences Po, Paris); Cahuc, Pierre (Ecole Polytechnique, Paris); Shleifer, Andrei (Harvard University)
    Abstract: We use several data sets to consider the effect of teaching practices on student beliefs, as well as on organization of firms and institutions. In cross-country data, we show that teaching practices (such as copying from the board versus working on projects together) are strongly related to various dimensions of social capital, from beliefs in cooperation to institutional outcomes. We then use micro-data to investigate the influence of teaching practices on student beliefs about cooperation and students' involvement in civic life. A two-stage least square strategy provides evidence that teaching practices have an independent sizeable effect on student social capital. The relationship between teaching practices and student test performance is nonlinear. The evidence supports the idea that progressive education promotes social capital.
    Keywords: education, social capital, institutions
    JEL: I2 Z1
    Date: 2011–10
  6. By: Fairlie, Robert W.; Hoffmann, Florian; Oreopoulos, Philip
    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: Higher Education, Student Outcomes and Skills, Teacher and Student Interactions, Economics of Minorities and Races, Discrimination, 2-way Fixed Effect
    JEL: I20 I23 J24 J71
    Date: 2011–10–27
  7. By: Lopes, Margarida; Fernandes, Graca
    Abstract: Unemployment rates among Portuguese Higher Education (HE) graduates have been rising. This trend becomes quite obvious when we compare Portugal and other European Member States whose labor markets have been facing similar difficulties. In fact, Portuguese graduates are not only more prone to facing unemployment but they are also enduring long term unemployment as a result of the current unemployment crisis. Among the main reasons for this situation is the mismatch between the supply and demand for qualifications due to the inability of the Portuguese labor market to absorb higher skills (chimney effect). Nevertheless, competition in demand and the need to overcome labor productivity’s weaknesses create the need for actions (education, training policies and labor market interventions) to improve the match between supply and demand for HE qualifications in order to prevent social disinvestment and to foster inclusion and economic development. In the short and medium term, given the economic and social development strategy, adjustments will consider the need to redefine the HE graduates’ skills and profiles throughout education and training. In this paper we are concerned with the effects on HE unemployed graduates’ reemployment of additional education programs compared to informal and non-formal learning activities. We take life cycle theories and Willis (1986) as our main theoretical reference. We use the database of the Adult Education Survey (AES 2007) developed by the Statistics Portugal, following methodological guidelines issued by EUROSTAT and adopted in all European Union Member States. The survey covers adult participation in formal and Non-Formal Education and informal activities and comprises 11289 cases (individuals). When assessing the main influences of education, non-formal and Informal Learning activities on (re)employment, we use AES data on labor market transitions between two consecutive periods. We control for parents’ education and occupation, individual’s previous schooling, gender and age. Our research methodology is quantitative. We use chi-square independence tests, correlation analysis and tests for equality of proportions. We expect to highlight the ability displayed by non-formal and Informal Learning to redesign educational formal skills, with a special insight into HE skills. The Portuguese HE system tends to be theoretically focused and practical internship is rare even in this post-Bologna phase. Accordingly Non-Formal Education - especially vocational training tailored to labor market occupations - could prove to be a most useful resource in reshaping graduates’ profiles and promoting their employment/reemployment. Informal Learning is also expected to play a major role in the processes of skills acquisition and mobilization related to practical knowledge, thereby enhancing social networking and employability. We aim to assess how much HE programs and non-formal and Informal Learning contribute to enhance graduates’ employment opportunities and to identify pivotal areas for change in HE and non-formal programs.
    Keywords: Formal; non formal and informal learning; higher education graduates; employability
    JEL: A23 I21
    Date: 2011–09–12
  8. By: Riddell, W. Craig; Song, Xueda
    Abstract: Adoption of innovations by firms and workers is an important part of the process of technological change. Many prior studies find that highly educated workers tend to adopt new technologies faster than those with less education. Such positive correlations between the level of education and the rate of technology adoption, however, do not necessarily reflect the true causal effect of education on technology adoption. Relying on data from the Workplace and Employee Survey, this study assesses the causal effects of education on technology use and adoption by using instrumental variables for schooling derived from Canadian compulsory school attendance laws. We find that education increases the probability of using computers in the job and that employees with more education have longer work experiences in using computers than those with less education. However, education does not influence the use of computer-controlled and computer-assisted devices or other technological devices such as cash registers and sales terminals. Our estimates are consistent with the view that formal education increases the use of technologies that require or enable workers to carry out higher order tasks, but not those that routinize workplace tasks.
    Keywords: Technology use and adoption, education, causal effects, compulsory schooling laws, heterogeneity in technology
    JEL: I20 O33
    Date: 2011–10–27
  9. By: Peter Dolton; Oscar Marcenaro Gutierrez
    Abstract: If you pay peanuts, do you get monkeys? If teachers were better paid and higher up the national income distribution, would there be an improvement in pupil performance? Peter Dolton and Oscar Marcenaro-Gutierrez examine the enormous variation in teachers' pay across OECD countries and its significance for educational outcomes.
    Keywords: incentive systems, merit pay, education, teacher salaries, pupil outcome
    Date: 2011–10
  10. By: Jain, Tarun
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of language on economic performance. I use the 1956 reorganization of Indian states on linguistic lines as a natural experiment to estimate the impact of speaking the majority language on educational and occupational outcomes. I find that districts that spoke the majority language of the state during colonial times enjoy persistent economic benefits, as evidenced by higher educational achievement and employment in communication intensive sectors. After reorganization, historically minority language districts experience greater growth in educational achievement, indicating that reassignment could reverse the impact of history.
    Keywords: Language; Communication costs; Education; Occupational choice; Reorganization of Indian states
    JEL: I20 O43 O15 N95
    Date: 2011–11–01
  11. By: Charlene Marie Kalenkoski (Ohio University); Sabrina Wulff Pabilonia (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
    Abstract: We use detailed time-diary information on high school students’ daily activities from the 2003–2008 American Time Use Surveys (ATUS) to investigate the effects of employment on the time a student spends on homework and other major activities. Time-diary data are more detailed and accurate than data derived from responses to “usual activity” survey questions underlying other analyses and capture the immediate effects of working that may well accumulate over time to affect future outcomes. Our results suggest that employment decreases the time that high school students spend on homework, which is human-capital building, on all days, but also decreases screen time on non-school days, which may be considered unproductive time. Employed teens get more than the recommended amount of sleep on school days, and only slightly less on non-school days.
    Keywords: teenagers, employment, high school, time allocation
    JEL: J13 J22 J24
    Date: 2011–10
  12. By: Mawuli Gaddah; Alistair Munro (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies)
    Abstract: This paper examines the incidence of public education subsidies in Ghana. Since the late 1990s, Ghana’s government has increasingly recognised human capital as a cornerstone to alleviating poverty and income inequality, causing dramatic increases of government expenditures to the education sector. At the same time user fees have been introduced in higher education while basic education is being made progressively free. The question then is, whether these spending increases have been effective in reaching the poor and to what extent? What factors influence the poor’s participation in the public school system? We attempt to address these issues, employing the standard benefit incidence methods and the willingness-to-pay method using a nested multinomial logit model. The results give a clear evidence of progressivity with consistent ordering: pre- schooling and primary schooling are the most progressive, followed by secondary, and then tertiary. The poorest quintile gains 14.8% of total education benefts in 2005 compared to the richest quintile benefit of 26.3%. Own price and income elasticities are higher for private schools than public schools and for secondary than basic schools.
    Date: 2011–10
  13. By: Joanne Lindley; Stephen Machin
    Abstract: Growing numbers of university students in Britain and the United States are staying on after their first degrees to invest in a postgraduate qualification. Joanne Lindley and Stephen Machin document this trend and assess the impact on wage inequality - among graduates and across the labour force as a whole.
    Keywords: postgraduate education, computers
    JEL: J24 J31
    Date: 2011–10
  14. By: Carroll, David (Macquarie University, Sydney); Tani, Massimiliano (Macquarie University, Sydney)
    Abstract: Recent research into the Australian labour market has reported that a substantial proportion of the tertiary-educated labour force is under-utilised relative to their level of education, echoing findings from an expanding international literature. This paper uses recent panel data from the 2010 Beyond Graduation Survey to analyse the incidence of labour force under-utilisation amongst recent Australian graduates and its effect on their wages, with an under-utilised graduate defined as a one who is in a job for which a sub-degree qualification would suffice. We find that 26% of graduates were under-utilised immediately after course completion and 15% were under-utilised three years later, although this varied considerably between subgroups. Recent graduates were much more likely to remain under-utilised than become under-utilised later in their careers. Being under-utilised appears to affect the earnings of different graduate age groups in different ways. Controlling for unobserved heterogeneity, we find that younger graduates tend to earn the same mean wages regardless of whether or not they are under-utilised, while older under-utilised bachelor degree graduates are at a significant wage disadvantage relative to their peers. This is suggestive of a graduate skills surplus and, by extension, inefficient public and individual investment in human capital.
    Keywords: graduate labour market, human capital, panel data
    JEL: I23 J24
    Date: 2011–10
  15. By: Dionissi Aliprantis
    Abstract: Our understanding of effects from kindergarten entrance age is complicated by at least two facts: a child’s age relative to their classmates may be just as important as their entrance age, and the choice of parents or schools to delay a child’s enrollment> is likely to be correlated with entrance age effects. This paper addresses both of these issues by presenting a novel identification strategy for separately estimating effects from entrance and relative age at school entry that addresses the issue of essential heterogeneity. After first selecting a sample of children from the ECLS-K data set with quasi-random variation in entrance and relative ages, this paper then specifi es and estimates education production functions for achievement. Entrance age parameters are positive, large, and persist until the spring of third grade. Relative age parameters are smaller, tend to be negative, and fade out for math achievement by third grade. The estimated parameters have the following implications for the average child in our sample: both an earlier entrance cutoff date and an earlier birth date will increase achievement if the child remains eligible. There is evidence of extreme heterogeneity in effects by gender and home environment, and these are likely to be the results most relevant for policy.
    Keywords: Education ; Early childhood education
    Date: 2011
  16. By: Maria Carolina da Silva Leme; Andre Portela; Vladimir Ponczek; PaulaLouzano
    Date: 2011
  17. By: Rafael Terra de Menezes; Fabiana de Felício; Ana CarolinaZoghbi
    Date: 2011
  18. By: Godo, Yoshihisa
    Abstract: This paper presents a new dataset of education stock for Japan, Korea and the US. This dataset has three major advantages over exiting ones such as Barro and Lee (2000), Kim and Lau (1995) and Nehru, Swanson and Dubey (1995). First, this paper's dataset covers nearly one hundred years while all the existing dataset do several decades in the postwar period. Second, this paper provides more detailed information such as average years of schooling by gender, age and levels of education. Third, more accuracy is guaranteed by exhaustive study on original dataset and careful treatments.The author hopes that future researchers use this paper's dataset as a 'public good' to analyze the macroeconomic role of education.
    Date: 2011–02
  19. By: M. Carree; A. Della Malva; E. Santarelli
    Abstract: New entrepreneurial ventures may represent a viable and effective mechanism to transform academic knowledge into regional economic growth. We test this notion for the Italian provinces between 2001 and 2006. We evaluate three outputs of academic activities: teaching, research and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) activities management. New ventures may be able to transform the mentioned outputs into improved economic performance. The findings show that the effects of academic outputs on provincial economic growth (all sectors) are appreciable when they are associated with sustained entrepreneurial activities in the province. It suggests that academic inquiry may provide new ventures with valuable commercial opportunities overseen by established companies.
    JEL: I23 O18 O34 R11
    Date: 2011–10
  20. By: Marco PECORARO (SFM, Université de Neuchâtel and UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))
    Abstract: Using longitudinal data from the Swiss Household Panel, this analysis suggests that the cross-sectional estimates of the returns to educational mismatch are significantly biased when unobserved heterogeneity is omitted in the wage equation. The results of the standard fixed effects model indeed demonstrate that the wage returns to education are independent of the job requirements. Hence, this empirical analysis supports the human capital interpretation of the Swiss labour market.
    Keywords: Educational mismatch, wages, panel data analysis, human capital
    Date: 2011–06–20
  21. By: Catarina Cardoso (School of Business and Economics, Loughborough University, UK); Eric J. Pentecost (School of Business and Economics, Loughborough University, UK)
    Abstract: Potentially one of the most important determinants of regional economic growth and convergence is human capital, although due to a lack of data this factor is frequently omitted from econometric studies. In contrast, this paper constructs three measures of human capital at the NUTS III regional level for Portugal for the period 1991-2008 and then includes these variables in regional growth regressions. The results show that both secondary and higher levels of education have a significant positive effect on regional growth rates which may be regarded as supportive of Portuguese education policy, which over the last three decades has attempted to raise the regional human capital by locating higher education institutions across the country.
    Keywords: Human capital, Regional convergence, GMM
    JEL: C23 I21 O18 R11
    Date: 2011–09
  22. By: Juan Carlos Cordoba (Iowa State University); Marla Ripoll (University of Pittsburgh)
    Abstract: This paper provides a theory that explains the cross-country distribution of average years of schooling, as well as the so called human capital premium puzzle. In our theory, credit frictions as well as differences in access to public education, fertility and mortality turn out to be the key reasons why schooling differs across countries. Differences in growth rates and in wages are second order.
    Keywords: human capital, per capita income differences, life expectancy, public education spending, life cycle model
    JEL: I22 J24 O11
    Date: 2011–05

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