nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2012‒01‒10
twenty-two papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Student effort and educatinal attainment: Using the England football team to identify the education production function By Robert Metcalfe; Simon Burgess; Steven Proud
  2. The For-Profit Postsecondary School Sector: Nimble Critters or Agile Predators? By David J. Deming; Claudia Goldin; Lawrence F. Katz
  3. Pulls of International Student Mobility By Kahanec, Martin; Králiková, Renáta
  4. Diversity, choice and the quasi-market: An empirical analysis of secondary education policy in England By S Bradley; Jim Taylor
  5. El bilingüismo en los bachilleres colombianos By Andrés Sánchez Jabba
  6. The English Baccalaureate: how not to measure school performance By Jim Taylor
  7. EDUCATION AND LABOUR MARKET OUTCOMES: EVIDENCE FROM BRAZIL By Geraint Johnes; R Freguglia; G Spricigo; A Aggarwal
  8. Funding, school specialisation and test scores By S Bradley; Jim Taylor; G Migali
  9. How Immigrant Children Affect the Academic Achievement of Native Dutch Children By Ohinata, Asako; van Ours, Jan C.
  10. Efficiency of State Universities and Colleges in the Philippines: a Data Envelopment Analysis By Cuenca, Janet S.
  11. Mobilizing LGU Support for Basic Education: Focus on the Special Education Fund By Manasan, Rosario G.; Cuenca, Janet S.; Celestino, Alicia B.
  12. Evil Act: Politics Domination in Higher Education Universities (Empirical Evidence from Pakistan) By Hasan, Dr. Syed Akif; Subhani, Dr. Muhammad Imtiaz; Osman, Ms. Amber
  13. The Impact of Parents' Years since Migration on Children's Academic Achievement By Nielsen, Helena Skyt; Schindler Rangvid, Beatrice
  14. Profile of Out-of-School Children in the Philippines By Albert, Jose Ramon G.; Ramos, Andre Philippe; Quimba, Francis Mark A.; Almeda, Jocelyn P.
  15. Educational Upgrading and Returns to Skills in Latin America: Evidence from a Supply-Demand Framework, 1990-2010 By Gasparini, Leonardo; Galiani, Sebastián; Cruces, Guillermo; Acosta, Pablo A.
  16. Universities as Research Partners in Publicly Supported Entrepreneurial Firms By Audretsch, David B.; Leyden, Dennis P.; Link, Albert N.
  17. Director Characteristics and Firm Performance By Pascal Gantenbein; Christophe Volonté
  18. An evaluation of the Greek Universities Economics Departments By Stelios Katranidis; Theodore Panagiotidis; Costas Zontanos
  19. The effect of the l’Aquila earthquake on labour market outcomes By Giorgio Di Pietro; Toni Mora
  20. Height and Cognitive Function among Older Europeans: Do People from "Tall" Countries Have Superior Cognitive Abilities? By Guven, Cahit; Lee, Wang-Sheng
  21. Fasting During Pregnancy and Children's Academic Performance By Douglas Almond; Bhashkar Mazumder; Reyn van Ewijk
  22. Children’s Schooling and Parents’ Investment in Children: Evidence from the Head Start Impact Study By Alexander M. Gelber; Adam Isen

  1. By: Robert Metcalfe; Simon Burgess; Steven Proud
    Abstract: We use a sharp, exogenous and repeated change in the value of leisure to identify the impact of student effort on educational achievement. The treatment arises from the partial overlap of the world’s major international football tournaments with the exam period in England. Our data enable a clean difference-in-difference design. Performance is measured using the high-stakes tests that all students take at the end of compulsory schooling. We find a strongly significant effect: the average impact of a fall in effort is 0.12 SDs of student performance, significantly larger for male and disadvantaged students, as high as many educational policies.
    Keywords: Student effort, Educational achievement, Schools
    JEL: I20 J24
    Date: 2011
  2. By: David J. Deming; Claudia Goldin; Lawrence F. Katz
    Abstract: Private for-profit institutions have been the fastest growing part of the U.S. higher education sector. For-profit enrollment increased from 0.2 percent to 9.1 percent of total enrollment in degree-granting schools from 1970 to 2009, and for-profit institutions account for the majority of enrollments in non-degree granting postsecondary schools. We describe the schools, students, and programs in the for-profit higher education sector, its phenomenal recent growth, and its relationship to the federal and state governments. Using the 2004 to 2009 Beginning Postsecondary Students (BPS) longitudinal survey we assess outcomes of a recent cohort of first-time undergraduates who attended for-profits relative to comparable students who attended community colleges or other public or private non-profit institutions. We find that relative to these other institutions, for-profits educate a larger fraction of minority, disadvantaged, and older students, and they have greater success at retaining students in their first year and getting them to complete short programs at the certificate and associate degree levels. But we also find that for-profit students end up with higher unemployment and “idleness” rates and lower earnings six years after entering programs than do comparable students from other schools, and that they have far greater student debt burdens and default rates on their student loans.
    JEL: I2 I23 J24
    Date: 2011–12
  3. By: Kahanec, Martin (Central European University, Budapest); Králiková, Renáta (Central European University, Budapest)
    Abstract: Economic theory suggests that high-skilled immigration generally has positive effects on the receiving economy. International student mobility is an important channel through which high-skilled immigrants arrive. The purpose of this paper is to identify some of the key determinants of international student mobility among higher education policies. For this purpose we review the existing evidence and compile a longitudinal dataset covering inflows of international students into a number of advanced economies. We then study the effects of various higher education policies on the inflow of international students using parametric as well as non-parametric statistical methods. We conclude that among higher education policies especially the quality of higher education institutions and the availability of programs taught in the English language can act as an important tool to attract international students, and thus high-skilled migrants.
    Keywords: higher education, education policy, migration, migration policy, student mobility
    JEL: I23 I28 J21 J24 J61 J68
    Date: 2011–12
  4. By: S Bradley; Jim Taylor
    Abstract: This paper investigates the extent to which exam performance at the end of compulsory education has been affected by three major education reforms: the introduction of a quasi-market following the Education Reform Act (1988); the specialist schools initiative introduced in 1994; and the Excellence in Cities programme introduced in 1999. We use data for all state-funded secondary schools in England over the period 1992-2006. The empirical analysis, which is based on the application of panel data methods, indicates that the government and its agencies have substantially overestimated the benefits flowing from these three major reforms. Only about one-third of the improvement in GCSE exam scores during 1992-2006 is directly attributable to the combined effect of the education reforms. The distributional consequences of the policy, however, are estimated to have been favourable, with the greatest gains being achieved by schools with the highest proportion of pupils from poor families. But there is evidence that resources have not been allocated efficiently.
    Date: 2012
  5. By: Andrés Sánchez Jabba
    Abstract: Colombia is a country with low bilingual proficiency amongst its high school students. Systematically, foreign language test scores of the State Examination (Saber 11) indicate that the vast majority of students who finalize secondary education exhibit low proficiency on their ability to use and understand the English language. Nonetheless, students from bilingual schools achieve significantly higher scores compared to the rest of the student population. In this study, it's demonstrated that the Caribbean Coast's bilingual students have attained a high level of bilingualism when compared to their peers in other Colombian regions, given its tradition of bilingual education. As an explanation for the Caribbean Coast's bilingual students' performance, I propose the region's comparatively high levels of foreign immigration as a factor which contributed to the early establishment of bilingual schools, which can be viewed as a comparative advantage endemic to students from this region. RESUMEN: Colombia es un país con un bajo nivel de bilingüismo entre la población estudiantil. Sistemáticamente, los resultados del área de idiomas de la Prueba de Estado para la Evaluación de la Educación Media, Saber 11, indican que la gran mayoría de los estudiantes que culminan sus estudios de educación media tienen un bajo nivel de inglés. No obstante, existe un grupo de estudiantes cuyo desempeño en la prueba de idiomas es significativamente alto en comparación con el resto: los bilingües. En esta investigación se demuestra que los estudiantes bilingües costeños han alcanzado un nivel de bilingüismo superior al de sus pares en otras regiones de Colombia, lo cual sucede a pesar de que en otras áreas del conocimiento su desempeño tiende a ser inferior y que, en términos generales, la región Caribe presenta un bajo nivel de bilingüismo. Como explicación a este resultado se propone el temprano establecimiento, en el Caribe colombiano, de colegios con tradición bilingüe.Ello representa una ventaja para esta región y se relaciona con la inmigración que tuvo lugar en la misma entre finales del siglo XIX y principios del siglo XX.
    Date: 2012–01–03
  6. By: Jim Taylor
    Abstract: This paper challenges the view held by the UK Government that the introduction of the English Baccalaureate will lead to an improvement in educational outcomes in secondary education. Evidence is presented to show that this new qualification is biased against disadvantaged pupils from low-income families, pupils with special needs, and pupils who have little inclination to study a foreign language. Furthermore, the English Baccalaureate is deeply flawed when used as a school performance indicator and should not be included in the School Performance Tables.
    Date: 2011
  7. By: Geraint Johnes; R Freguglia; G Spricigo; A Aggarwal
    Abstract: The effect of education on labour market outcomes is analysed using both survey and administrative data from The Brazilian PNAD and RAIS-MIGRA series, respectively. Occupational destination is examined using both multinomial logit analyses and structural dynamic discrete choice modelling. The latter approach is particularly useful as a means of evaluating policy impacts over time. We find that policy to expand educational provision leads initially to an increased take-up of education, and in the longer term leads to an increased propensity for workers to enter non-manual employment.
    Date: 2011
  8. By: S Bradley; Jim Taylor; G Migali
    Abstract: We evaluate the effect on test scores of a UK education reform which has increased <br/>funding of schools and encouraged their specialisation in particular subject areas, enhancing pupil choice and competition between schools. Using several data sets, we apply cross-sectional and difference-in-differences matching models, to confront issues of the choice of an appropriate control group and different forms of selection bias. We demonstrate a statistically significant causal effect of the specialist schools policy on test score outcomes. The duration of specialisation matters, and we consistently find that the longer a school has been specialist the larger is the impact on test scores. We finally disentangle the funding effect from a specialisation effect, and the latter occurs yielding relatively large improvements in test scores in particular subjects.
    Date: 2011
  9. By: Ohinata, Asako (Tilburg University); van Ours, Jan C. (Tilburg University)
    Abstract: In this paper, we analyze how the share of immigrant children in the classroom affects the educational attainment of native Dutch children. Our analysis uses data from various sources, which allow us to characterize educational attainment in terms of reading literacy, mathematical skills and science skills. We do not find strong evidence of negative spill-over effects from immigrant children to native Dutch children. Immigrant children themselves experience negative language spill-over effects from a high share of immigrant children in the classroom but no spill-over effects on maths and science skills.
    Keywords: immigrant children, peer effects, educational attainment
    JEL: I21 J15
    Date: 2011–12
  10. By: Cuenca, Janet S.
    Abstract: In view of the long-standing issues and concerns that beset the Philippine system of higher education, the study attempts to evaluate the performance of state universities and colleges (SUCs) in the period 2006-2009 using Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA). In particular, it estimates the efficiency of 78 SUCs based on available input data (i.e., expenditure data) and output data (i.e., number of enrolled students, number of graduates, and total revenue). Also, it examines productivity change in these institutions by applying the Malmquist approach on a four-year panel data set of 78 SUCs. The DEA results indicate that majority of the SUCs have efficiency score less than 1 and thus, they are considered inefficient. In addition, the target input and output levels derived from the DEA suggest potential cost savings for each of the SUCs. Further, productivity of about 62 percent of the SUCs has slightly improved in the period under review. The findings of the study point to a potential research in the future that would take a closer look on each of the SUCs identified as inefficient in this exercise with the end in view of identifying, understanding, and hopefully, addressing the factors that affect their operation and performance.
    Keywords: productivity, efficiency, higher education, Philippines, higher education institutions (HEIs), Revitalized General Education Program (RGEP), gambling, state universities and colleges (SUCs), data envelopment analysis
    Date: 2011
  11. By: Manasan, Rosario G.; Cuenca, Janet S.; Celestino, Alicia B.
    Abstract: Basic public education is still largely the responsibility of the central government, delivered through the Department of Education (DepEd), notwithstanding the devolution of many basic services to local government units (LGUs). However, LGUs do provide supplementary funding support to public basic education because they have access to a sustainable source of financial resources that are earmarked for the basic education subsector, the Special Education Fund (SEF). The SEF comes from an additional one percent tax on real property that LGUs are mandated to impose and collect by virtue of Republic Act 7160 otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991.The resources that LGUs provide to the basic education sector from their general fund are quite significant at 7 percent of total general government spending on basic education in 2001-2008. Thus, the LGUs are considered major partners of the national government in the delivery of basic education services. In this light, the study examines the management of the SEF in terms of collection, allocation, and utilization in order to maximize LGUs` support for the Education for All (EFA) initiative and to promote a more equitable allocation of resources for basic education.However, there are significant disparities in per pupil SEF spending across LGUs of different income classes and in different regions. LGUs in urban areas (i.e., cities and the large municipalities) where property values are high tend to have larger tax bases. These disparities have significant implications on the ability of the LGUs to provide additional support to the basic education sector.In terms of spending priorities, some of the major findings of the study include: (i) maintenance and other operating expenditures captured the biggest chunk of the total SEF spending of all LGUs in the aggregate (40%) while capital outlays and personal services garnered an average of 32 percent and 29 percent of LGUs total SEF spending in 2001-2008; (ii) repair/maintenance and construction of school buildings tops the list of SEF spending priorities in the sample Provincial School Boards (PSBs) and the sample City School Boards (CSBs); and (iii) relatively large portions (20%-50%) of the SEF are set aside for sports and other co-curricular activities and programs of the DepEd.The findings of the study highlight the need to improve the governance of Local School Boards (LSBs). Related to this, the measures proposed include: (i) clearer guidelines on preparation of the LSB budget, (ii) the establishment of needs-based criteria in allocating SEF across schools to ensure its efficient and effective use, and (iii) institutionalization of greater transparency between DepEd and LGUs in terms of reporting of resources that schools receive from the DepEd budget, on the one hand, and actual SEF collections and its utilization during the budget year, on the other hand, in order to foster better working relationship in the LSB.
    Keywords: Philippines, chained index, consistency in aggregation, basic public education, Special Education Fund (SEF), Local School Board (LSB), basic education financing
    Date: 2011
  12. By: Hasan, Dr. Syed Akif; Subhani, Dr. Muhammad Imtiaz; Osman, Ms. Amber
    Abstract: The social interaction taking place in our society is politics. Essential to any governing bodies, institutions etc. this paper’s forte is to specifically assess the politics phenomenon in the academic institutions of higher education. The involvement of politics in the academic society i.e. staff, faculty and employer has been of interest to this study. Politics can be liberal and conservative depending on the individuals running and other perceiving it, which gives birth to the argumentative dialogues, in order to gain power and authority to run the given regime. The survey questionnaire was developed and distributed to the leading higher education universities of Pakistan. There were 3000 respondents (faculty, staff, middle management and top-management). The testing endeavoured to quantify aspects of politics judgment in terms of contribution, appreciation, goals and values, interests, performance, quit, salary, comparison, emotional grudges/cushion for other work colleagues, communication, compensation, gossip, spying, back-biting, professional jealousy, self-esteem, job targets and ethics at academic-oriented work space. One samples T-test and KW test analyzed that staff level employees 50% disagree with the top-management control due to the strong inside and outside political influence over all categories of management. Politics has suppressed the environment and welfare of sound universities, which lay their foundation on transparency, honesty and ethical grounds. It is an alarming situation for universities, which have bad control of politics ruining the administration and overall productivity at work. Policy makers must assess the mal-use of politics in the higher educational sector universities to avoid major fallout of large establishments over a decade, which is creating speculation and dearth of consistent and right administrative and governing systems.
    Keywords: Politics; Higher education universities; Politicking; Professional Jealously; Ethics
    JEL: A2
    Date: 2012
  13. By: Nielsen, Helena Skyt (University of Aarhus); Schindler Rangvid, Beatrice (Danish Institute of Governmental Research)
    Abstract: In this paper, we employ register data for eight cohorts of second-generation immigrant pupils to identify the impact of each parent's years since migration on their children's school achievements. We exploit local variation in years since migration and within-family variation. We find evidence of a positive impact of parents' years since migration on children's academic achievement. Mothers' years of residence tend to be more important for Danish, while fathers' years of residence tend to be more important for math. The effects vary by gender, and family-specific effects influence girls' and boys' educational attainment differently.
    Keywords: intergenerational mobility, years since migration, scholastic achievement, immigrant children, second generation, fixed effects
    JEL: I21 J12 J62
    Date: 2011–12
  14. By: Albert, Jose Ramon G.; Ramos, Andre Philippe; Quimba, Francis Mark A.; Almeda, Jocelyn P.
    Abstract: The Philippines committed to Millennium Development Goals and Education for All (EFA) targets that include universal primary education. However, various data sources, including the Department of Education`s Basic Education Information System and household surveys conducted by the National Statistics Office, suggest that in 2008, a considerable magnitude of children were not in school. A description of these children is provided here as well as that of children who are at risk of dropping out of primary and secondary levels of education. Reasons for children not being in school are discussed, together with the results of an econometric model that identifies correlates of nonattendance in school.
    Keywords: Philippines, school attendance, school participation, out-of-school children, net enrollment rate (NER)
    Date: 2012
  15. By: Gasparini, Leonardo (CEDLAS-UNLP); Galiani, Sebastián (Washington University, St. Louis); Cruces, Guillermo (CEDLAS-UNLP); Acosta, Pablo A. (World Bank)
    Abstract: It has been argued that a factor behind the decline in income inequality in Latin America in the 2000s was the educational upgrading of its labor force. Between 1990 and 2010, the proportion of the labor force in the region with at least secondary education increased from 40 to 60 percent. Concurrently, returns to secondary education completion fell throughout the past two decades, while the 2000s saw a reversal in the increase in the returns to tertiary education experienced in the 1990s. This paper studies the evolution of wage differentials and the trends in the supply of workers by educational level for 16 Latin American countries between 1990 and 2000. The analysis estimates the relative contribution of supply and demand factors behind recent trends in skill premia for tertiary and secondary educated workers. Supply-side factors seem to have limited explanatory power relative to demand-side factors, and are only relevant to explain part of the fall in wage premia for high-school graduates. Although there is significant heterogeneity in individual country experiences, on average the trend reversal in labor demand in the 2000s can be partially attributed to the recent boom in commodity prices that could favor the unskilled (non-tertiary educated) workforce, although employment patterns by sector suggest that other within-sector forces are also at play, such as technological diffusion or skill mismatches that may reduce the labor productivity of highly-educated workers.
    Keywords: skill premia, supply and demand of labor, income inequality, Latin America
    JEL: J2 D3 I2 O5
    Date: 2011–12
  16. By: Audretsch, David B. (Indiana University); Leyden, Dennis P. (University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics); Link, Albert N. (University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: Partnerships between universities and industrial firms can play a key role in enhancing competitiveness because they provide a conduit for the spillover of knowledge from the academic organization where knowledge is created to the firm where it is transformed into innovative activity. We set forth in this paper a model of industry/university participation, and we test the model empirically using research project data on entrepreneurial firms that were funded through the U.S. Department of Energy’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. We find that larger firms are more likely to be involved in a research partnership with a university, in general, as are firms with founders who have an academic background. We find the latter result holds across disaggregated types of university partnerships, as well. We find no empirical evidence that the size of the SBIR award influences the likelihood of a research partnership.
    Keywords: Research partnership; Innovative behavior; Entrepreneurship; Industry/university relationship
    JEL: L24 L26 O31 O32 O34
    Date: 2012–01–04
  17. By: Pascal Gantenbein; Christophe Volonté (University of Basel)
    Keywords: Corporate governance: Board of directors; Director characteristics, Education and business experience
    JEL: G30 G34 G38
    Date: 2011
  18. By: Stelios Katranidis (Department of Economics, University of Macedonia); Theodore Panagiotidis (Department of Economics, University of Macedonia); Costas Zontanos (University of Macedonia)
    Abstract: This study provides a ranking of Economics Departments of Greek Universities. Contrary to the existing literature, we look directly at the citations of the faculty members as a measure of academic performance and avoid the classification of journals. Additionally, the country of the PhD studies was found to be a significant variable that can explain the productivity of Greek economists. PhD holders from US and UK universities are characterised by higher productivity compared to the rest.
    Keywords: Economics Department, ranking, Greece.
    JEL: A11 A20
    Date: 2012–01
  19. By: Giorgio Di Pietro (University of Westminster & IZA); Toni Mora (Universitat Internacional de Catalunya & IEB)
    Abstract: Using Labour Force Survey individual-level data recently released by the Italian Institute of Statistics (ISTAT) where information is for the first time at available at provincial level, this paper looks at the short-term effects of the L’Aquila earthquake on labour market outcomes. Our estimates are based on a difference-in-differences (DiD) strategy that compares residents of L’Aquila with residents of a control area before and after the earthquake. The empirical results suggest that while the earthquake had no significant effect on the employment-population ratio, it led to a modest, but significant, reduction in labour force participation. There is also evidence of significant heterogeneous effects by gender and level of education.
    Keywords: Disaster, labour force participation, employment-population ratio, difference-in-differences
    JEL: J21
    Date: 2011
  20. By: Guven, Cahit (Deakin University); Lee, Wang-Sheng (RMIT University)
    Abstract: Previous research has found that height is correlated with cognitive functioning at older ages. It therefore makes sense to ask a related question: do people from countries where the average person is relatively tall have superior cognitive abilities on average? Using data from the Survey of Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), we find empirical evidence that this is the case, even after controlling for self-reported childhood health, self-reported childhood abilities, parental characteristics and education. We find that people from countries with relatively tall people, such as Denmark and the Netherlands, have on average superior cognitive abilities compared to people from countries with relatively shorter people, such as Italy and Spain. We exploit variations in height trends due to nutritional deprivation in World War II in Europe and use an instrumental variable analysis to further estimate the potential impact of height on cognitive function. We find some suggestive evidence that a causal link from height to cognitive outcomes could be operating via nutrition and not via educational attainment.
    Keywords: height, cognitive function, instrumental variables, World War II
    JEL: C21 J24 N3
    Date: 2011–12
  21. By: Douglas Almond; Bhashkar Mazumder; Reyn van Ewijk
    Abstract: We consider the effects of daytime fasting by pregnant women during the lunar month of Ramadan on their children's test scores at age seven. Using English register data, we find that scores are .05 to .08 standard deviations lower for Pakistani and Bangladeshi students exposed to Ramadan in early pregnancy. These estimates are downward biased to the extent that Ramadan is not universally observed. We conclude that the effects of prenatal investments on test scores are comparable to many conventional educational interventions but are likely to be more cost effective and less subject to "fade out".
    JEL: I12 I14 I24 J15
    Date: 2011–12
  22. By: Alexander M. Gelber; Adam Isen
    Abstract: Parents may have important effects on their children, but little work in economics explores whether children's schooling opportunities crowd out or encourage parents' investment in children. We analyze data from the Head Start Impact Study, which granted randomly-chosen preschool-aged children the opportunity to attend Head Start. We find that Head Start causes a substantial increase in parents' involvement with their children—such as time spent reading to children, math activities, or days spent with children by fathers who do not live with their children—both during and after the period when their children are potentially enrolled in Head Start. We discuss a variety of mechanisms that are consistent with our findings, including a simple model we present in which Head Start impacts parent involvement in part because parents perceive their involvement to be complementary with child schooling in the production of child qualities.
    JEL: H31 H52 I21 I28 J13
    Date: 2011–12

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