nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2012‒01‒25
twenty papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Financial education on secondary school students: the randomized experiment revisited By Leonardo Becchetti; Fabio Pisani
  2. Girls take over: Long-term impacts of an early stage education intervention in the Philippines By Yamauchi, Futoshi; Liu, Yanyan
  3. Assessing students'equality of opportunity in OECD countries : the role of national and school-level policies By Michele Raitano; Francesco Vona
  4. Peer heterogeneity, school tracking and students'performances: evidence from Pisa 2006 By Michele Raitano; Francesco Vona
  5. Short-run distributional effects of public education in Greece By Panagiotis Tsakloglou; Christos Koutsampelas
  6. EDUCATION AND LABOUR MARKET OUTCOMES: EVIDENCE FROM INDIA By Geraint Johnes; A Aggarwal; R Freguglia; G Spricigo
  7. Dynamic Skill Accumulation, Comparative Advantages, Compulsory Schooling, and Earnings By Christian Belzil; J. Hansen; Xingfei Liu
  8. Landownership Concentration and the Expansion of Education By Francesco Cinnirella; Erik Hornung
  9. Comparative Essay on Returns to Education in Palestine and Turkey By Aysit Tansel; Yousef Daoud
  10. College Choice Mechanism: The Respect of the Vagueness of Choices By Litsa Alexandra, University of Caen Basse-Normandie, Center of Research in Economics and Management, Caen, France; Maguet Jean-François, University of Caen Basse-Normandie, Center of Research in Economics and Management, Caen, France
  11. Aligning Student, Parent, and Teacher Incentives: Evidence from Houston Public Schools By Roland G. Fryer, Jr
  12. Substance use and high school academic performance By Lionel Perini; Joachim Marti
  13. The role of higher education stratification in the reproduction of social inequality in the labour market. A comparative study of recent European graduates By Triventi, Moris
  14. Innovation and Education: Is there a ‘Nerd Effect’? By Goldbach, Stefan
  15. Chasing Graduate Jobs? By Mosca, Irene; Wright, Robert
  16. The Role of Human Capital in the Process of Economic Development: The Case of England, 1307-1900 By Alexandra M. de Pleijt
  17. Sustainable Development of the Higher Education Sector in India for Catalyzing Services-Driven Growth By Seema Joshi
  18. School building conditions and student achievments: Norwegian evidence By Arnt Ove Hopland
  19. School facilities and student achievements: evidence from the Timss By Arnt Ove Hopland
  20. Educational Content, Educational Institutions and Economic Development: Lessons from History By Cantoni, Davide; Yuchtman, Noam

  1. By: Leonardo Becchetti (Department of Economics, Universitˆ Tor Vergata); Fabio Pisani (Department of Economics, Universitˆ Tor Vergata)
    Abstract: We analyze the effects of financial education on a large sample of secondary school students with a randomized experiment performed in the Center (Rome) and North (Milan and Genova) of Italy. Our main findings document that the course increases significantly financial literacy at both student and class level but the effect is different in different urban environments. More specifically, we document that the overall (questionnaire plus course) learning effect is significantly higher in the North than in Rome. We finally observe that high grades at final middle school exams, willingness to attend Economics at University and household borrowing status are three factors which significantly and positively affect financial education.
    Keywords: financial education, financial literacy, demand for money balances, randomized experiment
    Date: 2011–12
  2. By: Yamauchi, Futoshi; Liu, Yanyan
    Abstract: This paper examines the long-term impacts of improved school quality at the elementary school stage on subsequent schooling investments and labor market outcomes using unique data from a recent survey that tracked students in the Philippines. Empirical results, based on a comparison of students who graduated from treatment and control schools before and after a school intervention, show significant differences in subsequent schooling investments, migration, and labor market earnings between females and males. That is, females study more (relative to males) and tend to migrate and earn more if they receive high-quality educational investments at an early stage. The above results are consistent with females' greater incentives to study, driven by their higher returns to schooling, especially after high school completion, observed in the labor market.
    Keywords: Gender, labor markets, School quality, tracking survey,
    Date: 2011
  3. By: Michele Raitano (Sapienza University of Rome); Francesco Vona (Observatoire Français des Conjonctures Économiques)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the relationship between equality of opportunities and characteristics of the educational systems, jointly considering country- and school-level features. Because the peer group composition represents a fundamental channel in shaping educational opportunities, we consider all policies, surveyed in the PISA 2006 dataset, that affect the sorting of students to schools. Our empirical analysis shows that the inclusion of sorting policies enhances the capacity of explaining the determinants of the socio-economic gradient with respect to previous studies including only countrylevel features. In particular, it casts doubts on the prominent role attributed to school tracking. However sorting policies do not fully account for the influence of school composition on the socioeconomic gradient; the direct inclusion of peer variables allows to highlight the equalizing impact of mixing students from different backgrounds. Among the other policies, also pre-school enrolment, public expenditure in education and ability tracking display a significant equalizing effect.
    Keywords: School composition, equality of opportunity, sorting and tracking policies, family background
    JEL: I21 I24 H52
    Date: 2011–09
  4. By: Michele Raitano (Sapienza University of Rome); Francesco Vona (Observatoire Français des Conjonctures Économiques)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the interaction between school tracking policies and peer effects in OECD countries. Using the PISA 2006 dataset, we show that the linear peer effects are stronger and more concave-shaped in the early-tracking educational system than in the comprehensive one. Second, and more interestingly, the effect of peer heterogeneity goes in opposite directions in the two systems. In both student- and school-level estimates, peer heterogeneity reduces students’ achievements in the comprehensive system while it has a positive impact in the early-tracking one. For late tracking countries, this result appears driven by pupils attending vocationally-oriented programs. Finally, peer effects are stronger for low ability students in both groups of countries.
    Keywords: peer heterogeneity, peer effects; schooling tracking, educational production functions
    JEL: I21 I28 J24
    Date: 2011–10
  5. By: Panagiotis Tsakloglou (Athens University of Economics and Business); Christos Koutsampelas (Economics Research Centre, University of Cyprus)
    Abstract: The paper examines the short-run distributional impact of public education in Greece using the micro-data of the 2004/5 Household Budget Survey. The aggregate distributional impact of public education is found to be progressive although the incidence varies according to the level of education under examination. In-kind transfers of public education services in the fields of primary and secondary education lead to a considerable decline in relative inequality, whereas transfers in the field of tertiary education appear to have a small distributional impact whose size and sign depend on the treatment of tertiary education students living away from the parental home. When absolute inequality indices are used instead of the relative ones, primary education transfers retain their progressivity, while secondary education transfers appear almost neutral and tertiary education transfers become very regressive. Finally, we use the EUROMOD tax-benefit microsimulation model in order to estimate the first-round distributional effects of a graduate tax imposed on the current stock of graduates. The main policy implications of the findings are outlined in the concluding section.
    Keywords: Public education, inequality Greece
    JEL: I24 D31
    Date: 2012–01–17
  6. By: Geraint Johnes; A Aggarwal; R Freguglia; G Spricigo
    Abstract: The impact of education on labour market outcomes is analysed using data from various rounds of the National Sample Survey of India. Occupational destination is examined using both multinomial logit analyses and structural dynamic discrete choice modelling. The latter approach involves the use of a novel approach to constructing a pseudo-panel from repeated cross-section data, and 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 takeup of education, and in the longer term leads to an increased propensity for workers to enter non-manual employment.
    Date: 2011
  7. By: Christian Belzil (Department of Economics, Ecole Polytechnique - CNRS : UMR7176 - Polytechnique - X, ENSAE - École Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Économique - ENSAE ParisTech, IZA - Institute for the Study of Labor); J. Hansen (IZA - Institute for the Study of Labor, CIREQ - Centre Interuniversitaire de Recherche en Economie Quantitative, CIRANO - Montréal, Department of Economics, Concordia University - Concordia University); Xingfei Liu (Department of Economics, Concordia University - Concordia University)
    Abstract: We show that a calibrated dynamic skill accumulation model allowing for comparative advantages, can explain the weak (or negative) effects of schooling on productivity that have been recently reported (i) in the micro literature on compulsory schooling, ii) in the micro literature on estimating the distribution of ex-post returns to schooling, and (iii) in the macro literature on education and growth. The fraction of the population more efficient at producing skills in the market than in school is a pivotal quantity that determines the sign (and magnitude) of different parameters of interest. Our model reveals an interesting paradox; as low-skill jobs become more skill-enhancing (ceteris paribus), IV estimates of compulsory schooling become increasingly negative, and ex-post returns to schooling (inferred from a Roy model specification of the earnings equation) become negative for an increasing fraction of the population. This arises even if each possible input to skill production has a strictly positive effect. Finally, our model provides a foundation for the weak (or negative) effect education on growth measured in the empirical literature.
    Keywords: Compulsory Schooling Reforms, Dynamic Skill Accumula- tion, Comparative Advantages, Returns to schooling, Education and Growth, Dynamic Discrete Choice, Dynamic Programming.
    Date: 2012–01–09
  8. By: Francesco Cinnirella (Ifo Institute and CESifo, Munich); Erik Hornung (Ifo Institute, Munich)
    Abstract: This paper studies the effect of landownership concentration on school enrollment for nineteenth-century Prussia. Prussia is an interesting laboratory given its decentralized educational system and the presence of heterogeneous agricultural institutions. We find that landownership concentration, a proxy for the institution of serf labor, has a negative effect on schooling. This effect diminishes substantially in the second half of the century. Causality of this relationship is confirmed by introducing soil-texture to identify exogenous farm size variation. Panel estimates further rule out unobserved heterogeneity. We argue that serfdom hampered peasants’ demand for education whereas the successive emancipation triggered a demand thereof.
    Keywords: Land concentration, Institutions, Serfdom, Education, Prussian economic history
    JEL: O43 Q15 I25 N33
    Date: 2011–10
  9. By: Aysit Tansel (Middle East Technical University); Yousef Daoud (Birzeit University)
    Abstract: This study exposes a comparative treatment of the private returns to education in Palestine and Turkey over the period 2004-2008. Comparable data, similar definitions and same methodology are used in the estimations. The estimates are provided first for average returns to education second for returns at different levels of schooling and finally for returns by different sectors of employment. The results suggest that returns to schooling are higher for Turkey at the various levels of education for Females and males and for both years 2004 and 2008. It is believed that the relative size of the Palestinian economy the uniqueness of subjugation to military occupation contribute greatly to this result. In 2008, returns are lower than 2004 levels for all levels of education; the pattern is less obvious for Turkey across the various levels. However, the 2008 crisis seems to have influenced the more educated more severely (MA and above) in both countries. Female returns to education are higher for women than men in both countries; the gender gap has worsened in 2008, but more so for Palestine. The median ratio of male to female return is 0.55 (university) in 2004 and decreased to 0.17 (high school) in 2008 in Palestine. The corresponding figures for Turkey are 0.79 and .082 (both for high school).Finally, it was found that the selectivity corrected return estimates are lower than the OLS estimates in Palestine while they are higher than the OLS estimates in Turkey.
    Keywords: Returns to Education, Mincer Equation, Gender, Palestine, Turkey
    JEL: J16 J24 J31 J45 O31
    Date: 2011
  10. By: Litsa Alexandra, University of Caen Basse-Normandie, Center of Research in Economics and Management, Caen, France; Maguet Jean-François, University of Caen Basse-Normandie, Center of Research in Economics and Management, Caen, France
    Abstract: Taking as a starting point the theory of matching applied in the case of a problem of college admissions, where one is interested only to strict preference profiles for students and colleges, a part of the literature has been oriented towards profiles of priorities for colleges. In this paper we will assume that students have also their own priorities to which is associated some 'fuzzy'. This vagueness designates the preference of an individual (resp. college) for a college relative to parameters that characterize the latter one (resp. individual). Thus, we talk about fuzzy priorities. Our purpose is to analyze this aspect and to propose a real-life mechanism which will take into consideration the fuzzy priority profiles of both students and colleges, in order to achieve the best possible matching that is stable, strategy-proof, Pareto efficient and fair.
    Keywords: Education, Priorities, Preferences, Fuzzy, Algorithm, Matching
    JEL: C78 D80 I20 I31
    Date: 2012–01
  11. By: Roland G. Fryer, Jr
    Abstract: This paper describes an experiment designed to investigate the impact of aligning student, parent, and teacher incentives on student achievement. On outcomes for which incentives were provided, there were large treatment effects. Students in treatment schools mastered more than one standard deviation more math objectives than control students, and their parents attended almost twice as many parent-teacher conferences. In contrast, on related outcomes that were not incentivized (e.g. standardized test scores, parental engagement), we observe both positive and negative effects. We argue that these facts are consistent with a moral hazard model with multiple tasks, though other explanations are possible.
    JEL: I20
    Date: 2012–01
  12. By: Lionel Perini; Joachim Marti (Institute of economic research IRENE, Faculty of Economics, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland; Yale School of Public Health, Division of Health Policy and Administration, New Haven, USA)
    Abstract: The consumption of addictive products, such as tobacco, alcohol or cannabis, is most often experimented during adolescence. Besides the widely documented impact of these behaviors on later consumption patterns and health, it has been shown that they may impair academic performance and therefore the accumulation of human capital. Using data from a Swiss longitudinal survey on a thousand high school students, we investigate the influence of these three substances on intermediate educational outcomes and on school drop-out. Using fixed- and random-effects specifications and focusing on the impact of lagged consumption to avoid two potential sources of bias, we find that regular cannabis consumption has a strong impact on truancy and on the probability of getting poor grades. Occasional alcohol con- sumption has a small but significant impact on school difficulties and on getting poor grades. While we find no evidence that substance use impacts drop-out directly, we show that there is an indirect impact trough intermediate outcomes.
    Keywords: substance use, school dropout, fixed effects, discrete time models.
    JEL: I12 J24
    Date: 2011–12
  13. By: Triventi, Moris
    Abstract: This paper analyses the role of institutional stratification within higher education (course length, fields of study and institutional quality) in mediating the relationship between social origin and labour market outcomes (wage and occupational status) in a comparative perspective. In the first part, we develop our theoretical framework, relying on sociological and economic theories and knowledge on countries’ institutional profiles. In the second part, we use data from the 2005 REFLEX survey on European graduates (2000) from 4 countries (Germany, Norway, Italy, and Spain). Results from binomial logistic regression models and the Karlson-Holm-Breen decomposition method indicate that those with tertiary educated parents have higher probabilities of entering in a highly rewarded occupation and this ‘effect’ varies according to level higher education expansion and strength of the institutional mechanisms which connect tertiary education with labour market. Furthermore, higher education stratification contributes to the reproduction on inequality but with a different importance according to the institutional context.
    Keywords: higher education; occupational outcomes; social inequality; institutional stratification
    JEL: J31 A23 J01 A2
    Date: 2011
  14. By: Goldbach, Stefan
    Abstract: This paper investigates whether entrepreneurs with technical education are more innovative in high-tech industries than economists. The main contribution to the literature is in using the type of education as main explanatory variable for innovation. To analyze this question, the KfW/ZEW Start-Up Panel between 2005 and 2007 is used. Two independent OLS regressions are conducted for entrepreneurs with university degree and practical education. The results suggest that education matters for individuals with a university degree in high-tech industries but not for people with practical education. Having an economics degree is correlated with higher innovativeness. Therefore, for the underlying sample we do not find a ‘nerd effect’. The results depend on the underlying definition of innovation, as robustness checks show.
    Keywords: entrepreneurship, innovation, education
    Date: 2012–01–11
  15. By: Mosca, Irene (Trinity College Dublin); Wright, Robert (University of Strathclyde)
    Abstract: This paper examines empirically the relationship between under-employment and migration amongst five cohorts of graduates of Scottish higher education institutions with micro-data collected by the Higher Education Statistical Agency. The data indicate that there is a strong positive relationship between migration and graduate employment – those graduates who move after graduation from Scotland to the rest of the UK or abroad have a much higher rate of graduate employment. Versions of probit regression are used to estimate migration and graduate employment equations in order to explore the nature of this relationship further. These equations confirm that there is a strong positive relationship between the probability of migrating and the probability of being in graduate employment even after other factors are controlled for. Instrumental variables estimation is used to examine the causal nature of the relationship by attempting to deal with the potential endogeneity of migration decisions. Overall the analysis is consistent with the hypotheses that a sizeable fraction of higher education graduates are leaving Scotland for employment reasons. In turn this finding suggests the over-education/under-employment nexus is a serious problem in Scotland.
    Keywords: Scotland, under-employment, over-education, higher education graduates
    JEL: I23 J24 J61 R23
    Date: 2011–12
  16. By: Alexandra M. de Pleijt
    Abstract: Macroeconomic growth models underline the importance of human capital in the process of economic development. This analysis introduces a new proxy for human capital, which is educational attainment, and examines cohesion between education levels and growth for England between 1307 and 1900. The empirical evidence suggests no significant result between basic skills, such as reading and writing abilities, and growth of per capita GDP. More progressive human capital levels, as measured by average years of higher education, seem to have contributed to the process of development until the mid-eighteenth century.
    Keywords: Economic development, human capital, history of education, England
    Date: 2011–12
  17. By: Seema Joshi (The author is working as Visiting Professor to Indian Council for Cultural Relation’ s (ICCR’s) recently constituted Tagore Chair, the Department of Indian Studies –Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. She was also a And participant in the MsM Annual Research Conference, November 2011)
    Abstract: In a knowledge-intensive world driven by information technology, primary education is a must but the importance of higher education cannot be ignored. This current era of globalization has offered immense opportunities. But people must have the necessary knowledge, skills, capacities and capabilities to seize those opportunities. Herein lays the role of education and especially higher education in building up and improving human capital. Since the economic growth of India in recent years is driven primarily by services sector and within services sector by IT and ITES the sustainable development of higher education is not an option but imperative. In this light, the paper raises the following questions: Where does India’s higher education stand today? What are the challenges confronting this sector? And what are proposed reform measures in this sector? The paper concludes that there is a serious mismatch between demand and supply in higher education sector. It is imperative therefore to enhance Indian talent pool by reforming higher education system to maximize the potential of IT and ITES on the one hand and to catalyze the country’s growth driven by services sector on the other. The expansion of the higher education sector and improvement in its quality can assist India in avoiding the unemployability of graduates on the one hand and the phenomenon of ‘missing teachers’ on the other. In addition it can ensure inclusive growth by making higher education accessible and affordable. India’s Eleventh Five Year Plan is aiming at enhancing public spending, encouraging private initiatives and initiating long major institutional and policy reforms to bring about positive changes in India’s education system. The outcomes will depend upon political commitment and good governance.
    JEL: O53 O30 O15
    Date: 2012–01
  18. By: Arnt Ove Hopland (Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
    Abstract: Abstract This paper studies the effects from poor school building conditions on student achievements in Norwegian primary schools based on results from national tests in mathematics, English and Norwegian. The benchmark OLS results suggest a negative relationship, but the estimates are mostly insignificant. Further, a municipality fixed effects (MFE) and an instrumental variable approach (IV) is suggested as alternatives to OLS in order to battle potential endogeneity issues due to unobservable characteristics. The results from the OLS and IV procedures are mostly similar to the OLS results.
    Date: 2012–01–10
  19. By: Arnt Ove Hopland (Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
    Abstract: This paper studies the link between school facilities and student achievements in eight countries using data from the TIMSS 2003 database. OLS and propensity score matching is used to control for observable characteristics. Both methods indicate that poor school facilities may be negatively associated with student achievements, but the estimated coefficients are mainly insignificant. Significantly negative estimates are found in only three out of eight countries when using OLS. When using matching on propensity scores I only find significant coefficients in one of the countries.
    Date: 2011–09–23
  20. By: Cantoni, Davide; Yuchtman, Noam
    Abstract: Individuals’ choices of educational content are often shaped by the political economy of government policies that determine the incentives to acquire various skills. We first present a model to show how differences in educational content emerge as an equilibrium outcome of private decisions and government policy choices. We then illustrate these dynamics in two historical circumstances. In medieval Europe, states and the Church found individuals trained in Roman law valuable, and eventually supported investments in this new form of human capital. This had positive effects on Europe’s commercial and institutional development. In late 19th-century China, elites were afraid of the introduction of Western science and engineering and continued to select civil servants - who enjoyed substantial rents—based on their knowledge of Confucian classics. As a result, China lacked skills useful in modern industry. Finally, we present a variety of other contemporary and historical applications of this theory.
    Keywords: Educational Content; Educational Institutions; Political Economy; Development
    JEL: N30 I25 O11 O43
    Date: 2012–01

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