nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2012‒02‒20
fourteen 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 Becchetti, Leonardo; Pisani, Fabio
  2. Does Additional Spending Help Urban Schools? An Evaluation Using Boundary Discontinuities By Gibbons, Steve; McNally, Sandra; Viarengo, Martina
  3. School Resources and Educational Outcomes in Developing Countries: A Review of the Literature from 1990 to 2010 By Glewwe, Paul; Hanushek, Eric; Humpage, Sarah; Ravina, Renato
  4. Visualizing Development:Eyeglasses and Academic Performance in Rural Primary Schools in China By Glewwe, Paul; Park, Albert; Zhao, Meng
  5. Fiscal decentralisation, private school funding, and students’ achievements. A tale from two roman catholic countries By Gilberto Turati; Daniel Montolio; Massimiliano Piacenza
  6. Short-Run Distributional Effects of Public Education in Greece By Koutsampelas, Christos; Tsakloglou, Panos
  7. Vocational High School or Vocational College? Comparing the Transitions from School to Work By Lopez-Mayan, Cristina; Nicodemo, Catia
  8. Does Federal Student Aid Raise Tuition? New Evidence on For-Profit Colleges By Stephanie Riegg Cellini; Claudia Goldin
  9. Unequal Access to Higher Education in the Czech Republic: The Role of Spatial Distribution of Universities By Franta, Michal; Guzi, Martin
  10. R&D cooperation between Spanish firms and scientific partners: what is the role of tertiary education? By Segarra Blasco, Agustí
  11. Student Aid Simplification: Looking Back and Looking Ahead By Susan Dynarski; Mark Wiederspan
  12. L’intention de mobilité internationale professionnelle après le diplôme des étudiants : le cas de deux grandes écoles. By Hrascinec Salierno, Aline
  13. The Male-Female Gap in Post-Baccalaureate School Quality By Stevenson, Adam
  14. Math or Science? Credit Constraints in Education By Lance Lochner; Alexander Monge-Naranjo

  1. By: Becchetti, Leonardo (Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit); Pisani, Fabio (Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit)
    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: 2012–01–11
  2. By: Gibbons, Steve (London School of Economics); McNally, Sandra (London School of Economics); Viarengo, Martina (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva)
    Abstract: Improving the educational attainment of disadvantaged students in urban schools is a priority for policy worldwide, but existing research is equivocal about the effectiveness of additional funding for achieving this objective. This study exploits anomalies in the spatial dimension of school funding policy in England to provide new evidence on this question. An "area cost adjustment" and other aspects of the formula that allocates central grants to Local Authorities (school districts) means that neighbouring schools with similar intakes, operating in the same labour market and facing the same prices for inputs can receive very different incomes. We find that these funding disparities give rise to sizeable differences in pupil attainment in national tests at the end of primary school. This shows that school resources have an important role to play in improving educational attainment. The results have direct implications for the current "Pupil Premium" policy in England.
    Keywords: urban schools, education, resources
    JEL: R0 I21 H52
    Date: 2012–01
  3. By: Glewwe, Paul; Hanushek, Eric; Humpage, Sarah; Ravina, Renato
    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 studentsâ 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 âhigh qualityâ 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 âhigh qualityâ studies. The few variables that do have significant effects â e.g. availability of desks, teacher knowledge of the subjects they teach, and teacher absence â are not particularly surprising and thus provide little guidance for future policies and programs.
    Keywords: Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession,
    Date: 2012–01
  4. By: Glewwe, Paul; Park, Albert; Zhao, Meng
    Abstract: About 10% of primary school students in developing countries have poor vision, but very few of them wear glasses. Almost no research examines the impact of poor vision on school performance, and simple OLS estimates are likely to be biased because studying harder often adversely affect oneâs vision. This paper presents results from a randomized trial in Western China that offered free eyeglasses to 1,528 rural primary school students. The results indicate that wearing eyeglasses for one year increased average test scores of students with poor vision by 0.15 to 0.22 standard deviations, equivalent to the learning acquired from an additional 0.33-0.50 years of schooling, and that the benefits are greater for under-performing students. A simple cost-benefit analysis suggests very high economic returns to wearing eyeglasses, raising the question of why such investments are not made by most families. We find that girls are more likely to refuse free eyeglasses, and that lack of parental awareness of vision problems, mothersâ education, and economic factors (expenditures per capita and price) significantly affect whether children wear eyeglasses in the absence of the intervention.
    Keywords: Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession,
    Date: 2012–01
  5. By: Gilberto Turati (University of Torino); Daniel Montolio (Universitat de Barcelona & IEB); Massimiliano Piacenza (University of Torino)
    Abstract: The objective of the paper is to study the disciplining role of both market forces and regional governments own resources in the provision of educational services. The historical evolution of school regulation in Italy and Spain (in particular regarding the funding of private schools run by Roman Catholic Church, and the role of regional governments financing education) created different institutions in terms of both dimensions, private funds and regional governments funds. We take advantage of these institutional diversities to estimate the disciplining role of different sources of funds in the context of educational production function using PISA data. Our results provide support to these accountability drivers. Moreover, we find evidence on the role played by a national standardised test in providing adequate incentives to improve schools’ performance.
    Keywords: Public and private schools, accountability, fiscal federalism
    JEL: H75 I22
    Date: 2011
  6. By: Koutsampelas, Christos (University of Cyprus); Tsakloglou, Panos (Athens University of Economics and Business)
    Abstract: The present 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 quite 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, redistribution, Greece
    JEL: I24 D31
    Date: 2012–01
  7. By: Lopez-Mayan, Cristina (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona); Nicodemo, Catia (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
    Abstract: Using a specific micro-dataset with information on working histories, we analyse the labour market entry of Spanish youths who have completed vocational education. According to the education system, young people can enter the labour market with vocational high school (upper secondary education) or with vocational college (tertiary education). Both present a period of workplace training, although, as they belong two distinct schooling levels, they have different entry requirements. Those who complete vocational college has spent more years in education and we would expect more success in finding a first job. Surprisingly, results do not confirm this hypothesis. We do not find important differences in the estimates of the determinants of transitions across types of vocational education. Apprenticeship has a very important role on increasing the hazard rate to employment and this result holds after controlling for unobserved heterogeneity and previous labour experience.
    Keywords: duration models, vocational education, labour market entry, apprenticeship
    JEL: J13 J24 I20
    Date: 2012–01
  8. By: Stephanie Riegg Cellini; Claudia Goldin
    Abstract: We use administrative data from five states to provide the first comprehensive estimates of the size of the for-profit higher education sector in the U.S. Our estimates include schools that are not currently eligible to participate in federal student aid programs under Title IV of the Higher Education Act and are therefore missed in official counts. We find that the number of for-profit institutions is double the official count and the number of students is between one-quarter and one-third greater. Many for-profit institutions that are not Title IV eligible offer programs and certificates that are similar, if not identical, to those given by institutions that are part of Title IV. We find that the Title IV institutions charge tuition that is about 75 percent higher than that charged by comparable institutions whose students cannot apply for federal financial aid. The dollar value of the premium is about equal to the amount of financial aid received by students in eligible institutions, lending credence to the “Bennett hypothesis” that aid-eligible institutions raise tuition to maximize aid.
    JEL: I20 I22 I23
    Date: 2012–02
  9. By: Franta, Michal (Czech National Bank); Guzi, Martin (IZA)
    Abstract: We explore a potential source of human capital spatial disparities: the unequal access to tertiary education caused by the absence/presence of a local university. Because the entrance to a university is a sequential process in the Czech Republic we model both a student's decision to apply to a university and the admission process. Two possible sources of unequal access to university are distinguished: cost savings and informational advantages for those residing close to a university. Estimation results suggest that the presence of a university per se is not driving student's decision to apply. Further we find that information advantage due to university proximity plays a significant role in the admission process. However this advantage is specific to the field of study, and becomes stronger in the case of highly oversubscribed study fields. To equalize the chance of admission, policy makers should consider geographical expansion of the system of universities accompanied by the expansion of university programs.
    Keywords: human capital, spatial distribution, access to tertiary education
    JEL: I20 I21 J24
    Date: 2012–01
  10. By: Segarra Blasco, Agustí
    Abstract: This paper explores the factors that determine firm’s R&D cooperation with different partners, paying special attention on the role of tertiary education (degree and PhDs level) in facilitating the connection between the firms and the to scientific bodies (technology centres, public research centres and universities). Here, we attempt to answer two questions. First, are innovative firms that carry out internal and external R&D activities more likely to cooperate on R&D projects with other partners? Second, do Spanish innovative firms with a high participation of researchers with degrees or PhDs tend to cooperate more with scientific partners? To answer both questions we apply a three-dimensional approach on a firm level Panel Data with a sample of 4.998 manufacturing and services Spanish firms. First, we run a complementary test between external R&D acquisition and skilled research workers and find that firms which carry out external R&D activities obtain a greater return on R&D cooperation when they have skilled workers in R&D, especially in high-tech manufactures and KIS services. Second, we carry out a 2-step tobit model to estimate, in the first stage, the determinants that explain whether Spanish innovative firms cooperate or not; and in the second stage the factors that affect the choice of partners. And third, we apply an ordered probit model to test the marginal effects of explanatory variables on the different partners. Here we contrast some of the most interesting empirical hypotheses of previous studies, and which emphasize the role of employees with degrees and PhDs in facilitating cooperative R&D between firms and scientific partners. JEL classification: O31, O33, O38. Key words: Determinants R&D cooperation, industry-university flows, PhD research workers.
    Keywords: Empreses -- Innovacions tecnològiques, Col·laboracio empresa-universitat, 378 - Ensenyament superior. Universitats, 65 - Gestió i organització. Administració i direcció d'empreses. Publicitat. Relacions públiques. Mitjans de comunicació de masses,
    Date: 2011
  11. By: Susan Dynarski; Mark Wiederspan
    Abstract: Each year, fourteen million households seeking federal aid for college complete a detailed questionnaire about their finances, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). At 116 questions, the FAFSA is almost as long as IRS Form 1040 and substantially longer than Forms 1040EZ and 1040A. Aid for college is intended to increase college attendance by reducing its price and loosening liquidity constraints. Economic theory, empirical evidence and common sense suggest that complexity in aid could undermine its ability to affect schooling decisions. In 2006, Dynarski and Scott-Clayton published an analysis of complexity in the aid system that generated considerable discussion in academic and policy circles. Over the next few years, complexity in the aid system drew the attention of the media, advocacy groups, presidential candidates, the National Economic Council and the Council of Economic Advisers. A flurry of legislative and agency activity followed. In this article, we provide a five-year retrospective of what has changed in the aid application process, what has not, and the possibilities for future reform.
    JEL: I22 I28
    Date: 2012–02
  12. By: Hrascinec Salierno, Aline
    Abstract: Dans le cadre d’une réflexion sur les mutations des relations entre les individus et leur emploi, nous nous intéressons dans cette thèse, à l’intention de mobilité internationale professionnelle après le diplôme des étudiants en nous plaçant de leur point de vue, dans la phase amont du comportement. Nos travaux permettent de soutenir que cette intention de mobilité ne dépend pas uniquement de variables économiques et financières. L’intérêt du poste et l’investissement pour une carrière future contribuent davantage à la détermination de l’intention. Les normes sociales contribuent également à la détermination de cette intention. Ce travail s’appuie sur la Théorie du Comportement Planifié, notre stratégie opératoire est inspirée du paradigme de Churchill. Les méthodes mobilisées sont les analyses factorielles ainsi que les équations structurelles. L’apport théorique de notre recherche est de tester et d’enrichir le modèle de la TCP auprès d’une population sur le point de faire des choix de carrière. L’apport en termes pratiques est de proposer aux entreprises des clés de compréhension de la vision de leurs futurs cadres pouvant aider à la mise en place de nouvelles pratiques afin d’attirer les étudiants avant que ceux-ci ne prennent la décision de partir.
    Abstract: In the context of a reflection on the changes in relations between individuals and their jobs, this thesis addresses the international mobility of professional post-graduate students. We focus on their behavior prior to departure, studying the factors from their perspective. Our research suggests that their mobility does not depend solely on economic and financial variables. The position’s potential value and the required investment to ensure a successful career have a greater influence on the determination of the intention. Social norms also play a role. This study is based on the Theory of Planned Behavior, our operating strategy is inspired by Churchill’s paradigm. The methods used are factorial analysis and structural equations. The theoretical contribution of this research is the testing and enhancing of the TPB model on a population of students about to make career choices. The practical contribution is to offer firms keys to the understanding of their future managers’ vision facilitating the adoption of new practices with the aim of attracting students before they make the decision to leave.
    Keywords: Corrélation; Diplômés de l'enseignement supérieur; Analyse factorielle; Théorie du comportement planifié; Mobilité professionnelle;
    JEL: J62
    Date: 2011–11
  13. By: Stevenson, Adam
    Abstract: Women are less likely than men to earn degrees from high-quality post-baccalaureate programs, and this tendency has been growing over time. I show that, aside from the biomedical sciences, this can not be explained by changes in the type of program where women tend to earn degrees. Instead, sorting by quality within field is the main contributor to the growing gap. Most of this sorting is due to the initial choice in which program type to apply to. No gender differences arise in terms of enrollment or attrition choices, and admissions committees in high-quality post-baccalaureate programs appear to favor women.
    Keywords: graduate school; professional school; gender; ability; program quality
    JEL: I23 I21 J16
    Date: 2012–02–08
  14. By: Lance Lochner (University of Western Ontario); Alexander Monge-Naranjo (Pennsylvania State University)
    Abstract: We review studies of the impact of credit constraints on the accumulation of human capital. Evidence suggests that credit constraints have recently become important for schooling and other aspects of households' behavior. We highlight the importance of early childhood investments, since their response largely determines the impact of credit constraints on the overall lifetime acquisition of human capital. We also review the intergenerational literature and examine the macroeconomic impacts of credit constraints on social mobility and the income distribution. A common limitation across all areas of the human capital literature is the impo- sition of ad hoc constraints on credit. We propose a more careful treatment of the structure of government student loan programs and the incentive problems underlying private credit. We show that endogenizing constraints on credit for human capital helps explain observed borrowing, schooling, and default patterns and o®ers new in- sights about the design of government policy.
    Keywords: Human Capital; Incentive Problems; Government Loans; Early Investments; Social Mobility
    JEL: D14 H52 I22 I23 J24
    Date: 2012

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