nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2012‒02‒27
fifteen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. School inspections: can we trust Ofsted reports? By Iftikhar Hussain
  2. Pupils' progress: how children's perceptions influence their efforts By Amine Ouazad; Lionel Page
  3. Does Money Buy Strong Performance in PISA? By OECD
  4. Persistence and Academic Success in University By Dooley, Martin D.; Payne, A. Abigail; Robb, A. Leslie
  5. Long-term effects of class size By Fredriksson, Peter; Öckert, Björn; OOsterbeek, Hessel
  6. To Be or Not to Be... a Scientist? By Chevalier, Arnaud
  7. Improving Second-level Education: Using Evidence for Policy Development By Smyth, Emer; McCoy, Selina
  8. Peer Heterogeneity, School Tracking and Students’ Performances: Evidence from PISA 2006 By Michele Raitano; Francesco Vona
  9. The Impact of Childhood Health on Adult Educational Attainment: Evidence from Modern Mandatory School Vaccination Laws By Dara Lee
  10. Borders that Divide: Education and Religion in Ghana and Togo since Colonial Times By Denis Cogneau; Alexander Moradi
  11. Misreported Schooling, Multiple Measures and Returns to Educational Qualifications By Battistin, Erich; De Nadai, Michele; Sianesi, Barbara
  12. Mundus academicus: arhitectura și adaptarea la fluxurile globalizării (II) By Hălăngescu, Constantin I.
  13. The Short-Term Effectiveness of a Remedial Mathematics Course: Evidence from a UK University By Di Pietro, Giorgio
  14. Mundus academicus: arhitectura și adaptarea la fluxurile globalizării (I) By Hălăngescu, Constantin I.
  15. The Policy Impact of PISA: An Exploration of the Normative Effects of International Benchmarking in School System Performance By Simon Breakspear

  1. By: Iftikhar Hussain
    Abstract: Ofsted inspections of schools have been a central feature of state education in England for nearly 20 years. Research by Iftikhar Hussain explores the validity of the school ratings that Ofsted produces, the impact of a fail rating on subsequent pupil performance and the extent to which teachers can 'game' the system.
    Keywords: education, UK,
    Date: 2012–02
  2. By: Amine Ouazad; Lionel Page
    Abstract: What is the impact of a pupil's perceptions of how their teachers will treat them on their motivation, efforts and educational achievements? To explore this question, Amine Ouazad and Lionel Page have conducted an experiment in which school children could use pocket money to place small bets on their performance in an exam.
    Keywords: education, UK,
    Date: 2012–02
  3. By: OECD
    Abstract: This issue will show that strong performers do not invest scarce resources in smaller classes, but in higher teachers' salaries. They are neither the countries that spend the most on education, nor are they the wealthiest countries; rather they are the countries that are committed to providing high-quality education to all students in the belief that all students can achieve at high levels.
    Date: 2012–02
  4. By: Dooley, Martin D.; Payne, A. Abigail; Robb, A. Leslie
    Abstract: We use a unique set of linked administrative data sets to explore the determinants of persistence and academic success in university. The explanatory power of high school grades greatly dominates that of other variables such as university program, gender, and neighbourhood and high school characteristics. Indeed, high school and neighbourhood characteristics, such as average standardized test scores for a high school or average neighbourhood income, have weak links with success in university.
    Keywords: University Success, High School, Neighbourhood
    JEL: I23
    Date: 2012–02–19
  5. By: Fredriksson, Peter (Stockholm University); Öckert, Björn (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy); OOsterbeek, Hessel (University of Amsterdam)
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the long-term effects of class size in primary school. We use rich administrative data from Sweden and exploit variation in class size created by a maximum class size rule. Smaller classes in the last three years of primary school (age 10 to 13) are not only beneficial for cognitive test scores at age 13 but also for non-cognitive scores at that age, for cognitive test scores at ages 16 and 18, and for completed education and wages at age 27 to 42. The estimated effect on wages is much larger than any indirect (imputed) estimate of the wage effect, and is large enough to pass a cost-benefit test.
    Keywords: Class size; regression discontinuity; cognitive skills; non-cognitive skills; educational attainment; earnings
    JEL: C31 I21 I28 J24
    Date: 2012–02–13
  6. By: Chevalier, Arnaud (Royal Holloway, University of London)
    Abstract: Policy makers generally advocate that to remain competitive countries need to train more scientists. Employers regularly complain of qualified scientist shortages blaming the higher wages in other occupations for luring graduates out of scientific occupations. Using a survey of recent British graduates from Higher Education we report that fewer than 50% of science graduates work in a scientific occupation three years after graduation. The wage premium observed for science graduates stems from occupational choice rather than a science degree. Accounting for selection into subject and occupation, the returns to working in a scientific occupation reaches 18% and there is no return to a science degree outside scientific occupations. Finally, scientists working in a scientific occupation are more satisfied with their educational and career choices, which suggests that those not working in these occupations have been pushed out of careers in science.
    Keywords: science, graduate, labour market
    JEL: I21 J24 J44
    Date: 2012–02
  7. By: Smyth, Emer; McCoy, Selina
    Abstract: Second-level education has a crucial role to play in Ireland's long-term economic prosperity, as well as being intrinsically valuable, allowing young people to develop intellectually, socially and personally. Much of the debate internationally has focused on how countries compare against international benchmarks and indicators like PISA. This paper argues that, while we can potentially learn from what other systems have 'got right', it is important that we do not fall into the trap of engaging in 'policy borrowing'. Furthermore we now have a rich evidence base in Ireland on 'what works' in terms of school organisation and process. The paper reviews this evidence in a number of key areas: ability grouping, school climate, teaching and learning methods, and curriculum and assessment. The discussion reviews how these aspects of school policy and practice can make a substantive impact on student outcomes and act as 'drivers' of improvement, often requiring relatively modest levels of expenditure.
    Keywords: education/Policy/policy development/Ireland
    Date: 2011
  8. By: Michele Raitano; Francesco Vona
    Abstract: The empirical literature using large international students’ assessments tends to neglect the role of school composition variables in order not to incur in a misidentification of peer effects. However, this could lead to an error of higher logical type since the learning environment crucially depends on peer variables. In this paper, using PISA 2006, we show how peer heterogeneity is a key determinant of students’ attainments. Interestingly, the effect of peer variables differs depending on the country tracking policy: peer heterogeneity reduces efficiency in comprehensive systems whereas it has a non-linear impact in early-tracking ones. In turn, linear peer effects are larger in early-tracking systems. Results remain robust in both student- and school-level regressions and when we add school-level dummies and several controls correlated with the school choice to alleviate the selectivity bias.
    Keywords: peer heterogeneity, peer effects, schooling tracking, educational production function.
    JEL: I21 I28 J24
    Date: 2011–05
  9. By: Dara Lee (Department of Economics, University of Missouri-Columbia)
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the economic consequences of mandatory school vaccination laws that were passed from the mid-1960s to late-1970s. After the invention of a number of key vaccines, states began to require proof of immunization against certain infectious diseases for children entering school for the first time. I exploit the staggered implementation of the laws across states to identify both the short-run impacts on health and long-term effects on educational attainment. First, I show that the mandatory school vaccination laws were very successful in reducing the incidence rates of the targeted diseases. There is less evidence that mortality rates were affected. Finally, I find sizable and positive effects on educational outcomes as measured by years of schooling and high school completion. The effect on educational attainment is twice as large for non-whites relative to whites.
    Keywords: school vaccinations, morbidity, health, educational attainment
    JEL: I18 I2 J13
    Date: 2012–02–20
  10. By: Denis Cogneau; Alexander Moradi
    Abstract: When European powers partitioned Africa, individuals of otherwise homogeneous communities were divided and found themselves randomly assigned to one coloniser. This provides for a natural experiment: applying a border discontinuity analysis to Ghana and Togo, we test what impact coloniser’s policies really made. Using a new data set of men recruited to the Ghana colonial army 1908-1955, we find literacy and religious beliefs to diverge between British and French mandated part of Togoland as early as in the 1920s. We attribute this to the different policies towards missionary schools. The British administration pursued a ”grant-in-aid” policy of missionary schools, whereas the French restricted missionary activities. The divergence is only visible in the Southern part. In the North, as well as at the border between Ghana and Burkina Faso (former French Upper Volta), educational and evangelization efforts were weak on both sides and hence, did not produce any marked differences. Using contemporary survey data we find that border effects originated at colonial times still persist today.
    Keywords: Economic History, Africa, Colonization, Education
    JEL: O12 R12 P52
    Date: 2011
  11. By: Battistin, Erich (University of Padova); De Nadai, Michele (University of Padova); Sianesi, Barbara (Institute for Fiscal Studies, London)
    Abstract: We provide a number of contributions of policy, practical and methodological interest to the study of the returns to educational qualifications in the presence of misreporting. First, we provide the first reliable estimates of a highly policy relevant parameter for the UK, namely the return from attaining any academic qualification compared to leaving school at the minimum age without any formal qualification. Second, we provide the academic and policy community with estimates of the accuracy and misclassification patterns of commonly used types of data on educational attainment: administrative files, self-reported information close to the date of completion of the qualification, and recall information ten years after completion. We are in the unique position to assess the temporal patterns of misreporting errors across survey waves, and to decompose misreporting errors into a systematic component linked to individuals' persistent behaviour and into a transitory part reflecting random survey errors. Third, by using the unique nature of our data, we assess how the biases from measurement error and from omitted ability and family background variables interact in the estimation of returns. On the methodological front, we propose a semi-parametric estimation approach based on balancing scores and mixture models, in particular allowing for arbitrarily heterogeneous individual returns.
    Keywords: misclassification, mixture models, returns to educational qualifications, treatment effects
    JEL: C10 I20 J31
    Date: 2012–02
  12. By: Hălăngescu, Constantin I.
    Abstract: This second part of the study, contains the presentation, in the same manner, of the wiewpoints on the last region in the acadmeic world map considered in my analysis: Europe. Of course, globalization and building a united Europe, strong growth of labour markets and capital flows, human resources and information, visible disparities of regional education systems in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific countries, multiplying “factorial” higher education providers, increasing global competition between and/or the universities – all key elements in what I would call the domino allow between Bologna process innovations and values triumph. Bologna created and resized European values, he scaled a more or less in global manner, imposed a new way of thinking and designing the whole system of European higher education. Without doubt, the internationalization of European academic mobility system geenrated by specially designed programs, led to the development of integrated services, more and more professional. Romanian higher education can not ignore these changes, but is far from the requirements of a globally competitive higher education. For real reform, the change must be guided by a clear conception of the strategies, competence and critical, to have political support and substantial funding. Academic education and scientific research today gives the measure of value and strenght of a nation in the great European and global concert. Reform does not admit, therefore, alternative: the only solution for the better future among civilized countries is succes. And success is quality, efficiency and performance in education and research, competitiveness in Europe and worldwide.
    Keywords: mundus academicus; globalisation; internationalization; regionalization; higher education; economics; academic reforms; knowlegdebased society; brain-power industries; mobilities; Bologna process; Romanian higher education system
    JEL: I2 A20 A12 N30 H52
    Date: 2012–02
  13. By: Di Pietro, Giorgio (University of Westminster)
    Abstract: Whilst in the US there is a growing debate about the effectiveness of remedial university courses, this issue is less questioned in the UK. Using a regression discontinuity approach and data from a large School of a post-1992 UK university, we estimate the effect of remediation on student outcomes. We find no evidence that attending a math remedial program improves student performance in the first year. This finding is consistent and complements that of a recent study by Lagerlöf and Seltzer (2009), which is based on data from a pre-1992 UK university. Taken together, these results may call for a review of the remediation policy offered at university level in the UK.
    Keywords: regression discontinuity design, remedial mathematics, student performance
    JEL: A22 I20
    Date: 2012–02
  14. By: Hălăngescu, Constantin I.
    Abstract: : Education and particularly the higher education have the task not only to react to the quasi-globalization trends, but rather to play a role in the development of desirable future society, leading to qualitative changes designed to preserve the identity of diverse communities and tolerance based on communication knowledge and understanding the interests of each participant in this process. Without claiming to discuss in a general register this topic (although very broad in its essence), I just tried to achieve a brief scan of the bidirectional impact of globalization-internationalization (whether as understood in the literature – Americanization, Europeanization, homogenization, diversification) it has in higher education. Of course, the approach was focused mainly on the effects of the opportunities of internationalization of global education they have or shoud have on higher education and research in Romania. This paper reviews the international realities of higher education for thtree important poles of the global space: U.S.A., Asia-Pacific and Europe until the beginning of the current financial crisis. Imagining a correspondance between the general profile of each region and the name of concepts of ludic space, I associated a certain notion (Monopoly, Dominoes and Puzzle) to each of the mentioned regions, arguing that associations by illustrating the most significant aspects of the transformations that flows globalization have forced regional systems analyzed. Considerations about the U.S. as a magnet for resources, China and the miracle of the structural reform of higher education, performance lessons that Japan offers to the world, the domino effect of novelty almost envied (Bologna process with all the innovation system) and traditional values (Humboldtian construction) in Europe, provides a summary of opinions and research of existing literature overflow. In this first part of the paper, analyzes are focused on the first two regions: USA and Asia-Pacific.
    Keywords: mundus academicus; globalisation; internationalization; regionalization; higher education; economics; academic reforms; knowlegdebased society; knowlegde based economy; brain-power industries
    JEL: I2 A20 A12 N30 H52
    Date: 2012–02
  15. By: Simon Breakspear
    Abstract: Little research has been done into how the results of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) affect national educational reform and policy-making. This paper examines the normative impact of PISA by investigating how, and the extent to which , national policy actors use PISA in policies and practices, to evaluate and improve school-system performance. Drawing on the results of a survey of country practices, the study shows that PISA has become accepted as a reliable instrument for benchmarking student performance worldwide, and that PISA results have had an influence on policy reform in the majority of participating countries/economies.<BR>À ce jour, rares sont les recherches ciblant l’impact des résultats de l’enquête PISA (Programme international pour le suivi des acquis des élèves) sur les réformes et l’action publique dans les pays. Le présent document examine l’impact normatif du PISA en cherchant à déterminer comment et dans quelle mesure les acteurs politiques des pays utilisent le PISA dans l’établissement de politiques et pratiques, afin d’évaluer et d’améliorer les performances de leur système d’éducation. À partir des résultats d’une enquête sur les pratiques des pays, cet étude montre que le PISA est aujourd’hui communément accepté en tant qu’instrument fiable pour évaluer la performance des élèves dans le monde entier et que les résultats au PISA exercent une influence réelle sur les réformes politiques dans la majorité des pays et économies participants.
    Date: 2012–02–22

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