nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2012‒03‒21
eighteen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Why are migrant students better off in certain types of educational systems or schools than in others? By Dronkers, Jaap; van der Velden, Rolf; Dunne, Allison
  2. Gender Differences in Education By Pekkarinen, Tuomas
  3. Lost in translation? teacher training and outcomes in high school economics classes By Robert G. Valletta; K. Jody Hoff; Jane S. Lopus
  4. Educational Choice and Risk Aversion: How Important Is Structural vs. Individual Risk Aversion? By Vanessa Hartlaub; Thorsten Schneider
  5. Class Assignment and Peer Group Effects: Evidence from Brazilian Primary Schools By Martin Foureaux Koppensteiner
  6. Lost in Translation? Teacher Training and Outcomes in High School Economics Classes By Valletta, Rob; Hoff, K. Jody; Lopus, Jane S.
  7. Do professors really perpetuate the gender gap in science? Evidence from a natural experiment in a French higher education institution By Thomas Breda; Son Thierry Ly
  8. Diversity, choice and the quasi-market: An empirical analysis of secondary education policy in England By S Bradley; Jim Taylor
  9. Funding, school specialisation and test scores By S Bradley; Jim Taylor; G Migali
  10. The English Baccalaureate: how not to measure school performance By Jim Taylor
  11. The relationship between formal education and skill acquisition in young workers’ first jobs By D. VERHAEST; E. OMEY
  12. Exploring Access and Equity in Malaysia’s Private Higher Education By Siew Yean Tham
  13. Compulsory Schooling Reforms, Education and Mortality in Twentieth Century Europe By Gathmann, Christina; Jürges, Hendrik; Reinhold, Steffen
  14. A New Database on Education Stock in Taiwan By Godo, Yoshihisa
  15. Education, Cognition, Health Knowledge, and Health Behavior By Naci Mocan; Duha T. Altindag
  16. Guidelines for Quality Provision in Cross-Border Higher Education: Where Do We Strand? By Stéphan Vincent-Lancrin; Sebastian Pfotenhauer
  17. Founders and Financially Affiliated Directors on Charter School Boards and Their Impact on Financial Performance and Academic Achievement By Charisse A. Gulosin; Elif Sisli-Ciamarra
  18. Rationalizing National Government Subsidies for State Universities and Colleges By Manasan, Rosario G.

  1. By: Dronkers, Jaap; van der Velden, Rolf; Dunne, Allison
    Abstract: The main research question of this paper is the combined estimation of the effects of educational systems, school composition, track level, and country of origin on the educational achievement of 15-year-old migrant students. We focus specifically on the effects of socioeconomic and ethnic background on achievement scores and the extent to which these effects are affected by characteristics of the school, track, or educational system in which these students are enrolled. In doing so, we examine the ‘sorting’ mechanisms of schools and tracks in highly stratified, moderately stratified, and comprehensive education systems. We use data from the 2006 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) wave. Compared with previous research in this area, the paper’s main contribution is that we explicitly include the tracks-within-school level as a separate unit of analyses, which leads to less biased results concerning the effects of educational system characteristics. The results highlight the importance of including factors of track level and school composition in the debate surrounding educational inequality of opportunity for students in different education contexts. The findings clearly indicate that the effects of educational system characteristics are flawed if the analysis only uses a country- and a student level and ignores the tracks-within-school level characteristics. From a policy perspective, the most important finding is that educational systems are neither uniformly ‘good’ nor ‘bad’, but they can result in different consequences for different migrant groups. Some migrant groups are better off in comprehensive systems, while others are better off in moderately stratified systems.
    Keywords: migrants; educational performance; educational systems; schools; destination country; origin country; cross-national; PISA
    JEL: F22 O1 O15 I21
    Date: 2011–08
  2. By: Pekkarinen, Tuomas (Aalto University)
    Abstract: This paper surveys the trends in gender gaps in education, their causes and potential policy implications. I show that female educational attainment has surpassed, or is about to surpass, male educational attainment in most industrialized countries. These gaps reflect male overrepresentation among secondary school drop-outs and female overrepresentation among tertiary education students and graduates. Existing evidence suggests that this pattern is a result of a combination of increasing returns to education and lower female effort costs of education. Widening gender gap in education combined with recent wage and employment polarization will likely lead to widening inequalities and is linked to declining male labor force participation. The paper discusses evidence on educational policies that both widen and reduce gender gaps in educational outcomes.
    Keywords: gender differences, test scores, education
    JEL: I20 J16 J24
    Date: 2012–02
  3. By: Robert G. Valletta; K. Jody Hoff; Jane S. Lopus
    Abstract: Using data on 24 teachers and 982 students from a 2006 survey of California high school economics classes, we assess the effects of student and teacher characteristics on student achievement. We estimate value-added models of outcomes on multiple choice and essay exams, with matched classroom pairs for each teacher enabling random effects and fixed-effects estimation. Students’ own and peer GPAs and their attitudes towards economics have the largest effects on value-added scores. We also find a substantial impact of specialized teacher experience and college-level coursework in economics, although the effects of the latter are positive for the multiple choice test and negative for the essay test.
    Keywords: Education
    Date: 2012
  4. By: Vanessa Hartlaub; Thorsten Schneider
    Abstract: According to sociological theories on educational choice, risk aversion is the main driving force for class-specific educational decisions. Families from upper social classes have to opt for the academically most demanding, long-lasting courses to avoid an intergenerational status loss. Families from lower social classes by contrast, tend instead to opt for shorter tracks to reduce the risk of failing in a long-lasting and costly education and, as a consequence, entering the labor market without a degree. This argument is deeply rooted in the social structure. Yet, the importance of individual risk preferences for educational choice has been neglected in sociology of education. We discuss these different forms of risk in the context of social inequalities in educational decision-making and demonstrate how they influence the intentions for further education of students attending the most demanding, academically orientated secondary school type in Germany. According to our argument, children from upper social classes are structurally almost compelled to opt for the academically most demanding educational courses, virtually without having a choice in the matter. In contrast, working class children do have to make an active decision and, thus, individual risk aversion comes into play for these students.<br /> For our empirical analyses, we rely on data from the youth questionnaire of the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) collected in the years 2003 to 2010, and estimate multinomial logit models. Our empirical findings underline the importance of the structural risk aversion. Students with a higher social background are not only less sensitive to their school performance, but individual risk aversion is also completely irrelevant to their educational plans. The opposite applies to students with a lower social background: the more risk-averse they are, the more likely they are to opt for a double qualification rather than just a purely academic university degree course.
    Keywords: Educational inequality, educational decision-making, risk aversion, tertiary education, vocational training
    JEL: I24 D81 Z13
    Date: 2012
  5. By: Martin Foureaux Koppensteiner
    Abstract: Students in Brazil are typically assigned to classes based on their age ranking in their school grade. I exploit this rule to estimate the effects on maths achievement of being in a class with older peers for students in fifth grade of primary school. Because grade repetition is widespread in Brazil, the distribution of age is skewed to the right and hence age heterogeneity is typically higher in older classes. I provide evidence that heterogeneity in age is the driving factor behind the large negative estimated effect of being in an older class. Information on teaching practices and student behaviour sheds light on how class heterogeneity harms learning.
    Keywords: Peer effects; regression discontinuity; educational production; group heterogeneity.
    JEL: I20 I21
    Date: 2012–03
  6. By: Valletta, Rob (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco); Hoff, K. Jody (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco); Lopus, Jane S. (California State University, East Bay)
    Abstract: Using data on 24 teachers and 982 students from a 2006 survey of California high school economics classes, we assess the effects of student and teacher characteristics on student achievement. We estimate value-added models of outcomes on multiple choice and essay exams, with matched classroom pairs for each teacher enabling random effects and fixed-effects estimation. Students' own and peer GPAs and their attitudes towards economics have the largest effects on value-added scores. We also find a substantial impact of specialized teacher experience and college-level coursework in economics, although the effects of the latter are positive for the multiple choice test and negative for the essay test.
    Keywords: high school economics, teacher training
    JEL: A21 I21
    Date: 2012–03
  7. By: Thomas Breda (CEP - Centre for Economic Performance - LSE); Son Thierry Ly (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - Ecole des Ponts ParisTech - Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris - ENS Paris - INRA, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)
    Abstract: Stereotypes, role models played by teachers and social norms are known to push girls to choose humanities rather than science. Do professors directly contribute to this strong selection by discriminating more against girls in more scientific subjects? Using the entrance exam of a French higher education institution (the Ecole Normale Supérieure) as a natural experiment, we show the opposite: discrimination goes in favor of females in more male-connoted subjects (e.g. math, philosophy) and in favor of males in more female-connoted subjects (e.g. literature, biology), inducing a rebalancing of sex ratios between science and humanities majors. We identify discrimination by systematic differences in students' scores between oral tests (non-blind toward gender) and anonymous written tests (blind toward gender). By making comparisons of these oral/written scores differences between different subjects for a given student, we are able to control both for a student's ability in each subject and for her overall ability at oral exams. The mechanisms likely to drive this positive discrimination toward the minority gender are also discussed.
    Keywords: Discrimination ; Gender Stereotypes ; Natural Experiment ; Sex and Science
    Date: 2012–03
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. By: D. VERHAEST; E. OMEY
    Abstract: We analyse the relationship between formal education and on-the-job skill acquisition (SA) for a sample of Flemish school-leavers. SA is measured directly through subjective assessments. Formal education is found to reinforce labour market inequality because additional years of education enhance the probability of all types of SA. With respect to general SA, this impact is higher for generally-educated compared to vocationally-educated individuals. This is predominantly explained by between-occupation effects; jobs that require more years of formal education also require more additional SA. Within occupations, we find some limited evidence on both dominant complementary and substitution effects. Under-educated workers have lower overall SA probabilities than adequately educated workers in similar occupations; over-educated workers with a vocational degree acquire less transferable or general skills than their adequately educated colleagues. Because over-educated workers work in jobs with less additional SA requirements, they also acquire less additional skills than adequately educated workers with similar educational backgrounds.
    Keywords: OJT, vocational education, overeducation, overqualification, underemployment
    Date: 2012–01
  12. By: Siew Yean Tham (Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI))
    Abstract: Private higher education institutions (PrHEIs) are utilized to complement public provision due to financial constraints faced in public provision. However, increasing private provision has raised interesting questions as to who gets educated in these PrHEIs. Is increasing private supply enlarging the circle of opportunity to reach those who might otherwise have been unable to enter university or college? In other words, has the explosion in private supply translated into greater inclusion or increased exclusion? This paper explores the access and equity issues in Malaysia’s private higher education system. Malaysia is an interesting case study due to the significant presence of PrHEIs in the country and their contribution toward student enrolment. The findings show that the Malaysian government has provided considerable financial support for the development of PrHEIs, through the provision of incentives, subsidized loans, and scholarships. Quality assurance efforts further enhance the development of private provision, as student loans and scholarships are only provided for students on accredited programs. Therefore, PrHEIs have widened access and equity, with the help of government support. Despite this, Malaysia’s model of providing access and equity through private provision may be unsustainable, due to the poor repayment record of student loans and the economic need to reduce the fiscal deficit of the government.
    Keywords: Private Higher Education, Malaysia, private supply of education
    JEL: H44 H52 I23
    Date: 2011–04
  13. By: Gathmann, Christina (University of Heidelberg); Jürges, Hendrik (University of Mannheim); Reinhold, Steffen (MEA, University of Mannheim)
    Abstract: Education yields substantial non-monetary benefits, but the size of these gains is still debated. Previous studies, for example, report contradictory effects of education and compulsory schooling on mortality – ranging from zero to large mortality reductions. Using data from 19 compulsory schooling reforms implemented in Europe during the twentieth century, we quantify the mean mortality effect and explore its dispersion across gender, time and countries. We find that men benefit from compulsory education both in the shorter and longer run. In contrast, compulsory schooling reforms have little or no effect on mortality for women.
    Keywords: compulsory schooling, education, mortality, Europe
    JEL: I12 I21 I28
    Date: 2012–03
  14. By: Godo, Yoshihisa
    Date: 2012–02
  15. By: Naci Mocan; Duha T. Altindag
    Abstract: Using data from NLSY97 we analyze the impact of education on health behavior. Controlling for health knowledge does not influence the impact of education on health behavior, supporting the productive efficiency hypothesis. Although cognition, as measured by test scores, appears to have an effect on the relationship between education and health behavior, this effect disappears once the models control for family fixed effects. Similarly, the impact of education on health behavior is the same between those with and without a learning disability, suggesting that cognition is not likely to be a significant factor in explaining the impact of education on health behavior.
    Date: 2012–02
  16. By: Stéphan Vincent-Lancrin; Sebastian Pfotenhauer
    Abstract: The Guidelines for Quality Provision in Cross-border Higher Education were developed and adopted to support and encourage international cooperation and enhance the understanding of the importance of quality provision in cross-border higher education. The purposes of the Guidelines are to protect students and other stakeholders from low-quality provision and disreputable providers (that is, degree and accreditation mills) as well as to encourage the development of quality cross-border higher education that meets human, social, economic and cultural needs. Based on a survey about the main recommendations of the Guidelines, this report monitors the extent to which OECD countries and a few non-member partners complied with its recommendations in 2011. Twenty-three responses were obtained from 22 Members.
    Date: 2012–02–22
  17. By: Charisse A. Gulosin (Columbia University); Elif Sisli-Ciamarra (International Business School, Brandeis University)
    Abstract: This study uses a hand-collected dataset for charter school boards in Massachusetts between 2001 and 2009 to examine the relationship between financial performance and the presence of founders and financially affiliated directors. School-level financial performance suggests that founder presence on a board has a negative effect on both financial and academic performance of a charter school. On the other hand, the presence of financially affiliated directors on the charter school governing board is positively related to financial performance, but unrelated to academic achievement. The results are consistent with the literature on corporate and nonprofit boards that have attributed financially affiliated directors with greater incentives to monitor financial targets, while founders are less likely to achieve performance expectations.
    Keywords: Charter schools, Board governance, Financial performance, Achievement
    JEL: H75 I20 L29
    Date: 2012–02
  18. By: Manasan, Rosario G.
    Abstract: <p>This study aims to review and assess (i) the sources and uses of funds of state universities and colleges (SUCs); (ii) the impact of the application normative funding formula (NFF) for SUCs; and (iii) the utilization of the Higher Education Development Fund (HEDF) with the end in view of rationalizing the allocation of national government funding of SUCs by improving the effectiveness in the use of public funds for higher education and by increasing the efficiency of SUCs spending.</p><p>The study found that while the application of the normative funding formula has clearly resulted in the SUCs` greater reliance on internally generated income, the implementation of the NFF has not exhibited the desired effect on (i) shifting SUCs enrollment toward priority courses; and (ii) improving the quality of instruction.</p><p>On the other hand, the study`s inquiry into the major cost drivers of SUCs provision of higher education indicates that there are economies of scale in the SUC sector that can be harnessed. This finding supports proposals for the amalgamation of SUCs. Also, the multiplicity of program offerings among SUCs is found to push SUCs` per student cost upwards. The number or the proportion of faculty members who are MS/PhD degree holders are likewise found to have a significant influence on per student costs. In contrast, the analysis also reveals that the number of satellite campuses and the size of SUCs enrollment in MS/PhD programs are not good determinants of per student costs.</p><p>The study also looked into the determinants of the quality of education provided by SUCs (as proxied by the passing rate in licensure examinations). The analysis reveals that the number of faculty with MS/PhD degrees and the number of centers of developments (CODs) both have positive and statistically significant relationship with the passing rate in licensure examinations. Surprisingly, per student cost is not found to have statistically significant influence on the licensure examinations passing rate. This result suggests that there is some scope for reducing per student cost without necessarily affecting the quality of education provided by SUCs.</p>
    Keywords: economies of scale, scholarship, Philippines, cost efficiency, state universities and colleges (SUCs), income-generating projects (IGPs), normative funding formula (NFF), quality of instruction
    Date: 2012

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