nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2012‒05‒22
twenty papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Human capital for growth: possible steps towards an upgrade of the Italian education system By Piero Cipollone; Pasqualino Montanaro; Paolo Sestito
  2. School Infrastructure and Learning in Latin American Elementary Education: An Analysis Based on the SERCE By Jesús Duarte; Carlos Gargiulo; Martín Moreno
  3. The Effect of Housing Wealth on College Choice: Evidence from the Housing Boom By Michael F. Lovenheim; C. Lockwood Reynolds
  4. Explaining Charter School Effectiveness By Angrist, Joshua; Pathak, Parag A.; Walters, Christopher R.
  5. Immigrant students and educational systems. Cross-country evidence from PISA 2006 By Marina Murat; Davide Ferrari; Patrizio Frederic
  6. The Effect of Village-Based Schools: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial in Afghanistan By Burde, Dana; Linden, Leigh L.
  7. Dynamic Skill Accumulation,Comparative Advantages,Compulsory Schooling and Earnings By Christian Belzil; Jörgen Hansen; Xingfei Liu
  8. "The Dynamics That Are Restructuring Higher Education in the US and France " By Alain Alcouffe; Jeffrey Miller
  9. Schooling and Voter Turnout: Is there an American Exception? By Chevalier, Arnaud; Doyle, Orla
  10. Quantile Treatment Effects of College Quality on Earnings: Evidence from Administrative Data in Texas By Rodney J. Andrews; Jing Li; Michael F. Lovenheim
  11. Immigrant Status and Secondary School Performance as Determinants of Post-Secondary Participation: A Comparison of Canada and Switzerland By Garnett Picot
  12. The Effect of Compulsory Schooling Laws on Teenage Marriage and Births in Turkey By Kirdar, Murat; Dayioglu, Meltem; Koc, Ismet
  13. Like Father, Like Son? Intergenerational Education Mobility in India By Azam, Mehtabul; Bhatt, Vipul
  14. Gender Effects of Education on Economic Development in Turkey By Tansel, Aysit; Güngör, Nil Demet
  15. Constructed-response versus multiple choice: the impact on performance in combination with gender By P. EVERAERT; N. ARTHUR
  16. Care or Cash? The Effect of Child Care Subsidies on Student Performance By Black, Sandra E.; Devereux, Paul J.; Loken, Katrine V.; Salvanes, Kjell G.
  17. Dynamics of Educational Differences in Emigration from Estonia to the Old EU Member States By Kristi Anniste; Tiit Tammaru; Enel Pungas; Tiiu Paas
  18. The Impact of the 2009 Federal Tobacco Excise Tax Increase on Youth Tobacco Use By Jidong Huang; Frank J. Chaloupka, IV
  19. Open Educational Resources: Analysis of Responses to the OECD Country Questionnaire By Jan Hylén; Dirk Van Damme; Fred Mulder; Susan D’Antoni
  20. The impact of regional industries and universities on (high) technology entrepreneurship By Hülsbeck, Marcel; Kitzinger, Elena N.

  1. By: Piero Cipollone (World Bank); Pasqualino Montanaro (Bank of Italy); Paolo Sestito (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: The problems of Italy’s education system mostly stem from its modus operandi and interactions with the expectations of families and students. The recent signs of improvement in Italian students’ proficiency, plausibly reflecting greater emphasis on rigour, could be reinforced by making schools more autonomous and accountable, including in matters of staff management, and with a nationwide programme of support for the schools in greatest difficulty. The cost savings obtained over the years should mostly be reinvested into the system, enhancing teachers’ professionalism. In higher education, the increasing supply of degree courses has not affected the typical problems of Italy’s public universities, which: still attract few researchers and students from abroad; are too undifferentiated and unspecialized; have a predominantly local teacher and student base. The renewal begun with the recent university reform, which has challenged the historically self-referential governance of the system, must stimulate more internal competition within the Italian university system with well-defined and stable rules to foster quality and reward merit, and it must also allow individual universities more autonomy so that a more differentiated supply structure can emerge.
    Keywords: human capital, school,; university
    JEL: I20 I21
    Date: 2012–04
  2. By: Jesús Duarte; Carlos Gargiulo; Martín Moreno
    Abstract: This study explores the state of infrastructure in the region's primary education schools, using the SERCE database, and analyzes the connection between school infrastructure conditions and language and mathematics tests results for third and sixth grade students. The results of the analysis indicate that school infrastructure and the access to basic services (electricity, water, sewerage and telephone) in the region's schools are highly deficient; there exists a large disparity between countries as well as between private urban, public urban and public rural schools; and there are large gaps between schools with children from high income families and schools with children from low income families. The analysis on the relationship between school infrastructure and academic results in the SERCE tests indicate that the highest factors most significantly associated with learning outcomes are: the presence of spaces that support teaching (libraries, science and computer labs); the connection to electric and telephone utilities; access to potable water, drainage and bathrooms. This indicates that countries in the region must strengthen investment geared towards improving school infrastructure in order to close the gaps that negatively affect rural areas, public sector schools, and schools with students from low income families. Likewise, public policies must prioritize infrastructure areas that have an impact on learning.
    Keywords: Education :: Primary & Secondary Education, Education :: Educational Assessment, Learning Outcomes, Impact on Learning, and Educational Resources
    Date: 2011–09
  3. By: Michael F. Lovenheim; C. Lockwood Reynolds
    Abstract: The higher education system in the United States is characterized by a large degree of quality heterogeneity, and there is a growing literature suggesting students attending higher quality universities have better educational and labor market outcomes. In this paper, we use NLSY97 data combined with the difference in the timing and strength of the housing boom across cities to examine how short-run home price growth affects the quality of postsecondary schools chosen by students. Our findings indicate a $10,000 increase in a family’s housing wealth in the four years prior to a student becoming of college-age increases the likelihood she attends a flagship public university relative to a non-flagship public university by 2.0 percent and decreases the relative probability of attending a community college by 1.6 percent. These effects are driven by relatively lower and middle-income families. We show that these changes are due to the effect of housing wealth on where students apply, not on whether they are admitted. We also find that short-run increases in home prices lead to increases in direct quality measures of the institutions students attend. Finally, for the lower-income sample, we find home price increases reduce student labor supply and that each $10,000 increase in home prices is associated with a 1.8% increase in the likelihood of completing college.
    JEL: I21 I23 J24 R31
    Date: 2012–05
  4. By: Angrist, Joshua (MIT); Pathak, Parag A. (MIT); Walters, Christopher R. (MIT)
    Abstract: Estimates using admissions lotteries suggest that urban charter schools boost student achievement, while charter schools in other settings do not. Using the largest available sample of lotteried applicants to charter schools, we explore student-level and school-level explanations for this difference in Massachusetts. In an econometric framework that isolates sources of charter effect heterogeneity, we show that urban charter schools boost achievement well beyond that of urban public school students, while non-urban charters reduce achievement from a higher baseline. Student demographics explain some of these gains since urban charters are most effective for non-whites and low-baseline achievers. At the same time, non-urban charter schools are uniformly ineffective. Our estimates also reveal important school-level heterogeneity within the urban charter sample. A non-lottery analysis suggests that urban charters with binding, well-documented admissions lotteries generate larger score gains than under-subscribed urban charter schools with poor lottery records. Finally, we link charter impacts to school characteristics such as peer composition, length of school day, and school philosophy. The relative effectiveness of urban lottery-sample charters is accounted for by these schools' embrace of the No Excuses approach to urban education.
    Keywords: human capital, charter schools, achievement
    JEL: I21 I24 I28 J45
    Date: 2012–04
  5. By: Marina Murat; Davide Ferrari; Patrizio Frederic
    Abstract: Using data from PISA 2006 on 29 countries, this paper analyses immigrant school gaps (difference in scores between immigrants and natives) and focuses on tracking and comprehensive educational systems. Results show that the wider negative gaps are present where tracking is sharp and less frequently in countries with comprehensive schooling. In both cases, negative gaps are concentrated in continental Western Europe, where they are also often related to immigrants and natives attending different schools, or are significant within schools
    Keywords: Immigrant students, educational systems, PISA
    JEL: F22 I21
    Date: 2012–05
  6. By: Burde, Dana (New York University); Linden, Leigh L. (University of Texas at Austin)
    Abstract: We conduct a randomized evaluation of the effect of village-based schools on children's academic performance using a sample of 31 villages and 1,490 children in rural northwestern Afghanistan. The program significantly increases enrollment and test scores among all children, eliminates the 21 percentage point gender disparity in enrollment, and dramatically reduces the disparity in test scores. The intervention increases formal school enrollment by 42 percentage points among all children and increases test scores by 0.51 standard deviations (1.2 standard deviations for children that enroll in school). While all students benefit, the effects accrue disproportionately to girls. Evidence suggests that the village-based schools provide a comparable education to traditional schools. Estimating the effects of distance on academic outcomes, children prove very sensitive: enrollment and test scores fall by 16 percentage points and 0.19 standard deviations per mile. Distance affects girls more than boys – girls' enrollment falls by 6 percentage points more per mile (19 percentage points total per mile) and their test scores fall by an additional 0.09 standard deviations (0.24 standard deviations total per mile).
    Keywords: Afghanistan, RCT, education, gender
    JEL: I21 I25 I28 O12 O22
    Date: 2012–04
  7. By: Christian Belzil (CREST); Jörgen Hansen (Concordia University, CIRANO, CIREQ and IZA); Xingfei Liu (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 Accumulation, Comparative Advantages, Returns to schooling, Education and Growth,Dynamic Discrete Choice, Dynamic Programming
    JEL: I2 J1 J3
    Date: 2012–01
  8. By: Alain Alcouffe (Department of Economics, University of Toulouse); Jeffrey Miller (Department of Economics, University of Delaware)
    Abstract: Over the past half century higher education has become an ever more important part of developed economies as an every greater number of young people need to prepare for a more complex world. This paper compares the response to this challenge in France and the US. This is a particularly interesting contrast since the two systems are different markedly in how they are structured: the US system is very decentralized and French system is very centralized.
    Keywords: higher education in France, higher education in the US, for-profit colleges
    JEL: I21 I22 I28 H52
    Date: 2012
  9. By: Chevalier, Arnaud (Royal Holloway, University of London); Doyle, Orla (University College Dublin)
    Abstract: One of the most consistent findings in studies of electoral behaviour is that individuals with higher education have a greater propensity to vote. The nature of this relationship is much debated, with US studies generally finding evidence of a causal relationship, while European studies generally reporting no causal effect. To assess whether the US is an exception we rely on an international dataset incorporating 38 countries, the ISSP (International Social Survey Programme) from 1985 to 2010. Both instrumental variable and multi-level modelling approaches reveal that the US is an outlier regarding the relationship between education and voter turnout. Moreover, country-specific institutional and economic factors do not explain the heterogeneity in the relationship of interest. Alternatively, we show that disenfranchisement laws in the U.S. mediate the effect of education on voter turnout, such that the education gradient in voting is greater in U.S. States with the harshest disenfranchisement legislature. As such, the observed relationship between education and voting is partly driven by the effect of education on crime.
    Keywords: voter turnout, education, disenfranchisement laws
    JEL: D72 I20 K42
    Date: 2012–05
  10. By: Rodney J. Andrews; Jing Li; Michael F. Lovenheim
    Abstract: This paper uses administrative data on schooling and earnings from Texas to estimate the effect of college quality on the distribution of earnings. We proxy college quality using the college sector from which students graduate and focus on identifying how graduating from UT-Austin, Texas A\&M or a community college affects the distribution of earnings relative to graduating from a non-flagship university in Texas. Our methodological approach uses the rich set of observable student academic ability and background characteristics in the data to adjust the earnings distributions across college sectors for the fact that college sector quality is correlated with factors that also affect earnings. Although our mean earnings estimates are similar to previous work in this area, we find evidence of substantial heterogeneity in the returns to college quality. At UT-Austin, the returns increase across the earnings distribution, while at Texas A\&M they tend to decline with one's place in the distribution. For community college graduates, the returns relative to non-flagship four-year graduates are negative across most of the distribution of earnings, but they approach zero and become positive for higher earners. Our data also allow us to estimate effects separately by race and ethnicity, and we find that historically under-represented minorities experience the highest returns in the upper tails of the earnings distribution, particularly among UT-Austin and community college graduates. While we focus on graduates, we also show our estimates are robust to examining college attendees as well as to many other changes in the sample and to the estimation strategy. Overall, these estimates provide the first direct evidence of the extent of heterogeneity in the effect of college quality on subsequent earnings, and our estimates point to the need to consider such heterogeneity in human capital models that incorporate college quality.
    JEL: I21 J24
    Date: 2012–05
  11. By: Garnett Picot
    Abstract: This working paper seeks to explore the reasons why educational attainment in the immigrant population varies between North America and Europe. Specifically, the examples of Canada and Switzerland are used as Canada has an immigrant population with a typically higher rate of post-secondary education than that of the domestic population, while in Switzerland the opposite is true. Analysis shows that while differences in immigration policy play a significant role, there are many other variables which affect educational attainment in immigrants, such as the education level of the parents, source region and home language.<BR>Le présent document de travail tente d’explorer les raisons pour lesquelles le niveau de formation de la population immigrée varie entre l’Amérique du Nord et l’Europe. Il s’attache plus particulièrement aux exemples du Canada et de la Suisse, les diplômes de l’enseignement post-secondaire étant typiquement plus nombreux dans la population immigrée que dans la population autochtone au Canada, tandis qu’en Suisse, c’est l’inverse qui s’observe. L’analyse montre que si les différences en termes de politiques d’immigration jouent un rôle important, il existe également de nombreuses autres variables qui influent sur le niveau de formation de la population immigrée, telles que le niveau de formation des parents, la région d’origine et la langue parlée à la maison.
    Date: 2012–05–11
  12. By: Kirdar, Murat; Dayioglu, Meltem; Koc, Ismet
    Abstract: This paper estimates the impact of the extension of compulsory schooling in Turkey from 5 to 8 years—which increased the 8th grade completion rate for women by 30 percentage points—on marriage and birth outcomes of teenage women in Turkey. We find that increased compulsory schooling years reduce the probability of teenage marriage and births for women substantially, and these effects persist well beyond the new compulsory schooling years: the probability of marriage by age 18 falls by more than 4 percentage points and the probability of giving birth by age 19 falls by more than 4.5 percentage points for the earliest cohorts affected by the policy. In addition, the new policy increases the time to first-birth after marriage. We find conclusive evidence that longer compulsory schooling years have human capital effects on the time to first-birth, as well as incarcertation effects on teenage marriage; there is also suggestive evidence for human capital effects on teenage marriage.
    Keywords: Teenage marriage; Teenage births; Education; Compulsory Schooling Policy; Regression-Discontunity
    JEL: J13 I21 I28 J12 D10
    Date: 2012–05–10
  13. By: Azam, Mehtabul (World Bank); Bhatt, Vipul (James Madison University)
    Abstract: An important constraint in studying intergenerational education mobility for India is the lack of data that contain information about parents' education for the entire adult population. This paper employs a novel strategy to create a unique father-son matched data that is representative of the entire adult male population in India. Using this father-son matched data, we study the extent of intergenerational mobility in educational attainment in India since 1940s and provide an estimate of how India ranks among other nations. We also document this mobility across social groups, and states in India. Finally, we investigate the evolution of mobility in educational attainment across the two generations and whether this trend differs across social groups and state boundaries. We find that there have been significant improvements in educational mobility across generations in India, at the aggregate level, across social groups, and across states. Although most of the Indian states have made significant progress over time, in terms of improved mobility, there remains significant variation across states with some states faring worse than the others.
    Keywords: intergenerational mobility, educational persistence, India
    JEL: J6 I28
    Date: 2012–05
  14. By: Tansel, Aysit (Middle East Technical University); Güngör, Nil Demet (Atilim University)
    Abstract: Several recent empirical studies have examined the gender effects of education on economic growth or on steady-state level of output using the much exploited, familiar cross-country data in order to determine their quantitative importance and the direction of correlation. This paper undertakes a similar study of the gender effects of education using province level data for Turkey. The main findings indicate that female education positively and significantly affects the steady-state level of labor productivity, while the effect of male education is in general either positive or insignificant. Separate examination of the effect of educational gender gap was negative on output. The results are found to be robust to a number of sensitivity analyses, such as elimination of outlier observations, controls for simultaneity and measurement errors, controls for omitted variables by including regional dummy variables, steady-state versus growth equations and considering different samples.
    Keywords: labor productivity, economic development, education, gender, Turkey
    JEL: O11 O15 I21 J16
    Date: 2012–04
    Abstract: This paper addresses the question of whether the increasing use of multiple-choice questions will favour particular student groups, i.e. male or female students. This paper empirically examines the existence of a gender effect by comparing the relative performance of male and female students in both multiple-choice and constructed-response questions in financial accounting examinations. The study is motivated by the increasing number of students in accounting classes; changes in the gender mix in accounting classes and debates over appropriate means of assessment. We find that female students outperform male students in answering questions of both formats, but their superiority in multiple-choice questions is diminished in comparison with constructed-response questions. This might suggest that multiple choice questions favour male students more than female students. The results hold even if we restrict the comparison to multiple-choice and constructed-response questions having the same general content (e.g. exercise type). Furthermore, the diminishing result was found both for undergraduate and postgraduate students. These results should prompt those involved in assessment to be cautious in planning the type of assessment used in evaluating students.
    Keywords: Gender, accounting, assessment, multiple-choice questions
    Date: 2012–03
  16. By: Black, Sandra E. (University of Texas at Austin); Devereux, Paul J. (University College Dublin); Loken, Katrine V. (University of Bergen); Salvanes, Kjell G. (Norwegian School of Economics (NHH))
    Abstract: Given the wide use of childcare subsidies across countries, it is surprising how little we know about the effect of these subsidies on children's longer run outcomes. Using a sharp discontinuity in the price of childcare in Norway, we are able to isolate the effects of childcare subsidies on both parental and student outcomes. We find very small and statistically insignificant effects of childcare subsidies on childcare utilization and parental labor force participation. Despite this, we find significant positive effect of the subsidies on children's academic performance in junior high school, suggesting the positive shock to disposable income provided by the subsidies may be helping to improve children's scholastic aptitude.
    Keywords: education, income subsidy, child care
    JEL: I1 J1
    Date: 2012–05
  17. By: Kristi Anniste (University of Tartu); Tiit Tammaru (University of Tartu); Enel Pungas (University of Tartu); Tiiu Paas (University of Tartu)
    Abstract: The study analyzes the changes in emigration from Estonia in order to shed more light on East-West migration, contributing to the main debate on “brain drain” by focusing on educational differences in emigration. We use anonymous individual level data for all emigrants from the register-based Estonian Emigration Database compiled by Statistics Estonia for the period 2000–2008. The analysis shows that there has been no significant brain drain from Estonia as the new EU member state during this period. Moreover, we find evidence of a spreading of the emigration norm into a wider range of population groups, including the less educated, since Estonia joined the European Union in 2004.
    Keywords: education; emigration; East-West migration; Estonia
    Date: 2012–05
  18. By: Jidong Huang; Frank J. Chaloupka, IV
    Abstract: This study examined the impact of the 2009 federal tobacco excise tax increase on the use of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products among youth using the Monitoring the Future survey, a nationally representative survey of 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students. The results of this analysis showed that this tax increase had a substantial short-term impact. The percentage of students who reported smoking in the past 30 days dropped between 9.7% and 13.3% immediately following the tax increase, depending on model specifications, and the percentage of students who reported using smokeless tobacco products dropped between 16% and 24%. It is estimated that there would have been approximately 220,000 – 287,000 more current smokers and 135,000 – 203,000 more smokeless tobacco users among middle school and high school students (age 14 – 18) in the United States in May 2009 had the federal tax not increased in April 2009. The long-term projected number of youth prevented from smoking or using smokeless tobacco that resulted from the 2009 federal tax increase could be much larger given the resulting higher tobacco prices would deter more and more children from initiating smoking and smokeless tobacco use over time.
    JEL: I10 I18
    Date: 2012–04
  19. By: Jan Hylén; Dirk Van Damme; Fred Mulder; Susan D’Antoni
    Abstract: OECD’s Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI) has worked on Open Educational Resources (OER) in the past, which led to the publication Giving Knowledge for Free – the Emergence of Open Educational Resources (2007). This working paper thus builds on exploratory and forward-looking research in CERI and invites countries to consider the policy implications of the expansion of OER, its benefits and associated challenges. A small OER expert group was established to discuss the subject, link it to other relevant developments in the field, and develop a draft questionnaire for member countries in order to collect information regarding the policy context related to OER. The expert group met in June 2011 and for a second time in September 2011. The questionnaire was sent to the 34 OECD member countries in August 2011. It outlined a short informative note about the benefits and challenges of OER. The responses to the questionnaire are analysed in this document.<BR>Le Centre de l’OCDE pour la recherche et l’innovation dans l’enseignement (CERI) a déjà travaillé sur les ressources éducatives en libre accès (REL) et a publié un ouvrage sur ce sujet, Giving Knowledge for Free – the Emergence of Open Educational Resources, en 2007. Cet documents de travail s’inscrit donc dans la continuité des travaux prospectifs du CERI et invite les pays à examiner les implications de l’essor des ressources éducatives en libre accès sur l’action publique, ses avantages et les difficultés que cela pose. Un petit groupe d’experts sur les REL a été créé pour étudier le sujet, la relier à d’autres évolutions intervenues dans le secteur, élaborer un projet de questionnaire à l’intention des pays membres afin de collecter des informations sur le contexte dans lequel s’inscrit les ressources éducatives en libre accès. Le groupe d’experts s’est réuni en juin puis à nouveau en septembre 2011. Le questionnaire, qui a été envoyé aux 34 pays membres de l’OCDE en août 2011, comprenait une courte note d’information sur les avantages et les difficultés liés aux REL. Les réponses au questionnaire sont analysées dans le présent document.
    Date: 2012–05–09
  20. By: Hülsbeck, Marcel; Kitzinger, Elena N.
    Abstract: Similar to the creation and distribution of new knowledge through industrial R&D and university research, entrepreneurial activity tends to vary across regions. Therefore the regionalized production of new knowledge is a prerequisite of entrepreneurial innovation. Based on endogenous growth theory, in particular the so-called Griliches-Jaffe-Model of regional knowledge production, we investigate industrial and university characteristics as determinants of technologically oriented entrepreneurship. Using hand-collected data from multiple sources, our results clearly show that high technology entrepreneurship is highly dependent on regional knowledge production by industry and university, while medium technology entrepreneurship does largely not dependent on these factors. --
    Date: 2011

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