nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2012‒07‒08
thirteen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Impact of Bilingual Education Programs on Limited English Proficient Students and Their Peers: Regression Discontinuity Evidence from Texas By Aimee Chin; N. Meltem Daysal; Scott A. Imberman
  2. Independent Schools and Long-Run Educational Outcomes - Evidence from Sweden’s Large Scale Voucher Reform By Böhlmark, Anders; Lindahl, Mikael
  3. Ontario's Best Public Schools: 2009-2011 By David Johnson; Robbie Brydon
  4. The Returns to Education in China: Evidence from the 1986 Compulsory Education Law By Hai Fang; Karen N. Eggleston; John A. Rizzo; Scott Rozelle; Richard J. Zeckhauser
  5. How Pronounced Is Income Inequality Around the World - And How Can Education Help Reduce It? By OECD
  6. The behavioralist goes to school: Leveraging behavioral economics to improve educational performance By Levitt, Steven D.; List, John A.; Neckermann, Susanne; Sado, Sally
  7. A New Context for Teachers in Latin America and the Caribbean By María Soledad Bos; Marcelo Cabrol; Carlos Rondón
  8. Composition of Public Education Expenditures and Human Capital Accumulation By Katsuyuki Naito; Keigo Nishida
  9. Hybrid Learning Environments: Merging Learning and Work Processes to Facilitate Knowledge Integration and Transitions By Ilya Zitter; Aimée Hoeve
  10. The relative importance of adolescent skills and behaviors for adult earnings: A cross-national study By Kathryn Duckworth; Greg J. Duncan; Katja Kokko; Anna-Liisa Lyyra; Molly Metzger; Sharon Simonton
  11. Innovative and absorptive capacity effects of education in a small open economy By Brita Bye and Taran Fæhn
  12. Does Performance-Based Pay Improve Teaching? By OECD
  13. Evaluating Student Outcomes at For-Profit Colleges By Kevin Lang; Russell Weinstein

  1. By: Aimee Chin; N. Meltem Daysal; Scott A. Imberman
    Abstract: Texas requires a school district to offer bilingual education when its enrollment of limited English proficient (LEP) students in a particular elementary grade and language is twenty or higher. Using school panel data, we find a significant increase in the probability that a district offers bilingual education above this 20-student cutoff. Using this discontinuity as an instrument for district bilingual education provision, we find that bilingual education programs do not significantly impact the standardized test scores of students with Spanish as their home language (comprised primarily of ever-LEP students). However, there are significant positive spillover effects to their non-LEP peers.
    JEL: I21 J24
    Date: 2012–06
  2. By: Böhlmark, Anders (Swedish Institute for Social Research); Lindahl, Mikael (Uppsala Center for Labor Studies)
    Abstract: This paper evaluates average educational performance effects of an expanding independentschool sector at the compulsory level by assessing a radical voucher reform that was implemented in Sweden in 1992. Starting from a situation where all public schools were essentially local monopolists, the degree of independent schools has developed very differently across municipalities over time as a result of this reform. We regress the change in educational performance outcomes on the increase in the share of independent-school students between Swedish municipalities. We find that an increase in the share of independent-school students improves average performance at the end of compulsory school as well as long-run educational outcomes. We show that these effects are very robust with respect to a number of potential issues, such as grade inflation and pre-reform trends. However, for most outcomes, we do not detect positive and statistically significant effects until approximately a decade after the reform. This is notable, but not surprising given that it took time for independent schools to become more than a marginal phenomenon in Sweden. We do not find positive effects on school expenditures. Hence, the educational performance effects are interpretable as positive effects on school productivity. We further find that the average effects primarily are due to external effects (e.g., school competition), and not that independent-school students gain significantly more than public-school students.
    Keywords: school choice; independent schools: educational performance; external effects
    JEL: H40 I20
    Date: 2012–06–19
  3. By: David Johnson (Wilfrid Laurier University); Robbie Brydon (C.D. Howe Institute)
    Abstract: This study compares student outcomes at Ontario (Canada) elementary schools where students come from similar socio-economic backgrounds, revealing “good” schools where principals, teachers and staff are making a noticeably positive difference to student performance. Several schools achieve positive student outcomes that exceed the expectations suggested by socio-economic factors. Another thought-provoking finding is that students who attend middle schools starting in Grade 6 underperform compared to similar students at other elementary schools.
    Keywords: Social Policy, Education Papers, Ontario (Canada), elementary schools, socio-economic characteristics, Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO)
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2012–06
  4. By: Hai Fang; Karen N. Eggleston; John A. Rizzo; Scott Rozelle; Richard J. Zeckhauser
    Abstract: As China transforms from a socialist planned economy to a market-oriented economy, its returns to education are expected to rise to meet those found in middle-income established market economies. This study employs a plausible instrument for education: the China Compulsory Education Law of 1986. We use differences among provinces in the dates of effective implementation of the compulsory education law to show that the law raised overall educational attainment in China by about 0.8 years of schooling. We then use this instrumental variable to control for the endogeneity of education and estimate the returns to an additional year of schooling in 1997-2006. Results imply that the overall returns to education are approximately 20 percent per year on average in contemporary China, fairly consistent with returns found in most industrialized economies. Returns differ among subpopulations; they increase after controlling for endogeneity of education.
    JEL: J31 O15 P52
    Date: 2012–06
  5. By: OECD
    Abstract: Over the past three decades, the income gap between the rich and the poor has widened across most OECD countries. As the global economic crisis and the changing needs of the worldwide labour market threaten to increase inequality further, how can education help reduce it? <p>As the fourth issue of the OECD’s new brief series Education Indicators in Focus describes, education policies that focus on equity may be one of the strongest tools countries have to address this growing concern. By focusing on equal opportunities for students to achieve strong academic outcomes, countries can provide a pathway for more students to continue on to higher levels of education and eventually secure good jobs – two outcomes that are likely to lessen income inequality in the future. <p>Four top performers on the 2009 PISA assessment – Canada, Finland, Japan, and Korea – show the potential of this approach. All of these countries have education systems that put a strong focus on equity, whether through equitable resource allocation policies, teacher policies, or sustained efforts to engage disadvantaged student populations. And all of them have high proportions of students who performed better than would be expected on PISA, given their socio-economic background – a strong start towards future outcomes that can lead to less income inequality. <p>Be sure to check your inbox for future issues of Education Indicators in Focus, which each month will provide analysis and policy insights into the most pressing issues in education today, using evidence from Education at a Glance, the flagship publication of the OECD’s Indicators of Education Systems (INES) programme.
    Date: 2012–04
  6. By: Levitt, Steven D.; List, John A.; Neckermann, Susanne; Sado, Sally
    Abstract: Decades of research on behavioral economics have established the importance of factors that are typically absent from the standard economic framework: reference dependent preferences, hyperbolic preferences, and the value placed on non-financial rewards. To date, these insights have had little impact on the way the educational system operates. Through a series of field experiments involving thousands of primary and secondary school students, we demonstrate the power of behavioral economics to influence educational performance. Several insights emerge. First, we find that incentives framed as losses have more robust effects than comparable incentives framed as gains. Second, we find that non-financial incentives are considerably more cost-effective than financial incentives for younger students, but were not effective with older students. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, consistent with hyperbolic discounting, all motivating power of the incentives vanishes when rewards are handed out with a delay. Since the rewards to educational investment virtually always come with a delay, our results suggest that the current set of incentives may lead to underinvestment. For policymakers, our findings imply that in the absence of immediate incentives, many students put forth low effort on standardized tests, which may create biases in measures of student ability, teacher value added, school quality, and achievement gaps. --
    Keywords: educational economics,behavioral economics,field experiment
    Date: 2012
  7. By: María Soledad Bos; Marcelo Cabrol; Carlos Rondón
    Abstract: School attendance in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) has increased exponentially in the last two decades, almost every child goes to primary school and access to preschool and high school is fast catching up. This increase in access has been mostly led by more attendance to school of previously excluded children and youth -poor, rural and indigenous populations-, which has created a heterogeneous pool of students with very diverse needs, abilities and interests. Based on descriptive statistics on increased access to education and some learning and life outcomes, this paper discusses in detail how the new roles called upon teachers can help improve the quality of education in LAC. This paper concludes with some promising examples on how countries and international organizations are attempting to create a teaching force that can fulfill these roles.
    Keywords: Education :: Teacher Education & Quality, Education :: Primary & Secondary Education, Education :: School-to-Work Transition, access to school, indigenous populations, roles for teachers, violence, discrimination, teenage pregnancy, labor market
    JEL: I22 I28
    Date: 2012–04
  8. By: Katsuyuki Naito (Institute of Economic Research, Kyoto University); Keigo Nishida (Graduate School of Economics, Kyoto University)
    Abstract: This paper provides a simple theory to study how the allocation of public funds between primary and higher education affects human cap- ital accumulation. The allocation is endogenously determined through majority voting. Public funding for higher education is not supported when a majority is poor. In some cases, higher education starts to be realized as a majority of individuals accumulate enough human capital through primary edu- cation. Although the emergence of higher education can accelerate aggregate human capital accumulation, it widens income inequality because the very poor are excluded from higher ed- ucation and the declined budget share for primary education decreases its quality.
    Keywords: Public Education, Economic Development, Income Inequality, Majority Voting
    JEL: D72 O11 O15 O40
    Date: 2012–06
  9. By: Ilya Zitter; Aimée Hoeve
    Abstract: This paper deals with the problematic nature of the transition between education and the workplace. A smooth transition between education and the workplace requires learners to develop an integrated knowledge base, but this is problematic as most educational programmes offer knowledge and experiences in a fragmented manner, scattered over a variety of subjects, modules and (work) experiences. To overcome this problem, we propose a design approach and shifting the educational focus of attention from individual learners to learning environments. The broader notion of learning environments facilitates transitions by establishing horizontal connections between schools and the workplace. The main argument of this paper is that combining or connecting aspects of school-based settings only is not sufficient to ensure learners will develop an integrated knowledge base. The concept and examples of “hybrid learning environment” show how formal, school-based learning and workplace experiences can be closely connected. The paper offers a framework of four coherent perspectives that can help to understand the complex nature of such environments and to design hybrid learning environments: the “agency perspective”, the “spatial perspective”, the “temporal perspective”, and the “instrumental perspective”. The framework is applied to three cases taken from vocational education in the Netherlands to describe what hybrid learning environments look like in contemporary educational practice.<BR>Le présent document traite de la délicate transition entre les études et la vie active. Pour vivre cette transition dans de bonnes conditions, les apprenants doivent disposer d’une base de connaissances intégrées. Or dans la plupart des programmes éducatifs, l’acquisition des connaissances et des expériences se fait selon une approche fragmentée en une multitude de sujets, modules et expériences (professionnelles) déconnectés les uns des autres. Pour remédier à ce problème, nous proposons une approche conceptuelle et le passage d’une méthode centrée sur l’apprenant à une méthode centrée sur les environnements d’apprentissage. Se placer dans une perspective, plus large, d’environnements d’apprentissage établit des parallélismes entre l’école et le monde du travail, ce qui facilite la transition de l’un à l’autre. Le principal argument défendu dans ce document est le suivant : se contenter d’associer ou de connecter uniquement des cadres axés sur la scolarité ne suffira pas pour garantir que les apprenants développeront une base de connaissances intégrées. Le concept «d’environnement d’apprentissage hybride » et les exemples de son application sont la preuve qu’un lien entre l’apprentissage formel dispensé dans les écoles et les expériences acquises dans le milieu professionnel. Ce document décompose le concept en quatre perspectives cohérentes susceptibles d’apporter un éclairage sur la nature complexe de ces environnements et de faciliter la conception des environnements d’apprentissage hybrides : la « perspective des acteurs », la « perspective spatiale », la « perspective temporelle » et la « perspective des instruments ». Cette décomposition est appliquée à trois cas empruntés à l’enseignement professionnel au Pays-Bas pour montrer comment se concrétisent les environnements d’apprentissage hybrides dans la pratique pédagogique d’aujourd’hui.
    Date: 2012–06–26
  10. By: Kathryn Duckworth (Institute of Education, University of London, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL, UK.); Greg J. Duncan (University of California, Irvine, 2056 Education, Mail Code: 5500, Irvine, CA, 92697.); Katja Kokko (Department of Psychology, P.O. Box 35, FI-40014 University of Jyvaskyla.); Anna-Liisa Lyyra (Department of Psychology, P.O. Box 35, FI-40014 University of Jyvaskyla.); Molly Metzger (Northwestern University, 626 Library Place, Evanston, IL 60208.); Sharon Simonton (University of Michigan, Institute for Social Research, 426 Thompson Street, Ann Arbor, MI.)
    Abstract: Seeking convergent findings in five data sets from four countries, we assess the relative importance of adolescent skills and behaviors for completed schooling and labor market success in adulthood. We provide a framework for classifying "noncognitive" skills and use data designed by developmental psychologists to provide reliable measures of a variety of achievement and behavioral skills assessed between ages 13 and 16. Results show that adolescent achievement, particularly math achievement, is a stronger predictor of completed schooling than measures of noncognitive skills. Achievement skills also out-predict noncognitive skills with regard to adult earnings, although the differences are not as striking.
    Keywords: adolescent skills, adolescent behaviors, adult earnings
    JEL: J24 J31 J45
    Date: 2012–06–28
  11. By: Brita Bye and Taran Fæhn (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: Evidence points to relatively low supply elasticities for workers skilled for research and development (R&D), which can hamper innovation and growth. Increasing the supply of R&D skills will expand an economy's innovative capacity. A simultaneous effect of increased education, which is particularly important for small, open economies, is to raise final goods producers’ capacity to absorb cross-border knowledge spillovers. In a calibrated endogenous growth model for Norway, we find that increasing the share of highly educated workers has pronounced absorptive capacity effects that partially crowd out R&D-based innovation. Both innovative and absorptive capacity expansions contribute to higher growth and welfare.
    Keywords: Absorptive capacity; Computable general equilibrium model; Endogenous growth; Human capital; Innovation; Research and Development
    JEL: O30 O41
    Date: 2012–06
  12. By: OECD
    Abstract: PISA has long established that high-performing education systems tend to pay their teachers more. They also often prioritise the quality of teaching over other choices, including class size. But in the current budgetary climate, paying everybody more may not be a viable alternative. So many countries are now targeting salary increases to schools with particular needs or short supplies of teachers, or have developed greater local flexibility in salary schemes. Some countries have responded with systems of individual pay. But is recognising and rewarding teaching performance through pay an effective way to leverage improvement?
    Date: 2012–05
  13. By: Kevin Lang; Russell Weinstein
    Abstract: Using the Beginning Postsecondary Student Survey, we examine the effect on earnings of obtaining certificates/degrees from for-profit, not-for-profit, and public institutions. Students who enter certificate programs at any type of institution do not gain from earning a certificate. However, among those entering associates degree programs, there are large, statistically significant benefits from obtaining certificates/degrees from public and not-for-profit but not from for-profit institutions. These results are robust to addressing selection into the labor market from college, and into positive earnings from unemployment, using imputation methods and quantile regression along with a maximum likelihood sample selection model.
    JEL: I23 J3
    Date: 2012–06

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