nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2012‒09‒03
eighteen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. "Access, Sorting and Achievement: the Short-Run Effects of Free Primary Education in Kenya" By Adrienne M. Lucas; Isaac M. Mbiti
  2. The Impact of Community Schools on Student Dropout in Pre-vocational Education By Heers, M.; Van Klaveren, C.; Groot, W. and Maassen van den Brink, H.
  3. Student performance and imprisonment By Kaja Høiseth Brugård and Torberg Falch
  4. The Labor Market Returns to a For-Profit College Education By Stephanie Riegg Cellini; Latika Chaudhary
  5. The externalities of crime: The effect of criminal involvement of parents on the educational attainment of their children By Rud, I.; Van Klaveren, C.; Groot, W. and Maassen van den Brink, H.
  6. Equity in tertiary education in Central America : an overview By Bashir, Sajitha; Luque, Javier
  7. Student Awareness of Costs and Benefits of Educational Decisions: Effects of an Information Campaign By Marty McGuigan; Sandra McNally; Gill Wyness
  8. Selecting Growth Measures for School and Teacher Evaluations By Cory Koedel; Mark Ehlert; Eric Parsons; Michael Podgursky
  9. Football to Improve Math and Reading Performance By Van Klaveren, C.; De Witte, K.
  10. Heterogeneous returns to education in the labor market By Fasih, Tazeen; Kingdon, Geeta; Patrinos, Harry Anthony; Sakellariou, Chris; Soderbom, Mans
  11. The Impact of Physical Education on Obesity among Elementary School Children By John Cawley; David Frisvold; Chad Meyerhoefer
  12. The Returns to Education for Opportunity Entrepreneurs, Necessity Entrepreneurs, and Paid Employees By Frank M. Fossen; Tobias J.M. Büttner
  13. Research grants, sources of ideas and the effects on academic research By Hottenrott, Hanna; Lawson, Cornelia
  14. Young Immigrant Children and their Educational Attainment By Ohinata, A.; Ours, J.C. van
  15. Student loans: overview and issues By Kelly D. Edmiston; Lara Brooks; Steven Shepelwich
  16. The effectiveness of government expenditure on education and health care in the Caribbean By Craigwell, Roland; Lowe, Shane; Bynoe, Danielle
  17. Evidence on the Impact of Education on Innovation and Productivity By Junge, Martin; Severgnini, Battista; Sørensen, Anders
  18. Which Journal Rankings Best Explain Academic Salaries? Evidence from the University of California By John Gibson; David L. Anderson; John Tressler

  1. By: Adrienne M. Lucas (Department of Economics, University of Delaware); Isaac M. Mbiti (Department of Economics, Southern Methodist University)
    Abstract: We examine the impact of the Kenyan Free Primary Education program on student participation, sorting, and achievement on the primary school exit examination. Exploiting variation in pre-program dropout rates between districts, we find that the program increased the number of students who completed primary school, spurred private school entry, and increased access for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. We argue that the program was welfare enhancing as it promoted educational access without substantially reducing the test scores of students who would have been in school in the absence of the program.
    Keywords: Schooling, Free Primary Education, Kenya, Achievement
    JEL: I2 O15 H52
    Date: 2012
  2. By: Heers, M.; Van Klaveren, C.; Groot, W. and Maassen van den Brink, H.
    Abstract: Dropout prevention is highly ranked on the political agenda in many countries. It remains unclear, however, how dropout can be eectively reduced, as many different factors are determining student dropout. Community schools recognize this and modernize education such that it better accommodates students' personal needs. As a result these schools cooperate more with external organizations, stimulate parental involvement in the educational process and organize more extra-curricular activities. Despite the increasing number of community schools, there is no empirical evidence that these schools reduce student dropout. This study examines the impact of Dutch community schools on student dropout. It focuses in particular on pre-vocational education, because dropout is particularly high in this educational track. Moreover, the focus is on the city of Rotterdam because this city is a forerunner in the Netherlands in establishing community schools. Unique registration data are used on all Rotterdam students who were enrolled in pre-vocational education between 2004 and 2008. The impact of community schools is identied by exploiting the fact that community schools were created not before the beginning of the school year 2006/2007. This enables us to estimate the community school impact by means of a dierence-in-dierences estimation model combined with an iterative matching approach. The estimation results suggest that community schools are as effective as regular schools with respect to dropout reduction. Community school subsidies do not seem to contribute to reducing dropout.
    Keywords: Dropout; community schools; pre-vocational education; difference-in-differences; matching
    Date: 2012
  3. By: Kaja Høiseth Brugård and Torberg Falch (Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
    Abstract: This paper studies the relationship between education and crime. We exploit Norwegian register data on skills at the end of compulsory education at age 16, high school attainment, and detailed imprisonment data. We find that skills, as measured by GPA, have a strong diminishing effect on imprisonment. The result is robust to a range of model specifications, including school and neighborhood fixed effects and IV-estimations using the result from the external exit examination as an instrument for skills. The relationship is nonlinear and driven by individuals with skills below average. Even though there is a strong relationship between GPA and high school attainment, this does not seem to be the main mechanism for the effect of GPA on imprisonment. This result is also robust to a range of model specifications.
    Date: 2012–08–17
  4. By: Stephanie Riegg Cellini; Latika Chaudhary
    Abstract: A lengthy literature estimating the returns to education has largely ignored the for-profit sector. In this paper, we offer some of the first causal estimates of the earnings gains to for-profit colleges. We rely on restricted-use data from the 1997 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY97) to implement an individual fixed effects estimation strategy that allows us to control for time-invariant unobservable characteristics of students. We find that students who enroll in associate’s degree programs in for-profit colleges experience earnings gains between 6 and 8 percent, although a 95 percent confidence interval suggests a range from -2.7 to 17.6 percent. These gains cannot be shown to be different from those of students in public community colleges. Students who complete associate’s degrees in for-profit institutions earn around 22 percent, or 11 percent per year, and we find some evidence that this figure is higher than the returns experienced by public sector graduates. Our findings suggest that degree completion is an important determinant of for-profit quality and student success.
    JEL: I2 I20 I21 I23
    Date: 2012–08
  5. By: Rud, I.; Van Klaveren, C.; Groot, W. and Maassen van den Brink, H.
    Abstract: The empirical literature on education and crime suggests that both criminal behavior and educational attainment are transferred from parents to children. However, the impact of criminal involvement of parents on educational outcomes of children tends to be ignored, even though the entailed social costs may be substantial. This study examines the effects of parents‟ criminal involvement on the educational attainment of their children. A multinomial probit model is applied in combination with a Mahalanobis matching approach to identify this effect. The findings suggest that having criminally involved parents: (1) increases the probability of only finishing primary education by 8 percentage points, and (2) decreases the probability of having a higher education degree by 13 percentage points.
    Keywords: Educational attainment, Criminal involvement, Intergenerational effects
    Date: 2012
  6. By: Bashir, Sajitha; Luque, Javier
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the evolution in socio-economic and ethnic disparities in tertiary education attainment, participation, and completion and labor market outcomes in the six countries of Central America. There is evidence of differential progress, with Costa Rica, a middle-income country, and Nicaragua, a low-income country, having improved participation of low-income students in tertiary education, while this continues to be negligible in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. Wide differentials in salaries linked to socio-economic background can signal differences in the quality of tertiary education or prior educational experiences. The analysis distinguishes between long-term and short-term constraints and the key transitions in the education cycle that impede access to tertiary education. The main obstacle to accessing tertiary education for poor students is the failure to either start or complete secondary education, suggesting different priorities for different countries in addressing long-term constraints. However, problems also arise within tertiary education, as in all countries the average tertiary education completion rate is below 50 percent, with even lower rates for students from low-income families and indigenous backgrounds. The paper uses an OECD framework for public policies for promoting equity in tertiary education to assess policies in Central American countries and concludes that many of them currently lack the policies, instruments, and institutional mechanisms to promote greater equity in tertiary education. The paper highlights how valuable insights can be obtained from analysis of household survey data in the absence of comprehensive data on tertiary education which is typical of many developing countries.
    Keywords: Access&Equity in Basic Education,Tertiary Education,Teaching and Learning,Gender and Education,Education For All
    Date: 2012–08–01
  7. By: Marty McGuigan; Sandra McNally; Gill Wyness
    Abstract: University fees have recently trebled in England and there are fears that many young people may be put off from participating in further and higher education - especially those from low income backgrounds. This could exacerbate inequalities that are already very stark in the UK. In this paper, we investigate students' knowledge and their receptiveness to information campaigns about the costs and benefits of staying on in education. We design an 'information campaign' that gives some simple facts about economic and financial aspects of educational decisions and test students' response to this campaign. The fieldwork for our information campaign took place over the period in which the trebling of university fees was announced. This was widely reported in the media, so we also test receptiveness to the surrounding media campaign. The analysis shows evidence of large gaps in students' knowledge, which are influenced both by the information campaign and media reporting about the increase of tuition fees. However, the latter greatly increased the perception of going to university as 'too expensive' - especially among low income groups. Our experiment shows that simple information campaigns can help to mitigate this negative impact on attitudes.
    Keywords: tuition fees, information campaign, educational decisions
    JEL: I2
    Date: 2012–08
  8. By: Cory Koedel (Department of Economics, University of Missouri-Columbia); Mark Ehlert (Department of Economics, University of Missouri-Columbia); Eric Parsons (Department of Economics, University of Missouri-Columbia); Michael Podgursky (Department of Economics, University of Missouri-Columbia)
    Abstract: The specifics of how growth models should be constructed and used to evaluate schools and teachers is a topic of lively policy debate in states and school districts nationwide. In this paper we take up the question of model choice and examine three competing approaches. The first approach, reflected in the popular student growth percentiles (SGPs) framework, eschews all controls for student covariates and schooling environments. The second approach, typically associated with value-added models (VAMs), controls for student background characteristics and aims to identify the causal effects of schools and teachers. The third approach, also VAM-based, fully levels the playing field so that the correlation between school- and teacher-level growth measures and student demographics is essentially zero. We argue that the third approach is the most desirable for use in educational evaluation systems. Our case rests on personnel economics, incentive-design theory, and the potential role that growth measures can play in improving instruction in K-12 schools.
    Keywords: Teacher evaluation, school evaluation, value-added models, value-added versus SGP
    JEL: I20
    Date: 2012–08–17
  9. By: Van Klaveren, C.; De Witte, K.
    Abstract: Schools frequently increase instructional time to improve students' numeric and reading performance, but there is little evidence on the effectiveness of such an increase. This study evaluates 'Playing for Success', an extended day program for underachieving pupils that uses the football environment as a motivating force. Primary school pupils with low motivation and self-esteem are offered practical and sports related teaching content for 30 additional hours. The program is evaluated using a randomized controlled field experiment. The results indicate that Playing for Success does not signicantly improve math and reading performance of primary school students.
    Keywords: Achievement; Child Development; Evaluation; Motivation; Extended School Day.
    Date: 2012
  10. By: Fasih, Tazeen; Kingdon, Geeta; Patrinos, Harry Anthony; Sakellariou, Chris; Soderbom, Mans
    Abstract: Since the development of human capital theory, countless estimates of the economic benefits of investing in education for the individual have been published. While it is a universal fact that in all countries of the world the more education one has the higher his or her earnings, it is nevertheless important to know the empirical returns to schooling. However, simply knowing average returns is not useful in a world of heterogeneity. This paper finds increasing returns going from the lower to the higher end of the earnings distribution, but with some important differences across regions. The returns increase by quantile for Latin America. The returns decrease by quantile for most East Asian countries, producing an overall equalizing effect. India and Pakistan demonstrate opposite results. In Ghana, the returns across the distribution are flat, while for Kenya and Tanzania education is dis-equalizing.
    Keywords: Education For All,Access&Equity in Basic Education,Primary Education,Teaching and Learning,Debt Markets
    Date: 2012–08–01
  11. By: John Cawley; David Frisvold; Chad Meyerhoefer
    Abstract: In response to the dramatic rise in childhood obesity, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other organizations have advocated increasing the time that elementary school children spend in physical education (PE) classes. However, little is known about the effect of PE on child weight. This paper measures that effect by instrumenting for child PE time with state policies, using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Cohort (ECLS-K) for 1998-2004. Results from IV models indicate that PE lowers BMI z-score and reduces the probability of obesity among 5th graders (in particular, boys), while the instrument is insufficiently powerful to reliably estimate effects for younger children. This represents some of the first evidence of a causal effect of PE on youth obesity, and thus offers at least some support to the assumptions behind the CDC recommendations. We find no evidence that increased PE time crowds out time in academic courses or has spillovers to achievement test scores.
    JEL: H75 I12 I18 I21 K32
    Date: 2012–08
  12. By: Frank M. Fossen; Tobias J.M. Büttner
    Abstract: We assess the relevance of formal education for the productivity of the self-employed and distinguish between opportunity entrepreneurs, who voluntarily pursue a business opportunity, and necessity entrepreneurs, who lack alternative employment options. We expect differences in the returns to education between these groups because of different levels of control. We use the German Socio-economic Panel and account for the endogeneity of education and non-random selection. The results indicate that the returns to a year of education for opportunity entrepreneurs are 3.5 percentage points higher than the paid employees' rate of 8.1%, but 6.5 percentage points lower for necessity entrepreneurs.
    Keywords: returns to education, opportunity, necessity, entrepreneurship
    JEL: J23 J24 J31 I20 L26
    Date: 2012
  13. By: Hottenrott, Hanna; Lawson, Cornelia
    Abstract: Based on a sample of research units in science and engineering at German universities, this study reports survey evidence showing that research grants impact research content. Research units that receive funds from industry are more likely to source ideas from the private sector. The higher the share of industry funding on the units' total budget, the more likely that large firms influenced the research agenda. Public research grants, on the other hand, are associated with a higher importance of conferences and scientific sources. What is more, the different sources of ideas impact scientific output. Research units that source research ideas from small and medium-sized firms (SMEs) patent more, but not more successful than others in terms of the impact of their inventions on future patents. If, on the other hand, research units source ideas from large firms we find them to publish less and with lower impact on future scientific work. --
    Keywords: University Research,Scientific Productivity,Research Funding,Academic Patents,Technology Transfer
    JEL: C23 I23 O31 O34 O38
    Date: 2012
  14. By: Ohinata, A.; Ours, J.C. van (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)
    Abstract: Abstract: We analyze the determinants of reading literacy, mathematical skills and science skills of young immigrant children in the Netherlands. We find that these are affected by age at immigration and whether or not one of the parents is native Dutch.
    Keywords: Immigrant children;educational attainment.
    JEL: I21 J15
    Date: 2012
  15. By: Kelly D. Edmiston; Lara Brooks; Steven Shepelwich
    Abstract: This report provides a detailed overview of the student loan market, presents new statistics that highlight student loan debt burdens and delinquency rates, and discusses current concerns among many Americans about student loans, including their fiscal impact. The report is intended to enhance awareness of the state of student loan debt and delinquency and highlight issues facing borrowers, creditors, the federal government, and society at large. ; Student loan debt has been increasing at a rapid pace in the last decade, climbing from about $364 billion in the first quarter of 2005 to $904 billion in the first quarter of 2012. Increasing levels of debt have been driven largely by growth in the number of borrowers, rather than growth in the average debt levels of individual borrowers. But average debt has increased moderately, and individual debt has become an increasing burden to some borrowers in light of the recent performance of the national economy. Along with this increase in student loan debt has been an increase in default rates. High debt levels, coupled with high default rates, present a number of challenges for individual student loan borrowers, but do not necessarily pose a substantial burden on society at large. An important factor in the recent climb in individual student loan burdens is the rising cost of higher education. ; While much of the concern about student loans is focused on borrower impacts, some have expressed concern about the potential for increased costs on the federal government. Data suggest that while the student loan program does impose some cost to the federal government under certain accounting methods, the costs are a small share of the federal budget. Various reform options that have been proposed, such as debt forgiveness, could change that dynamic, however. ; While the report does not offer specific suggestions on how to address the problems it highlighted, it does suggest some areas of concern to think about as policymakers consider student loans, and what some term to be the associated “crisis” around them. The clear message is that student loans present problems for some borrowers that are well worth addressing. At the same time, the analysis suggests that student loans do not yet impose a significant burden on society from their fiscal impact.
    Date: 2012
  16. By: Craigwell, Roland; Lowe, Shane; Bynoe, Danielle
    Abstract: Investment in human development is considered a means of improving the quality of life and sustaining economic growth in the Caribbean. The purpose of this paper is to assess the efficacy of public spending on health care and education by evaluating the life expectancy and school enrolment rates of these countries.
    Keywords: Caribbean; Government policy; Public finance; Public spending; Education; Health care; Panel OLS
    JEL: I21 I00
    Date: 2012
  17. By: Junge, Martin; Severgnini, Battista (Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School); Sørensen, Anders (Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the importance of the educational mix of employees at the rm level for the probability of rms being involved in innovation activities. We distinguish between four types of innovation: product, process, organisational, and marketing innovation. Moreover, we consider three di erent types of education for employees with at least 16 years of schooling: technical sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Furthermore, we examine the in uence of these di erent innovation activities on rm productivity. Using a rotating panel data sample of Danish rms, we nd that di erent types of innovations are related to distinct educational types. Moreover, we nd that rms that adopt product and marketing innovation are more productive than rms that adopt product innovation but not marketing innovation and rms that adopt marketing innovation but not product innovation. In addition, rms that adopt organisational and process innovation demonstrate greated productivity levels than forms that adopt organisational innovation but not process innovation that again demonstrate greater productivity than rms that do not adopt process innovation but not organisational innovation. Finally, we establish that product and marketing innovation as well as organisational and process innovation are complementary inputs using formal tests for supermodularity. Complementarity can be rejected for all other pairs of innovation types.
    Keywords: educational composition; human capital; innovation; productivity; complementarity
    JEL: D24 J24 O31 O32
    Date: 2012–07–16
  18. By: John Gibson (University of Waikato); David L. Anderson (Queen's University); John Tressler (University of Waikato)
    Abstract: The ranking of an academic journal is important to authors, universities, journal publishers and research funders. Rankings are gaining prominence as countries adopt regular research assessment exercises that especially reward publication in high impact journals. Yet even within a rankings-oriented discipline like economics there is no agreement on how aggressively lower ranked journals are down-weighted and in how wide is the universe of journals considered. Moreover, since it is typically less costly for authors to cite superfluous references, whether of their own volition or prompted by editors, than it is to ignore relevant ones, rankings based on citations may be easily manipulated. In contrast, when the merits of publication in one journal or another are debated during hiring, promotion and salary decisions, the evaluators are choosing over actions with costly consequences. We therefore look to the academic labor market, using data on economists in the University of California system to relate their lifetime publications in 700 different academic journals to salary. We test amongst various sets of journal rankings, and publication discount rates, to see which are most congruent with the returns implied by the academic labor market.
    Keywords: journal rankings; academic labor market
    JEL: A14 I23
    Date: 2012–08–10

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