nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2012‒10‒13
nine papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Enrolment Decision and University Choice;of Italian Secondary School Graduates. By Stefano STAFFOLANI; Claudia PIGINI
  2. The headmaster ritual: the importance of management for school outcomes By Böhlmark, Anders; Grönqvist, Erik; Vlachos, Jonas
  3. Competition in Public School Districts: Charter School Entry, Student Sorting, and School Input Determination By Nirav Mehta
  4. Rural-urban differences in educational outcomes: Evidence for Colombia using PISA microdata By Sandra Nieto; Raul Ramos; Juan Carlos Duque
  5. Student Networks and Long-Run Educational Outcomes: The Strength of Strong Ties By Patacchini, Eleonora; Rainone, Edoardo; Zenou, Yves
  6. The Impact of Time Between Cognitive Tasks on Performance: Evidence from Advanced Placement Exams By Ian Fillmore; Devin G. Pope
  7. Education-Job (Mis)Matching And Interregional Migration: Italian University Graduates’ Transition To Work By Simona Iammarino; Elisabetta Marinelli
  8. The Educational Development Index: A Multidimensional Approach to Educational Achievements through PISA By Antonio Villar
  9. Incentive Strength and Teacher Productivity: Evidence from a Group-Based Teacher Incentive Pay System By Scott A. Imberman; Michael F. Lovenheim

  1. By: Stefano STAFFOLANI (Universit… Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali); Claudia PIGINI (Universit… Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali)
    Abstract: This paper examines the enrolment decision and the university choice of Italian secondary school graduates. We extend previous analyses by means of a theoretical model where student's choices depend on both universities attributes and individual characteristics. Empirical evidence of theoretical predictions is provided by the estimation of a conditional logit model mainly using the Italian Institute of Statistics (ISTAT) survey of secondary school graduates in 2004. Results show that geographical distance, tuition fees and university quality play a major role in higher education choices. In addition, Italian students seem to self-sort by their own ability across dierent levels of university standards: high ability students tend to seek a higher quality. The sorting process is strongly in uenced by parents characteristics and previous fields of study.
    Keywords: Human capital, conditional logit, enrolment decision, university choice
    JEL: C25 I21 I23 J24
    Date: 2012–09
  2. By: Böhlmark, Anders (Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI)); Grönqvist, Erik (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy); Vlachos, Jonas (Department of Economics, Stockholm University)
    Abstract: The role of school principals largely resembles that of corporate managers and the leadership they provide is often viewed as a crucial component for educational success. We estimate the impact of individual principals on various schooling outcomes, by constructing a principal-school panel data set that allows us to track individual principals as they move between schools. We find that individual principals have a substantive impact on school policies, working conditions and student outcomes. Particularly, students who attend a school with a one standard deviation better principal receive on average 0.12 standard deviations higher test scores. Despite having very rich background information on principals, it is difficult to determine which principal characteristics that form the basis for successful school management. We also find a somewhat mixed picture on what management style characterizes a successful principal. We further show that the scope for principal discretion—for better or for worse—is larger in small schools, in voucher schools and in areas with more school competition.
    Keywords: Principals; School Management
    JEL: I20
    Date: 2012–09–24
  3. By: Nirav Mehta (University of Western Ontario)
    Abstract: The model successfully fits key endogenous outcomes as observed in the data: 1) charter schools enter larger markets and markets where they would have higher per-pupil resources, 2) charter schools and public schools in markets in which charter schools are present both choose higher input levels than public schools in markets where there are no charters, and 3) charter schools have the highest average test scores, followed by public schools in markets with charter school competition, followed by public schools in monopoly markets. I use the estimated model to simulate changes in the test score distribution for three counterfactual scenarios: 1) ban charter schools, 2) lift the currently binding statewide cap on the number of charter schools, and 3) equate charter and public school per-pupil resources. In the first and second counterfactuals, charter school entry increases test scores for students who would attend charters by one fifth of a standard deviation. Test scores for public school students in markets with charter schools increase marginally. Equating charter and public school capital triples the fraction of markets with charters and increases the test scores of students attending charters over the monopoly outcome by an even larger amount.
    Date: 2012
  4. By: Sandra Nieto; Raul Ramos; Juan Carlos Duque
    Abstract: Although there are hundreds of works using PISA microdata to analyse the determinants of educational outcomes, only a few of them have considered the relevance of geography. In this paper, we focus on the analysis of differences in educational outcomes between students in rural and urban schools. Previous studies on this topic started in the United States during the eighties and they have not arrived to a sound conclusion yet. Some authors do not find significant differences between rural and urban students while others find better outcomes for urban ones. It is not clear if this gap is explained by family characteristics or it is related to lower spending in rural schools. The policy debate on how public spending in education should be distributed between rural and urban areas in developing countries is very intense, although academic studies are scarce. However, during the last decades some studies have focused on some Latinamerican countries (Argentina, Peru, Brazil, Chile and Colombia), but again, there is no consensus on the factors behind the rural-urban gap in educational outcomes. Taking into account this background, we use microdata from the 2006 and 2009 PISA waves for Colombia. The Colombian case is particularly interesting from this perspective due to the structural changes suffered by this country during the last years, both in terms of political stability and educational reforms. The descriptive analysis of the data shows that the educational outcomes of urban students are higher than the rural ones in the three subjects covered by the PISA study: Mathematics, Reading and Science in both samples. In order to identify the factors behind this differential, we apply decomposition techniques that have been extensively in Labour Economics but not so much in the context of Economics of Education. In particular, in a first step we use the Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition and, next, we exploit the time variation of the data using the methodology proposed by Juhn-Murphy-Pierce. The results show that most part of the differential is related to family characteristics more than to school characteristics. From a policy perspective, the obtained evidence support actions addressed to improve family conditions and not so much to positive discrimination of rural schools. Keywords: educational outcomes, PISA, urban-rural differences JEL codes:J24, I25, R58
    Date: 2012–10
  5. By: Patacchini, Eleonora; Rainone, Edoardo; Zenou, Yves
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to investigate and understand the effect of high-school friends on years of schooling. We develop a simple network model where students first choose their friends and then decide how much effort they put in education. The empirical salience of the model is tested using the four waves of the AddHealth data by looking at the impact of school peers nominated in the first two waves in 1994-1995 and in 1995-1996 on the educational outcome of teenagers reported in the fourth wave in 2007-2008 (when adult). We find that there are strong and persistent peer effects in education but peers tend to be influential only when they are strong ties (friends in both wave I and II) and not when they are weak ties (friend in one wave only). We also find that this is not true in the short run since both weak and strong ties tend to influence current grades.
    Keywords: education; long-term effects; peer effects; Social networks
    JEL: C21 I21 Z13
    Date: 2012–09
  6. By: Ian Fillmore; Devin G. Pope
    Abstract: In many education and work environments, economic agents must perform several mental tasks in a short period of time. As with physical fatigue, it is likely that cognitive fatigue can occur and affect performance if a series of mental tasks are scheduled close together. In this paper, we identify the impact of time between cognitive tasks on performance in a particular context: the taking of Advanced Placement (AP) exams by high-school students. We exploit the fact that AP exam dates change from year to year, so that students who take two subject exams in one year may have a different number of days between the exams than students who take the same two exams in a different year. We find strong evidence that a shorter amount of time between exams is associated with lower scores, particularly on the second exam. Our estimates suggest that students who take exams with 10 days of separation are 8% more likely to pass both exams than students who take the same two exams with only 1 day of separation.
    JEL: D03 I20
    Date: 2012–10
  7. By: Simona Iammarino (Department of Geography & Environment, London School of Economics and Political Science); Elisabetta Marinelli (European Commission JRC-IPTS, Sevilla, Spain)
    Date: 2012–09
  8. By: Antonio Villar (Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide; IVIE)
    Abstract: This paper proposes a multidimensional index that summarizes three relevant aspects of the educational achievements, out of the data provided by the PISA Report, concerning reading abilities of 15-year-old students of 65 countries. The three aspects considered are: performance, equity, and quality. The Educational Development Index (EDI) is the geometric mean of the normalized values of those three variables. We analyze the distribution of the variables that approach those three aspects and the resulting index, relative to the corresponding means of the OECD countries.
    Keywords: educations, PISA, multidimensional measurement, performance, equity quality
    JEL: I2 O15
    Date: 2012–09
  9. By: Scott A. Imberman; Michael F. Lovenheim
    Abstract: Using data from a group incentive program that provides cash bonuses to teachers whose students perform well on standardized tests, we estimate the impact of incentive strength on student achievement. These awards are based on the performances of students within a grade, school and subject, providing substantial variation in group size. We use the share of students in a grade-subject enrolled in a teacher's classes as a proxy for incentive strength since, as the teacher share increases, a teacher's impact on the probability of award receipt rises. We find that student achievement improves when a teacher becomes responsible for more students post program implementation: mean effects are between 0.01 and 0.02 standard deviations for a 10 percentage point increase in share for math, English and social studies, although mean science estimates are small and are not statistically significant. As predicted in our theoretical model, we also find larger effects at smaller shares that fall towards zero as share increases. For all four subjects studied, effect sizes start at 0.05 to 0.09 standard deviations for a 10 percentage point increase in share when share is initially close to zero and fade out as share increases. These findings suggest that small groups provide productivity gains over large groups. Further, they suggest that the lack of effects found in US teacher incentive pay experiments probably are in some part due to specific aspects of program design rather than failure of teachers to respond to incentives more generally.
    JEL: H41 I21 J33 J38
    Date: 2012–10

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