nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2012‒10‒27
eleven papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Immigrant students and educational systems. Cross-country evidence from PISA 2006 By Marina Murat; Davide Ferrari; Patrizio Frederic
  2. School Segregation, Educational Attainment and Crime: Evidence from the end of busing in Charlotte-Mecklenburg By Stephen B. Billings; David J. Deming; Jonah E. Rockoff
  3. Looking Beyond the Numbers: Stakeholders and Multiple School Accountability By Edith Hooge; Tracey Burns; Harald Wilkoszewski
  4. Gender, Single-Sex Schooling and Maths Achievement By Doris, Aedin; O'Neill, Donal; Sweetman, Olive
  5. The Impact of Immigration on the Educational Attainment of Natives By Hunt, Jennifer
  6. The Effect of Schooling on Cognitive Skills By Magnus Carlsson; Gordon B. Dahl; Dan-Olof Rooth
  7. Business-Driven Innovation: Is it Making a Difference in Education?: An Analysis of Educational Patents By Dominique Foray; Julio Raffo
  8. Does Immigration Policy Affect the Education-Occupation Mismatch? Evidence from Australia By Tani, Massimiliano
  9. The Role of Social Networks and Peer Effects in Education Transmission By Sebastian Bervoets; Antoni Calvó-Armengol; Yves Zenou
  10. The business case for corporate social responsibility in education By Bundaleska, Elena; Dimitrova, Makedonka
  11. The Gender Gap in Mathematics: Evidence from Low- and Middle-Income Countries By Prashant Bharadwaj; Giacomo De Giorgi; David Hansen; Christopher Neilson

  1. 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
  2. By: Stephen B. Billings; David J. Deming; Jonah E. Rockoff
    Abstract: We study the impact of the end of race-based busing in Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools (“CMS”) on academic achievement, educational attainment, and young adult crime. In 2001, CMS was prohibited from using race in assigning students to schools. School boundaries were redrawn dramatically to reflect the surrounding neighborhoods, and half of its students received a new assignment. Using addresses measured prior to the policy change, we compare students in the same neighborhood that lived on opposite sides of a newly drawn boundary. We find that both white and minority students score lower on high school exams when they are assigned to schools with more minority students. We also find decreases in high school graduation and four-year college attendance for whites, and large increases in crime for minority males. The impacts on achievement and attainment are smaller in younger cohorts, while the impact on crime remains large and persistent for at least nine years after the re-zoning. We show that compensatory resource allocation policies in CMS likely played an important role in mitigating the impact of segregation on achievement and attainment, but had no impact on crime. We conclude that the end of busing widened racial inequality, despite efforts by CMS to mitigate the impact of increases in segregation.
    JEL: I20 I21 I24
    Date: 2012–10
  3. By: Edith Hooge; Tracey Burns; Harald Wilkoszewski
    Abstract: How to hold autonomous schools and school governing boards accountable for their decisions and performance has become a particularly pressing question for central governments in many OECD countries. Increasing complexity in education systems has led to a greater degree of freedom in decision making for many local authorities, school governing boards and schools. However despite this increasing decentralisation, central governments are still held responsible by the general public for ensuring high quality education. During the last ten years, school accountability has become a critical topic, triggered by the results of international benchmarks such as the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). This paper analyses trends in accountability mechanisms and processes and argues that vertical measures of accountability, that is, regulatory and school performance accountability, can be usefully augmented by horizontal measures involving multiple stakeholders. This system of multiple school accountability aims to efficiently and effectively take into account the nuanced nature and purposes of education. By combining various forms of accountability, it has the potential to enhance the overall education system, policy for reform, and therefore ultimately improve the quality of education.<BR>Comment rendre les écoles et leurs conseils d’administration plus responsables dans leurs prises de décisions et leur performance est une question pressante pour les gouvernements centraux, eu égard aux complexités croissantes, dans la majeure partie des pays de l’OCDE. L’une des meilleures réponses à cette complexité est la décentralisation de la prise de décisions administratives, c'est-à-dire l’octroît aux autorités locales, aux conseils d’administration et aux écoles d’un plus grand degré de liberté, dans leurs prises de décisions. Toutefois pour le grand public, en dépit d’une décentralisation accrue la responsabilité de garantir une éducation de très grande qualité incombe toujours aux gouvernements centraux. Ces dix dernières années, la responsabilité des écoles est un sujet crucial, déclenché par les résultats de critères internationaux tels que le Programme international pour le suivi des acquis des élèves (PISA) et l'Enquête internationale sur les mathématiques et les sciences (TIMSS). Ce document analyse les tendances de ces mécanismes et de ces processus et défend l'argument que la responsabilité verticale, qui est la plus répandue dans le système scolaire, peut-être enrichie par des mesures horizontales impliquant les parties prenantes. Ce système de partage des responsabilités a pour but de prendre en compte la nature nuancée et les différents propos de l'éducation. En combinant plusieurs formes de directions, il permet d'améliorer le système éducatif, les politiques de réformes, et par conséquent d'améliorer la qualité de l'éducation.
    Date: 2012–10–10
  4. By: Doris, Aedin (National University of Ireland, Maynooth); O'Neill, Donal (National University of Ireland, Maynooth); Sweetman, Olive (National University of Ireland, Maynooth)
    Abstract: This paper examines the determinants of mathematical achievement among primary school children. Previous studies have found that boys perform better in maths than girls, particularly at the upper end of the distribution. It has been suggested in the literature that differences in the size of the maths gap across countries may be explained by differences in the prevalence of single-sex schooling. The Irish education system is interesting both for the fact that a sizeable proportion of children attend single-sex schools, and because these single-sex schools are part of the general educational system, rather than serving a particular socio-economic group. We exploit this fact to test whether the gender composition of schools affects the maths differential at the top of the distribution. In keeping with research on other countries, we find a significant maths gap in favour of boys, but contrary to suggestions in the literature, our results provide no evidence that single-sex schooling reduces the gap. If anything, the gender differential is larger for children educated in single-sex schools than in co-educational schools. These findings are not affected by the inclusion of a proxy for early childhood ability or by the use of instrumental variables to control for potentially endogenous school choice.
    Keywords: gender maths gap, single-sex schooling
    JEL: J24 I21
    Date: 2012–10
  5. By: Hunt, Jennifer (Rutgers University)
    Abstract: Using a state panel based on census data from 1940-2010, I examine the impact of immigration on the high school completion of natives in the United States. Immigrant children could compete for schooling resources with native children, lowering the return to native education and discouraging native high school completion. Conversely, native children might be encouraged to complete high school in order to avoid competing with immigrant high-school dropouts in the labor market. I find evidence that both channels are operative and that the net effect is positive, particularly for native-born blacks, though not for native-born Hispanics. An increase of one percentage point in the share of immigrants in the population aged 11-64 increases the probability that natives aged 11-17 eventually complete 12 years of schooling by 0.3 percentage points, and increases the probability for native-born blacks by 0.4 percentage points. I account for the endogeneity of immigrant flows by using instruments based on 1940 settlement patterns.
    Keywords: immigration, education
    JEL: J15 I21
    Date: 2012–10
  6. By: Magnus Carlsson; Gordon B. Dahl; Dan-Olof Rooth
    Abstract: How schooling affects cognitive skills is a fundamental question for studies of human capital and labor markets. While scores on cognitive ability tests are positively associated with schooling, it has proven difficult to ascertain whether this relationship is causal. Moreover, the effect of schooling is difficult to separate from the confounding factors of age at test date, relative age within a classroom, season of birth, and cohort effects. In this paper, we exploit conditionally random variation in the assigned test date for a battery of cognitive tests which almost all 18 year-old males were required to take in preparation for military service in Sweden. Both age at test date and number of days spent in school vary randomly across individuals after flexibly controlling for date of birth, parish, and expected graduation date (the three variables the military conditioned on when assigning test date). We find an extra 10 days of school instruction raises cognitive scores on crystallized intelligence tests (synonym and technical comprehension tests) by approximately one percent of a standard deviation, whereas extra nonschool days have almost no effect. The benefit of additional school days is homogeneous, with similar effect sizes based on past grades in school, parental education, and father's earnings. In contrast, test scores on fluid intelligence tests (spatial and logic tests) do not increase with additional days of schooling, but do increase modestly with age. These findings have important implications for questions about the malleability of cognitive skills in young adults, schooling models of signaling versus human capital, the interpretation of test scores in wage regressions, and policies related to the length of the school year.
    JEL: I20 J24
    Date: 2012–10
  7. By: Dominique Foray; Julio Raffo
    Abstract: This paper analyses business-driven innovation in education by looking at education-related patents. It first draws a picture of the challenges for innovation in the formal education sector, which suffers from a poor knowledge ecology: science is hardly linked to core teaching and administrative practices. It then turns to a common indicator of innovation: patents. In the case of education, patents typically cover educational tools. An analysis of education-related patents over the past 20 years shows a clear rise in the production of highly innovative educational technologies by businesses, typically building on advances in information and communication technology. While this increase in educational innovations may present new opportunities for the formal education sector, the emerging tool industry currently targets the nonformal education rather than the formal education system. We shortly discuss why business entrepreneurs may be less interested in the market of formal education.<BR>Cet article porte sur l’innovation entrepreneuriale dans le secteur de l’éducation, à partir d’une analyse des dépôts de brevets dans le secteur éducatif. Premièrement, il propose un tableau des défis de l’innovation dans le secteur de l’éducation formelle, dont l’écologie du savoir est faible : la science y est peu liée avec le coeur des pratiques pédagogiques et administratives. L’étude porte ensuite sur un indicateur courant de l’innovation : les brevets. Dans le cas de l’éducation, les brevets couvrent généralement des « outils » éducatifs. L’analyse des brevets éducatifs durant les vingt dernières années montre une claire croissance de la production de technologies éducatives hautement innovantes par des entreprises privées, qui s’appuient souvent sur les progrès des technologies d’information et de communication. Bien que cette croissance des innovations éducatives puisse donner de nouvelles opportunités au secteur formel de l’éducation, l’industrie émergente d’outils éducatifs cible actuellement les secteurs informels d’éducation. Nous discutons brièvement les raisons pour lesquelles les entrepreneurs privés semblent moins intéressés par le secteur de l’éducation formelle.
    Date: 2012–10–03
  8. By: Tani, Massimiliano (Macquarie University, Sydney)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the impact of a change in Australia's immigration policy, introduced on 1st July 1999, on migrants' probability of being over-/under-educated or correctly matched. The policy change consists of stricter entry requirements about age, language ability, education, and work experience. The results indicate that those who entered under more stringent conditions – the second cohort – have a lower probability to be overeducated and a correspondingly higher probability of being better matched than those in the first cohort. The policy change appears to have reduced the incidence of over-education among women, enhanced the relevance of being educated in Australia to be correctly matched, and attracted a higher proportion of immigrants that were already under-utilised (or over-achieving) in their home countries. Overall, the policy appears to have brought immigrants that reduced the over-under-education of Australia's labour market.
    Keywords: immigration policy, over- and under-education, migration
    JEL: C34 J24 J61
    Date: 2012–10
  9. By: Sebastian Bervoets (CNRS, Greqam); Antoni Calvó-Armengol (This author is deceased (Date: 03 Nov 2007)); Yves Zenou (Stockholm University, IFN)
    Abstract: We propose a dynastic model in which individuals are born in an educated or uneducated environment that they inherit from their parents. We study the role of social networks on the correlation in the parent-child educational status independent of any parent-child interaction. We show that the network reduces the intergenerational correlation, promotes social mobility and increases the average education level in the population. We also show that a planner that encourages social mobility also reduces social welfare, hence facing a tradeoff between these two objectives. When individuals choose the optimal level of social mobility, those born in an uneducated environment always want to leave their environment while the reverse occurs for individuals born in an educated environment.
    Keywords: Social mobility, strong and weak ties, intergenerational correlation, education.
    JEL: I24 J13 Z13
    Date: 2012–03–30
  10. By: Bundaleska, Elena; Dimitrova, Makedonka
    Abstract: In the dynamic global marketplace, understanding the fundamental connections between business, the environment, and society has become essential. The roles and responsibilities of business, as a global force, are becoming more complex, and concepts related to societal responsibility and sustainability are gaining recognition as essential elements in business management. Increasing complexity requires new approaches. Companies need integrative management tools that help incorporate environmental, social, and governance concerns into their strategic thinking and daily operations. They require talented and ethical leaders to do so. That is why companies need the help of the academia. By being involved in the education of current and future managers, academic institutions most directly act as drivers of business behavior. They help shape the attitudes and behavior of business leaders. Through different means, academic institutions have the potential to generate a wave of positive change, thereby helping to ensure a world where both businesses and societies can flourish. However, there is much more that can be done by the academic institutions. This Paper will try to identify and evaluate the actions, methods, means that may be employed by the academic institutions to support and promote social responsibility. The Paper will discuss the Global Compact Principles of Responsible Management Education, as well as other relevant principles or recommendations, and possibly suggest new directions and aspects of improvement. Due to the fact that businesses by definition are profit driven, considering the academic institutions merely from a business perspective, the Paper will also touch upon the question: Do academic institutions have the business case for being socially responsible?
    Keywords: Corporate social responsibility; responsible education; academic institutions
    JEL: I29 M14
    Date: 2011–12–22
  11. By: Prashant Bharadwaj; Giacomo De Giorgi; David Hansen; Christopher Neilson
    Abstract: We establish the presence of a gender gap in mathematics across many low- and middle-income countries using detailed, comparable test score data. Examining micro level data on school performance linked to household demographics we note that first, the gender gap appears to increase with age. Indeed, the gap nearly doubles when comparing 4th grade and 8th grade test scores. Second, we test whether commonly proposed explanations such as parental background and investments, unobserved ability, and classroom environment (including teacher gender) explain a substantial portion of the gap. While none of these explanations help in substantially explaining the gender gap we observe, we show that boys and girls differ significantly in perceptions about their own ability in math, conditional on math test scores. Girls are much more likely to state that they dislike math, or find math difficult compared to boys. We highlight differences in self-assessed ability as areas for future research that might lead to a better understanding of the gender gap in math.
    JEL: I23 O15
    Date: 2012–10

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