nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2012‒11‒17
twelve papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Student Loans in a Tiebout Model of Higher Education By Robert Schwager
  2. Does Schooling Improve Cognitive Functioning at Older Ages? By Schneeweis, Nicole; Skirbekk, Vegard; Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf
  3. Empowering Women Through Education: Evidence from Sierra Leone By Colin Cannonier; Naci Mocan
  4. What is a high school worth?: A model of Australian private secondary school fees By J. N. Lye and J. G. Hirschberg
  5. Incentive Effects on Efficiency in Education Systems’ Performance By Giuseppe Coco; Raffaele Lagravinese
  6. Financial incentives and study duration in higher education By Trude Gunnes, Lars J. Kirkebøen, and Marte Rønning
  7. Gender Effects of Education on Economic Development in Turkey By Aysit Tansel; Nil Demet Gungor
  8. Leadership at School: Does the Gender of Siblings Matter? By Brunello, Giorgio; De Paola, Maria
  9. A comprehensive approach towards academic failure: the case of Mathematics I in ISEG graduation By Lopes, Margarida; Fernandes, Graça
  10. Birth Registration and the Impact on Educational Attainment By Ana Corbacho; Steve Brito; Rene Osorio Rivas
  11. Using Smartphone Apps for Learning in a Major Korean University By Juseuk Kim; Jorn Altmann; Lynn Ilon
  12. Higher Education, Merit-Based Scholarships and Post-Baccalaureate Migration By Maria D. Fitzpatrick; Damon Jones

  1. By: Robert Schwager
    Abstract: A model is presented where universities competitively supply education to mobile students. Students are subject to a liquidity constraint so that tuition must be paid out of pre-university income. It is shown that student loans provided by home jurisdictions will ensure an ecient quality of higher education if loans do not contain any subsidy. If there is income-related debt relief, however, the equilibrium quality of education is ineciently low. This is because students reduce their expected future income by attending a university oering low quality, and thereby reduce the amount of debt to be repaid.
    Keywords: education, university, mobility, liquidity constraint, debt relief
    JEL: H75 I23
    Date: 2012–07–03
  2. By: Schneeweis, Nicole (Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz); Skirbekk, Vegard (IIASA, Laxenburg); Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf (Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, affiliated with IHS, IZA, and CEPR)
    Abstract: We study the relationship between education and cognitive functioning at older ages by exploiting compulsory schooling reforms, implemented in six European countries during the 1950s and 1960s. Using data of individuals aged 50+ from the Survey of Health, Aging and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), we assess the causal effect of education on old-age memory, fluency, numeracy, orientation and dementia. We find a positive impact of schooling on memory. One year of education increases the delayed memory score by about 0.3, which amounts to 16% of the standard deviation. Furthermore, for women, we find that more education reduces the risk of dementia.
    Keywords: Compulsory schooling, Instrumental variables, Education, Cognitive functioning, Memory, Aging, Dementia
    JEL: I21 J14
    Date: 2012–11
  3. By: Colin Cannonier (Belmont University); Naci Mocan (Louisiana State University, NBER and IZA)
    Abstract: We use data from Sierra Leone where a substantial education program provided increased access to education for primary-school age children but did not benefit children who were older. We exploit the variation in access to the program generated by date of birth and the variation in resources between various districts of the country. We find that the program has increased educational attainment and that an increase in education has changed women’s preferences. An increase in schooling, triggered by the program, had an impact on women’s attitudes towards matters that impact women’s health and on attitudes regarding violence against women. An increase in education has also reduced the number of desired children by women and increased their propensity to use modern contraception and to be tested for AIDS. While education makes women more intolerant of practices that conflict with their well-being, increased education has no impact on men’s attitudes towards women’s well-being.
    Keywords: Health, education, empowerment, violence against women
    Date: 2012–11
  4. By: J. N. Lye and J. G. Hirschberg
    Abstract: Over the last few decades there have been significant increases in student enrolments in Australian non-government schools. It has been suggested that this growth has been the outcome of government subsidies to non-government schools. Despite this significant funding school fees have also been increasing. In this paper we examine these changes for Victoria and look at a number of comparisons between government and non-government schools. In addition, rather than examining the determinants of school selection we examine the determinants of fees at non-government schools by estimating a hedonic price model. We conclude that the characteristics of the schools such as university entrance performance do have a positive impact on the fees. In addition, we determine that the socioeconomic status of the other students has a positive impact as well as the scale of the school as measured by the number of staff, the variety of the offerings and the age of the school all have a positive impact.
    Date: 2012
  5. By: Giuseppe Coco (University of Florence); Raffaele Lagravinese (University of Roma 3)
    Abstract: In the face of past ambiguous results on growth effects of education when measured through school attainment, some papers suggest that some countries may be unable to use productively their schooling output because of the scope of cronyism. We dig deeper and demonstrate that, in a stylized model, cronyism in the labour market, e.g. the ability to exert influence to gain high wage positions without merit, may impact heavily on the relationship between schooling inputs and cognitive skills, due to incentive effects. We then use a two-stage DEA approach to identify factors affecting inefficiency in education performance of OECD countries when the output is proxied by PISA scores. Along with other well known factors, a measure of corruption, our chosen proxy for cronyism, explains a substantial fraction of the inefficiency. This result suggests that, as in our model, in the presence of cronyism, incentives to cognitive skills acquisition are dampened. Analogously to developing countries but for different reasons, the best way to improve the education system performance in OECD countries may well be to fight corruption and increase transparency in labour access.
    Keywords: education, corruption, technical efficiency, DEA.
    JEL: C14 C61 D73 I21
    Date: 2012–10
  6. By: Trude Gunnes, Lars J. Kirkebøen, and Marte Rønning (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: This paper investigates to which extent students in higher education respond to financial incentives by adjusting their study behavior. Students in Norway who completed certain graduate study programs between autumn 1990 and 1995 on stipulated time were entitled to a restitution of approximately 3,000 USD from the Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund. Comparing treated and untreated (control) programs in a difference-in-difference framework, we find that the average delay in the treatment group decreased by on average 0.8 semester during the reform period, and by 1.5 semesters in the following two years. Number of years treated matter strongly, with delays reduced by 0.23 semesters per year treated. Furthermore, there is some indication that it is important that treatment starts before the final part of the educational programs. The share of on-time graduation increases by 3.8 percentage points per year treated, from a pre-reform level of about 20 percent. Thus, a large share of the restitutions given will be for students who would otherwise not have graduated on time. A series of robustness checks indicate that our estimated effects do not reflect differential trends or omitted variables.
    Keywords: Financial incentives; higher education; on-time graduation; semesters delayed; difference-in-difference
    JEL: D01 H52 I22 I28
    Date: 2012–11
  7. By: Aysit Tansel (Department of Economics, METU); Nil Demet Gungor (Department of Economics, 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
  8. By: Brunello, Giorgio (University of Padova); De Paola, Maria (University of Calabria)
    Abstract: Having leader positions at school, as well as participating in sports and clubs helps promoting valuable non cognitive skills, including leadership, self-discipline, motivation, competitiveness and self-esteem. We use survey data from the US and Japan to investigate whether these behaviors in middle and high school are affected by the gender composition of siblings. We find that having only sisters at age 15 increases substantially the probability of school leadership both for males and for females in the US and the probability of sport participation for males in Japan. We also find that parental education matters more for these behaviors in the US than in Japan, and that in the latter country the oldest son or daughter are more likely to be leaders in school.
    Keywords: non-cognitive skills, school behaviors, siblings
    JEL: J24
    Date: 2012–10
  9. By: Lopes, Margarida; Fernandes, Graça
    Abstract: Abstract Despite the enormous progress in graduation completion rates along the last decade, academic failure in Portuguese Higher Education is still attracting concern. This is particularly true for some 1st. year critical subjects as Mathematics. Most research and analyses on the issue are focused upon either the “academic” or the “non academic” determinants of failure whilst it becomes more and more obvious that the explanation, or at least an important part of it, resides in the interaction between those two sets of features. Having developed previous research on the basis of the former factors to elucidate failure rate in ISEG graduation, we are now analyzing the joint influence of both kind of determinants. For that purpose we rely upon students’ information retrieved from ISEG Pedagogical Observatory Database and the outputs of a Survey on Attitudes Towards Mathematics 1 (SATM 1) which has been especially redesigned and addressed to 1st. year students.
    Keywords: Key Words: academic failure; Mathematics; objective determinants; attitudes; motivation and expectations
    JEL: I23 I21
    Date: 2012–10
  10. By: Ana Corbacho; Steve Brito; Rene Osorio Rivas
    Abstract: The drivers of educational attainment have been the subject of much research both in the developed and the developing world. Yet, nothing is known about the effect of birth registration on schooling outcomes. Birth registration is not only a fundamental human right but also a requirement to obtain additional documents of legal identity and access many government benefits. Using data for the Dominican Republic, this paper is the first to shed light on the causal impact of the lack of birth registration on education. Controlling for potential endogeneity and standard socioeconomic determinants of education, this paper finds that children without documents of birth registration do not face lower chances of entering the schooling system. Yet, the absence of birth registration becomes a critical obstacle to graduate from primary school and translates into fewer years of overall educational attainment.
    Keywords: Public Sector :: Civil Registration, Economics :: Economic Development & Growth, Rural & Urban Development, Tax Revenue, Elasticities, Business Cycles, Schooling, Under-registration
    JEL: O12 R12 R20
    Date: 2012–08
  11. By: Juseuk Kim (College of Education, Seoul National University); Jorn Altmann (Technology Management, Economics, and Policy Program, College of Engineering, Seoul National University); Lynn Ilon (College of Education, Seoul National University)
    Abstract: Are students from one of the high tech universities in the world fully aware of their permanent linkage to the global learning network, the World Wide Web? In their pockets, backpacks, and purses are the latest smartphones loaded will countless apps. But, how aware are these students of the use they put them to as tools for learning? One class at Seoul National University undertook a study of this question as part of its collective learning class in lifelong learning. Both the process of the class and the outcomes of the research reveal much of how the practices of learning are changing in a dynamic, globally-linked university. Forty graduate students in engineering and education were interviewed about how they use smartphone apps for learning and which apps they consider useful for learning. Their answers are reported and a comparison is made between the students in the two disciplines. The surprising outcome of our research is that the definition of learning is in transition. Learning moves from learning in a classroom towards learning within a communication-technology-based network of students, professors, and information.
    Keywords: Smart Phone Use, Empirical Study, Descriptive Analysis, Learning, Tools for Learning, Practice of Learning.
    JEL: C42 D83 L86 O33
    Date: 2012–07
  12. By: Maria D. Fitzpatrick; Damon Jones
    Abstract: Many merit-based scholarships for college are administered at the state level, targeted to in-state residents and require attendance at an in-state institution. Though these subsidies have the potential to affect lifetime education and migration decisions, much of the literature to date has focused on just one or two outcomes (e.g. college attendance and completion) and one or two states (e.g. Georgia). Given that one of the stated goals of these programs is to increase the quality of a state's workforce, understanding the long-term effects of merit-based scholarships on mobility is crucial for evaluating their effectiveness. In this paper, we utilize the broader expansion and long history of these programs to build a comprehensive picture of how merit aid scholarship availability affects residential migration and educational attainment. To do this, we incorporate data on the introduction of broad-based merit aid programs for fifteen states and Census data on all 24 to 32 year olds in the U.S. from 1990 to 2010. We use variation in merit aid eligibility across cohorts and within states to identify treatment effects. Eligibility for merit aid programs slightly increases the propensity of state natives to live in-state, while also extending enrollment in-state into the late twenties. These patterns notwithstanding, the magnitude of merit aid effects is of an order of magnitude smaller than the population treated, suggesting that nearly all of the spending on these programs is transferred to individuals who do not alter educational or migration behavior.
    JEL: H7 I2 R23
    Date: 2012–11

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