nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2012‒12‒06
fourteen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. How Important is Secondary School Duration for Post-school Education Decisions? Evidence from a Natural Experiment By Meyer, Tobias; Thomson, Stephan L.
  2. Information and College Access: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment By Philip Oreopoulos; Ryan Dunn
  3. Does intensive coaching reduce school dropout? By Marc van der Steeg; Roel van Elk; Dinand Webbink
  4. The Urban Divide: Poor and middle class children’s experiences of school in Dhaka, Bangladesh By Stuart Cameron; UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre
  5. “Effective enrolment” - Creating a composite measure of educational access and educational quality to accurately describe education system performance in sub-Saharan Africa By Nicholas Spaull; Stephen Taylor
  6. The Social Impact of a Fiscal Crisis: Investigating the Effects of Furloughing Public School Teachers on Juvenile Crime in Hawaii By Randall Q. Akee; Timothy J. Halliday; Sally Kwak
  7. Educational aspirations and attitudes over the business cycle By Rampino, Tina; Taylor, Mark P.
  8. The Impact of Teenage Motherhood on the Education and Fertility of their Children: Evidence for Europe By Navarro Paniagua, Maria; Walker, Ian
  9. The Effectiveness of Foreign Aid to Education: What Can Be Learned? By Riddell, Abby
  10. Internationalization of Tertiary Education Services in Singapore By Mun-Heng Toh
  11. Empirical analysis of regional economic performance in Russia: Human capital perspective By Kufenko, Vadim
  12. Mobility Regimes and Parental Wealth: The United States, Germany, and Sweden in Comparison By Fabian T. Pfeffer; Martin Hällsten
  13. The desegregating effect of school tracking By Francisco Martínez-Mora; Gianni De Fraja
  14. Microfinance, Poverty and Education By Britta Augsburg; Ralph De Haas; Heike Harmgart; Costas Meghir

  1. By: Meyer, Tobias; Thomson, Stephan L.
    Abstract: This paper investigates how post-school education decisions are affected by a one-year reduction of secondary school duration with an unchanged curriculum. Until recently, Germany had had a longstanding tradition of 13 years of schooling in preparation for university. During the last decade, however, most states abolished the 13th year. The implementation of the reform in 2003 in the state of Saxony-Anhalt provides a natural experiment for identification. Based on data from the double cohort of graduates, our estimates show significant effects of the reform. Affected female students in particular significantly delay university enrollment by one year, show a slightly lower participation in university education overall and are more likely to start a vocational education course. We can also reveal effect heterogeneity with respect to the fields of study. Due to the reform the probability of affected males studying mathematics or natural sciences is significantly reduced.
    Keywords: school duration, learning intensity, education decision, natural experiment, Germany
    JEL: I21 J18 C21
  2. By: Philip Oreopoulos; Ryan Dunn
    Abstract: High school students from disadvantaged high schools in Toronto were invited to take two surveys, about three weeks apart. Half of the students taking the first survey were also shown a 3 minute video about the benefits of post secondary education (PSE) and invited to try out a financial-aid calculator. Most students' perceived returns to PSE were high, even among those not expecting to continue. Those exposed to the video, especially those initially unsure about their own educational attainment, reported significantly higher expected returns, lower concerns about costs, and expressed greater likelihood of PSE attainment.
    JEL: I2 J24
    Date: 2012–11
  3. By: Marc van der Steeg; Roel van Elk; Dinand Webbink
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effect of coaching in vocational education on school dropout using data from a randomized experiment. We find that one year of coaching reduces school dropout by more than 40 percent from 17 to 10 percentage points. The reduction in school dropout results from two equally important channels: a reduction of dropout from the study and a reduction of dropout from the education system once students dropped out of their studies. This suggests that coaching interventions before as well as after study dropout have contributed to less school dropout. The effectiveness of coaching is largest for students with a high ex ante probability of dropout, such as older students, males and students with an adverse socioeconomic background. A cost-benefit analysis suggests that one year of coaching is likely to yield a net social gain.  
    JEL: I2 H43
    Date: 2012–11
  4. By: Stuart Cameron; UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre
    Abstract: Children living in urban slums in Dhaka, Bangladesh, often have poor access to school and attend different types of school than students from middle class households. This paper asks whether their experiences in school also disadvantage them further in terms of their learning outcomes and the likelihood of dropping out. It is based on interviews with 36 students aged 11-16 from both slum and middle-class backgrounds, in 2012. The paper discusses how these experiences in school are likely to heighten the risk of dropping out for slum students, analyses the results in terms of de-facto privatization and school accountability, and recommends better regulation of private tuition, and teaching styles that are less obsessed with examination results.
    Keywords: bangladesh; education; secondary schools; urban informal settlements; urban poverty;
    JEL: H74 I21 I28 I32 O18
    Date: 2012
  5. By: Nicholas Spaull (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch); Stephen Taylor (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)
    Abstract: In this paper we question the existing practice of reporting enrolment statistics that ignore quality, but also quality-statistics that ignore enrolment differentials. The extant literature on education in Africa is bifurcated in that reports focus either on the quality of education or on access to education, but not both. This is problematic for two reasons: 1) observing access to education without regard for the quality of that education clouds the analysis, primarily because labour-market prospects and social mobility are driven by cognitive skills acquired rather than only by years of education attained, and 2) analysing the quality of education without taking cognizance of the enrolment and dropout profiles of the countries under review is likely to bias the results due to sample selection. In the paper we propose a new composite statistic - effective enrolment - that calculates the proportion of the age-appropriate population that has reached some basic threshold of numeracy and literacy proficiency. Put simply, it is enrolment that produces learning. To do so we combine household data on enrolment (from the Demographic and Health Surveys - DHS) with survey data on cognitive outcomes (from the Southern and Eastern African Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality - SACMEQ III) for ten sub-Saharan African countries: Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. We calculate and report the effective enrolment rates for each country by gender, location and wealth quintile as well as highlighting the patterns of differential access and achievement across countries and sub-groups. As far as we are aware, these figures are the most accurate and comprehensive statistics on basic education system performance for each of the ten countries under review. Using these figures for analyses overcomes the selection bias inherent in all cross-national comparisons of educational achievement, and is far superior to simple comparisons of traditional enrolment rates. We argue that the method should be applied to all developing regions, and outline the prerequisites for doing so. The paper refocuses the discussion on education system performance in Africa by providing a composite measure of access and quality and in so doing places educational outcomes at the centre of the discourse.
    Keywords: Access to education, quality of education, educational statistics, Education For All, Millenium Development Goals, SACMEQ, DHS
    JEL: I21 I24 I25 I28 I32
    Date: 2012
  6. By: Randall Q. Akee (Tufts and IZA); Timothy J. Halliday (University of Hawaii at Manoa and IZA); Sally Kwak (U.S. Congress, Joint Committee on Taxation)
    Abstract: Due to the large social costs of juvenile crime, policymakers have long been concerned about its causes. In the 2009-10 school year, the State of Hawaii responded to fiscal strains by furloughing all school teachers employed by the Department of Education and cancelling class for seventeen instructional days. We examine the effects of this unusually short school year to draw conclusions about the relationship of time in school with crime rates. We calculate marginal effects from a negative binomial model and find that time off from school is associated with significantly fewer juvenile assault and drug-related arrests, although there are no changes in other types of crimes, such as thefts and burglaries. These results are more pronounced in rural parts of the islands which tend to have lower educated, lower income households.
    Keywords: Education, Crime, Inequality
    JEL: J08 I24
    Date: 2012–10
  7. By: Rampino, Tina; Taylor, Mark P.
    Abstract: Abstract: We use data from the youth component of the British Household Panel Survey to examine how educational attitudes and aspirations among 11-15 year olds vary across the business cycle. We find that the impact of the local unemployment rate on childrens attitudes and aspirations varies significantly with parental education level and parental attitudes to education children from highly educated families react more positively to low labour demand those from less educated families. Therefore the aspirations of children from low socioeconomic status backgrounds are more adversely affected by recessions than those from higher status backgrounds, representing a barrier to social mobility for a generation.
    Date: 2012–11–08
  8. By: Navarro Paniagua, Maria (Lancaster University); Walker, Ian (Lancaster University)
    Abstract: This paper estimates the causal effect of being born to a teenage mother on children's outcomes, exploiting compulsory schooling changes as the source of exogenous variation. We impose external estimates of the direct effect of maternal education on child outcomes within a plausible exogeneity framework to isolate the transmission from teen motherhood per se. Our findings suggest that the child's probability of post compulsory education decreases when born to a teenage mother, and that the daughters of teenage mothers are significantly more likely to become teenage mothers themselves.
    Keywords: teenage motherhood, education, fertility, children, instrumental variables, compulsory schooling laws
    JEL: I2 J13 J62
    Date: 2012–11
  9. By: Riddell, Abby
    Abstract: This paper reviews what has been learned over many decades of foreign aid to education. It discusses what works and what does not and in this discussion draws attention to the fact that even a simple assessment requires more than providing a uniform check
    Keywords: education, foreign aid, developing countries, policy effectiveness
    Date: 2012
  10. By: Mun-Heng Toh (Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI))
    Abstract: This paper traces the development of the education sector from its nascent stage of serving economic development needs to the internationalization stage of fulfilling Singapore’s aspiration to be a global education hub. The state plays an important role in guiding and fostering development of the education sector in the creation and production of human capital for domestic production as well as cross-border trading to generate income and employment, and attract talent to the economy. Regional trading agreements can play a facilitating role for internationalization of higher education services, especially when commitments under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) are weak. Private education enterprises need no less regulatory measures than other economic sectors to function properly in the market economy—to add value, assure quality services, and yield benefits for education services purchasers.
    Keywords: Tertiary Education Services, Singapore, GATS, education sector, Human Capital, Private education, Regional trading agreements
    JEL: F16 I23 J24
    Date: 2012–10
  11. By: Kufenko, Vadim
    Abstract: Having shown the important role of the Russian economy in the ex-USSR region by causality tests, we proceed to empirical analysis of growth and performance of the Russian regions. A dynamic panel data approach enabled us to obtain elasticity coefficients on proxies for convergence, physical capital, labour and innovation. After including human capital in the reformulated model we resolve endogeneity and reverse causality by introducing two instrumental variable approaches. Taking advantage of the Unified State Exam data we managed to successfully endogenize human capital by number (and share) of outperforming students and by the education index. The second approach helped to improve causality between instruments and human capital: the dates of first university foundation and distance to Moscow successfully explains human capital variations due to historical and spatial characteristics of a given region. --
    Keywords: growth regressions,regional analysis,human capital,system GMM,instrumental variables
    JEL: C01 E24 O40 O47
    Date: 2012
  12. By: Fabian T. Pfeffer; Martin Hällsten
    Abstract: We study the role of parental wealth for children’s educational and occupational outcomes across three types of welfare states and outline a theoretical model that assumes parental wealth to impact offspring’s attainment through two mechanisms, wealth’s purchasing function and its insurance function. We argue that welfare states can limit the purchasing function of wealth, for instance by providing free education and generous social benefits, yet none of the welfare states examined here provides a functional equivalent to the insurance against adverse outcomes afforded by parental wealth. Our empirical evidence of substantial associations between parental wealth and children’s educational success and social mobility in three nations that are marked by large institutional differences is in line with this interpretation and helps us re-examine and extend existing typologies of mobility regimes.
    Date: 2012
  13. By: Francisco Martínez-Mora; Gianni De Fraja
    Abstract: This paper makes the following point: “detracking” schools, that is preventing them from allocating students to classes according to their ability, may lead to an increase in income residential segregation. It does so in a simple model where households care about the school peer group of their children. If ability and income are positively correlated, tracking implies that some high income households face the choice of either living in the areas where most of the other high income households live and having their child assigned to the low track, or instead living in lower income neighbourhoods where their child would be in the high track. Under mild conditions, tracking leads to an equilibrium with partial income desegregation where perfect income segregation would be the only stable outcome without tracking.
    Keywords: Tracking; school selection; income segregation; school choice; Tiebout.
    JEL: I24 H42
    Date: 2012–10
  14. By: Britta Augsburg; Ralph De Haas; Heike Harmgart; Costas Meghir
    Abstract: We use an RCT to analyze the impact of microcredit on poverty reduction, child and teenage labour supply, and education. The study population consists of loan applicants to a major MFI in Bosnia who would have been rejected through regular screening. Access to credit allowed borrowers to start and expand small-scale businesses. Households that already had a business and where the borrower had more education, ran down savings, presumably to complement the loan and achieve the minimum investment amount. However, in less-educated households consumption went down. A key new finding is a substantial increase in the labor supply of children aged 16-19 year old together with a reduction in their school attendance, raising important questions about the unintended intergenerational consequences of relaxing liquidity constraints for self-employment and business creation or expansion.
    JEL: D1 D12 D14 G21 H52 H53 J22 J24 O16
    Date: 2012–11

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