nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2012‒12‒15
twelve papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Education for Children with Special Needs: A Comparative Study of Education Systems and Parental Guidance Services By Leen Sebrechts
  2. Tackling the largest global education challenge? Secular and religious education in northern Nigeria. By Manos Antoninis
  3. Using Student Test Scores to Measure Principal Performance By Jason A. Grissom; Demetra Kalogrides; Susanna Loeb
  4. The Missing "One-Offs": The Hidden Supply of High-Achieving, Low Income Students By Caroline M. Hoxby; Christopher Avery
  5. Gender, Competitiveness and Career Choices By Thomas Buser; Muriel Niederle; Hessel Oosterbeek
  6. Estimating the Returns to Education Using a Sample of Twins - The case of Japan - By NAKAMURO Makiko; INUI Tomohiko
  7. Does State Preschool Crowd-Out Private Provision? The Impact of Universal Preschool on the Childcare Sector in Oklahoma and Georgia By Daphna Bassok; Maria Fitzpatrick; Susanna Loeb
  8. Measures beyond the college degree share to guide inter-regional comparisons and workforce development By Stephan Whitaker
  9. Nash Bargaining and the Wage Consequences of Educational Mismatches By Joop Hartog; Michael Sattinger
  10. Strategies of Cooperation and Punishment among Students and Clerical Workers By Maria Bigoni; Gabriele Camera; Marco Casari
  11. Ranking and Quality of Universities: Why are US Universities at the top of the International Rankings? By Elise S. Brezis
  12. Equality of educational opportunity employing PISA data: Taking both achievement and access into account By Márcia de Carvalho; Luis Fernando Gamboa; Fábio D. Waltenberg

  1. By: Leen Sebrechts
    Abstract: The general and universal right to education has been well established for some time. But despite international agreement, the commitment to education for all is not necessarily linked to obligatory mainstream education for all children with disabilities. The mature European countries have a history of segregating children with special educational needs in special schools and special schools continue to exist in many countries. In addition, initiatives towards more inclusive education systems are taken. So in many countries, children with special needs and their parents are able to choose between segregated special education and inclusive education. However, different factors influence this choice. Using existing research, country profiles and results of analyses on Flemish data, this paper compares the organisation of inclusive and special education systems in the Flemish community of Belgium, Norway, the Netherlands and England. We add a perspective to the existing comparative studies. We proceed from the Network Episode Model developed by Pescosolido (and the importance of the social networks included within this model), focusing specifically on the guidance systems for the social networks of children with special educational needs within the education. The results describe that the choice for a certain school type is influenced by a number of factors, including the country’s education system, the guidance and the characteristics and competences of the family and its social network. Social and socio-economic factors are relevant within the educational field of children with special educational needs. Policy-makers should consider the potential influence of these factors on the overall effectiveness of the measures introduced.
    Keywords: child with special needs, comparative study, Europe, inclusive education, parental guidance, socio-economic position, special needs education
    Date: 2012–11
  2. By: Manos Antoninis
    Abstract: With more than ten million children out of school, Nigeria is the country furthest away from universal primary education. Low access to school is concentrated in the north of the country where a tradition of religious education has been seen as both a constraint and an opportunity. This paper uses recent survey data to explain household decisions related to secular and religious education. It demonstrates a shift in attitudes with unobserved household characteristics that favor religious education attendance being negatively correlated with secular school attendance after controlling for a rich set of background variables. The paper also provides quantitative evidence to support the argument that the poor quality of secular education acts as a disincentive to secular school attendance. This finding cast doubts at policy attempts to increase secular school enrolment through the integration of religious and secular school curricula.
    Keywords: Universal primary education, Islamic education, Nigeria, bivariate probit
    Date: 2012
  3. By: Jason A. Grissom; Demetra Kalogrides; Susanna Loeb
    Abstract: Expansion of the use of student test score data to measure teacher performance has fueled recent policy interest in using those data to measure the effects of school administrators as well. However, little research has considered the capacity of student performance data to uncover principal effects. Filling this gap, this article identifies multiple conceptual approaches for capturing the contributions of principals to student test score growth, develops empirical models to reflect these approaches, examines the properties of these models, and compares the results of the models empirically using data from a large urban school district. The paper then assesses the degree to which the estimates from each model are consistent with measures of principal performance that come from sources other than student test scores, such as school district evaluations. The results show that choice of model is substantively important for assessment. While some models identify principal effects as large as 0.15 standard deviations in math and 0.11 in reading, others find effects as low as 0.02 in both subjects for the same principals. We also find that the most conceptually unappealing models, which over-attribute school effects to principals, align more closely with non-test measures than do approaches that more convincingly separate the effect of the principal from the effects of other school inputs.
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2012–11
  4. By: Caroline M. Hoxby; Christopher Avery
    Abstract: We show that the vast majority of very high-achieving students who are low-income do not apply to any selective college or university. This is despite the fact that selective institutions would often cost them less, owing to generous financial aid, than the resource-poor two-year and non-selective four-year institutions to which they actually apply. Moreover, high-achieving, low-income students who do apply to selective institutions are admitted and graduate at high rates. We demonstrate that these low-income students' application behavior differs greatly from that of their high-income counterparts who have similar achievement. The latter group generally follows the advice to apply to a few "par" colleges, a few "reach" colleges, and a couple of "safety" schools. We separate the low-income, high-achieving students into those whose application behavior is similar to that of their high-income counterparts ("achievement-typical" behavior) and those whose apply to no selective institutions ("income-typical" behavior). We show that income-typical students do not come from families or neighborhoods that are more disadvantaged than those of achievement-typical students. However, in contrast to the achievement-typical students, the income-typical students come from districts too small to support selective public high schools, are not in a critical mass of fellow high achievers, and are unlikely to encounter a teacher or schoolmate from an older cohort who attended a selective college. We demonstrate that widely-used policies–college admissions staff recruiting, college campus visits, college access programs–are likely to be ineffective with income-typical students, and we suggest policies that will be effective must depend less on geographic concentration of high achievers.
    JEL: I21 I23 I24
    Date: 2012–12
  5. By: Thomas Buser; Muriel Niederle; Hessel Oosterbeek
    Abstract: Gender differences in competitiveness are often discussed as a potential explanation for gender differences in education and labor market outcomes. We correlate an incentivized measure of competitiveness with an important career choice of secondary school students in the Netherlands. At the age of 15, these students have to pick one out of four study profiles, which vary in how prestigious they are. While boys and girls have very similar levels of academic ability, boys are substantially more likely than girls to choose more prestigious profiles. We find that competitiveness is as important a predictor of profile choice as gender. More importantly, up to 23 percent of the gender difference in profile choice can be attributed to gender differences in competitiveness. This lends support to the extrapolation of laboratory findings on competitiveness to labor market settings.
    JEL: C9 I20 J16 J24
    Date: 2012–11
  6. By: NAKAMURO Makiko; INUI Tomohiko
    Abstract: The objective of this paper is to measure the causal effect of education on earnings using a sample of twins in Japan, with information collected through a web-based survey. The empirical results show that although the conventional OLS estimate is 10.0%, we obtain 9.3% as the estimated rate of return to education after the omitted ability bias and measurement errors in self-reported schooling were corrected. Our findings suggest that the conventional OLS estimate is not largely contaminated by potential biases.
    Date: 2012–12
  7. By: Daphna Bassok; Maria Fitzpatrick; Susanna Loeb
    Abstract: The success of any governmental subsidy depends on whether it increases or crowds out existing consumption. Yet to date there has been little empirical evidence, particularly in the education sector, on whether government intervention crowds out private provision. Universal preschool policies introduced in Georgia and Oklahoma offer an opportunity to investigate the impact of government provision and government funding on provision of childcare. Using synthetic control group difference-in-difference and interrupted time series estimation frameworks, we examine the effects of universal preschool on childcare providers. In both states there is an increase in the amount of formal childcare. In Georgia, both the private and public sectors grow, while in Oklahoma, the increase occurs in the public sector only. The differences likely stem from the states’ choices of provision versus funding. We find the largest positive effects on provision in the most rural areas, a finding that may help direct policymaking efforts aimed at expanding childcare.
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2012–12
  8. By: Stephan Whitaker
    Abstract: Raising the share of adults with college degrees in a region or jurisdiction is a nearly universal goal of regional policymakers. They believe that education, as summarized by this statistic, is the cause of increasing employment, productivity, and wages. Using statistics estimated from the decennial censuses and the American Community Survey, this analysis demonstrates how different measures would suggest different rankings of more successful versus less successful metro areas. The "place-of-birth" variable in Census data enables a disaggregation of the origins of the skilled and unskilled adult populations. This provides insight into whether high-skilled regions developed talent among natives or attracted talent nationally or globally. I find that metros in states that are successful at getting their natives through college have experienced lower growth in their native and migrant graduate populations. With a few exceptions, metro areas with high degree shares or large improvements in their degree share have not grown their graduate population at unusually high rates. The numbers suggest that metro areas held up as exemplars of educational attainment have achieved this distinction to a large extent by being unattractive to nongraduates.
    Keywords: Regional economics ; Education - Economic aspects
    Date: 2012
  9. By: Joop Hartog (University of Amsterdam); Michael Sattinger (University at Albany)
    Abstract: The paper provides a theoretical foundation for the empirical regularities observed in estimations of wage consequences of overeducation and undereducation. Workers with more education than required for their jobs are observed to suffer wage penalties relative to workers with the same education in jobs that only require their educational level. Similarly, workers with less education than required for their jobs earn wage rewards. These departures from the Mincer human capital earnings function can be explained by Nash bargaining between workers and employers. Under fairly mild assumptions, Nash bargaining predicts a wage penalty for overeducation and a wage reward for undereducation, and further predicts that the wage penalty will exceed the wage reward. This paper reviews the established empirical regularities and then provides Nash bargaining results that explain these regularities.
    Keywords: Overeducation, Undereducation,; Overeducation; Undereducation; Nash bargaining; Qualitative mismatches; Mincer earnings function; Wages
    JEL: J31 J24 C78 C51
    Date: 2012–11–27
  10. By: Maria Bigoni (University of Bologna); Gabriele Camera (Economic Science Institute, Chapman University and University of Basel); Marco Casari (University of Bologna)
    Abstract: We study the individual behavior of students and workers in an experiment where they repeatedly face the same cooperative task. The data show that clerical workers differ from college students in overall cooperation rates, strategy adoption and use of punishment opportunities. Students cooperate more than workers. Cooperation increases in both subject pools when a personal punishment option is available. Students are less likely than workers to adopt strategies of unconditional defection, and more likely to select strategies of conditional cooperation. Finally, students are more likely than workers to sanction uncooperative behavior by adopting decentralized punishment, and also personal punishment when available.
    Keywords: Non-standard subject pools, prisoner’s dilemma, peer punishment, artefactual field experiment, stranger matching
    JEL: C90 C70 D80
    Date: 2012
  11. By: Elise S. Brezis (Bar-Ilan University)
    Abstract: The purpose of this study is to isolate the factors influencing universities’ quality. An interesting fact is that of the ten top-rated US universities, nine are private. Therefore, previous studies have claimed that there is a correlation between universities being private and their quality. The purpose of this paper is to analyze whether private universities are indeed of higher quality. The analysis presented herein is based on data collected on 508 universities in 40 countries. I show that flexibility in governance is the important element affecting quality, and not being private per se.The purpose of this study is to isolate the factors influencing universities’ quality. An interesting fact is that of the ten top‐rated US universities, nine are private. Therefore, previous studies have claimed that there is a correlation between universities being private and their quality. The purpose of this paper is to analyze whether private universities are indeed of higher quality. The analysis presented herein is based on data collected on 508 universities in 40 countries. I show that flexibility in governance is the important element affecting quality, and not being private per se.
    Date: 2012–01
  12. By: Márcia de Carvalho; Luis Fernando Gamboa; Fábio D. Waltenberg
    Abstract: Abstract: While PISA datasets have been used for measuring inequality of educational opportunity they have important limitations: (i) samples only cover a relatively limited fraction of developing countries’ cohorts of 15-year-olds, and (ii) such fractions are not uniform across countries and waves. This casts doubts on the reliability of such measures when used for international and intertemporal comparisons: a milder calculated inequality of opportunity in a given country at a given moment might simply be the artifact of a more restricted and homogeneous sample. Previous attempts of addressing this problem have focused on explicitly reconstructing full samples. Here an alternative path is followed, relying on bidimensional indices, in which equality of opportunity in achievement is the first dimension and equality of opportunity for access to the exam is the second one. We compute the two dimensions and aggregate them using alternative techniques. Employing PISA 2006/2009 data for six Latin-American countries we observe rank reversals when comparing results based upon our indices and those based upon conventional indices of equality of opportunity for achievement. We then generalize our approach allowing for more dimensions and parameterizing the dimensions’ weights. Resumen: La medición de la desigualdad de oportunidades con las bases de PISA implican varias limitaciones: (i) la muestra sólo representa una fracción limitada de las cohortes de jóvenes de 15 años en los países en desarrollo y (ii) estas fracciones no son uniformes entre países ni entre periodos. Lo anterior genera dudas sobe la confiabilidad de estas mediciones cuando se usan para comparaciones internacionales: mayor equidad puede ser resultado de una muestra más restringida y más homogénea. A diferencia de enfoques previos basados en reconstrucción de las muestras, el enfoque del documento consiste en proveer un índice bidimensional que incluye logro y acceso como dimensiones del índice. Se utilizan varios métodos de agregación y se observan cambios considerables en los rankings de (in) equidad de oportunidades cuando solo se observa el logro y cuando se observan ambas dimensiones en las pruebas de PISA 2006/2009. Finalmente se propone una generalización del enfoque permitiendo otras dimensiones adicionales y otros pesos utilizados en la agregación
    Date: 2012–11–26

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