nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2012‒12‒22
eighteen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. The Intergenerational Transmission of Education: Evidence from Taiwanese Adoptions By Hammitt, James; Liu, Jin-Tan; Tsou, Meng-Wen
  2. The State of University Policy for Progress in Europe By Hoareau, Cécile; Ritzen, Jo; Marconi, Gabriele
  3. GINI DP 43: Educational Selectivity and Preferences about Education Spending By Daniel Horn
  4. The Cost of Acting "Girly": Gender Stereotypes and Educational Choices By Favara, Marta
  5. Determinants of individual academic achievement: Group selectivity effects have many dimensions By Zwick, Thomas
  6. Gender Differences in College Applications: Evidence from the Centralized System in Turkey By Saygin, Perihan Ozge
  7. Competition and Educational Productivity: Incentives Writ Large By MacLeod, W. Bentley; Urquiola, Miguel
  8. Do Classmate Effects Fade Out? By Robert Bifulco; Jason M. Fletcher; Sun Jung Oh; Stephen L. Ross
  9. Preferences for lifetime earnings, earnings risk and nonpecuniary attributes in choice of higher education By Lars Johannessen Kirkebøen
  10. Indian Labour Markets and Returns to Education, 1983 to 2009-10 By Kamal Vatta; Takahiro Sato
  11. Do Supply-Side Education Programmes Work? The Impact of Increased School Supply on Schooling and Wages in Indonesia Revisited By Gunilla Pettersson
  12. Non-Cognitive Ability, Test Scores, and Teacher Quality: Evidence from 9th Grade Teachers in North Carolina By C. Kirabo Jackson
  13. Globalization and Migration: A “Unified Brain Drain” Model By Elise S. Brezis; Ariel Soueri
  14. Is School Value-Added Indicative of Principal Quality? Cambridge, MA: Mathematica Policy Research By Hanley Chiang; Stephen Lipscomb; Brian Gill
  15. University access for disadvantaged children: A comparison across English speaking countries By John Jerrim; Anna Vignoles; Ross Finnie
  16. Class Attendance, PowerPoint Slides and Learning Outcomes By William T. Alpert; Archita Banik; Oskar R. Harmon; James Lambrinos; Richard N. Langlois
  17. Classroom grade composition and pupil achievement By Edwin Leuven and Marte Rønning
  18. Migration and Education Aspirations - Another Channel of Brain Gain? By Marcus Böhme

  1. By: Hammitt, James; Liu, Jin-Tan; Tsou, Meng-Wen
    Abstract: This paper examines the causal effect of parental schooling on children’s schooling using a large sample of adoptees from Taiwan. Using birth-parents’ education to help control for selective placement of children with adoptive parents, we find that adoptees raised with more highly educated parents have higher educational attainment, measured by years of schooling and probability of university graduation. We also find evidence that adoptive father’s schooling is more important for sons’ and adoptive mother’s schooling is more important for daughters’ educational attainment. These results support the notion that family environment (nurture) is important in determining children’s educational outcomes, independent of genetic endowment.
    Keywords: intergenerational transmission, education, schooling, adoption
    Date: 2011–12
  2. By: Hoareau, Cécile (Maastricht University); Ritzen, Jo (IZA and Maastricht University); Marconi, Gabriele (Maastricht University)
    Abstract: Higher education contributes to economic innovation. This study measures and compares the extent to which national governments’ policies foster this contribution across Europe. The study stresses the relevance of policies which are ‘empowering’ for higher education institutions, or in other words provide them with appropriate resources and regulatory environments. The assessment relies on quantitative scores, based on the contribution of policies regarding funding and autonomy to higher education performance in education, research and economic innovation, using non-arbitrary weights and eighteen policy indicators across 32 European countries. A large number of countries belong to a ‘middle group’ in our overall assessment, indicating a relative cohesion in Europe. Yet, substantial variations exist in terms of higher education policy in Europe, each European country having room for policy improvement.
    Keywords: higher education, research, innovation, Europe, public policy, institutions
    JEL: I23 I28 J24 L38 O31 O38 O43 O52
    Date: 2012–12
  3. By: Daniel Horn (Institute of Economics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, TÁRKI Social Research Institute (TÁRKI))
    Abstract: This paper argues that preferences for educational redistribution are not driven by income but by the level of education. While income and preferences for educational redistribution follow the conventional story – rich want less spending –, the level of education associates positively with spending on education, which effect is altered by the selectivity of the education system. Highly educated citizens are relatively more likely to support government spending on education in countries where the system is selective compared to highly educated people’s preferences in countries with comprehensive systems.
    Keywords: spending on education, selectivity, preferences on government spending, ISSP1996, ISSP2006
    Date: 2012–04
  4. By: Favara, Marta (University of Essex)
    Abstract: This paper looks at horizontal sex segregation in education as a factor contributing to gender segregation in the labor market. Economic theories fail to explain why women with the same years of schooling and educational attainment as men are under-represented in many technical degrees, which typically lead to better paid occupations. Following Akerlof and Kranton (2000), I research whether gender identity affects boys' and girls' educational choices and when the gendered pattern appears first. Further, I test the hypothesis that single-sex schools attenuate the influence of gender-stereotypes. I use the National Pupil Database, which is a register of all pupils enrolled in state maintained schools in England and I focus on students in lower and upper secondary education. Results from my analysis suggest that gender stereotyping affects educational choices from the age of 14 and this effect is larger for girls than for boys. I also find that attending a sixth-form-single-sex school leads students to a less stereotyped educational choice, after controlling for endogenous self-selection into single-sex schools. This suggests that gender preferences can be modified by the environment.
    Keywords: gender segregation, educational choices, gender stereotypes, single-sex schools
    JEL: I2 J16 J24
    Date: 2012–11
  5. By: Zwick, Thomas
    Abstract: This paper measures determinants of individual academic achievements. In addition to an extensive list of individual characteristics, skills obtained during study and socio-economic background factors, many dimensions of selectivity into academic study subjects are shown to drive individual academic achievement, such as differences between average student grades during tertiary education or cognitive skills. This paper is based on a large and representative graduate survey of graduates in the academic year 2003/2004 in the German state of Bavaria. --
    Keywords: Academic Achievement,Selectivity Effects,Graduates
    Date: 2012
  6. By: Saygin, Perihan Ozge
    Abstract: In Turkey, as in many other countries, female students perform better in high school and have higher test scores than males. Nevertheless, men still predominate at highly selective programs that lead to high-paying careers. The gender gap at elite schools is particularly puzzling because college admissions are based entirely on nationwide exam scores. Using detailed administrative data from the centralized college entrance system, I study the impact of gender differences in preferences for programs and schools on the allocation of students to colleges. Controlling for test score and high school attended, I find that females are more likely to apply to lower-ranking schools, whereas males set a higher bar, revealing a higher option value for re-taking the test and applying again next year. I also find that females and males value program attributes differently, with females placing more weight on the distance from home to college, and males placing more weight on program attributes that are likely to lead to better job placements. Together, these differences in willingness to be unassigned and in relative preferences for school attributes can explain much of the gender gap at the most elite programs.
    Keywords: gender gap , college admissions , school choice
    JEL: C35 I20 I24
    Date: 2012
  7. By: MacLeod, W. Bentley (Columbia University); Urquiola, Miguel (Columbia University)
    Abstract: Friedman (1962) suggested that in general, unfettered markets ensure the efficient provision of goods and services. Applying this logic to Education, he recommended that students be provided with vouchers and allowed to purchase schooling services in a free market ((Friedman (1955, 1962)). Hoxby (2002) refines this argument and suggests that more choice will lead to higher school productivity. We discuss the evidence in this area, concluding that the impact of competition has proven to be more mixed and modest than expected. We suggest that this in fact should not be surprising, since economic theory on incentives and incomplete contracts (beginning with many contributions also from the 1950s) leads to a more nuanced expectation. Specifically, an examination of the incentives faced by schools, parents, and students leads to predictions that are broadly consistent with the evidence, and suggests that there is no a priori reason to believe that school choice will dramatically improve test scores. We describe a simple model that illustrates this point and further implies that elements of market design might be necessary to ensure that competition enhances educational performance.
    Keywords: education, markets, information
    JEL: D2 D8 J3 I2
    Date: 2012–12
  8. By: Robert Bifulco (Syracuse University); Jason M. Fletcher (Yale University); Sun Jung Oh (Syracuse University); Stephen L. Ross (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, this study examines the impact of high school cohort composition on the educational and labor market outcomes of individuals during their early 20s and again during their late 20s and early 30s. We find that the positive effects of having more high school classmates with a college educated mother on college attendance in the years immediately following high school fade out as students reach their later 20s and early 30s, and are not followed by comparable effects on college completion and labor market outcomes.
    Keywords: Education, Peer Effects, Cohort Study
    JEL: I21 I24 J15
    Date: 2012–12
  9. By: Lars Johannessen Kirkebøen (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: Expected earnings are considered to influence individuals' choice of education. However, the presence of nonpecuniary attributes and the different choice set available to prospective students make identification of this relationship difficult. This paper employs a conditional logit model on exceptionally rich application data, which are likely to reflect the actual preferences of the applicants, given their individual choice sets. Controlling for several nonpecuniary attributes, average lifetime earnings is shown to strongly influence educational choice. A one-percent earnings increase for a given education increases the number of male applicants by about 5 percent and female applicants by about 2 percent. However, other attributes also matter, in particular earnings risk. Increasing both earnings and risk as they correlate in the cross section has essentially no effect on the number of female applicants. Difference in earnings and risk preferences both contribute to a gender earnings differential. Finally, there is some preference heterogeneity by education chosen.
    Keywords: Rank-ordered logit; nested logit; field of study
    JEL: J24 J31 C25
    Date: 2012–12
  10. By: Kamal Vatta (RIEB, Kobe University (Japan) and Department of Economics and Sociology, Punjab Agricultural University (India)); Takahiro Sato (Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration (RIEB), Kobe University, Japan)
    Abstract: The present study is an attempt to examine the trends in returns to education in light of the long-term economic growth in India during 1983 to 2009-10. It outlines various forms of inequality issues prevalent in Indian labour markets, with respect to the rural/urban areas, gender, caste and nature of work. The unit level data from 6 rounds of National Sample Survey during 1983, 1987-88, 1993-94, 1999-2000, 2004-05 and 2009-10 were used for this study. Mincer wage function was estimated by using the OLS method and the results were also compared to the median wage equation, which proved the consistency of these estimates. The casual wage markets for males provided incentives for higher education till some intermediate levels in the form of higher wage earnings than their illiterate or below primary educated counterparts but no additional advantage for secondary or graduate levels of education. Higher education could not translate into better wage earnings for female casual workers. The returns to all education levels were converging at low levels with the returns for secondary and graduate levels for urban casual male workers declining over time. There was a decline in the returns to secondary and graduate level of education for rural male regular workers with almost no change in the pattern of returns for urban male regular workers. The returns to education for graduation for female workers increased tremendously due to increased employment opportunities for better educated females in the India during the last decade of fast economic growth, led largely by the growth of the service sector. While there is need to enhance public investment in education for improving higher education opportunities in India, there is also a need to reorient rural education by focusing on imparting working skills between middle level of education and secondary levels. The education curriculum must ensure that higher education translates into better wage earnings for the unskilled or semi-skilled majority of the rural workforce in the long run.
    Date: 2012–12
  11. By: Gunilla Pettersson (Department of Economics, University of Sussex, UK)
    Abstract: Indonesia each year allocates a large proportion of its total public spending to education and it is important to understand whether different groups, for instance, children from less advantageous socioeconomic backgrounds or girls benefit differentially from these public investments. It is also desirable to comprehend whether schooling translates into increases in wages that are similar in size for both for men and for women who obtain additional schooling. This paper uses the large-scale Presidential Instruction Primary School construction programme (SD INPRES) rolled out in Indonesia in the 1970s to examine the effect of increased school supply on schooling attainment: overall, by gender, and by socioeconomic background. It also constructs a new SD INPRES programme exposure variable that is used as an instrument for schooling to assess the causal effect of schooling on wages and whether the additional schooling induced by the programme had differential impacts for men and women. To preview the findings, SD INPRES programme exposure significantly increased schooling both for men and for women. Moreover, women benefitted more from the SD INPRES programme than men and so did individuals from less advantageous socioeconomic backgrounds contributing to a narrowing of schooling gaps by gender and by socioeconomic background. In addition, more schooling is found to cause higher wages for men and women and there appears to be an additional positive effect on wages for women through the additional schooling induced by the SD INPRES programme.
    Keywords: wages, schooling, Indonesia, labour, education policy
    JEL: O12 J31 I25
    Date: 2012–12
  12. By: C. Kirabo Jackson
    Abstract: This paper presents a model where students have cognitive and non-cognitive ability and a teacher’s effect on long-run outcomes is a combination of her effect on both ability types. Conditional on cognitive scores, an underlying non-cognitive factor associated with student absences, suspensions, grades, and grade progression, is strongly correlated with long-run educational attainment, arrests, and earnings in survey data. In administrative data teachers have meaningful causal effects on both test-scores and this non-cognitive factor. Calculations indicate that teacher effects based on test scores alone fail to identify many excellent teachers, and may greatly understate the importance of teachers on adult outcomes.
    JEL: H0 I2 J0
    Date: 2012–12
  13. By: Elise S. Brezis (Bar-Ilan University); Ariel Soueri
    Abstract: Globalization has led to a vast flow of migration of workers but also of students. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the migration of individuals encompassing decisions already at the level of education. We develop a “unified brain drain” model that incorporates the decisions of an individual vis‐à‐vis both education and migration. In the empirical part, this paper addresses international flows of migration within the EU and presents strong evidence of concentration of students in countries with high-quality education. This phenomenon, as the usual brain drain, has two opposite effects on social mobility.
    Keywords: Brain drain; Globalization, Higher education; Human capital; Migration, Mobility, Bologna process.
    JEL: F22 I23 J24
    Date: 2012–11
  14. By: Hanley Chiang; Stephen Lipscomb; Brian Gill
    Keywords: School Value-Added, Principal Quality, Education
    JEL: I
    Date: 2012–11–30
  15. By: John Jerrim (Institute of Education, University of London); Anna Vignoles (Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge); Ross Finnie (Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa)
    Abstract: In this paper we consider whether certain countries are particularly adept (or particularly poor) at getting children from disadvantaged homes to study for a bachelor’s degree. A series of university access models are estimated for four English speaking countries (England, Canada, Australia and the United States) which include controls for comparable measures of academic achievement at age 15. We not only consider access to any university but also admission to a ‘selective’ institution. Our results suggest that socio-economic differences in university access are more pronounced in England and Canada than Australia and the United States, and that cross-national variation in the socio-economic gap remains even once we take account of differences in academic achievement. We discuss the implications of our findings for the creation of more socially mobile societies.
    Keywords: : University access, educational inequality, social mobility, PISA.
    JEL: I20 I21 I28
    Date: 2012–12–13
  16. By: William T. Alpert (University of Connecticut); Archita Banik (University of Connecticut); Oskar R. Harmon (University of Connecticut); James Lambrinos (Union Graduate College); Richard N. Langlois (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: At many large universities it is conventional to deliver undergraduate introductory economics courses in a large lecture hall with a live lecturer. However, not surprisingly, casual empiricism suggests that rates of student absenteeism are significantly greater in a large lecture format than in a smaller classroom setting. A compounding factor is that numerous empirical studies have established a significant negative relation between absenteeism and student performance. Though many instructors employ the technology of PowerPoint presentation in the traditional lecture, there is reluctance among some instructors to distribute the PowerPoint lecture notes to students. Their concern is that if absenteeism is greater in large lecture classes and greater absenteeism leads to poorer performance, then won’t distributing lecture presentations online will contribute to an increase in absenteeism and therefore lower educational outcomes? This study investigates the relation between student performance and the use of online lecture notes. The findings confirm the usual finding that absence from the lecture reduces the probability of a correct response to questions covered in the lecture. For students absent from class, however, studying from instructor provided lecture notes increases the probability of a correct response. For students with a multi-modal learning style the positive effect of lecture notes offsets the negative effect of absence, not so for students with mono-modal learning styles. JEL Classification: A2, A22 Key words: Learning Preference, Absenteeism, Lecture Notes
    Date: 2012–12
  17. By: Edwin Leuven and Marte Rønning (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: This paper exploits discontinuous grade mixing rules in Norwegian junior high schools to estimate how classroom grade composition affects pupil achievement. Pupils in mixed grade classrooms are found to outperform pupils in single grade classrooms. This finding is driven by pupils benefiting from sharing the classroom with more mature peers from higher grades. The presence of lower grade peers is detrimental for achievement. Pupils can therefore benefit from de-tracking by grade, but the effects depend crucially on how the classroom is balanced in terms of lower and higher grades. These results reconcile the contradictory findings in the literature.
    Keywords: educational production; combination classes; class size; peer effects
    JEL: I2
    Date: 2012–12
  18. By: Marcus Böhme
    Abstract: International migration not only enables individuals to earn higher wages but also exposes them to new environments. The norms and values experienced at the destination country could change the behavior of the migrant but also of family members left behind. In this paper we argue that a brain gain could take place due to a change in educational aspirations of caregivers in migrant households. Using unique survey data from Moldova, we find that international migration raises parental aspirations in households located at the lower end of the human capital distribution. The identification of these effects relies on GDP growth shocks in the destination countries and migration networks. We conclude that aspirations are a highly relevant determinant of intergenerational human capital transfer and that even temporary international migration can shift human capital formation to a higher steady state by inducing higher educational aspirations of caregivers
    Keywords: education, aspirations, migration, brain gain
    JEL: D03 O12 I21 J61
    Date: 2012–11

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