nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2013‒03‒09
ten papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. The mathematics skills of school children: How does England compare to the high performing East Asian jurisdictions? By John Jerrim; Alvaro Choi
  2. Mixed oligopoly in education By Helmuth Cremer; Dario Maldonado
  3. What Do Students Think About School? By OECD
  4. Long-term intergenerational persistence of human capital: an empirical analysis of four generations By Lindahl, Mikael; Palme, Mårten; Sandgren Massih, Sofia; Sjögren, Anna
  5. Fewer School Days, More Inequality By Daiji Kawaguchi
  6. The Growth Effects of Education in Australia. By Antonio Paradiso; Saten Kumar; B. Bhaskara Rao
  7. Are Countries Moving Towards More Equitable Education Systems? By OECD
  8. A test of the Becker-Tomes model of human capital transmission using microdata on four generations By Lindahl, Mikael; Palme, Mårten; Sandgren Massih, Sofia; Sjögren, Anna
  10. School Starting Age and Crime By Rasmus Landersø; Helena Skyt Nielsen; Marianne Simonsen

  1. By: John Jerrim (Department of Quantitative Social Science, Institute of Education, University of London); Alvaro Choi (Institut d’Economia de Barcelona, University of Barcelona)
    Abstract: The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and Trends in Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) are two highly respected studies of school pupils’ academic achievement. English policymakers have been disappointed with school children’s performance on these tests, particularly in comparison to the strong results of young people from East Asia. In this paper we provide new insight into the England – East Asia gap in school children’s mathematics skills. We do so by considering how cross-national differences in math test scores change between ages 10 and 16. Our results suggest that, although average math test scores are higher in East Asian countries, this achievement gap does not increase between ages 10 and 16. We thus conclude that reforming the secondary school system may not be the most effective way for England to ‘catch up’ with the East Asian nations in the PISA math rankings. Rather earlier intervention, during pre-school and primary school, may be needed instead.
    Keywords: : PISA, TIMSS, educational policy, primary education, secondary education
    JEL: I20 I21 I28
    Date: 2013–02–21
  2. By: Helmuth Cremer; Dario Maldonado
    Abstract: Abstract: This paper studies oligopolistic competition in education markets when schools can be private and public and when the quality of education depends on “peer group" effects. In the first stage of our game schools set their quality and in the second stage they fix their tuition fees. We examine how the (subgame perfect Nash) equilibrium allocation (qualities, tuition fees and welfare) is affected by the presence of public schools and by their relative position in the quality range. When there are no peer group effects, efficiency is achieved when (at least) all but one school are public. In particular in the two school case, the impact of a public school is spectacular as we go from a setting of extreme differentiation to an efficient allocation. However, in the three school case, a single public school will lower welfare compared to the private equilibrium. We then introduce a peer group e¤ect which, for any given school is determined by its student with the highest ability. These PGE do have a signi.cant impact on the results. The mixed equilibrium is now never efficient. However, welfare continues to be improved if all but one school are public. Overall, the presence of PGE reduces the e¤ectiveness of public schools as regulatory tool in an otherwise private education sector.
    Date: 2013–02–28
  3. By: OECD
    Abstract: <UL> <LI>Most students think that what they learned in school is useful for them or their future. </LI> <LI>Students’ attitudes towards school are associated with their reading skills. </LI> <LI>Students who report that the climate at their school is conducive to learning tend to have more positive attitudes towards school. </LI></ul>
    Date: 2013–01
  4. By: Lindahl, Mikael (Uppsala University, CESifo, IFAU, IZA and UCLS); Palme, Mårten (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm University); Sandgren Massih, Sofia (Uppsala University); Sjögren, Anna (IFAU, UCLS and SOFI Stockholm University)
    Abstract: Most previous studies of intergenerational transmission of human capital are restricted to two generations – parents and their children. In this study we use a Swedish data set which enables us link individual measures of lifetime earnings for three generations and data on educational attainments of four generations. We investigate to what extent estimates based on income data from two generations accurately predict earnings persistence beyond two generations. We also do a similar analysis for intergenerational persistence in educational attainments. We find two-generation studies to severely under-predict intergenerational persistence in earnings and educational attainment over three and four generations.
    Keywords: Intergenerational income mobility; Human capital transmission; Multigenerational income mobility
    JEL: D31 J62
    Date: 2013–01–16
  5. By: Daiji Kawaguchi
    Abstract: This paper examines how the intensity of compulsory education affects the time use and academic achievement of children with different socioeconomic backgrounds. The impact is identified off the school-day reduction of Japan in 2002 that resulted when all Saturdays were set as public-school holidays. An analysis of time diaries and test scores before and after the school-day reduction reveals that the socioeconomic gradient of 9th graders' study time becomes 80% steeper and the socioeconomic gradient of academic achievements of 8th and 10th graders becomes 20-30% steeper. Intensive compulsory education contributes to equalizing the academic performances of children with different socioeconomic backgrounds.
    Keywords: Compulsory Education, Inequality, Socioeconomic Gradient
    JEL: I24 I28
    Date: 2013–01
  6. By: Antonio Paradiso (Department of Economics, University of Rome La Sapienza, Rome, Italy); Saten Kumar (Department of Economics, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand.); B. Bhaskara Rao (School of Economics and Finance, University of Western Sydney, Sydney, Australia.)
    Abstract: In this paper we estimate the growth effects of human capital with country-specific time series data for Australia. Previous empirical studies, based on international data, have been inconclusive, in terms of the extent of the contribution of human capital to growth. We extend the Solow (1956) growth model by using educational attainment as a measure of human capital, as developed by Barro and Lee (2010). The extended Solow (1956) model performs well after allowing for the presence of structural changes. Our results, based on alternative time series methods, show that educational attainment has a small and significant permanent effect on the growth rate of per worker output in Australia. Alternative measures of human capital are also utilized to ensure robustness of results.
    Keywords: Steady State Growth Rates, Economic Growth, Education, Australia
    JEL: C22 O56 O40
    Date: 2011–12
  7. By: OECD
    Abstract: <UL> <LI>PISA results show that no country or economy has reached the goal of creating a completely equitable education system, but some are much closer than others.</LI> <LI>Some countries and economies have shown that improvements in equity can be achieved at the same time as improvements in overall performance, and in a relatively short time.</LI></UL>
    Date: 2013–02
  8. By: Lindahl, Mikael (Uppsala University, CESifo, IFAU, IZA and UCLS); Palme, Mårten (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm University); Sandgren Massih, Sofia (Uppsala University); Sjögren, Anna (IFAU, UCLS and SOFI Stockholm University)
    Abstract: We estimate the well-known Becker-Tomes (1986) model of intergenerational transmission of human capital. A Swedish data set which links individual measures on educational attainments of four generations, enables us to use great grandparents’ education as an instrumental variable. This approach was suggested already in Becker- Tomes (1986) but, because of the lack of data, never implemented. The identifying assumption, which holds within the Becker-Tomes framework, is that great grandparents’ education is unrelated to great grandchild’s education, conditional on the education of the parent and grandparent. We test the prediction that the structural parameter for grandparents’ education enters with a negative sign in an intergenerational regression model where the education of a child is linearly related to the education of the parent and the education of the grandparent. We fail to find empirical support for the model’s predictions.
    Keywords: The Becker-Tomes model; Human capital transmission; Multigenerational effects
    JEL: D31 J62
    Date: 2013–01–16
  9. By: Maria De Paola; Francesca Gioia (Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche, Statistiche e Finanziarie, Università della Calabria)
    Abstract: In a simple theoretical model we show that impatience affects academic performance through two different channels: impatient students spend less effort in studying activities and set less ambitious objectives in terms of grades at exams. As a consequence, the relationship between impatience and academic success may vary according to how performance is measured. Using data from a sample of Italian undergraduate students, we find a strong negative relationship between impatience and both the average grade at exams and the probability of graduating with honours. Conversely, a negative but not statistically significant correlation emerges between time preferences and both the number of credits earned in the three years following enrolment and the probability of timely graduation. Our findings are robust to alternative measures of impatience and controlling for family background characteristics, for cognitive abilities and for risk preferences.
    Keywords: Time preferences, impatience, human capital, academic success
    JEL: I20 D03 D91 J01
    Date: 2013–02
  10. By: Rasmus Landersø (Department of Economics and Business, Aarhus University); Helena Skyt Nielsen (Department of Economics and Business, Aarhus University); Marianne Simonsen (Department of Economics and Business, Aarhus University)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effects of school starting age on crime while relying on variation in school starting age induced by administrative rules; we exploit that Danish children typically start first grade in the calendar year they turn seven, which gives rise to a discontinuity in children’s school starting age. Analyses are carried out using register-based Danish data. We find that higher age at school start lowers the propensity to commit crime, but that this reduction is caused by incapacitation while human capital accumulation is unaffected. Importantly, we also find that the individuals who benefit most from being old-for-grade are those with high latent abilities whereas those with low latent ability seem to be unaffected by being old-for-grade in school.
    Keywords: old-for-grade, school start, criminal charges, violence, property crime
    JEL: I21 K42
    Date: 2013–02–25

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