nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2013‒03‒23
ten papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Assessment of efficiency in basic and secondary education in Tunisia, a regional analysis By António Afonso,; Mohamed Ayadi,; Sourour Ramzi,
  2. The Impact of Chicago’s Small High School Initiative By Lisa Barrow; Amy Claessens; Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach
  3. Long-Term Effects of Preschooling on Educational Attainments By Hideo Akabayashi; Ryuichi Tanaka
  4. "Mixed oligopoly in education" By Cremer, Helmuth; Maldonado, Dario
  5. The Effects of School Libraries on Language Skills: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial in India By Borkum, Evan; He, Fang; Linden, Leigh L.
  6. Skill Premia and Intergenerational Skill Transmission: The French Case By B. Ben Halima; N. Chusseau; J. Hellier
  7. “Decomposing the Rural-Urban Differential in Student Achievement in Colombia Using PISA Microdata” By Raul Ramos; Juan Carlos Duque; Sandra Nieto
  8. Pure Ethnic Gaps in Educational Attainment and School to Work Transitions: When Do They Arise? By Baert, Stijn; Cockx, Bart
  9. Regional Variation of Returns to Education By Backman, Mikaela
  10. Comparing Least-Squares Value-Added Analysis and Student Growth Percentile Analysis for Evaluating Student Progress and Estimating School Effects By Brendan Houng; Moshe Justman

  1. By: António Afonso,; Mohamed Ayadi,; Sourour Ramzi,
    Abstract: We evaluate the efficiency of basic and secondary education in 24 governorates of Tunisia during the period 1999-2008 using a non-parametric approach, DEA (Data Envelopment Analysis). We use four inputs: number of teacher per 100 students, number of classes per 100 students, number of schools per million inhabitants and education spending per student, while the output measures include the success rate of baccalaureate exam and the rate of nondoubling in the 9th year. Our results show that there is a positive relationship between school resources and student achievement and performance. Moreover, there was an increase in output efficiency scores in most governorates through the period from 1999 to 2008.
    Keywords: basic and secondary education, efficiency, DEA, Tunisia
    JEL: C14 H52 I21
    Date: 2013–02
  2. By: Lisa Barrow; Amy Claessens; Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach
    Abstract: This project examines the effects of the introduction of new small high schools on student performance in the Chicago Public School (CPS) district. Specifically, we investigate whether students attending small high schools have better graduation/enrollment rates and achievement than similar students who attend regular CPS high schools. We show that students who choose to attend a small school are more disadvantaged on average. To address the selection problem, we use an instrumental variables strategy and compare students who live in the same neighborhoods but differ in their residential proximity to a small school. In this approach, one student is more likely to sign up for a small school than another statistically identical student because the small school is located closer to the student’s house and therefore the “cost” of attending the school is lower. We find that small schools students are substantially more likely to persist in school and eventually graduate. Nonetheless, there is no positive impact on student achievement as measured by test scores. The finding of no test score improvement but a strong improvement in school attainment is consistent with a growing literature suggesting that interventions aimed at older children are more effective at improving their non-cognitive skills than their cognitive skills.
    JEL: I21 I24
    Date: 2013–03
  3. By: Hideo Akabayashi (Keio University); Ryuichi Tanaka (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies)
    Abstract: Whether universal preschool education can eliminate the achievement gap among children in the long term has been debated in the United States and elsewhere. This paper offers new evidence from the experience of massive preschool education expansion in Japan. Using prefecture-level panel data, we estimate the effects of preschooling expansion on two measures of long-term educational achievement: high school and college advancement rates. We find that the expansion of both kindergarten and nursery schools have a significant positive impact on high school and college advancement rates, and the effect of attendance in nursery school is stronger than that in kindergarten.
    Date: 2013–02
  4. By: Cremer, Helmuth (TSE, IDEI); Maldonado, Dario (University Bogota)
    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 effect which, for any given school is determined by its student with the highest ability. These PGE do have a significant 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 effectiveness of public schools as regulatory tool in an otherwise private education sector.
    Keywords: Education, peer-group effects, mixed duopoly
    Date: 2013–02
  5. By: Borkum, Evan (Mathematica Policy Research); He, Fang (US Government Accountability Office); Linden, Leigh L. (University of Texas at Austin)
    Abstract: We conduct a randomized controlled trial of an Indian school library program. Overall, the program had no impact on students' scores on a language skills test administered after 16 months. The estimates are sufficiently precise to rule out effects larger than 0.053 and 0.037 standard deviations, based on the 95 and 90 percent confidence intervals. This finding is robust across individual competencies and subsets of the sample. The method of treatment, however, does seem to matter – physical libraries have no effect, while visiting librarians actually reduce test scores. We find no impact on test scores in other subjects or attendance rates.
    Keywords: library, randomized controlled trial, education, development
    JEL: I21 I28 O15
    Date: 2013–03
  6. By: B. Ben Halima (EQUIPPE, Univ. of Lille 1 and MESHS); N. Chusseau (EQUIPPE, Univ. of Lille 1 and MESHS); J. Hellier (LEMNA, University of Nantes)
    Abstract: In the case of France, we analyse the changes (i) in the skill premium linked to each level of education and (ii) in the impact of parents’ skill and income upon the educational attainment of their children. To this end, we build a theoretical model which is subsequently estimated. Our calculations firstly reveal (i) a critical decline in the skill premium of the Baccalaureate in relation to the lowest skill level, and (ii) an increase in the skill premia of higher education in relation to the Baccalaureate, which however is not large enough to avoid the decrease in all the skill premia relative to the lowest skill. Secondly, we find (i) a significant increase in the impact of the family backgrounds upon the individuals’ education from 1993 to 2003 which essentially derives from a higher impact of parental income upon the educational attainment, and (ii) an increase in the impact of public expenditure upon education. Consequently, if inequality has decreased among the employed population, the slowdown in intergenerational mobility could reverse this tendency in the longer term. This may however be offset by higher public educational expenditure.
    Keywords: Family backgrounds, intergenerational mobility, return to education, skill premium
    JEL: I2 J24 J31
    Date: 2013–01
  7. By: Raul Ramos (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona); Juan Carlos Duque (RiSE-group, Department of Economics, EAFIT University); Sandra Nieto (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona)
    Abstract: Despite the large number of studies that draw on Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) microdata in their analyses of the determinants of educational outcomes, no more than a few consider the relevance of geographical location. In going some way to rectify this, our paper examines the differences in educational outcomes between students attending schools in rural areas and those enrolled in urban schools. We use microdata from the 2006 and 2009 PISA survey waves for Colombia. The Colombian case is particularly interesting in this regard due to the structural changes suffered by the country in recent years, both in terms of its political stability and of the educational reform measures introduced. Our descriptive analysis of the data shows that the educational outcomes of rural students are worse than those of urban students. In order to identify the factors underpinning this differential, we use the Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition and then exploit the time variation in the data using the methodology proposed by Juhn-Murphy-Pierce. Our results show that most of the differential is attributable to family characteristics as opposed to those of the school. From a policy perspective, our evidence supports actions addressed at improving conditions in the family rather than measures of positive discrimination of rural schools.
    Keywords: educational outcomes, rural-urban differences, decomposition methods. JEL classification: J24, I25, R58
    Date: 2013–03
  8. By: Baert, Stijn (Ghent University); Cockx, Bart (Ghent University)
    Abstract: This article decomposes the observed gaps in educational attainment and school-to-work transitions between grandchildren of natives and immigrants in Belgium into (i) differences in observed family endowments and (ii) a residual "pure ethnic gap". It innovates by explicitly taking delays in educational attainment into account, by identifying the moments at which the pure ethnic gaps arise, by disentangling the decision to continue schooling at the end of a school year from the achievement within a particular grade, and by integrating the language spoken at home among observed family endowments. The pure ethnic gap in educational attainment is found to be small if delays are neglected, but substantial if not and for school-to-work transitions. It is shown that more than 20% of the pure ethnic gap in graduating from secondary school without delay originates in tenth grade. Language usage explains only part of the gap in school-to-work transitions for low educated.
    Keywords: dynamic discrete choice, dynamic selection bias, educational attainment, school-to-work transitions, ethnic minorities, discrimination
    JEL: C35 J15 J70
    Date: 2013–03
  9. By: Backman, Mikaela (Jönköping International Business School, & Centre for Entrepreneurship and Spatial Economics (CEnSE))
    Abstract: Returns to education are mainly influenced by the characteristics of the individual. However, returns are also likely to depend on location characteristics. Thus, there are different location premiums for educational attainment. This paper analyse the regional variation of returns to education where Swedish municipal markets are divided into four categories based on size and commuting patterns. Through the obtained results, the often-assumed hypothesis of equal returns to education for all regions in a country can be rejected. Highest returns to education are found in municipalities in metropolitan functional regions and the lowest in peripheral municipalities in small functional regions.
    Keywords: Returns to education; regional attributes; fixed-effects model
    JEL: H52 I21 I22 J61 R11
    Date: 2013–03–15
  10. By: Brendan Houng (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne); Moshe Justman (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne; and Department of Economics, Ben Gurion University, Israel)
    Abstract: This paper compares two functionally different approaches to analyzing standardized test data: least-squares based value-added analysis, geared principally to supporting teacher and school accountability; and Betebenner’s (2009) student growth percentiles, which focuses primarily on tracking individual student progress in a normative context and projecting probable trajectories of future performance. Applying the two methods to Australian standardized numeracy and reading test scores (NAPLAN) in grades 3 to 5 and 7 to 9, we find that although they are used differently, the two methods share key structural elements, and produce similar quantitative indicators of both individual student progress and estimated school effects.
    Keywords: Value-added analysis, student growth percentiles, NAPLAN
    JEL: I21 I28
    Date: 2013–03

This nep-edu issue is ©2013 by Joao Carlos Correia Leitao. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.