nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2013‒04‒13
sixteen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Money for nothing: estimating the impact of student aid on participation in Higher Education By Lorraine Dearden; Emla Fitzsimons; Gill Wyness
  2. Social-Origin Inequalities in Educational Careers in Italy. Performance or Decision Effects? By Contini Dalit; Scagni Andrea
  3. Determinants of individual academic achievement - Group selectivity effects have many dimensions By Zwick Th.
  4. Repayment Burdens of Student Loans for Vietnamese Higher Education By Bruce Chapman; Amy Y. C. Liu
  5. Applied Signaling: Graduate School Admissions and Frequency of STEM Majors By Ronald M. Harstad; Jordan Pandolfo
  6. Social background's effect of educational attainment: Does method matter? By Büchner C.I.R.; Velden R.K.W. van der; Wolbers M.H.J.
  7. Academic Performance and College Dropout: Using Longitudinal Expectations Data to Estimate a Learning Model By Todd Stinebrickner; Ralph Stinebrickner
  8. Women, Medieval Commerce, and the Education Gender Gap By Bertocchi, Graziella; Bozzano, Monica
  9. Review of the Italian Strategy for Digital Schools By Francesco Avvisati; Sara Hennessy; Robert B. Kozma; Stéphan Vincent-Lancrin
  10. Proximate Determinants of School Dropout: A study on Rural West Bengal By Hati, Koushik Kumar; Majumder, Rajarshi
  11. Income Concentration in China: What Role for Education? By Saccone Donatella
  12. The More Abstract the Better? Raising Education Cost for the Less Able when Education is a Signal By Timothy Perri
  13. On the Efficiency of Public Higher Education Institutions in Portugal: An Exploratory Study By Mariana Cunha; Vera Rocha
  14. Can gender differences in the educational performance of 15-year old migrant pupils be explained by the gender equality in the countries of origin and destination? By Jaap Dronkers; Nils Kornder
  15. How Collective Intelligence Redefines Education By Lynn Ilon
  16. Managing the Quality of Higher Education in Scope of Some Theories By Siklós, Balazs; Gawlik, Remigiusz

  1. By: Lorraine Dearden (Department of Quantitative Social Science, Institute of Education, University of London); Emla Fitzsimons (Institute of Fiscal Studies); Gill Wyness (London School of Economics)
    Abstract: Understanding how finance policy can affect higher education is important for understanding how governments can promote human capital accumulation. Yet there is a severe lack of evidence on the effectiveness of student aid on HE participation outside of the US, and none at all for the UK. This paper exploits a reform that took place in the UK in 2004, when maintenance grants were re-introduced for students from low income families, having been abolished since 1999. This reform occurred in isolation of any other policy changes, and did not affect students from relatively better off families, making them a potential control group. We use a difference in difference framework to estimate its effects on degree participation. We find a positive impact of maintenance grants on degree participation, with a £1,000 increase in grants leading to a 3.95ppt increase in participation. This finding is in line with US studies.
    Keywords: higher education participation, higher education funding policies, maintenance grants, difference in differences
    JEL: I21 I22 I28
    Date: 2013–04–02
  2. By: Contini Dalit; Scagni Andrea (University of Turin)
    Abstract: Class differentials in educational attainment can be seen as a consequence of primary and secondary effects (Boudon 1974). The former,describe the influence of social origin on measured academic ability early in a child’s educational career; the latter operate through the choices that students and their families make within the educational system, given the student’s level of measured academic ability. In this work we evaluate the relative contributions of primary and secondary effects in creating educational inequalities in Italy at the transitions to upper secondary and tertiary education
    Date: 2012–09
  3. By: Zwick Th. (ROA)
    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: Analysis of Education;
    Date: 2013
  4. By: Bruce Chapman; Amy Y. C. Liu
    Abstract: The time is approaching when Vietnamese higher education students will be required to contribute more to the direct costs of the process. As well, continued expansion of the system will become increasingly difficult without the institution of an effective student loans policy designed to assist with both tuition and living costs. Of major policy interest in this future scenario, and the topic of this paper, are the potential financial difficulties that borrowers are likely to face with 'repayment burdens' (RB), the proportion of incomes needed to repay their loans. We show how significant this issue is likely to be by constructing a hypothetical student loans system and calculating RBs for male and female graduates residing in four different parts of Vietnam. We find that there are likely to be significant problems, potentially leading to high default rates, for many graduates if the financing of higher education expansion uses typical forms of student loans.
    Keywords: student loans, repayment burden, government aid, Vietnam
    JEL: I00 I20 I22 I28
    Date: 2013–02–07
  5. By: Ronald M. Harstad (Department of Economics, University of Missouri-Columbia); Jordan Pandolfo
    Abstract: We offer a closer look at screening by graduate admissions committees in their selection of student applicants, and at applicants' strategic behavior given screening methods. Essentially, a signaling game takes place between student applicants seeking to signal ability and admissions committees seeking to inferability from proffered applications. In equilibrium, students' decisions to adopt a STEM or a non-STEM major reflect both their desire to imply high ability and the importance that admissions committees place on GPA. We find that, relative to GPA, admissions committees placing a higher weight on graduate entrance-exam scores leads to a higher fraction of students selecting STEM majors. Illustrations of the impact on the equilibrium fraction of STEM majors of grade inflation, and of alternative undergraduate grading systems, are also provided.
    Keywords: graduate admissions, signaling games, inferring ability, STEM major choice
    JEL: I2 J24 D82 C72
    Date: 2013–03–25
  6. By: Büchner C.I.R.; Velden R.K.W. van der; Wolbers M.H.J. (ROA)
    Abstract: Social background directly impacts educational choice and attainment, but also influences choice and attainment indirectly by affecting school performance. Boudon (1974) described this relationship as primary (indirect) and secondary (direct) effects of social stratification. Based on this approach and Mare’s sequential transition model, we decompose this impact to analyze these effects’ relative importance at various stages over the school career. Using Dutch panel data of three school cohorts, we can assess whether primary and secondary effects’ relative importance has been stable over time. We use different statistical methods to assess the results’ robustness. Our findings show secondary effects have a decreasing impact at the first transition over time but a rather stable and in some cases increasing impact at the educational career’s later stages. As a result, the cumulative share of secondary effects on educational attainment is stable over time, at least if one examines the last two cohorts. When using ordinary least squares (OLS) or counterfactual models, secondary effects amount to some 55% of social background’s total effect. However, using structural equation modeling that allows for taking into account measurement error in performance tests and social background, secondary effects’ relative importance amounts to some 45%. This result suggests method does matter for numerical closeness. Nevertheless, the findings of all models used in this study point in the same direction and suggest that preferences and expectations of aspiring higher educational levels remain strongly associated with social background.
    Keywords: Hypothesis Testing: General; Analysis of Education; Education and Inequality;
    Date: 2013
  7. By: Todd Stinebrickner; Ralph Stinebrickner
    Abstract: We estimate a dynamic learning model of the college dropout decision, taking advantage of unique expectations data to greatly reduce our reliance on assumptions that would otherwise be necessary for identification. We find that forty-five percent of the dropout that occurs in the first two years of college can be attributed to what students learn about their about academic performance, but that this type of learning becomes a less important determinant of dropout after the midpoint of college We use our model to quantify the importance of the possible avenues through which poor grade performance could influence dropout. Our simulations show that students who perform poorly tend to learn that staying in school is not worthwhile, not that they fail out or learn that they are more likely (than they previously believed) to fail out in the future. We find that poor performance both substantially decreases the enjoyability of school and substantially influences beliefs about post-college earnings.
    JEL: I20 I21 I23 J01 J24
    Date: 2013–04
  8. By: Bertocchi, Graziella; Bozzano, Monica
    Abstract: We investigate the historical determinants of the education gender gap in Italy in the late nineteenth century, immediately following the country’s Unification. We use a comprehensive newly-assembled database including 69 provinces over twenty-year sub-samples covering the 1861-1901 period. We find robust evidence that female primary school attainment, relative to that of males, is positively associated with the medieval pattern of commerce, along the routes that connected Italian cities among themselves and with the rest of the world. The effect of medieval commerce is particularly strong at the non-compulsory upper-primary level and persists even after controlling for alternative long-term determinants reflecting the geographic, economic, political, and cultural differentiation of medieval Italy. The long-term influence of medieval commerce quickly dissipates after national compulsory primary schooling is imposed at Unification, suggesting that the channel of transmission was the larger provision of education for girls in commercial centers.
    Keywords: Education gender gap; family types.; Italian Unification; medieval commerce; political institutions
    JEL: E02 H75 I25 J16 N33 O15
    Date: 2013–02
  9. By: Francesco Avvisati; Sara Hennessy; Robert B. Kozma; Stéphan Vincent-Lancrin
    Abstract: The Italian Ministry of Education launched in 2007 a National Plan for Digital Schools (Piano Nazionale Scuola Digitale) to mainstream Information Communication Technology (ICT) in Italian classrooms and use technology as a catalyser of innovation in Italian education, hopefully conducing to new teaching practices, new models of school organisation, new products and tools to support quality teaching. The Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research asked the OECD to review its Plan from an international perspective and to suggest improvements.<P> The small budget of the Plan has limited the effectiveness of its diverse initiatives. In its current design, a significant rise of the budget of the plan through public or private sources is a necessary condition for its success. Given current budgetary constraints, a significant budget increase may be difficult, and the report proposes to revise some features of the Plan in order to achieve two objectives: 1) speed up the uptake of ICT in Italian schools and classrooms; 2) create an Innovation Laboratory Network of test bed schools piloting and inventing new pedagogic and organisational practices to improve Italian education, by refocusing the innovation projects on the school 2.0 (scuol@ 2.0) initiative.<BR>En Italie, le Ministère de l’Éducation a initié en 2007 un Plan National pour l’École Numérique (Piano Nazionale Scuola Digitale), avec comme objectifs de diffuser les technologies de l’information et de la communication (TIC) dans les classes d’école italiennes et d’utiliser la technologie comme un catalyseur d’innovation dans l’éducation italienne, conduisant à l’adoption de nouvelles pratiques pédagogiques, de nouveaux modèles d’organisation scolaire, ainsi qu’au développement de nouveaux produits et outils pour soutenir un enseignement de qualité. Le Ministère italien de l’Éducation, des Universités et de la Recherche a demandé à l’OCDE d’examiner son Plan dans une perspective internationale et de faire des suggestions pour son amélioration.<P> Le budget modeste du Plan a limité l’efficacité de ses diverses initiatives. Dans son design actuel, une augmentation significative de son budget, à travers des sources publiques ou privées, est une condition nécessaire à son succès. Étant donné les contraintes budgétaires actuelles, une augmentation importante du budget peut paraître difficile, et le rapport propose de réviser certains aspects du Plan afin d’atteindre deux objectifs : 1) accélérer l’adoption des TIC dans les écoles et salles de classe italiennes ; 2) créer un Laboratoire d’Innovation en Réseau constitué d’écoles expérimentales qui pilotent et inventent de nouvelles pratiques pédagogiques et organisationnelles pour améliorer l’éducation italienne, en recentrant les projets d’innovation du Plan sur son initiative école 2.0 (scuol@ 2.0).
    Date: 2013–03–29
  10. By: Hati, Koushik Kumar; Majumder, Rajarshi
    Abstract: In recent days, controlling school dropout has emerged to be the prime hindrance to spread literacy and formation of human resource thereby. The present paper is an attempt to identify proximate determinants of school dropout and suggest probable solutions to the problem. Status of enrollment & dropout at national and state level has been explored using macro data. Thereafter logistic estimation technique using micro level primary survey data has been used to identify factors that affect chances of school attendance. We also observe gender differences in chances of drop out as also differences in factors that affect this. Estimation result has been used to frame policy suggestions so as to improve chances of universalization of education.
    Keywords: School Education, Literacy, Dropout, Logistic Estimation, Gender
    JEL: H11 I21 I24 I25 I28
    Date: 2012–10
  11. By: Saccone Donatella (University of Turin)
    Abstract: The paper aims to analyze the relationship between income concentration and inequality in education in China for the period 1989-2006. We first estimate the association between individual attributes and income over time and, then, calculate the contribution of education and its distribution to income concentration. We find that education has become the bulk of income concentration and that the pace of equalizing reforms should be accelerated, since the improvements in terms of educational equality are at risk to be counterbalanced by the fast growth of its importance in determining income distribution
    Date: 2012–01
  12. By: Timothy Perri
    Abstract: More able individuals may over-investment in education when education signals ability. If education directly increases productivity, increasing education cost for the less able may increase welfare by reducing over-investment by the more able, but will not do so if such cost is already either too small or too large because no over-investment then occurs. Increasing cost for the less able is most likely to increase welfare when education is relatively unproductive compared to the initial ability difference between more and less able individuals. Our results have implications for online education which may lower cost relatively more for the less able. Key Words: Signaling, pooling, and education cost
    JEL: D82
    Date: 2013
  13. By: Mariana Cunha (FEP-UP); Vera Rocha (CEF.UP, FEP-UP and CIPES)
    Abstract: In a context of financial stringency like that characterizing the current economic land-scape in Portugal and in several other countries, accountability and efficiency questions gain an additional relevance in the higher education sector. In this paper we apply DEA techniques to evaluate the comparative efficiency of public higher education institutions in Portugal. The analysis is performed for three separate groups: public universities, public polytechnics and the several faculties of University of Porto. By using several inputs and outputs at the institutional-level, we are able to identify the most technically efficient institutions that may work as benchmark in the sector. The results suggest that a great portion of institutions may be working inefficiently, contributing to a significant waste of resources. This exploratory study is a first step towards a deeper understanding of the efficiency deter-minants of higher education institutions.
    Keywords: DEA; Higher Education; Technical Efficiency; Universities; Polytechnics
    JEL: C14 H52 I23
    Date: 2012–09
  14. By: Jaap Dronkers (University of Maastricht); Nils Kornder (University of Maastricht)
    Abstract: We try to explain the differences between the performance (in both reading and math) of 8430 15-year-old daughters and 8526 15-year-old sons in 17 Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development destination countries across Europe and Oceania with the PISA 2009 data from 45 origin countries or regions. In addition to the level of societal gender equality of the origin and destination countries (the gender empowerment measure, or GEM) we use macro indicators of the educational systems, economic development, and religions of the countries of origin. We find that migrant daughters from countries with higher levels of gender equality have higher reading scores than comparable migrant sons (but this is not the case for math scores). In addition, the higher the level of gender equality in the destination countries, the lower the reading and math scores of both the male and female migrants’ children in their destination countries. Further analyses suggest that the difference between the levels of gender equality, rather than the levels themselves, of the origin and destination countries explains more of the educational performance of both female and male migrant pupils. Our results also show that the low level of gender equality in Islamic origin countries is a sufficient explanation of the low educational performance of Islam male and female migrants’ pupils. Finally, migrants’ daughters seem to perform slightly better educationally than comparable migrants’ sons.
    Date: 2013–04
  15. By: Lynn Ilon (College of Education, Seoul National University)
    Abstract: While collective intelligence systems become ubiquitous for learning in knowledge industries, civic life and personal lives, they have yet to be embraced into formal schooling systems. Still, learning, knowledge and assessment protocols still abide, in large part, to the educational systems logic of the industrial era. The temptation is to view schooling as falling behind with teacher retraining and curriculum revision leading the way. This article examines the underlying logic of both collective intelligence and formal education systems and traces education¡¯s reluctance to it roots in an industrial era and the incentives prevailing in its structures. Embracing collective intelligence, then, will require a redefinition of schooling rather than a mere retooling.
    Keywords: Knowledge Creation, Curriculum, Education, Collective Intelligence.
    JEL: A31 D83 I21 I23
    Date: 2012–01
  16. By: Siklós, Balazs; Gawlik, Remigiusz
    Abstract: Abstract: The notion of quality became a buzzword in today’s debates about higher education. But despite its popularity, there are still many uncertainties and misinterpretations. In our paper we take a look at most popular models of quality. We describe the specific features of higher education and their impacts on the use of quality models. We take a look at quality assurance models as well, and argue that due to the nature of quality, institutional quality assurance is a tool with dubious efficiency. We neither forget the role of appropriate scholarship distribution in assuring possibly optimal efficiency and quality of higher education programmes
    Keywords: Quality, Higher Education, Scholarship Distribution, Public Decision Making
    JEL: I21 I25 I29
    Date: 2013

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