nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2013‒06‒04
twenty-one papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Subjective Well-being and Social Integration of College Students By Imaginário, Susana; Vieira, Luís Sérgio; Jesus, Saul Neves
  2. The first five years project – a cohort study of students awarded NSFAS loans in the first five years 2000-2004 By Pierre de Villiers; Chris van Wyk; Servaas van der Berg
  3. Making College Worth It: A Review of Research on the Returns to Higher Education By Philip Oreopoulos; Uros Petronijevic
  4. School Fees, Parental Participation and Accountability: Evidence from Madagascar By Frédéric LESNE
  5. Making the Most Out of What You’re Already Doing By Espey, Molly
  6. Reading to Young Children: A Head-Start in Life? By Kalb, G.; Ours, J.C. van
  7. Publish or Teach ? : Analysis of the Professor's Optimal Career Plan By El Ouardighi, Fouad; Kogan, Konstantin; Vranceanu , Radu
  8. Explaining Cross-Racial Differences in the Educational Gender Gap By Esteban Aucejo
  9. Does the availability of secondary schools increase primary schooling? Empirical evidence from northern Senegal By Goensch, Iris
  10. Racial Segregation Patterns in Selective Universities By Peter Arcidiacono; Esteban Aucejo; Andrew Hussey; Kenneth Spenner
  11. When does Inter-School Competition Matter? Evidence from the Chilean 'Voucher' System By Francisco Gallego
  12. Gender Differences in the Effects of Behavioral Problems on School Outcomes By Kristoffersen, Jannie H. G.; Smith, Nina
  13. Will Sooner Be Better ? The Impact of Early Preschool Enrollment on Cognitive and Noncognitive Achievement of Children By Olivier Filatriau; Denis Fougère; Maxime To
  14. Research Grants, Sources of Ideas and the Effects on Academic Research By Hottenrott, Hanna; Lawson, Cornelia
  15. The role of early career factors in academic patenting By Lawson Cornelia; Sterzi Valerio
  16. Intergenerational Long Term Effects of Preschool - Structural Estimates from a Discrete Dynamic Programming Model By James J. Heckman; Lakshmi K. Raut
  17. Academic knowledge and economic growth: are scientific fields all alike By Antonelli Cristiano; Fassio Claudio
  18. The ownership of academic patents and their impact. Evidence from five European countries By Lissoni, Francesco; Montobbio, Fabio
  19. Wages of childhood immigrants in Sweden – education, returns to education and overeducation By Katz, Katarina; Österberg, Torun
  20. Impact and Implementation Findings from an Experimental Evaluation of Playworks: Effects on School Climate, Academic Learning, Student Social Skills and Behavior. By Jane Fortson; Susanne James-Burdumy; Martha Bleeker; Nicholas Beyler; Rebecca A. London; Lisa Westrich; Katie Stokes-Guinan; Sebastian Castrechini
  21. What Are Error Rates for Classifying Teacher and School Performance Using Value-Added Models? By Peter Z. Schochet; Hanley S. Chiang

  1. By: Imaginário, Susana (University of Algarve); Vieira, Luís Sérgio (University of Algarve); Jesus, Saul Neves (CIEO- Research Centre on Spatial and Organizational Dynamics)
    Abstract: The student’s transition from secondary school to higher education consists of a series of changes that can have serious consequences if not satisfactorily overcome, including academic failure and college dropout. There are many variables than can influence this process of adjustment to higher education, with a particular emphasis given to social integration, especially because, often, this transition involves a change of residence. Using a sample of 339 students from the University of Algarve, this study aims to deepen our understanding of the relationship between student’s subjective well-being and their social integration in higher education. The results show that the variables of social integration in higher education, interpersonal relationship, personal well-being and emotional balance are predictors of the level of subjective well-being experienced by the students. On the other hand, a significant relation between socio-demographic variables and the student’s happiness was not obtained.
    Keywords: Students; Higher Education; Social Integration; Subjective Well-being
    JEL: I23
    Date: 2013–05–23
  2. By: Pierre de Villiers (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch); Chris van Wyk (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch); Servaas van der Berg (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)
    Keywords: higher education, NSFAS, student loans, universities, higher education flow through rate
    JEL: H52 I22 I28
    Date: 2013
  3. By: Philip Oreopoulos; Uros Petronijevic
    Abstract: Recent stories of soaring student debt levels and under-placed college graduates have caused some to question whether a college education is still a sound investment. In this paper, we review the literature on the returns to higher education in an attempt to determine who benefits from college. Despite the tremendous heterogeneity across potential college students, we conclude that the investment appears to payoff for both the average and marginal student. During the past three decades in particular, the earnings premium associated with a college education has risen substantially. Beyond the pecuniary benefits of higher education, we suggest that there also may exist non-pecuniary benefits. Given these findings, it is perhaps surprising that among recent cohorts college completion rates have stagnated. We discuss potential explanations for this trend and conclude by succinctly interpreting the evidence on how to make the most out of college.
    JEL: I21 J24
    Date: 2013–05
    Abstract: The role of school fees in achieving both allocative and productive efficiency in the delivery of primary education has been a subject of intense debate. Building on a simple model that makes explicit the role of school fees in determining the optimal level of parental participation to school governance, this paper contributes to the debate by evaluating empirically the relationship between fees, participation and the accountability framework in public primary schools in Madagascar. The results show evidence that schools requiring parents to pay more fees experience a higher degree of parental participation. While results are consistent with the theoretical model, the empirical analysis provides evidence that school fees increase participation beyond their effect on the power relationship between the community and the school authorities. The model hypothesis that school fees modify the accountability framework, which leads to more productive participation efforts, is challenged by alternative explanations. One of them is that participation aims not to increase education quality but rather to decrease the amount of fees requested by the school.
    Keywords: education, school governance, accountability, school fees
    JEL: I21 D71 H31
    Date: 2013
  5. By: Espey, Molly
    Abstract: The scholarship of teaching and learning entails systematic reflection and analysis of aspects of teaching or teaching methods and their impact on student learning. When effective teaching methods can be identified and replicated by others, scholarship shared through publication has the potential to enhance teaching and learning on a wider scale. Whether it is analysis of a small aspect of a single course or a complete overhaul of the course structure or method of delivery, the scholarship of teaching and learning has the potential to significantly impact higher education. This paper outlines five scholarship of teaching and learning projects undertaken during this author’s career.
    Keywords: Scholarship of teaching, scholarship of learning, economic education, team based learning, teaching of economics, Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession, A, A2,
    Date: 2013
  6. By: Kalb, G.; Ours, J.C. van (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)
    Abstract: Abstract: This paper investigates the importance of parents reading to their young children. Using Australian data we find that parental reading to children at age 4 to 5 has positive and significant effects on reading skills and cognitive skills of these children at least up to age 10 or 11. Our findings are robust to a wide range of sensitivity analyses.
    Keywords: Reading to children;reading skills;other cognitive skills.
    JEL: C26 I21 J24
    Date: 2013
  7. By: El Ouardighi, Fouad (ESSEC Business School); Kogan, Konstantin (Bar-Ilan University, Faculty of Social Sciences); Vranceanu , Radu (ESSEC Business School)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes how faculty members dynamically allocate their efforts between improving their research and teaching skills, taking into account the organizational structures and incentives implemented by academic institutions. The model builds on the assumption that organizational structures have an impact on the nature of spillover effects between teaching and research competencies. We analyze the dynamic equilibrium under unilateral and bilateral spillovers, using the no-spillover case as a benchmark. The bilateral spillover case is the most appealing as it achieves the highest overall performance; however, the nature of the equilibrium and the career paths can be quite different depending on the parameters of the problem such as the obsolescence of competencies or the strength of the spillover effect. This finding provides interesting insights on what could be the most productive configuration of a higher education institution.
    Keywords: Teaching; Research; Competency spillovers; Effort allocation; Faculty management
    JEL: A23 I23
    Date: 2013–05
  8. By: Esteban Aucejo
    Abstract: The sizable gender gap in college enrolment, especially among African Americans, constitutes a puzzling empirical regularity that may have serious consequences on marriage markets, male labor force participation and the diversity of college campuses. For instance, only 35.7 percent of all African American undergraduate students were men in 2004. Reduced form results show that, while family background covariates cannot account for the observed gap, proxy measures for non-cognitive skills are crucial to explain it. Moreover, a sequential model of educational attainment indicates that males have actually higher preferences for education than females after controlling for latent factors (i.e. cognitive and non-cognitive skills). The model also shows that cognitive skills strongly affect the decision to move from one school level to the next, especially after finishing high school, but cannot account for disparities between genders. On the contrary, the substantial differences in the distribution of non-cognitive skills between males and females make these abilities critical to explain the gender gap in educational attainment across and within races.
    Keywords: Gender Gap, College Enrollment, Non-cognitive Skills, Cognitive Skills, Race
    JEL: I2 J15 J16
    Date: 2013–05
  9. By: Goensch, Iris
    Abstract: When parents in Senegal decide upon primary school enrollment of their children, they might consider future returns to education. These future benefits in turn heavily depend on a child's prospects to attend secondary school. If private returns to primary schooling are very low and secondary schooling is costly but yields higher returns, the incentive to send children to primary school might be low for poor families. Based on a new household survey from urban and rural northern Senegal, this paper reassesses the puzzling results of Filmer (2007) according to which the availability of secondary schools does not affect primary school participation in Senegal. The empirical results confirm that secondary school availability does not play a role for the average child. Distance to the next secondary school matters only for the two highest wealth quintiles. Instead, the availability of primary schools and household wealth are important determinants of primary school enrollment. To shed further light on this surprising result, the paper discusses various reasons why the distance to the nearest secondary school might not be a very good proxy of a child's prospect of secondary school attendance. --
    Keywords: development,education,enrollment rates,logistic regression,West Africa
    JEL: C25 I21 O15
    Date: 2013
  10. By: Peter Arcidiacono; Esteban Aucejo; Andrew Hussey; Kenneth Spenner
    Abstract: This paper examines sorting into interracial friendships at selective universities. We show significant friendship segregation, particularly for blacks. Indeed, black friendships are no more diverse in college than in high school despite the colleges blacks attend having substantially smaller black populations. We show that part of the reason for the segregation patterns is large differences in academic background coupled with students being more likely to form friendships with those of similar academic backgrounds. Within a school, stronger academic backgrounds make interracial friendships with blacks less likely and friendships with Asians more likely. These results suggest that affirmative action admission policies at selective universities which drive a wedge between the academic characteristics of different racial groups may result in increased within school segregation.
    Keywords: Minorities, college, friendship, race
    JEL: K10 J15 I20
    Date: 2013–05
  11. By: Francisco Gallego
    Abstract: I investigate the effects of voucher-school competition on educational outcomes. I test whether voucher-school competition 1) improves student outcomes and 2) has stronger effects when public schools face a hard budget constraint. Since both voucher school competition and the degree of hardness of the budget constraint for public schools are endogenous to public school quality, I exploit (i) the interaction of the number of Catholic priests in 1950 and the institution of the voucher system in Chile in 1981 as a potentially exogenous determinant of the supply of voucher schools and (ii) a particular feature of the electoral system that affects the identity of the mayors of different counties (who manage public schools) as a source of exogenous variation in the degree of hardness of the public schools budget constraints. Using this information, I fnd that: 1) an increase of one standard deviation of the ratio of voucher-to-public schools increases tests scores by just around 0.10 standard deviations; and 2) the effects are significantly bigger for public schools facing more binding minimum enrollment levels.
    Date: 2012
  12. By: Kristoffersen, Jannie H. G. (Aarhus University); Smith, Nina (Aarhus University)
    Abstract: Behavioral problems are important determinants of school outcomes and later success in the labor market. We analyze whether behavioral problems affect girls and boys differently with respect to school outcomes. The study is based on teacher and parent evaluations of the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) of about 6,000 children born in 1990-92 in a large region in Denmark. The sample is merged with register information on parents and students observed until the age of 19. We find significant and large negative coefficients of the externalizing behavioral indicators. The effects tend to be larger when based on parents' SDQ scores compared to teachers' SDQ scores. According to our estimations, the school outcomes for girls with abnormal externalizing behavior are not significantly different from those of boys with the same behavioral problems. A decomposition of the estimates indicates that most of the gender differences in Reading and Math cannot be related to gender differences in behavioral problems. The large overall gender gap in Reading seems mainly to be the result of gender differences between children without behavioral problems living in 'normal families', i.e. families which are not categorized as low-resource families.
    Keywords: gender differences, education, behavior
    JEL: J16 I29 I19
    Date: 2013–05
  13. By: Olivier Filatriau (CREST); Denis Fougère (CREST and CNRS); Maxime To (CREST and Sciences Po)
    Abstract: In this paper we measure the effect of entering preelementary school at age 2 rather than 3 in France. Our identification strategy relies on ratios between the number of young children and the capacity of preelementary schools observed at the very local level. This information allows us to solve the endogeneity issue due to the potential correlation between unobserved determinants of early enrollment decision and children achievement. We measure this effect on schooling achievement in primary and lower secondary schools. We show that early enrollment in preelementary school improves cognitive and noncognitive skills at age six, and both literacy and numeracy from the third to the ninth grades.
    Keywords: Schooling decision, Preschool, Human capital, Cognitive and noncognitive skills
    JEL: I21 J13
    Date: 2013–05
  14. By: Hottenrott, Hanna; Lawson, Cornelia (University of Turin)
    Abstract: Based on a sample of research units in science and engineering at German universities, this study reports survey evidence showing that research grants impact research content. Research units that receive funds from industry are more likely to source ideas from the private sector. The higher the share of industry funding on the units’ total budget, the more likely that large firms influenced the research agenda. Public research grants, on the other hand, are associated with a higher importance of conferences and scientific sources. What is more, the different sources of ideas impact scientific output. Research units that source research ideas from small and medium-sized firms (SMEs) patent more, but not more successful than others in terms of the impact of their inventions on future patents. If, on the other hand, research units source ideas from large firms we find them to publish less and with lower impact on future scientific work.
    Date: 2012–09
  15. By: Lawson Cornelia; Sterzi Valerio (University of Turin)
    Abstract: This paper explores the characteristics of persistent academic inventors and how they are influenced by their personal attributes, PhD institution, and first invention. Using a novel dataset on 555 UK academic inventors, we find that the quality of the first invention is the best predictor for subsequent participation in the patenting process. We further find evidence for a positive training effect whereby researchers that were trained at universities that had already established commercialisation units have a higher propensity to patent persistently. In addition, researchers that gained first patenting experience in industry are able to benefit from stronger knowledge flows and receive more citations than their purely academic peers.
    Date: 2012–01
  16. By: James J. Heckman; Lakshmi K. Raut
    Abstract: This paper formulates a structural dynamic programming model of preschool investment choices of altruistic parents and then empirically estimates the structural parameters of the model using the NLSY79 data. The paper finds that preschool investment significantly boosts cognitive and non-cognitive skills, which enhance earnings and school outcomes. It also finds that a standard Mincer earnings function, by omitting measures of non-cognitive skills on the right hand side, overestimates the rate of return to schooling. From the estimated equilibrium Markov process, the paper studies the nature of within generation earnings distribution and intergenerational earnings and schooling mobility. The paper finds that a tax financed free preschool program for the children of poor socioeconomic status generates positive net gains to the society in terms of average earnings and higher intergenerational earnings and schooling mobility.
    JEL: I21 J24 J62 O15
    Date: 2013–05
  17. By: Antonelli Cristiano; Fassio Claudio (University of Turin)
    Abstract: The aim of the paper is to contribute the debate on the accountability of the academic system. To this it grafts the recent advances of the economics of knowledge into the economics of the academic system. The paper elaborates and tests the hypothesis that there are different types of academic knowledge that exert different effects on economic growth. The recent advances of the economics of knowledge enable to appreciate the differences among types of academic knowledge in terms of appropriability, fungibility and cumulability, field of application and with respect to the specificities of the generation process. Building upon these bases, distinctions can be made between knowledge in hard sciences, social sciences, humanities and medical sciences. The hypotheses are tested on OECD data about the numbers of university graduated students in the years 1998-2008 in 16 countries with a simple production function. The results stress the differences in the output elasticity of each discipline and confirm their wide differences in the capability to contribute economic output. The policy implications are important: public support to the academic system, advocated to support economic growth, should not be spread uniformly across academic disciplines but rather focus the academic fields that are better able to contribute economic growth..
    Date: 2012–01
  18. By: Lissoni, Francesco; Montobbio, Fabio (University of Turin)
    Abstract: This paper compares the value and impact of academic patents in five different European countries with different institutional frameworks: Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Sweden. Ownership patterns of academic patents are found to: (i) differ greatly across country, due to a combination of legal norms on IP and institutional features of the university system; (ii) be strongly associated to academic patents' value, as measured by patent citations. Company-owned academic patents tend to be as cited as non-academic ones, while university-owned tend to be less cited. Academic patents in the Netherlands are more cited than non-academic ones, irrespective to their ownership, while university-owned patents get fewer citations in both France and Italy. We propose an explanation of these results based on the different autonomy and experience in dealing with IP and technology transfer enjoyed by universities in the countries considered. We also find that company-owned academic patents in Sweden get many fewer citations than non-academic. Individually-owned academic patents are more cited than non-academic patents similarly owned by their inventors.
    Date: 2012–12
  19. By: Katz, Katarina (Karlstad university); Österberg, Torun (University of Gothenburg)
    Abstract: We analyse full-time monthly wages of employees with parents born in Sweden and of childhood immigrants who arrived before the end of compulsory school-age. We use a detailed disaggregation of background countries, which shows considerable hetero-geneity, in overeducation, in returns to education and in birth-country coefficients, unexplained by wage models. Both the non-European childhood immigrants and of those from Southern Europe suffer a wage disadvantage relative to natives, men to a larger extent than women. Returns to education are generally lower for non-European childhood immigrants than for natives. Comparison with workers, who immigrated as adults, shows that the childhood immigrants of most nationalities run lower risk of being overeducated and have a smaller wage disadvantage. The child/adult immigrant difference is larger, the larger the disadvantage of the adult immigrants from a country of origin. But for male childhood immigrants from some of the labour transmitter countries, the risk of overeducation is larger than it is for adult immigrants and the difference in adjusted wages between childhood immigrants and adult immigrants also tends to be smaller than for other countries of origin.
    Keywords: Wages; immigrants; childhood immigrants; returns to education; overeducation
    JEL: I24 J15 J31 J61
    Date: 2013–04–04
  20. By: Jane Fortson; Susanne James-Burdumy; Martha Bleeker; Nicholas Beyler; Rebecca A. London; Lisa Westrich; Katie Stokes-Guinan; Sebastian Castrechini
    Keywords: Playworks, School Climate, Academic Learning, Student Social Skills and Behavior
    Date: 2013–03–30
  21. By: Peter Z. Schochet; Hanley S. Chiang
    Abstract: This article addresses likely error rates for measuring teacher and school performance in the upper elementary grades using value-added models applied to student test score gain data. Using formulas based on ordinary least squares and empirical Bayes estimators, error rates for comparing a teacher’s performance to the average are likely to be about 25 percent with three years of data and 35 percent with one year of data. Corresponding error rates for overall false positive and negative errors are 10 percent and 20 percent, respectively. The results suggest that policymakers must carefully consider likely system error rates when using value-added estimates to make high-stakes decisions regarding educators.
    Keywords: Value-Added Models, Performance Measurement Systems, Student Learning Gains, False Positive and Negative Error Rates
    JEL: I
    Date: 2013–04–30

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