nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2013‒06‒24
fifteen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. University Differences in the Graduation of Minorities in STEM Fields: Evidence from California By Peter Arcidiacono; Esteban Aucejo; V. Joseph Hotz
  2. Food Insecurity and Educational Achievement: A Multilevel Generalization of Poisson Regression By Ames, Allison J.; Ames, Glenn C.W.; Houston, Jack E.; Angioloni, Simone
  3. Benefits of Education at the Intensive Margin: Childhood Academic Performance and Adult Outcomes among American Immigrants By Deniz Gevrek; Z. Eylem Gevrek; Cahit Guven
  4. Consumers’ Valuation of Academic and Equality-inducing Aspects of School Performance in England By Sofia N. Andreou; Panos Pashardes
  5. Should We Increase Instruction Time in Low Achieving Schools? Evidence from Southern Italy By Battistin, Erich; Meroni, Elena Claudia
  6. Decentralisation and Economic Growth - Part 3: Decentralisation, Infrastructure Investment and Educational Performance By Kaja Fredriksen
  7. Returns to Investment in Education in Urban China: Are there gender differences? By Wang, Donghui
  8. Improving Education Quality in South Africa By Fabrice Murtin
  9. Achieving Education for All Goals: Does Corruption Matter? By Dridi, Mohamed
  10. Climbing the Educational Ladder: The Relative Performance of Rural and Urban Students in Brazilian Universities By Sampaio, Gustavo Ramos; Arends-Kuenning, Mary
  11. The Value of Undergraduate Research: A Pilot Study of Agribusiness Alumni Perceptions By Hamilton, Lynn; Mathews, Leah; Grant, Richard; Wolf, Marianne McGarry
  12. School Lunch Menus Influence National School Lunch Program Participation? By Peckham, Janet G.; Kropp, Jaclyn D.; Mroz, Thomas A.; Haley-Zitlin, Vivian; Granberg, Ellen M.; Hawthorne, Nikki
  13. Policy Determinants of School Outcomes Under Model Uncertainty: Evidence from South Africa By Thomas Laurent; Fabrice Murtin; Geoff Barnard; Dean Janse van Rensburg; Vijay Reddy; George Frempong; Lolita Winnaar
  14. Exploring the Benefits of Applying Jesuit Pedagogy to Business and Economics Modules. By Justine Wood
  15. Child Schooling in India: Is there any evidence of a gender bias? By Itismita Mohanty; Anu Rammohan

  1. By: Peter Arcidiacono; Esteban Aucejo; V. Joseph Hotz
    Abstract: The low number of college graduates with science degrees - particularly among underrepresented minorities - is of growing concern. We examine differences across universities in graduating students in different fields. Using student-level data on the University of California system during a period in which racial preferences were in place, we show significant sorting into majors based on academic preparation, with science majors at each campus having on average stronger credentials than their non-science counterparts. Students with relatively weaker academic preparation are significantly more likely to leave the sciences and take longer to graduate at each campus. We show the vast majority of minority students would be more likely to graduate with a science degree and graduate in less time had they attended a lower ranked university. Similar results do not apply for non-minority students.
    Keywords: STEM majors, minorities, college graduation
    Date: 2013–06
  2. By: Ames, Allison J.; Ames, Glenn C.W.; Houston, Jack E.; Angioloni, Simone
    Abstract: This research examined the relationship between food insecurity, the National School Lunch Program, and academic achievement in Georgia public schools. A multilevel Poisson regression model was used to examine these relationships. Findings confirm a strong inverse relationship between poverty, as exhibited by participation in the National School Lunch Program, and academic achievement. The strength of the relationship was stronger for fifth grade students than for eighth grade students. Human capital, as measured by percent of population with college degrees, had a positive relationship with academic achievement measures.
    Keywords: Food Security and Poverty, Research Methods/ Statistical Methods,
    Date: 2013
  3. By: Deniz Gevrek (Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi, 6300 Ocean Drive, Corpus Christi, TX 78412 and IZA, Bonn, Germany); Z. Eylem Gevrek (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany); Cahit Guven (Deakin University, Victoria 125, Australia)
    Abstract: Using the Children of the Immigrants Longitudinal Study from the United States, this paper examines the association between schooling at the intensive margin and adult outcomes among first- and second-generation American immigrants. Schooling at the intensive margin is measured by reading and math scores in middle school and by GPA scores in both middle and high school. We find that measures of academic performance predict pecuniary and nonpecuniary adult outcomes. We also find that academic performance in high school relative to middle school is important in explaining adult socioeconomic outcomes. Immigrants with higher GPAs in high school compared to middle school have more schooling, are in better health, are less likely to commit crime, and have higher expectations regarding future job prestige and schooling. On the other hand, a decline in GPAs is associated with lower satisfaction with income and occupation. Moreover, our results indicate that infant mortality rate, which is used as a proxy for unfavorable health conditions in the country of birth, has a negative impact on academic performance during childhood and on personal earnings and income satisfaction during adulthood.
    Keywords: Economics of Education, Human Capital, School Performance, Immigrants
    JEL: I21 I25 J15 J24
    Date: 2013–06–08
  4. By: Sofia N. Andreou; Panos Pashardes
    Abstract: This paper investigates the willingness of households to pay for academic and equality-inducing (deprivation-compensating) components of the Contextual Value Added (CVA) indicator of school quality used in England. Semi-parametric and parametric analysis shows that consumers are willing to pay for houses in the catchment area of primary and secondary schools with high academic achievement, as measured by the mean score; whereas, the component of the CVA indicating equality-inducing aspects of school performance is found to have a positive effect only on the price of houses in the catchment area of primary schools in London; its impact on the price of houses elsewhere is mostly negative. The role played by the CVA as a guide to choosing a school and the implications which our results can have for school funding are considered.
    Keywords: Consumer Valuation, Education Equality, School Performance, Hedonic Analysis, Contextual Value Added
    Date: 2013–06
  5. By: Battistin, Erich (University of Padova); Meroni, Elena Claudia (University of Padova)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the short term effects of a large scale intervention, funded by the European Social Fund, that provides additional instruction time to students in low achieving lower secondary schools of Southern Italy. We control for sorting across classes using the fact that freshman are divided into groups distinguished by letters, they remain in the same group across grades and the composition of teachers in the school assigned to each group is substantially stable over time. We implement a difference-in-differences strategy, and compare contiguous cohorts of freshman enrolled in the same group. We contrast groups with and without additional instruction time in participating schools, to groups in non-participating schools that we select to be similar with respect to a long list of pre-programme indicators. We find that the programme raised test scores in mathematics in schools characterised by students from less advantaged backgrounds. We also find that targeting the best students with extra activities in Italian language comes at the cost of lowering their performance in mathematics. We go beyond average effects, finding that the positive effect documented for mathematics is driven by larger effects for the best students in the group.
    Keywords: education policies, instruction time, policy evaluation, quantile treatment effects
    JEL: C31 I28
    Date: 2013–05
  6. By: Kaja Fredriksen
    Abstract: Theories of fiscal competition between jurisdictions suggest that investment in productive relative to consumptive spending is higher in a decentralised setting, and that efficiency of the public sector is also higher. This paper empirically analyses the link between decentralisation and the composition of public spending as well as the relation between decentralisation and educational performance. The results suggest that fiscal decentralisation increases the share of public funds directed to capital spending and that the bulk of this shift is due to higher education spending. Using an education production function approach and PISA results (Programme of International Student Assessment) as an indicator of educational output, the results suggest that educational performance is significantly higher in decentralised countries, even when controlling for spending and other variables affecting education. A 10% point increase in decentralisation increases educational performance by four PISA points, thereby improving the PISA ranking by around four country positions on average. Decentralisation to lower government levels and decentralisation to the school level (school autonomy) have a similar impact on educational performance.<P>Décentralisation et croissance économique : Partie 3 : Décentralisation, investissement en infrastructure et performance des établissements scolaires<BR>Les théories de la concurrence budgétaire entre les pays et les entités publiques font penser que l’investissement dans les dépenses de production et non de consommation est plus élevé dans un cadre décentralisé, et que l’efficience du secteur public est supérieure également. La présente note analyse de façon empirique le lien entre décentralisation et performances des établissements scolaires. Les résultats font penser que la décentralisation budgétaire augmente la part de fonds publics axée sur les dépenses en capital, et que l’essentiel de cette évolution est dû à des dépenses dans l’éducation plus élevées. Utilisant une approche de fonction de production dans le domaine de l’éducation ainsi que les résultats du PISA (Programme d’évaluation du suivi des acquis des élèves), comme indicateurs des performances des établissements scolaires, les résultats tendent à montrer que les performances des écoles sont nettement supérieures dans les pays décentralisés, même après prise en compte des dépenses et d’autres variables influant sur l’éducation. La décentralisation à des niveaux infra-gouvernementaux et la décentralisation au niveau des écoles (autonomie des établissements scolaires) ont un impact analogue sur les performances des établissements scolaires.
    Keywords: fiscal decentralisation, fiscal federalism, PISA, public investment, education decentralisation, fédéralisme budgétaire, PISA, décentralisation budgétaire, investissement public, décentralisation de l’éducation
    JEL: H11 H75 I22
    Date: 2013–06–03
  7. By: Wang, Donghui
    Abstract: This study investigates the rate of returns to private investment in education in urban China, focusing on gender differences. It shows that in general females have higher rates of returns to schooling than males after taking account of sample selection bias and the endogeneity of schooling, despite the fact that females usually have less schooling and lower income. However, the advances of females become less prominent after controlling for occupational choices. Furthermore, the sub samples of rural-to-urban migrant workers and urban-resident workers display different patterns: for urban residents, females have slightly higher rates of returns to schooling, while migrant workers show an opposite hierarchy of gender differences in returns to schooling, in the sense that males have higher returns to schooling than females.
    Keywords: Labor and Human Capital, Public Economics,
    Date: 2013–05
  8. By: Fabrice Murtin
    Abstract: South Africa has achieved remarkable progress in educational attainment relative to other emerging countries, but the quality of basic education for a large fraction of the Black African population is still very low. This study identifies several hurdles to the upgrading of basic education quality, such as the lack of investment in school infrastructure and learning materials in disadvantaged areas, uneven administrative capacity at the local level, low teacher quality and poor teaching of English among Black Africans. Bold action is recommended to empower schools with more physical resources, more competent school leadership and an accountable teacher workforce. Skill mismatches of supply and demand on the labour market may be further addressed by vocational education reforms and an alleviation of credit constraints at the tertiary level.<P>Améliorer la qualité de l'éducation en Afrique du Sud<BR>L’Afrique du Sud a accompli des progrès remarquables en matière d’éducation par rapport à d’autres pays émergents, mais la qualité de l’éducation de base reste très faible pour une large partie de la population africaine noire. Cette étude met en évidence plusieurs obstacles à l’amélioration de la qualité de l’éducation de base, notamment le manque d’investissement dans les infrastructures scolaires et les matériels pédagogiques dans les zones défavorisées, des capacités administratives inégales au niveau local, une mauvaise qualité des enseignants et un enseignement médiocre de l’anglais aux élèves africains noirs. Il est recommandé de prendre des mesures audacieuses pour doter les écoles de davantage de ressources matérielles, d’une équipe de direction plus compétente et d’un corps enseignant responsable. L’inadéquation des compétences entre l’offre et la demande sur le marché du travail peut en outre être traitée par des réformes concernant l’enseignement professionnel et par l’allègement des contraintes de crédit dans l’éducation supérieure.
    Keywords: education, school leadership, skills mismatch, education quality, teacher, teacher accountability, test score, return to schooling, éducation, Rendements de l’éducation, qualité de l'éducation, inadéquation des compétences, enseignant, responsabilité des enseignants, test scolaire, direction d’école
    JEL: I20 I24 I25 I28 J24
    Date: 2013–06–06
  9. By: Dridi, Mohamed
    Abstract: The Education for All (EFA) programme has received and continues to receive a great deal of attention since the convening of the World Conference on Education in Jomtien (Thailand, 1990). Several reports have been published over the past decade, especially by the UNESCO, to assess the progress being made by different nations and regions in moving towards EFA goals. A common finding of these reports is that achievement registered in many parts of the world was not as great as expected. The aim of this paper is to explore whether differences in corruption levels can explain differences in the progress towards EFA goals across countries and regions. Using the 2007 EFA Development Index which incorporates data on progress towards four EFA targets (universal primary education, gender parity, adult literacy and education quality), we show that countries and regions with high corruption levels are those who registered the worst progress towards EFA.
    Keywords: Corruption, Education, Education for All
    JEL: D73 I29
    Date: 2013–06–17
  10. By: Sampaio, Gustavo Ramos; Arends-Kuenning, Mary
    Keywords: Community/Rural/Urban Development, Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession,
    Date: 2013
  11. By: Hamilton, Lynn; Mathews, Leah; Grant, Richard; Wolf, Marianne McGarry
    Abstract: The benefits of undergraduate research for students, including gains in analytical and critical thinking skills, written communication, and self-assurance, has been well-documented in the natural sciences. However, few studies exist that assess the benefits of undergraduate research in the social sciences and none of these studies reports on undergraduate research experiences in agricultural economics. This research reports on a pilot study designed to assess the value of undergraduate research experiences among agricultural economics students. Over 500 alumni who graduated from California Polytechnic State University over the last few decades responded to the 2013 survey. Results demonstrate the value of undergraduate research in agricultural economics to students’ career and personal development as well as the potential for changing perceptions of the benefits over time based on the differences we identified in alumni age group cohorts. A critical issue for agricultural economics departments is how to allocate resources in order to most cost-effectively provide such enrichment in the undergraduate curriculum.
    Keywords: Teaching, Learning, Undergraduate Research, Alumni Survey, Career Skills, Agribusiness, Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession,
    Date: 2013
  12. By: Peckham, Janet G.; Kropp, Jaclyn D.; Mroz, Thomas A.; Haley-Zitlin, Vivian; Granberg, Ellen M.; Hawthorne, Nikki
    Abstract: he National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is one of the largest nutrition assistance programs in the United States, providing free and reduced-price lunches for income-eligible students as well as minimally subsidizing paid lunches for students that do not qualify to receive free or reduce-price lunches. Although the levels of nutrient deficiencies vary slightly across studies, the majority of the research concedes that NSLP participants consume more fats and sodium than non-participants, which may lead to higher rates of overweight and obesity. Furthermore, differences across income in dietary intake among NSLP participants may be an underlying cause of the previous mixed results. In this study, we investigate the relationship between income-eligibility status (Free, Reduced, or Paid) and entrée selection. Using a unique dataset tracking daily entrée choices and their nutritional value among elementary students at a suburban school district, this paper provides a novel approach to understanding the healthfulness of the NSLP. We find that while controlling for age, gender, and race, students that purchase free lunch choose entrees with less sodium than students purchasing either reduced-price or paid lunches. Relative to students purchasing free-lunches, students purchasing paid lunches also choose entrees with more protein and fat and entrees with fewer carbohydrates.
    Keywords: National School Lunch Program, Obesity, Point of Sale Data, Consumer/Household Economics, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Public Economics, D12, I18, I38 Q18,
    Date: 2013
  13. By: Thomas Laurent; Fabrice Murtin; Geoff Barnard; Dean Janse van Rensburg; Vijay Reddy; George Frempong; Lolita Winnaar
    Abstract: In this paper we assess the determinants of secondary school outcomes in South Africa. We use Bayesian Averaging Model techniques to account for uncertainty in the set of underlying factors that are chosen among a very large pool of explanatory variables in order to minimize the risk of omitted variable bias. Our analysis indicates that the socioeconomic background of pupils, demographic characteristics such as population groups (Black and White) as well as geographical locations account for a significant variation in pupils’ achievement levels. We also find that the most robust policy determinants of pupils’ test scores are the availability of a library at school, the use of IT in the classroom as well as school climate. This Working Paper relates to the 2013 OECD Economic Survey of South Africa (<P>Les politiques d'éducation face à l'incertitude de la modélisation : l'Afrique du Sud à l'étude<BR>Cette étude estime les déterminants des résultats scolaires en Afrique du Sud. Des techniques Bayésiennes de sélection de modèle sont utilisées pour traiter l’incertitude dans le choix des variables explicatives, lesquelles sont tirées d’un ensemble très large de variables candidates aidant à minimiser le biais d’omission. Les résultats indiquent que le profil socio-économique des élèves, les caractéristiques démographiques telles que l’appartenance ethnique ou la localisation géographique expliquent une partie importante des différences de performance scolaire entre élèves. Les politiques éducatives corrélées aux résultats scolaires sont la disponibilité de bibliothèques à l’école, l’utilisation des technologies de l’information en classe ainsi que la discipline à l’école. Ce Document de travail se rapporte à l'Étude économique de l’Afrique du Sud, 2013, ( uedusud2013.htm).
    Keywords: education, South Africa, Bayesian model averaging, éducation, Afrique du Sud, choix de modèles par estimateur Bayésien
    JEL: C2 H4 I2 O2
    Date: 2013–06–06
  14. By: Justine Wood (School of Business and Economics, Loughborough University, UK)
    Abstract: This paper identifies key characteristics of Jesuit pedagogy, expounds why Jesuit pedagogy is relevant not only to religious students but to all learners, and explores the benefits of applying these active learning teaching methods to business and economics courses. We review teaching effectiveness before and after a Jesuit pedagogical augmentation to a statistics module. Analysing a case study approach, the resulting evidence is strong support for the inclusion of Jesuit pedagogical foundations that are traditionally absent from non-humanities based modules.
    Keywords: Pedagogy, Business, Economics.
    JEL: A20 A22 A23 A29
    Date: 2013–06
  15. By: Itismita Mohanty (NATSEM, University of Canberra); Anu Rammohan (Economics, The University of Western Australia)
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to analyse factors that influence schooling outcomes among children in India, specifically focusing on the role of gender. Using the nationally representative Indian National Family Health Survey 2005-06,our analysis finds statistically significant evidence of male advantage both in schooling attendance as well as years of schooling. However, using a cluster fixed-effects model, our analysis finds that within a cluster, contingent on being enrolled, girls spend more years in school relative to boys. Other results show that parental schooling has a positive and statistically significant impact on child schooling. There is also statistically significant wealth effect, community effect and regional disparities between states in India.
    Keywords: child schooling; cluster fixed effects; household fixed effects; gender bias
    JEL: J16 J24 O15 I20 D13
    Date: 2013–06

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