nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2013‒07‒05
fourteen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Differential Pricing in Undergraduate Education: Effects on Degree Production by Field By Kevin M. Stange
  2. A Major in Science? Initial Beliefs and Final Outcomes for College Major and Dropout By Ralph Stinebrickner; Todd R. Stinebrickner
  3. Vocationalization in the research intensive university By Manuel Crespo; Houssine Dridi; Marie Lecomte
  4. Labour's Record on Education: Policy, Spending and Outcomes 1997-2010 By Ruth Lupton; Polina Obolenskaya
  5. Race and College Success: Evidence from Missouri By Peter Arcidiacono; Cory Koedel
  6. Trends in Health, Education and Income in the United States, 1820-2000 By Hoyt Bleakley; Dora Costa; Adriana Lleras-Muney
  7. The Effect of High School Exit Exams on Graduation, Employment, Wages and Incarceration By Olesya Baker; Kevin Lang
  8. Agricultural and Resource Economics Ph.D. Students: Who are They and What Do They Want? By Penn, Jerrod; Sandberg, H. Mikael
  9. Emancipation Through Education By Michelle Rendall; Fatih Guvenen
  10. Education in Scotland: performance in a devolved policy area By Stephen Machin; Sandra McNally; Gill Wyness
  11. The impact of investment in education on economic development: Spain in comparative perspective (1860-2000) By Enriqueta Camps
  12. Providing Financial Education: A General Equilibrium Approach By Mario Padula; Yuri Pettinicchi
  13. The Effect of School Quality on House Prices: A Meta-Regression Analysis By Yadavalli, Anita P.; Florax, Raymond J.G.M.

  1. By: Kevin M. Stange
    Abstract: In the face of declining state support, many universities have introduced differential pricing by undergraduate program as an alternative to across-the-board tuition increases. This practice aligns price more closely with instructional costs and students’ ability to pay post-graduation. Exploiting the staggered adoption of these policies across universities, this paper finds that differential pricing does alter the allocation of students to majors, though heterogeneity across fields may suggest a greater supply response in particularly oversubscribed fields such as nursing. There is some evidence that student groups already underrepresented in certain fields are particularly affected by the new pricing policies. Price does appear to be a policy lever through which state governments can alter the field composition of the workforce they are training with the public higher education system.
    JEL: I20 I22 I28 J24
    Date: 2013–06
  2. By: Ralph Stinebrickner; Todd R. Stinebrickner
    Abstract: Taking advantage of unique longitudinal data, we provide the first characterization of what college students believe at the time of entrance about their final major, relate these beliefs to actual major outcomes, and, provide an understanding of why students hold the initial beliefs about majors that they do. The data collection and analysis are based directly on a conceptual model in which a student’s final major is best viewed as the end result of a learning process. We find that students enter school quite optimistic/interested about obtaining a science degree, but that relatively few students end up graduating with a science degree. The substantial overoptimism about completing a degree in science can be attributed largely to students beginning school with misperceptions about their ability to perform well academically in science.
    JEL: I21 I23 J0
    Date: 2013–06
  3. By: Manuel Crespo; Houssine Dridi; Marie Lecomte
    Abstract: This paper analyses the trends in program creation, modification and abolition/suspension, during a ten year period, of three research intensive universities in Canada: Université de Montréal, Université Laval, and McGill University. The trends observed, by analysing the Minutes of the Commission des études in the case of Francophone universities and the ‘Senate Subcommittee on Teaching and Programs’ for McGill University, reveal a tendency toward vocationalization when changes are introduced in the academic programs supply. Data from 25 interviews of professors involved in university-industry collaborative research projects, conducted between April and June of 2007 in McGill University and University of British Columbia show also a tendency towards an utilitarian graduate training. Values of practicality, collaboration, interdisciplinarity and entrepreneurship, resulting from professors’ bisectorial and multisectorial collaborations with industry, are passed on to students, particularly graduate students. <P>
    Keywords: Vocationalization of higher education, vocational drift, graduate training, market demands, academic programs change, research intensive university,
    Date: 2013–06–01
  4. By: Ruth Lupton; Polina Obolenskaya
    Keywords: social policy, education, labour education policy, educational inequalities
    Date: 2013–07
  5. By: Peter Arcidiacono; Cory Koedel
    Abstract: Conditional on enrollment, African American students are substantially less likely to graduate from 4-year public universities than white students. Using administrative micro data from Missouri, we decompose the graduation gap between African Americans and whites into four factors: (1) racial differences in how students sort to universities, (2) racial differences in how students sort to initial majors, (3) racial differences in school quality prior to entry, and (4) racial differences in other observed pre-entry skills. Pre-entry skills explain 65 and 86 percent of the gap for women and men respectively. A small role is found for differential sorting into college, particularly for women, and this is driven by African Americans being disproportionately represented at urban schools and the schools at the very bottom of the quality distribution.
    JEL: I23 J15
    Date: 2013–06
  6. By: Hoyt Bleakley; Dora Costa; Adriana Lleras-Muney
    Abstract: We document the correlations between early childhood health (as proxied by height) and educational attainment and investigate the labor market and wealth returns to height for United States cohorts born between 1820 and 1990. The 19th century was characterized by low investments in height and education, a small correlation between height and education, and positive but small returns for both height and education. The relationship between height and education was stronger in the 20th century and stronger in the first part of the 20th century than later on (when both investments in education and height stalled), but never as strong as in developing countries. The labor market and wealth returns to height and education also were higher in the 20th compared to the 19th century. We relate our findings to the theory of human capital formation and speculate that the greater importance of physical labor in the 19th century economy, which raised the opportunity cost of schooling, may have depressed the height-education relationship relative to the 20th century. Our findings are consistent with an increasing importance of cognitive abilities acquired in early childhood.
    JEL: I0
    Date: 2013–06
  7. By: Olesya Baker; Kevin Lang
    Abstract: We evaluate the effects of high school exit exams on high school graduation, incarceration, employment and wages. We construct a state/graduation-cohort dataset using the Current Population Survey, Census and information on exit exams. We find relatively modest effects of high school exit exams except on incarceration. Exams assessing academic skills below the high school level have little effect. However, more challenging standards-based exams reduce graduation and increase incarceration rates. About half the reduction in graduation rates is offset by increased GED receipt. We find no consistent effects of exit exams on employment or the distribution of wages.
    JEL: I21 I24 I28 J24 J3
    Date: 2013–06
  8. By: Penn, Jerrod; Sandberg, H. Mikael
    Abstract: In the fall of 2012, a survey was distributed among current students in agricultural and resource economics or affiliated graduate programs at 30 major U.S. universities. The purpose of this survey was to elicit the thoughts and opinions of the graduate student population with regards to their background, view of their programs, future career goals, and what advice they would give to potential applicants considering a graduate degree in the field. This paper provides a summary of the findings of this survey. The results suggest that current Ph.D. students are well-aware of the nature of graduate schools; they have clear goals about post-graduation careers. There seems to be a structural mismatch between the field of interest and the current hiring trends in the profession; and students feel strongly about the importance of quantitative preparation prior to enrollment. Furthermore, the findings indicate that students are pragmatic about applying for, and ultimately choosing, graduate schools.
    Keywords: Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession,
    Date: 2013
  9. By: Michelle Rendall (University of Zurich); Fatih Guvenen (University of Minnesota)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the role of education in the evolution of women's role in the society---specifically, in the labor market and in the marriage market. In particular, it attempts to understand a set of socio-economic trends since the 1950s, such as (i) the falling marriage rate and the rising divorce rate, (ii) the rising educational attainment of women, which now exceeds that of men's (iii) the rising average earnings of women relative to men (i.e., the gender wage gap), and (iv) the substantial rise in the labor force participation (and labor supply) of married women. These trends have potentially profound effects on the society and raise several interesting questions to study. We build a plausible model with education, marriage/divorce, and labor supply decisions in which these different trends are intimately related to each other. We focus on education because divorce laws typically allow spouses to keep a much larger fraction of the returns from their human capital upon divorce compared to their physical assets, making education a good insurance against divorce risk. The proposed framework generates a number of powerful amplification mechanisms, which lead to large rises in divorce rates and college enrollment of women and a fall in marriage rates from relatively modest exogenous driving forces.
    Date: 2012
  10. By: Stephen Machin; Sandra McNally; Gill Wyness
    Abstract: As the people of Scotland consider their vote in next year's referendum, what evidence is there that the nation can succeed 'on its own'? Gill Wyness and colleagues explore how Scotland compares with the rest of the UK in education, an area of public policy that is already highly devolved.
    Keywords: Scotland, education policy, devolution
    Date: 2013–06
  11. By: Enriqueta Camps
    Abstract: Throughout the 19th century and until the mid-20th century, in terms of long-term investment in human capital and, above all, in education, Spain lagged far behind the international standards and, more specifically, the levels attained by its neighbours in Europe. In 1900, only 55% of the population could read; in 1950, the figure was 93%. This no doubt contributed to a pattern of slower economic growth in which the physical strength required for agricultural work, measured here through height, had a larger impact than education on economic growth. It was not until the 1970s, with the arrival of democracy, that the Spanish education system was modernized and the influence of education on economic growth increased.
    Keywords: employment structure, human capital, educational offer, economic growth.
    JEL: I2 I1 J3 J8 N3
    Date: 2013–06
  12. By: Mario Padula (University “Ca’ Foscari” of Venice, CSEF and CEPR); Yuri Pettinicchi (University “Ca’ Foscari” of Venice)
    Abstract: Since the early 2000s, the importance of financial literacy for safe financial behaviors has in- creased in public debate and has been the motivation for several national and international institutions to launch and promote financial education initiatives. Although discussion on the effects of such education programs remains open, it is generally presumed that higher levels of financial literacy are associated with more stable financial markets. The present paper challenges this assumption and provides a model of heterogeneous agents which dif- fer according to the level of their cognitive abilities. The model allows us to discuss the implications for asset pricing of policies aimed at increasing levels of financial literacy, and shows that general equilibrium effects cause market price volatility and the share of literate individuals to vary in a non-monotonic way with financial education.
    Keywords: Market stability, Asset pricing, Cognitive ability, Financial literacy, Heterogeneous agents.
    JEL: D82 G12 G14 G18
    Date: 2013–06–26
  13. By: Yadavalli, Anita P.; Florax, Raymond J.G.M.
    Abstract: The evidence on whether school quality affects house prices is uncertain. This paper employs meta-regression analysis on 48 studies to understand what factors influence the discrepancy among analogous studies. We estimate Fischer0s Z transformation, ordered probit, and linear regression models to incorporate eight different school quality variables. Our results suggest the Fischer0s Z model is less preferred to the ordered probit model given the entire sample of school quality measures, and to the linear regression model given a reduced sample of studies with only the primary school test score measure.
    Keywords: Consumer/Household Economics,
    Date: 2013
  14. By: Ho Fai Chan; Benno Torgler
    Abstract: Nobel laureates have achieved the highest recognition in academia,reaching the boundaries of human knowledge and understanding. Owing to past research, we have a good understanding of the career patterns behind their performance. Yet, we have only limited understanding of the factors driving their recognition with respect to major institutionalized scientific honours. We therefore look at the award life cycle achievements of the 1901 to 2000 Nobel laureates in physics, chemistry and physiology or medicine. The results show that Nobelists with a theoretical orientation are achieving more awards than laureates with an empirical orientation. Moreover, it seems their educational background shapes their future recognition. Researchers educated in Great Britain and the US tend to generate more awards than other Nobelists although there are career pattern differences. Among those, laureates educated at Cambridge or Harvard are more successful in Chemistry, those from Columbia and Cambridge excel in Physics, while Columbia educated laureates dominate in Physiology or Medicine.
    Keywords: Nobel Prize, Nobel Laureates, Awards, Recognition, Educational Background, Theory, Empirics, Chemistry, Physics, Physiology or Medicine
    JEL: M52 J33 Z13
    Date: 2013–06–24

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