nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2013‒08‒31
fifteen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Educational Achievement and the Allocation of School Resources By Cobb-Clark, Deborah A.; Jha, Nikhil
  2. Gender differences in educational aspirations and attitudes By Rampino, Tina; Taylor, Mark P.
  3. Cash Transfers and Child Schooling: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation of the Role of Conditionality By Richard Akresh; Damien de Walque; Harounan Kazianga
  4. Financial incentives and educational investment: the impact of performance-based scholarships on student time use By Lisa Barrow; Cecilia Elena Rouse
  5. Consumption expenditures in economic impact studies: an application to university students By Kristinn Hermannsson; Peter G McGregor; J Kim Swales
  6. Assessing education's contribution to productivity using firm-level evidence By Lara LEBEDINSKI; Vincent VANDENBERGHE
  7. Third Generation University Strategic Planning Model Development By Skribans, Valerijs; Lektauers, Arnis; Merkuryev, Yuri
  8. The Implications of Educational and Methodological Background for The Career Success of Nobel Laureates: Looking at Major Awards By Ho Fai Chan; Benno Torgler
  9. Intelligence and safe and healthy behavior in a small sample of students By Jan S. Cramer; S.M. Hoogendoorn
  10. Explaining entrepreneurial orientation among university students: evidence from Italy By A. Arrighetti; F. Landini; L. Caricati; N. Monacelli
  11. Student Loans and the Allocation of Graduate Jobs By Alessandro Cigno; Annalisa Luporini
  12. Gender Differences in Occupational Mobility – Evidence from Portugal By Crespo, Nuno; Simoes, Nadia; Moreira, Sandrina B.
  13. Geographic Differences in the Earnings of Economics Majors By John V. Winters; Weineng Xu
  14. The Causal Relationship between Economic Policy Uncertainty and Stock Returns in China and India: Evidence from a Bootstrap Rolling-Window Approach By Xiao-lin Li; Mehmet Balcilar; Rangan Gupta; Tsangyao Chang
  15. Human Capital and Genetic Diversity By Sequeira, Tiago; Santos, Marcelo; Ferreira-Lopes, Alexandra

  1. By: Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. (University of Melbourne); Jha, Nikhil (University of Melbourne)
    Abstract: The school resources – educational outcomes debate has focused almost exclusively on spending levels. We extend this by analysing the relationship between student achievement and schools' budget allocation decisions using panel data. Per-pupil expenditure has only a modest relationship with improvement in students' standardised test scores. However, budget allocation across spending categories matters for student achievement, particularly in grade 7. Ancillary teaching staff seems especially important in primary- and middle-school years. Spending on school leadership – primarily principals – is also linked to faster growth in literacy levels in these grades. On the whole, schools' spending patterns are broadly efficient.
    Keywords: educational achievement, test scores, school resource allocation
    JEL: I21 I22 I28
    Date: 2013–08
  2. By: Rampino, Tina; Taylor, Mark P.
    Abstract: We use data from the youth component of the British Household Panel Survey to examine gender differences in educational attitudes and aspirations among 11-15 year olds. While girls have more positive aspirations and attitudes than boys, the impacts of gender on childrens attitudes and aspirations vary significantly with parental education level, parental attitudes to education, childs age and the indirect cost of education. Boys are more responsive than girls to positive parental characteristics, while educational attitudes and aspirations of boys deteriorate at a younger age than those of girls. These findings have implications for policies designed to reduce educational attainment differences between boys and girls as they identify factors which exacerbate the educational disadvantage of boys relative to girls.
    Date: 2013–08–20
  3. By: Richard Akresh (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign); Damien de Walque (The World Bank, Washington DC); Harounan Kazianga (Oklahoma State University)
    Abstract: We conduct a randomized experiment in rural Burkina Faso to estimate the impact of alternative cash transfer delivery mechanisms on education. The two-year pilot program randomly distributed cash transfers that were either conditional (CCT) or unconditional (UCT). Families under the CCT schemes were required to have their children ages 7-15 enrolled in school and attend classes regularly. There were no such requirements under the unconditional programs. Results indicate that UCTs and CCTs have a similar impact increasing the enrollment of children who are traditionally favored by parents for school participation, including boys, older children, and higher ability children. However, CCTs are significantly more effective than UCTs in improving the enrollment of "marginal children" who are initially less likely to go to school, such as girls, younger children, and lower ability children. Thus, conditionality plays a critical role in benefiting children who are less likely to receive investments from their parents.
    Keywords: Cash transfers; Conditionality; Education; Africa
    JEL: I21 I25 I38 J13 O15 C93
    Date: 2013–01
  4. By: Lisa Barrow; Cecilia Elena Rouse
    Abstract: Using survey data from a field experiment in the U.S., we test whether and how financial incentives change student behavior. We find that providing post-secondary scholarships with incentives to meet performance, enrollment, and/or attendance benchmarks induced students to devote more time to educational activities and to increase the quality of effort toward, and engagement with, their studies; students also allocated less time to other activities such as work and leisure. While the incentives did not generate impacts after eligibility had ended, they also did not decrease students’ inherent interest or enjoyment in learning. Finally, we present evidence suggesting that students were motivated more by the incentives provided than simply the effect of giving additional money, and that students who were arguably less time-constrained were more responsive to the incentives as were those who were plausibly more myopic. Overall these results indicate that well-designed incentives can induce post-secondary students to increase investments in educational attainment.
    Keywords: Education, Higher - Economic aspects
    Date: 2013
  5. By: Kristinn Hermannsson (Department of Economics, University of Strathclyde); Peter G McGregor (Department of Economics, University of Strathclyde); J Kim Swales (Department of Economics, University of Strathclyde)
    Abstract: This paper examines how appropriately to attribute economic impact to consumption expenditures. Consumption expenditures are often treated as either wholly endogenous or wholly exogenous, following a distinction from Input-Output analysis. For many applications, such as those focusing on the impacts of tourism or benefits systems, such binomial assumptions are not satisfactory. We argue that consumption is neither wholly endogenous nor wholly exogenous but that the degree of this distinction is rather an empirical matter. We set out a general model for the treatment of consumption expenditures and illustrate its application through the case of university students. We examine individual student groups and how the impacts of students at particular institutions. Furthermore we take into account the binding budget constraint of public expenditures (as is the case for devolved regions in the UK) and examine how this affects the impact attributed to students' consumption expenditures.
    Keywords: Input-output, Impact, Higher Education, Students, Expenditures
    JEL: I23 I25 R12 R15
    Date: 2013–08
  6. By: Lara LEBEDINSKI (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES)); Vincent VANDENBERGHE (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))
    Abstract: There is plenty of individual-level evidence, based on the estimation of Mincerian equations, showing that better-educated individuals earn more. This is usually interpreted as a proof that education raises labour productivity. Some macroeconomists, analysing cross-country time series, also support the idea that the continuous expansion of education has contributed positively to growth. Surprisingly, most economists with an interest in human capital have neglected the level of the firm to study the education-productivity-wage nexus. And the few published works considering firm-level evidence are lacking a proper strategy to cope with the endogeneity problem inherent to the estimation of production and wage functions. This paper taps into a rich, firm-level, Belgian panel database that contains information on productivity, labour cost and the workforce’s educational attainment. It aims at providing estimates of the causal effect of education on productivity and wage/labour costs. Therefore, it exclusively resorts to within firm changes to deal with time-invariant heterogeneity bias. What is more, it addresses the risk of simultaneity bias (endogeneity of firms’ education-mix choices in the short run) using the structural approach suggested by Ackerberg, Caves & Frazer (2006), alongside more traditional system-generalized method of moments (GMM) methods (Blundell & Bond, 1998) where lagged values of labour inputs are used as instruments. Results suggest that human capital, in particular larger shares of university-educated workers inside firms, translate into significantly higher firm-level labour productivity, and that labour costs are relatively well aligned on education-driven labour productivity differences. In other words, we find evidence that the Mincerian relationship between education and individual wages is driven by a strong positive link between education and firm-level productivity.
    Keywords: Education, Human capital, Firm-Level Productivity and Labour Cost, Cobb-Douglas, CES, imperfect substitutability
    JEL: J24 E24 C51
    Date: 2013–08–26
  7. By: Skribans, Valerijs; Lektauers, Arnis; Merkuryev, Yuri
    Abstract: The paper discusses implementation of a research that is aimed at development of a simulation model which would allow analyzing different development strategies of the third generation university. Small countries’ universities have limits of growth. The problem can be solved with a new approach to university role. The third generation defines university as innovation generation, transfer and implementation center, while maintaining the traditional university functions. The 3G university activities change number of innovative companies in the country. With growth of the number of innovative companies, potential researches and innovation customers’ amount grow. With time the amount of conducted research and developed innovative products growth. Innovative products and technologies is the basis of university competitiveness in the 21st century. Universities must develop, accumulate, implement and get benefits from innovative products and technologies.
    Keywords: system dynamics; higher education; resource management; organizational learning; funding; quality; knowledge; innovation
    JEL: C02 C50 C51 C60 C69 I20 I21 I22 I23
    Date: 2013
  8. 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
  9. By: Jan S. Cramer; S.M. Hoogendoorn (University of Amsterdam)
    Abstract: There is ample evidence in the epidemiological literature that intelligence (like education and affluence) is related with reduced mortality rates and a longer life. This may be the direct result of safer and healthier behavior of more intelligent people. We have tried to test this hypothesis by a survey among students of the Amsterdam College of Applied Sciences (Hogeschool van Amsterdam) of whom intelligence had been recorded earlier. We find no convincing evidence in support of this hypothesis, in part because of the small sample size of 131 students.
    Date: 2013–02–01
  10. By: A. Arrighetti; F. Landini; L. Caricati; N. Monacelli
    Abstract: This paper presents one of the first studies on the entrepreneurial orientation of Italian university students. For a large sample of students from the University of Parma (Italy), we estimate the sources of entrepreneurial intent, distinguishing between the propensity to start a new business and the perceived likelihood of becoming an entrepreneur. In line with previous research in other countries, entrepreneurial intent is explained by a wide set of variables, including psychological, social and contextual factors. For Italian university students, the current economic crisis and the consequent increase in uncertainty do not seem to significantly weaken the importance of psychological variables as factors shaping entrepreneurial intent, confirming that these variables maintain primary relevance regardless of the context and the economic situation. While the perception of a lack of economic opportunities does not significantly affect the propensity to start a new venture, it does have a negative impact on the perceived likelihood of becoming an entrepreneur. This, in turn, suggests that the ongoing economic recession may indeed have a negative impact on the future entrepreneurial supply through a discouragement effect. Finally, the impact of family and business associations on stimulating entrepreneurial intent turns out not to be statistically significant. The combination of these results significantly contributes to our general understanding of entrepreneurial intent among Italian university students.
    Keywords: entrepreneurial intent, university students, Italy, economic crisis
    Date: 2013
  11. By: Alessandro Cigno (University of Florence, Italy; CESifo, Germany; CHILD, Italy); Annalisa Luporini (University of Florence, Italy; CESifo, Germany; CHILD, Italy)
    Abstract: In an economy where graduate jobs are allocated by tournament, and some of the potential participants cannot borrow against their expected future earnings, the government can increase efficiency and ex ante equity by redistributing wealth or, if that is not possible, by borrowing wholesale and lending to potential participants. Both policies replace some of the less able rich with some of the more able poor and bring education investments closer to their first-best levels.
    Keywords: higher education, matching tournaments, credit
    JEL: C78 D82 H42 I22 J24
    Date: 2013–07
  12. By: Crespo, Nuno; Simoes, Nadia; Moreira, Sandrina B.
    Abstract: In this paper we evaluate if gender influences the pattern of upward and downward occupational mobility. With data for Portugal in the period 1998-2009, we find that women have a lower probability of upward mobility and a higher probability of downward mobility. The results also reveal the importance of some other determinant factors, especially education and initial occupation. Additionally, considering an analysis by quartiles (taking as reference a ranking based on average wages), we confirm that the determinants of occupational mobility depend on the ranking of the initial occupation. This analysis allows us to conclude that the unfavorable pattern of occupational mobility in the case of women is due, essentially, to the disadvantage they have at the bottom of the distribution. On the contrary, in the top occupations, the results suggest the existence of equality between genders.
    Keywords: Occupational mobility, Gender, Determinant factors, Portugal
    JEL: J24 J62
    Date: 2013
  13. By: John V. Winters (Oklahoma State University); Weineng Xu (Department of Finance, University of Arkansas)
    Abstract: Economics has been shown to be a relatively high earning college major, but geographic differences in earnings have been largely overlooked. This paper uses the American Community Survey to examine geographic differences in both absolute earnings and relative earnings for economic majors. We find that there are substantial geographic differences in both the absolute and relative earnings of economics majors even controlling for individual characteristics such as age and advanced degrees. We argue that mean earnings in specific labor markets are a better measure of the benefits of majoring in economics than simply looking at national averages.
    Keywords: economics major; earnings differentials; college education; local labor markets
    JEL: I23 J24 J31 R23
    Date: 2013–08
  14. By: Xiao-lin Li (Department of Finance, School of Economics and Management, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China); Mehmet Balcilar (Department of Economics, Eastern Mediterranean University, Famagusta, North Cyprus,via Mersin 10, Turkey); Rangan Gupta (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria); Tsangyao Chang (Department of Finance, Feng Chia University, Taichung, Taiwan)
    Abstract: This paper examines the causal link between economic policy uncertainty and stock returns in China and India, using bootstrap Granger full-sample causality test and sub-sample rolling window estimation. We use monthly data covering from 1995:02 to 2013:02 for China and 2003:02-2013:02 for India. The bootstrap full-sample Granger causality test suggests no evidence of any causality between economic policy uncertainty and stock returns for the two countries. However, taking structural changes into account, we assess stability of parameters of the estimated vector autoregressive (VAR) models. We find both the short-run and long-run relationships between economic policy uncertainty and stock return estimated using full-sample data are unstable over the sample period. This suggests that full-sample causality tests cannot be relied upon. We turn to propose a time-varying (bootstrap) rolling window approach to revisit the dynamic causal relationship between the two variables. Using a rolling window of 24 months, we do find that there are bidirectional causal relationships between stock returns and EPU for several sub-periods in China and India. However, the association between EPU and stock returns is, in general, weak in these two emerging countries. These findings have important implications for policy makers as well as investors.
    Keywords: Economic Policy Uncertainty, Stock returns, Rolling Window, Bootstrap, Time-Varying Causality
    JEL: C32 G12 G18
    Date: 2013–08
  15. By: Sequeira, Tiago; Santos, Marcelo; Ferreira-Lopes, Alexandra
    Abstract: The determinants of human capital have been studied sparsely in the literature. Although there is a huge literature on the determinants of schooling linked with the quality of schooling, there are not many contributions that explore the deep determinants of investment in, quantity and quality of human capital. This paper investigates the relationship between human capital and the ancestral genetic diversity of populations. It highlights a strong hump-shaped relationship between genetic diversity and human capital. This means that some of the human capital achievements nowadays may root to the genetic diversity mostly determined many centuries ago. Results are robust to the introduction of several controls, to a consideration of a proxy for human capital in 1500 and to IV estimation.
    Keywords: human capital; genetic diversity; determinants of development; determinants of human capital.
    JEL: I25 N10 N30 O10 O50 Z10
    Date: 2013–08–19

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