nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2013‒09‒24
thirteen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. School Accountability, Postsecondary Attainment and Earnings By David J. Deming; Sarah Cohodes; Jennifer Jennings; Christopher Jencks
  2. Liberty for More: Finance and Educational Opportunities By Ross Levine; Yona Rubinstein
  3. How much do children learn in school? International evidence from school entry rules By Sander Gerritsen; Dinand Webbink
  4. Do Students Perform Better in Schools with Orderly Classrooms? By OECD
  5. Educational Inequality and the Returns to Skills By Lundberg, Shelly
  6. Will Sooner Be Better? The Impact of Early Preschool Enrollment on Cognitive and Noncognitive Achievement of Children By Filatriau, Olivier; Fougère, Denis; Tô, Maxime
  7. Herding cats? Management and university performance By McCormack, John; Propper, Carol; Smith, Sarah L.
  8. Igualdade de Oportunidades- Analisando o papel das circunstâncias no desempenho do ENEM By Fernanda Leite Santana; Lauro Cesar Bezerra Nogueira; Erik Alencar de Figueiredo
  9. Development Class-size Reduction Policies and the Quality of Entering Teachers. By Steven Dieterle (University of Edinburgh)
  10. Providing financial education: a general equilibrium approach By Padula, Mario; Pettinicchi, Yuri
  11. The Rationale for Higher Education Investment in Ibero-America By José Joaquín Brunner
  12. The organizational and regional determinants of inter-regional collaborations – Academic inventors as bridging agents By Friedrich Dornbusch; Sidonia von Proff; Thomas Brenner
  13. School Management in Developing Countries By Sebastian Galiani; Ricardo Perez-Truglia

  1. By: David J. Deming; Sarah Cohodes; Jennifer Jennings; Christopher Jencks
    Abstract: We study the impact of accountability pressure in Texas public high schools in the 1990s on postsecondary attainment and earnings, using administrative data from the Texas Schools Project (TSP). We find that high schools respond to the risk of being rated Low-Performing by increasing student achievement on high-stakes exams. Years later, these students are more likely to have attended college and completed a four-year degree, and they have higher earnings at age 25. However, we find no overall impact - and large declines in attainment and earnings for low-scoring students - of pressure to achieve a higher accountability rating.
    JEL: I20 I24
    Date: 2013–09
  2. By: Ross Levine; Yona Rubinstein
    Abstract: Banking reforms—that reduced interest rates—boosted college enrollment rates among able students from middle class families. We define “able” students as those with learning aptitude scores in the top two-thirds of the U.S. population. We define “middle class” as families in which both parents are not highly-educated (above 12 years of education) and that are neither in the bottom fourth nor in the top 10 percent of the distribution family income in the U.S. Our findings suggest that credit conditions, the ability of an individual to benefit from college, and a family’s financial and educational circumstances combine to shape college decisions. The functioning of the financial system plays a powerful role in shaping the degree to which a child’s educational choices—and hence economic opportunities—are defined by parental income.
    JEL: G21 G28 G38 I21 I22 I24 J08 J24 O15 O16
    Date: 2013–08
  3. By: Sander Gerritsen; Dinand Webbink
    Abstract: This study provides the first estimates of the causal effect of time in school on cognitive skills for many countries around the world, for multiple age groups and for multiple subjects. These estimates enable a comparison of the performance of education systems based on gain scores instead of level scores. We use data from international cognitive tests and exploit variation induced by school entry rules within a regression discontinuity framework. The effect of time in school on cognitive skills strongly differs between countries. Remarkably, we find no association between the level of test scores and the estimated gains in cognitive skills. As such, a country’s ranking in international cognitive tests might misguide its educational policy. Across countries we find that a year of school time increases performance in cognitive tests with 0.2 to 0.3 standard deviations for 9-year-olds and with 0.1 to 0.2 standard deviations for 13-year-olds. Estimation of gains in co gnitive skills also yields new opportunities for investigating the determinants of international differences in educational achievements.
    JEL: I2 J24
    Date: 2013–09
  4. By: OECD
    Abstract: Most students enjoy orderly classrooms for their language-of-instruction lessons. Socio-economically disadvantaged students are less likely to enjoy orderly classrooms than advantaged students. Orderly classrooms – regardless of the school’s overall socio-economic profile – are related to better performance.
    Date: 2013–09
  5. By: Lundberg, Shelly (University of California, Santa Barbara)
    Abstract: Research and policy discussion about the diverging fortunes of children from advantaged and disadvantaged households have focused on the skill disparities between these children – how they might arise and how they might be remediated. Analysis of data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health reveals another important mechanism in the determinants of educational attainment – differential returns to skills for children in different circumstances. Though the returns to cognitive ability are generally consistent across family background groups, personality traits have very different effects on educational attainment for young men and women with access to different levels of parental resources. These results are consistent with a model in which the provision of focused effort in school is complementary with parental inputs while openness, associated with imagination and exploration, is a substitute for information provision by educated parents and thus contributes to resilience in low-resource environments. In designing interventions to improve outcomes for disadvantaged children, we need to be cognizant of interactions between a child's skills and their circumstances.
    Keywords: education, inequality, noncognitive skills
    JEL: I24 J24
    Date: 2013–08
  6. By: Filatriau, Olivier; Fougère, Denis; Tô, Maxime
    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: cognitive and noncognitive skills; human capital; preschool; schooling decision
    JEL: I21 J13
    Date: 2013–05
  7. By: McCormack, John; Propper, Carol; Smith, Sarah L.
    Abstract: Using a tried and tested measure of management practices which has been shown to predict firm performance, we survey nearly 250 departments across 100+ UK universities. We find large differences in management scores across universities and that departments in older, research-intensive universities score higher than departments in newer, more teaching-oriented universities. We also find that management matters in universities. The scores, particularly with respect to provision of incentives for staff recruitment, retention and promotion, are correlated with both teaching and research performance conditional on resources and past performance. Moreover, this relationship holds for all universities, not just research-intensive ones.
    Keywords: management practices; performance; universities
    JEL: I32 M51 M54
    Date: 2013–07
  8. By: Fernanda Leite Santana; Lauro Cesar Bezerra Nogueira; Erik Alencar de Figueiredo
    Abstract: This study examines how social circumstances influence the educational performance of students who provide the National Secondary Education Examination (ENEM). Initially, we adopt an approach nonparametric taking Roemer Identification Axiom assuming independence between circumstance and effort. Then relaxes this hypothesis seeking to measure the bias of omission of individual effort and talent. The first set of results show the strong difference between the types effort to obtain a good performance. The second approach suggests that the indirect effect of mother's education, is one of the most important factors for the success of the son. Keywords- Inequality
    Date: 2013
  9. By: Steven Dieterle (University of Edinburgh)
    Abstract: State-wide class-size reduction (CSR) policies have typically failed to produce large achievement gains. One explanation is that the introduction of such policies forces schools to hire relatively low-quality teachers. This paper uses data from an anonymous state to explore whether teacher quality suffered from the introduction of CSR. We find that it did, but not nearly enough to explain the small achievement effects of CSR. The combined fall in achievement due to hiring lower quality teachers and more inexperienced teachers is small relative to the unrealized gains. Furthermore, between-school differences in the quality of incoming teachers cannot explain the poor estimated CSR performance from previous quasi-experimental treatment-control comparisons.
    Date: 2013–09–17
  10. By: Padula, Mario; Pettinicchi, Yuri
    Abstract: Since the early 2000s, the importance of financial literacy for safe financial behaviors has increased 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 differ 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: Asset pricing; Cognitive ability; Financial literacy; Heterogeneous agents; Market stability
    JEL: D82 G12 G14 G18
    Date: 2013–07
  11. By: José Joaquín Brunner
    Abstract: A key higher education policy question is about the financing of this sector. Who, why and how higher education should be paid for are debated around the world by governments, the academic community, students, experts and civil society. This is true of Ibero-America. The meetings of their heads of state or governments have, on various occasions, pronounced on this issue. And within the institutions themselves and on the streets of the principal cities in the region, students and professors have voiced their demands for greater funding. This document advocates the need for shared higher education funding – between the state and the private sector, (including students and their families), in a proportion that corresponds approximately to the private and social benefits generated. The proposed public/private cost allocation (1:1) is based on econometric calculations of the respective benefits generated by tertiary education, with approximately one half of the total being private benefits and the other half social benefits and public externalities. From this it follows that HEIs should be funded in the same proportion, diversifying their sources so that the state (taxpayers) and the private sector (households or families, students and graduates) provide 50% each. But the above only makes sense if higher education can ensure that it provides the anticipated private and social benefits and public externalities. The bottlenecks that stand in the way of achieving these expectations have to be removed. So the State should allocate resources in terms of reaching these objectives, and implement policies that encourage institutions to reach the proposed outcomes and standards. Un point central du débat sur les politiques d’éducation supérieure ou tertiaire a trait au financement de ce secteur. Trois questions majeures alimentent les discussions entre gouvernements, chercheurs, étudiants, experts et membres de la société civile à travers le monde : qui doit financer, pour qui et comment. Et l’Amérique latine ne fait pas exception. Les chefs d’État et de gouvernement se sont prononcés à plusieurs reprises sur ce sujet lors des sommets ibéroaméricains. Les enceintes universitaires et les pavés des rues des principales villes de la région ont également servi de tribune aux étudiants et professeurs réclamant davantage de moyens financiers pour les universités. Le document présent plaide pour un partage du financement du système éducatif supérieur entre l’État et les particuliers, c’est-à-dire les étudiants et leurs familles, en fonction des bénéfices privés et sociaux générés. Le modèle de distribution des coûts (1:1) entre le privé et le public s’appuie sur le calcul économétrique des bénéfices respectifs générés, qui se partage de façon égale entre bénéfices privés et bénéfices sociaux ou externalités publiques. La conclusion qui découle de cette analyse consiste à suggérer une diversification des sources de financement des Institutions d’éducation supérieure (IES) de manière à garantir un partage égal des coûts entre l’État (les contributeurs) et les particuliers (ménages ou familles et étudiantes/diplômés). Ceci n’est valable bien entendu qu’à condition que le système éducatif fonctionne de façon optimale et génère effectivement les bénéfices attendus par les individus et la société. Les obstacles qui entravent un tel fonctionnement doivent être levés. Il est du ressort de l’État d’allouer les ressources nécessaires pour parvenir à ces objectifs, et de mettre en oeuvre des politiques publiques qui permettent aux institutions de répondre aux exigences et standards proposés.
    Keywords: public goods, private benefits, social benefits, government expenditure, tertiary education, bénéfice public, bénéfice privé, biens publics, dépense publique, éducation tertiaire
    JEL: I23 I28
    Date: 2013–08–29
  12. By: Friedrich Dornbusch (Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI, Competence Center Policy and Regions); Sidonia von Proff (Economic geography and Location Research, Philipps-Universität Marburg); Thomas Brenner (Economic geography and Location Research, Philipps-Universität Marburg)
    Abstract: Collaboration over distance is difficult to maintain in innovation projects which require a great deal of regional collaboration. However, patent documents reveal that a number of inventor teams are able to overcome long distances. Earlier literature started to investigate factors, which increase the probability of long-distance innovation co-operation. The paper at hand is restricted to patents with academic participation, but takes a close look at two types of factors in the environment of the inventors: (1) the characteristics of the university that employs the academic inventor(s), and (2) the influence of the regional environment. Research on the impact of these factors is still underdeveloped in the literature. By considering only patents with at least one academic inventor we have a relatively homogeneous subset of patents and can concentrate on the external impacts. We find that a similar research area structure, a high absorptive capacity as well as a high start-up rate foster intra-regional collaboration. More TTO staff and a larger university lead to more long-distance collaboration while the industry orientation of the university does not exert an influence on the distance between inventors.
    Keywords: patents, research collaboration, academic patents, collaboration over distance, Germany
    JEL: O31 R12 L14
    Date: 2013–09–18
  13. By: Sebastian Galiani (Washington University in St. Louis); Ricardo Perez-Truglia (Harvard University and Universidad de San Andres)
    Abstract: We review the empirical evaluation of three school-management interventions: school decentralization, tracking and contract teachers. We provide stylized models to organize the discussion of the results. We look at the average and distributional effects of the policies and stress the possible importance of complementary interventions aimed at reducing inequality when the programs are cost-effective but engender greater benefits to the best students. We compare the results across non-experimental, quasi-experimental and experimental studies, and argue, not surprisingly, that a solid identification strategy is critical to getting the policy recommendations right. Finally, we identify some problems that future research should address.
    JEL: H00
    Date: 2013–07

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