nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2013‒11‒02
eighteen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Universidade da Beira Interior and Universidade de Lisboa

  1. Small High Schools and Student Achievement: Lottery-Based Evidence from New York City By Atila Abdulkadiroğlu; Weiwei Hu; Parag A. Pathak
  2. Educational Achievement and the Allocation of School Resources By Deborah A. Cobb-Clark; Nikhil Jha
  3. Indoor Air Quality and Academic Performance By Tess Stafford
  4. Does the Precision and Stability of Value-Added Estimates of Teacher Performance Depend on the Types of Students They Serve? By Stacy, Brian; Guarino, Cassandra; Reckase, Mark D.; Wooldridge, Jeffrey M.
  5. Internationalisation of Education and Returns in the Labour Market By Poot, Jacques; Roskruge, Matthew
  6. Early Bird Catches the Worm: The Causal Impact of Pre-school Participation and Teacher Qualifications on Year 3 National NAPLAN Cognitive Tests By Diana Warren; John P. Haisken-DeNew
  7. Peer Effects in Disadvantaged Primary Schools: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment By Antecol, Heather; Eren, Ozkan; Ozbeklik, Serkan
  8. Determinants of Financial Rewards from Industry-University Collaboration in South Korea By Han, Junghee; Heshmati, Almas
  9. Dimension Evaluation of Educational Facilities Indexes System of Higher Education in Ukraine By I. Kocharian
  10. Educational Inequality and the Returns to Skills By Shelly Lundberg
  11. Evaluation of the College Possible Program: Results from a Randomized Controlled Trial By Christopher Avery
  13. Childhood Sporting Activities and Adult Labour-Market Outcomes By Charlotte Cabane; Andrew E. Clark
  14. The Medium-Term Impacts of High-Achieving Charter Schools on Non-Test Score Outcomes By Will Dobbie; Roland G. Fryer, Jr
  15. Do Study Abroad Programs Enhance the Employability of Graduates? By Di Pietro, Giorgio
  16. Climate Variability, Child Labour and Schooling: Evidence on the Intensive and Extensive Margin By Jonathan Colmer
  17. Political Learning and Officials’ Motivations: An Empirical Analysis of the Education Reform in the State of São Paulo By Thomaz M. F. Gemignani; Ricardo de Abreu Madeira
  18. Technology Transfer from Publicly Funded Research in Germany: A Note on Patenting and Licensing Practices By Sabyasachi Saha

  1. By: Atila Abdulkadiroğlu; Weiwei Hu; Parag A. Pathak
    Abstract: One of the most wide-ranging reforms in public education in the last decade has been the reorganization of large comprehensive high schools into small schools with roughly 100 students per grade. We use assignment lotteries embedded in New York City's high school match to estimate the effects of attendance at a new small high school on student achievement. More than 150 unselective small high schools created between 2002 and 2008 have enhanced autonomy, but operate within-district with traditional public school teachers, principals, and collectively-bargained work rules. Lottery estimates show positive score gains in Mathematics, English, Science, and History, more credit accumulation, and higher graduation rates. Small school attendance causes a substantial increase in college enrollment, with a marked shift to CUNY institutions. Students are also less likely to require remediation in reading and writing when at college. Detailed school surveys indicate that students at small schools are more engaged and closely monitored, despite fewer course offerings and activities. Teachers report greater feedback, increased safety, and improved collaboration. The results show that school size is an important factor in education production and highlight the potential for within-district reform strategies to substantially improve student achievement.
    JEL: H52 I21 I28 J24
    Date: 2013–10
  2. By: Deborah A. Cobb-Clark (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne; and Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)); Nikhil Jha (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The 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 hole, schools’ spending patterns are broadly efficient.
    Keywords: Educational achievement, test scores, school resource allocation
    JEL: I21 I22 I28
    Date: 2013–08
  3. By: Tess Stafford (School of Economics, Australian School of Business, the University of New South Wales)
    Abstract: I examine the effect of school indoor air quality (IAQ) on academic outcomes. I utilize a quasi-natural experiment, in which IAQ-renovations were completed at virtually every school in a single Texas school district at different points in time, combined with a panel of student-level data to control for many confounding factors and thereby uncover the causal effect of IAQ-renovations on academic outcomes. Results indicate that performance on standardized tests significantly improves while attendance is unresponsive to improvements in IAQ. Rough calculations suggest that IAQ-renovations may be a more cost-effective way to improve standardized test scores than class size reductions.
    Keywords: indoor air quality; school renovations; academic performance
    JEL: I21 Q53
    Date: 2013–10
  4. By: Stacy, Brian (Michigan State University); Guarino, Cassandra (Indiana University); Reckase, Mark D. (Michigan State University); Wooldridge, Jeffrey M. (Michigan State University)
    Abstract: This paper investigates how the precision and stability of a teacher's value-added estimate relates to the characteristics of the teacher's students. Using a large administrative data set and a variety of teacher value-added estimators, it finds that the stability over time of teacher value-added estimates can depend on the previous achievement level of a teacher's students. The differences are large in magnitude and statistically significant. The year-to-year stability level of teacher value-added estimates are typically 25% to more than 50% larger for teachers serving initially higher performing students compared to teachers with initially lower performing students. In addition, some differences are detected even when the number of student observations is artificially set to the same level and the data are pooled across two years to compute teacher value-added. Finally, the paper offers a policy simulation which demonstrates that teachers who face students with certain characteristics may be differentially likely to be the recipient of sanctions in a high stakes policy based on value-added estimates and more likely to see their estimates vary from year-to-year due to low stability.
    Keywords: teacher quality, teacher labor markets, value-added, education, teacher performance
    JEL: I0 I20 I21 I28 J01 J08 J24 J44 J45
    Date: 2013–10
  5. By: Poot, Jacques (University of Waikato); Roskruge, Matthew (University of Waikato)
    Abstract: The education services provided in any given country increasingly contribute to human capital that is employed in another country. On the one hand, graduates may seek to obtain the highest return to the knowledge they gained in their home country by working abroad. On the other hand, some students purchase educational services abroad and will subsequently work abroad, or return home to utilize the internationally acquired knowledge in the domestic labour market. In this paper we use data from the 2006-07 Adult Literacy and Life Skills survey in New Zealand to examine how years of foreign and domestic education affect earnings in the labour market. We account for differences in innate ability by aggregating subjective responses to pertinent questions in the survey and by incorporating parents' educational background. Our findings reconfirm the extensive evidence that education gained in a country of birth has generally a lower return in a foreign labour market than the native born receive in this labour market for the equivalent education. Post-settlement education in the host country has a higher return for migrants than for comparable native born. We also find that the highest returns are obtained among those who, after studying abroad, return home to work – a fact for which there has been to date scarce evidence. Thus, exposure to foreign education can lead to a triple gain: for the country where the education is obtained, for the students' home country and for the students themselves.
    Keywords: international education, human capital, earnings, selection effects
    JEL: F22 I24 J24 J31
    Date: 2013–10
  6. By: Diana Warren (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne); John P. Haisken-DeNew (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)
    Abstract: Using data from the Longitudinal Survey of Australian Children (LSAC), this is the first analysis for Australia to evaluate the impact of attendance at pre-school programs on matched Year 3 nation-wide NAPLAN test outcomes in the domains of Numeracy, Reading, Spelling, Writing and Grammar. We additionally disaggregate the impact of specific teacher qualifications on children’s cognitive outcomes. While one year of learning in Year 3 is represented by about 50 NAPLAN points, we find average pre-school domain effects as much as 10-15 points, mainly driven by the upper quantiles of the NAPLAN distribution. To address causality issues, we use Kernel matching, whereby the ATTs and ATUs are of the magnitude 10 to 20 NAPLAN points, which are reduced only modestly to about 15 points with additional controls for observed ability. NAPLAN score impacts on Numeracy, Reading and Spelling domains are the strongest and significant with the highest increases in NAPLAN scores being attained by children whose pre-school teachers had Diploma or Degree level (high) qualifications, identifying for the first time the crucial nature of teacher qualifications in driving nationally representative long-run pre-school treatment outcomes.
    Keywords: ATT, causal impact, pre-school, NAPLAN, specialised qualification
    JEL: I21 I28 J24
    Date: 2013–10
  7. By: Antecol, Heather (Claremont McKenna College); Eren, Ozkan (Louisiana State University); Ozbeklik, Serkan (Claremont McKenna College)
    Abstract: We examine the effect of peer achievement on students' own achievement and teacher performance in primary schools in disadvantaged neighborhoods using data from a well-executed randomized experiment in seven states. Contrary to the existing literature, we find that the average classroom peer achievement adversely influences own student achievement in math and reading in linear-in-means models. Extending our analysis to take into account the potential non-linearity in the peer effects leads to non-negligible differences along the achievement distribution. We test several models of peer effects to further understand their underlying mechanisms. While we find no evidence to support the monotonicity model and little evidence in favor of the ability grouping model, we find stronger evidence to support the frame of reference and the invidious comparison models. Moreover, we also find that higher achieving classes improve teaching performance in math. Finally, using a simple policy experiment we find suggestive evidence that tracking students by ability potentially benefits students who end up in a low achievement class while hurting students in a high achievement class.
    Keywords: peer effects, student achievement, random assignment
    JEL: I21 J24
    Date: 2013–10
  8. By: Han, Junghee (Chonnam National University); Heshmati, Almas (Sogang University)
    Abstract: The external circumstances for universities have been changing rapidly. In order to be competitive, survive, and flourish, universities have shown a growing enthusiasm to generate financial revenues externally. The literature refers to this phenomenon as academic capitalism, defined as the involvement of colleges and faculties in market-like behaviors, which has become a key feature of higher education finances in most countries. As a result, technology transfer, technology commercialization, and patents awarded via industry-university collaboration represent a source of financial rewards. This paper explores the determinants of financial rewards of universities sources from industry-university collaboration in South Korea. We find that among the determinants of financial performances, technology transfer per employee working at technology licensing offices, participation of engineering faculty, patent approvals, the volume of research funds, the number of employees, and firms in incubators within universities turn out to be significant contributors to externally sourced university revenues. Technology commercialization using technology transfer and incentive rules for developers are not statistically significant. In the light of these findings, it appears that an industry-university cooperation foundation program is likely to play a strong role in private university finances in Korea.
    Keywords: industry-university collaboration, entrepreneurial university, university revenues, South Korea
    JEL: A20 D45 I22 L24 P12
    Date: 2013–10
  9. By: I. Kocharian (I. K. Karpenko-Karyi Kyiv National University of Theatre, Cinema and Television)
    Abstract: The analysis of the development and establishment of a monitoring system that would meet the necessary requirements and provide the system of higher education planning with data using contemporary models and information technologies has been performed. The adequacy of monitoring system to the management system has been proved, as the main purpose of monitoring system is to improve the efficiency of management system, being the information support subsystem, by providing timely and qualitative information. The system of educational facilities indexes, its structure, characters of indexes and set of indexes detection by any features and their combinations has been investigated and dimension of indexes system that ensure recipients with required set of indexes of educational facilities of higher education institutions in Ukraine has been evaluated.
    Keywords: monitoring system, higher education planning, educational facilities, dimension evaluation, set of in-dexes
    Date: 2013–10–19
  10. By: Shelly Lundberg (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, personality
    JEL: I24 J24
    Date: 2013–10
  11. By: Christopher Avery
    Abstract: This paper reports the results of a randomized trial of the College Possible program, which provides two years of college preparatory work for high school juniors and seniors in Minneapolis and St. Paul. The trial involved 238 students, including 134 who were randomly selected for admission to the program. The results indicate that the College Possible program significantly increased both applications and enrollment to both four-year colleges and selective four-year colleges; we estimate that initial enrollment at four-year colleges increased by more than 15 percentage points for program participants, but find little evidence of any effect of the program on ACT performance or college enrollment overall.
    JEL: I23 I24
    Date: 2013–10
  12. By: Michela Ponzo; Vincenzo Scoppa (Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza, Università della Calabria)
    Abstract: We analyze to what extent physical attractiveness is related to lifetime economic outcomes through the marriage market, investigating whether individual height and weight affect the probability of marrying with a “high quality partner”, measuring quality with the partner’s educational attainment. Using a large dataset of Italian couples, we find that taller individuals tend to mate with more educated partners (controlling for the former’s educational level and other personal traits). This effect is valid both for males and females, but it is more pronounced for males. These findings are robust to a number of checks.
    Keywords: Marriage Markets, Mating; Height, Education, Assortative Mating
    JEL: J12 D1 J16 J24
    Date: 2013–10
  13. By: Charlotte Cabane (University of St. Gallen - University of St. Gallen); Andrew E. Clark (EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales [EHESS] - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - École normale supérieure [ENS] - Paris - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA))
    Abstract: We here ask whether sports participation at school is positively correlated with adult labour-market outcomes. There are many potential channels for this effect, although, as usual, identifying a causal relationship is difficult. We appeal to two widely-separated waves of Add Health data to map out the correlation between school sports and adult labour-market outcomes. We show that different types of school sports are associated with different types of jobs and labour-market insertion when adult. We take the issue of the endogeneity of sport seriously and use data on siblings in order to obtain estimates that are as close to unbiased as possible. Last, we compare the effect of sporting activities to that of other leisure activities.
    Keywords: Job characteristics ; Education ; Sport ; School
    Date: 2013–10
  14. By: Will Dobbie; Roland G. Fryer, Jr
    Abstract: High-performing charter schools can significantly increase the test scores of poor urban students. It is unclear whether these test score gains translate into improved outcomes later in life. We estimate the effects of high-performing charter schools on human capital, risky behaviors, and health outcomes using survey data from the Promise Academy in the Harlem Children's Zone. Six years after the random admissions lottery, youth offered admission to the Promise Academy middle school score 0.283 standard deviations higher on a nationally-normed math achievement test and are 14.1 percentage points more likely to enroll in college. Admitted females are 12.1 percentage points less likely to be pregnant in their teens, and males are 4.3 percentage points less likely to be incarcerated. We find little impact of the Promise Academy on self-reported health. We conclude with speculative evidence that high-performing schools may be sufficient to significantly improve human capital and reduce certain risky behaviors among the poor.
    JEL: J01 J15
    Date: 2013–10
  15. By: Di Pietro, Giorgio (University of Westminster)
    Abstract: Despite the great popularity of international educational mobility schemes, relatively little research has been conducted to explore their benefits. Using data on a large sample of recent Italian graduates, this paper investigates the extent to which participation in study abroad programs during university studies impacts subsequent employment likelihood. To address the problem of endogeneity related to participation in study abroad programs, we use university-department fixed effects and instrumental variable estimation where the instrumental variable is exposure to international student exchange schemes. Our estimates show that studying abroad has a relatively large and statistically meaningful effect on the probability of being in employment 3 years after graduation. This effect is mainly driven by the impact that study abroad programs have on the employment prospects of graduates from disadvantaged backgrounds.
    Keywords: study abroad programs, graduates, employment, instrumental variable
    JEL: I2 J6
    Date: 2013–10
  16. By: Jonathan Colmer (London School of Economics)
    Abstract: How does future income uncertainty affect child labour and human capital accumulation? Using a unique panel dataset, we examine the effect of changes in climate variability on the allocation of time among child labour activities (the intensive margin) as well as participation in education and labour activities (the extensive margin). We find robust evidence that increased climate variability increases the number of hours spent on farming activities while reducing the number of hours spent on domestic chores, indicating a substitution of time across child labour activities. In addition, we find no evidence of climate variability on enrolment decisions or educational outcomes, suggesting that households may spread the burden of labour across children to minimize its impact on formal education.
    Keywords: Climate Variability, Child Labour, Schooling
    JEL: D13 O12 J13 J22 Q54
    Date: 2013–10
  17. By: Thomaz M. F. Gemignani; Ricardo de Abreu Madeira
    Abstract: We investigate the occurence of social learning among government officials in a context of decentralization of political responsibilities - the schooling decentralization reform of the state of São Paulo - and use it to analyze officials' motivations driving the adhesion to that program. We explore how the information exchange about the newly adopted tasks is configured and which aspects about the returns of decentralization are mostly valued by officials in their learning process. In particular, we try to determine to what extent the adhesion to the reform was due to electoral motivations or, rather, to concerns about the quality of public education provision. We present evidence that social learning configures a relevant factor in the reform implementation and find that mayors are more likely to adhere to the program upon the receipt of good news about the electoral returns of decentralization. On the other hand, experiences by information neighbors that turn out to be successful in improving the public provision seem to be ignored in mayors' decisions for decentralization. The argument for electoral motivations is further supported by evidence that officials tend to be more responsive to information transmitted by neighbors affiliated to the same party as their own.
    Keywords: Electoral Incentives; Learning; Decentralization
    JEL: D78 D83 I28
    Date: 2013–10–22
  18. By: Sabyasachi Saha
    Abstract: This paper explores patenting and licensing of public funded inventions in Germany in order to capture nuances underlying the institution of IPR in the context of public funded research. We look at two mechanisms in Germany that concerns patenting and licensing of publicly funded science. The first is the operations of Ipal GmbH which undertakes patenting and licensing of technologies originating in the universities in Berlin and the second is that of the Max Planck Innovations (MPI), nodal centre for technology transfer of the Max Planck Society (Max-Planck-Gesellschaft-MPG). Accordingly, our paper presents case studies of patenting and licensing practices at the Humboldt University of Berlin (against the Ipal GmbH model) and that of the MPG (the MPI model). The analysis is structured around core issues pertaining to IPR and academic research, science-industry interface and technology transfer.
    Keywords: working paper, daadpartnership, finance-and-trade
    Date: 2013–10

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