nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2013‒12‒06
nine papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Universidade da Beira Interior and Universidade de Lisboa

  1. The short- and long-term effects of school choice on student outcomes: Evidence from a school choice reform in Sweden By Wondratschek, Verena; Edmark, Karin; Frölich, Markus
  2. Which Types of Relatedness Matter in Regional Growth? - Industry, occupation and education. By Wixe, Sofia; Andersson, Martin
  3. Access to Technology and the Transfer Function of Community Colleges: Evidence from a Field Experiment By Fairlie, Robert W.; Grunberg, Samantha H.
  4. The Endless Frontier: Reaping what Bush Sowed? By Paula Stephan
  5. On-the-job search and optimal schooling under uncertainty and irreversibility By Anna Zaharieva
  6. The effect of summer jobs on post-schooling incomes By Alam, Moudud; Carling, Kenneth; Nääs, Ola
  7. Does education or underlying human capital explain liberal economic attitudes? By John V.C. Nye; Sergiy Polyachenko
  8. Two Decades of Negative Educational Selectivity of Mexican Migrants to the United States By Michael S. Rendall; Susan W. Parker
  9. The Double-Edged Sword of Industry Collaboration: Evidence from Engineering Academics in the UK By Banal-Estanol, A.; Jofre-Bonet, M.; Lawson, C.

  1. By: Wondratschek, Verena; Edmark, Karin; Frölich, Markus
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the effects of a major Swedish school choice reform. The reform in 1992 increased school choice and competition among public schools as well as through a large-scale introduction of private schools. We estimate the effects of school choice and competition, using precise geographical information on the locations of school buildings and children's homes for the entire Swedish population for several cohorts affected at different stages in their educational career. We can measure the long-term effects up to age 25. We find that increased school choice had very small, but positive, effects on marks at the end of compulsory schooling, but virtually zero effects on longer term outcomes such as university education, employment, criminal activity and health. --
    Keywords: school choice,school competition,treatment evaluation,cognitive and noncognitive skills
    JEL: I20 C21
    Date: 2013
  2. By: Wixe, Sofia (Centre for Entrepreneurship and Spatial Economics (CEnSE), Jönköping International Business School); Andersson, Martin (Centre for Innovation, Research and Competence in the Learning Economy (CIRCLE), Lund University)
    Abstract: This paper provides a conceptual discussion of relatedness, which suggests a focus on individuals as a complement to firms and industries. The empirical relevance of the main arguments are tested by estimating the effects of related and unrelated variety in education and occupation among employees, as well as in industries, on regional growth. We show that for regional productivity growth, occupational and educational related variety matter over and above industry relatedness. This supports the conceptual discussion put forward. The potential of productive interactions between employees in a region is greater when there is related variety in their ‘knowledge base’. We also find that related variety in industries is positive for employment growth but negative for productivity growth.
    Keywords: Relatedness; variety; occupation; education; regional growth
    JEL: J24 R12 R23
    Date: 2013–11–28
  3. By: Fairlie, Robert W. (University of California, Santa Cruz); Grunberg, Samantha H. (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission)
    Abstract: Access to information may represent an important barrier to learning about and ultimately transferring to 4-year colleges for low-income community college students. This paper explores the role that access to information technology, in particular, plays in enhancing, or possibly detracting from, the transfer function of the community college. Using data from the first-ever field experiment randomly providing free computers to students, we examine the relationships between access to home computers and enrollment in transferable courses and actual transfers to 4-year colleges. The results from the field experiment indicate that the treatment group of students receiving free computers has a 4.5 percentage point higher probability of taking transferable courses than the control group of students not receiving free computers. The evidence is less clear for the effects on actual transfers to 4-year colleges and the probability of using a computer to search for college information (which possibly represents one of the mechanisms for positive effects). In both cases, point estimates are positive, but the confidence intervals are wide. Finally, power calculations indicate that sample sizes would have to be considerably larger to find statistically significant treatment effects and reasonably precise confidence intervals given the actual transfer rate point estimates.
    Keywords: computer, experiment, ICT, community college, transfers, technology
    JEL: I21 J24 O33
    Date: 2013–11
  4. By: Paula Stephan
    Abstract: I examine and document how the Endless Frontier changed the research landscape at universities and how universities responded to the initiative. I show that the agencies it established and funded initially recruited research proposals from faculty and applications from students for fellowships and scholarships. By the 1960s the tables had begun to turn and universities had begun to push for more resources from the federal government for research, support for faculty salary and research assistants and higher indirect costs. The process transformed the relationship between universities and federal funders; it also transformed the relationship between universities and faculty. The university research system that has grown and evolved faces a number of challenges that threaten the health of universities and the research enterprise and have implications for discovery and innovation. Five are discussed in the closing section. They are (1) a proclivity on the part of faculty and funding agencies to be risk averse; (2) the tendency to produce more PhDs than the market for research positions demands; (3) a heavy concentration of research in the biomedical sciences; (4) a continued expansion on the part of universities that may place universities at increased financial risk and (5) a flat or declining amount of federal funds for research.
    JEL: I23 I28 O31 O32
    Date: 2013–11
  5. By: Anna Zaharieva (Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University)
    Abstract: This paper develops a labour market model with on-the-job search, match-specific productivity draws and an endogenous irreversible schooling decision. The choice of schooling is modelled as an optimal stopping problem which gives rise to the equilibrium heterogeneity of workers with respect to the formal education. The optimal schooling decision is characterized by the reservation productivity of students which is a monotonic function of time. Moreover, this reservation productivity is lower in expansions when job-to-job mobility is more intensive. Therefore, the model is compatible with the empirical evidence that expansions have a positive effect on the probability of a school dropout. The schooling density is downward-sloping and the equilibrium wage distribution is right-skewed with a unique interior mode. This means that the majority of workers earn wages in the middle range of the earnings distribution. At the same time there is a small proportion of employees in the beginning of their career with wages in the left tail of the earnings distribution and a small proportion of high-skilled workers earning wages in the right tail of the distribution.
    Keywords: Optimal schooling, uncertainty, on-the-job search, wage dispersion
    JEL: I21 I24 J62 J64
    Date: 2013–11
  6. By: Alam, Moudud (Dalarna University); Carling, Kenneth (Dalarna University); Nääs, Ola (Dalarna University)
    Abstract: In part because of high youth unemployment, students’ transition from school to work is an important policy and research topic. Public programs offering summer jobs or work while in high school as measures to smooth the transition is commonplace. The immediate effect of the programs on school attendance, school grades, and disposable income is well documented. However, their effect on the transition to the labor market remains unsettled, partly because of a potential selection bias in previous observational studies. In this paper, 2650 first graders of high school in Falun Council, Sweden, randomly allotted summer jobs via a program in the years of 1997-2003, are followed ten years after graduation. The program led to a substantially larger accumulation of work experience while in high school for offered (particularly weak academically performing) females, but not for offered males. Hence, the immediate program effect was heterogeneous. Females were used to estimate the causal effect of work experience while in high school on post-schooling incomes. The (statistically) significant estimate implies an elasticity of 0.4. Work experience while in high school seems to be of future benefit, but the elasticity is potentially inflated due to heterogeneous effects that we were unable to account for.
    Keywords: experimental data; work experience; work while in school; selection bias
    JEL: C93 J24 J68
    Date: 2013–11–18
  7. By: John V.C. Nye (George Mason University, Department of Economics. Professor); Sergiy Polyachenko (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Center for Institutional Studies. Junior Research Fellow)
    Abstract: There is a worldwide tendency for more educated people to trust in markets, private business, and trade, and to distrust government regulation and public provision relative to the less educated even in countries where people generally favor regulation (Aghion, et al. 2010). Individual survey data drawn from the Russian RMLS indicate that for Russia, as for most of the world, respondents with higher levels of education are more likely to trust private businesses and privatization, to distrust government regulation, and to favor lesser provision of services by the State (vs. the private sector). This matches the macro survey findings of Aghion et al. (2010) for the transition economies and the work of Caplan (2001, 2002, 2007). However, it is not clear whether education is a causal factor in these preferences or whether education is proxying for different levels of cognitive ability, health, or other forms of human capital. We use individual height data as instruments for formal education to remove the contemporaneous effects of schooling itself on the education-trust link. We find that this IV estimation leaves us with clear and persistent links between education and market friendly attitudes in Russia. This human capital effect is also quite independent of the role of age in determining liberal attitudes and is not simply a cohort effect. This seems to conform to the worldwide observation that – whatever the independent changing institutions – greater health and cognitive ability seem to promote market liberal beliefs in and of themselves. In contrast, socially liberal attitudes are not correlated with education in the IV regressions
    Keywords: Non-cognitive abilities, human capital, IV, trust, market liberal preferences, Russia
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2013
  8. By: Michael S. Rendall (University of Maryland); Susan W. Parker (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas)
    Abstract: Immigration is commonly considered to be selective of more able individuals. Studies comparing the educational attainment of Mexican immigrants in the United States to that of the Mexican resident population support this characterization. Upward educational attainment biases in both coverage and measurement, however, may be substantial in U.S. data sources. Moreover, differences in educational attainment by place size are very large within Mexico, and U.S. data sources provide no information on immigrants’ places of origin within Mexico. To address these problems, we use multiple sources of nationally-representative Mexican survey data to re-evaluate the educational selectivity of labor-force-age Mexican migrants to the United States over the 1990s and 2000s. We document disproportionately rural and small-urban-area origins of Mexican migrants and a steep positive gradient of educational attainment by place size. We show that together these conditions induced strongly negative educational selection of Mexican migrants throughout the 1990s and 2000s. We interpret this finding as consistent with low returns to the education of unauthorized migrants and few opportunities for authorized migration.
    Date: 2013–11
  9. By: Banal-Estanol, A.; Jofre-Bonet, M.; Lawson, C.
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of university-industry collaboration on academic research output. We report findings from a unique longitudinal dataset on all the researchers in all the engineering departments of 40 major universities in the UK for the last 20 years. We introduce a new measure of industry collaboration based on the fraction of research grants that include industry partners. Our results show that productivity increases with the intensity of industry collaboration, but only up to a certain point. Above a certain threshold, research productivity declines. Our results are robust to several econometric estimation methods, measures of research output, and for various subsamples of academics.
    Keywords: Industry-science links; research collaboration; basic vs. applied research
    Date: 2013

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