nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2013‒12‒29
fifteen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Universidade da Beira Interior and Universidade de Lisboa

  1. Expansion of Higher Education, Employment and Wages: Evidence from the Russian Transition By Natalia Kyui
  2. The influence of ethnic segregation and school mobility in primary education on high school dropout: Evidence from regression discontinuity at a contextual tipping point By Ong, Cheng Boon; De Witte, Kristof
  3. "The Gender Question in Economic Education: Is it the Teacher or the Test?" By CARLOS J. ASARTA; ROGER B. BUTTERS; ERIC THOMPSON
  4. Long-Run Effects of Catholic Schooling on Wages By Nilhil Jha; Cain Polidano
  5. "Success in Economics Major: Is it Path Dependent?" By CARLOS J. ASARTA; ROGER B. BUTTERS; ANDREW PERUMAL
  6. Childhood Sporting Activities and Adult Labour-Market Outcomes By Charlotte Cabane; Andrew E. Clark
  7. Determinants of international mobility decision: The case-study of India By Hercog, Metka; Van de Laar, Mindel
  8. Class-size Reduction Policies and the Quality of Entering Teachers By Steven, Dieterle
  9. Affirmative Action, Education and Gender: Evidence from India By Cassan, Guilhem
  10. "The Features and Effectiveness of the Keys to Financial Success Curriculum" By CARLOS J. ASARTA; ANDREW T. HILL; BONNIE T. MESZAROS
  11. The Quality of Immigrant Source Country Educational Outcomes: Do they Matter in the Receiving Country? By Qing Li; Arthur Sweetman
  12. Business Literacy and Development: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial in Rural Mexico By Gabriela Calderon; Jesse M. Cunha; Giacomo De Giorgi
  13. Overview and Analysis of Practices with Open Educational Resources in Adult Education in Europe By Isobel Falconer; Lou McGill; Allison Littlejohn; Eleni Boursinou
  14. Does Secular Education Impact Religiosity, Electoral Participation and the Propensity to Vote for Islamic Parties? Evidence from an Education Reform in a Muslim Country By Resul Cesur; Naci H. Mocan
  15. Industrial Engagement of University Research By Luukkonen, Terttu; Thomas, Duncan A.

  1. By: Natalia Kyui
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the effects of an educational system expansion on labour market outcomes, drawing upon a 15-year natural experiment in the Russian Federation. Regional increases in student intake capacities in Russian universities, a result of educational reforms, provide a plausibly exogenous variation in access to higher education. Additionally, the gradual nature of this expansion allows for estimation of heterogeneous returns to education for individuals who successfully took advantage of increasing educational opportunities. Using simultaneous equations models and a non-parametric model with essential heterogeneity, the paper identifies strong positive returns to education in terms of employment and wages. Marginal returns to higher education are estimated to decline for lower levels of individual unobserved characteristics that positively influence higher education attainment. Finally, the returns to higher education are found to decrease for those who, as a result of the reforms, increasingly pursued higher education.
    Keywords: Development economics; Labour markets
    JEL: J24 I20
    Date: 2013
  2. By: Ong, Cheng Boon (UNU-MERIT / MGSoG); De Witte, Kristof (Top Institute for Evidence Based Education Research, Maastricht University, and Faculty of Economics and Business, KU Leuven)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the influence of ethnic composition and school mobility at the primary school-level on the propensity to drop out of high school. Using rich school and neighbourhood administrative data, we observe that (i) frequent school movers have a 2.6 times higher likelihood of early school leaving; (ii) the relationship between the share of non-western minority students (in primary school) and early school leaving is non-linear; and (iii) the influence of non-western peers on early school leaving is moderated by the student's ethnicity. Using polynomial regression and regression discontinuity methods, we observe a 'contextual tipping point' in ethnic peer composition that is linked to a discontinuous break in the predicted probability of school dropout. The conditional probability of school dropout increases by 5.4 per cent points to 8.0 per cent if 'school stable' native Dutch students are enrolled in primary schools that exceed the contextual tipping point of 77.7 per cent non-western minority students.
    Keywords: ethnic segregation, school mobility, school dropout, regression discontinuity, tipping point
    JEL: I21 I22 J18 R20
    Date: 2013–12–17
  3. By: CARLOS J. ASARTA (Department of Economics,University of Delaware); ROGER B. BUTTERS (Department of Economics,University of Nebraska); ERIC THOMPSON (Department of Economics,University of Nebraska)
    Abstract: One of the most persistent, and controversial, empirical regularities in economic education research is the significant difference between the test scores of male and female students. Several possible explanations for this “Gender Gap” are well documented in the literature. Using a large sample of test scores from the Test of Economic Literacy (TEL), we seek to determine whether gender role-model effects influence these differentials or whether it is the result of biased testing materials. A model employing an educational production function exhibits no evidence of role-model effects for our two student cohorts, although some students perform better when taught by female teachers. We find no evidence to support the claim that the testing instrument is biased, and conclude that the gender gap observed in our data is not attributable to the teacher or the test.
    Keywords: Gender, Education, Assessment, Economics, K-12
    JEL: J16 I21 A21
    Date: 2013
  4. By: Nilhil Jha (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne); Cain Polidano (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)
    Abstract: Previous studies have linked Catholic schooling to higher academic achievement. We add to the literature on Catholic schooling by examining its effect on long-term wage rates in Australia, independent of effects on academic achievement. Using panel data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics Australia (HILDA) Survey and fixed effects estimation, we find that during the prime-time of a career, wage rates for Catholic school graduates progress with labor market experience at a greater rate, on average, than wage rates for public school graduates. Importantly, we find no evidence to suggest that these benefits are peculiar to Catholic schooling, with similar benefits estimated for graduates of independent private schools. These findings suggest that private schooling may be important in not only fostering higher academic achievement, but also in better preparing students for a working life.
    Keywords: Catholic schooling, wages
    JEL: I20 J31
    Date: 2013–11
  5. By: CARLOS J. ASARTA (Department of Economics,University of Delaware); ROGER B. BUTTERS (Department of Economics,University of Nebraska); ANDREW PERUMAL (Department of Economics,University of Massachusetts)
    Abstract: The economics profession has consistently demonstrated an interest in increasing the number of students exposed to economics, providing students with a quality education and identifying the key determinants of student success in the economics curriculum. Several strategies have been recommended and include implementing an applied approach rather than a theoretical approach (Okoye, 2011), exposing students to economics as early as possible in their undergraduate careers (Fournier and Sass, 2000), assigning popular professors to principles courses (Becker, 1997; Margo and Siegfried, 1996), modifying the curriculum to make economics more accessible to a broader range of students (Bartlett, 1995) or presenting material in a way that is relevant and interesting to students (Siegfried and Raymond, 1984).
    Keywords: Economics Major, Undergraduate, Education, Assessment
    JEL: A10 A22 I21
    Date: 2013
  6. By: Charlotte Cabane; Andrew E. Clark
    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
    JEL: J24 J13 L83 I2
    Date: 2013–12
  7. By: Hercog, Metka (UNU-MERIT / MGSoG); Van de Laar, Mindel (UNU-MERIT / MGSoG)
    Abstract: Faced with a situation in which countries compete for international students, it becomes especially important to understand students' preferences regarding migration behaviour. This paper looks at the determinants of international mobility intentions in the specific situation of Indian students in sciences and engineering. It uses data collected from a survey of students at five Indian universities, complemented by qualitative data from interviews. We looked at the role of students' personal and family background, university-related factors, their social network and preferences for living location in their motivations for moving abroad. The type of university and field of studies work as strong predictors for students' desire to move abroad. Whether a student plans a career in academia or wants to work in a company has a decisive influence on where they see themselves in the near future. Professional aspects are confirmed to be the most prominent in the decision-making regarding international mobility. People who place high importance on work-related factors are more mobile, while people who place higher importance on family-friendly environment and public safety prefer staying in India. International student mobility is clearly a family decision. Parents' support is crucial for moving abroad, in moral as well as in financial terms. Normally, obligations towards family are put in first place ahead of potential individual initiatives.
    Keywords: location choices, pull factors, higher education, student migration, India
    JEL: F22 J61 I23 J24
    Date: 2013–12–19
  8. By: Steven, Dieterle
    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 suff ered 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 diff erences in the quality of incoming teachers cannot explain the poor estimated CSR performance from previous quasi-experimental treatment-control comparisons.
    Date: 2013
  9. By: Cassan, Guilhem
    Abstract: We use a unique natural experiment in order to assess the impact of positive discrimination in India on targeted groups’ educational attainment. We take advantage of the harmonization of the Scheduled Castes lists within the Indian states taking place in 1976 to measure the increase of the educational attainment of the new beneficiaries, taking the castes already on the list as a control group. We show that this policy had heterogenous effects across genders, with males benefiting from the SC status and females remaining essentially unaffected. We show that this translated into a differential increase in literacy and numeracy, and propose a novel method to measure the latter.
    Keywords: scheduled caste; quota; positive discrimination; gender
    JEL: I24 O15 H41
    Date: 2013–12
  10. By: CARLOS J. ASARTA (Department of Economics,University of Delaware); ANDREW T. HILL (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia); BONNIE T. MESZAROS (Department of Economics,University of Delaware)
    Abstract: The global financial crisis of 2007-2009 has generated a renewed interest in including personal finance in the secondary curriculum in the United States and in many countries around the world. This paper explains the features of a successful and unique high school personal finance curriculum, Keys to Financial Success, which is offered by a consortium of partners in Delaware and Pennsylvania, and is available to teachers from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. Using the Financial Fitness for Life High School Test (FFFL-HS Test), pre- and posttest results are reported for 967 students who participated in a one-semester Keys course during the 2011 and 2012 academic years. The survey results indicate that the training of teachers in the Keys curriculum, and the implementation of a one-semester Keys course, significantly improve the average personal finance knowledge of students in each of the standards and concept areas of the FFFL-HS Test. These results contribute to the growing literature showing the positive effects of a well-designed personal finance course, taught by properly trained teachers, on the financial knowledge of high school students, and should be of interest to an international audience.
    Keywords: Financial Education, Literacy, Assessment, K-12
    JEL: A21 G00
    Date: 2013
  11. By: Qing Li (McMaster University); Arthur Sweetman (McMaster University)
    Abstract: International test scores are used to proxy the quality of source country educational outcomes and explain differences in the rate of return to schooling among immigrants in Canada. The average quality of educational outcomes in an immigrant’s source country and the rate of return to schooling in the host country labour market are found to have a strong and positive association. However, in contrast to those who completed their education pre-immigration, immigrants who arrived at a young age are not influenced by this educational quality measure. Also, the results are not much affected when the source country’s GDP per capita and other nation-level characteristics are used as control variables. Together, these observations reinforce the argument that the quality of educational outcomes has explanatory power for labour market outcomes. The effects are strongest for males and for females without children.
    Keywords: Immigration, Quality of Education, Earnings
    JEL: I21 J31 J61
    Date: 2013–12
  12. By: Gabriela Calderon; Jesse M. Cunha; Giacomo De Giorgi
    Abstract: A large share of the poor in developing countries run small enterprises, often earning low incomes. This paper explores whether the poor performance of businesses can be explained by a lack of basic business skills. We randomized the offer of a free, 48-hour business skills course to female entrepreneurs in rural Mexico. We find that those assigned to treatment earn higher profits, have larger revenues, serve a greater number of clients, are more likely to use formal accounting techniques, and more likely to be registered with the government. Indirect treatment effects on those entrepreneurs randomized out of the program, yet living in treatment villages, are economically meaningful, yet imprecisely measured. We present a simple model of experience and learning that helps interpret our results, and consistent with the theoretical predictions, we find that "low-quality" entrepreneurs are the most likely to quit their business post-treatment, and that the positive impacts of the treatment are increasing in entrepreneurial quality.
    JEL: C93 I25 O12 O14
    Date: 2013–12
  13. By: Isobel Falconer (Caledonian Academy, Glasgow Caledonian University (UK)); Lou McGill; Allison Littlejohn (Caledonian Academy, Glasgow Caledonian University (UK)); Eleni Boursinou (Caledonian Academy, Glasgow Caledonian University (UK))
    Abstract: This report synthesizes the findings of the "OER4Adults study", a study conducted in 2012-13 by a team from the Caledonian Academy, Glasgow Caledonian University, under a contract with the European Commission Joint Research Centre IPTS, and in collaboration with DG Education and Culture. The project aimed to provide an overview of Open Educational Practices in adult learning in Europe, identifying enablers and barriers to successful implementation of practices with OER. The report identifies over 150 Open Educational Resources (OER) initiatives, and develops a typology that classifies them primarily by their main activity type. A survey based on the typology drew 36 responses from initiative leaders, and these are analysed against a context of developments in adult learning to arrive at an analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats facing OER in adult learning in Europe. The analysis reveals six tensions that drive developing Open Educational Practices in adult learning; open versus free; traditional versus new approaches; altruism versus marketisation; community versus openness; mass participation versus quality; add-on versus embedded funding. The report recommends: 1. Recognising that ‘learning’ takes place everywhere; 2. Extending the range of people and organisations that produce and use resources; 3. Thinking about OER more broadly than as content; 4. Promoting awareness of open licensing and its implications; 5. Improving the usability of OER; and 6. Planning for sustained change.
    Keywords: OER, Open Education, Adult Learning, Adult Training, Lifelong Learning
    Date: 2013–12
  14. By: Resul Cesur; Naci H. Mocan
    Abstract: Turkey, which is a predominantly Muslim country, enacted an education law in 1997 which increased the compulsory secular education from five to eight years. We employ a unique nation-wide survey of adults in 2012 to investigate the impact of education on religiosity, lifestyles and political preferences by using exposure to the law as an instrument for schooling. The data set includes information about the extent of religiosity, lifestyle choices (e.g. modern, conservative, religious), ethnic background (e.g. Kurd, Turk, Arab) and the religious sect of the respondents (Sunni, Alevite Shii’te, etc.) The results show that the reform had a significant impact on middle school completion for both men and women, with stronger effects on women. An increase in education, generated by exposure to the law, decreases women’s propensity to identify themselves as religious. Education also lowers women’s tendency to wear a religious head cover (head scarf, religious turban or burka) and it increases their propensity to have a modern lifestyle. Education reduces women’s propensity to cast a vote for Islamic parties, but it has no impact on the propensity to vote. Education has no statistically significant impact on men’s religiosity or their tendency to vote for Islamic parties. The results are robust to controlling for indicators of individuals’ economic well-being as well as variations in empirical specification of the treatment by the law. Using a smaller version of the survey, conducted in 2008, we perform a variety of tests, which demonstrate that the results are not due to a cohort effect. Finally, we show that the effect of education on religiosity and voting preference is not working through migration, residential location or labor force participation.
    JEL: I21 I28 K4 Z1 Z12 Z18
    Date: 2013–12
  15. By: Luukkonen, Terttu; Thomas, Duncan A.
    Abstract: This brief is about changing expectations on publicly-funded university researchers to contribute to socio-economic goals primarily through commercialisation, such as the creation of spin-out companies. Based on our research in the UK and Finland we argue that this kind of ’commercialisation’ is only one, often minor, aspect of how researchers and their research in reality engage in industry such that a more nuanced treatment of the wide variety of ’engagement’ approaches could lead to more effective science and research policies. This brief draws on different data sources, but mostly on the UNI project, funded by Tekes innovation research programme.
    Date: 2013–12–19

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