nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2014‒01‒10
nine papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Universidade da Beira Interior and Universidade de Lisboa

  1. Selecting Growth Measures for School and Teacher Evaluations By Cory Koedel; Mark Ehlert; Eric Parsons; Michael Podgursky; P. Brett Xiang
  2. Effects of Compulsory Schooling on Mortality: Evidence from Sweden By Fischer, Martin; Karlsson, Martin; Nilsson, Therese
  3. Skill premia and intergenerational education mobility: The French case By B. Ben-Halima; Nathalie Chusseau; Joel Hellier
  4. Are classroom internet use and academic performance higher after government broadband subsidies to primary schools? By Hyland, Marie; Layte, Richard; Lyons, Sean; McCoy, Selina; Silles, Mary
  5. Teacher Characteristics, Actions and Perceptions: What Matters for Student Achievement in Pakistan? By Shenila Rawal; Monazza Aslam; Baela Jamil
  6. Social mobility at the top: Why are elites self-reproducing? By Elise S. Brezis; Joel Hellier
  7. Government Intervention in Postsecondary Education in Bulgaria By Bonev, Pavlin
  8. Gender, ethnicity and cumulative disadvantage in education : evidence from Latin American and African censuses By Tas, Emcet O.; Reimao, Maira Emy; Orlando, Maria Beatriz
  9. Coping with Very Weak Primary Schools: Towards Smart Interventions in Dutch Education Policy By Mark van Twist; Martijn van der Steen; Marieke Kleiboer; Jorren Scherpenisse; Henno Theisens

  1. By: Cory Koedel (Department of Economics, University of Missouri-Columbia); Mark Ehlert (Department of Economics, University of Missouri-Columbia); Eric Parsons (Department of Economics, University of Missouri-Columbia); Michael Podgursky (Department of Economics, University of Missouri-Columbia); P. Brett Xiang
    Abstract: There is increased policy interest in extending the test-based evaluation framework in K-12 education to include student achievement in high school. High school achievement is typically measured by performance on end-of-course exams (EOCs), which test course-specific standards in subjects including algebra, biology, English, geometry, and history, among others. However, unlike standardized tests in the early grades, students take EOCs at different points in their schooling careers. The timing of the test is a choice variable presumably determined by input from administrators, students and parents. Recent research indicates that school and district policies that determine when students take particular courses can have important consequences for achievement and subsequent outcomes, such as advanced course taking. The contribution of the present study is to develop an approach for modeling EOC test performance that disentangles the influence of school and district policies regarding the timing of course taking from other factors. After separating out the timing issue, better measures of the quality of instruction provided by districts, schools and teachers can be obtained. Our approach also offers diagnostic value because it explicitly separates out the influence of school and district course-taking policies from other factors that determine student achievement.
    Keywords: value-added, end-of-course exam, end-of-course testing, course timing
    JEL: I20
    Date: 2014–01–03
  2. By: Fischer, Martin (University of Duisburg-Essen); Karlsson, Martin (University of Duisburg-Essen); Nilsson, Therese (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))
    Abstract: Theoretically, there are several reasons to expect education to have a positive effect on health and empirical research suggests that education can be an important health determinant. However, it has not yet been established whether education and health are indeed causally related, and the effects found in previous studies may be partially attributable to methodological weaknesses. Moreover, existing evidence on the education-health relationship using information of schooling reforms for identification, generally use information from fairly recent reforms implying that health outcomes are observed only over a limited time period. This paper examines the effect of education on mortality using information on a national roll-out of a reform leading to one extra year of compulsory schooling in Sweden. In 1936, the national government made a seventh school year compulsory; however, the implementation was decided at the school district level, and the reform was implemented over a period of 12 years. Taking advantage of the variation in the timing of the implementation across school districts, by using county-level proportions of reformed districts, census data and administrative mortality data, we find that the extra compulsory school year reduced mortality. In fact, the mortality reduction is discernible already before the age of 30 and then grows in magnitude until the age of 55–60.
    Keywords: Returns to schooling; Education Reform; Mortality
    JEL: I12 I18 I21
    Date: 2013–12–03
  3. By: B. Ben-Halima (EQUIPPE, University of Lille 1, France); Nathalie Chusseau (EQUIPPE, University of Lille 1, France); Joel Hellier (EQUIPPE, University of Lille 1 and LEMNA, IEMN-IAE, France)
    Abstract: In the case of France, we analyse the changes in the wage value of each education level and the impact of parents' education and income upon the education attainment of children, sons and daughters. We find a critical decline in the skill premium of the Baccalaureat (`bac') in relation to the lowest educational level, and an increase in the skill premia of higher education degrees in relation to the bac, which is however not large enough to erase the decrease in all the skill premia relative to the lowest education. We also find a significant rise in the impact of family backgrounds upon education from 1993 to 2003, i.e. a decrease in intergenerational education mobility, which primarily derives from higher impact of parental incomes. Finally, the gender wage gap is particularly large for the lowest and the highest education degrees, and ntergenerational persistence is greater for sons than for daughters.
    Keywords: Family backgrounds, intergenerational education mobility, skill premium.
    JEL: I2 J24 J31
    Date: 2013–11
  4. By: Hyland, Marie; Layte, Richard; Lyons, Sean; McCoy, Selina; Silles, Mary
    Abstract: This paper combines data from a government programme providing broadband access to primary schools in Ireland with survey microdata on schools', teachers' and pupils use of the internet to examine the links between public subsidies, classroom use of the internet and educational performance. Provision of broadband service under a government scheme was associated with more than a doubling of teachers' use of the internet in class after about a two year lag. Better computing facilities in schools were also associated with higher internet use, but advertised download speed was not statistically significant. A second set of models show that use of the internet in class was associated with higher average mathematics scores on standardised tests, but that any association with reading scores was marginal. A range of confounding factors is also explored, with results broadly in line with previous literature. --
    Keywords: internet use,primary education,academic performance
    JEL: H52 L86
    Date: 2013
  5. By: Shenila Rawal; Monazza Aslam; Baela Jamil
    Abstract: Substandard teaching is believed to be the foremost reason for poor quality schooling in the developing world. This paper uses unique data from primary schools in the state of Punjab in Pakistan to delve into the issues that may determine what makes one teacher more effective than another. The hypothesis that differential teacher effectiveness stems from far more than observable teacher characteristics is tested and more nuanced reasons behind these differences are examined. In particular, teacher attitudes and opinions are investigated to give a more holistic approach to researching teacher effectiveness and its impact on student learning.
    Keywords: teacher effectiveness, student achievement, teacher attitudes, teacher opinions, fixed effects, Pakistan
    Date: 2013
  6. By: Elise S. Brezis (Azrieli Center for Economic Policy (ACEP), Bar-Ilan University, Israel); Joel Hellier (Department of Economics, EQUIPPE, Univ. de Lille and LEMNA, Univ. de Nantes, France)
    Abstract: This paper proposes an explanation for the decrease in social mobility that has occurred in the last two decades in a number of advanced economies, as well as for the divergence in mobility dynamics across countries. Within an intergenerational framework, we show that a two-tier higher education system with standard and elite universities generates social stratification, high social immobility and self-reproduction of the elite. Moreover, we show that the higher the relative funding for elite universities, the higher the elite self-reproduction, and the lower social mobility. We also analyse the impacts of changes in the weight of the elite and of the middle class upon social mobility. Our findings provide theoretical bases for the inverted-U profile of social mobility experienced in several countries since World War II and to the ``Great Gatsby Curve'' relating social mobility to inequality.
    Keywords: Elite, higher education, selection, social mobility, social stratification.
    JEL: I21 J62 O15 Z13
    Date: 2013–11
  7. By: Bonev, Pavlin
    Abstract: In this paper, based on report published by the Bulgarian National Audit Office with reference to public university graduates entering the labor market, I try to outline possible ways to overcome labor market failure problem forced by inefficient public university funding. It is the Bulgarian Government and in particular Ministry of Education, Youth and Science that perform policy to contribute to achieve postsecondary labor market equilibrium. Based on the report findings, I argue that the subsidies allocated for public universities are quite high compared to the funds adopted for health services for example. It is not the high acceptance rate that are being achieved, but the admission quotas that are being defined by universities. I consider this as a precondition for the labor market failure problem. Thus supply and demand on specialists with university degree on labor market is unbalanced. This creates risk for inadequate managerial decisions when developing strategies and policies in the fields of labor market and university education. As a result labor market is saturated with specialists with some occupations, and shortage with others.
    Keywords: public university funding, labor market failure problem, positive externalitites, postsecondary education
    JEL: I23 I24 I25 I28 J24
    Date: 2013–12–21
  8. By: Tas, Emcet O.; Reimao, Maira Emy; Orlando, Maria Beatriz
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of gender and ethnicity on educational outcomes using cross-country evidence from Bolivia, Mexico, Peru, Senegal, and Sierra Leone. It uses the Minnesota Population Center's Integrated Public Use Microdata Series-International database, which includes individual-level data from large, harmonized, and representative samples of country censuses. Using an estimation method analogous to difference-in-differences, the paper finds that gender-based differences in literacy, primary school completion, and secondary school completion are larger for minority ethnic groups compared with others or, alternatively, ethnicity-based differences are larger for women compared with men. The findings suggest that the intersection of gender and ethnicity confers cumulative disadvantage for minority groups, especially in Latin America. The paper discusses the implications of these findings on the design of, targeting in, and resource allocation for development programs.
    Keywords: Population Policies,Education For All,Primary Education,Disability,Gender and Development
    Date: 2013–12–01
  9. By: Mark van Twist; Martijn van der Steen; Marieke Kleiboer; Jorren Scherpenisse; Henno Theisens
    Abstract: This case study looks at the effectiveness of policy instruments aimed at reducing the number of underperforming primary schools in a system with a long tradition of school autonomy. It reviews relevant Dutch policy developments in education since 1998 and provides an in-depth analysis of five selected schools and their responsiveness to the policy instruments under study. Interviews with relevant stakeholders explore a key issue: what happens after a reform is introduced, and what are the elements that make it successful (or not)? The study suggests that there is not a linear cause and effect driving changes in educational performance of schools. For example, even the assignment of the label ‘very weak’ can elicit a positive response from one school and a negative response from another, depending on the local context, history and staffing situation at the school. The same intervention can thus create a vicious cycle that triggers increasing deterioration of schools or a virtuous cycle that improves conditions to an extent that surpasses the original goal of the reform. This goes some way to explaining why some reform measures unintentionally backfire while others quickly (‘virally’) spread over the system and set a virtuous cycle in motion that engages all parts of the system. Cette étude a pour objet l’efficacité des instruments d’action destinés à réduire le nombre d’écoles primaires aux performances insuffisantes dans un système où les établissements scolaires sont autonomes depuis longtemps. Dans cette étude sont passés en revue les faits importants qui ont marqué la politique néerlandaise de l’éducation depuis 1998, et examinées de façon approfondie cinq écoles et leur sensibilité aux instruments d’action considérés. Des entretiens ont eu lieu avec certaines parties prenantes au sujet d’une question de premier plan : que se passe-t-il après la mise en place d’une réforme et quels sont les facteurs qui en assurent la réussite (ou l’échec) ? L’étude montre qu’il n’y a pas de relation de causalité linéaire qui détermine l’évolution des résultats de l’enseignement dans les établissements scolaires. Par exemple, la simple appréciation « très faible » peut susciter une réaction positive de la part d’une école et une réaction négative de la part d’une autre, selon le contexte local, l’histoire de l’établissement scolaire en question et sa situation quant à l’effectif de son personnel. Ainsi, une même intervention peut engendrer un cercle vicieux de détérioration de la qualité des écoles, ou un cercle vertueux qui se traduira par des progrès supérieurs à l’objectif initial de la réforme. Ce phénomène contribue à expliquer pourquoi certaines mesures de réforme ont des effets contraires à ceux qui sont attendus tandis que d’autres se « propagent » rapidement dans l’ensemble du système, enclenchant un cercle vertueux dans lequel sont entraînés des secteurs de ce système qui n’étaient nullement censés être touchés.
    Date: 2013–12–13

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