nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2014‒02‒15
eleven papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Universidade da Beira Interior and Universidade de Lisboa

  1. Economics of higher education By Richard Murphy; Gill Wyness
  2. The long-run effects of attending an elite school: evidence from the UK By Clark, Damon; Del Bono, Emilia
  3. The Economics Of Online Postsecondary Education: MOOCs, Nonselective Education, And Highly Selective Education By Caroline Hoxby
  4. (In)equality in Education and Economic Development By Petra Sauer; Martin Zagler
  5. The Effects of Doubling Instruction Efforts on Middle School Students' Achievement: Evidence from a Multiyear Regression-Discontinuity Design By Timothy J. Bartik; Marta Lachowska
  6. Personality and field of study choice By Humburg M.
  7. The Effect of Restorative Juvenile Justice on Future Educational Outcomes By Rud, I.; Van Klaveren, C.; Groot, W., and Maassen van den Brink, H.
  8. Everybody needs good neighbours? By Steve Gibbons; Olmo Silva; Felix Weinhardt
  10. Stated and Revealed Heterogeneous Risk Preferences in Educational Choice By Frank M. Fossen; Daniela Glocker
  11. The public choice of university organization. A stylized story with some explanation By Martin Paldam

  1. By: Richard Murphy; Gill Wyness
    Abstract: In brief: Economics of higher education
    Keywords: Higher Education, UK, government policy
    Date: 2014–02
  2. By: Clark, Damon; Del Bono, Emilia
    Abstract: This paper estimates the impact of elite school attendance on long- run outcomes including completed education, income and fertility. Our data consists of individuals born in the 1950s and educated in a UK dis- trict that assigned students to either elite or non-elite secondary schools. Using instrumental variables methods that exploit the school assign- ment formula, we find that elite school attendance had large impacts on completed education. For women, we find that elite school attendance generated large improvements in labor market outcomes and significant decreases in fertility; for men, we find no elite school impacts on any of these later-life outcomes.
    Date: 2014–02–11
  3. By: Caroline Hoxby (Stanford University)
    Abstract: I consider how online postsecondary education, including massive open online courses (MOOCs), might fit into economically sustainable models of postsecondary education. I contrast nonselective postsecondary education (NSPE) in which institutions sell fairly standardized educational services in return for upfront payments and highly selective postsecondary education (HSPE) in which institutions invest in students in return for repayments much later in life. The analysis suggests that MOOCs will be financially sustainable substitutes for some NSPE, but there are risks even in these situations. The analysis suggests that MOOCs will be financially sustainable substitutes for only a small share of HSPE and are likely to collapse the economic model that allows HSPE institutions to invest in advanced education and research. I outline a non-MOOC model of online education that may allow HSPE institutions both to sustain their distinctive activities and to reach a larger number of students.
    Date: 2014–01
  4. By: Petra Sauer (Department of Economics, Vienna University of Economics and Business); Martin Zagler (Department of Economics, Vienna University of Economics and Business)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the relationship between economic development and the average level of education as well as the degree of inequality in the distribution of education, respectively. Approaching this question in a dynamic panel over 60 years and 143 countries with a system GMM estimator reveals strong support for the inclusion of an interaction term between the education Gini coeffcient and average years of schooling, indicating the existence of nonlinear effects. We contribute to the literature in providing strong evidence that more schooling is good for economic growth - irrespective of its distribution - but that the coeffcient is variable and substantially declining in inequality. On the other hand, inequality is positively related to economic growth for low average levels of education, whereas highly educated countries exhibit a statistically insignificant negative relationship between inequality and economic growth. From this it follows that at least a slight increase in the degree of inequality is necessary in order to haul initially poor and low educated economies out of the poverty trap. However, as economies become educated, the effect of educational inequality mainly works indirectly. Accordingly, countries that show greater educational inequality experience lower macro economic returns to education than more equal economies, on average.
    Keywords: education, economic growth, distribution of education
    JEL: D31 I00 O15
    Date: 2014–01
  5. By: Timothy J. Bartik (W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research); Marta Lachowska (W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research)
    Abstract: We use a regression-discontinuity design to study the effects of double blocking sixth-grade students in reading and mathematics on their achievement across three years of middle school. To identify the effect of the intervention, we use sharp cutoffs in the test scores used to assign students to double blocking. We find large, positive, and persistent effects of double blocking in reading, but, unlike previous research, we find no statistically significant effects of double blocking in mathematics either in the short run or medium run.
    Keywords: Regression discontinuity, Double blocking, Middle school
    JEL: I21 C21
    Date: 2014–01
  6. By: Humburg M. (GSBE)
    Abstract: Field of study choice has far-reaching implications for individuals enrolling in university. Field of study choice is strongly linked to the subject matter graduates will specialize in, the kind of work environment they will be working in, and the returns to their skills they can expect once they enter the workforce. This paper uses unique Dutch data which demonstrates that personality measured at age 14 can be linked to field of study choice at around age 19. It can be shown that the Big Five personality traits affect field of study choice. Moreover, while personality matters less than cognitive skills, such as math ability and verbal ability, for educational attainment, the influence of personality on field of study choice is comparable to that of cognitive skills. Sorting across fields of study on the basis of personality traits is in some respects similar for women and men, although substantial differences exist.
    Keywords: Analysis of Education; Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity;
    JEL: I21 J24
    Date: 2014
  7. By: Rud, I.; Van Klaveren, C.; Groot, W., and Maassen van den Brink, H.
    Keywords: Restorative Justice, Education, Juvenile Crime, Field Experiment
    JEL: I2 K4 C93
    Date: 2014
  8. By: Steve Gibbons; Olmo Silva; Felix Weinhardt
    Abstract: There are large disparities between the achievements, behaviour and aspirations of children in different neighbourhoods - but does this mean that the place where you grow up determines your later life outcomes? Steve Gibbons, Olmo Silva and Felix Weinhardt outline the findings of a series of CEP studies of 'neighbourhood effects'.
    Keywords: Education, behaviour, attainment, neighbourhood effects, cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes, schools
    JEL: C21 I20 H75 R23
    Date: 2014–02
  9. By: Arco, Joaquim (University of Algarve); Fragoso, António (University of Algarve)
    Abstract: This paper intends to reflect the ways in which eight primary school teachers constructed their learning identities in different contexts of their life courses. Different forms of learning suggest that educators faced hard transitions in their learning identities and careers. The biography of each interviewee was a dynamic process in which each used all their skills to build their own life’s trajectory. These educators had no fixed identities; they changed and became different persons. In each new situation their identities are (re) built, updated and modified. In each situation new experiences are encountered, which are integrated by the subjects in the process of biographical (re) construction. Each educator used their knowledge, their motivations and their experiences to build her/his biographical learning in a dialogue within the various contexts. The biography of each educator was being progressively constructed over the course of life, through the transition of multiple learning identities. This study is an example of teachers who did not follow a linear life course; they preferred to change, to face challenges, to take risks and to live the profession as a succession of learning identities.
    Keywords: Learning Identity; Biographical Knowledge; Biographycity; Educator Development
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2014–02–07
  10. By: Frank M. Fossen; Daniela Glocker
    Abstract: Stated survey measures of risk preferences are increasingly being used in the literature, and they have been compared to revealed risk aversion primarily by means of experiments such as lottery choice tasks. In this paper, we investigate educational choice, which involves the comparison of risky future income paths and therefore depends on risk and time preferences. In contrast to experimental settings, educational choice is one of the most important economic decisions taken by individuals, and we observe actual choices in representative panel data. We estimate a structural microeconometric model to jointly reveal risk and time preferences based on educational choices, allowing for unobserved heterogeneity in the Arrow-Pratt risk aversion parameter. The probabilities of membership in the latent classes of persons with higher or lower risk aversion are modelled as functions of stated risk preferences elicited in the survey using standard questions. Two types are identified: A small group with high risk aversion and a large group with low risk aversion. The results indicate that persons who state that they are generally less willing to take risks in the survey tend to belong to the latent class with higher revealed risk aversion, which indicates consistency of stated and revealed risk preferences. The relevance of the distinction between the two types for educational choice is demonstrated by their distinct reactions to a simulated tax policy scenario.
    Keywords: Educational choice, stated preferences, revealed preferences, risk aversion, time preference
    JEL: I20 D81
    Date: 2014
  11. By: Martin Paldam (Department of Economics and Business, Aarhus University, Denmark)
    Abstract: The essay presents and explains a highly stylized story of the reactions of the structure of a university to a constitutional reform – in the university law – that radically changed the power structure from a bottom-up representative system to a top-down hierarchical system practically without checks and balances. It was meant as a more business-like system to increasing effective-ness. However, the result has been precisely the reverse. Both the (relative) size and the salaries of the bureaucracy have increased, while its effectiveness has fallen. The bureaucracy has grown particularly fast in the special service bureaus outside the normal structure and in the PR-department. It is shown that these outcomes correspond to the predictions of public choice theory notably of Niskanen’s theory of bureaucracy.
    Keywords: Constitutional reform, bureaucratic growth
    JEL: D73 L32
    Date: 2014–02–06

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