nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2014‒05‒04
nineteen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Universidade da Beira Interior and Universidade de Lisboa

  1. The Impact of Education on Personality: Evidence from a German High School Reform By Dahmann, Sarah; Anger, Silke
  2. The Curse of Low Aspirations: Remedial Education and Perceived Returns to Education of Roma People By Lara Lebedinski; Marianna Battaglia
  3. Do Single?Sex Classes Affect Achievement? A Study in a Coeducational University By Alison L. Booth; Lina Cardona-Sosa; Patrick Nolen
  4. Does High School Homework Increase Academic Achievement? By Kalenkoski, Charlene M.; Pabilonia, Sabrina Wulff
  5. Measuring student debt and its performance By Lee, Donghoon; Van der Klaauw, Wilbert; Haughwout, Andrew F.; Brown, Meta; Scally, Joelle
  6. Handling negative data using Data Envelopment Analysis: a directional distance approach applied to higher education By Barra, Cristian; Zotti, Roberto
  7. Financing Higher Education when Students and Graduates are Internationally Mobile By Marcel GERARD; Silke UEBELMESSER
  8. Academic Performance and the Great Recession By Adamopoulou, Effrosyni; Tanzi, Giulia M.
  9. Divergent Trends in U.S. Teacher Quality: 1980-2010 By Richey, Jeremiah
  10. The Analysis of Impact of Investment in Education on Economic Growth in Nigeria: Veracity of Association of Staff Union of University of Nigeria’s agitation By Yusuf, Sulaimon Aremu
  11. Role of Education and Skill Development for Sustainable Development By Chakrabarty, Aritra
  12. The Role of Education for the Economic Growth of Bulgaria By Neycheva, Mariya
  13. Determinants of public education expenditure: Evidence from Indian states By Monojit Chatterji; Sushil Mohan; Sayantan Ghosh Dastidar
  14. Education and Self-Employment: South Asian Immigrants in the US Labor Market By Dutta, Nabamita; Kar, Saibal; Roy, Sanjukta
  15. Dynamic Education Signaling with Dropout Risk, Third Version By Francesc Dilme; Fei Li
  16. Schooling attainment, schooling expenditures, and test scores what causes economic growth? By Theodore R. Breton
  17. Evolução do Acesso de Jovens à Educação Superior no Brasil By Paulo Roberto Corbucci
  18. Does Eligibility for Tertiary Education Affect Crime Rates? Quasi-Experimental Evidence By Nordin , Martin
  19. Schooling and Economic Growth: What Have We Learned? By Theodore R. Breton

  1. By: Dahmann, Sarah (DIW Berlin); Anger, Silke (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the short-term effects of a reduction in the length of high school on students' personality traits using a school reform carried out at the state level in Germany as a quasi-natural experiment. Starting in 2001, academic-track high school (Gymnasium) was reduced from nine to eight years in most of Germany's federal states, leaving the overall curriculum unchanged. This enabled students to obtain a university entrance qualification (Abitur) after a total of only 12 rather than 13 years of schooling. We exploit the variation in the length of academic-track high school over time and across states to identify the effect of schooling on students' Big Five personality traits and on their locus of control. Using rich data on adolescents and young adults from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) study, our estimates show that shortening high school caused students on average to be more extroverted and less emotionally stable. Our estimates point to important heterogeneous effects. In addition to differences between East and West Germany, we find that male students and students from disrupted families showed stronger personality changes following the reform: they became more agreeable and more extroverted, respectively. We conclude that the educational system plays an important role in shaping adolescents' personality traits.
    Keywords: non-cognitive skills, Big Five, locus of control, skill formation, high school reform
    JEL: I21 I28 J24
    Date: 2014–04
  2. By: Lara Lebedinski (Université Catholique de Louvain); Marianna Battaglia (Dpto. Fundamentos del Análisis Económico)
    Abstract: We examine how a remedial education program for primary school-age children aaffects parental aspirations about their children’s future. Using original survey data we collected in Serbia, we investigate whether expectations on labor market perspectives and educational achievement change as a consequence of exposure to the Roma Teaching Assistant Program. We argue that these changes are likely to occur mainly through a role model mechanism: in the program all the assistants are Roma and from the same social background of the pupils they help. The presence of a person belonging to the same community, who proved to be successful, motivates parents to believe theirchildren can succeed. Our results show that parents of pupils in treated schools expect higher returns to education for their kids. They are also more likely to expect them to achieve a secondary level of education.
    Keywords: Aspirations, perceived returns to education, program evaluation
    JEL: I25 J13 D04
    Date: 2014–04
  3. By: Alison L. Booth; Lina Cardona-Sosa; Patrick Nolen
    Abstract: We examine the effect of single?sex classes on the pass rates, grades, and course choices of students in a coeducational university. We randomly assign students to all?female, all?male, and coed classes and, therefore, get around the selection issues present in other studies on single?sex education. We find that one hour a week of single?sex education benefits females: females are 7.5% more likely to pass their first year courses and score 10% higher in their required second year classes than their peers attending coeducational classes. We find no effect of single?sex education on the subsequent probability that a female will take technical classes and there is no effect of single?sex education for males. Furthermore we are able to examine potential mechanisms and indirect effects of single?sex education. We find that the effects of single?sex education do not appear to be driven by a tracking mechanism and that there are indirect effects on class attendance and completion of optional assignments for females. However, the indirect effects cannot explain much of the effect of single-sex education for females.
    Keywords: Gender, single?sex groups, cognitive ability
    JEL: C9 C91 C92 J16 J16 J24
    Date: 2013–10–30
  4. By: Kalenkoski, Charlene M. (Texas Tech University); Pabilonia, Sabrina Wulff (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
    Abstract: Although previous research has shown that homework improves students' academic achievement, the majority of these studies use data on students' homework time from retrospective questionnaires, which are less accurate than time-diary data. However, most time-diary data sets do not contain outcome measures, and thus are limited in the questions they can answer. One data set that does have both time-diary and outcome information is the combined Child Development Supplement (CDS) and the Transition to Adulthood Survey (TA) of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. Students complete time diaries as part of the CDS and then a few years later provide information on outcomes in the TA. The CDS provides us with time diaries for both weekdays and weekend days, providing a good picture of homework over the course of a week rather than on just a single day. For high school graduates, we explore the effects of time spent on homework on two measures of academic achievement: high school GPA and college attendance by age 20. We find that homework time increases the probability of college attendance for boys. In addition, when we look at homework performed as a sole activity, we find that homework increases high school GPA for boys.
    Keywords: academic achievement, homework, GPA, human capital, education
    JEL: I2 J22 J24
    Date: 2014–04
  5. By: Lee, Donghoon (Federal Reserve Bank of New York); Van der Klaauw, Wilbert (Federal Reserve Bank of New York); Haughwout, Andrew F. (Federal Reserve Bank of New York); Brown, Meta (Federal Reserve Bank of New York); Scally, Joelle (Federal Reserve Bank of New York)
    Abstract: Studies continue to indicate that higher education is frequently a worthwhile investment for individuals and that it raises the productivity of the workforce as a whole. While the rising cost of post-secondary education has not eliminated this "college premium," it has raised new questions about how growing numbers of students can make these investments. One solution to this problem is student loans, which have come to play an increasingly important role in financing higher education. Yet, despite its importance, educational debt is not well understood. Among the reasons is that there exist few central repositories of information on the characteristics and performance of all student loans, which currently include loans made by both government and private lenders. In this paper, we bring a new data set to bear on this important issue and present a brief analysis of the historical and current levels of student debt and how those loans are performing. We also briefly discuss the implications of student loans for borrowers and the economy.
    Keywords: student debt; household debt
    JEL: D12 D14 I22
    Date: 2014–04–01
  6. By: Barra, Cristian; Zotti, Roberto
    Abstract: This paper applies a data envelopment analysis (DEA) method to assess technical efficiency of both private and public universities in Italy. Moving from the traditional context where inputs and outputs are assumed to be non-negative, a directional distance function approach has been applied in order to handle both desirable (i.e. number of graduates) and undesirable (i.e. number of dropouts) outputs. The findings based on a panel from academic year 2003/2004 to 2007/2008 reveal the presence of interesting geographical (both by macro areas and regions) and ownership (private, public) effects. Several quality and quantity proxies have also been used in order to check whether the estimates depend on the output specification. Finally, the possible evidence of variation in the universities’ performances by subject of study has been taken into account in order to check whether the results are still consistent comparing universities within subject rather than across subjects.
    Keywords: Data envelopment analysis; Negative data in DEA; Directional distance function; Higher education
    JEL: C14 C67 I21 I23
    Date: 2014–04
  7. By: Marcel GERARD (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Louvain School of Management Research Institute (ILSM) and Institut de Recherches économiques et sociales (IRES)); Silke UEBELMESSER (University of Jena, Germany)
    Abstract: This paper aims at linking cross border mobility of students and graduates with the financing of higher education. Against the background of institutional features and empirical evidence of the European Union and Northern America, a theoretical framework is developed. This allows analyzing the optimal financing regimes for different migration scenarios, comparing them with the regimes in place and discussing possible remedies. In particular, the (optimal) sharing of education costs between students / graduates and tax-payers is studied as well as the (optimal) sharing of the tax-payers’ part between the various countries involved: the country which provides higher education (the host country), the country of previous education (the origin country) and possibly the countries which benefit from the improved skills of the workers. Alternative designs exhibiting potentially desirable properties are developed and policy recommendations derived.
    Keywords: Mobility of students; Mobility of graduates; Financing of higher education
    JEL: F22 H52 I23
    Date: 2014–04–23
  8. By: Adamopoulou, Effrosyni; Tanzi, Giulia M.
    Abstract: In this paper we study how the Great Recession affected university students in terms of performance, with a special focus on the dropout probability. To do so, we use individual-level data on a representative sample of university students in Italy in 2007 and 2011. We measure the severity of the recession in terms of increases in adult and youth unemployment rate and we exploit geographical variation to achieve identification. On the one hand, an increase in adult male unemployment rate deteriorates the financial condition of the family, raising the dropout probability. On the other hand, by reducing the opportunity cost of tertiary education, an increase in youth unemployment rate decreases the dropout probability. Focusing on students who were enrolled at the university before the recession we are able to study the effects of the crisis on performance net from any potential effect on enrollment. We find evidence that overall, university dropout decreased as a result of the Great Recession and that the probability of on-time graduation increased for more motivated students. The effects, however, are considerably heterogeneous across gender and other socio-economic indicators.
    Keywords: academic performance, dropout, great recession, unemployment
    JEL: D12 E32 J24
    Date: 2014–04
  9. By: Richey, Jeremiah
    Abstract: This paper documents the changes in the ability distribution of individuals entering the teaching profession among individuals born between 1957-1964 and 1980-1984. This is done using the 1979 and 1997 cohorts of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and a constructed Armed Force Qualifying Test score that allows direct comparison of ability between cohorts. Such direct comparisons between cohorts was previously not possible due to a lack of directly comparable measures of ability. I find there are minimal differences in ability between cohorts with the only significant difference being a small drop in ability around the 75th percentile of the conditional distribution. However, this similarity across cohorts masks vast differences in specific demographics. In particular, white women are of much lower ability in the 1997 cohort whereas minority women are of substantially higher ability. Moreover the gain in ability of female minority teachers is due to both a cohort improvement in ability and an increase in the within cohort ability of teachers. Puzzling is the significant negative trend in ability in the 1979 cohort which is not apparent between cohorts. This implies a likely `bottoming out' and rebound in teacher ability in the 1990s.
    Keywords: Education, Teacher quality
    JEL: I20
    Date: 2014–04–30
  10. By: Yusuf, Sulaimon Aremu
    Abstract: This study explored empirically the Impact of Investment in Education on Economic Growth in Nigeria between 1975 and 2012. The study is borne out of the curiosity to determine as claimed by the UNDP and other multilateral institutions the prominent roles play by the education in the growth and development of a developing nation like Nigeria. More so, the agitation of Association of Staff Union of Nigeria University of Nigeria (ASUU) that the federal government should invest more to develop infrastructures in our University. The research took the form of analytical/quantitative dimension; the quantitative technique is used in analysing data collected. Restricted Error Correction model is used with the aid of Econometrics View Package (E- view). In the study, Real Gross Domestic Product (RGDP) is used as proxy for economic growth, Government Capital Expenditure on Education (GKEE), Government Recurrent Expenditure on Education (GREE) are proxy to investment in human capital, Gross Capital Formation (GCF) as proxy for Capital and Post Primary School enrolment as a proxy for labour. The empirical analysis revealed that investment in human capital, in form of education and capacities building through training have positive impacts on economic growth in Nigeria. It is therefore, recommended that for effective and speedy economic growth and development in Nigeria, the government, should shoulder the major responsibility of financing primary, secondary and tertiary education, as these provide solid foundation for human capital formation which no country can do anything meaningful without. The other stakeholders like beneficiaries (students/parents), employer of labour, non-governmental organisation, community-based organisation should also collaborate with government to provide sufficient finance for the development of this sector as we all know that the sector has its product as merit-goods. The ASUU's agitation and educational financing policy prescription on funding of the educational system most especially University (Agent of Change) should be jealously observed and implemented.
    Keywords: Investment in Education, Economic Growth.
    JEL: E22
    Date: 2014–02
  11. By: Chakrabarty, Aritra
    Abstract: The Indian economy is widely expected to grow at sustained high rates over the next few decades and emerge as the second largest economy by 2050. These robust projections have much to do with the demographic profile of the country. India is slated to have one of the youngest populations, with the bulk of the population figuring in the working age. However, in order to utilize this „demographic dividend* effectively, India needs to impart adequate and appropriate skills to its workforce. The education system churns out students that are not immediately employable and skill up-gradation on the job is low; implying that a large section of the currently employed labor possesses outdated skills. The current skill training setup, comprising of ITIs and Polytechnics, caters to only 2.5 million people. This further compounds the demandsupply gap. Market outcomes are not favoring the expectations of the labor force. While 56 percent of the higher education institutes are devoted to arts, science and commerce, medical colleges, engineering and technology colleges and polytechnics comprise ten percent, seven percent and six percent of total institutes respectively. The dominance of general education has prevented the bulk of the population from acquiring skills required by the manufacturing and service industries. The attempt of this paper will be to reconcile the empirical study of the education sector with the neoclassical literature on human capital as a determinant of sustained growth with special focus on skill development.
    Keywords: education, human capital, demographics, sustainable growth, skill, development
    JEL: I21 I25 J11 O15
    Date: 2012–10–01
  12. By: Neycheva, Mariya
    Abstract: The paper presents results of a study which estimates the impact of human capital on growth in Bulgaria over the period 2000-12. The empirical models are based on the extended Cobb-Douglas production with three inputs ─ labor, physical capital and human capital. Export and Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) are included as well. The quantity of human capital is measured by the share of people in the labor force aged 25-64 having completed at least upper secondary education. The outcome suggests that the share of people with upper secondary education enters insignificantly the regression model. Moreover, its short-run accumulation is related negatively to real output per capita. When tertiary education is considered, the result is positive and statistically significant. In general, the study cannot fully support the hypothesis that education fosters growth because people with upper secondary education twice outnumber those with tertiary education. The results also imply that the upward trend of real output is attributed mainly to FDI, physical capital accumulation and export. A reasonable explanation of the non-significant role of secondary education is that the quality of human capital is a crucial factor for growth especially in countries where the average educational level is relatively high. According to the results of a partial correlation analysis foreign language proficiency explains a large part of the variation in output per capita across Europe.
    Keywords: Human capital, Higher Education, Secondary Education, Growth, Foreign language proficiency, Bulgaria
    JEL: H52 J24 O40
    Date: 2014–04
  13. By: Monojit Chatterji; Sushil Mohan; Sayantan Ghosh Dastidar
    Abstract: Public education expenditure varies significantly across Indian states. Using data on sixteen Indian states from 2001-2010, the paper tries to identify the determinants of per capita education expenditure of state governments in India. The econometric findings indicate that richer states spend more on education compared to the poorer states. A lower share of child population (0-14 years) is found to significantly enhance education expenditure at the state level. We do not find any evidence that political factors such as political ideology of the ruling party and level of corruption affect education expenditure of state governments.
    Keywords: public education expenditure, public policy, Indian states, panel data
    JEL: H52 H72 J11 J18
    Date: 2014–04
  14. By: Dutta, Nabamita (University of Wisconsin, La Crosse); Kar, Saibal (Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta); Roy, Sanjukta (World Bank)
    Abstract: Does higher educational attainment lead to greater participation in self-employment? Available studies agree and disagree on this subject through various explanations. We invoke an empirical example from the experiences of immigrants moving from poor countries to rich countries. Further, we focus exclusively on the self-employment participation among south Asian immigration in the United States (using IPUMS Data), which the related literature has clearly neglected thus far despite long traditions of successful business ventures. We establish that higher educational attainment for immigrants from south Asia reduces the likelihood of being self-employed. In fact, a South Asian immigrant with higher educational attainment has 10% less chance of being self-employed than one without. In addition, we show that factors such as longer stay in USA and being a male, affect the likelihood of being self-employed positively. However, another interesting finding of our paper is that being a 'citizen immigrant' affects the probability of being self-employed positively. Though citizen immigrants with higher education attainment are less likely to choose self-employment, the probability is relatively higher in comparison to the non-citizen immigrant group with similar levels of education. This trend lends itself to a more than proportionate participation in self-employment by the citizen immigrants and the difference with immigrant non-citizen group becomes statistically significant. These results have various static and dynamic implications for the native labor market in host countries.
    Keywords: immigration, occupation, microdata, USA, South Asia
    JEL: J11 J15 J24
    Date: 2014–04
  15. By: Francesc Dilme (Department of Economics, University of Bonn); Fei Li (Department of Economics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes a dynamic education signaling model with dropout risk. Workers pay an education cost per unit of time and face an exogenous dropout risk before graduation. Since low-productivity workers’ cost of education is high, pooling with early dropouts helps them avoid a high education cost. In equilibrium, low-productivity workers choose to endoge- nously drop out over time, so the productivity of workers in college increases as the education process progresses. We find that the exogenous dropout risk generates rich dynamics in the endogenous dropout behavior of workers, and the maximum education length is decreasing in the prior about a worker being highly productive. We also extend the baseline model by allowing human capital accumulation.
    Keywords: Dynamic Games, Dynamic Signaling, Dropout
    JEL: D83 J31
    Date: 2013–09–03
  16. By: Theodore R. Breton
    Abstract: Using a dynamic augmented Solow model, I estimate the effect of students’ schooling attainment, schooling expenditures, and students’ test scores on growth rates over the period 1985-2005. I also estimate the effect of related measures for human capital stocks on national income in a static model in 2005. Individually all of the measures cause growth, and when included in the same model, more than one is statistically significant. Relative measurement error appears to determine which measure provides the best results. The results support the importance of increases in human capital for growth and the validity of the augmented Solow model.
    Keywords: Schooling Attainment; Schooling Expenditures; Test Scores; Economic Growth
    JEL: O41 I25
    Date: 2013–05–09
  17. By: Paulo Roberto Corbucci
    Abstract: Este texto se propõe a analisar a evolução do acesso à educação superior na coorte de 18 a 24 anos, a qual é considerada adequada à frequência a este nível de ensino. Inicialmente, questiona-se a utilização desta faixa etária como referência para se mensurar o grau de acesso a este nível de ensino no Brasil. Em seguida, são analisados alguns fatores que estabelecem estreita relação com as taxas de frequência à educação superior. No intuito de comparar a situação do Brasil no contexto internacional, é realizada breve comparação com a evolução do acesso à educação superior no México. Por fim, são apresentadas algumas conclusões acerca das variáveis associadas às desigualdades de acesso retratadas ao longo do texto, assim como é apontado um dos principais limitantes para o alcance da meta de taxa de frequência líquida de 33% que consta no projeto de lei do Plano Nacional de Educação, em tramitação no Congresso Nacional. This study aims to analyze the evolution of access to higher education in the cohort 18- 24 years, which is considered the most adequate for this level of education. Initially, we question the use of this age group as a reference to measure the degree of access to this level of education in Brazil. Then, we analyze some factors that establish close relationship with attendance rates to higher education. In order to compare the situation of Brazil in the international context, a brief comparison is made with the evolution of access to higher education in Mexico. Finally, we present some conclusions about the variables associated with inequalities in access portrayed throughout the text, as well as pointing to one of the main limiting factors for the achievement of the target of net attendance rate of 33% set out in the bill of the National Plan of Education that is under discussion in National Congress.
    Date: 2014–04
  18. By: Nordin , Martin (Department of Economics, Lund University)
    Abstract: This paper estimates a tertiary eligibility effect on crime for Sweden. The idea is that investment in higher education is a way of escaping youth inactivity and idleness, and, since youth inactivity is known to trigger crime, the self-incapacitation effect of higher education decreases crime rates. However, to invest in higher education, the individual has to meet the tertiary eligibility requirements in upper-secondary school. Tertiary eligibility may therefore affect crime rates. Evidence of an exogenous grade inflation in the eligibility rate is used to identify the tertiary eligibility effect. With the introduction of a goal-related grading system, the share with tertiary eligibility increased by more than 6 percentage points. Accordingly, during the period with grade inflation in the eligibility rate, crime rates fell, but, when the period of grade inflation was ended, the effect of tertiary eligibility on crime disappeared as well. Hence, when youth have the opportunity to invest in higher education, and thus escape unemployment or inactivity, their propensity to commit crime decreases.
    Keywords: crime; education; tertiary eligibility
    JEL: J20 K14 K42
    Date: 2014–04–29
  19. By: Theodore R. Breton
    Abstract: This paper explains why different studies present widely-varying estimates of the effect of increased schooling on national income. It shows that when correctly-interpreted, these studies support the hypothesis that a one-year increase in average schooling attainment raises national income directly by about 10% and indirectly by about 19%. The increases in national income are larger than the aggregate effect of higher workers’ salaries, because schooling has external effects on national income. Due to the rising cost of additional years of schooling, the national return on investment in schooling is much lower in more educated countries. The estimated real national return on investment in schooling in 2005 ranged from over 40% in the least educated countries to 8.5% in the most educated countries. Average levels of schooling and average test scores at ages 9 to 15 generally rise together, so either measure of human capital can explain differences in national income or growth rates across countries. Since the productivity of physical capital depends on the level of human capital, in a global financial market, the growth in human capital largely determines the growth in physical capital and in national income. ***** Este documento explica por qué diferentes estudios presentan ampliamente diferentes estimaciones sobre el efecto del aumento de la escolarización en la renta nacional. Esto demuestra que cuando se interpreta correctamente, estos estudios apoyan la hipótesis de que un aumento en un año en el nivel medio de escolaridad aumenta el ingreso nacional directamente en un 10% e indirectamente alrededor del 19%. Los aumentos en la renta nacional son más grandes que el efecto agregado de los salarios más altos de los trabajadores, ya que la escolarización tiene efectos externos sobre el ingreso nacional. Debido al creciente costo de los años adicionales de escolaridad, el retorno de la inversión nacional en educación es mucho menor en los países con mayor nivel educativo. El retorno nacional real estimado de la inversión en la educación en 2005 osciló entre el 40% en los países menos educados hasta el 8,5% en los países más cultos. Los niveles promedio de escolaridad y calificaciones de los exámenes a edades promedio de 9 a 15 generalmente aumentan en conjunto, así que o medida de capital humano pueden explicar las diferencias en el ingreso nacional o las tasas de crecimiento entre los países. Dado que la productividad del capital físico depende del nivel de capital humano, en un mercado financiero global, el crecimiento en capital humano determina en gran medida el crecimiento en capital físico y en el ingreso nacional.
    Keywords: Schooling; Human Capital; Test Scores; Economic Growth
    JEL: O41 I25
    Date: 2014–04–07

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