nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2014‒05‒24
23 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. College Dropout and Self-Esteem By Peter Hoeschler; Uschi Backes-Gellner
  3. Does Technology in Schools Affect Repetition, Dropout and Enrollment? Evidence from Peru By Pablo Garofalo; Alejo Czerwonko; Julian P. Cristia
  4. Friendship Network in the Classroom: Parent Bias and Peer Effects By Landini, Fabio; Montinari, Natalia; Pin, Paolo; Piovesan, Marco
  5. Re-estimating the Gender Gap in Colombian Academic Performance By Juan Sebastián Muñoz
  6. Is the Glass Half Empty or Half Full?: School Enrollment, Graduation, and Dropout Rates in Latin America By Juan Sebastián Muñoz; Matías Busso; Marina Bassi
  7. Are the education policy preferences of teachers just a reflection of their occupational concerns? By Chantal Oggenfuss; Stefan C. Wolter
  8. Calling into Question the Link between Educational Achievement and Migrant Background By Sara Bonfanti
  9. Impacto del Plan Ceibal en el aprendizaje. Evidencia de la mayor experiencia OLPC By Gioia de Melo; Alina Machado; Alfonso Miranda; Magdalena Viera
  10. Does the student evaluation of teaching instrument really measure instructors teaching effectiveness? An econometric analysis of students perceptions in economics courses By Mohammad Alauddin; Temesgen Kifle
  11. How the wage-education profile got more convex: evidence from Mexico By Binelli, Chiara
  12. Better Luck Next Time: Learning through Retaking By Verónica Frisancho; Kala Krishna; Sergey Lychagin; Cemile Yavas
  13. Theory and Evidence on Teacher Policies in Developed and Developing Countries Title: Teoría y evidencia sobre las políticas docentes en países desarrollados y en desarrollo By Emiliana Vegas; Alejandro Ganimian
  14. Estimating the Value and Distributional Effects of Free State Schooling By Sofia Andreou; Christos Koutsampelas; Panos Pashardes
  15. The causal effect of parents’ schooling on children’s schooling in Europe. A new IV approach By Enkelejda Havari; Marco Savegnago
  16. How much does a single graduation cohort from further education colleges contribute to an open regional economy By Kristinn Hermannsson; Patrizio Lecca; J Kim Swales
  17. More Schooling and More Learning?: Effects of a Three-Year Conditional Cash Transfer Program in Nicaragua after 10 Years By Tania Barham; Karen Macours; John A. Maluccio
  18. The Theory and Practice of Case-In-Point Teaching of Organizational Leadership By Robert, Yawson
  19. Preschool Education in Brazil: Does Public Supply Crowd Out Private Enrollment? By Paulo Bastos; Odd Rune Straume
  20. Individual Returns to a PhD Education in the Netherlands: Income Differences between Masters and PhDs By Marc van der Steeg; Karen van der Wiel; Bram Wouterse
  21. Optimal Student Loans and Graduate Tax under Moral Hazard and Adverse Selection By Robert J. Gary-Bobo; Alain Trannoy
  22. Efficiency and economies of scale and scope in European universities. A directional distance approach By Andrea Bonaccorsi; Cinzia Daraio; Leopold Simar
  23. Job competition, employability and incentives for human capital formation By Shaked, Avner; Cristobal Campoamor, Adolfo

  1. By: Richard Murphy; Gill Wyness
    Abstract: In brief: Economics of higher education
    Keywords: Higher Education, UK, government policy
    Date: 2014–02
  2. By: Peter Hoeschler (Department of Business Administration, University of Zurich); Uschi Backes-Gellner (Department of Business Administration, University of Zurich)
    Abstract: This study investigates the impact of finishing versus dropping out of college on self-esteem. Using data spanning three decades from the U.S. National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, we find that dropping out of a four-year college significantly decreases self-esteem compared to graduating. In addition, two- and four-year college graduates have significant higher self-esteem than high school graduates never enrolled in college. However, individuals dropping out of a two- or a four-year college miss out on this positive effect. These findings are long-term effects still visible when dropouts are in their late 40s.
    Keywords: Self-esteem; Higher Education; Dropout
    JEL: I21 J13 J24
    Date: 2014–05
  3. By: Pablo Garofalo; Alejo Czerwonko; Julian P. Cristia
    Abstract: Many developing countries are allocating significant resources to expanding technology access in schools. Whether these investments will translate into measurable educational improvements remains an open question because of the limited evidence available. This paper contributes to filling that gap by exploiting a large-scale public program that increased computer and Internet access in secondary public schools in Peru. Rich longitudinal school-level data from 2001 to 2006 are used to implement a differences-in-differences framework. Results indicate no statistically significant effects of increasing technology access in schools on repetition, dropout and initial enrollment. Large sample sizes allow ruling out even modest effects.
    Keywords: Enrollment, Repetition rate, Innovation, Primary & Secondary Education, Propensity-score matching, IDB-WP-477
    Date: 2014–01
  4. By: Landini, Fabio (Bocconi University); Montinari, Natalia (Department of Economics, Lund University); Pin, Paolo (Università di Siena); Piovesan, Marco (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)
    Abstract: We interview both parents and their children enrolled in six primary schools in the district of Treviso (Italy). We study the structural differences between the children network of friends reported by children and the one elicited asking their parents. We find that the parents’ network has a bias: parents expect peer effects on school achievement to be stronger than what they really are. Thus, parents of low-performing students report their children to be friends of high-performing students. Our numerical simulations indicate that when this bias is combined with a bias on how some children target friends, then there is a multiplier effect on the expected school achievement.
    Keywords: social networks; primary school; friendships; parents’ bias; homophily; peer effects; Bonacich centrality
    JEL: D85 I21 Z13
    Date: 2014–05–18
  5. By: Juan Sebastián Muñoz
    Abstract: This paper presents evidence of the relationship between the disparity in the academic performance of boys and girls in Colombia and the country's excessively high school dropout rates. By using the OLS and trimming for bounds techniques, and based on data derived from the PISA 2009 database, the presented findings show that the vast majority of this gender-related performance gap is explained by selection problems in the group of low-skilled and poor male students. In particular, the high dropout rate overestimates male performance means, creating a selection bias in the regular OLS estimation. In order to overcome this issue, unobservable male students are simulated and bounding procedures used. The results of this analysis suggest that low-income men are vulnerable to dropping out of school in the country, which leads to overestimating the actual performance levels of Colombian men.
    Keywords: Primary & Secondary Education, academic performance
    Date: 2014–01
  6. By: Juan Sebastián Muñoz; Matías Busso; Marina Bassi
    Abstract: This paper uses 113 household surveys from 18 Latin American countries to document patterns in secondary school graduation rates over the period 1990-2010. It is found that enrollment and graduation rates increased dramatically during that period, while dropout rates decreased. Two explanations for these patterns are provided. First, countries implemented changes on the supply side to increase access, by increasing the resources allocated to education and designing policies to help students staying in school. At the same time, economic incentives to stay in school changed, since returns to secondary education increased over the 1990s. Despite this progress, graduation rates are low, and there persist remarkable gaps in educational outcomes in terms of gender, income quintiles, and regions within countries. In addition, wage returns have recently stagnated, and the quality of education in the region is low, casting doubts on whether the positive trend is sustainable in the medium term.
    Keywords: Primary & Secondary Education, School enrollment, IDB-WP-462
    Date: 2013–10
  7. By: Chantal Oggenfuss (Swiss Coordination Centre for Research in Education (SKBF), Aarau); Stefan C. Wolter (Swiss Coordination Centre for Research in Education (SKBF), Aaraum University of Bern, University of Bern, CESifo, Munich, & IZA, Bonn)
    Abstract: Education policy opinions and preferences of teachers are important not only in shaping public opinion, they also play a key role in ensuring the acceptance, and hence the implementation, of education reforms. While media communicates a great deal about the education policy preferences of the organised teaching body, we know little to nothing about how much these preferences coincide with or differ from those of the rest of the population. On the basis of two representative opinion polls on education policy issues in Switzerland (2007, 2012), we analysed the differences in preferences between those who have completed teacher training and the rest of the population. This shows that preferences differ statistically significantly if the topic has a direct relation to teachersÕ working conditions. By contrast, in all other topics which relate to teachersÕ working conditions only indirectly or not at all, there are no differences in preferences. Alongside their specialist knowledge, therefore, vested interests of teachers must undoubtedly be considered as an explanation of different education policy preferences.
    Keywords: Educational policies, public opinion, teachers
    JEL: I20 I29 J38
    Date: 2014–05
  8. By: Sara Bonfanti
    Abstract: In EU societies, the role that immigrants’ children play in the educational system is fiercely debated. There exists a consensus that immigrants’ children show, on average, lower educational performances than children of natives in all EU states, regardless of grade level, type of school, age, etc. This awareness has led to the perception that the concentration of immigrants’ children negatively affects overall school educational performances. This note aims to disentangle the link between educational performance and migration background showing how the reality is much more complex. Specifically, two questions are answered. First, given that immigrants’ children represent a heterogeneous group in terms of parents’ origin, age at arrival, etc., does a multicultural background bring any kind of advantage to school performance compared with a mono-cultural one? Second, what is the effect of attending schools with a high percentage of immigrants’ children in terms of average school performance, once controlled for school socio-economic resources?
    Date: 2014–04–11
  9. By: Gioia de Melo (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía); Alina Machado (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía); Alfonso Miranda (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (México)); Magdalena Viera (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía)
    Abstract: This paper presents evidence on the impact of the largest deployment of an OLPC program: Plan Ceibal in Uruguay. Unlike previous work in the field, we have unique data that allow us to know the exact date of laptop delivery for every student in the sample. This gives us the ability to use a continuous rather than a discrete treatment, where days of exposure are used as a treatment intensity measure. The treatment intensity varies in many cases across individuals within the same school. Such detail gives us the opportunity to identify the effect of the program net of potential diverging trends among schools. To our knowledge, this has not been done before. Our results suggest that the program had no effects on reading and math scores. This could be explained by the fact that laptops in class are mainly used to search for information on the internet. Our findings confirm that technology per se cannot impact on learning unless teaching is radically transformed.
    Keywords: technology, education, impact evaluation
    JEL: I21 I28
    Date: 2013–11
  10. By: Mohammad Alauddin (School of Economics, The University of Queensland); Temesgen Kifle (School of Economics, The University of Queensland)
    Abstract: While the student evaluation of teaching (SET) has been an intensely researched area in higher education there has been little research using the individual student responses on their perceptions of instructors’ effectiveness (TEVAL) score. This research delivers a methodological breakthrough as it fills this gap by employing individual student responses from an elite Australian university and partial proportional odds model to investigate the influence of students’ perceptions of instructional attributes included in the SET instrument and other variables on TEVAL score. The findings indicate presentation and explanation of materials, and organization of classes were key determinants of TEVAL scores. Emphasis on thinking rather than memorising was less influential. Intermediate level courses and non-English speaking background instructors received lower TEVAL scores. Elective courses and instructors below associate professor attracted higher ratings. The SET instrument currently used fails to provide a valid measure teaching quality as it does little to measure the extent of students’ actual learning. This paper underscores the need for inclusion of variables typifying diversity of the student population such as academic performance, discipline destination, ethno-linguistic background, age, sex, indicators of students’ effort. It raises broader implications such as subscales, inclusion of items on course contents, intellectual challenge, real world applications, and problem-solving skills.
    Date: 2014–05–07
  11. By: Binelli, Chiara
    Abstract: In the 1990s, in many countries, wages became a more convex function of education: returns to college increased and returns to intermediate education declined. This paper argues that an important cause of this convexification was a two-stage demand-supply interaction: an increased demand for educated workers stimulated a supply response; an increased supply of intermediate-educated workers further increased the demand for college-educated workers, because these two types of labour are complementary. This argument is supported by an empirical equilibrium model of savings and educational choices for Mexico, where the degree of convexification was amplified by loosening credit constraints.
    Date: 2014–03–01
  12. By: Verónica Frisancho; Kala Krishna; Sergey Lychagin; Cemile Yavas
    Abstract: This paper provides some evidence that repeat taking of competitive exams may reduce the impact of background disadvantages on educational outcomes. Using administrative data on the university entrance exam in Turkey, the paper estimates cumulative learning between the first and the nth attempt while controlling for selection into retaking in terms of observed and unobserved characteristics. Large learning gains measured in terms of improvements in the exam scores are found, especially among less advantaged students.
    Keywords: Learning, Educational tests, Higher Education
    Date: 2014–01
  13. By: Emiliana Vegas; Alejandro Ganimian
    Abstract: The past decade has seen the emergence of numerous rigorous impact evaluations of teacher policies. This paper reviews the economic theory and empirical evidence on eight teacher policy goals: (1) setting clear expectations for teachers; (2) attracting the best into teaching; (3) preparing teachers with useful training and experience; (4) matching teachers' skills with students' needs; (5) leading teachers with strong principals; (6) monitoring teaching and learning; (7) supporting teachers to improve instruction; and (8) motivating teachers to perform. The paper also discusses key concepts and methods in econometrics to understand existing studies and offers some directions for future research.Abstract: La década pasada ha sido testigo del surgimiento de un gran número de rigurosas evaluaciones de impacto de políticas docentes. En este trabajo se revisa la teoría económica y la evidencia empírica sobre ocho metas de las políticas docentes: 1) fijar expectativas claras para los docentes; 2) atraer a los mejores a la docencia; 3) preparar a los docentes con formación y experiencia útiles; 4) asignar a los docentes donde más se los necesita; 5) liderar a los docentes con buenos directores; 6) evaluar el aprendizaje y la enseñanza; 7) apoyar a los docentes para que mejoren la enseñanza y 8) motivar a los docentes en su desempeño. También se discuten los conceptos y métodos econométricos claves para comprender los estudios realizados hasta la fecha y ofrecer algunos lineamientos para futuras investigaciones.
    Keywords: Education, Poverty, Educational Assessment, Teacher Education & Quality, EDUCATION; ANALYSIS OF EDUCATION
    Date: 2013–08
  14. By: Sofia Andreou; Christos Koutsampelas; Panos Pashardes
    Abstract: The effects of free of charge state education on income distribution are often studied by allocating government education outlays to households, assuming that these outlays equal the benefit which households attach to state schooling. This paper proposes a demand analysis approach to estimating the ‘true’ value of state education as perceived by consumers, and uses the results to assess the inefficiency of public provision. Empirical analysis based on data from Cyprus suggests that state schooling costs twice the amount households are willing to pay for. The implications of this finding for the equality and anti-poverty effects of state education are illustrated.
    Keywords: Education, Inequality, Poverty, Consumer demand
    Date: 2014–04
  15. By: Enkelejda Havari (University of Venice - Ca’ Foscari); Marco Savegnago (Bank of Italy and University of Rome “Tor Vergata”)
    Abstract: This paper estimates the causal effect of parental education on children’s education in 13 European countries, using representative data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). A novel instrumental variable approach is used to solve the endogeneity issue. We combine two instruments: parental birth order (indicator for being a first born) and Compulsory Schooling Laws (CSL). While CSL have been widely used in applied work, our contribution is to introduce parental birth order as instrument in the intergenerational mobility literature. We find that parental education has a positive, large and significant causal effect on children’s education. This finding is robust to the instrument chosen (birth order, CSL, or both), to sample selection and to several robustness checks.
    Keywords: intergenerational transmission, causality, birth order, education, Europe
    JEL: J01 J6 I2 I24
    Date: 2014–05–12
  16. By: Kristinn Hermannsson (Shool of Education, University of Glasgow); Patrizio Lecca (Fraser of Allander Institute, Department of Economics, University of Strathclyde); J Kim Swales (Fraser of Allander Institute, Department of Economics, University of Strathclyde)
    Abstract: Econometric analysis has been inconclusive in determining the contribution that increased skills have on macroeconomic performance whilst conventional growth accounting approaches to the same problem rest on restrictive assumptions. We propose an alternative micro-to-macro method which combines elements of growth accounting and numerical general equilibrium modelling. The usefulness of this approach for applied education policy analysis is demonstrated by evaluating the macroeconomic impact on the Scottish economy of a single graduation cohort from further education colleges. We find the macroeconomic impact to be significant. From a policy point of view this supports a revival of interest in the conventional teaching role of education institutions.
    Keywords: Graduates, Further Education Colleges, Labour Supply, Economic Impact, General Equilibrium
    JEL: E17 D58 R13
    Date: 2014–05
  17. By: Tania Barham; Karen Macours; John A. Maluccio
    Abstract: Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programs have become the anti-poverty program of choice in many developing countries. Numerous evaluations, often based on rigorous experimental designs, leave little doubt that such programs can increase enrollment and grades attained--in the short term. But evidence is notably lacking on whether these short-term gains translate into longer-term educational benefits needed to fully justify these programs. This paper uses the randomized phase-in of the RPS CCT program in Nicaragua to estimate the long-term effects on educational attainment and learning for boys, measured 10 years after the start of the program. We focus on a cohort of boys aged 9¿12 years at the start of the program in 2000 who, due to the program¿s eligibility criteria and prior school dropout patterns, were likely to have benefitted more in the group of localities that were randomly selected to receive the program first. We find that the short-term program effect of a half grade increase in schooling for boys was sustained after the end of the program and into early adulthood. In addition, results indicate significant and substantial gains in both math and language achievement scores, an approximately one-quarter standard deviation increase in learning outcomes for the now young men. Hence in Nicaragua, schooling and achievement gains coincided, implying important long term returns to CCT programs.
    Keywords: Social Policy & Protection, Education, Poverty
    Date: 2013–07
  18. By: Robert, Yawson
    Abstract: Leadership Education and Development programs at the graduate and undergraduate levels are implemented with an overall objective to prepare students for the dynamic ‘complex global working’ environment. Case-In-Point teaching in leadership education is an emerging pedagogy that is gaining ascendancy and relevance both in theory and practice. The pedagogy is predicated on the conception that leadership is a function of self-awareness and knowing oneself, ability to articulate one’s vision, capacity to create a community of trust among colleagues, and the ability to take effective action to realize one’s own potential; and that linear epistemology as a dominant and prevailing epistemology in leadership education can no longer be the dominant epistemology. This paper discusses how Case-In-Point Pedagogy can be used in teaching organizational leadership. The discussions are based on Ron Heifetz’ Case-In-Point Pedagogy as situated in the realist ontological frameworks of teaching leadership outlined in Sharon Parks’ Leadership Can Be Taught. The paper takes a look at the epistemological and conceptual framework of the Case-In-Point Pedagogy, the theory and practice of Case-In-Point Teaching, and how it could be incorporated into leadership courses. The themes and issues related to the adoption and use of Case-In-Point are outlined.
    Keywords: Leadership, Complexity, Pedagogy, Epistemology, Management
    JEL: A2 I2 M0 M1 Z0
    Date: 2014–05
  19. By: Paulo Bastos; Odd Rune Straume
    Abstract: This paper examines whether an expansion in the supply of public preschool crowds out private enrollment, using rich data for municipalities in Brazil from 2000-2006, where federal transfers to local governments change discontinuously with given population thresholds. Results from a regression-discontinuity design reveal that larger federal transfers lead to a significant expansion of local public preschool services, but show no effects on the quantity or quality of private provision. These findings are consistent with a theory in which households differ in willingness to pay for preschool services, and private suppliers optimally adjust prices in response to an expansion of lower-quality, free-of-charge public supply.
    Keywords: Early Childhood Education, Preschool education
    Date: 2013–11
  20. By: Marc van der Steeg; Karen van der Wiel; Bram Wouterse
    Abstract: in this paper we investigate the individual returns to a doctorate education in the Netherlands over the first twenty years of a career. We compare monthly incomes of PhDs to that of Master graduates with the same years of experience, gender and field of study and who took the same time to obtain a Master degree. The latter covariate can be seen as a measure of ability. It turns out that over the first twenty years of experience, the average annual return (AAR) to a PhD education is not significantly different from zero. During the PhD track and the first years after PhD graduation PhDs earn less than Masters, but this initial investment is compensated by higher earnings in later years. Extrapolation of the return suggests an average annual return to a PhD education over the entire career of six percent. Similarly, the internal rate of return (IRR) – an alternative measure that takes both the timing and level of income differences into account - would equal nine percent over the entire career. Returns to a PhD education differ strongly by sex. Female PhDs experience a positive annual return of ten percent over the first twenty years after graduation, whereas male PhDs experience a negative return of seven percent. Positive returns for women are largely driven by the fact that they tend to work more hours than female Master graduates.
    JEL: I20 J30
    Date: 2014–05
  21. By: Robert J. Gary-Bobo (CREST - Centre de Recherche en Économie et Statistique - INSEE - École Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Économique); Alain Trannoy (AMSE - Aix-Marseille School of Economics - Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - Ecole Centrale Marseille (ECM))
    Abstract: We characterize the set of second-best optimal "menus" of student-loan contracts in a simple economy with risky labour-market outcomes, adverse selection, moral hazard and risk aversion. The model combines student loans with an elementary optimal income-tax problem. The second-best optima provide incomplete insurance because of moral hazard; they typically involve cross-subsidies between students. Generically, optimal loan repayments cannot be decomposed as the sum of an income tax, depending only on earnings, and a loan repayment, depending only on education. Therefore, optimal loan repayments must be income-contingent, or the income tax must comprise a graduate tax. The interaction of adverse selection and moral-hazard, i.e., self-selection constraints and effort incentives, determines an equal treatment property; the expected utilities of different types of students are equalized at the interim stage, conditional on the event of academic success (i.e., graduation). But individuals are ex ante unequal because of differing probabilities of success, and ex post unequal, because the income tax trades off incentives and insurance (redistribution).
    Keywords: student loans; graduate tax; adverse selection; moral hazard; risk aversion
    Date: 2014–04
  22. By: Andrea Bonaccorsi (Department of Energy and Systems Engineering, University of Pisa, Italy); Cinzia Daraio (Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering, Universita' degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza"); Leopold Simar (Institute of Statistics, Biostatistics et Actuarial Sciences, Universite' Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)
    Abstract: In this paper we investigate economies of scale and scope of European universities.The proposed approach builds on the notion that university production is a multi-input multi-output process different than standard production activity. The analyses are based on an interesting database which integrates the main European universities data on inputs and outputs with bibliometric data on publications, impact and collaborations. We pursue a cross-country perspective; we include subject mix and introduce a robust modeling of production trade-offs. Finally, we test the statistical significance of scale and scope and find that size and specialization have a statistical significant impact both jointly and separately, showing an inverted u-shape effect on efficiency.
    Keywords: efficiency; national academic systems; disciplinary specialization; research performance;teaching and research;nonparametric and robust frontier estimation; bootstrap
    Date: 2014
  23. By: Shaked, Avner; Cristobal Campoamor, Adolfo
    Abstract: This note describes the effects on human capital formation of rank-order tournaments offering identical prizes to a given share of the ranked contestants. This compensation scheme is thought to resemble the selection processes in different areas of the public administration, particularly in Southern European countries. In the presence of contestants with identical ability, the incentives for educational effort are highest when the variance of final returns is maximized.
    Keywords: Human capital formation, tournaments, benchmarking, public sector, employability
    JEL: D8 I2 I24 J08
    Date: 2014–05–18

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