nep-edu New Economics Papers
on All new papers
Issue of 2014‒09‒08
sixteen papers chosen by
João Carlos Correia Leitão
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. When is Competition Between Schools Beneficial? By OECD
  2. The Effects of Shared School Technology Access on Students’ Digital Skills in Peru By German Bet; Julian Cristia; Pablo Ibarraran
  3. Does Pre-primary Education Reach Those Who Need it Most? By OECD
  4. Education for children with special needs in the Flemish community of Belgium: side effects of the current educational integration system By Leen Sebrechts
  5. The efficiency of educational production: A comparison of Denmark with other OECD countries By Peter Bogetoft; Eskil Heinesen; Torben Tranæs
  6. Is the Glass Half Empty or Half Full? School Enrollment, Graduation, and Dropout Rates in Latin America By Marina Bassi; Matias Busso; Juan Sebastian Munoz
  7. Time preferences, study effort, and academic performance By Non J.A.; Tempelaar D.T.
  8. School autonomy and accountability in Thailand: a systems approach for assessing policy intent and implementation By Arcia, Gustavo; MacDonald, Kevin; Patrinos, Harry Anthony
  9. Re-estimating the Gender Gap in Colombian Academic Performance By Juan Sebastian Munoz
  10. Ability, academic climate, and going abroad for work or pursuing a PhD By Bertrand-Cloodt D.A.M.; Cörvers F; Heijke J.A.M.
  11. Toward Improving Education Quality: Indonesia’s promising path By Julia Tobias; Joseph Wales; Ekki Syamsulhakim; Suharti
  12. Preschool Education in Brazil: Does Public Supply Crowd Out Private Enrollment? By Paulo Bastos; Odd Rune Straume
  13. Enforcing Compulsory Schooling by Linking Welfare Payments to School Attendance: Lessons from Australia’s Northern Territory* By Moshe Justman; Kyle Peyton
  14. Employability of young graduates in Europe By Christelle Garrouste; Margarida Rodrigues
  15. The distribution of adult training among European unemployed: Evidence from recent surveys By Mircea Badescu; Christelle Garrouste; Massimo Loi
  16. The Effects of Air Pollution on Educational Outcomes: Evidence from Chile By Sebastian Miller; Mauricio Vela

  1. By: OECD
    Abstract: In most school systems, over 50% of 15-year-olds students attend schools that compete with another school to attract students from the same residential area. Across countries and economies, performance is unrelated to whether or not schools have to compete for students. When choosing a school for their children, parents look at a range of criteria; for disadvantaged parents, cost-related factors often weigh as much as, if not more than, the factors related to the quality of instruction. School systems with low levels of competition among schools often have high levels of social inclusion, meaning that students from diverse social backgrounds attend the same schools. In contrast, in systems where parents can choose schools, and schools compete for enrolment, schools are often more socially segregated.
    Date: 2014–08
  2. By: German Bet; Julian Cristia; Pablo Ibarraran
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the effects of increased shared computer access in secondary schools in Peru. Administrative data are used to identify, through propensity-score matching, two groups of schools with similar observable educational inputs but different intensity in computer access. Extensive primary data collected from the 202 matched schools are used to determine whether increased shared computer access at schools affects digital skills and academic achievement. Results suggest that small increases in shared computer access, one more computer per 40 students, can produce large increases in digital skills (0. 3 standard deviations). No effects are found on test scores in Math and Language.
    JEL: I21 I28
    Date: 2014–01
  3. By: OECD
    Abstract: Attendance in pre-primary education is associated with better student performance later on. Fifteen-year-old students in 2012 were more likely than 15-year-olds in 2003 to have attended at least one year of pre-primary education. The gap in pre-primary attendance rates between socio-economically advantaged and disadvantaged pupils is growing.
    Date: 2014–06
  4. By: Leen Sebrechts
    Abstract: While the Flemish education sector has begun to evolve alongside international developments towards more inclusive types of education for children with special needs, the segregated special school remains the dominant model and a valued type of education in Flanders. An advantage of the Flemish system is that parents of children with special needs are currently able to choose the educational setting that is most suitable for their children: integrated education or special education. This choice is however complex as our research results show that the patterns of choice are determined systematically by the social position of the family of the child; besides the influence of other characteristics like type and severity of the disability and age of the child. The initiatives for integrated education implemented to date in the Flemish community of Belgium appear to rely heavily on the capacities of the families with the result that families in stronger socio-cultural and socioeconomic positions are best able to cope in integrated education. At the same time, there remains an overrepresentation of vulnerable families in segregated specialist education. We concluded that policies aimed at increasing equality serve to exacerbate the embedded structural social inequalities.
    Keywords: child with special needs, special needs education, integrated education, social position, educational inequality, Flanders
    Date: 2014–08
  5. By: Peter Bogetoft (Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School); Eskil Heinesen (Rockwool Foundation Research Unit); Torben Tranæs (Rockwool Foundation Research Unit)
    Abstract: Denmark, Norway, New Zealand, Canada and the USA are the OECD countries that spend most on education, measured in relation to GDP. Focusing in particular on upper secondary education, this paper examines whether the heavy expenditure on education in Denmark is matched by high output from the educational sector, both in terms of a large number of students enrolled in educational programmes and a high completion rate. The methodology used is to compare (benchmark) Denmark with a relevant group of countries and to calculate how much cheaper Denmark could teach the same number of students and maintain the same graduation/completion rates as today if the country could achieve the same level of cost effectiveness as its most efficient counterparts. Comparing Denmark to a group of the richest OECD countries reveals that potential savings lie between 12 and 34 percent. Figures that fall to between zero and nine percent when a comparison is made between Denmark and other Northern European countries. On the input side, the slightly weaker academic level among young people in Denmark on completion of lower secondary education – as measured by the PISA scores of the various countries – goes some way to explain the higher costs of upper secondary education. On the output side, if earnings and levels of employment among those who complete their education are taken into account, then Denmark is in fact found to be efficient. However, this high level of efficiency has become less clear-cut in recent years, since expected earnings (multiplied by rate of employment) is currently falling in comparison with the expected earnings in the peer countries. This might be an indication that Denmark’s current position is not stable, unless the present situation is entirely attributable to the economic downturn in the wake of the financial crisis.
    Date: 2014–08
  6. By: Marina Bassi; Matias Busso; Juan Sebastian Munoz
    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.
    Date: 2013–10
  7. By: Non J.A.; Tempelaar D.T. (ROA)
    Abstract: We analyze the relation between time preferences, study effort, and academic performance among first-year Business and Economics students. Time preferences are measured by stated preferences for an immediate payment over larger delayed payments. Data on study efforts are derived from an electronic learning environment, which records the amount of time students are logged in and the fraction of exercises completed. Our third measure of study effort is participation in an on-line summer course. We find that impatient students show weaker performance, but the consequences are relatively mild. Impatient students obtain lower grades and fail first sit exams more often, but they do not obtain significantly fewer study credits, nor are they more likely to drop out as a result of obtaining fewer study credits than required. We find a weak negative relationship between impatience and study effort. Differences in study effort therefore cannot explain impatient students lower academic performance.
    Keywords: Behavioral Economics: Underlying Principles; Intertemporal Choice and Growth: General; Analysis of Education;
    JEL: D03 D90 I21
    Date: 2014
  8. By: Arcia, Gustavo; MacDonald, Kevin; Patrinos, Harry Anthony
    Abstract: There is a consensus on the need for Thailand to reform its education system to be able to compete with other high performing countries in the region. In terms of learning outcomes, the most recent evidence from the Programme for International Student Assessment shows little improvement over time. This paper uses the World Bank's Systems Approach for Better Education Results (SABER) approach in Thailand to contrast policy intent and policy implementation in school autonomy and accountability. The policy implementation data were obtained from a survey of school principals of the schools that participated in the Programme for International Student Assessment and merged the data sets. First, the study analyzes the gap between policy intent and policy implementation. Then it examines the effect of the gaps on various schooling outcomes while controlling for covariates. The analysis finds significant differences between the Systems Approach for Better Education Results indicators of policy intent and policy implementation in all areas assessed by the indicators. Schools in Thailand exercise more flexibility in their personnel management in practice than what is intended by policy; student assessments need to address issues of content, reliability, and validity and school accountability needs to improve the interpretation of student assessments to make schools more accountable. There is a positive association between the Programme for International Student Assessment scores and school autonomy and accountability.
    Keywords: Education For All,Tertiary Education,Disability,Teaching and Learning,Primary Education
    Date: 2014–08–01
  9. By: Juan Sebastian Munoz
    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.
    JEL: I21 I25 J16 J24
    Date: 2014–01
  10. By: Bertrand-Cloodt D.A.M.; Cörvers F; Heijke J.A.M. (GSBE)
    Abstract: We investigate whether a creaming off of highly able students from Dutch universities is taking place. Therefore, we examine the relation between ability and the destination of recent graduates of Dutch universities. Students can choose to continue their academic career by investing in a PhD degree instead of working, taking into account that both options can be realized in the Netherlands as well as abroad. We also investigate whether these choices are affected by the climate in certain fields of study and universities. Using a data set of workers and PhD students who recently graduated from Dutch universities two probit equations are estimated simultaneously, one for the migration decision and one for the choice between working and pursuing a PhD. Our findings indicate that highly able graduates are significantly more likely than average graduates to go abroad. They invest more often in a PhD programme, which is positively correlated with their likelihood to go abroad. In addition, the climate promoting going abroad and starting PhD study is shown to have positive effects on the odds of going abroad and participating in a PhD programme. This particularly holds for the highly able.
    Keywords: International Migration; Higher Education and Research Institutions;
    JEL: I23 F22
    Date: 2014
  11. By: Julia Tobias (Overseas Development Institute (ODI), United Kingdom); Joseph Wales (Overseas Development Institute (ODI), United Kingdom); Ekki Syamsulhakim; Suharti (Ministry of National Planning and Development (BAPPENAS))
    Abstract: Over the past few decades, Indonesia has made strong progress in improving education outcomes, with a particularly emphasis being placed on access to basic education in line with the government’s nine-year compulsory education policy. As in many other developing countries, moving beyond gains in education access and toward meaningful gains in education quality has been a greater challenge for Indonesia, however several notable positive trends have emerged. While the progress achieved specifically in terms of improving the quality of education remains a work in progress, several positive developments have emerged in recent years. Some of the key drivers of progress discussed in this report include strengthening the teaching force, reforming the curriculum and pedagogy, decentralization and school-based management, and increased budget and targeted support to address inequities. The diversity of reforms that have emerged and the use of research and evaluation to inform policy-making make Indonesia’s experience a particularly interesting case study with some useful lessons to offer. Published version (July 2014) of this paper can be accessed in ards-better-education-quality-indonesias -promising-path.
    Keywords: education quality, Indonesia
    JEL: I24
    Date: 2014–08
  12. 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.
    JEL: D12 I21 I28 L21 O15
    Date: 2013–11
  13. By: Moshe Justman (Department of Economics, Ben Gurion University; Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne; and ARC Centre for Children and Families over the Life Course); Kyle Peyton (Department of Political Science, Yale University; and Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)
    Abstract: Efforts to enforce compulsory schooling by linking welfare assistance to school attendance are rarely successful in themselves. One reason is a lack of credibility: targeted families may anticipate that welfare administrators will be reluctant to withdraw support when attendance does not improve. Australia's School Enrolment and Attendance through Welfare Reform Measure (SEAM) demonstrates the impact of a credible threat. Targeting the Indigenous population of the Northern Territory, its credibility stemmed from the extreme circumstances created by the Northern Territory Emergency Response Act and from the troubled history of race relations in Australia. We show, using a difference-in-difference analysis of standardized test data (NAPLAN), that SEAM had a substantial, immediate impact: in its first year it triggered an increase in test participation rates of 16- 20 percentage points over pre-SEAM levels; and it significantly increased the share of tested cohorts achieving national minimum standards by 5-10 percentage points. However, welfare payments were rarely withheld from truant families and participation rates fell in subsequent years, though remaining significantly above pre-SEAM levels. This suggests that initiatives such as SEAM will not be fully effective in the longer term unless accompanied by measures that increase parents’ and children’s appreciation of the value of schooling.
    Keywords: Australia, Indigenous population, Northern Territory Emergency Response, SEAM, compulsory schooling, linking school attendance to welfare payments
    JEL: I25 I38
    Date: 2014–08
  14. By: Christelle Garrouste (LEO - Laboratoire d'économie d'Orleans - CNRS : UMR7322 - Université d'Orléans); Margarida Rodrigues (JRC-IPSC - JOINT RESEARCH CENTRE - Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen - European Commission, Joint Reasearch Centre - JRC (ITALY))
    Abstract: Purpose - This paper aims at measuring the potential role of the field of education and the fact of having worked during studies on the employability of the higher educated (ISCED 5-6) cohort targeted by the ET2020 graduates' employability benchmark. Design/methodology/approach - Using the same data source as the benchmark (i.e., the annual LFS microdata from 2004 to 2010), and exploring the additional transition questions collected in the LFS 2009 ad-hoc module, we define and test four hypotheses using a probit approach on each EU country. Findings - The degree plays a significant role in the employability of young graduates across countries and time. In terms of probability of employment, the leading field is Health and welfare. In terms of type of contracts, the leading fields are Social sciences and Engineering. Moreover, what labour markets seem to value the most is the capacity of higher educated students to combine high level studies and work, i.e. a high workload capacity and intellectual flexibility. Practical implications - Reaching the new European target of a minimum of 82% of employment of young graduates will require countries to invest wisely in the most "employable" fields of education. This analysis will help policy makers in their future orientations towards that target. Originality/value - The originality of this work lies in its exploration of the exact same extraction of microdata used for the computation of the ET2020 Benchmark indictor and in its immediate political implications for the monitoring of this benchmark.
    Keywords: Employability benchmark ; Higher education ; Degree fields ; Work experience ; Contracts
    Date: 2013
  15. By: Mircea Badescu (European Commission, Joint Reasearch Centre - JRC (ITALY) - European Commission, Joint Reasearch Centre - JRC (ITALY), JRC-IPSC - JOINT RESEARCH CENTRE - Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen - European Commission, Joint Reasearch Centre - JRC (ITALY)); Christelle Garrouste (European Commission, Joint Reasearch Centre - JRC (ITALY) - European Commission, Joint Reasearch Centre - JRC (ITALY), LEO - Laboratoire d'économie d'Orleans - CNRS : UMR7322 - Université d'Orléans); Massimo Loi (IRVAPP - Research Institute for the Evaluation of Public Policies - Institute for the Evaluation of Public Policies)
    Abstract: The importance of a highly skilled workforce has become increasingly relevant in the context of the European Union's new strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth -- 'Europe 2020'. Policies encouraging wide participation in continuing training are therefore an important component of lifelong learning strategies. This paper aims to investigate the determinants of adult education for the unemployed compared to workers using the two main European surveys on training, namely the Adult Education Survey (AES) and the Labour Force Survey (LFS). Our work demonstrates a significant difference in the capability of these two surveys to capture the participation in adult education programmes in Europe. After having estimated a probit model on both datasets, we find that, overall, unemployed adults in Europe tend to participate less in training than workers, especially in non-formal training. However, this result is statistically significant only for the estimates from the AES. Furthermore, both surveys highlight the key role played by country-specific institutional settings in determining the participation to adult training. Overall, this work shows that the AES is the more reliable data source for policy making in the field of adult participation to education and training
    Keywords: Distribution ; adult ; training among ; European unemployed ; recent survey
    Date: 2013
  16. By: Sebastian Miller; Mauricio Vela
    Abstract: In addition to the morbidity and mortality concerns of outdoor air pollution, studies have shown that air pollution also generates problems for children`s cognitive performance and human capital formation. High concentrations of pollutants can affect children’s learning process by exacerbating respiratory illnesses, fatigue, absenteeism and attention problems. The purpose of this work is to analyze the possible contemporary effects of PM10 and other different air pollutants on standardized test scores in Chile. It examines results for 3,880 schools in the Metropolitan, Valparaiso and O’Higgins regions for children in fourth, eight and tenth grades between 1997 and 2012. Data for particulate matter (PM10 and PM2. 5), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxide (NOx) and ozone (O3) were interpolated at school level using a kriging methodology. The results suggest that higher annual P M10 and O3 levels are clearly associated with a reduction in test scores. Nonetheless, as of 2012 many municipalities in these Chilean regions are still exceeding the annual P M10 international standard quality norm (50 micrograms per cubic meter) by 15 micrograms per cubic meter on average. Efforts to reduce pollution below this norm in the most polluted municipalities would account for improvements in reading and math test scores of 3. 5 percent and 3. 1 percent of a standard deviation, respectively.
    JEL: H23 I25 Q51 Q53
    Date: 2013–12

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