nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2014‒11‒22
twenty-one papers chosen by
João Carlos Correia Leitão
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. On the Causal Effects of Selective Admission Policies on Students’ Performances. Evidence from a Quasi-experiment in a Large Italian University By Vincenzo Carrieri; Marcello D'Amato; Roberto Zotti
  2. The Effect of Cash Transfers to Schools on Voluntary Contributions By Rosangela Bando
  3. Educational spillover and parental migration By Joanna Clifton-Sprigg (The University of Edinburgh)
  4. Evaluation of the Impact of School Canteen Programs on Internal Efficiency of Schools, Cognitive Acquisitions and Learning Capacities of Students in Rural Primary Schools in Senegal By Abdoulaye Diagne; Mouhamadou Moustapha Lô; Ousmane Sokhna; Fatoumata L. Diallo
  5. Paying Out and Crowding Out? The Globalisation of Higher Education By Stephen Machin; Richard Murphy
  6. The economics of research, consulting, and teaching quality: Theory and evidence from a technical university By Stefano BIANCHINI; Francesco LISSONI; Michele PEZZONI; Lorenzo ZIRULIA
  7. An international comparison of educational systems: an application of the global Malmquist-Luenberger index By Víctor Giménez; Claudio Thieme; Diego Prior; Emili Tortosa-Ausina
  8. Early, Late or Never? When Does Parental Education Impact Child Outcomes? By Matt Dickson; Paul Gregg; Harriet Robinson
  9. Neue Methoden zur Eignungsberatung an Hochschulen – Eine experimentelle Analyse eines webbasierten Self-Assessments By Bolsinger, Harald; Jäckle, Robert
  10. The effects of class size on cognitive and non-cognitive abilities(in Japanese) By Minae NIKI
  11. Heterogeneity in the Importance of English-Speaking Ability in Determination of Employment Status by Demographic Subgroups in the United States By Afful, Efua Amoonua
  12. How does schools’ efficiency look like across Europe? An empirical analysis of Germany, Spain, France, Italy and UK using OECD PISA2012 data By Tommaso Agasisti
  13. Are the Children of Uneducated Farmers Doubly Doomed? Farm, Nonfarm and Intergenerational Educational Mobility in Rural China By Emran, M. Shahe; Sun, Yan
  14. The Emergence of An Educational Tool Industry: Opportunities and Challenges For Innovation in Education By Dominique Foray; Julio Raffo
  15. Multigrade Teaching and Age Composition of the Class: The Influence on Academic and Social Outcomes Among Students By Quail, Amanda; Smyth, Emer
  16. What Have Economists Been Doing for the Last 50 Years? A Text Analysis of Published Academic Research from 1960-2010 By Lea Kosnik
  17. Enhancing Growth and Welfare through debt-financed Education By Stauvermann, Peter Josef; Kumar, Ronald
  18. Demand for High Quality Online STEM Education: Georgia Tech’s Online M.S. in Computer Science By Joshua Goodman; Julia Melkers; Amanda Pallais
  19. “Are we wasting our talent? Overqualification and overskilling among PhD graduates” By Antonio Di Paolo; Ferran Mañé
  20. The State, Socialization, and Private Schooling: When Will Governments Support Alternate Producers? By Pritchett, Lant; Viarengo, Martina
  21. Can conditional cash transfers improve education and nutrition outcomes for poor children in Bangladesh ? evidence from a pilot project By Ferre, Celine; Sharif, Iffath

  1. By: Vincenzo Carrieri (Università di Salerno, CELPE and HEDG.); Marcello D'Amato (Università di Salerno, CELPE and CSEF); Roberto Zotti (Università di Salerno)
    Abstract: We present a dynamic OLG model of educational signaling, inequality and mobility with missing credit markets. Agents are characterized by two sources of unobserved heterogeneity: ability and parental income, consistent with empirical evidence on returns to schooling. Both quantity and quality of human capital evolve endogenously. The model generates a Kuznets inverted-U pattern in skill premia similar to historical US and UK experience. In the first (resp. later) phase the skill premium rises (falls), social returns to education exceed (falls below) private returns: under-investment owing to financial imperfections dominate (are dominated by) over-investment owing to signaling distortions. There always exist Pareto-improving policy interventions reallocating education between poor and rich children. JEL Classification: Tertiary education, Selective test based admission policies; students’ performances; peer effects; quasiexperiment
    Keywords: I21; I28; C21
    Date: 2014–11–06
  2. By: Rosangela Bando
    Abstract: School-based management programs aim to improve education outcomes by involving parents in allocation decisions about external funds transferred to the school. This paper explores the effects of two school-based management programs on parental investment in schools via voluntary contributions. One program provides both a cash grant and a matching scheme for privately raised funds. Difference-in-differences estimation shows that parents in richer schools increased voluntary contributions by 28 percent, while parents in poorer schools decreased voluntary contributions by 11 percent. This implies that a matching scheme results in higher inequality in resources available to schools. The second program provides only a cash grant to poor schools. Based on a randomized control, estimation shows that parents use 83 percent of the grant to substitute for voluntary contributions. A cash grant alone for poor schools results in an increase in resources available to the school in less than the cash grant transfer.
    Keywords: Education management, Educational Assessment, School-based management programs, Parental investment, School based matching, School grants, Voluntary contributions, Mexico
    Date: 2014–09
  3. By: Joanna Clifton-Sprigg (The University of Edinburgh)
    Abstract: Impacts of parental emigration on educational outcomes of children and, in turn, the children's influence on peers are theoretically ambiguous. Using novel data I collected on migration experiences and timing, family background and school performance of lower secondary pupils in Poland, I analyse empirically whether children with parents working abroad (PWA) influence school performance of their classmates. Migration is mostly temporary in nature, with one parent engaging in employment abroad. As many as 63% of migrant parents have vocational qualifications, 29% graduated from high school, 4% have no qualifications and the remaining 4% graduated from university. Almost 18% of all children are affected by parental migration and, on average, 6.5% of pupils in a class have a parent abroad. Perhaps surprisingly, estimates suggest that pupils benefit from the presence of PWA classmates. PWA pupils whose parents graduated from high school exert the biggest positive impact on their classroom peers. Further, classmates are differently affected by PWA children; those who themselves experienced migration within the family benefit most. This positive effect is likely driven by the student level interactions or increased teachers' commitment to classes with students from migrant families.
    Keywords: education of adolescents, migration, peer effects
    JEL: F22 I29 J13 O15
    Date: 2014–10–28
  4. By: Abdoulaye Diagne; Mouhamadou Moustapha Lô; Ousmane Sokhna; Fatoumata L. Diallo
    Abstract: This study evaluates the impact of school canteen programs on the performance of rural primary schools in Senegal using a “randomized experiment”. 120 schools which had never had school canteens were selected in the four poorest regions of Senegal. They were randomly assigned to treatment and control groups. Students in the second (CP) and fourth (CE2) years of primary school were observed in each of the selected schools. Many tests (student, Kolmogorov-Smirnov, Mann-Whitney Levene, Chi2) were performed in order to verify the random nature of the treatment assignment. The results show that, at the school level, the two groups are relatively homogenous, but there are some differences at the individual level. Thus, the double difference methods used to estimate the impact of the meal program on academic performance. The results are as follows: the canteen has a positive and significant impact on the overall score of students in grade 2 (10.56 points). This result is confirmed in both mathematics (12.32 points) and French (8.72 points). However, the impact is not significant for older children (more than 10 years old) in CP. In terms of gender, the study shows a difference in the impact in favour of girls in the fourth grade. Looking at the cognitive impact, we find that, except for the level of knowledge, the canteen has a greater impact on the cognitive ability of the youngest (aged six and seven years). Competencies in memory (33.23 points) and reasoning (23.92 points) improved by more. These results are all significant at the 5% confidence level. However, school canteens do not improve the internal efficacy of public primary schools: dropouts and repeated grades have certainly decreased, but none of the results are statistically significant. By improving the nutritional intake of children who benefit from the meals supplied to the school, the canteens have positive externalities on the nutritional intake of children living with the beneficiary students. Moreover, there are interaction effects between the school canteen and two traditional schooling quality inputs: poverty and class size. Regarding these results, we can state that universalizing school canteens can be an effective method to accelerate progress towards quality education for all.
    Keywords: School canteens, primary education, rural areas, school dropouts, repeated grades, nutritional intake, evaluations, double difference.
    JEL: O1 I21 I28 I38
    Date: 2013
  5. By: Stephen Machin; Richard Murphy
    Abstract: We investigate the rapid influx of overseas students into UK higher education and the impact on the number of domestic students. Using administrative data since 1994/5, we find no evidence of crowd out of domestic undergraduate students and indications of increases in the domestic numbers of postgraduate students as overseas enrolments have grown. We interpret this as a cross-subsidisation and establish causal findings using two methods. Firstly, we use the historical share of students from a sending country attending a university department as a shift-share instrument to predict enrolment patterns. Secondly, we use a change in Chinese visa regulations and exchange rates in combination with strong subject preferences as a predictor of overseas student growth.
    Keywords: Overseas students, crowding out
    JEL: I20 I21 I28
    Date: 2014–09
  6. By: Stefano BIANCHINI; Francesco LISSONI; Michele PEZZONI; Lorenzo ZIRULIA
    Abstract: We investigate the effect of both research and consulting on higher education teaching quality at the individual level. We propose a theoretical model in which academics allocate limited time between three activities, over a two period horizon, under the assumption of positive spillovers from research to both consulting opportunities and teaching, and of life cycle effects on incentives. Propositions from the model are tested against teaching evaluation data from a mid-sized Italian engineering faculty. We find that research experience improves teaching quality, but only if it does not translate into large consulting opportunities. In that case, research experience provides too strong a disincentive to invest time in teaching, and quality deteriorates.
    Keywords: higher education; teaching; academic consulting; research; economics of science
    JEL: I21 I23 L84 O30
    Date: 2014
  7. By: Víctor Giménez (Department of Business, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain); Claudio Thieme (Faculty of Economics and Business, Universidad Diego Portales, Santiago, Chile); Diego Prior (Department of Business, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain); Emili Tortosa-Ausina (IVIE, Valencia and Department of Economics, Universidad Jaume I, Castellón, Spain)
    Abstract: This study uses the global Malmquist-Luenberger productivity index to measure performance change in the educational systems of 28 countries participating in the TIMSS 2007 and 2011 for eighth grade basic education students in the discipline of mathematics. This methodology is particularly appropriate both for its desirable properties as well as its suitability for the educational context. Results indicate that the countries participating in the study not only chose different paths to improve their educational performance but, in addition, results varied remarkably among them. They also suggest that, on average, educational performance deteriorated between 2007 and 2011, although we also found (successful) efforts in several countries to improve equality.
    Keywords: education, efficiency, Malmquist-Luenberger, TIMSS
    JEL: C61 H52 I21
    Date: 2014
  8. By: Matt Dickson; Paul Gregg; Harriet Robinson
    Abstract: We study the intergenerational effects of parents' education on their children's educational outcomes. The endogeneity of parental education is addressed by exploiting the exogenous shift in education levels induced by the 1972 Raising of the School Leaving Age (RoSLA) from age 15 to 16 in England and Wales. Using data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children - a rich cohort dataset of children born in the early 1990s in Avon, England - allows us to examine the timing of impacts throughout the child's life, from pre-school assessments through the school years to the final exams at the end of the compulsory schooling period. We also determine whether there are differential effects for literacy and numeracy. We find that increasing parental education has a positive causal effect on children's outcomes that is evident at age 4 and continues to be visible up to and including the high stakes exams taken at age 16. Children of parents affected by the reform gain results just under 0.1 standard deviations higher than those whose parents were not impacted. The effect is focused on the lower educated parents where we would expect there to be more of an impact: children of these parents gaining results approximately 0.2 standard deviations higher. The effects appear to be broadly equal across numeracy and literacy test scores.
    Keywords: Intergenerational mobility, schooling, child development, ALSPAC
    JEL: I20 J62 J24
    Date: 2014–09
  9. By: Bolsinger, Harald; Jäckle, Robert
    Abstract: Depending on the field of major, between a quarter and half of German students in higher education quit prematurely. As a means to reduce the drop-out rate many universities have launched online self-assessments to provide guidance when applicants choose among different subjects. However, so far very little is known about how self-assessments impact the applicants’ choice. We use the pilot-phase of a self-assessment to conduct a field experiment which allows us to analyse students’ behaviour. Our results show that self-assessments causally influence the enrolment decisions of the candidates. Good grades in lower education and general qualifications for university entrance (as opposed to lower entrance degrees) increase the probability to attend (voluntary) self-assessments. Furthermore, assessments may change the expectations of participants with respect to their future academic success. However, so far the probability to participate in the self-assessment is relatively low.
    Keywords: Online Self-Assessment, Field Experiments, Economics of Education
    JEL: I2
    Date: 2014–08
  10. By: Minae NIKI
    Abstract: The trend towards class size reduction has accelerated over the last decade. However, it is not clear whether small class sizes actually increase the quality of education enough to justify the downsizing cost. This paper intends to capture the effects of class size by using an education production function and by estimating the effects focusing on the following two points. First, we evaluate various aspects of class size effects. This paper uses TIMSS2003 Mathematics and Science data for Japanese public schools’ 8th grade students to estimate the effects of class size on academic achievements and four non-cognitive ability measures (“High motivation”, “Confidence”, “Utility”, “Belong”), which are estimated by using factor analysis to allow quantitative interpretation. Second, we control for endogeneity of class size that results from non-random assignments of students to class. This paper uses the Regression-Discontinuity-Design method which eliminates such biases. We obtained the following two results. First, we did not find a significant relationship between reductions in class size and academic achievements in both subjects. Second, regarding the non-cognitive ability measures, we found that in mathematics “Confidence” increases with class size reduction.
    Date: 2013–01
  11. By: Afful, Efua Amoonua
    Abstract: Previous literature indicates that language skills are an important determinant of success in the labor market. Using data from the 2012 American Community Survey (ACS) 1-year sample, this paper shows that there is heterogeneity in the importance of English-speaking ability by gender, race and education. I find that improvement in proficiency generates higher employment benefits for females than males possibly due to the industry distribution of employment by gender. Women and Asians are more likely to be employed at each successively higher level of speaking proficiency with diminishing returns. Enhancement of proficiency increases the odds of employment to a certain degree, beyond which the odds fall for males, Whites, Blacks, other races and individuals with high school education or less. Among individuals with high school education or less, the odds of employment are very low irrespective of level of language proficiency. Individuals with some college but no degree or higher experience consistent increases in odds of employment as English-speaking ability improves. For proficiency in speaking English to yield substantial employment benefits, one must attain moderate to high educational qualifications.
    Keywords: Employment, International Labor Mobility, Immigrant Assimilation
    JEL: J60 J61
    Date: 2013–12
  12. By: Tommaso Agasisti (Politecnico di Milano School of Management, Milano)
    Abstract: This research conducts a comparison of secondary schools’ efficiency in an international perspective, focusing on five economies in the European Union (UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain) and employing an institutionlevel dataset built through data from the 2012 edition of the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). Overall, around 2,700 schools from these five countries are included in the empirical analysis; it uses a bootstrap version of Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA), and a common (international) frontier of efficient schools is assumed. The production process is modelled in a very simple way, by including human and capital resources, together with students’ socioeconomic background, among inputs; and average scores in reading and mathematics, as outputs. Although within-country dispersion of efficiency scores is much wider than between-countries differences, some between-countries efficiency differentials can be observed. A second-stage tobit regression reveals that some factors are statistically associated with schools’ efficiency, as for example the indexes for the quality of educational resources and teachers’ morale. Conversely, the efficiency scores are inversely correlated with the proportion of students who perform below proficiency level 2, suggesting that there is not a trade-off between efficiency and equity. All these evidences can stimulate interesting reflections for national and European-based policy-makers.
    Keywords: schools’ efficiency, equity, OECD-PISA2012, bootstrap DEA, cross-country comparison
    JEL: I21 I28 C14 H52
    Date: 2014–10
  13. By: Emran, M. Shahe; Sun, Yan
    Abstract: This paper relaxes the single factor model of intergenerational educational mobility standard in the literature, and develops a research design to study the effects of parents' education and occupation on children's schooling. We use survey data from rural China that cover three generations and are not subject to coresidency bias. The evidence from recently developed matching and propensity score weighted estimators shows that the mean effects of parents education from the standard model miss substantial heterogeneity. Within the low education subsample, a son (girl) attains about 0.80 (0.60) years of additional schooling when born into a non-farm household compared to a farm household, and among the farming households, a child gains a one year of schooling when at least one parent has more than primary schooling. Having nonfarm parents, however, does not confer any advantages over the farmer parents if the farmers are relatively more educated, even though nonfarm households have significantly higher income. This suggests that income plays a secondary role to parental education. Estimates of cross-partial effects without imposing functional form show little evidence of complementarity between parental education and non-farm occupation. The role of family background remains stable across generations for girls, but for boys, family background has become more important after the market reform.
    Keywords: Educational Mobility, Inequality, Rural China, Nonfarm, Education and Occupation, Family Background, Heterogeneity, Complementarity, Market Reform, Gender Gap
    JEL: I24 I32 O1
    Date: 2014–10–01
  14. By: Dominique Foray (College of Management, EPFL, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland); Julio Raffo (World Intellectual Property Organization, Economics and Statistics Division, Geneva, Switzerland)
    Abstract: The paper addresses two issues. One concerns the general conditions and procedures involved in the emergence of a tool industry. Tool industries emerge and evolve as a collection of capital goods and tool inventors and manufacturers. One of our goals is to use some of the works on historical cases to build a heuristic framework concerning the main conditions for the emergence and development of tool industries. The other issue is more factual and involves the question whether a tool industry is today emerging in the area of education. The paper describes the emergence of a population of firms specialised in developing and commercialising educational tools and instructional technologies and discusses whether this trend can be seen as part of the solution to the innovation deficit and cost disease problems in this sector?
    Keywords: tool industry, educational tool, innovation in education
    Date: 2014–09
  15. By: Quail, Amanda; Smyth, Emer
    Date: 2014–09
  16. By: Lea Kosnik (Department of Economics, University of Missouri-St. Louis)
    Abstract: This paper presents the results of a text based exploratory study of over 20,000 academic articles published in seven top research journals from 1960-2010. The goal is to investigate the general research foci of economists over the last fifty years, how (if at all) they have changed over time, and what trends (if any) can be discerned from a broad body of the top academic research in the field. Of the 19 JEL-code based fields studied in the literature, most have retained a constant level of attention over the time period of this study, however, a notable exception is that of macroeconomics which has undergone a significantly diminishing level of research attention in the last couple of decades, across all the journals under study; at the same time, the “microfoundations” of macroeconomic papers appears to be increasing. Other results are also presented.
    Keywords: Text Analysis, Economics Research, Research Diversity, Topic Analysis.
    JEL: A11 B4
    Date: 2014–09
  17. By: Stauvermann, Peter Josef; Kumar, Ronald
    Abstract: Using an over-lapping generations (OLG) model, we show how small open economies can enhance their growth through educational subsidies financed via public debt and reduce their fertility rate. We show that subsidizing education through public debt leads to a Pareto improvement of all generations. Even if a country is a net borrower in the international capital market, we show that this subsidy-policy can help, under certain conditions, to improve its net borrowing position. Especially, our analysis can be applied to less-developed countries.
    Keywords: fertility; human capital; education subsidy; government debt.
    JEL: H24 O1 O15 O41
    Date: 2014–06
  18. By: Joshua Goodman; Julia Melkers; Amanda Pallais
    Date: 2014–11
  19. By: Antonio Di Paolo (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona); Ferran Mañé (Faculty of Economics, Rovira i Virgili University)
    Abstract: Drawing on a very rich data set from a recent cohort of PhD graduates, we examine the correlates and consequences of qualification and skills mismatch. We show that job characteristics such as the economic sector and the main activity at work play a fundamental direct role in explaining the probability of being well matched. However, the effect of academic attributes seems to be mainly indirect, since it disappears once we control for the full set of work characteristics. We detected a significant earnings penalty for those who are both overqualified and overskilled and also showed that being mismatched reduces job satisfaction, especially for those whose skills are underutilized. Overall, the problem of mismatch among PhD graduates is closely related to demand-side constraints of the labor market. Increasing the supply of adequate jobs and broadening the skills PhD students acquire during training should be explored as possible responses.
    Keywords: overskilling, overqualification, doctors, earnings, job satisfaction JEL classification: I20, J24, J28, J31
    Date: 2014–10
  20. By: Pritchett, Lant (Harvard University); Viarengo, Martina (Graduate Institute, Geneva and Center for International Development, Harvard University)
    Abstract: Understanding the institutional features that can improve learning outcomes and reduce inequality is a top priority for international and development organizations around the world. Economists appear to have a good case for support to non-governmental alternatives as suppliers of schooling. However, unlike other policy domains, freer international trade or privatization, economists have been remarkably unsuccessful in promoting the adoption of this idea. We develop a simple general positive model of why governments typically produce schooling which introduces the key notion of the lack of verifiability of socialization and instruction of beliefs, which makes third party contracting for socialization problematic. We use the model to explain variations around the world in levels of private schooling. We also predict the circumstances in which efforts to promote the different alternatives to government production--like charter, voucher, and scholarship--are likely to be successful.
    Date: 2013–12
  21. By: Ferre, Celine; Sharif, Iffath
    Abstract: There is an increasing recognition that investment in human development at an earlier age can have a significant impact on the lifetime earnings capacity of an individual. This notion is the basis for the popularity of conditional cash transfer programs to help boost child health and education outcomes. The evidence on the impact of conditional cash transfers on health and education outcomes, however, is mixed. This paper uses panel data from a pilot project and evaluates the impact of conditional cash transfers on consumption, education, and nutrition outcomes among poor rural families in Bangladesh. Given implementation challenges the intervention was not able to improve school attendance. However the analysis shows that the pilot had a significant impact on the incidence of wasting among children who were 10-22 months old when the program started, reducing the share of children with weight-for-height below two standard deviations from the World Health Organization benchmark by 40 percent. The pilot was also able to improve nutrition knowledge: there was a significant increase in the proportion of beneficiary mothers who knew about the importance of exclusively breastfeeding infants until the age of six months. The results also suggest a significant positive impact on food consumption, especially consumption of food with high protein content.
    Keywords: Health Monitoring&Evaluation,Housing&Human Habitats,Rural Poverty Reduction,Primary Education
    Date: 2014–10–01

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