nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2015‒02‒22
25 papers chosen by
João Carlos Correia Leitão
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Are 12 Years of Schooling Sufficient for Preparation for Tertiary Education? Evidence from the Reform of Secondary School Duration in Germany By Meyer, Tobias; Thomsen, Stephan
  2. Disruptive School Peers and Student Outcomes By Kristoffersen, Jannie H. G.; Kraegpøth, Morten Visby; Nielsen, Helena Skyt; Simonsen, Marianne
  3. Wage dynamics, turnover, and human capital : evidence from adolescent transition from school to work in the Philippines By Yamauchi, Futoshi
  4. Extracurricular educational programs and school readiness: Evidence from a quasi-experiment with preschool children By Makles, Anna; Schneider, Kerstin
  5. Birthright citizenship and education - Do immigrant children need a passport to thrive? By Sajons, Christoph; Clots-Figueras, Irma
  6. The Earnings Returns to Graduating with Honors: Evidence from Law Graduates By Freier, Ronny; Schumann, Mathias; Siedler, Thomas
  7. How risky is college investment? By Hendricks, Lutz; Leukhina, Oksana
  8. Does Improved Local Supply of Schooling Enhance Intergenerational Mobility in Education? Evidence from Jordan By Assaad, Ragui; Saleh, Mohamed
  9. Segregation in Education and Labour Market Discrimination: The Role of Peer Beliefs By Levy, Gilat; Razin, Ronny
  10. The Effect of Early Childhood Language Training Programs on the Contemporary Formation of Grammar Skills By Kamhöfer, Daniel
  11. The Coalition's Record on Further Education, Skills and Access to Higher Education: Policy, Spending and Outcomes 2010-2015 By Ruth Lupton; Stephanie Thomson; Lorna Unwin
  12. Tuition Fees and Student Achievement - Evidence from a Differential Raise in Fees By Fricke, Hans
  13. Average and Heterogeneous Effects of Class Size on Educational Achievement in Lesotho By Ramaele Moshoeshoe
  14. Measuring the option value of education By Francis Teal; Rulof P. Burger
  15. Curbing Adult Student Attrition: Evidence from a Field Experiment By Raj Chande; Michael Luca; Michael Sanders; Xian-Zhi Soon; Oana Borcan; Netta Barak-Corren; Elizabeth Linos; Elspeth Kirkman; Sean Robinson
  16. International mobility of students – Its impact on labour market forecasts and its contribution to the Dutch economy By Fouarge D.; Özer M.N.
  17. Returns to Skills around the World: Evidence from PIAAC By Wößmann, Ludger; Hanushek, Eric A.; Schwerdt, Guido; Wiederhold, Simon
  18. Students' Wage Expectations in Germany - New Evidence considering Tax Adjusted Estimates By Pfeifer, Gregor; Witte, Stefan
  19. The Impact of Teacher Skills on Student Performance across Countries By Piopiunik, Marc; Hanushek, Eric A.; Wiederhold, Simon
  20. Explaining low high school attainment in Northern Aboriginal Communities: An analysis of the Aboriginal Peoples’ Surveys By Melanie O’Gorman; Manish Pandey
  21. Pounds that Kill By Anderson, Michael L.; Auffhammer, Maximillian
  22. Teacher Characteristics, Actions and Perceptions: What Matters for Student Achievement in Pakistan? By Shenila Rawal; Monazza Aslam; Baela Jamil
  23. Is education really underfunded in resource-rich economies? Evidence from a panel of U.S. states By Alexander James
  24. Government spending in education and economic growth in Cameroon:a Vector error Correction Model approach By Douanla Tayo, Lionel; Abomo Fouda, Marcel Olivier
  25. The role of universities in the location of innovative start-upsa By Giorgio Calacagnini; Ilario Favaretto; Germana Giombini; Francesco Perugini; Rosalba Rombaldoni

  1. By: Meyer, Tobias; Thomsen, Stephan
    Abstract: An important education reform in Germany reduced the duration of university preparatory schooling from 13 to 12 years, but left the curriculum unchanged. In the state of Saxony-Anhalt the reform was completed in 2007 with a double cohort of graduates, providing a natural experiment. We use primary panel data from this double cohort to evaluate the effects on success in tertiary education. Our findings show that the reform has heterogeneous effects on success in university education. Among others, students with only 12 years of schooling have some difficulties and skill deficits at university, but no higher drop-out probability.
    JEL: I21 J18 C21
    Date: 2014
  2. By: Kristoffersen, Jannie H. G. (Copenhagen Business School); Kraegpøth, Morten Visby (Aarhus University); Nielsen, Helena Skyt (Aarhus University); Simonsen, Marianne (Aarhus University)
    Abstract: This paper estimates how peers' achievement gains are affected by the presence of potentially disruptive and emotionally sensitive children in the school-cohort. We exploit that some children move between schools and thus generate variation in peer composition in the receiving school-cohort. We identify three groups of potentially disruptive and emotionally sensitive children from detailed Danish register data: children with divorced parents, children with parents convicted of crime, and children with a psychiatric diagnosis. We find that adding potentially disruptive children lowers the academic achievement of peers by about 1.7-2.3 percent of a standard deviation.
    Keywords: student mobility, special educational needs, education, value added model
    JEL: I21 J12
    Date: 2015–01
  3. By: Yamauchi, Futoshi
    Abstract: This paper examines wage dynamics and turnover using tracking data of adolescents from the Philippines. The analysis uses individual test scores in grade 6 to proxy abilities. The empirical results show that (i) returns to labor market experience are large, nearly a half of the conventional estimate of returns to schooling; (ii) returns to experience are higher if educational attainment and/or test scores are higher; and (iii) ability, measured by test scores, positively influences the upgrading of occupations toward more skilled categories, although educational attainment plays an important role in determining the first occupation. The complementarity between schooling and experience is greater among good performers who show high test scores; education and ability augment gains from accumulating labor market experiences.
    Keywords: Labor Markets,Tertiary Education,Secondary Education,Educational Sciences,Teaching and Learning
    Date: 2015–01–01
  4. By: Makles, Anna; Schneider, Kerstin
    Abstract: The paper adds to the literature on extracurricular early childhood education and child development by exploiting unique data on an educational project in Germany, the Junior University (JU). By utilizing a quasi-experimental study design we estimate the causal short-term effect of JU enrollment and show that attending JU significantly leads to higher school readiness, i.e. higher cognitive and non-cognitive abilities. Although the effect of attending JU on school readiness is quite small, the results are plausible and pass various robustness checks.
    JEL: I20 I21 I28
    Date: 2014
  5. By: Sajons, Christoph; Clots-Figueras, Irma
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the effect of becoming citizen of the host-country at birth on educational outcomes of immigrant children in Germany. We exploit the introduction of birthright citizenship for newborn children in Germany starting on the 1st of January, 2000, to obtain difference-in-differences estimates for the effect of citizenship on the children s educational performance, in particular, their transition to different tracks of secondary school. Using data from the newly established National Education Panel Study (NEPS), the empirical results indicate an increase in the probability of migrant children to enter the middle school track rather than the lower one. This suggests that growing up with the citizenship of the host country has a beneficial impact on the later integration of migrant children.
    JEL: I21 J24 J15
    Date: 2014
  6. By: Freier, Ronny (DIW Berlin); Schumann, Mathias (University of Hamburg); Siedler, Thomas (University of Hamburg)
    Abstract: This paper studies the causal effects of graduating from university with an honors degree on subsequent earnings. While a rich body of literature has focused on estimating returns to human capital, few studies have analyzed returns at the very top of the education distribution. We highlight the importance of honors degrees for future labor market success in the context of German law graduates. Using a difference-in-differences research design combined with entropy balancing, we find that students of law who passed the state bar exam with an honors degree receive a significant earnings premium of about 14 percent. The results are robust to various sensitivity analyzes.
    Keywords: returns to education, difference-in-differences, entropy balancing, law graduates, earnings
    JEL: J01 J31 J44
    Date: 2015–01
  7. By: Hendricks, Lutz; Leukhina, Oksana
    Abstract: This paper is motivated by the fact that nearly half of U.S. college students drop out without earning a bachelor's degree. Its objective is to quantify how much uncertainty college entrants face about their graduation outcomes. To do so, we develop a quantitative model of college choice. The innovation is to model in detail how students progress towards a college degree. The model is calibrated using transcript and financial data. We find that more than half of college entrants can predict whether they will graduate with at least 80% probability. As a result, stylized policies that insure students against the financial risks associated with uncertain graduation have little value for the majority of college entrants.
    Keywords: Education,College dropout risk
    JEL: E24 J24 I21
    Date: 2015
  8. By: Assaad, Ragui; Saleh, Mohamed
    Abstract: This paper examines the effect of increased local supply of schooling on intergenerational mobility in education in Jordan. We use a unique data set that links individual data on own schooling and parents’ schooling for adults, from a household survey, with the annual supply of schools in the sub-district of birth, from a school census. We identify the effect by exploiting the variation in the supply of basic and secondary public schools across cohorts and sub-districts of birth in Jordan, controlling for both cohort and sub-district of birth fixed effects. School availability is determined based on the number of sex-appropriate public schools in the individual’s sub-district of birth at the time the individual was ready to start that schooling stage. Our findings show that the local availability of basic public schools does in fact increase intergenerational mobility in education. For instance, an increase in the supply of basic public schools of one school per 1,000 people reduces the father-son and mother-son associations of schooling by 10 percent and the father-daughter and mother-daughter associations by nearly 30 percent. However, an increase in the local supply of secondary public schools does not seem to have a similar effect on intergenerational mobility in education.
    Keywords: Supply of schooling, education, intergenerational mobility, inequality of opportunity, Middle East
    JEL: I24 I28
    Date: 2015–01
  9. By: Levy, Gilat; Razin, Ronny
    Abstract: In this paper we examine the long term effects of socialization and segregation in schools, on labour market outcomes. We incorporate a model of “informational” peer influence by which beliefs of pupils are affected by exposure to other pupils’ posterior beliefs. Specifically, we focus on the beliefs of private school graduates about the productivity of state school graduates. We incorporate this into a dynamic model of parental school choice (state versus private) and labour market decisions (whether to hire a state or a private school graduate). We provide necessary and sufficient conditions for segregation in education and discrimination in the labour market to hold.
    Keywords: discrimination; education; labor market; School choice; Segregation
    JEL: D83 I24 J7
    Date: 2015–02
  10. By: Kamhöfer, Daniel
    Abstract: While there is a big literature on the benefits of pre-school education, only little is known why kindergarten attendance improves later-life outcomes. This is partly because most studies analyze the effect of complete 2 years pre-school programs. In order to shed light into the black box of kindergarten education, I am using the German National Educational Panel Study and regress the level of grammar skills - a main intelligence component - on the participation in a nationwide-used language training program and a rich set of conditioning variables. Taking information on mathematical skills into account, this paper also employs matching and differences-in-differences methods as well as a combination of both. The estimated effects of participating in a language training program at the kindergarten on grammar skills range between 11% and 17% of a standard deviation.
    JEL: I21 I28 J24
    Date: 2014
  11. By: Ruth Lupton; Stephanie Thomson; Lorna Unwin
    Abstract: The Coalition inherited some long-term problems in the provision of further education (FE) and skills training as well unresolved challenges about the funding of higher education (HE). What did it do and with what result?
    Date: 2015–01
  12. By: Fricke, Hans
    Abstract: This study analyses the effect of an increase in college costs on student achievement, particularly time-to-degree and performance. I exploit a unique policy at a Swiss university to identify and estimate the causal effect of an increase in tuition. Students faced an unexpected raise in tuition. This raise varied substantially across different students. The fees were increased by 81.7% for international students and by 20.2% for Swiss students. This variation allows me to follow a difference-in-differences strategy. I formally discuss identification with multiple treatments. I find at best modest effects of the increase on student achievement. Results suggest small positive anticipation effects on the probability to graduate and the credit accumulation for students at the end of their studies. These increased effort levels do not affect the grade average of the students. After the raise, the effects on the probability to graduate and the credit accumulation disappear. There is weak evidence of negative effects on credit accumulation and grades for students further away from graduation.
    JEL: I22 I23 C18
    Date: 2014
  13. By: Ramaele Moshoeshoe
    Abstract: Understanding class size effects on educational achievement remains a preoccupation of many economists. But empirical results are, to this far, still inconclusive. I use the two-stage least squares and the instrumental variable quantile regression methods on Lesotho’s grade 6 students maths and reading test scores to estimate, respectively, the mean and distributional effects of class size. I find strong evidence for putative class size effects on reading achievement, but not on maths achievement. Using the bounds methods of Conley et al (2012), I show that these findings are robust to weak violations of the instrumental variable exclusion restriction requirement. I also find that a small class size generally benefits the low-ability students the most.
    Keywords: Class size, Instrumental variable, Quantile Treatment Effects
    JEL: H52 I21 I28 O15
    Date: 2015
  14. By: Francis Teal; Rulof P. Burger
    Abstract: Many recent descriptive studies find convex schooling-earnings profiles in developing countries.  In these countries forward-looking students should attach option values to completing lower levels of schooling.  Another option value may arise due to the uncertain economic environment in which the sequence of enrolment decisions is made.  Most theoretical models that are used to motivate and interpret OLS or IV estimates of the reurns to schooling assume away convexity in the schooling-earnings profile, uncertainty and the inherently dynamic nature of schooling investment decisions.  This paper develops a decomposition technique that calculates the relative importance of different benefits of completing additional schooling years, including the option values associated with convex schooling returns and uncertainty.  These components are then estimated on a sample of workers who has revealed a highly convex schooling-earnings profile, and who face considerable uncertainty regarding future wage offers: young black South African men.  We find that rationalising the observed school enrolment decisions requires large option values of early schooling levels (mainly associated with convexity rather than uncertainty), as well as a schooling cost function that increases steeply between schooling phases.
    Date: 2013–09–11
  15. By: Raj Chande (University of Bristol); Michael Luca (Harvard Business School, Negotiation, Organizations & Markets Unit); Michael Sanders (Harvard Kennedy School of Government); Xian-Zhi Soon (Behavioural Insights Team); Oana Borcan (University of Gothenburg); Netta Barak-Corren (Harvard Law School); Elizabeth Linos (Harvard Kennedy School of Government); Elspeth Kirkman (Behavioural Insights Team); Sean Robinson (Behavioural Insights Team)
    Abstract: Roughly 20% of adults in the OECD lack basic numeracy and literacy skills. In the UK, many colleges offer fully government subsidized adult education programs to improve these skills. Constructing a unique dataset consisting of weekly attendance records for 1179 students, we find that approximately 25% of learners stop attending these programs in the first ten weeks and that average attendance rates deteriorate by 20% in that time. We implement a large?scale field experiment in which we send encouraging text messages to students. Our initial results show that these simple text messages reduce the proportion of students that stop attending by 36% and lead to a 7% increase in average attendance relative to the control group. The effects on attendance rates persist through the three weeks of available data following the initial intervention.
    Keywords: Behavioral Economics, Field Experiment, Education, Adult Education
    Date: 2015–02
  16. By: Fouarge D.; Özer M.N. (ROA)
    Abstract: International student mobility has rapidly increased in the past three decades the number of students enrolled in tertiary education outside of their country of citizenship was 0.8 million in 1975, but it increased to 4.3 million in 2011 OECD, 2013.1 This rapid increase can be explained by several factors internationalization and standardization of higher education e.g., the Bologna process in European Union countries, global increase in demand for tertiary education, faster information flows thanks to the advancements in communication and transportation opportunities, and policies to encourage student exchange through bilateral agreements Tremblay, 2005; OECD, 2013; Van Bouwel Veugelers, 2013.
    Date: 2014
  17. By: Wößmann, Ludger; Hanushek, Eric A.; Schwerdt, Guido; Wiederhold, Simon
    Abstract: Existing estimates of the labor-market returns to human capital give a distorted picture of the role of skills across different economies. International comparisons of earnings analyses rely almost exclusively on school attainment measures of human capital, and evidence incorporating direct measures of cognitive skills is mostly restricted to early-career workers in the United States. Analysis of the new PIAAC survey of adult skills over the full lifecycle in 22 countries shows that the focus on early-career earnings leads to underestimating the lifetime returns to skills by about one quarter. On average, a one-standard-deviation increase in numeracy skills is associated with an 18 percent wage increase among prime-age workers. But this masks considerable heterogeneity across countries. Eight countries, including all Nordic countries, have returns between 12 and 15 percent, while six are above 21 percent with the largest return being 28 percent in the United States. Estimates are remarkably robust to different earnings and skill measures, additional controls, and various subgroups. Intriguingly, returns to skills are systematically lower in countries with higher union density, stricter employment protection, and larger public-sector shares.
    JEL: I20 J31 I21
    Date: 2014
  18. By: Pfeifer, Gregor; Witte, Stefan
    Abstract: This paper uses a rich dataset derived from a three-year survey to gain insights about the informational background of University applicants. We analyze the extent to which students expectations of their starting and future salary depend on different characteristics. More precisely, the paper investigates whether students with different backgrounds tend towards making larger or smaller errors when estimating salaries. The results point out that students salary estimates are heterogeneous and that this variation is correlated with individual traits and chosen subjects. Overall, students substantially underestimate actual starting salaries by about 20 percent. However, a prime finding of this paper is that estimation errors are highly attributable to students misconception of the German progressive income tax system. Correcting for the erroneous gross-net conversion, we find applicants to have a quite correct idea about what salaries to expect in the future. Overall, applicants adjusted expectations are in line with labor market outcomes. However, expectations remain strongly correlated with personal traits.
    JEL: I21 J24 H24
    Date: 2014
  19. By: Piopiunik, Marc; Hanushek, Eric A.; Wiederhold, Simon
    Abstract: Student performance differs greatly across countries, but little is known about the role of teacher quality in explaining these differences. New international data from the PIAAC survey of adult skills allow for the first time to quantify teacher skills in numeracy and literacy, providing country-level measures of teacher subject knowledge. Our student-level regressions with PISA data exploit between-subject variation to overcome bias from unobserved country heterogeneity and control for parent skills to account for the persistence of skills across generations. We find that a one-standard-deviation increase in subject-specific teacher skills raises student performance by 7 percent of a standard deviation in math and 6 percent in reading.
    JEL: I20 H40 H52
    Date: 2014
  20. By: Melanie O’Gorman; Manish Pandey
    Abstract: Within the off-reserve Canadian Aboriginal population, high school graduation rates are about 45 percent lower in Northern communities (North) than the rest of Canada (South). Using data from the Aboriginal Peoples’ Surveys, we document that economic incentives do not appear to be important in explaining the North-South gap in graduation rates. We then consider individual-specific and schooling-related determinants of high school graduation and find that these factors can explain between 31 percent and 59 percent of the gap in the probability of graduation in 2000/2005. Further, much of the gap is attributable to a respondent speaking/understanding or being taught an Aboriginal language. We discuss the possible implications of these results for language and curricular programming in the North.
    Date: 2015–02
  21. By: Anderson, Michael L.; Auffhammer, Maximillian
    Keywords: Architecture, Education, Engineering
    Date: 2014–10–01
  22. By: Shenila Rawal; Monazza Aslam; Baela Jamil
    Abstract: Substandard teaching is believed to be the foremost reason for poor quality schooling in the developing world.  This paper uses unique data from primary schools in the state of Punjab in Pakistan to delve into the issues that may determine what makes one teacher more effective than another.  The hypothesis that differential teacher effectiveness stems from far more than observable teacher characteristics is tested and more nuanced reasons behind these differences are examined.  In particular, teacher attitudes and opinions are investigated to give a more holistic approach to researching teacher effectivenes and its impact on student learning.
    Keywords: teacher effectiveness, student achievement, teacher attitudes, teacher opinions, fixed effects, Pakistan
    Date: 2013–11–30
  23. By: Alexander James (Department of Economics and Public Policy, University of Alaska Anchorage)
    Abstract: Existing development literature has argued that natural-resource endowments ``curse'' economic prosperity by reducing expenditures on education. According to this theory, public and private agents lack sufficient foresight to make optimal economic decisions and become poor as a result. Using a panel of U.S. state-level data, this paper offers evidence to the contrary. Public spending on education in resource-rich states greatly exceeds that in resource-scarce ones, and private education services are imperfectly crowded out as a result. More generally, this paper highlights the importance of exploiting both spatial and temporal variation in resource wealth when studying resource-rich economies.
    Keywords: Natural Resources, Education, Public Policy, Resource Curse
    JEL: Q32 Q33 Q38
    Date: 2015–01
  24. By: Douanla Tayo, Lionel; Abomo Fouda, Marcel Olivier
    Abstract: This study aims at assessing the effect of government spending in education on economic growth in Cameroon over the period 1980-2012 using a vector error correction model. The estimated results show that these expenditures had a significant and positive impact on economic growth both in short and long run. The estimated error correction model shows that an increase of 1% of the growth rate of private gross fixed capital formation and government education spending led to increases of 5.03% and 10.145 % respectively in the long-run on economic growth . Education spending thus appears as one of the main driving force of the economic growth process in Cameroon.
    Keywords: Economic growth, VECM.
    JEL: H5
    Date: 2015–02–09
  25. By: Giorgio Calacagnini (Department of Economics, Society & Politics, Università di Urbino "Carlo Bo"); Ilario Favaretto (Department of Economics, Society & Politics, Università di Urbino "Carlo Bo"); Germana Giombini (Department of Economics, Society & Politics, Università di Urbino "Carlo Bo"); Francesco Perugini (Department of Economics, Society & Politics, Università di Urbino "Carlo Bo"); Rosalba Rombaldoni (Department of Economics, Society & Politics, Università di Urbino "Carlo Bo")
    Abstract: Start-ups increasingly find the prospect of university-industry collaborations to be a powerful driver of innovation and entrepreneurship activity. Moreover, at the geographical level, they are attracted by teaching and research institutions, either public or private. This paper focuses on the role played by universities. Our hypothesis is that geographical proximity favors the transfer of knowledge and technology from universities to industries and, consequently, represents a positive factor for regional economic development. Results show that university spillovers are positively correlated with the creation of innovative start-ups. Furthermore, the presence of human capital (graduates) exerts a significant influence on the location decisions of start-ups, being a source for competitiveness for firms close to universities. Research quality, especially in the social sciences area, attracts innovative start-ups, while third-mission activities have a weak impact on locational choice.
    Keywords: CKnowledge transfer, Innovative start-up, University spillovers
    JEL: M13 L20 R30
    Date: 2014

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