nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2015‒02‒28
seventeen papers chosen by
João Carlos Correia Leitão
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. The Coalition's Record on Schools: Policy, Spending and Outcomes 2010-2015 By Ruth Lupton ; Stephanie Thomson
  2. Wealth Distribution and Human Capital: How Borrowing Constraints Shape Educational Systems By Marti Mestieri
  3. Earnings Returns to Different Educational Careers: The Relative Importance of Type vs. Field of Education By Curdin Pfister ; Simone Tuor Sartore ; Uschi Backes-Gellner
  4. Teaching styles and achievement: Student and teacher perspectives By Cristina Lopez-Mayan ; Ana Hidalgo-Cabrillana
  5. School Autonomy, Education Quality and Development: an Instrumental Variable Approach. By Nicolas Contreras
  6. Affirmative Action and the Quality-Fit Tradeoff By Peter Arcidiacono ; Michael Lovenheim
  7. Behavioral Economics of Education: Progress and Possibilities By Lavecchia, Adam M. ; Liu, Heidi ; Oreopoulos, Philip
  8. Decisions about Postsecondary Education, their returns in Colombia By Fabiola Saavedra ; Mónica Ospina
  9. The Determinants of Time Spent Studying for Children of Immigrants in Japan (in Japanese) By Makiko Nakamuro ; Kenji Ishida ; Ayumi Takenaka ; Tomohiko Inui
  10. Does sector-specific experience matter? The case of European higher education ministers By Julien Jacqmin ; Mathieu Lefebvre
  11. An empirical assessment of households sorting into private schooling under public education provision By Francesco Andreoli ; Giorgia Casalone ; Daniela Sonedda
  12. Educational Mismatch and Firm Productivity: Do Skills, Technology and Uncertainty Matter? By Benoît Mahy ; François Rycx ; Guillaume Vermeylen
  13. Moving up a Gear: The Impact of Compressing Instructional Time into Fewer Years of Schooling By Mathias Huebener ; Jan Marcus
  14. The role of the Univesrities of Oradea and Debrecen in attracting foreign students in the field of medicine By Toca, Constantin-Vasile ; Teperics, Károly ; Czimre, Klára
  15. The Wage Return to Education: What Hides Behind the Least Squares Bias? By Andini, Corrado
  16. International Careers of Researchers in Biomedical Sciences: A Comparison of the US and the UK. By Lawson, Cornelia ; Geuna, Aldo ; Ana Fernández-Zubieta ; Toselli, Manuel ; Kataishi, Rodrigo
  17. Russian University Students And The Combination Of Study And Work: Is It All About Earning, Learning Or Job Market Signaling? By Sergey Roshchin ; Victor Rudakov

  1. By: Ruth Lupton ; Stephanie Thomson
    Keywords: social policy, education, coalition education policy, educational inequalities, conservative education policy, liberal education policy
    Date: 2015–02
  2. By: Marti Mestieri (Toulouse School of Economics )
    Abstract: This paper provides a theory of how the wealth distribution of an economy affects the optimal design of its educational system. The model features two key ingredients. First, agents are heterogeneous both in their ability and we alth levels, neither of which is observable. Second, returns to schooling depend on the ability-composition of agents attending each school tier, for example, because of choices of common curricula. An educational system is characterized by an assignment rule of agents to schools and by endogenous sizes of tiers. I find that a benevolent planner seeking to maximize economic efficiency implements "elitist" educational systems in economies with poor, borrowing-constrained, agents. Compared to the first best, the optimal solution features (i) relatively low-ability, rich agents selecting into higher education and (ii) higher education schools with less capacity. The same qualitative results obtain when only two commonly used instruments are available to the planner: school fees and exams. In addition, I show that economies with relatively tighter borrowing constraints rely more extensively on exams and that agents performing better on exams are rewarded with lower school fees.
    Date: 2014
  3. By: Curdin Pfister (Department of Business Administration, University of Zurich ); Simone Tuor Sartore (Department of Business Administration, University of Zurich ); Uschi Backes-Gellner (Department of Business Administration, University of Zurich )
    Abstract: The two choices that students in many Western European countries must make during their educational career are the type of education (vocational vs. academic) and the subject area (the specific field of education). However, most studies on the effect of education on earnings consider only one of these two factors. In addition, most of these studies focus exclusively on average returns and neglect the variance of the returns, thus overlooking important aspects of the nature of the returns to education such as the risk in human capital investments. In this study, we consider both factors type of education and subject area at the same time to estimate earning returns and to examine how much these two factors contribute to the variance of earnings in later careers. We use the Swiss Adult Education Survey from 2011 and construct a sample of individuals with tertiary level educational degree, estimating earnings regressions and decomposing the variance in earnings for type of education and subject area. Decomposition results show that field of education, relative to subject area, explains double the variation in earnings. Given our findings that earnings relate more to subject area than to type of education, the question of which type of education—academic or vocational—an individual chooses is less relevant than the question of which field he or she chooses to specialize in.
    JEL: I21 J24
    Date: 2015–02
  4. By: Cristina Lopez-Mayan (Departament d’Economia Aplicada, Universitat Autonama de Barcelona ); Ana Hidalgo-Cabrillana (Departamento de Análisis Económico, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid )
    Abstract: Using data from a Spanish assessment program of fourth-grade pupils, we analyze to what extent using certain teaching practices and materials in class is related to achieve- ment in maths and reading. We distinguish using traditional and modern teaching styles. As a novelty, we measure in-class work using two dierent sources of information -teacher and students. Our identication strategy relies on between-class within-school variation of teaching styles. We nd that modern practices are related to better achievement, specially in reading, while traditional practices, if anything, are detrimental. There are dierences depending on the source of information: the magnitude of coecients is larger when practices are reported by students. These ndings are robust to considering al- ternative denitions of teaching practices. We obtain heterogeneous eects of teaching styles by gender and type of school but only when using students' answers. Our nd- ings highlight the importance of the source of information, teacher or students, to draw adequate conclusions about the eect of teaching style on achievement.
    JEL: I20 I21 J24
    Date: 2015–02
  5. By: Nicolas Contreras (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne - Paris School of Economics )
    Abstract: In this paper, I manly seek to test the robustness of Hanushek et al.'s (2013) hypothesis, according to which the impact of autonomy in terms of learning outcomes differs across levels of development, being positive for developed countries but not for developing countries. I do so by constructing a school-level measure of autonomy, which I instrument using the distinction between de jure and de facto autonomy, as laid out by Gunnarsson et al. (2009). I also follow them in differentiating between parents participation and school autonomy, thus providing an explanation to their results, in line with the conceptual framework of Hanushek et al. (2013).
    Keywords: School autonomy, Parental participation, PISA, Education quality, Developing countries, panel estimation, instrumental variable.
    JEL: I21 I28 J24 O15
    Date: 2015–02
  6. By: Peter Arcidiacono ; Michael Lovenheim
    Abstract: This paper reviews the literature on affirmative action in undergraduate education and law schools, focusing in particular on the tradeoff between the quality of an institution and the fit between a school and a student. We first discuss the conditions under which affirmative action for under-represented minorities (URM) could help or harm their educational outcomes. We then provide descriptive evidence on the extent of affirmative action in law schools, as well as a review of the contentious literature on how affirmative action affects URM student performance in law school. We present a simple selection model that we argue provides a useful framework for interpreting the disparate findings in this literature. The paper then turns to a similar discussion of affirmative action in undergraduate admissions, focusing on evidence of the extent of race-based admissions practices and the effect such preferences have on the quality of schools in which minority students enroll, graduation rates, college major and earnings. We pay much attention to the evidence from state-level bans on affirmative action and argue these bans are very informative about how affirmative action affects URM students. Finally, we discuss the evidence on "percent plans," which several states have enacted in an attempt to replace affirmative action.
    JEL: I23 I24 J15
    Date: 2015–02
  7. By: Lavecchia, Adam M. (University of Toronto ); Liu, Heidi (Harvard University ); Oreopoulos, Philip (University of Toronto )
    Abstract: Behavioral economics attempts to integrate insights from psychology, neuroscience, and sociology in order to better predict individual outcomes and develop more effective policy. While the field has been successfully applied to many areas, education has, so far, received less attention – a surprising oversight, given the field's key interest in long-run decision-making and the propensity of youth to make poor long-run decisions. In this chapter, we review the emerging literature on the behavioral economics of education. We first develop a general framework for thinking about why youth and their parents might not always take full advantage of education opportunities. We then discuss how these behavioral barriers may be preventing some students from improving their long-run welfare. We evaluate the recent but rapidly growing efforts to develop policies that mitigate these barriers, many of which have been examined in experimental settings. Finally, we discuss future prospects for research in this emerging field.
    Keywords: behavioral economics of education, present-bias, student motivation
    JEL: D03 D87 I2 J24
    Date: 2015–02
  8. By: Fabiola Saavedra ; Mónica Ospina
    Abstract: This study analyzes the economic returns to schooling decisions made by high school graduates in Colombia. We wanted to verify if the economic returns (wages) obtained by newly postsecondary education graduates compensate the economic and psychological investment they made in order to get that academic degree. To answer that question, we estimated these economic returns for each type of postsecondary degree available in Colombia (technical education, technological education, undergraduate studies, graduate studies) by origin of the institution (public or private). Our methodological strategy includes the generation of a micro-data base that contains agents’ socio-economic background and also their individual labor market outcomes. Because agents with very similar characteristics and the same schooling decisions might get different economic returns from education, we considered as part of our empirical strategy the inclusion of an approximation of agents’ cognitive abilities.
    Keywords: postsecondary education; labor market outcomes
    JEL: I21 J24
    Date: 2014–06–04
  9. By: Makiko Nakamuro ; Kenji Ishida ; Ayumi Takenaka ; Tomohiko Inui
    Abstract: This study analyzes the educational achievement of immigrant children in Japan. Since foreign migrants began to enter Japan in large numbers in the early 1990s, their children, or the second generation born or raised in Japan, have largely come of age. A growing number of studies have pointed out various problems associated with the educational achievement of immigrant children, such as a lack of Japanese language proficiency, parental commitment to education, and of social support networks. Since most of these studies are limited in scale based on qualitative observations of a particular population in a particular region, however, we do not know how immigrant children actually fare in school and what explains their performance. Since past studies tend to focus solely on the foreign population, we also do not know what determines their educational outcomes in comparison with native-born Japanese children. In this study, we focus on school-aged immigrant children who have resided in Japan for at least ten years and are proficient in the Japanese language. Using data from a unique and nationally representative dataset, the Longitudinal Survey of Babies in the 21st Century, we compare the determinants of their school performance, measured by the hours spent studying at home, with those of their native Japanese counterparts. The results suggest that parental commitment to children’s education and support network are indeed important in determining the number of study hours for both foreign and Japanese children. However, once unobserved individual traits are controlled for, such as cultural views and orientation on schooling, motivation, and genetic endowments, parental commitment and support network are no longer crucial. What is truly important is access to shadow education, or extra-curricular learning, such as cram schools, private tutoring and distance-learning. Unlike what has been reported by previous studies, therefore, immigrant children under-perform academically in comparison with native children, not because they lack parental support or support networks; rather, their academic disadvantage lies in their lack of access to such extra-curricular learning.
  10. By: Julien Jacqmin ; Mathieu Lefebvre
    Abstract: This paper looks at the relationship between higher education ministers and the performance of the sector that they govern. Using an original panel dataset with the characteristics of European higher education ministers, we find that having a past experience in the sector leads to a higher level of performance, as measured by ranking data. Making a parallel with the literature about the impact of education on the educated, we discuss potential explanations behind the impact of this on-the-job learning experience. As we find that this characteristic has no impact on the spendings of the sector, we argue that this academic experience makes them more prone to introduce adequate reforms. Furthermore, we find that this result is driven by ministers with both this sector-specific and an electoral experience, the latter measured by a succesful election at the regional or national level. This tends to show that political credibility should not be overshadowed by the importance of the sector-specific experience of ministers.
    Date: 2015–02
  11. By: Francesco Andreoli (LISER, Luxembourg ); Giorgia Casalone (University of the Eastern Piedmont, Italy ); Daniela Sonedda (University of the Eastern Piedmont, Italy )
    Abstract: We estimate structural quantile treatment effects to analyze the relationship between household income and sorting into private or public education, using Italian data. Public education provision is redistributive when rich families, who contribute to its financing, find it optimal to sort out of the public system to buy the educational services in the private market. This may occur when the education quality is lower in the public compared to the private sector, meaning that households with higher income capacity face lower opportunity costs from sorting out of the public system. We exploit heterogeneity in expected tax deductions to exogenously manipulate the distribution of net of taxes income, equalized by family needs, and explore the consequences of this manipulation on various quantiles of the distribution of the amount of the educational transfers in-kind accruing to the households, valuing public education. We find that an increase in income reduces the amount of educational transfers in-kind (i) more for higher quantiles of the educational transfers in-kind, indicating that households with higher preferences for quality sort out of the public education system; (ii) more for lower quantiles of the households' income capacity, indicating that richer households receive lower transfers for a given preference quality.
    Keywords: Transfer in kind, public education provision, income distribution, structural quantile treatment effects.
    JEL: H40 D30 I20
    Date: 2015–01
  12. By: Benoît Mahy ; François Rycx ; Guillaume Vermeylen
    Abstract: The authors provide first evidence on whether the direct relationship between educational mismatch and firm productivity varies across working environments. Using detailed Belgian linked employer-employee panel data for 1999-2010, they find the existence of a significant, positive (negative) impact of over- (under-)education on firm productivity. Moreover, their results show that the effect of over-education on productivity is stronger among firms: (i) with a higher share of high-skilled jobs, (ii) belonging to high-tech/knowledge-intensive industries, and (iii) evolving in a more uncertain economic environment. Interaction effects between under-education and working environments are less clear-cut. However, economic uncertainty is systematically found to accentuate the detrimental effect of under-education on productivity.
    Keywords: Educational mismatch; productivity; linked employer-employee panel data; working environments
    JEL: J21 J24
    Date: 2015–02–25
  13. By: Mathias Huebener ; Jan Marcus
    Abstract: Policy-makers face a trade-off between the provision of higher levels of schooling and earlier labour market entries. A fundamental education reform in Germany tackles this trade-off by reducing high school by one year while leaving the total instructional time unchanged. Employing administrative data on all high school graduates in 2002-2013 in Germany, we exploit both temporal and regional variation in the implementation of the reform and study the overall effectiveness of this reform. We find that compressing the high school track by one year reduces the mean high school graduation age by about 10 months. The probability to repeat a grade level in the course of high school increases by 21 percent (3 percentage points), peaking in the final three years before graduation. However, the high school graduation rate is not affected. The results indicate the reform’s success in reducing the graduation age, though it stays behind its potential benefits for labour markets and social security schemes because of higher grade repetition rates.
    Keywords: G12, G8, graduation age, grade repetition, grade retention, graduation rates, learning intensity, diff-in-diff, human capital, instructional time
    JEL: I28 J18 D04
    Date: 2015
  14. By: Toca, Constantin-Vasile ; Teperics, Károly ; Czimre, Klára
    Abstract: In the context of cross-border cooperation, the border between Romania and Hungary is a very active one, with cooperation between the two countries reaching diverse fields of interest. At the same time there is a great interest for this cooperation in the Bihor-Hajdu Bihar Euroregion and in Oradea and Debrecen, the centers of the Bihor and Hajdu Bihor counties, respectively. Out of all the fields that benefit from this cooperation, the educational field is the one that stands out the most, especially higher education – with the two university centers in question being the University of Oradea and the University of Debrecen. Between the two institutions the cooperation in the field of medicine will be our subject of study. Given the territorial proximity of the two institutions and the growing interest in the prívate medical sector in this area, we can talk about a strong cross-border medical pole, Oradea – Debrecen at the border between Romania and Hungary. The experience gained in the field of medicine, coupled with the application of good practice examples, internationally recognized study of medicine and increased visibility of the two centers has atracted more and more foreign students from all over the world that choose to study medicine here. The research methodology applied in this paper has its basis in the analysis of social documents and the statistical analysis of data provided by the two institutions, with the target group being the University of Oradea and the University of Debrecen. Our aim is to highlight the importance of the two centers in the field of medicine and their ability to atract students for study at these universities. We will employ a comparative analysis between the two universities.
    Keywords: mobilities; Bihor – Hajdu Bihar Euroregion; University of Oradea; University of Debrecen; field of medicine
    JEL: F5 I20 I23 I25 J1
    Date: 2014
  15. By: Andini, Corrado (University of Madeira )
    Abstract: This paper combines the approach by Guimarães and Portugal (2010) with the methodology of Gelbach (2015) to investigate the determinants of the least squares bias of the wage return to education. We find that disregarding individual fixed effects is highly problematic, accounting for 95% of the bias. In contrast, disregarding firm fixed effects has marginal consequences.
    Keywords: wages, education, least squares
    JEL: I21 J31
    Date: 2015–02
  16. By: Lawson, Cornelia ; Geuna, Aldo ; Ana Fernández-Zubieta ; Toselli, Manuel ; Kataishi, Rodrigo (University of Turin )
    Abstract: This chapter analyses the mobility of academic biomedical researchers in the US and the UK. Both countries are at the forefront of research in biomedicine, and able to attract promising researchers from other countries as well as fostering mobility between the US and the UK. Using a database of 292 UK based academics and 327 US based academics covering the period 1956 to 2012, the descriptive analysis shows a high level of international mobility at education level (BA, PhD and Postdoc) with small, but significant transatlantic exchanges, and shows high levels of cross-border mobility amongst senior academics based in the UK. There is a high level of career mobility with 50% of the sample having changed jobs at least once, and 40% having moved within academia. There is no significant difference in job-job mobility between the two countries although there are some interesting institutional differences concerning international and cross-sector mobility. The empirical analysis focuses on the importance of postdoctoral training in the US and the UK. The results indicate that working in the US is correlated to higher researcher performance in terms of both publication numbers and impact/quality adjusted publications (in top journals and average impact). The publications of researchers with postdoctoral experience are generally of a higher average impact. This applies especially to postdoc experience at top-quality US institutions although a postdoc at a UK top institution is associated with higher top journal publications and higher average impact. In relation to the UK sample, we find that a US postdoc (especially in a top institution) is correlated to subsequent performance in the UK academic market. Finally, we see that US postdocs that stay in the US publish more and publications with higher impact/quality than those that move to the UK; however, these effects are stronger for those who studied for their PhD degree outside the US. Therefore, we find some evidence that the US is able to retain high performing incoming PhD graduates.
    Date: 2015–02
  17. By: Sergey Roshchin (National Research University Higher School of Economics. ); Victor Rudakov (National Research University Higher School of Economics )
    Abstract: The issue of how Russian students combine work and study can be analyzed through the quality of university, the quality of students and a number of financial, academic, social and demographic factors. These factors may have an effect on student employment and student labor supply, and help shed light on what motivates students to enter the labor market. We discovered that 64.7% of Russian students combined study and work and most of them begin working during their 3rd year of study. Our results indicate that factors associated with the quality of students, such as studying in a top university and participating in research activities, positively affect the probability of student employment, but negatively affect the labor supply. Financial motivations for student employment are also significant. However, we found no evidence that combining study and work affects students’ academic achievements
    Keywords: higher education, student employment, combining work and study, job market signaling, human capital
    JEL: E32
    Date: 2015

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