nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2015‒07‒04
sixteen papers chosen by
João Carlos Correia Leitão
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. The Higher Education in 2014: inconsistence of reform measures By Tatiana Klyachko
  2. Financial Constraints and Girls' Secondary Education: Evidence from School Fee Elimination in The Gambia By Blimpo, Moussa P.; Gajigo, Ousman; Pugatch, Todd
  3. The causal effects of increased learning intensity on student achievement : evidence from a natural experiment By Vincenzo Andrietti
  4. Competition, Selectivity and Innovation in the Higher Educational Market By Lynne Pepall; Dan Richards
  5. ICT and Education: Evidence from Student Home Addresses By Benjamin Faber; Rosa Sanchis-Guarner; Felix Weinhardt
  6. Closing the Aboriginal Education Gap in Canada: Assessing Progress and Estimating the Economic Benefits By Matthew Calver
  7. The impact of mobile phones on the performance of university students By Khan, Jangraiz; Khan Malik, Zilakat; Amin, Suleman
  9. The rocky road to post-compulsory education in Turkey: Intergenerational educational mobility By Ayca Akarcay-Gurbuz; Sezgin Polat
  10. On the Political Economy of University Admission Standards By Philippe De Donder; Francisco Martinez-Mora
  11. The Effects of the Kalamazoo Promise Scholarship on College Enrollment, Persistence, and Completion By Timothy J. Bartik; Brad J. Hershbein; Marta Lachowska
  12. Cross-border Content: Investigation into Sharing Curricula across Borders and the Opportunities for OER By Giles Pepler; Sara Frank Bristow; Paul Bacsich; Nick Jeans; Riina Vuorikari
  13. The Effect of a Tuition Fee Reform on the Risk of Drop Out from University in the UK By Steve Bradley; Giuseppe Migali
  14. Estimating the External Returns to Education: Evidence from China By Fan, Wen; Ma, Yuanyuan; Wang, Liming
  15. Human Capital Quality and Aggregate Income Differences: Development Accounting for U.S. States By Hanushek, Eric A.; Ruhose, Jens; Woessmann, Ludger
  16. Can Bureaucrats Really Be Paid Like CEOs? School Administrator Incentives for Anemia Reduction in Rural China By Renfu Luo; Grant Miller; Scott Rozelle; Sean Sylvia; Marcos Vera-Hernández

  1. By: Tatiana Klyachko (Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy)
    Abstract: This paper deals with a wide range of educational system in Russia: higher education, vocational training, secondary education.
    Keywords: Russian educational institutions, educational reform
    JEL: I21 I22 I23 I24 I25 I28
    Date: 2015
  2. By: Blimpo, Moussa P. (University of Oklahoma); Gajigo, Ousman (World Bank); Pugatch, Todd (Oregon State University)
    Abstract: We assess the impact of large-scale fee elimination for secondary school girls in The Gambia on the quantity, composition, and achievement of students. The gradual rollout of the program across geographic regions provides identifying variation in the policy. The program increased access to secondary education substantially without harming learning outcomes. We find an increase of around 50% in the number of girls and boys taking the high school exit exam from a low baseline, as well as a 0.1 standard deviations gain in test scores in response to the program. This result is notable in a setting where expanded access could put additional strains on limited resources and the quality of schools. These findings suggest that financial constraints remain serious barriers to post-primary education and that efforts to expand access to secondary education need not come at the expense of learning in low-income countries like The Gambia.
    Keywords: secondary school, school fee elimination, gender gap, Gambia
    JEL: O15 I21 C93
    Date: 2015–06
  3. By: Vincenzo Andrietti
    Abstract: I exploit the quasi-experimental setting offered by a recent reform of the German educational system that reduced the length of academic-track high school by one year without reducing curricular content to investigate how the resulting increase in learning intensity affected student achievement. Using 2000-2009 PISA data and a differences-in-differences approach, I find robust evidence that the reform significantly improved (on average by 0.10-0.11 standard deviations) the reading, mathematics, and science literacy skills acquired by academic-track high school students upon treatment. A more direct estimate of the effects of the increased learning intensity - as measured by state- and grade-specific variation in weekly instructional hours - corroborates the latter finding. Furthermore, I find that the effect on reading skills is driven by girls, while the performance of students that experienced grade retention is significantly worsened after the reform. Finally, although there is no evidence of a significant average effect of the reform on high school grade retention, I do find evidence of heterogenous effects: High school grade retention increases significantly for students with a migration background and for students in the former East states.
    Keywords: G8 , PISA , Student Achievement , Cognitive skills , Grade retention , Academic-track high school , Learning intensity
    JEL: I21 I28 D04
    Date: 2015–06
  4. By: Lynne Pepall; Dan Richards
    Abstract: Recent innovations in digital learning and web-based technologies have enabled scalability in educational services that has previously not been feasible presenting a potential disruption in traditional higher education markets. This paper explores the impact of these innovations in a vertically differentiated higher educational market with both selective and nonselective institutions. Selective institutions are characterized by peer effects and a revenue model that assures quality. Nonselective institutions have open admissions and are tuition driven. Students differ in their ability to benefit from educational services. We describe how selective and non-selective institutions compete for students through tuition and admission criteria and how free non-credentialed educational services such as MOOCs affect the market equilibrium. Our model also helps explain why selective institutions are the main proprietors of MOOCs.
    Keywords: Higher Education, Vertical Differentiation, Network Effects
    JEL: D43 I23
  5. By: Benjamin Faber; Rosa Sanchis-Guarner; Felix Weinhardt
    Abstract: Governments are making it a priority to upgrade information and communication technologies (ICT) with the aim to increase available internet connection speeds. This paper presents a new strategy to estimate the causal effects of these policies, and applies it to the questions of whether and how ICT upgrades affect educational attainment. We draw on a rich collection of microdata that allows us to link administrative test score records for the population of English primary and secondary school students to the available ICT at their home addresses. To base estimations on exogenous variation in ICT, we notice that the boundaries of usually invisible telephone exchange station catchment areas give rise to substantial and essentially randomly placed jumps in the available ICT across neighboring residences. Using this design across more than 20,000 boundaries in England, we find that even very large changes in available internet speeds have a precisely estimated zero effect on educational attainment. Guided by a simple model we then bring to bear additional microdata on student time and internet use to quantify the potentially opposing mechanisms underlying the zero reduced form effect. We find that jumps in the available ICT have no significant effect on student time spent studying online or offline, or on their productivity. Finally, while faster connections appear to increase student consumption of online content, we find that the elasticity of student demand for online content with respect to its time cost is negative but bounded by -1.
    JEL: D83 I20
    Date: 2015–06
  6. By: Matthew Calver
    Abstract: This report has two major goals. The first goal is to assess progress on the gaps in educational attainment and labour market outcomes between 2001 and 2011 and the consequences of any progress (or lack thereof) for the Canadian economy. The second goal is to produce updated estimates of the benefits of eliminating the educational attainment gap. Utilizing projections of the Aboriginal population in 2031 and data from the 2011 National Household survey, we estimate the effects of closing the educational attainment gap on Aboriginal labour market outcomes and national economic performance. We provide breakdowns of the benefits by province, sex, age, Aboriginal identity, registered Indian status, and residence on- and off-reserve. We project that the direct cumulative economic benefits to Canada of closing the educational attainment gap between 2011 and 2031 could be as large as $261 billion.
    Keywords: Aboriginal Education, Aboriginal, Education, Education Gap, Metis, Inuit, First Nations, Educational Attainment, Labour Force Participation, Labour Market Outcomes, Canada
    JEL: I21 I20 N32 H52 H75 N92
    Date: 2015–05
  7. By: Khan, Jangraiz; Khan Malik, Zilakat; Amin, Suleman
    Abstract: This Paper concentrates on the impact of mobile phones on university students with special reference to University of Peshawar. A sample of 100 students was drawn from different departments of University of Peshawar for this purpose. The study used descriptive and quantitative tools for analysis. The results showed that almost 60% of the students got mobile phones from their parents. 42% of the students keep mobile phones for contacts with friends and society. Out of the sampled students, 6% use mobile phone for information access. Majority of the students (87%) are using mobile phone for the period of more than one year. They feel proud of having costly mobile phones and sometimes, use it as a source of unfair means during examination. They use its dictionary and other informative functions. The parents of female students feel easy with mobile phone to contact their daughters. They think that this new technology has not only improved the academic performance of the students but also improved the quality of education. It is recommended that the university students should try use of mobile phones positively and not waste their time unproductive text messages.
    Keywords: Mobile Phones, University Students, SMS, University of Peshawar, Odds Ratio
    JEL: I0 Z0 Z00
    Date: 2014–12–16
  8. By: Madhuri Shah; Bhumika Mangrola
    Abstract: Quality in Higher Education is one of the burning challenges of sustainable National Development. Now a day each one of us discusses on Quality in Higher Education and also implementing variety of ways to improve the quality in education. However, the quality in education remains a talk on tea party which consequently fails in developing latent and professional competencies. Quality is linked with the teaching learning processes going on in the institutions and for that the quality teachers are required in both the aspects knowledge as well as skills. There are various mechanisms for enhancing skills among teachers but in this paper the researchers have focused on one of the mechanisms that is Feedback mechanism. Feedback mechanism includes collecting feedbacks from students, colleagues and other stake holders to enhance proficiency in teaching skills which leads the professional development of teachers. In this paper researchers have conducted an action research on how feedback from students and colleagues help in continuous professional development of teachers. Key words: Quality, Feedback Mechanism, Continuous Professional Development
    Date: 2015–06
  9. By: Ayca Akarcay-Gurbuz (Galatasaray University and GIAM); Sezgin Polat (Galatasaray University and GIAM)
    Abstract: We estimate the intergenerational transmission of education in Turkey using micro-data from the 1990 and 2000 censuses. We construct a unique historical series of provincial enrollment rates by gender to isolate the environmental effect on parental education using an instrumental variable (IV) approach. The results reveal that the effect of maternal education is not linear and is stronger particularly for daughters. Intergenerational educational inequality decreases over time, with a greater improvement in the case of sons. Village residence and poor labor market conditions are other significant obstacles to girls’ compared to boys’ post-compulsory education.
    Date: 2015–06
  10. By: Philippe De Donder; Francisco Martinez-Mora
    Abstract: We study the political determination of the proportion of students attending university when access to higher education is rationed by admission tests. Parents differ in income and in the ability of their unique child. They vote over the minimum ability level required to attend public universities, which are tuition-free and financed by proportional income taxation. University graduates become high skilled, while the other children attend vocational school and become low skilled. Even though individual preferences are neither single-peaked nor single-crossing, we obtain a unique majority voting equilibrium, which can be either classical (with 50% of the population attending university) or ends-against-the-middle with less than 50% attending university (and parents of low and high ability children favoring a smaller university system). The majority chosen university size is smaller than the Pareto efficient level in an ends-against-the-middle equilibrium. Higher income inequality decreases the majority chosen size of the university. A larger positive correlation between parents’ income and child’s ability leads to a larger university populated by a larger fraction of rich students, in line with the so-called participation gap. Our results are robust to the introduction of private schooling alternatives, financed with fees.
    Keywords: majority voting; ends-against-the-middle; non single-peaked preferences; non single-crossing preferences; higher education participation gap; income ability correlation; size of university
    JEL: D72 I22
    Date: 2015–06
  11. By: Timothy J. Bartik (W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research); Brad J. Hershbein (W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research); Marta Lachowska (W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research)
    Abstract: We estimate the effects on postsecondary education outcomes of the Kalamazoo Promise, a generous place-based college scholarship. We identify Promise effects using difference-in-differences, comparing eligible to ineligible graduates before and after the Promise’s initiation. According to our estimates, the Promise significantly increases college enrollment, college credits attempted, and credential attainment. Stronger effects occur for minorities and women. Predicted lifetime earnings effects of the Promise’s credential gains, compared to the Promise’s scholarship costs, represent an internal rate of return of 11.3 percent. Based on our results, simple and generous scholarships can significantly increase educational attainment and provide net economic benefits.
    Keywords: place-based scholarship, enrollment, college completion, natural experiment, difference-in-differences, education policy
    JEL: I21 I22 I24
    Date: 2015–06
  12. By: Giles Pepler (Sero Consulting); Sara Frank Bristow (Sero Consulting); Paul Bacsich (Sero Consulting); Nick Jeans (Sero Consulting); Riina Vuorikari (JRC-IPTS)
    Abstract: The aim of this study was to make an inventory of the existing cases in formal education (school sector, vocational education and higher education) where a curriculum or syllabus is shared across borders (e.g. state, national, linguistic and cultural). Based on the analysis of the desk research and a case study, further considerations was given to the potential cross border sharing of curricula/syllabi could have for Open Educational Resources, either existing or prospective. The study was conducted in three parts. The first involved scoping and classifying cross-border syllabi/curricula initiatives and their drivers. This was followed by a detailed case study of the US Common Core State Standards Initiative and its impact on OER. These two parts are brought together in this final report and the research findings and they issues they raise are discussed. Finally, the report identifies potential areas for investigation to leverage synergies between cross-border syllabi/curricula and OER in the context of formal education in the EU. The report calls for visionary multi-stakeholder initiatives in the area of cross-border curricula and education that could offer viable collaboration on Open Educational Resources. This could benefit not only single Member States, but also create an outlook that, in the longer term, might form a pillar of the development of a European connected digital single market, for example for boosting digital skills and learning.
    Keywords: Open Educational Resources, cross-border content
    JEL: I20 I21 I28 I29
    Date: 2015–05
  13. By: Steve Bradley; Giuseppe Migali
    Abstract: This paper investigates whether the increase in university tuition fees in 2006 changed student drop out behaviour. Using data on multiple cohorts of first year students who enrolled between 2003-2010, we estimate duration models controlling for unobserved heterogeneity. Our findings suggest that the policy reform reduced the hazard of dropping out by 16 percent, however, there were differences in the impact of the reform in terms of income groups, the type of university attended and the subject studied. The effect of the reform was not just a one off, but persisted for a number of years after 2006. Drop out behaviour in the post-reform period was also affected by the recession in 2008, and there may have been possible changes in the composition of the student population, which makes it difficult to quantify the full effect of the tuition fee increase. Finally, the tuition fee reform had a spillover effect on the drop out behaviour of Scottish students attending Scottish universities, a group exempt from the tuition fee reform.
    Keywords: tuition fee reform, dropouts, duration analysis
    JEL: I20 I22 I28
    Date: 2015
  14. By: Fan, Wen (Nanjing University); Ma, Yuanyuan (Trinity College Dublin); Wang, Liming (University College Dublin)
    Abstract: Using longitudinal data from the China Health and Nutrition Survey, we examine how individual wages change in line with the share of college graduates in a given province. The individual fixed effect model shows that the external returns to education in China appear to be zero. We estimate an instrumental variables fixed effects model where share of college graduates is instrumented by the number of universities with special status and find positive external returns to education of about 10 per cent to 14 per cent. We also find that the returns are affected by individual heterogeneity. While negligible returns are found for urban, women, and high-educated workers, the returns are positive and statistically significant for rural, men, and low-educated workers. This finding provides the motivation for increasing education investment in rural China and targeting it more toward poorly educated workers.
    Keywords: education, public investment, externalities, China
    JEL: J0 J24 O15
    Date: 2015–06
  15. By: Hanushek, Eric A. (Stanford University); Ruhose, Jens (Ifo Institute for Economic Research); Woessmann, Ludger (Ifo Institute for Economic Research)
    Abstract: Although many U.S. state policies presume that human capital is important for state economic development, there is little research linking better education to state incomes. In a complement to international studies of income differences, we investigate the extent to which quality-adjusted measures of human capital can explain within-country income differences. We develop detailed measures of state human capital based on school attainment from census micro data and on cognitive skills from state- and country-of-origin achievement tests. Partitioning current state workforces into state locals, interstate migrants, and immigrants, we adjust achievement scores for selective migration. We use the new human capital measures in development accounting analyses calibrated with standard production parameters. We find that differences in human capital account for 20-35 percent of the current variation in per-capita GDP among states, with roughly even contributions by school attainment and cognitive skills. Similar results emerge from growth accounting analyses.
    Keywords: economic growth, human capital, cognitive skills, schooling, U.S. states
    JEL: I25 O47 J24
    Date: 2015–06
  16. By: Renfu Luo; Grant Miller; Scott Rozelle; Sean Sylvia; Marcos Vera-Hernández
    Abstract: A large literature examines performance pay for managers in the private sector, but little is known about performance pay for managers in public sector bureaucracies. In this paper, we study performance incentives rewarding school administrators for reducing anemia among their students. Randomly assigning 170 schools to three performance incentive levels and two orthogonal sizes of unconditional grants, we analyze performance pay and its complementarity with discretionary resources. We find that both large incentives and larger unconditional grants reduced anemia substantially, but incentives were more cost-effective. Performance incentives led administrators to innovate by working with parents, mitigating potentially offsetting compensatory behavior among households. Strikingly, we also find that larger unconditional grants completely crowded-out the effect of incentives. Our findings suggest that performance incentives can be effective in bureaucratic environments – but also that discretionary resources can fully crowd-out their effect.
    JEL: C93 H40 I12 M52 O15
    Date: 2015–06

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