nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2016‒06‒04
twenty-two papers chosen by
João Carlos Correia Leitão
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Cross-Generational Differences in Educational Outcomes in the Second Great Wave of Immigration By Umut Özek; David N. Figlio
  2. Parents, Schools and Human Capital Differences across Countries By Marta De Philippis; Federico Rossi
  3. Analysis of Learning Difficulties among Preservice Students towards Science Education By NAHLA KHATIB
  4. Inequality and Education Choice By Tetsuo Ono; Yuki Uchida
  5. Social Promotion in Primary School: Immediate and Cumulated Effects on Attainment By Leighton, Margaret; Souza, Priscila; Straub, Stéphane
  6. Analysis of Agricultural Students in Sub-Saharan Africa Venturing into Self-employed Agribusinesses: Empirical Evidence from the University of Ghana By Ofori, Eric; Osei-Asare, Yaw
  7. Making better use of skills and migration in Poland By Nicola Brandt
  8. "Teaching to Teach" Literacy By Machin, Stephen; McNally, Sandra; Viarengo, Martina
  9. Are low performers missing learning opportunities? By OECD
  10. Learning Path Adaptivity in Support of Flipped Learning: A Knowledge-based Approach By YU-LIANG CHI; Tsang-Yao Chen
  11. Education, HIV Status and Risky Sexual Behavior: How Much Does the Stage of the HIV Epidemic Matter ? By Ioro, Daniela; Santaeulalia-Llopis, Raül
  12. Charter High Schools' Effects on Long-Term Attainment and Earnings (Journal Article) By Tim R. Sass; Ron W. Zimmer; Brian P. Gill; Kevin T. Booker
  13. Mapping public support for further European unification: a multilevel analysis By Kristel Jacquier
  14. Progress and the Lack of Progress in Addressing Infant Health and Infant Health Inequalities in Ireland during the 20th Century By Mark E. McGovern
  15. Mapping public support for futher European unification: a multilevel analysis By Kristel Jacquier
  16. Risk Attitudes in Medical Decisions for Others: An Experimental Approach By Alejandro Arrieta; Ariadna García-Prado; Paula González; Jose Luis Pinto-Prades
  17. Imperfect Substitution between Immigrant and Native Farm Workers in the United States By Wei, Xuan; Guan, Zhengfei; Onel, Gulcan; Roka, Fritz
  18. The Role of Calorie Content, Menu Items, and Health Beliefs on the School Lunch Perceived Health Rating By Pham, Matthew; Roe, Brian
  19. Including excluded groups: The slow racial transformation of the South African university system By Barnard, Helena; Cowan, Robin A.; Kirman, Alan P.; Müller, Moritz
  20. Academic, Demographic and Spatial Factors in the Classroom Affecting Student Performance in Principles of Agricultural Economics Courses By Bergtold, Jason S.; Yeager, Elizabeth A.; Griffin, Terry W.
  22. Academic Ranking Scales in Economics: Prediction and Imputation By Alona Zharova; Andrija Mihoci; Wolfgang Karl Härdle;

  1. By: Umut Özek; David N. Figlio
    Abstract: We make use of a new data source – matched birth records and longitudinal student records in Florida – to study the degree to which student outcomes differ across successive immigrant generations. Specifically, we investigate whether first, second, and third generation Asian and Hispanic immigrants in Florida perform differently on reading and mathematics tests, and whether they are differentially likely to get into serious trouble in school, to be truant from school, to graduate from high school, or to be ready for college upon high school graduation. We find evidence suggesting that early-arriving first generation immigrants perform better than do second generation immigrants, and second generation immigrants perform better than third generation immigrants. Among first generation immigrants, the earlier the arrival, the better the students tend to perform. These patterns of findings hold for both Asian and Hispanic students, and suggest a general pattern of successively reduced achievement – beyond a transitional period for recent immigrants – in the generations following the generation that immigrated to the United States.
    JEL: I20 I24 J15
    Date: 2016–05
  2. By: Marta De Philippis (London School of Economics); Federico Rossi (Bank of Italy; Centre For Economic Policy Research; London School of Economics; Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM))
    Abstract: Results from international standardized tests show large and persistent differences across countries in students’ performances. East Asian countries like China, Korea, Japan and Singapore consistently position themselves at the top of international rankings, while the performance in several Latin American, Middle Eastern and Southern European countries has often been disappointing. This paper investigates the sources of these gaps. Understanding them is important since recent research gives a central role to human capital quality, as measured by standardized tests, for explaining cross-country differences in economic performance. While the debate has mostly focused on cross-country differences in school quality, we argue that culture and parental inputs are important as well. We compare the school performance of second generation immigrants from different nationalities but educated in the same school, and find that those coming from high-scoring countries in the PISA test do better than their peers. The gap is larger among students whose parents have recently immigrated and have little education, suggesting that the importance of country-specific cultural traits declines as parents integrate in their host countries. We also document that parents from high-scoring countries spend more time with their children, who in turn study for more hours than their peers. We use our estimates to decompose how much of the cross-country variation in PISA scores is accounted by different sources. We find that parental inputs explain an important share the outperformance of East Asian countries with respect to other regions, in particular Southern European (at least 40%) and Middle Eastern (at least 38%) countries, while they play a more limited role for Latin American countries and the United States. Our results suggest that importing features of the East Asian schooling system might not be enough to reach similar level of schooling performance. Human capital investment has an important cultural component, which might be hard to affect through policy.
    Date: 2016–05
    Abstract: This study investigated several learning difficulties that affected the classroom learning experience of preservice students who are studying general science and methods of teaching science at Faculty of Educational Studies at the Arab Open University (AOU) in Amman, Jordan .This study was carried to find answers for the following questions:1. What are the main areas of learning difficulties among Preservice Students towards Science Education?2. What are the main aspects of reducing obstacles towards success in Science Education?To achieve this goal the researcher prepared a questionnaire which included 30 items to point out the learning difficulties among preservice students towards science education. The questionnaire was distributed among students enrolled in the general science courses 1&2 and methods of teaching science courses .After collecting the filled questionnaire a descriptive statistical analysis were carried for the items of the questionnaire ,after analyzing the data statistically our findings showed that student controlled factors , factors related to the nature of science, factors related to the role of instructor as well as course controlled factors affected students success toward science education. Suggestions are made on ways to minimize the problems based on understandings of attitudes and motivation as well as the understandings of how learning takes place..The study was concluded with a number of recommendations.Key words:
    Keywords: preservice teachers, nature of science, science Education, Learning Difficulties.
    JEL: Z00
  4. By: Tetsuo Ono (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University); Yuki Uchida (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University)
    Abstract: This study presents a two-class, overlapping-generations model with human cap- ital accumulation and the choice to opt out of public education. The model demon- strates the mutual interaction between inequality and education choice and shows that the interaction leads to two, locally stable steady-state equilibria. The exis- tence of multiple stable equilibria implies a negative correlation between inequality and enrollment in public education, which is consistent with evidence from OECD countries. This study also presents a welfare analysis using data from OECD coun- tries and shows that introducing a compulsory public education system leaves the rst generation worse off, though improves welfare for future generations of the lower-class individuals. The results also suggest that the two equilibria are not Pareto-ranked.
    Keywords: Public education, opting out, inequality
    JEL: D70 H52 I24
    Date: 2016–05
  5. By: Leighton, Margaret; Souza, Priscila; Straub, Stéphane
    Abstract: Does social promotion perpetuate shortfalls in student achievement, or can low-achieving students catch up with their peers when they are pushed ahead? Using data from Brazilian primary schools, this paper presents evidence of substantial catch up among socially promoted students. After documenting sorting across schools in response to the policy, in particular away from gatedpromotion private schools, we show that social promotion cycles has no significant effect on municipality enrolment figures or on the percentage of students.
    Date: 2016–05
  6. By: Ofori, Eric; Osei-Asare, Yaw
    Abstract: Agribusinesses are an essential part of Sub-Saharan African (SSA) economies. Skilled human resource is however required for the creation and sustainable growth of these agribusinesses. This study uses data collected from final year agricultural students of the University of Ghana to analyze the likelihood of agricultural students venturing into self-employed agribusinesses. We also look into the factors that influence this likelihood as well as the forms of agribusinesses that students are likely to venture into. We find that, there is 84 percent probability that an agricultural student would venture into an agribusiness. The probability that an agricultural student would venture into an agribusiness is higher for male students. Also, the probability that a student would venture into an agribusiness is higher for students who perceive agribusinesses to be prestigious and profitable. We find that students are more likely to venture into forms of agribusinesses related to subjects in which they receive the highest levels of training. This study is important for informing educational policy decisions as well as ways to incentivize more agricultural students to venture into sustainable agribusinesses.
    Keywords: Agribusiness, venture, sustainable, policies, likelihood, economy, Agribusiness, Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession,
    Date: 2016
  7. By: Nicola Brandt
    Abstract: To continue catching up with living standards in other OECD countries Poland needs to invest in higher skills. Crucial elements include: i) making sure that all children have access to high-quality early childhood education; ii) strengthening the basic skills of vocational education students and the relevance of their studies through stronger links with firms; and iii) improving the quality of universities by linking university teachers’ pay and career progress with their teaching and research performance. The Polish government has taken action in many of these areas. More needs to be done to put immigrants’ skills to better use. Polish return migrants frequently complain about difficulties in using their skills acquired abroad, while many immigrants of foreign origin work in professions that do not match their qualifications. Ongoing reforms to improve recognition of foreign credentials and new possibilities to validate work experience through formal qualifications will be helpful. Mieux utiliser les compétences et les migrations en Pologne Pour continuer de combler son retard par rapport aux autres pays de l'OCDE en termes de niveau de vie, la Pologne doit investir dans des compétences de plus haut niveau. Les éléments cruciaux d’une telle stratégie incluent : i) garantir à tous les enfants l’accès à un enseignement de qualité dès le plus jeune âge ; ii) améliorer les compétences de base des élèves des filières professionnelles, de même que la pertinence de leur formation en créant des liens plus étroits avec les entreprises ; et iii) garantir un enseignement universitaire de meilleure qualité en liant la rémunération et la carrière des enseignants du supérieur avec leurs performances en matière d’enseignement et de recherche. Le gouvernement polonais a déjà pris des mesures dans ce sens. Il faut faire plus pour mettre pleinement à profit les compétences des immigrés: les émigrés polonais de retour en Pologne se plaignent souvent d’avoir du mal à utiliser leurs compétences acquises à l’étranger, tandis que les immigrés d’origine étrangère occupent fréquemment des emplois qui ne correspondent pas à leurs qualifications. Les réformes en cours pour améliorer la reconnaissance des diplômes étrangers et les nouvelles possibilités de validation des acquis de l’expérience professionnelle devraient se montrer utiles à cet égard.
    Keywords: migration, tertiary education, vocational education, Skill, early childhood education
    JEL: F22 I23 I25 I28
    Date: 2016–06–02
  8. By: Machin, Stephen (University College London); McNally, Sandra (London School of Economics); Viarengo, Martina (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva)
    Abstract: Significant numbers of people have very low levels of literacy in many OECD countries and, because of this, face significant labour market penalties. Despite this, it remains unclear what teaching strategies are most useful for actually rectifying literacy deficiencies. The subject remains hugely controversial amongst educationalists and has seldom been studied by economists. Research evidence from part of Scotland prompted a national change in the policy guidance given to schools in England in the mid-2000s about how children are taught to read. We conceptualise this as a shock to the education production function that affects the technology of teaching. In particular, there was phasing in of intensive support to some schools across Local Authorities: teachers were trained to use a new phonics approach. We use this staggered introduction of intensive support to estimate the effect of the new 'teaching technology' on children's educational attainment. We find there to be effects of the teaching technology ('synthetic phonics') at age 5 and 7. However, by the age of 11, other children have caught up and there are no average effects. There are long-term effects only for those children with a higher initial propensity to struggle with reading.
    Keywords: literacy, phonics
    JEL: I21 I28
    Date: 2016–05
  9. By: OECD
    Abstract: In almost every country and economy that participated in PISA 2012, low performers showed less perseverance than better-performing students. For instance, about 32% of low performers said they give up on solving problems easily compared to only 13% of better-performing students who so reported. Low performers perceive their efforts in after-school learning activities to be unproductive. Despite similar self-reported efforts invested in studying for mathematics quizzes, 81% of top performers in mathematics agreed that they were prepared for mathematics exams compared to only 56% of low performers. Low performers who did mathematics as an extracurricular activity were much more interested in mathematics than those who did not.
    Date: 2016–05–24
  10. By: YU-LIANG CHI (Chung Yuan Christian University); Tsang-Yao Chen (Chung Yuan Christian University)
    Abstract: Flipped learning inverts the two learning spaces of traditional education: the classroom group learning space and the homework individual learning space. In flipped learning, learners are exposed to direct instruction for basic knowledge acquisition before coming to the classroom for active learning with the teacher and peers. In recent years, flipped learning has received vast attention from educational practitioners and researchers. However, this study argues that existing e-learning systems mainly serve for learning management and content delivery purposes and lack support for flipped learning. As an innovative educational approach, flipped learning needs more pedagogical elements such as integrated instructional design and adaptive content delivery to achieve effective direct instruction. This study aims to create a learning adaptivity design to effectively support learning in the flipped individual learning space where the teacher is absent. Since teaching involves various pedagogical and content knowledge sources, we propose a conceptual model of teaching as the function of the knowledge triad of curriculum guidance (G), teaching activity (A), and learning object (O). To realize such conceptualization, ontological problem-solving approach is used for knowledge-based system (KBS) development to integrate the relevant knowledge sources. The knowledge model is created using the Protégé platform to develop the OWL-based domain ontology, task ontology, and the SWRL-based semantic rules to enable inference among the GAO triad for learning adaptivity. The case experiment results show that the KBS prototype is able to adaptively guide student learning in the flipped individual learning space with the knowledge sources considered.
    Keywords: Flipped learning; Individual learning space; Knowledge-based system; Ontological problem-solving
  11. By: Ioro, Daniela; Santaeulalia-Llopis, Raül
    Abstract: We study the relationship between education and HIV status using nationally representative data from 39 Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) in Sub-Saharan Africa. First, we construct an innovative algorithm that systematically defines aggregate stages of the HIV epidemic in a comparable manner across time and across space. Second, we exploit the variation in the aggregate HIV stages in the DHS data, and find that the education gradient in HIV shows a U-shaped (positive-zero-positive) pattern over the course of the epidemic. Further, educational disparities in the number of extramarital partners are largely consistent with the evolution of the education gradient in HIV. We propose a simple theoretical model of risky sex choices that accounts for these stylized facts.
    Keywords: Education, HIV, Risky sex, Epidemiological stages
    JEL: I15 I25
    Date: 2016
  12. By: Tim R. Sass; Ron W. Zimmer; Brian P. Gill; Kevin T. Booker
    Abstract: Since their inception in 1992, the number of charter schools has grown to more than 6,800 nationally, serving nearly three million students.
    Keywords: Charter high school, Long-term attainment, earnings, Education
    JEL: I
  13. By: Kristel Jacquier (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: Using individual-level data from the European Social Survey, a multilevel analysis involving 21 countries was conducted to identify contextual preference formation. We show that individual predictors such as education work differently in different institutional contexts. Contrary to previous finding in the literature we find that the higher the percentage of tertiary education, the smaller the education gap in public support for the EU.
    Keywords: multilevel data,survey research,european integration
    Date: 2016–04
  14. By: Mark E. McGovern
    Abstract: There is a growing literature which documents the importance of early life environment for outcomes across the life cycle. Research, including studies based on Irish data, demonstrates that those who experience better childhood conditions go on to be wealthier and healthier adults. Therefore, inequalities at birth and in childhood shape inequality in wellbeing in later life, and the historical evolution of the mortality and morbidity of children born in Ireland is important for understanding the current status of the Irish population. In this paper, I describe these patterns by reviewing the existing literature on infant health in Ireland over the course of the 20th century. Up to the 1950s, infant mortality in Ireland (both North and South) was substantially higher than in other developed countries, with a large penalty for those born in urban areas. The subsequent reduction in this penalty, and the sustained decline in infant death rates, occurred later than would be expected from the experience in other contexts. Using records from the Rotunda Lying-in Hospital in Dublin, I discuss sources of disparities in stillbirth in the early 1900s. Despite impressive improvements in death rates since that time, a comparison with those born at the end of the century reveals that Irish children continue to be born unequal. Evidence from studies which track people across the life course, for example research on the returns to birthweight, suggests that the economic cost of this early life inequality is substantial.
    Keywords: Infant Mortality; Early Life Conditions; Inequality
    JEL: I10 J10
    Date: 2016–05
  15. By: Kristel Jacquier (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne - Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: Using individual-level data from the European Social Survey, a multilevel analysis involving 21 countries was conducted to identify contextual preference formation. We show that individual predictors such as education work differently in different institutional contexts. Contrary to previous finding in the literature we find that the higher the percentage of tertiary education, the smaller the education gap in public support for the EU
    Keywords: multilevel data; survey research; european integration
    JEL: F02 F55
    Date: 2016–04
  16. By: Alejandro Arrieta (Florida International University); Ariadna García-Prado (Universidad Pública de Navarra); Paula González (Universidad Pablo de Olavide); Jose Luis Pinto-Prades (Universidad de Navarra)
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to investigate how risk attitudes in medical decisions for others vary across health contexts. A lab experiment was designed to elicit the risk attitudes of 257 students by assigning them the role of a physician who must decide between treatments for patients. An interval regression model was used to estimate individual coefficients of relative risk aversion, and an estimation model was used to test for the effect of type of medical decision and experiment design characteristics on elicited risk aversion. We find that: (i) risk preferences for decisions involving life expectancy are different from those involving quality of life, but risk aversion prevails in all types of medical decisions; (ii) students enrolled in health-related degrees show a higher degree of risk aversion; and (iii) real rewards for third parties (patients) make subjects less risk-averse. The results underline the importance of accounting for doctors’ attitudes towards risk in medical decision-making.
    Keywords: physicians, risk aversion, health contexts, laboratory experiment, multiple price list format.
    JEL: I1 C91 D81
    Date: 2016–05
  17. By: Wei, Xuan; Guan, Zhengfei; Onel, Gulcan; Roka, Fritz
    Abstract: The preponderance of employing unauthorized foreign-born immigrant workers in the farm labor force has made immigration policy a major issue for agriculture sector. The focal points of the policy discussions include two sides of the same coin: to what extent farm growers experience labor shortages and to what extent the immigrant farm workers affect the economic opportunities of native farm workers who are mostly less-educated. In this paper we propose a three-layer nested CES framework to model the labor demand in agricultural sector and empirically investigate the substitutability among heterogeneous farm worker groups defined by different age and education levels as well as immigration status. Using wages and employment information aggregated at different education-age-year cells from the National Agricultural Worker Survey (NAWS) data over the period of 1989 and 2012, we find little evidence that inflows of immigrants are associated with significant impact on native farm workers across different age and education groups. Within a specific age-education cell, the point estimate of the elasticity of substitution between immigrant and native farm workers is around 2. Our findings has important policy implication for the need to streamline the H-2A guest worker program which was intended by legislators to decrease the size of unauthorized immigrant workers meanwhile alleviate the potential labor shortage issues.
    Keywords: Elasticity of Substitution, Immigrant, Native, Farm worker, Nested CES structure, Agricultural and Food Policy, Labor and Human Capital, J20, J61, J43, Q18,
    Date: 2016
  18. By: Pham, Matthew; Roe, Brian
    Keywords: Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety,
    Date: 2016
  19. By: Barnard, Helena; Cowan, Robin A.; Kirman, Alan P.; Müller, Moritz
    Abstract: This paper looks at the inclusion of excluded groups, notably the racial transformation of the South African university system. Both demand-side factors - are qualified black people hired as faculty? - and supply-side factors - are there enough qualified black people who can be hired as faculty? | need to be aligned. Prior evidence suggests that demand and supply both have both a psychological and a structural dimension. Affrmative action-type regulations address the structural dimension of demand, but homophily (a "love for the own") can nonetheless limit the hiring of faculty in white-dominated hiring committees. On the supply side, the weak education system limits the structural supply of quality black potential academics. But the limited hiring of black academics and resulting limited role models mean that few black people even consider an academic career. This paper presents a model of hiring (either randomly or on a homophilic basis), calibrated with data from the South African university system from the end of Apartheid. Our evidence suggests that even a relatively small reduction of homophily increases the rate at which the excluded group enters the workforce, and also that the effects of homophily and feedback from previous hires are of a similar magnitude. Nonetheless, the conclusions from the model suggest that the relatively long duration of a research career and slow growth of the national university system will result in a slow process of racial transformation.
    Keywords: universities,racial transformation,South Africa,transformation,higher education access,segregation
    JEL: O15 O30 I2
    Date: 2016
  20. By: Bergtold, Jason S.; Yeager, Elizabeth A.; Griffin, Terry W.
    Abstract: This study examines academic, demographic, and anisotropic spatial factors in the classroom affecting student performance in principles of economics courses at a major Land Grand institution in the Midwest. Factors were identified that impact performance on exams, overall performance in the course, and anisotropic spatial relationships in the classroom were explored to determine if students’ peers and seating choice affect their performance. Results indicated that being female, currently enrolled hours for the semester, haven taken algebra, being an agricultural economics major, class status, seating location, GPA, and homework scores all affected student performance as some point in time during the sample period.
    Keywords: student performance, spatial econometrics, classroom, Agribusiness, Research Methods/ Statistical Methods, Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession,
    Date: 2016
    Date: 2016
  22. By: Alona Zharova; Andrija Mihoci; Wolfgang Karl Härdle;
    Abstract: Publications are a vital element of any scientist’s career. It is not only the number of media outlets but aslo the quality of published research that enters decisions on jobs, salary, tenure, etc. Academic ranking scales in economics and other disciplines are, therefore, widely used in classification, judgment and scientific depth of individual research. These ranking systems are competing, allow for different disciplinary gravity and sometimes give orthogonal results. Here a statistical analysis of the interconnection between Handelsblatt (HB), Research Papers in Economics (RePEc, here RP) and Google Scholar (GS) systems is presented. Quantile regression allows us to successfully predict missing ranking data and to obtain a so-called HB Common Score and to carry out a cross-rankings analysis. Based on the merged ranking data from different data providers, we discuss the ranking systems dependence, analyze the age effect and study the relationship between the research expertise areas and the ranking performance.
    Keywords: scientometrics, ranking, quantile regression, Handelsblatt, RePEc, Google Scholar
    JEL: C14 C53 C81 M10
    Date: 2016–03

This nep-edu issue is ©2016 by João Carlos Correia Leitão. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.