nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2016‒06‒14
twenty-two papers chosen by
João Carlos Correia Leitão
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. The Value of Private Schools: Evidence from Pakistan By Carneiro, Pedro; Das, Jishnu; Reis, Hugo
  2. Recruiting and Supporting Low-Income, High-Achieving Students at Flagship Universities By Rodney J. Andrews; Scott A. Imberman; Michael F. Lovenheim
  3. The Effect of Nutrition and Physical Education on Student Achievement: Evidence from Traverse City Area Public Schools By Taylor, Gerard; Weatherspoon, Dave; Scott, Marci; Jones, Sarah
  4. Family Disadvantage and the Gender Gap in Behavioral and Educational Outcomes By David Autor; David Figlio; Krzysztof Karbownik; Jeffrey Roth; Melanie Wasserman
  5. Does the Provision of Information on their Skills Affect Students' Enrollment Choices? By Hestermann, Nina; Pistolesi, Nicolas
  6. Human Capital, Inequality and Growth By Torben M Andersen, Department of Economics and Business Economics Aarhus University, CEPR, CESifo and IZA
  7. The Impact of Emergency Food Aid on Children's Schooling and Work Decisions By Broussard, Nzinga; Poppe, Robert; Tekleselassie, Tsegay
  8. The impact of governance and institutions on education and poverty alleviation: a panel study of SAARC economies By Siddique, Hafiz Muhammad Abubakar; Shehzadi, Iram; Shaheen, Asma; Manzoor, 4Muhammad Rizwan
  9. Integrated Information and Communication Technology Strategies for Competitive Higher Education in Asia and the Pacific By Asian Development Bank (ADB); Asian Development Bank (ADB); Asian Development Bank (ADB); Asian Development Bank (ADB)
  10. What Shakespeare Says About Sending Our Children Off to College By Jeffrey R. Wilson
  11. Decomposing the Gender Wealth Gap in Ecuador By Anglade, Boaz; Useche, Pilar; Deere, Carmen D.
  12. Skills Requirements for the 30 Most-Frequently Advertised Occupations in the United States: An analysis based on online vacancy data By Beblavý, Miroslav; Fabo, Brian; Lenaerts, Karolien
  13. Who Wins? Evaluating the Impact of UK Public Sector Pension Scheme Reforms By Danzer, Alexander M.; Dolton, Peter; Rosazza Bondibene, Chiara
  14. Time Preference, Nutrition Education, and the Body Mass Index By Yang, Yanliang; Davis, George C.; Han, Dae Hee
  15. Student loans, fertility, and economic growth By Miyazaki, Koichi
  16. Inequalities in Adolescent Health and Life Satisfaction: Evidence from the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children study By Yekaterina Chzhen; Zlata Bruckauf; Kwok Ng; Daria Pavlova; Torbjorn Torsheim; Margarida Gaspar de Matos; UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre
  17. Sociocultural Background and Choice of STEM Majors at University By Grossmann, Volker; Osikominu, Aderonke; Osterfeld, Marius
  19. Including excluded groups: The slow racial transformation of the South African university system By Barnard, Helena; Cowan, Robin; Kirman, Alan; Müller, Moritz
  20. The Mixture as Before? Student Responses to the Changing Content of School Meals in India By Afridi, Farzana; Barooah, Bidisha; Somanathan, Rohini
  21. Open Educational Resources Enhancing: Education Provision and Practice By Asian Development Bank (ADB); Asian Development Bank (ADB); Asian Development Bank (ADB); Asian Development Bank (ADB)

  1. By: Carneiro, Pedro (University College London); Das, Jishnu (World Bank); Reis, Hugo (Banco de Portugal)
    Abstract: Using unique data from Pakistan we estimate a model of demand for differentiated products in 112 rural education markets with significant choice among public and private schools. Our model accounts for the endogeneity of school fees and the characteristics of students attending the school. As expected, central determinants of school choice are the distance to school, school fees, and the characteristics of peers. Families are willing to pay on average between 75% and 115% of the average annual private school fee for a 500 meter reduction in distance. In contrast, price elasticities are low: -0.5 for girls and -0.2 for boys. Both distance and price elasticities are consistent with other estimates in the literature, but at odds with a belief among policy makers that school fees deter enrollment and participation in private schooling. Using the estimates from the demand model we show that the existence of a low fee private school market is of great value for households in our sample, reaching about 25% to 100% of monthly per capita income for those choosing private schools. A voucher policy that reduces the fees of private schools to $0 (from an average annual fee of $13) increases private school enrollment by 7.5 percentage points for girls and 4.2 percentage points for boys. Our demand estimates and policy simulations, which account for key challenges specific to the schooling market, help situate ongoing debate around private schools within a larger framework of consumer choice and welfare.
    Keywords: education, school choice, Pakistan, characteristics model
    JEL: I20 I21
    Date: 2016–05
  2. By: Rodney J. Andrews; Scott A. Imberman; Michael F. Lovenheim
    Abstract: We study two interventions in Texas that were designed to overcome multiple hurdles faced by low-income, high-ability college students. The Longhorn Opportunity Scholars (LOS) and Century Scholars (CS) programs recruited at specified low-income high schools, provided additional financial aid, and enhanced support services once enrolled in college if students attended University of Texas - Austin or Texas A&M - College Station, respectively. These flagship institutions are widely regarded as the top public universities in Texas. Using administrative data that links K-12, postsecondary, and earnings records for Texas public college students, we find via difference-in-differences estimates that the LOS program had a large, positive effect on high-achievers: attendance at UT-Austin increased by 2.2 percentage points (81%), and the likelihood of graduating from UT-Austin increased by 1.7 percentage points (87%). Twelve or more years post-high school, earnings of those exposed to LOS rose by 4.0%. These results entirely come from women, who saw enrollment at UT-Austin increase by 4.0 percentage points, graduation from UT-Austin increase by 2.6 percentage points and earnings increase by 6.1%. We find no evidence that the CS program affected any postsecondary or labor market outcomes. These results indicate that targeted recruitment combined with adequate supports and financial aid can substantially increase enrollment of low-income students in higher quality colleges and improve labor market outcomes. However, the differences in the LOS and CS program effects highlight the importance of understanding how to design these programs to maximize their impact on students.
    JEL: H75 I23 J24
    Date: 2016–05
  3. By: Taylor, Gerard; Weatherspoon, Dave; Scott, Marci; Jones, Sarah
    Abstract: The Physical Education and Nutrition Education Working Together (PE-Nut) program was evaluated to determine the impact nutrition and physical education has on students’ academic performance. Administrative data was collected from 8 Traverse City Michigan Area Public Schools (TCAPS), four schools that administered PE-Nut (treatment) and four schools that did not administer PE-Nut (control). Regression analysis was utilized to identify the treatment effect of PE-Nut on students’ academic performance. Overweight and obese students that participated in PE-Nut were 12% and 9% more likely to be proficient in reading. For math and writing, overweight and obese students that participated in PE-Nut were 22% and 13% more likely to be proficient at math, and 14% and 13% more likely to be proficient in writing. Implications from these results are nutrition and physical education programs can have a positive spillover effect on students’ academic performance.
    Keywords: Nutrition, Obesity, USDA, Agricultural and Food Policy, Health Economics and Policy, I12, Q18,
    Date: 2016
  4. By: David Autor; David Figlio; Krzysztof Karbownik; Jeffrey Roth; Melanie Wasserman
    Abstract: Using birth certificates matched to schooling records for Florida children born 1992 - 2002, we assess whether family disadvantage disproportionately impedes the pre-market development of boys. We find that, relative to their sisters, boys born to disadvantaged families have higher rates of disciplinary problems, lower achievement scores, and fewer high-school completions. Evidence supports that this is a causal effect of the post-natal environment; family disadvantage is unrelated to the gender gap in neonatal health. We conclude that the gender gap among black children is larger than among white children in substantial part because black children are raised in more disadvantaged families.
    JEL: I24 J12 J13 J16
    Date: 2016–05
  5. By: Hestermann, Nina; Pistolesi, Nicolas
    Abstract: This study assesses the impact of a French educational policy reform aimed at improving the match between students and their chosen field of study at university. As part of this reform, upon applying for entry to an undergraduate degree course, students are informed about their likelhood of succeeding given their observed skills. To examine the effect of the feedback they receive on students' choices, we compare students applying to different departments within the same university, some implementing the policy, providing candidates with feedback, whereas others do not. We find among those receiving a negative feedback that the proportion of students who decide to register for the degree course in question is reduced by about 7 percentage points but marginally significant at 10 percent level. Effects are heterogeneous according to students' origin and the type of high school they attended.
    Keywords: Access to Higher Education, Study Counseling.
    JEL: H52 I23 I28
    Date: 2016–05
  6. By: Torben M Andersen, Department of Economics and Business Economics Aarhus University, CEPR, CESifo and IZA
    Abstract: Income inequality is increasing in most countries at the same time as traditional redistribution policies are under pressure, not least due to strained public finances. What are the underlying causes, and what is the scope to turn the trend? This is discussed from the perspective of the link between inequality and growth running via education and human capital formation. It is argued that imperfections arising from both capital market imperfections and social barriers imply that inequality may be a barrier to education, which in turn makes inequality persistent and reduces growth. In discussing redistribution it is thus important to distinguish between the traditional passive means of redistribution via taxes and transfers to repair on the distribution of market incomes, and active means which affect the distribution of market incomes. The latter may both lead to more income equality and efficiency improvements reflected in higher incomes or income growth. Policy options to improve educational outcomes and their distribution are discussed.
    JEL: I24 E02
    Date: 2015–09
  7. By: Broussard, Nzinga; Poppe, Robert; Tekleselassie, Tsegay
    Abstract: In this paper, we empirically test the effect that food aid had on children's educational attainment and work decisions following the 2002 drought. Difference-in-differences and inverse-propensity score weighting regression results suggest that participation in Ethiopia's food-for-work program following the 2002 drought decreased the number of years of schooling for younger children and increased the likelihood that older children were not enrolled in school because of work responsibilities. Participation in Ethiopia's free distribution program following the 2002 drought increased the number of years of schooling for younger boys. This paper contributes to our understanding of determinants of schooling decisions and child labor. It provides valuable lessons on how unconditional transfers can impact schooling decisions and child labor.
    Keywords: Safety Net, Child Labor, Schooling, Inverse Propensity Score Weighting, Agricultural and Food Policy, Food Security and Poverty, International Development, Labor and Human Capital, O15, I25, I38,
    Date: 2016
  8. By: Siddique, Hafiz Muhammad Abubakar; Shehzadi, Iram; Shaheen, Asma; Manzoor, 4Muhammad Rizwan
    Abstract: The present study examines the impacts of governance and institutions on education and poverty alleviation in South Asia. Poverty, illiteracy and poor quality education are the major problems of developing world. As depraved education and poverty are the main problems of developing nations. Good governance provides a platform for inquiring the long menu of institutional changes and proper initiatives which are currently considered as essential for development. Institutions affect both poverty and education directly and indirectly through number of channels which in turn affect government policies for making decisions regarding poverty reduction and quality education. However, poor governance and weak institutional structure also remained the pressing issue of developing economies. This study endeavors to identify the relationship between these two areas and try to dig out the impacts of governance and institutions on education and poverty in the south Asian economies through econometric techniques.
    Keywords: governance, institutions, poverty, education.
    JEL: I2
    Date: 2016
  9. By: Asian Development Bank (ADB); Asian Development Bank (ADB) (Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department, ADB); Asian Development Bank (ADB) (Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department, ADB); Asian Development Bank (ADB)
    Abstract: Early adoption of information and communication technology (ICT) can allow developing countries in Asia and the Pacific to move from labor-intensive, natural resources-based to knowledge-based economies. Higher education institutions must adopt an institution-wide, holistic ICT strategy, not a project-based approach, to avoid redundancies, obsolescence, and large maintenance costs. A coordinated top-down plus bottom-up intervention is best, with three areas requiring attention: infrastructure, application software, and staff development. ICT investments in higher education institutions in support of teaching, research, and community engagement are essential for developing and retaining competitive advantage in the knowledge economy.
    Keywords: education, information resources, electronic information resource, open educational resources, oer, free educational resources, education, open educational resources, jouko sarvi, hitendra pillay
    Date: 2015–12
  10. By: Jeffrey R. Wilson
    Abstract: Four hundred years after his death, the Bard of Avon provides advice to students embarking on the journey through college.
  11. By: Anglade, Boaz; Useche, Pilar; Deere, Carmen D.
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the extent of the gender wealth gap in Ecuador as well as its sources. Among unpartnered heads of household, we find a significant wealth gap favoring men across the distribution, particularly at the lower tail. Among partnered heads, throughout the distribution, the gap is less pronounced. Regression decomposition analyses show that differences in returns to investment in education, as well as differences in age, educational attainment, receipt of inheritance, and ownership of formal savings accounts for an important portion of the gender wealth gap at the median and upper quantiles among unpartnered heads. The notable gender wealth gap among the poorest sole heads is largely explained by gender differences in the returns to characteristics, mainly women’s lower returns for residing in the highlands as opposed to the coastal region, and their lower returns to parenthood. As for partnered heads, the gap across the distribution is mainly driven by gender differences in age, educational attainment, receipt of inheritance, and ownership of formal savings accounts.
    Keywords: Consumer/Household Economics, International Development, Research Methods/ Statistical Methods, O54, D13, D31, I31,
    Date: 2016
  12. By: Beblavý, Miroslav; Fabo, Brian; Lenaerts, Karolien
    Abstract: Using a sample of approximately 2 million job advertisements published online, this paper assesses which educational, skills and other requirements US employers demand the most. The analysis is focused on the 30 most-frequently advertised occupations in the United States, of different levels of complexity, and finds that employers are quite demanding in their job advertisements, even when these concern low- or medium-skilled occupations. Although vacancies for more complex occupations are generally more demanding than those for less complex ones, there is a lot of variation across the 30 occupations. Formal education is the most important criterion for employers in the United States; it is required in 67% of the vacancies examined. Specialised training and licenses, in contrast, appear to be less important. Of the cognitive and non-cognitive skills, service skills in particular are high in demand (called for in 49% of the vacancies). Other non-cognitive skills, both of a social and personal nature, are frequently included as well. Experience is the third key criterion that employers use to screen job applicants, appearing in 38% of the vacancies.
    Date: 2016–03
  13. By: Danzer, Alexander M. (Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt); Dolton, Peter (University of Sussex); Rosazza Bondibene, Chiara (National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR))
    Abstract: Radical changes have been implemented to pension schemes across the UK public sector from April 2015. This paper simulates how these changes will affect the lifetime pension and how the negotiated pension changes compare across six public sector schemes by level of education. Specifically, we simulate the occupation specific Defined Benefit (DB) pension wealth accumulated for a representative employee over the lifecycle by factoring in the recent changes to pension conditions. We find that less educated workers with low or moderate earnings in the NHS, Local Government and Civil Service schemes are the winners having secured an increase in the value of their pension of between 10-20%. Graduate workers with faster wage growth in the Civil Service, Teachers and Local Government schemes loose between 3% and 5%. This is in sharp contrast with the Police and Fire forces who have lost around 40% irrespective of their education.
    Keywords: pension reforms, public sector, defined benefit
    JEL: J32 H55 J45
    Date: 2016–05
  14. By: Yang, Yanliang; Davis, George C.; Han, Dae Hee
    Keywords: Time Preference, Nutrition Education, BMI, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Health Economics and Policy, Institutional and Behavioral Economics,
    Date: 2016
  15. By: Miyazaki, Koichi
    Abstract: The cost of attaining higher education is growing in some developed countries. More young people borrow larger amounts than before to finance their higher education. Several media reports indicate that student loans might affect young people's decision making regarding important life events such as marriage, childbirth, purchasing a house, and so on. Specifically, this paper focuses on how the burden of student loans affects young people's decision making with regard to the number of children to have, and studies the fertility rate, gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate, and growth rate of GDP per capita using a three-period overlapping generations model. A young agent needs to borrow to accumulate his/her human capital, although for some reason, s/he faces the borrowing constraint. In the next period, the agent repays his/her debt as well as determines the number of children to have. Under this setting, this paper analyzes how the tightness of the borrowing constraints affects the growth rates of the population, GDP, and GDP per capita. The paper finds that when rearing children is time-consuming, the population growth rate decreases as the borrowing constraints are relaxed. Moreover, the paper shows a case in which the GDP growth rate decreases as the borrowing constraints are relaxed, whereas the growth rate of GDP per capita still increases. In addition, I show that if the cost of rearing children is mainly monetary, then the population growth rate is not necessarily decreasing as the borrowing constraints are relaxed. The paper also calibrates the model using U.S. data.
    Keywords: Student loans, human capital accumulation, fertility, growth rate of GDP, growth rate of GDP per capita, overlapping generations model
    JEL: E44 I25 J13 J24
    Date: 2016–05–24
  16. By: Yekaterina Chzhen; Zlata Bruckauf; Kwok Ng; Daria Pavlova; Torbjorn Torsheim; Margarida Gaspar de Matos; UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre
    Abstract: International studies of inequalities in adolescent health tend to focus on the socio-economic gradient in average outcomes rather than their dispersion within countries. Although understanding the extent to which differences in health are related to socio-economic disadvantage is important, focusing exclusively on socio-economic status risks neglecting differences in the distribution of health outcomes within and between countries. To fill this research gap, this study analyses variation in the extent of inequality in the lower half of the distribution in five indicators of adolescent health and well-being – health symptoms, physical activity, healthy eating, unhealthy eating, and life satisfaction – across EU and/or OECD countries that took part in the latest cycle of the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children study.
    Keywords: adolescent health; household surveys; inequality; physical development;
    Date: 2016
  17. By: Grossmann, Volker; Osikominu, Aderonke; Osterfeld, Marius
    Abstract: This paper examines the role of the sociocultural background of students for choosing STEM majors at university. We combine survey data on university graduates in Switzerland with municipality level information from the census, referenda and elections. We characterize a student's home environment with respect to political attitudes and religious background. Our empirical estimates are based on a generalized Roy model for the choice of study field. Identification exploits individual differences in the cost of studying a STEM field. Students from conservative backgrounds are more likely to study a STEM field, with a stronger response of men compared with women.
    Keywords: Choice of field of study; Generalized Roy model; Sociocultural environment; STEM fields
    JEL: I20
    Date: 2016–04
  18. By: Hakan Ergin (Bogazici University)
    Abstract: Turkey has been going through a difficult exam these days. Since the Syrian crisis started in 2011, she has welcomed the Syrian migrants with her 'open door' policy. Hosting more than two millions of Syrian migrants now, Turkey has been in a continuous effort to show her hospitality to her guests. In this sense, she provided the Syrian migrants in Turkey with the right to higher education at universities in Turkey without an entrance exam and a tuition fee. This policy enabled more than five thousand Syrian migrants to start higher education in Turkey. However, this issue has become a controversial one in Turkey. As getting into a university in Turkey is very competitive among the Turkish citizens, some find this policy unfair. On the other hand, some others support it thinking that this policy is a 'brotherly' one for their neighbors. Revealing the Turkish people's perceptions towards this policy can let us find out whether this 'governmental hospitable policy' is valid in the eye of general public. Within this context, this qualitative study aims to explore the perceptions of the Turkish people towards the Syrian migrants' right to higher education in Turkey. The data of the study were collected from the reviews made by the Turkish citizens for the news about the Syrian migrants' right to higher education in Turkey on online newspapers. These reviews were analyzed by conventional content analysis technique. The findings reveal that the reviewers are in favour of or against this policy for several reasons.
    Keywords: Media, public response, migration, Syria, civil war, right to education.
  19. By: Barnard, Helena (GIBS, University of Pretoria, South Africa); Cowan, Robin (UNU‐MERIT, Maastricht University, BETA, Universite de Strasbourg, France, and CREST and STIAS Stellenbosch University); Kirman, Alan (Aix Marseille University, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales); Müller, Moritz (BETA, Universite de Strasbourg, France)
    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. Affirmative 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 e ects 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 I20
    Date: 2016–05–12
  20. By: Afridi, Farzana (Indian Statistical Institute); Barooah, Bidisha (International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie)); Somanathan, Rohini (Delhi School of Economics)
    Abstract: We study how attendance rates of primary school children respond to cost neutral changes in the design of India's school meal program. Municipal schools in the capital region of Delhi switched from packaged food to on-site cooked meals in 2003, with insignificant changes in the budget available per meal. We use the staggered implementation of this transition and child-level panel data to find that cooked meals resulted in a 3-4 percentage point rise in average monthly attendance with the largest effects observed for early grades. The impact on girls was especially large, but since they attend morning shift schools while boys attend the afternoon shifts, these gender effects may simply reflect benefits from better timed meals. We also find attendance gains concentrated in schools that served diverse menus. Our results suggest that even within constrained budgets, better designed school transfer programs can improve student level outcomes.
    Keywords: school meals, school participation, program design
    JEL: D1 E31 F01
    Date: 2016–05
  21. By: Asian Development Bank (ADB); Asian Development Bank (ADB) (Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department, ADB); Asian Development Bank (ADB) (Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department, ADB); Asian Development Bank (ADB)
    Abstract: Open educational resources made their appearance in early 2002 as a promising tool for enhancing the quality of and access to education and were perceived to have the potential to reduce costs by reusing learning materials. This brief draws on a study that reviewed the uptake of OERs and related activities in six institutions in Hong Kong, China; India; Malaysia; Pakistan; and Thailand.
    Keywords: education, information resources, electronic information resource, open educational resources, OER, free educational resources, education and OER, education and open educational resources
    Date: 2015–11
    Date: 2016

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