nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2017‒03‒19
twenty-two papers chosen by
João Carlos Correia Leitão
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. School Lunch Quality and Academic Performance By Michael L. Anderson; Justin Gallagher; Elizabeth Ramirez Ritchie
  2. Linking education to employment:how to establish a successful and uninterrupted connection By Abdel-Rahman, Alaa
  3. Education Politics, Schooling Choice and Public School Quality: The Impact of Income Polarisation By Majda Benzidia; Michel Lubrano; Paolo Melindi-Ghidi
  4. Teacher Gender, Student Gender, and Primary School Achievement: Evidence from Ten Francophone African Countries By Lee, Jieun; Rhee, Dong-eun; Rudolf, Robert
  5. Returns to Education: An Updated Comparison from Arab Countries By Reham Rizk
  6. An Analysis of Education Expenditures in Turkey by Income Groups By Elif Öznur Acar; Seyit Mümin Cilasun; Burak Günalp
  7. Long Term Impacts of Class Size in Compulsory School By Leuven, Edwin; Løkken, Sturla Andreas
  8. The private schooling phenomenon in India: A review By Geeta G. Kingdon
  9. Returns to Schooling in Egypt By Ragui Assaad; Abdurrahman Aydemir; Meltem Dayioglu; Guray Kirdar
  10. Educational Initiatives and Mobilization for Primary Schools in São Paulo, 1830-1889 By Renato P. Colistete
  11. Does teacher turnover affect young people's academic achievement? By Steve Gibbons; Vincenzo Scrutinio; Shqiponja Telhaj
  12. Women at Work in Latin America and the Caribbean By Natalija Novta; Joyce Wong
  13. A Classical Model of Education, Growth and Distribution By Amitava Krishna Dutt; Roberto Veneziani
  14. Where's the Teacher? How Teacher Workplace Segregation Impedes Teacher Allocation in India By Fagernäs, Sonja; Pelkonen, Panu
  15. Access to the Labor Market and the Impact of Passage Through an Introductory Traineeship in Professional Life (SIVP1): the Example of the Graduates of Higher Education in Tunisia From 2004 to 2008 By Imen Mouaddeb; Mohamed Kriaa
  16. Out of Pocket Education Expenditure and Household Budget: Evidence from Arab Countries By Reham Rizk; Hala Abou-Ali
  17. Earnings over the Life Course: General versus Vocational Education By Golsteyn, Bart H.H.; Stenberg, Anders
  18. Demonstrated Interest: Signaling Behavior in College Admissions By James A. Dearden; Suhui Li; Chad D. Meyerhoefer; Muzhe Yang
  19. Intelligence and the Ease of Doing Business: Does Intellectual Class Facilitate Leadership and Entrepreneurship? By Burhan, Nik Ahmad Sufian; Che Razak, Razli; Salleh, Fauzilah; Labastida Tovar, María Elena
  20. Status Concerns and the Schooling Decision By Schottke, Alessa Kristin; Siemering, Christian
  21. Does Universal Preschool Hit the Target? Program Access and Preschool Impacts By Cascio, Elizabeth U.
  22. How Going to School Affects the Family By Rasmus Landersø; Helena Skyt Nielsen; Marianne Simonsen

  1. By: Michael L. Anderson; Justin Gallagher; Elizabeth Ramirez Ritchie
    Abstract: Improving the nutritional content of public school meals is a topic of intense policy interest. A main motivation is the health of school children, and, in particular, the rising childhood obesity rate. Medical and nutrition literature has long argued that a healthy diet can have a second important impact: improved cognitive function. In this paper, we test whether offering healthier lunches affects student achievement as measured by test scores. Our sample includes all California (CA) public schools over a five-year period. We estimate difference-in-difference style regressions using variation that takes advantage of frequent lunch vendor contract turnover. Students at schools that contract with a healthy school lunch vendor score higher on CA state achievement tests, with larger test score increases for students who are eligible for reduced price or free school lunches. We do not find any evidence that healthier school lunches lead to a decrease in obesity rates.
    JEL: I12 I20
    Date: 2017–03
  2. By: Abdel-Rahman, Alaa
    Abstract: Youth unemployment has been and always will be an important item on the government's agenda. With youth unemployment rates reaching as high as 27 percent in 2016, twice as high as the overall unemployment rate, the future of the country is in danger. With today's generation having a great thirst for education and knowledge, a lack of skills and proper education leave them short of being qualified as employable workers to both domestic and international labour markets. Skill shortages, mismatch between supply and demand of labour as well as a lack of necessary skills to find a suitable job are but some of the barriers to employment, leaving a big segment of Egypt's population (almost 25 percent) struggling to raise their living standards. Policies should focus on tackling how education and training systems prepare younger generations to enter the labour market instead of just creating job opportunities, with schools, government, universities and employers making sure the connection between education and labour is open and uninterrupted.
    Keywords: unemployment, youth, egypt, policies, education, job creation, opportunities, employment
    JEL: A2 E02 E61 I2 I21 I28 J1 J2 J21 J23 J24 J28
    Date: 2016–12
  3. By: Majda Benzidia (Aix-Marseille University (Aix-Marseille School of Economics), CNRS, EHESS); Michel Lubrano (Aix-Marseille University (Aix-Marseille School of Economics), CNRS, & EHESS); Paolo Melindi-Ghidi (Aix-Marseille University (Aix-Marseille School of Economics), CNRS, & EHESS)
    Abstract: Do communities with the same level of inequality but a different level of income polarisation perform differently in terms of public schooling? To answer this question, we extend the theoretical model of schooling choice and voting developed by de la Croix and Doepke (2009), introducing a more general income distribution characterised by a three-member mixture instead of a single uniform distribution. We show that not only income inequality, but also income polarisation, matters in explaining disparities in public education quality across communities. Public schooling is an important issue for the middle class, which is more inclined to pay higher taxes in return for better public schools. Contrastingly, poorer households may be less concerned about public education, while rich parents are more willing to opt-out of the public system, sending their children to private schools. Using micro-data covering 724 school districts of California and introducing a new measure of income polarisation, we find that school quality in low-income districts depends mainly on income polarisation, while in richer districts it depends mainly on income inequality.
    Keywords: schooling choice, income polarisation, probabilistic voting, education politics, Bayesian inference
    JEL: I24 D31 D72 H52 C11
    Date: 2016–11
  4. By: Lee, Jieun; Rhee, Dong-eun; Rudolf, Robert
    Abstract: Using an exceptionally rich dataset comprising over 1,800 primary schools and nearly 40,000 students from ten francophone Sub-Saharan African countries, this study analyzes the relationship between teacher gender, student gender, and student achievement in mathematics and reading. Findings indicate that being taught by a female teacher increases academic achievements and that both performance and subject appreciation rise when taught by a same-gender teacher. Traditional academic gender stereotypes are prevalent among both male and female teachers. Our findings suggest that hiring more female teachers in Western and Central Africa can reduce educational gender gaps without hurting boys.
    Keywords: Gender; Educational quality; Female education; Sub-Saharan Africa; Same-gender teacher; PASEC.
    JEL: I21 I26 J16 O55
    Date: 2017–02–14
  5. By: Reham Rizk (British University in Egypt (BUE))
    Abstract: The paper provides a comparative study of private rate of return to education in Tunisia, Palestine, Sudan and Egypt using similar specifications, methodology and surveys. The paper employ 2010/2011 round of the Harmonized Household Income Expenditure Surveys of three Arab countries, namely, Egypt, Tunisia and Palestine. In addition, the 2009 round of Sudan is used. The paper attempts to estimate the rate of return to schooling in four Arab countries to learn more about the pattern of rewards to different levels of schooling and how individuals use these benefits to invest in education. Moreover, the paper attempts to link the structure of returns to education to labor market institutions. The findings of the paper confirm less consistency in the structure of returns in Arab countries and this is due to difference in education quality and supply and demand of graduates which has a significant influence on returns to schooling. The findings support that returns to education increases with years of schooling in Egypt due to rigid labor market, as more attention is given to credentials on behalf of skills. The rate of return on tertiary education is higher compared to basic education in all countries in standard Mincerian model. Returns to education are higher for females than males for all countries except for Sudan and Tunisia on tertiary level after accounting for jobs and regional disparity.
    Date: 2016–04
  6. By: Elif Öznur Acar (Cankaya University); Seyit Mümin Cilasun; Burak Günalp
    Abstract: Using Turkish Household Budget Surveys from 2003, 2007 and 2012, this paper investigates the determinants of household education expenditures within an Engel curve framework. In particular, we estimate Tobit regressions of real educational expenditures by income groups using a number of household characteristics (i.e. rural residence, employment status, age, educational attainment of the household head, household size, share of female students and primary school students in the household, and total number of students in the household) to examine if and to what extent the determinants of educational expenditures differ by income groups; income elasticities of educational spending evolves over time; and children from middle-class and poor families can benefit enough from educational opportunities. The estimated expenditure elasticities have lower values for the top- and the bottom-income quartiles while they have larger values for the middle-income quartiles. The results also show that for all income groups the expenditure elasticity of education increases over time, indicating that Turkish households allocates greater share of their budgets to education expenditures
    Date: 2016–04
  7. By: Leuven, Edwin (University of Oslo); Løkken, Sturla Andreas (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: How does class size in compulsory school affect peoples' long run education and earnings? We use maximum class size rules and Norwegian administrative registries allowing us to observe outcomes up to age 48. We do not find any indication of beneficial effects of class size reduction in compulsory school. For a 1 person reduction in class size we can rule out effects on income as small as 0.087 percent in primary school and 0.12 percent in middle school. Population differences in parental background, school size or competitive pressure do not appear to reconcile our findings with previous studies.
    Keywords: class size, schooling, earnings, regression discontinuity
    JEL: I21 I28 J24 C30
    Date: 2017–02
  8. By: Geeta G. Kingdon
    Abstract: This paper examines the size, growth, salaries, per-pupil-costs, pupil achievement levels and cost-effectiveness of private schools, and compares these with the government school sector. Official data show a steep growth of private schooling and a corresponding rapid shrinkage in the size of the government school sector in India, suggesting parental abandonment of government schools. Data show that a very large majority of private schools in most states are ‘low-fee’ when judged in relation to: state per capita income, per-pupil expenditure in the government schools, and the officially-stipulated rural minimum wage rate for daily-wage-labour. This suggests that affordability is an important factor behind the migration towards and growth of private schools. The main reason for the very low fee levels in private schools is their lower teacher salaries, which the data show to be a small fraction of the salaries paid in government schools; this is possible because private schools pay the market-clearing wage, which is depressed by a large supply of unemployed graduates in the country, whereas government schools pay bureaucratically determined minimum-wages. Private schools’ substantially lower per-student-cost combined with their students’ modestly higher learning achievement levels, means that they are significantly more cost-effective than government schools. The paper shows how education policies relating to private schools are harmful when formulated without seeking the evidence.
    Keywords: Private schooling; learning achievement; value for money; India
    Date: 2017
  9. By: Ragui Assaad (University of Minnesota); Abdurrahman Aydemir; Meltem Dayioglu; Guray Kirdar
    Abstract: This paper estimates the returns to schooling in Egypt using a policy reform that reduced primary school from 6 to 5 years. As a result of this reform, which was implemented in 1988, compulsory schooling declined from 9 to 8 years. The results indicate that the reform led to a substantial decline in completed years of schooling among the affected cohorts. We exploit this policy change to estimate the causal impact of schooling on wages and find that among men ages 20 to 45 the return of schooling is between 2.0 to 5.7 percent. These estimated returns are much lower than the wage returns estimated in other developing countries with the exception of Turkey where returns to schooling are found to be similarly low.
    Date: 2016–05
  10. By: Renato P. Colistete
    Abstract: One of the most common explanations for the historical deficiencies of public primary education in Brazil has been the alleged indifference of families that lacked the resources to send their children to private schools. This article addresses this issue in a period, comprising most of the Empire, when the conditions for access to primary schools were especially unfavorable. Poverty, isolation, illiteracy, political centralization and bureaucracy inhibited local initiatives and created few incentives, if any, for families to get involved in primary schools. The article shows, however, that parents and residents organized themselves across the province of São Paulo and submitted petitions to their local representatives and the provincial assembly requiring the installation of schools, since the first decades of the Empire. Town councils and, in the 1880s, education councils strengthened local demand for primary education. Under particularly adverse conditions, the evidence of mobilization for public schools gains a special significance and raises doubts about the views that, in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, rejected the viability of local self-government due to the alleged inability of the “people” to intervene in the public sphere consistently.
    Keywords: Primary education; municipalities; São Paulo
    JEL: N36 H75 I24
    Date: 2017–03–06
  11. By: Steve Gibbons; Vincenzo Scrutinio; Shqiponja Telhaj
    Abstract: Do educational results suffer in schools where there is a high turnover among the teaching staff? Shqiponja Telhaj and colleagues explore this question by analysing data from all state secondary schools in England.
    Keywords: teacher turnover, student performance
    Date: 2017–03
  12. By: Natalija Novta; Joyce Wong
    Abstract: Women across the world remain an underutilized resource in the labor force. Participation in the labor force averages around 80 percent for men but only 50 percent for women – nearly half of women’s productive potential remains untapped compared to one-fifth for men. Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), as a region, saw the largest gains in female labor force participation (LFP) in the world during the last two decades. Women in LAC are becoming increasingly active in paid work, closing the gap with men and catching up to their counterparts in advanced economies at an impressive rate. In this paper, we document the recent trends in female LFP and female education in the LAC region, discuss the size of potential gains to GDP from increasing female LFP and policies which could be deployed towards this goal.
    Keywords: Labor force participation;Latin America;Caribbean;Women;Labor productivity;Education;Economics of gender, Women’s labor supply, Public policy affecting female LFP
    Date: 2017–02–14
  13. By: Amitava Krishna Dutt (University of Notre Dame, and FLACSO); Roberto Veneziani (Queen Mary University of London)
    Abstract: We develop a classical macroeconomic model to examine the growth and distributional consequences of education. Contrary to the received wisdom, we show that human capital accumulation is not necessarily growth-inducing and inequality-reducing. Expansive education policies may foster growth and reduce earning inequalities between workers, but only by transferring income from workers to capitalists. Further, the overall effect of an increase in education depends on the actual characteristics of the educational system and on the nature of labor market relations. We argue that the model can shed light on some recent stylized facts on growth, distribution and education for the US.
    Keywords: Education, Growth, Distribution
    JEL: O41 I24 E25
    Date: 2017–01
  14. By: Fagernäs, Sonja (University of Sussex); Pelkonen, Panu (University of Sussex)
    Abstract: Social or ethnic segregation can impede the equitable allocation of public resources in developing countries. We study an under-explored dimension; the allocation of public sector teachers in India. Using a register database for 2006-12, we construct indicators for the equality of teacher allocation and workplace segregation of teachers by gender and caste within districts. While pupil-teacher ratios have improved, the equality of teacher allocation has not. We show that allocation and segregation are connected; in districts with a higher degree of initial teacher segregation, a lower share of schools met pupil-teacher norms imposed by the Right to Education Act (2009).
    Keywords: teachers, public service delivery, segregation, caste, India, right to education
    JEL: H75 I24 J45 M54
    Date: 2017–02
  15. By: Imen Mouaddeb (Institut Supérieur de Gestion de Tunis); Mohamed Kriaa
    Abstract: In this article, we propose to study the determinants of access to first employment of graduates of higher education in Tunisia. It also focuses on the assessment of the impact of passage through the introductory traineeship in professional life (SIVP1)one of the instruments of public policy support employment addressed to the graduates on the quality of employment obtained and in particular the salary of the first employment of young graduates . The study of the determinants and the wages differential of beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries of SIVP1 have allowed focusing on the effect of this policy on improving the paths of graduates and the quality of their occupational integration. Finally, the comparison of the estimated of both functions of gains of both groups of employees allowed underlining the various determiners of the salary, and raising the positive effect the introductory traineeship in professional life (SIVP1) on conditions for access to the first salary.
    Date: 2016–04
  16. By: Reham Rizk (British University in Cairo); Hala Abou-Ali (Cairo University)
    Abstract: The paper attempts to present a comparative study for patterns of household expenditure on education using different groups of population. The paper based its empirics on cross sectional evidence from four countries employing Harmonized Household Income and expenditure surveys. The datasets used are 2010/2011 round of the HHIES of Egypt, Jordan and Palestine and 2009 round for Sudan. The paper aims to examine the determinants of family spending on education on one hand and the magnitude of household spending on schooling using different population groups. The paper finds a degree of consistency in the patterns of spending on education across countries. We find that households in lower social strata are found to spend more on educating their children’s at all educational level with exception in Egypt, where wealthier household are found to spend more on children’s education. Moreover, Parental education and household income have a great influence on the magnitude of household spending on education. Household living in center provinces are more likely to spend more on children’s schooling except Sudan. With respect to demographic burden, households with children at primary schooling children are likely to spend less on education, while households with children at secondary and tertiary level of schooling are willing to spend more on education with except in Egypt at tertiary level. Egypt is the only country where free education policy is extended to university students. Despite, all Arab governments are adopting free education policy at elementary level, households still spend considerable amount of their household income on acquiring education, which is expected to be funded by government. Coefficients of elasticity’s show that both Sudan and Palestine considered spending on education is a necessity component in the household budget, while in Egypt, households at top income quintiles had the largest spending on education and Jordan is estimated to have unitary elasticity.
    Date: 2016–05
  17. By: Golsteyn, Bart H.H. (Maastricht University); Stenberg, Anders (SOFI, Stockholm University)
    Abstract: Two common hypotheses regarding the relative benefits of vocational versus general education are (1) that vocational skills enhance relative short-term earnings and (2) that general skills enhance relative long-term earnings. Empirical evidence for these hypotheses has remained limited. Based on Swedish registry data of individuals in short (2-year) upper secondary school programs, this study provides a first exploration of individuals' earnings across nearly complete careers. The descriptive earnings patterns indicate support for both hypotheses (1) and (2). The support holds when controlling for GPA and family fixed effects and also when taking into account enrolment in further education and fertility decisions.
    Keywords: human capital, vocational education, life cycle, tracking
    JEL: J24 J64 J31 I20
    Date: 2017–02
  18. By: James A. Dearden; Suhui Li; Chad D. Meyerhoefer; Muzhe Yang
    Abstract: In college admission decisions, important and possibly competing goals include increasing the quality of the freshman class and making the school more selective while attaining the targeted size of the incoming class.
    Keywords: college admission
    JEL: I
  19. By: Burhan, Nik Ahmad Sufian; Che Razak, Razli; Salleh, Fauzilah; Labastida Tovar, María Elena
    Abstract: Does the intelligence quotient (IQ) in a nation regulate the ease of doing business in the society? Based on the normal distribution of IQ scores within a nation, the population was classified into three groups, specifically intellectual class, average ability, and non-intellectual class, which were represented by the 95th, 50th, and the 5th percentiles of IQ level respectively. Using a robust regression method with Huber’s weight function, the impact of each IQ class on the ease of doing business (EDB) index was examined. The sub-indicators of the ten business regulatory environment across 71 countries were studied. In this study, the effect of IQ was controlled for the levels of economic freedom, GDP per capita, freedom of corruption, and tertiary education. Results revealed strong evidence that the IQ of the intellectual class had contributed most to the enhancement of the regulatory environment, which is supportive for entrepreneurship. This result was consistent with the term ‘creative minority’ coined by the prominent historian Arnold Toynbee. It was concluded that the IQ of the people from the intellectual class is the most significant factor for creating a business regulatory environment that favours and eases the new and experienced entrepreneurs. This occurs through their competent and virtuous leadership that enhances the quality and efficiency of institutions across countries.
    Keywords: doing business; entrepreneurship; intelligence; intellectual class; leadership; non-intellectual class; robust regression
    JEL: J24 L26 O11 Z13
    Date: 2017–02
  20. By: Schottke, Alessa Kristin; Siemering, Christian
    Abstract: We investigate the influence of status concerns on educational attainment and the labor market. Status is considered as the relative position in society, positively differentiated by comparison with others. We find that the perception of higher social status coming along with higher education may increase the demand for educational credentials. In turn, we can observe a positive effect on labor supply of higher educated people, affecting their wage rate in a negative way. Moreover, the wage for less educated people increases after the introduction of social status due to the low employment rate.
    JEL: J31 Z13 D03
    Date: 2016
  21. By: Cascio, Elizabeth U. (Dartmouth College)
    Abstract: Despite substantial interest in preschool as a means of narrowing the achievement gap, little is known about how particular program attributes might influence the achievement gains of disadvantaged preschoolers. This paper uses survey data on a recent cohort to explore the mediating influence of one key program attribute – whether disadvantage itself is a criterion for preschool admission. Taking advantage of age-eligibility rules to construct an instrument for attendance, I find that universal state-funded prekindergarten (pre-K) programs generate substantial positive effects on the reading scores of low-income 4 year olds. State pre-K programs targeted toward disadvantaged children do not. Differences in other pre- K program requirements and population demographics cannot explain the larger positive impacts of universal programs. The alternatives to universal and targeted state pre-K programs also do not significantly differ. Together, these findings suggest that universal preschools offer a relatively high-quality learning experience for low-income children not reflected in typical quality metrics.
    Keywords: early education, preschool, targeted, universal, access, quality
    JEL: H75 I24 I28 J13 J24
    Date: 2017–02
  22. By: Rasmus Landersø (Rockwool Foundation Research Unit, Denmark); Helena Skyt Nielsen (Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University, Denmark); Marianne Simonsen (Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University, Denmark)
    Abstract: This paper investigates intra-family spillovers from the timing of school start on outcomes for the entire family. We document how the timing of a child’s school start affects the timing of all subsequent transitions between tiers in the educational system. Exploiting quasi-random variation in school starting age induced by date of birth, we find that the timing of transitions affect parental outcomes - including marriage and maternal employment - and older siblings’ academic performance. Our results indicate that families redistribute resources across the entire family in response to a single family member’s experiences as for example school start and graduation.
    Keywords: marital capital, marital dissolution, educational transition, regression discontinuity, spillover effects
    JEL: I21 J12
    Date: 2017–02–22

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