nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2018‒07‒23
eight papers chosen by
Marco Novarese
Università del Piemonte Orientale

  1. Regional inequalities in PISA: the case of Italy and Spain By Ralph Hippe; Maciej Jakubowski; Luisa De Sousa Lobo Borges de Araujo
  2. Influence of the Big Five personality traits on academic motivation among higher education students: Evidence from developing nation By Raza, Syed Ali; Shah, Nida
  3. More Necessary and Less Sufficient: An Age-Period-Cohort Approach to Overeducation in Comparative Perspective By Eyal Bar-Haim; Louis Chauvel; Anne Hartung
  4. Rising tide effect or crowding out - does tertiary education expansion lift the tasks of workers without tertiary degree? By Tobias Schultheiss; Curdin Pfister; Uschi Backes-Gellner
  5. The Impact of Mental Problems on Mortality and How It Is Moderated by Education By Bijwaard, Govert; Myrskylä, Mikko; Tynelius, Per
  6. Education, Intelligence and Diseases in Old Age By Niccodemi, Gianmaria; Bijwaard, Govert
  7. Decision Making Skills in Engineering Education By Sophie Gaultier Le Bris; Siegfried Rouvrais; Thordur Vikingur Fridgeirsson; Luis Tudela Villalonga; Roger Waldeck
  8. Vocational High School Graduate Wage Gap: The Role of Cognitive Skills and Firms By Hartog, Joop; Raposo, Pedro; Reis, Hugo

  1. By: Ralph Hippe (European Commission - JRC); Maciej Jakubowski (University of Warsaw and Evidence Institute); Luisa De Sousa Lobo Borges de Araujo (European Commission - JRC)
    Abstract: This technical brief analyses the regional distribution of skills in Italy and Spain. Educational attainment rates have frequently been used as an indicator of regional educational development in EU Member States (MS). These rates indicate significant regional disparities in education within countries. However, recent evidence shows that the quality of education, as measured by the level of specific skills, is more important than the number of years one spends in school, in particular when considering the relationship between the cognitive (and non-cognitive) skills and economic growth. International large scale assessments (ILSA) of student performance measure these cognitive skills in key areas. OECD’s Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) provides a very useful and important source of information of students' performance in key cognitive skills. When analysing PISA data, researchers and commentators often focus on cross-country comparisons. However, vast within-country differences exist, also in terms of educational attainment and PISA test scores. A focus on country averages alone would hence provide only a partial view of the status of education within countries. However, the possibility of exploring within-country differences with PISA data is limited to only a few countries. In this report we focus on regional inequalities in cognitive skills (as measured by PISA test scores) in Italy and Spain, using regional PISA data from the most recent 2015 wave, and we analyse the factors that are associated with these inequalities. In order to insure full comparability between the two countries we define regions at the level of NUTS1 (macro-region), following Eurostat’s official NUTS 2013 classification. We investigate regional inequalities by using descriptive statistics, by running a range of OLS regression models that allow us to analyse the associations between PISA 2015 science scores and the explanatory variables within regions and finally by using the Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition method to specify the factors that are related to within-country differences. The results show that there are significant regional differences in PISA scores within both MS. There are several factors that are associated with regional differences within Italy and Spain. The factors most consistently positively associated with regional science achievement are teacher-directed teaching and epistemological beliefs, while grade repetition and truancy are significantly negatively related with achievement. Still, there is also a range of other relevant factors varying between and within both MS. The Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition also shows that variables such as the socio-economic background, the students’ expected occupation, learning outside school time, truancy, immigrant status and grade repetition matter for within-country differences. Our results suggest that policy makers should focus on finding solutions to limit truancy and rethink grade repetition to leverage scores in lower performing regions. Moreover, our results with regard to epistemological beliefs and teaching practices challenge thinking about how science should be taught in schools in Italy and Spain. The specific results for each region may allow policy makers to consider more in detail how a region stands in comparison to the rest of the country, and the specific factors that need to be addressed to improve the within-country inequality related to educational achievement.
    Keywords: Regions, Europe, PISA, education, skills, multilevel analysis
    Date: 2018–06
  2. By: Raza, Syed Ali; Shah, Nida
    Abstract: This study examines the association between the personality traits and academic motivation among higher education institution students of Pakistan. The data is collected from the survey-questionnaire using the convenience sampling technique. In total, 350 questionnaires are collected, however, the useful sample id 320. The technique through which the analysis was performed is PLS-SEM. The dependent variable of the study is academic motivation which was measured by using the LASSI scale. The independent variables of the study are personality traits i.e., Conscientiousness, agreeableness, neuroticism, extraversion, and openness which is measured by using NEO-FFI. The result shows that all the personality traits create a significant positive effect on academic motivation except for agreeableness which has an insignificant effect on academic motivation. This study highlights the importance of personality trait in forming academic motivation of the students and also help the educational institutions and teachers to develop strategies accordingly.
    Keywords: Personality traits, Academic motivation, Higher Education Students, Pakistan
    JEL: M19
    Date: 2017
  3. By: Eyal Bar-Haim; Louis Chauvel; Anne Hartung
    Abstract: In many countries, the skilled labor market has lagged behind educational expansion. As a result of increased competition, younger cohorts of the highly educated face decreasing returns to education or overeducation. Surprisingly, decreasing occupational outcomes do not coincide empirically with the economic returns among those with tertiary education. Regarding the process of changes in economic returns to education based on cohort transformations, we expect that the expansion of tertiary education affects specific cohorts, which find themselves facing more labor market competition. As a result, the economic returns to education should decrease over cohorts even though they remain stable and even increase during the same period. To study this process, we model economic returns with a new Age-Period-Cohort-Trended-Lag (APCTLAG) method, which allows comparing the gap in economic returns between tertiary and less than tertiary education over cohorts. Using the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS), we analyze trends over three decades in 12 countries. Our results confirm that educational returns for tertiary education have declined over time, even though the gap between the educated and the less educated has remained similar in most of the countries. For younger cohorts, tertiary education has become more necessary to survive in the competitive labor market, but the actual economic returns to it have decreased - making tertiary education less sufficient than before.
    Date: 2018–04
  4. By: Tobias Schultheiss (University of Zurich); Curdin Pfister (University of Zurich); Uschi Backes-Gellner (University of Zurich)
    Abstract: An extensive literature examines the effects of tertiary education expansion on wages of workers with and without tertiary degree. However, the question how tertiary education expansion affects the tasks of these workers remains unexplored. We examine whether such an expansion crowds out sophisticated tasks such as R&D in jobs of workers without tertiary degree or elevates the content of their tasks via a rising tide effect. In particular, we analyze the effects of the establishment of Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS), a large tertiary education expansion in Switzerland, on R&D tasks of workers with apprenticeship training. Job ads provide us with information about the demand for R&D tasks. To estimate causal effects, we exploit the quasi-natural variation in time and location of the establishment of UAS campuses and perform difference-in-differences estimations. We find that firms demand more R&D tasks of workers with apprenticeship training after a tertiary education expansion. Our results therefore show that instead of crowding out, tertiary education expansion lifts the tasks of workers with apprenticeship training via a rising tide effect.
    Keywords: higher education expansion, labor demand, job advertisements, crowding out
    JEL: I23 J23 M51
    Date: 2018–07
  5. By: Bijwaard, Govert (NIDI - Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute); Myrskylä, Mikko (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research); Tynelius, Per (Karolinska Institutet)
    Abstract: Mental disorders have a large impact on invalidity and mortality. Poor mental health is associated with low education, which is also associated with poor health and higher mortality. The association between mental health and mortality may, therefore, be partly explained by the increased incidence of mental problems of the low educated. An important issue is that mental health problems, education attainment and mortality may all depend on the same observed and unobserved individual factors. We account for both the selective incidence of mental health problems and selective educational attainment by using a correlated multistate model for the mental health (hospitalization) process (both admittance an discharge) and mortality with a re-weighting technique (inverse propensity weighting) based on the probability to attain higher education. We use Swedish Military Conscription Data (1951-1960), linked to the administrative Swedish death and National Hospital Discharge registers. We estimate the effect of mental hospitalization and education on the morality rate and how the effect of mental hospitalization is moderated by education. Our empirical results indicate a strong effect of both mental hospitalization and education on mortality. Mental hospitalization affects mortality due to external causes of death in particular. Only for the low educated improving education moderates the impact of mental hospitalization on mortality. We also found that ignoring confounding would overestimate the impact of mental hospitalization on mortality. Accounting for confounding in mental hospitalization seems to be more important than accounting for selective educational attainment.
    Keywords: mental health, education, mortality, timing-of-events, inverse propensity weighting
    JEL: C41 I14 I24
    Date: 2018–06
  6. By: Niccodemi, Gianmaria (University of Groningen); Bijwaard, Govert (NIDI - Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute)
    Abstract: Several studies have found a positive association between education and health. Confounding factors that a ect both education choices and health, such as (ob- served) parental background and (unobserved) intelligence, may play an important role in shaping this association. In this paper we estimate the impact of education on diseases in old age, accounting for this endogeneity. Our estimates are based on administrative data on men born in 1944–1947, who were examined for military service in the Netherlands between 1961–1965, linked to national death and medication use records. We assume medication use identifies diseases. We estimate a structural model, consisting of (i) an ordered probit model for the educational attainment, (ii) a Gompertz mortality model for survival up to old age, (iii) a probit model for medication use in old age and, (iv) a measurement system using IQ tests to identify latent intelligence. Educational choices, surviving up to old age and medication use all depend on observed individual factors and on latent intelligence. Based on the estimation results, we derive the impact of education on diseases in old age. Our empirical results reveal a strong effect of education on physical diseases, but low or no effect of education on depression and anxiety.
    Keywords: educational inequality, intelligence, medication use, structural equation model
    JEL: I14 I24 C35 C38
    Date: 2018–06
  7. By: Sophie Gaultier Le Bris (Chaire cyberdéfense systèmes navals (Ecole Navale, IMT-Atlantique, THALES, DCNS), LEGO - Laboratoire d'Economie et de Gestion de l'Ouest - UBS - Université de Bretagne Sud - UBO - Université de Brest - Institut Mines-Télécom [Paris] - UBL - Université Bretagne Loire - IMT Atlantique - IMT Atlantique Bretagne-Pays de la Loire); Siegfried Rouvrais (PASS - Process for Adaptative Software Systems - IMT Atlantique - IMT Atlantique Bretagne-Pays de la Loire - IRISA_D4 - LANGAGE ET GÉNIE LOGICIEL - IRISA - Institut de Recherche en Informatique et Systèmes Aléatoires - UR1 - Université de Rennes 1 - UNIV-RENNES - Université de Rennes - INSA Rennes - Institut National des Sciences Appliquées - Rennes - UBS - Université de Bretagne Sud - ENS Rennes - École normale supérieure - Rennes - Inria - Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique - CentraleSupélec - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - IMT Atlantique - IMT Atlantique Bretagne-Pays de la Loire, INFO - Département Informatique - IMT Atlantique - IMT Atlantique Bretagne-Pays de la Loire); Thordur Vikingur Fridgeirsson (School of Science and Engineering (Reykjavik University)); Luis Tudela Villalonga (FUEIB - Fundació Universitat-Empresa de les Illes Balears (Universitat de les Illes Balears)); Roger Waldeck (LUSSI - Département Logique des Usages, Sciences sociales et Sciences de l'Information - IMT Atlantique - IMT Atlantique Bretagne-Pays de la Loire, LEGO - Laboratoire d'Economie et de Gestion de l'Ouest - UBS - Université de Bretagne Sud - UBO - Université de Brest - Institut Mines-Télécom [Paris] - UBL - Université Bretagne Loire - IMT Atlantique - IMT Atlantique Bretagne-Pays de la Loire)
    Abstract: Professional and personal life environments are more than ever Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous (VUCA). Therefore, there is a growing concern about responsibility of decision makers. This system paper focuses on decision making (DM) skills in engineering education along three complementary dimensions: Maths-based, Social-based, and Career-based. The review of existing learning activities prepares a transversal decision skills learning outcomes framework for the iterative development of engineering students, in line with the evolution of graduate engineering profiles and their proficiency levels in VUCA contexts.
    Keywords: Eurace,Enaee,Cti,Active learning,Experiential learning,Career path,Career planning,Career,Proficiency,Graduate, aptitudes,Competences,Competencies,Professional identity,Professionnalisation,VUCA,Volatility,Complexity,Ambiguity removal,Uncertainty,CDIO,CDIO skills &,Skill development,Skills,Skill and knowledge,Learning,Learning style,Teaching,Decision making,Decision-Making Framework,Decision theory,Decision,Engineering,Engineering education
    Date: 2017–09–18
  8. By: Hartog, Joop (University of Amsterdam); Raposo, Pedro (Universidade Catolica Portuguesa, Lisbon); Reis, Hugo (Banco de Portugal)
    Abstract: Comparing cohorts born between 1951 and 1994, we document and interpret changes in the wage differential among graduates from secondary education with a vocational and a general curriculum. The wage gap initially increased and then decreased. We find that these changes cannot be attributed to simple compositional shifts in the economy, but instead relate to important changes in worker allocation to firms that are heterogeneous in wage policies: the demise of assortative matching between workers and firms that worked out favourably for vocational graduates.
    Keywords: returns to education, vocational wage gap
    JEL: J31
    Date: 2018–05

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