nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2020‒04‒06
eleven papers chosen by
Nádia Simões
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

  1. Vietnam's Extraordinary Performance in the PISA Assessment: A Cultural Explanation of an Education Paradox By Asadullah, Niaz; Perera, Liyanage Devangi; Xiao, Saizi
  2. Gender Differences in Wage Expectations By Ana Fernandes; Martin Huber; Giannina Vaccaro
  3. Intergenerational Occupational Mobility in Latin American Economies: An Empirical Approach By Doruk, Ömer Tuğsal; Pastore, Francesco; Yavuz, Hasan Bilgehan
  4. Student segregation across and within schools. The case of the Portuguese public school system By Joao Firmino; Luis C. Nunes; Silvia de Almeida; Susana Batista
  5. Households’ ICT Access and Educational Vulnerability of Children in Ghana By Alhassan A-W Karakara; Evans S. Osabuohien
  6. The economic impact of universities: evidence from across the globe By Valero, Anna; Van Reenen, John
  7. Teacher Content Knowledge in Developing Countries: Evidence from a Math Assessment in El Salvador By Aymo Brunetti; Konstantin Büchel; Martina Jakob; Ben Jann; Christoph Kühnhanss; Daniel Steffen
  8. Gender Bias and Intergenerational Educational Mobility: Theory and Evidence from China and India By Emran, M. Shahe; Jiang, Hanchen; Shilpi, Forhad
  9. Measuring education services using lifetime incomes By Carol Corrado; Mary O'Mahony; Lea Samek
  10. Do Elite Colleges Matter? The Impact of Elite College Attendance on Entrepreneurship Decisions and Career Dynamics By Naijia Guo; Charles Ka Yui Leung
  11. Mothers working during preschool years and child skills. Does income compensate? By Cheti Nicoletti; Kjell Salvanes; Emma Tominey

  1. By: Asadullah, Niaz (University of Malaya); Perera, Liyanage Devangi (Monash University); Xiao, Saizi (University of Malaya)
    Abstract: This paper examines the nature and drivers of Vietnam's paradoxical performance in the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) – consistently high student achievement despite being the poorest of all participating countries and a centralized education system. We first document 'Vietnam advantage' in a wide-range of supply and demand-related indicators such as school participation rate, educational inequality, inputs and expenditure in cross-country regression models. We then estimate an augmented educational production function to show that these supply and demand-side advantages don't explain away Vietnam's positive deviance in PISA when compared to other participating developing and developed countries. We then conduct student-level analysis to examine Vietnam's performance in PISA 2012 in a regional context, vis-a-vis three high-spending but low-performing ASEAN member countries (Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand) and two high performing Asian countries (South Korea and Singapore). Pooled regression estimates show that, holding differences in various indices of socioeconomic background, the gap in average student test scores between Vietnam and South Korea in Reading and Science becomes statistically insignificant. Moreover, once school-specific differences are also accounted for, Vietnamese students do just as well as Singaporean across all subjects — equalizing for existing socioeconomic differences between countries would give Vietnam an even better advantage in the PISA. A similar gain in PISA scores is absent in the case of Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. The paper concludes by offering a cultural explanation for the significant variation in educational performance among high-spending East Asian countries.
    Keywords: ASEAN, Confucian culture, expenditure policy, school quality, Malaysia
    JEL: A20 I21 I28
    Date: 2020–03
  2. By: Ana Fernandes; Martin Huber; Giannina Vaccaro
    Abstract: Using a survey on wage expectations among students at two Swiss institutions of higher education, we examine the wage expectations of our respondents along two main lines. First, we investigate the rationality of wage expectations by comparing average expected wages from our sample with those of similar graduates; we further examine how our respondents revise their expectations when provided information about actual wages. Second, using causal mediation analysis, we test whether the consideration of a rich set of personal and professional controls, namely concerning family formation and children in addition to professional preferences, accounts for the difference in wage expectations across genders. We find that males and females overestimate their wages compared to actual ones, and that males respond in an overconfident manner to information about outside wages. Despite the attenuation of the gender difference in wage expectations brought about by the comprehensive set of controls, gender generally retains a significant direct, unexplained effect on wage expectations.
    Date: 2020–03
  3. By: Doruk, Ömer Tuğsal; Pastore, Francesco (Università della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli); Yavuz, Hasan Bilgehan (Adana Alpaslan Türkeş Science and Technology University)
    Abstract: Identifying the determinants of intergenerational mobility is an important aim in the development literature. In this article, intergenerational transmission is examined for 6 neglected Latin American Economies (Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama and Puerto Rico). We use a multinomial logit model of the determinants of choosing a white-collar job for a child of a father working in farming as compared to a child whose father had a blue- or a white-collar job. Our findings show that, in the studied countries, intergenerational occupation transmission is mainly linked to low skilled jobs. Our analysis confirms the low degree of social mobility typical of Latin America, contributing, in turn, to explain their low growth rate. Our findings help identifying specific target groups – talented young women coming from the agricultural sector – to develop in them soft skills while at primary or low secondary school and work-related skills while at the high secondary school or at the university.
    Keywords: intergenerational occupational mobility, intergenerational mobility, Latin American countries
    JEL: D60 I30 J24 J6 J62
    Date: 2020–03
  4. By: Joao Firmino; Luis C. Nunes; Silvia de Almeida; Susana Batista
    Abstract: We provide the most comprehensive description of student segregation in the Portuguese public school system to date, a system that exhibits interesting institutional features potentially linked with the student segregation issue (e.g. school catchment areas, course tracking, and almost no central regulations regarding class composition). The analysis uses the entire regular student population enrolled in all public schools of continental Portugal (grades 1 to 12, from 2006/07 to 2016/17). Looking at three segregation dimensions – economic, academic, and immigrant – at both between and within-school levels, and using a novel dissimilarity index recently proposed in the literature aimed at better capturing systematic segregation, we find that segregation, on median, is mild, across time, grades, and regions. The most important exception is the case of within-school academic segregation. During upper-secondary schooling, in particular, when students are divided across classes according to own course-tracking decisions, it doubles. Moreover, within-school academic segregation estimates have the largest interquartile ranges, within a given year, grade, or region, pointing to heterogeneity in the way different schools set up classes internally in terms of students’ academic characteristics. Academic and economic segregation are positively associated, at both between and within school levels. The Portuguese segregation insights are also compared to those from other geographies.
    Keywords: Segregation, dissimilarity index, municipalities, schools, classes
    JEL: I24 I38 J15
    Date: 2020
  5. By: Alhassan A-W Karakara (University of Cape Coast, Ghana); Evans S. Osabuohien (CEPDeR, Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria)
    Abstract: Education is said to be a basic human right, and central to unlocking human capabilities. However, Sub-Sahara Africa (SSA) has the highest number of children out of school and learning disadvantages. Most studies on child vulnerability concentrate on disaster, disability and HIV effects on children. Thus, this study investigates the likelihood of a child being educationally disadvantaged or risk school dropout. Ghana Demographic and Health Survey (GDHS) data for 2014 with binary and multinomial logistic regressions are used to determine the likelihood of a child being educationally disadvantaged. The findings reveal disparity in wealth distribution in Ghana. Wealth of family is a determinant of child success in education and urban household children are less likely to be disadvantaged in learning outcomes. Households’ access to ICTs enhances child learning at home and; hence, reduces the risk of a child being educationally disadvantaged. Policy implications and suggestions for further studies are discussed in the paper.
    Keywords: Child educational disadvantage; Ghana; Households; ICTs; Wealth disparity
    JEL: D1 I21
    Date: 2019–01
  6. By: Valero, Anna; Van Reenen, John
    Abstract: We develop a new dataset using UNESCO source materials on the location of nearly 15,000 universities in about 1,500 regions across 78 countries, some dating back to the 11th Century. We estimate fixed effects models at the sub-national level between 1950 and 2010 and find that increases in the number of universities are positively associated with future growth of GDP per capita (and this relationship is robust to controlling for a host of observables, as well as unobserved regional trends). Our estimates imply that a 10% increase in a region's number of universities per capita is associated with 0.4% higher future GDP per capita in that region. Furthermore, there appear to be positive spillover effects from universities to geographically close neighbouring regions. We show that the relationship between GDP per capital and universities is not simply driven by the direct expenditures of the university, its staff and students. Part of the effect of universities on growth is mediated through an increased s
    Keywords: universities; growth; human capital; innovation; ES/M010341/1
    JEL: I23 J24 O10 O31
    Date: 2018–09–14
  7. By: Aymo Brunetti; Konstantin Büchel; Martina Jakob; Ben Jann; Christoph Kühnhanss; Daniel Steffen
    Abstract: Education is one of the key resources in the fight against poverty. While substantial progress has been made in terms of school enrollment, evidence suggests that educational quality is still alarmingly low in many developing countries. Various explanations have been suggested, but one very obvious factor in the educational production function has received surprisingly little attention: the content knowledge of teachers. For this study, we administered an exam-type assessment to a representative sample of 224 primary school teachers in Morazán, El Salvador. The average teacher scored 47% correct answers on 50 questions covering the official math curriculum for second to sixth graders. Overall, our results point to an even more worrying situation than suggested by previous findings based on indirect measures of content-related teacher skills in several African countries.
    Keywords: teacher content knowledge, quality of education, primary education, El Salvador
    JEL: I21 I25 J24 O15
    Date: 2020–03–25
  8. By: Emran, M. Shahe; Jiang, Hanchen; Shilpi, Forhad
    Abstract: We incorporate gender bias against girls in the family, the school and the labor market in a model of intergenerational persistence in schooling where parents self-finance children's education because of credit market imperfections. Parents may underestimate a girl's ability, expect lower returns, and assign lower weights to their welfare (``pure son preference''). The model delivers the widely-used linear conditional expectation function (CEF) under constant returns and separability, but generates an irrelevance theorem: parental bias does not affect relative mobility. With diminishing returns and complementarity, the CEF can be concave or convex, and gender bias affects both relative and absolute mobility. We test these predictions in India and China using data not subject to coresidency bias. The evidence rejects the linear CEF, both in rural and urban India, in favor of a concave relation. The girls face lower mobility irrespective of location in India when born to fathers with low schooling, but the gender gap closes when the fathers are college educated. In China, the CEF is convex for sons in urban areas, but linear in all other cases. The convexity for urban sons supports the complementarity hypothesis of Becker et al. (2018), and leads to gender divergence in relative mobility for the children of highly educated fathers. In urban China, and urban and rural India, the mechanisms are underestimation of ability of girls and unfavorable school environment. There is some evidence of pure son preference in rural India. The girls in rural China do not face bias in financial investment by parents, but they still face lower mobility when born to uneducated parents. Gender barriers in rural schools seem to be the primary mechanism, with no convincing evidence of parental bias.
    Keywords: Gender Bias, Intergenerational Mobility, Education, Becker-Tomes Model, Complementarity, Son Preference, India, China, Coresidency Bias
    JEL: I25 J62 O1
    Date: 2020–03–15
  9. By: Carol Corrado; Mary O'Mahony; Lea Samek
    Abstract: This paper estimates the nominal value of education output by adapting the Jorgenson Fraumeni lifetime income approach, such that enrollments by education type are multiplied by the amount by which lifetime earnings change with additional qualifications, taking account of the impact of experience on earnings. The model is estimated using data for the UK covering the time period 1993 to 2018 under a range of assumptions. Next, the treatment of education services in national accounts is reviewed, and the paper argues that education services could be treated as an intangible asset and the acquisition of schooling knowledge assets included in saving and net investment. Finally, the paper discusses modifications required to adjust for international students who pay for the cost of their tuition.
    Keywords: Education, Intangibles, Human Capital
    JEL: E01 I20 O47
    Date: 2020–01
  10. By: Naijia Guo (Chinese University of Hong Kong); Charles Ka Yui Leung (City University of Hong Kong)
    Abstract: Elite college attendance significantly impact on subsequent entrepreneurship decisions and career dynamics. We find that an elite college degree is positively correlated with entrepreneurship (defined as owning an incorporated business) but not with other forms of self-employment. We develop an overlapping generations model that captures self-selection in education and career choices based on heterogeneous ability and family wealth endowments over the lifecycle. Our estimates show that (1) entrepreneurs and other self-employed individuals require different types of human capital and (2) elite colleges generate considerably more human capital gain than ordinary colleges, particularly for entrepreneurs. Distinguishing between elite and ordinary colleges improves our prediction of entrepreneurship decisions. Our simulation shows that moving elite college graduates to non-elite colleges significantly reduce their likelihood of becoming entrepreneurs, but not other self-employment. Overall, providing subsidies for elite colleges is more efficient than subsidizing their non-elite counterparts in encouraging entrepreneurship, improving intergenerational mobility and welfare.
    Keywords: entrepreneurship, elite college, intergenerational transfer
    JEL: I20 J24
    Date: 2020–03–30
  11. By: Cheti Nicoletti (Department of Economics, University of York & ISER Univeristy of Essex & IZA); Kjell Salvanes (Norwegian School of Economics & CEPR & CESifo & HCEO & IZA); Emma Tominey (Department of Economics and Related Studies, University of York & HCEO & IZA)
    Abstract: Increasing mothers' labour supply in a child's preschool years can cause a reduction in time investments that lead to a negative direct effect on mid-childhood and teenage outcomes. But as mothers' work hours increase, income will rise. We ask whether income can compensate for the negative effect of hours by adopting a novel mediation analysis that exploits exogenous variation in both mothers' hours and family income in pre-school years. As expected we find a negative direct effect of an increase in mother's work hours on child test scores at age 11 and 15. However, income fully compensates for this negative direct effect. This is true for the full sample of children, for boys and girls and for children in households whose mother has a low and high level of education.
    Keywords: Child development, test scores, parental investments
    JEL: I22 I24
    Date: 2020–03

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