nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2006‒08‒26
27 papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Universita degli Studi di Roma, La Sapienza

  1. Investment-Specific Technical Change and the Dynamics of Skill Accumulation and Wage Inequality By Hui He; Zheng Liu
  2. Mind the Gap? Estimating the Effects of Postponing Higher Education By Holmlund, Bertil; Liu, Qian; Nordström Skans, Oskar
  3. The Long Walk to School: International Education Goals in Historical Perspective By Michael Clemens
  4. Rationalizing the E-Rate: The Effects of Subsidizing IT in Education By Michael R. Ward
  5. Dynamic Links between the Economy and Human Development By Gustav Ranis; Frances Stewart
  6. Schooling Externalities, Technology and Productivity: Theory and Evidence from U.S. States By Giovanni Peri
  7. Wages and the Education and Employment Choices of Young People: Empirical Analysis for Great Britain By Rice, Patricia
  8. Do Introduction Programs Affect the Probability of Immigrants getting Work? By Svantesson, Elisabeth; Aranki, Ted N.
  9. Optimal Taxation of Entrepreneurial Capital with Private Information By Stefania Albanesi
  10. Structures for Learning in New Zealand By Bruce Sheerin
  11. Ireland’s Refurbished St. John’s Central College By Sarah Mulrooney
  12. Joinedupdesignforschools in the United Kingdom By OECD
  13. An Urban Renewal School Project in Italy By Giorgio Ponti
  14. Building Schools for the Future in the United Kingdom By Mukund Patel
  15. Creating 21st Century Learning Environments By Phan Pit Li; John Locke; Prakash Nair; Andrew Bunting
  16. Cohort Crowding: How Resources Affect Collegiate Attainment By John Bound; Sarah Turner
  17. Planning, Designing and Managing Higher Education Institutions By William A. Daigneau; Mark S. Valenti; Sylvana Ricciarini; Stephen O. Bender; Nicole Alleyne; Michael Di Grappa; Josep M. Duart; Francisco Lupiáñez; Miguel Angel Ehrenzweig Sanchez
  18. Post Occupancy Evaluation in Scotland By Chris Watson; Keith Thomson
  19. School Facility Projects in Latin America By Jeffrey J. Berk; Rita de Cassia Alves Vaz; João Honorio; Jadille Baza; Ricardo Torres Origel; Fredys Gomez
  20. The Netherlands' Firebird School: Clusters for A Flexible Learning Environment By Susan Stuebing
  21. Italy's Intelligent Educational Training Station By Giorgio Ponti
  22. Towards a New Consensus for Addressing the Global Challenge of the Lack of Education By Lant Pritchett
  23. Evaluating Quality in Educational Facilities By Allen Abend; Sheila Walbe Ornstein; Emmanuel Baltas; Jaime de la Garza; Chris Watson; José Freire da Silva; Kurt Lange; Hannah von Ahlefeld
  24. School Property Funding in New Zealand By OECD
  25. ICT and Educational Property Management By Gilbert Desmarais
  26. Progress on Evaluating School Buildings in Scotland By Keith Thomson
  27. An Asset Management System for School Buildings in Quebec By Dino Gerbasi

  1. By: Hui He; Zheng Liu
    Abstract: Wage inequality between education groups in the United States has increased substantially since the early 1980s. The relative quantity of college-educated workers has also increased dramatically in the postwar period. This paper presents a unified framework where the dynamics of both skill accumulation and wage inequality arise as an equilibrium outcome driven by measured investment-specific technological change. Working through capital-skill complementarity and endogenous skill accumulation, the model is able to account for much of the observed changes in the relative quantity of skilled workers. The model also does well in replicating the observed rise in wage inequality since the early 1980s. Based on the calibrated model, we examine the quantitative effects of some hypothetical tax-policy reforms on skill formation, inequality, and welfare.
    Date: 2006–08
  2. By: Holmlund, Bertil (Department of Economics); Liu, Qian (Department of Economics); Nordström Skans, Oskar (Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation (IFAU))
    Abstract: This paper estimates the effects on earnings of “gap years” between high school and university enrollment. The effect is estimated by means of standard earnings functions augmented to account for gap years and a rich set of control variables using administrative Swedish data. We find that postponement of higher education is associated with a persistent and non-trivial earnings penalty. The main source of the persistent penalty appears to be the loss of work experience after studies. The reduction of lifetime earnings associated with two years postponement of higher education amounts to 40-50 percent of annual earnings at age 40.
    Keywords: timing of education; schooling interruptions; returns to work experience
    JEL: I23 J24 J31
    Date: 2006–08–15
  3. By: Michael Clemens
    Abstract: Raising school enrollment, like economic development in general, takes a long time. This is partly because, as a mountain of empirical evidence now shows, economic conditions and slowly- changing parental education levels determine children’s school enrollment to a greater degree than education policy interventions. A succession of international meetings has nevertheless adopted a litany of utopian international goals for universal school enrollment and gender parity in education based on the idea that a correct education policy backed by sufficient cash could achieve the goals in short order. The latest of these, the Millennium Development Goals, call for universal primary schooling and full gender parity by 2015. This work quantifies how long it has taken countries rich and poor to make the transition towards high enrollments and gender parity. There are three central lessons. First, there is a remarkable uniformity of experience in the rates of enrollment increases, a reality from which the various rounds of goals appear entirely detached. Second, many countries that have not raised enrollments fast enough to meet the goals have in fact raised enrollments extraordinarily rapidly by historical standards and deserve celebration rather than condemnation. The very few poor countries that have raised enrollment figures at the rates envisioned by the goals have done so in many cases by accepting dramatic declines in schooling quality, failing large numbers of students, or other practices that cast doubt on the sustainability or exportability of their techniques. Third, aid-supported education policies can help within limits, and their performance should be judged in the context of country-specific, historically-grounded goals. But a country’s broader development strategy outside the classroom matters much more than education policy. Length: 78 pages
    Keywords: school enrollment, parental education levels, Millennium Development Goals
    JEL: O15 I32 I21 I28
  4. By: Michael R. Ward (University of Texas at Arlington)
    Abstract: Starting in 1998, the E-Rate program has provided $2.25 billion to subsidize Internet access in schools and libraries serving low income populations in the US. I analyze the effect of E-Rate subsidies on educational outcomes for Texas high schools over the 1994-2003 time period. Consistent with previous economic analyses, I find few, if any, improvements in student achievements. I do find evidence that experienced teachers are reallocated within districts toward schools receiving E-Rate grants. I also find evidence that the pool of college entrance exam takers is affected by E-Rate grants such that relying on average scores could lead to incorrect conclusions.
    Keywords: Education, Internet, Subsidy
    JEL: J22 L86 I22 H20
    Date: 2005–10
  5. By: Gustav Ranis; Frances Stewart
    Abstract: This paper empirically confirms the significance of various links in each of two chains over time: from economic growth (EG) to human development (HD), including EG itself, income distribution, the social expenditure ratio and female education; from HD to EG, including HD itself, along with the investment ratio. Our most important conclusion concerns sequencing over time. EG, which is an important input into HD improvement, is itself not sustainable without such improvement, either prior or simultaneous. Therefore, traditional policy advice, which argues that HD improvements must wait until EG expansion makes it affordable, is likely to be in error.
    Keywords: human development, economic growth, comparative country studies
    JEL: O11 O15 O50
    Date: 2005–11
  6. By: Giovanni Peri
    Abstract: The recent literature on externalities of schooling in the U.S. is rather mixed: positive external effects of average education are hardly found at all, while often positive externalities from the share of college graduates are identified. This paper proposes a simple model to explain this fact and tests it using U.S. states data. The key idea is that advanced technologies, associated with high total factor productivity and high returns to skills, are complementary to highly educated workers, as opposed to traditional technologies, complementary to less educated. Our calibrated model predicts that workers with twelve years of schooling (high school graduates) are indifferent between traditional and advanced technologies, while more educated workers adopt the advanced technologies and benefit from the larger private and social returns associated to them. Only shifts in education above high school graduation are therefore associated with positive social returns stemming from more efficient technologies. The empirical analysis, using compulsory attendance laws, immigration of highly educated workers and the location of land-grant colleges as instruments confirm that an increase in the share of college graduates, but not an increase in the share of high school graduates, had large positive production externalities in U.S. States.
    JEL: J24 J31 O41 R11
    Date: 2006–08
  7. By: Rice, Patricia
    Abstract: This paper examines the responsiveness of the education and employment choices of young people in Great Britain to the level of wages currently available to them in the labour market. Our results show that among young males in particular, the probability of continued participation in full-time education declines significantly as the expected wage increases. The effects for young women are smaller and not statistically significant in general. In addition, we find that the probability of being inactive – not in education, employment or training – increases also with the level of expected wage, particularly in the case of young males of lower academic ability. In the light of these findings, we assess the impact of the recent introduction of a national minimum wage for 16 and 17 year olds on education and employment decisions of young men in Great Britain Keywords; Education, employment, wages, young people JEL Classification: I21, I28
  8. By: Svantesson, Elisabeth (Department of Business, Economics, Statistics and Informatics); Aranki, Ted N. (Department of Business, Economics, Statistics and Informatics)
    Abstract: Many immigrants who come to Sweden are offered an introduction program. This is supposed to allow the individual to develop the skills he or she needs to be able to enter the Swedish labor market. <p> With a unique Swedish dataset, containing information on introduction activities, we investigate the impact of different introduction activities on the immigrants’ employment probability, in a short-run perspective. Our basic findings are that some activities, such as labor market practice, have a positive effect, while other activities do not seem to have any impact or even negative effect on the individuals’ probabilities of getting a job.
    Keywords: Immigrants; labor market; introduction programs
    JEL: F22 J15
    Date: 2006–08–16
  9. By: Stefania Albanesi
    Abstract: This paper studies optimal taxation of entrepreneurial capital and financial assets in economies with private information. Returns to entrepreneurial capital are risky and depend on entrepreneurs' hidden effort. It is shown that the idiosyncratic risk in capital returns implies that the intertemporal wedge on entrepreneurial capital that characterizes constrained-efficient allocations can be positive or negative. The properties of optimal marginal taxes on entrepreneurial capital depend on the sign of this wedge. If the wedge is positive, the optimal marginal capital tax is decreasing in capital returns, while the opposite is true when the wedge is negative. Optimal marginal taxes on other assets depend on their correlation with idiosyncratic capital returns. The optimal tax system equalizes after tax returns on all assets, thus reducing the variance of after tax returns on capital relative to other assets. If entrepreneurs are allowed to sell shares of their capital to outside investors, returns to externally owned capital are subject to double taxation- at the level of the entrepreneur and at the level of the outside investors. Even if entrepreneurs can purchase private insurance against their idiosyncratic risk, optimal asset taxes are essential to implement the constrained-efficient allocation if entrepreneurial portfolios are private information.
    JEL: D82 E22 E62 G18 H2 H21 H25 H3
    Date: 2006–08
  10. By: Bruce Sheerin
    Abstract: The New Zealand Ministry of Education is undertaking a project to provide information that can assist schools to design quality environments that will improve student learning outcomes. The project started in 2004 with the ministry surveying boards of trustees, principals, teachers and students on what features of property design they believed were important to support students’ learning. As part of this project the ministry is identifying current design standards that need to be followed and publishing examples of best practice in design solutions. The objective of this is to encourage schools to network and learn from each other’s experience.
    Keywords: New Zealand, design
    Date: 2005–10
  11. By: Sarah Mulrooney
    Abstract: St. John’s Central College, the third largest further education institution in Ireland, recently expanded and refurbished its facilities. The resulting site is more open to the community, and the new building spaces are designed in accordance with their social and academic functions.
    Keywords: tertiary, design, renovation, Ireland, vocational and technical training, further education
    Date: 2006–02
  12. By: OECD
    Abstract: Joinedupdesignforschools explores how good design can improve the quality of life in schools by listening to the voices of the clients: pupils. The programme is an initiative in the United Kingdom that joins client teams of pupils with the country’s leading design practices to provide solutions for practical improvements in schools, to highlight the benefits of a close partnership between the design industry and schools, and to develop pupils’ life skills.
    Keywords: United Kingdom, design, evaluation, community
    Date: 2005–02
  13. By: Giorgio Ponti
    Abstract: The restoration of an historic school building in Battipaglia, Italy, will provide new public facilities and is hoped to boost urban renewal. The municipality of Battipaglia, in the province of Salerno, held an architectural competition for renovating the E. De Amicis Primary School and the surrounding area. The winning project, submitted by a group of Italian architects headed by Alfredo Amati, offers four main points of interest.
    Keywords: Italy, renovation
    Date: 2005–10
  14. By: Mukund Patel
    Abstract: State-of-the-art school buildings can improve educational standards and have a positive effect on everyone who uses them. That is why England’s Department for Education and Skills (DfES) launched an ambitious five year strategy to improve educational facilities for all children in the country and create high quality resources for the whole community. The programme, Building Schools for the Future, is backed by a record level of investment in school infrastructure, takes into account changes needed in the educational built environment, and gives special attention to exemplar designs.
    Keywords: United Kingdom, design
    Date: 2005–02
  15. By: Phan Pit Li; John Locke; Prakash Nair; Andrew Bunting
    Abstract: What is involved in creating learning environments for the 21<sup>st</sup> century? How can school facilities serve as tools for teaching and meet the needs of students in the future? What components are required to design effective schools, and how does architecture relate to the purposes of schooling? These are some of the questions addressed at the seminar on “Creating 21<sup>st</sup> Century Learning Environments” organised by the United Kingdom’s Department for Education and Skills and the OECD Programme on Educational Building (PEB). The answers provided by four people with first-hand experience in building schools are summarised here. A development and management professional explains how the school building can serve as a three-dimensional learning tool. A school principal describes how his recently-built public school in New Zealand was designed to meet the learning needs of 21<sup>st</sup> century students. A building planner presents what he considers the essential components for developing effective facilities for tomorrow, supported by his own experience in planning schools. Finally, the director of an architectural firm defines the common purposes of secondary schooling and their relation to design.
    Keywords: environment, Australia, United States, New Zealand, design, planning, management, Singapore
    Date: 2005–06
  16. By: John Bound; Sarah Turner
    Abstract: Analyses of college attainment typically focus on factors affecting enrollment demand, including the financial attractiveness of a college education and the availability of financial aid, while implicitly assuming that resources available per student on the supply side of the market are elastically supplied. The higher education market in the United States is dominated by public and non-profit production, and colleges and universities receive considerable subsidies from state, federal, and private sources. Because consumers pay only a fraction of the cost of production, changes in demand are unlikely to be accommodated fully by colleges and universities without commensurate increases in non-tuition revenue. For this reason, public investment in higher education plays a crucial role in determining the degrees produced and the supply of college-educated workers to the labor market. Using data covering the last half of the twentieth century, we find strong evidence that large cohorts within states have relatively low undergraduate degree attainment, reflecting less than perfect elasticity of supply in the higher education market. That large cohorts receive lower public subsidies per student in higher education explains this result, indicating that resources have large effects on degree production. Our results suggest that reduced resources per student following from rising cohort size and lower state expenditures are likely to have significant negative effects on the supply of college-educated workers entering the labor market.
    JEL: I23 H52
    Date: 2006–08
  17. By: William A. Daigneau; Mark S. Valenti; Sylvana Ricciarini; Stephen O. Bender; Nicole Alleyne; Michael Di Grappa; Josep M. Duart; Francisco Lupiáñez; Miguel Angel Ehrenzweig Sanchez
    Abstract: Developed below is a selection of the ideas and case studies presented at the conference on “Planning, Designing and Managing Higher Education Institutions”, in San José, California (United States): Megatrends and myths which influence facilities management practices. The technology-enabled learning space. Natural hazard risk mitigation. The modernisation of Montreal’s Concordia University. An analysis of decision-making in integrating information and communications technology in Spanish universities. A network of library and information services units created by Mexico’s Veracruz University.
    Keywords: Mexico, Canada, security, technology, tertiary, design, libraries, Quebec, renovation, planning, management
    Date: 2005–10
  18. By: Chris Watson; Keith Thomson
    Abstract: The Scottish Executive, the devolved government for Scotland, is engaging with stakeholders to achieve excellence in the school estate through Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE). Design of the school environment has a direct impact on teaching and learning, activities which can be supported or frustrated by many building elements. Through a collaborative process, evaluating new and existing facilities can benefit all those involved in educational building, from the school users, to the local authority, to designers.
    Keywords: evaluation, community
    Date: 2004–10
  19. By: Jeffrey J. Berk; Rita de Cassia Alves Vaz; João Honorio; Jadille Baza; Ricardo Torres Origel; Fredys Gomez
    Abstract: Many Latin American countries are undertaking projects, in line with practices disseminated by PEB, to share school facilities with the local community, to adapt traditional schools for students with disabilities, and to collaborate with private companies to finance educational buildings. The articles below describe current initiatives in five countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Venezuela.
    Keywords: Mexico, Brazil, Chile, financing, community, architecture, Venezuela, Argentina, disabilities, public-private partnerships
    Date: 2004–10
  20. By: Susan Stuebing
    Abstract: Innovative teaching methods and organisational change make new demands on our future learning environments. The Brink and the Laak Clusters are two related examples of a new type of building for a community in the Netherlands. The Firebird School (<i>Vuurvogel</i>), a primary school for students from ages 4 to 12, is currently housed in the Brink Cluster and will move to the Laak when it opens in 2006. The Firebird School’s needs and the resulting flexible building design are described here along with useful characteristics for creating flexibility in the learning environment.
    Keywords: Netherlands, flexibility, design
    Date: 2005–02
  21. By: Giorgio Ponti
    Abstract: The Intelligent Educational Training Station has been developed in Italy to meet emerging school building needs. The project, for schools from the primary to upper secondary level, proposes flexible architecture for an “intelligent school” network, and was developed by CISEM, the Centre for Educational Innovation and Experimentation of Milan.
    Keywords: Italy, environment, design, energy savings
    Date: 2005–02
  22. By: Lant Pritchett
    Abstract: This paper is part of the Copenhagen Consensus process, which aims to assess and evaluate the opportunities available to address the ten largest challenges facing the world. One of these ten challenges is the “lack of education.” This paper will define “lack of education,” in terms of enrollments, attainments and learning achievement. It provides an analytical framework to evaluate the various options that can be used to address this issue. Education can be described as equipping people with the range of competencies necessary to lead productive, fulfilling lives fully integrated into their societies and communities. Many of the international goals are framed exclusively around enrollment, which is merely a means towards creating competencies and learning achievement. This paper discusses the scope and options for improving people’s competencies, and describes the conditions for effective policy action.
    Keywords: education, Copenhagen Consensus process, enrollment
    JEL: O15 I21 I22
  23. By: Allen Abend; Sheila Walbe Ornstein; Emmanuel Baltas; Jaime de la Garza; Chris Watson; José Freire da Silva; Kurt Lange; Hannah von Ahlefeld
    Abstract: In 2005, the OECD Programme on Educational Building (PEB) organised two international experts’ group meetings to discuss how countries define and evaluate quality in educational facilities. The research and experiences of six experts are presented in this article, in addition to the lessons learned from the experts’ group meetings. The director of a state construction programme describes the standards used to assess the educational adequacy of all public school facilities in the State of Maryland in the United States. A researcher presents a post-occupancy evaluation methodology used in schools in São Paulo, Brazil. Another researcher presents a data collection tool used to develop indicators on educational infrastructure in a number of municipalities in Greece. Two administrators discuss the development of norms to ensure minimum standards of quality and security in educational facilities in Mexico. Two architects present the results of a recent post-occupancy evaluation conducted in a new school in Pendão, Portugal. And an urban planner presents an international project to construct new schools in El Salvador using quality criteria.
    Keywords: Mexico, Greece, Portugal, United States, security, Brazil, standards, evaluation, post-occupancy, norms, El Salvador
    Date: 2006–02
  24. By: OECD
    Abstract: New Zealand’s special funding system allows state schools a greater level of independence in managing their property compared to most other countries. Schools receive a fixed budget as an entitlement from the three “pots” of the educational property funding structure. The government’s unique use of accrual accounting together with a new Five-Year Property Plan agreement gives schools a high degree of certainty of the property funding available, as well as responsibility for deciding how to modernise their own buildings.
    Keywords: New Zealand, financing, maintenance, management
    Date: 2004–10
  25. By: Gilbert Desmarais
    Abstract: An international PEB seminar on “Information and Communications Technology and Educational Property Management” was held in Montreal, Canada, from 31 October to 3 November 2004. The aim of this seminar was to examine how information and communications technology (ICT) can be incorporated into educational property management by investigating three issues: how ICT can make educational spaces more functional and comfortable in a sustainable development perspective, how it can improve the security and protection of facilities and, lastly, how it can optimise their technical and administrative management. The participants had the opportunity to see the theories presented in each field illustrated concretely by visiting innovative institutions in Montreal and its suburbs. A brief summary of these visits is provided below.
    Keywords: Canada, technology, Quebec, management
    Date: 2005–02
  26. By: Keith Thomson
    Abstract: In June 2004, the Scottish Executive published guidance on evaluating completed school building projects, <i>Building Our Future: Scotland’s School Estate</i>, as part of the School Estate Strategy; the guidance included a case study evaluation at an Edinburgh primary school (see <i>PEB Exchange</i>, no. 53, October 2004). The Executive is continuing to support evaluation work on the school estate by recently holding a post-occupancy evaluation (POE) workshop for local authorities and soon publishing a further demonstration case study, this time at secondary level, at Braes High School.
    Keywords: United Kingdom, evaluation, post-occupancy evaluation
    Date: 2006–02
  27. By: Dino Gerbasi
    Abstract: Presented here are the major reasons why an asset management system (AMS) is needed, a brief history of their evolution and a description of the initiative undertaken by Quebec to implement such a system. The appendix contains the recommended basic requirements for an asset management system.
    Keywords: Canada, Quebec, maintenance, management
    Date: 2005–06

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