nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2008‒05‒24
nine papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
University of Siena

  1. International School Test Scores and Economic Growth By Simon Appleton; Paul Atherton; Michael Bleaney
  2. Students' Academic Self Perception By Arnaud Chevalier; Steve Gibbons; Andy Thorpe; Sherria Hoskins
  3. The "Bologna Process" and College Enrolment Decisions By Lorenzo Cappellari
  4. The College Wage Premium, Overeducation, and the Expansion of Higher Education in the UK by and By Ian Walker; Yu Zhu
  5. The Returns to Observable and Unobservable Skills over time: Evidence from a Panel of the Population of Danish Twins By Paul Bingley; Kaare Christensen; Ian Walker
  6. Christian Missionaries and Education in Former Colonies: How Institutions Mattered By Francisco Gallego; Robert Woodberry
  7. ICTs and Family Physicians Human Capital Upgrading.Delightful Chimera or Harsh Reality? By Teresa Dieguez; Aurora A.C.Teixeira
  8. Do Dads matter? Or is it just their money that matters? Unpicking the effects of separation on educational outcomes by and By Ian Walker; Yu Zhu
  9. Non scholae, sed vitae discimus! - The importance of fields of study for the gender wage gap among German university graduates during labor market entry and the first years of their careers By Nils Braakmann

  1. By: Simon Appleton; Paul Atherton; Michael Bleaney
    Abstract: We expand Hanushek and Kimko’s (2000) analysis of the relationship between schooling quality, as measured by scores in international tests, and growth. We take account of another fifteen years of growth and approximately twice as many test score results. We treat the data first as a panel, relating growth only to test scores at earlier dates, and then as a cross-section. In both cases we find the effect of schooling quality on growth to be statistically significant but substantially smaller than that reported by Hanushek and Kimko (2000) and Hanushek and Woessmann (2007).
    Keywords: Growth, human capital, education
  2. By: Arnaud Chevalier (Dept. of Economics, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, TW20 OEX + Geary Institute, University College Dublin); Steve Gibbons (Department of Geography, London School of Economics + Centre for Economics Performance, London School of Economics); Andy Thorpe (Department of Economics, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth); Sherria Hoskins (Department of Psychology, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth)
    Abstract: Participation rates in higher education differ persistently between some groups in society. Using two British datasets we investigate whether this gap is rooted in students’ misperception of their own and other’s ability, thereby increasing the expected costs to studying. Among high school pupils, we find that pupils with a more positive view of their academic abilities are more likely to expect to continue to higher education even after controlling for observable measures of ability and students’ characteristics. University students are also poor at estimating their own test-performance and over-estimate their predicted test score. However, females, white and working class students have less inflated view of themselves. Self-perception has limited impact on the expected probability of success and expected returns amongst these university students.
    Keywords: Test performance, self-assessment, higher education participation, academic selfperception
    JEL: I21 J16 Y80
    Date: 2007–09–24
  3. By: Lorenzo Cappellari (Department of Economics, Università Cattolica di Milano)
    Abstract: We use survey data on cohorts of high school graduates observed before and after the Italian reform of tertiary education implementing the ‘Bologna process’ to estimate the impact of the reform on the decision to go to college. We find that individuals leaving high school after the reform have a probability of going to college that is 10 percent higher compared to individuals making the choice under the old system. We show that this increase is concentrated among individuals with good high-school performance and low parental (educational) background. We interpret this result as an indication of the existence of constraints (pre-reform) -- for good students from less affluent household -- on the optimal schooling decision. For the students who would not have enrolled under the old system we also find a small negative impact of the reform on the likelihood to drop-out from university.
    Keywords: education, policy reform, school drop-out
    Date: 2008–04
  4. By: Ian Walker (University of Warwick and the Institute for Fiscal Studies); Yu Zhu (University of Kent and Centre for the Economics of Education)
    Abstract: This paper provides findings from the UK Labour Force Surveys from 1993 to 2003 on the financial private returns to a degree – the “college premium”. The data covers a decade when the university participation rate doubled – yet we find no significant evidence that the mean return to a degree dropped in response to this large increase in the flow of graduates. However, we do find quite large falls in returns when we compare the cohorts that went to university before and after the recent rapid expansion of HE. The evidence is consistent with the notion that new graduates are a close substitute for recent graduates but poor substitutes for older graduates. There appears to have been a very recent increase in the number of graduates getting “non-graduate” jobs but, conditional on getting a graduate job the returns seem stable. Our results are consistent across almost all degree subjects – the exception being maths and engineering where we find that, especially for women, there is a large increase in the proportion with maths and engineering degrees getting graduate jobs and that, conditional on this, the return is rising.
    Keywords: human capital, higher education, college premium
    JEL: I20 J30
    Date: 2007–06–12
  5. By: Paul Bingley (Department of Economics, Aarhus School of Business, 8000 Aarhus, Denmark); Kaare Christensen (Author-Name: Department of Epidemiology, University of Southern Denmark, 5000 Odense, Denmark); Ian Walker (Department of Economics, University of Warwick, Coventry)
    Abstract: This paper provides estimates of the private financial return to education based on large samples of monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins which we obtain from Danish population registers. Our estimation exploits the fact that our data is a long panel. We show that the rising inequality, which we observe in the raw data, is due to rising returns to observable skills. Indeed, our results suggest that the inequality associated with unobservable skills appears to have fallen since the late 1980’s. The fact that we have both MZs and DZs allows us to separate the rising residual variance into changes in returns to unobservables and changes in the variance in unobservables across successive cohorts. Measurement error has been a concern in the twins literature since the usual methodology is based on within-twin differences. We exploit two instruments that provide additional measures of the within twin schooling difference, differences in when the twins first join the labour force on a full-time basis, which comes from a register that is independent of the education registers; and the strong assortative mating in the data which allows us to use twins spouse’s education as an instrument. We also address a further concern in the literature, that differencing between twins fails to remove individual fixed effects as opposed to family fixed effects resulting in schooling differences being correlated with the residual. This would induce the within twin schooling difference coefficient to be biased. Here we exploit the Danish equivalent of Maimonides’ rule which generates potential variation in education within twin pairs associated with being placed in different classes if they attended a small school in a larger than average cohort. This different experience across twin pairs is shown to generate differences in within twin schooling. Our baseline estimates suggests that correcting for selfselection in schooling, and measurement error, gives returns that are about two fifths higher than OLS for men and about one fifth higher for women.
    Keywords: wage inequality, schooling, twins, education returns, ability bias
    JEL: I20 J31
    Date: 2007–06–12
  6. By: Francisco Gallego (Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.); Robert Woodberry
    Abstract: Using cross-country data for about 70 countries and regional data for about 180 African provinces, we show that competition between Protestant and Catholic missionaries increased schooling in former colonies. Our evidence implies that Protestant missionaries increased schooling in Catholic countries by more than Catholic missionaries, but we cannot reject the hypothesis that the e ect of Protestant and Catholic missionaries on educational outcomes was similar when missionaries of both denominations faced the same legal and institutional treatment. We interpret these results in the context of an economic rationale in which di erent institutions created di erences in competitive pressures faced by Catholic and Protestant missionaries.
    Keywords: Education, Missionaries, Colonialism, Institutions, State Religions
    JEL: I20 N30 N37 N40 O15 O43 Z12
    Date: 2008
  7. By: Teresa Dieguez (MIETE, Faculdade de Engenharia, Universidade do Porto, Portugal); Aurora A.C.Teixeira (INESC Porto, CEMPRE, Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto, Portugal)
    Abstract: In the present paper we provide a quantitative assessment of ICTs role in Family Physicians/General Practitioners (GPs) medical daily practice and scientific performance. It focus on the Portuguese underexplored context, where the Health Sector has been under pressure for wide and profound reforms. These reforms have been extensively relying on ICTs, namely on the Internet. Based on the responses of 342 GPs, we concluded that 94% uses the Internet and 57% agrees that the Internet is essential to their medical daily practice. This is a slightly lower percentage than that observed for other European physicians (62%). GPs tend to use the Internet mainly for professional purposes. On average, they spend 10 hours/week on the Internet for professional purposes. Further data shows that to have or to be enrolled in advanced training fosters the use of the Internet for professional purposes, which in its turn, tends to grant GPs access to more and up-to-date information and knowledge on these matters. A worrisome evidence is that at the workplace, a substantial proportion of GPs (over 70%) do not use the Internet or other related ICTs, namely Telemedicine. Although Electronic Prescription is used by roughly 60% of the respondent GPs, for all other activities – teleconsultation, telediagnosis, and telemonitoring – only a meagre percentage of physicians (10%) claim to use such technologies. Thus, Telemedicine at the workplace is still a chimera. Notwithstanding such dishearten scenario, our data shows that the Internet for the respondent GPs has a critical role on updating and improving their professional knowledge basis. They recognise, however, that the vast majority of GPs lack specific and general training in ICT-related technologies. In fact, half of them agree that they need to attend specific training actions on ICTs. A large percentage of GPs admitted that in the previous year they did not take any professional training targeting ICTs and those who did undertook rather short-term (less than one week) courses: Because of that, such training handicap uncovers that a large part of Portuguese GPs may be unable to reap the benefits of ICTs in their daily medical practice.
    Keywords: GPs; Human Capital; Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs)
    Date: 2008–05
  8. By: Ian Walker (University of Warwick and Institute for Fiscal Studies); Yu Zhu (University of Kent and Centre for the Economics of Education)
    Abstract: The widely held view that separation has adverse effects on children has been the basis of important policy interventions. While a small number of analyses have been concerned with selection into divorce, no studies have attempted to separate out the effects of one parent (mostly the father) leaving, from the effects of that parent's money leaving, on the outcomes for the child. This paper is concerned with early school leaving and educational attainment and their relationship to parental separation, and parental incomes. While we find that parental separation has strong effects on these outcomes this result seems not to be robust to adding additional control variables. In particular, we find that when we include income our results then indicate that father’s departure appears to be unimportant for early school leaving and academic achievement, while income is significant. This suggests that income may have been an important unobservable, that is correlated with separation and the outcome variables, in earlier research. Indeed, this finding also seems to be true in our instrumental variables analysis – although the effect of income is slightly weakened.
    Keywords: parental separation, parental incomes, early school leaving, educational attainment
    JEL: D13 D31 J12 J13 J16 J22
    Date: 2007–06–12
  9. By: Nils Braakmann (Institute of Economics, Leuphana University of Lüneburg)
    Abstract: their first job and five to six years into their careers. We find that women earn about 30% less than men at their first job and about 35% less after five to six years. Results from standard decomposition techniques show that 80% of the earnings gap in the first job can be attributed to differences in endowment of which between 74 and 78% are related to different fields of studies. Adding employer information leads to an explained share of about 90% of the earnings gap with fields of study still accounting for about half of the gap. These also play a dominant role in a model without employer information after five to six years, directly explaining between 26 and 33% of the earnings gap. Adding employer information, however, leads to insignificant results. Together with detailed information on experiences after graduation, these variables account for about 44 to 50% of the earnings gap later in the graduates careers.
    Keywords: Gender wage gap, decomposition, field of study
    JEL: J24 J31 J71
    Date: 2008–05

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