nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2007‒02‒24
nine papers chosen by
Jonas Holmstrom
Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration

  1. College Cost and Time to Complete a Degree: Evidence from Tuition Discontinuities By Garibaldi, Pietro; Giavazzi, Francesco; Ichino, Andrea; Rettore, Enrico
  2. Capturing the Evolving Nature of Science, the Development of New Scientific Indicators and the Mapping of Science By Masatsura Igami; Ayaka Saka
  3. Research Cycles By Bramoullé, Yann; Saint-Paul, Gilles
  4. Harnessing Success: Determinants of University Technology Licensing Performance By Belenzon, Sharon; Schankerman, Mark
  5. The changing face of public funding of higher education, with special reference to South Africa By Pierre de Villiers; Gert Steyn
  6. Educational Effects of Widening Access to the Academic Track: A Natural Experiment By Eric Maurin; Sandra McNally
  7. University research and the location of business R&D By Laura Abramovsky; Rupert Harrison; Helen Simpson
  8. Why Are Youth from Lower-income Families Less Likely to Attend University? Evidence from Academic Abilities, Parental Influences, and Financial Constraints By Frenette, Marc
  9. Pourquoi les jeunes provenant de familles à plus faible revenu sont-ils moins susceptibles de fréquenter l'université? Analyse fondée sur les aptitudes aux études, l'influence des parents et les contraintes financières By Frenette, Marc

  1. By: Garibaldi, Pietro; Giavazzi, Francesco; Ichino, Andrea; Rettore, Enrico
    Abstract: For many students throughout the world the time to obtain an academic degree extends beyond the normal completion time while college tuition is typically constant during the years of enrollment. In particular, it does not increase when a student remains in a program beyond the normal completion time. Using a Regression Discontinuity Design on data from Bocconi University in Italy, this paper shows that a tuition increase of 1,000 euro in the last year of studies would reduce the probability of late graduation by 6.1 percentage points with respect to a benchmark average probability of 80%. We conclude suggesting that an upward sloping tuition profile is efficient in situations in which effort is suboptimally supplied, for instance in the presence of public subsidies to education, congestion externalities and/or peer effects.
    Keywords: regression discontinuity; students' performance; tuition
    JEL: C31 I2
    Date: 2007–02
  2. By: Masatsura Igami; Ayaka Saka
    Abstract: There is a long history describing the structure and evolution of science. Recent unprecedented progress in access, use, and analysis of information on scientific publications and patents open innovative ways to study the structure and evolution of science. Especially, a mapping of knowledge has received wide recognition as a new, evolving area of research.<p> The ultimate goal of this study is to contribute to endeavours to understand and track the changing nature of science. In this study, current trends in scientific activities were mapped and their characteristics were examined. Research areas were explored through a co-citation analysis and a map of science was generated to analyse how research areas were related to each other. Methodology which is commonly used in social network analysis was also applied to examine knowledge networks at the institutional level.<p> The analysis clearly shows the multi-disciplinary character of some research, such as ‘Nano materials and devices’, ‘Genomics’, and ‘Environment’. A precursor of the emergence of nano-bioscience is also observed. Measurement of countries’ specialisation clearly indicates an increased share of the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) in some research. The BRICs are currently in a stage of intense catching up and their importance in knowledge networks is likely to become substantial. Social network analysis at the institutional level reveals that the structure of knowledge networks strongly depends on research and each institution probably has its own function in the network. These results show how science is evolving not only across disciplines but also across countries or regions. <P>Mise en évidence du caractère évolutif de la science, élaboration de nouveaux indicateurs scientifiques et typologie de la science <BR>Il existe une longue tradition de description de la structure et de l’évolution de la science. Cependant, les progrès récents sans précédent dans l’accès à l’information sur les publications et brevets scientifiques et dans l’utilisation et l’analyse de cette information ouvrent des voies nouvelles pour étudier la structure et l’évolution de la science. En particulier la typologie du savoir est de plus en plus reconnue comme un nouveau domaine de recherche prometteur.<p> Le but ultime de cette étude est de contribuer aux efforts pour comprendre et retracer le caractère évolutif de la science. Dans cette étude, les tendances actuelles des activités scientifiques ont été mises en évidence et leurs caractéristiques analysées. Les domaines de recherche ont été explorés au moyen d’une analyse de co-citations et une typologie de la science a été dressée pour analyser les liens existant entre les différents domaines scientifiques. Une méthodologie couramment employée dans l’analyse des réseaux sociaux a également été utilisée pour examiner les réseaux de connaissance au niveau institutionnel.<p> L’analyse a clairement montré le caractère pluridisciplinaire de certaines recherches, comme les « nanomatériaux et nanodispositifs », la « génomique » et l«’environnement ». Un précurseur de l’émergence de la nanobioscience a également été observé. La mesure de la spécialisation des pays a clairement indiqué l’émergence des BRICs (Brésil, Russie, Inde et Chine) dans certaines recherches. Les BRICs sont actuellement engagés dans une phase intense de rattrapage et ils vont certainement prendre une importance significative dans les réseaux de connaissance. L’analyse des réseaux sociaux au niveau des institutions a montré que la structure des réseaux de connaissance est fortement conditionnée par la recherche et que chaque institution occupe sans doute une fonction propre dans le réseau. Ces résultats ont mis en évidence la façon dont la science évolue non seulement entre les disciplines, mais aussi entre les pays et les régions.
    Date: 2007–02–20
  3. By: Bramoullé, Yann; Saint-Paul, Gilles
    Abstract: This paper studies the dynamics of fundamental research. We develop a simple model where researchers allocate their effort between improving existing fields and inventing new ones. A key assumption is that scientists derive utility from recognition from other scientists. We show that the economy can be either in a regime where new fields are constantly invented, and then converges to a steady state, or in a cyclical regime where periods of innovation alternate with periods of exploitation. We characterize the cyclical dynamics of the economy, show that indeterminacy may appear, and establish some comparative statics and welfare implications.
    Keywords: indeterminacy; innovation cycles; research dynamics
    JEL: C61 O39
    Date: 2007–02
  4. By: Belenzon, Sharon; Schankerman, Mark
    Abstract: We study the impact of incentive pay, local development objectives and government constraints on university licensing performance. We develop and test a simple contracting model of technology licensing offices, using new survey information together with panel data on U.S. universities for 1995-99. We find that private universities are much more likely to adopt incentive pay than public ones, but ownership does not affect licensing performance conditional on the use of incentive pay. Adopting incentive pay is associated with about 30-40 percent more income per license. Universities with strong local development objectives generate about 30 percent less income per license, but are more likely to license to local (in-state) startup companies. Stronger government constraints are ‘costly’ in terms of foregone license income and startup activity. These results are robust to controls for observed and unobserved heterogeneity.
    Keywords: incentives; licensing; local development; performance pay; technology transfer; universities
    JEL: F23 O31 O32 O33
    Date: 2007–02
  5. By: Pierre de Villiers (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch); Gert Steyn (Institutional Planning Division, University of Stellenbosch)
    Abstract: Higher education displays characteristics of both private and public goods and there is a trend worldwide to expect individuals to pay more of the costs of their higher education. In South Africa public funding of higher education decreased from 0.86% of GDP in 1986 to only 0.66% in 2006. Due to the decrease in state appropriations, student tuition fees had to be increased to compensate for this loss of income. In the process staff numbers were kept relatively constant, while student numbers increased at a much faster rate. Two future scenarios, based on public higher education expenditure as a percentage of GDP and on real state allocation per WFTES, are included. Although the qualifications awarded per FTE academic staff member increased over time, the graduation rates of the higher education institutions in South Africa are worsening. High-level research, measured in publication units per FTE academic staff member, shows a disturbing decreasing trend since 1997.
    Keywords: Higher education, education financing, qualifications
    JEL: H52 I22 I23
    Date: 2007
  6. By: Eric Maurin (PSE, CEPR, CEE and IZA); Sandra McNally (CEP, CEE, LSE and IZA)
    Abstract: It is difficult to know whether widening access to schools which provide a more academically oriented general education makes a difference to average educational achievement. We make use of reforms affecting admission to the ‘high ability’ track in Northern Ireland, but not England. The comparison of educational outcomes between Northern Ireland and England before and after the reform identifies the net effect of expanding the academic track to accommodate more students. This is composed of the direct effect of the more academic track on individual performance and the indirect effect arising on account of the change in peer group composition. Our paper is relevant to debate on the consequences of ability tracking and of expanding access to the academic track.
    Keywords: education, tracking, selection
    JEL: I2
    Date: 2007–02
  7. By: Laura Abramovsky (Institute for Fiscal Studies); Rupert Harrison (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London); Helen Simpson (Institute for Fiscal Studies)
    Abstract: <p>We investigate the relationship between the location of private sector R&D labs and university research departments in Great Britain. We combine establishment-level data on R&D activity with information on levels and changes in research quality from the Research Assessment Exercise. The strongest evidence for co-location is for pharmaceuticals R&D, which is disproportionately located near to relevant university research, particularly 5 or 5* rated chemistry departments. This relationship is stronger for foreign-owned labs, consistent with multinationals sourcing technology internationally. We also find some evidence for co-location with lower rated research departments in industries such as machinery and communications equipment.</p>
    JEL: O3 R11 R13 I23
    Date: 2007–01
  8. By: Frenette, Marc
    Abstract: In this study, I use new Canadian data containing detailed information on academic abilities, parental influences, financial constraints, and other socio-economic background characteristics of youth to try to account for the large gap in university attendance across the income distribution. I find that 96% of the total gap in university attendance between youth from the top and bottom income quartiles can be accounted for by differences in observable characteristics. Differences in long-term factors such as standardized test scores in reading obtained at age 15, school marks reported at age 15, parental influences, and high-school quality account for 84% of the gap. In contrast, only 12% of the gap is related to financial constraints. Similar results hold across different income quartiles and when I use standardized test scores in mathematics and science. However, reading scores account for a larger proportion of the gap than other test scores.
    Keywords: Education, training and learning, Children and youth, Educational attainment, Education finance, Low income families, Literacy
    Date: 2007–02–08
  9. By: Frenette, Marc
    Abstract: Dans la présente étude, je m'appuie sur de nouvelles données canadiennes détaillées sur les aptitudes aux études, l'influence des parents, les contraintes financières et d'autres caractéristiques socioéconomiques de base des jeunes pour tâcher d'expliquer l'écart important dans la fréquentation de l'université d'un niveau de la répartition du revenu à l'autre. Je conclus que 96 % de l'écart total dans la fréquentation de l'université entre les jeunes se situant au quartile supérieur de revenu et ceux appartenant au quartile inférieur s'explique par des différences dans les caractéristiques observables. Les différences dans les facteurs à long terme comme les notes aux tests normalisés de lecture et les notes scolaires obtenues à 15 ans, l'influence des parents et la qualité de l'école secondaire expliquent 84 % de l'écart. En revanche, seulement 12 % de l'écart est relié aux contraintes financières. Les résultats sont comparables pour les différents quartiles de revenu et lorsque j'utilise des notes aux tests normalisés de mathématiques et de sciences. Toutefois, une plus grande partie de l'écart est attribuable aux notes en lecture qu'aux notes à d'autres tests.
    Keywords: Éducation, formation et apprentissage, Enfants et jeunes, Niveau de scolarité, Finances de l'éducation, Familles à faible revenu, Littératie
    Date: 2007–02–08

This nep-sog issue is ©2007 by Jonas Holmstrom. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
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