nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2007‒03‒17
three papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration

  1. Time to Complete a Pos-graduation: some evidence of “school effect” upon ISCED 6 trajectories By Margarida Chagas Lopes
  2. Mass Tertiary Education, Higher Education Standard and University Reform: A Theoretical Analysis By Massimiliano BRATTI; Stefano STAFFOLANI; Chiara BROCCOLINI
  3. The Cost Structure of Higher Education in Further Education Colleges in England By Pamela Lenton

  1. By: Margarida Chagas Lopes
    Abstract: Most Portuguese higher education institutions are increasingly compelled to observe rather strict arrangements in what concerns time to achieve post-graduation studies. Actually European equivalence and mobility procedures in the framework of the Bologna process will not allow for considerable heterogeneity in this light. Nevertheless research carried recently on four Portuguese higher education institutions’ MSc. and PhD programmes revealed there is still a large amount of diversity among average time spells required to complete identical degrees. This outcome suggests that under strict time arrangements Bologna 2nd. and 3rd. cycles rate of success will widely vary among higher education institutions. Individual longitudinal data relative to a representative sample of the abovementioned MSc. and PhD. trajectories allows us to adjust a duration model and thereby investigate some of the main features behind those so different time spells, that is to say so heterogeneous success patterns. A quite meaningful “school effect” revealed to be one of the most striking outcomes.
    Keywords: Individual post-graduation trajectories; advanced studies (ISCED 7) organisation; duration models.
    JEL: I23
  2. By: Massimiliano BRATTI (Universit… di Milano, DEAS); Stefano STAFFOLANI (Universita' Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Economia); Chiara BROCCOLINI (Universita' Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Economia)
    Abstract: After the "3+2" University reform in Italy there has been a fast increase in the number of students. A common wisdom is that this result was partly achieved by reducing the standard of Higher Education (HE). In this paper we first build a theoretical model in which individuals decide whether to enrol in HE along with their optimal course quality, and whether to dropout. Then, we use the model to analyse the effect of a reduction in the standards of HE courses available in the educational system on overall enrollment and drop-out. We show that a reduction in HE standard helps achieving a mass tertiary education by increasing both the number of students and that of university graduates but it does not necessarily increase the overall efficiency of the HE system measured in terms of drop-out or graduation rates.
    Keywords: ability, drop-out, enrolment, italy, reform, standard, university
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2007–02
  3. By: Pamela Lenton (Department of Economics, The University of Sheffield)
    Abstract: This paper examines the cost of the provision of higher education courses within further education colleges in England. The further education sector is complex because of the wide range of courses it provides both in terms of subject type and of qualification level. We believe this to be the first attempt to fit a cost function specifically to the further education sector. Cost functions for a sample of 96 colleges over a two-year period, from 2000 to 2002, are fitted using a panel data methodology as well as stochastic frontier analysis. Our findings indicate that most further education colleges are able to benefit from economies of scale. Results from both methodologies suggest the presence of product-specific economies of scale, substantial ray economies of scale and that higher education classroom-based courses, such as business studies, along with vocational courses display substantial economies of scope.
    Keywords: Stochastic frontier, Education
    JEL: C21 C23 I21
    Date: 2006–09

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