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Contemporary Economic Perspectives in Education

Contemporary Economic Perspectives in Education

Edited by Kristof De Witte
Copyright Date: 2015
Published by: Leuven University Press
Pages: 126
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  • Book Info
    Contemporary Economic Perspectives in Education
    Book Description:

    Efficiency and effectiveness in ‘education economics’. Economists are well placed to study education. They are intrinsically interested in (public) spending. They want to examine whether resources are spent in an effective (i.e., doing the right things) and efficient (i.e., doing things right) way. By focusing on educational efficiency, economists can provide intuitive insights that engender more value for money. Moreover, the effectiveness concerns are related to the ‘evidence-based education’ idea. Contemporary Economic Perspectives in Education contributes to this growing field of ‘education economics’. This book provides a detailed approach to how economists treat earlier evidence, how they avoid measurement problems, and how they measure efficiency. Applications covered include the underperformance of boys, efficiency and equity in education, and inter-industry wage differentials in the health sector.

    eISBN: 978-94-6166-158-6
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

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  1. Introduction
    (pp. 7-10)
    Kristof De Witte

    Education accounts for 13% of total public spending in the average OECD country (OECD, 2013). Moreover, as resources devoted to education grow faster than the total public expenditures in the period 1995 - 2005, education becomes increasingly important during recent years. The latest economic crisis did not change this pattern.

    Simultaneously with the increasing share in public resources, there is an increasing availability of standardized educational outcome variables. The OECD takes a lead with standardized outcomes at age 15 (Programme for International Student Assessment -PISA data). The International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) developed a standardized test...

  2. Chapter 1 Systematic Reviews in Education Research: When Do Effect Studies Provide Evidence?
    (pp. 11-34)
    Chris Van Klaveren and Inge De Wolf

    Systematic literature reviews summarize the results of previous studies to inform the reader on theeffectivenessof certain programs and give structure to the findings of larger amounts of empirical studies that focus on the same research topic. By putting the emphasis on causality, these reviews recognize that policy makers and scientist should be informed about causal relationships to make (more) accurate predictions about the consequences of changing circumstances or policies (Angrist and Pischke, 2009). For this purpose a distinction is being made between studies that focus on causal inference and other studies (i.e. correlational studies). Biomedical and psychological reviews...

  3. Chapter 2 Selection Bias in Educational Issues and the Use of Heckman’s Sample Selection Model
    (pp. 35-52)
    Nick Deschacht and Katie Goeman

    This chapter discusses the importance of sample selection bias in educational research issues and the use of Heckman’s sample selection model in the literature on education economics. We carried out a systematic literature review on the use of Heckman’s model in the field of educational research to investigate which research topics are studied, how the problem of sample selection bias is addressed, how the results of Heckman models are presented and interpreted and how these models re-adjust previous findings. The next paragraph introduces the problem of causal inference and the nature of sample selection bias. Paragraph 3 provides a non-mathematical...

  4. Chapter 3 The Causal Effect of Single-Sex Education versus Coeducation on Motivation and Educational Attainments. Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Secondary Education
    (pp. 53-76)
    Kristof De Witte and Oliver Holz

    Mixed-sex education, also known as coeducation, has been extensively studied during the last century. 3-1 presents a density distribution of book counts where ‘coeducation’ has been recorded as a proportion of all Google-digitized books in English from 1880 until 2008. The graph starts around the time that the ‘Welsh Intermediate Education Act’ in 1889 led to the foundation of a considerable number of new coeducational secondary day-schools in Wales. Its positive effects inspired various other European countries as the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Denmark. In Norway, coeducation was adapted by law in 1896. Despite these early initiatives, in the beginning...

  5. Chapter 4 Benchmarking and Operational Management: an Application of Frontier Analysis to Dutch Secondary Education
    (pp. 77-88)
    Jos L.T. Blank

    Operational management is a topic that is not very popular in many schools. This is not necessarily related to the schools’ underestimation of its relevance but could also be because schools prefer to focus on their primary process: offering high quality education. Nevertheless, attention to operational management in education is of eminent importance. Such attention can lead to reduced costs and improved quality, and therefore to a smoother primary process. The lack of indexation of lump sum financing in recent years, an expensive collective labour agreement and planned budget cuts only serve to emphasise the necessity of good operational management....

  6. Chapter 5 Schools’ Efficiency and Equity: Evidence from a Stochastic Frontier Approach with Translog Specification
    (pp. 89-98)
    Tommaso Agasisti

    The problem of evaluating schools’ efficiency is a major economic and policy issue because of the limitations of public budgets. A relevant literature contains many applied studies especially in the US and UK (Johnes, 2004). Usually, efficiency of a school is defined as its ability of transforming inputs (human and financial resources) into outputs (students’ achievement); the higher this ability, the higher a school’s efficiency score. Therefore, an under-considered issue in the existent literature is the association between their efficiency and equity, the latter defined as the within-school difference in students’ achievement. In this chapter, we explicitly consider this indicator...

  7. Chapter 6 Do Nurses React to Inter-Industry Wage Differentials? Evidence of Nursing Graduates in the Netherlands
    (pp. 99-122)
    Sofie J. Cabus

    Education economics is also concerned about the relationship between education and the labour market. The European Center for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop) indicates in this respect that ‘skill shortages’, defined as individuals without credentials or skills considered ‘valid’ to enter the job, are underlying recruitment bottlenecks. Recruitment bottlenecks in the life sciences and health industry (LSH) are worrisome, and will become problematic, as in most developed countries, population ageing increasingly put stress on the demand for health care services (Hurd, 1973; Jones and Gates, 2004; Heitmueller and Inglis, 2007; Cedefop, 2010; Maestad et al., 2010; World Health Organization,...

  8. Short Author Bios of the Corresponding Authors
    (pp. 123-126)