Are friends important in educational outcomes?

Eleonora Patacchini, Yves Zenou 25 February 2011

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Each student influences his or her classmates – not only through knowledge spillovers and how teachers respond to him/her, but also in how he/she affects classroom standards. A less disciplined student is more likely to disrupt his/her classmates, forcing the teacher to devote more time in class to disciplining rather than transmitting knowledge. Therefore a student’s performance in school may be influenced by the characteristics and behaviour of his/her peers.

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Topics:  Education

Tags:  education, US, peer-effects

Investment in financial literacy and saving decisions

Tullio Jappelli, Mario Padula 08 February 2011

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The demographic transition is increasingly shifting the responsibility of saving decisions from the welfare system to individuals. The switch from defined benefits to defined contributions pension systems is making individuals more liable for their long-term saving choices. In addition, the recent financial crisis has questioned people’s ability to manage their debts.

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Topics:  Education Financial markets

Tags:  education, Financial literacy, savings rates

The virtuous equity-efficiency trade-off in educational outcomes

Richard B. Freeman, Stephen Machin, Martina Viarengo 04 January 2011

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How countries fare in international tests of student achievement is a magnet for media attention the world over. In December 2010, for instance, two of the world's leading newspapers, the New York Times, and The Financial Times reported on the remarkable scores of students from Shanghai in the latest Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) tests, which assess the reading, maths and scientific skills of the world’s 15-year-olds (Cook 2010, Dillon 2010).

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Topics:  Education

Tags:  education, equity, educational policy

The impact of university research on corporate patenting

Christian Helmers, Mark Rogers 21 December 2010

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University research is a catalyst for business sector innovations, according to several empirical studies (see for example, Agrawal 2001). Universities have a potential impact on firm innovation in a variety of ways including publication of fundamental research, university patenting and licensing, spin-offs and university incubators and science parks, joint research with firms, consultancy projects, the training of students and employees etc.

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Topics:  Competition policy Education Productivity and Innovation

Tags:  productivity and innovation, education, Competition policy

Are skill-intensive imports from rich nations deskilling emerging economies?

Raphael Auer 10 December 2010

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Among economists and policymakers alike, there is now a sense of agreement that import competition from low-wage countries has caused a decline in the relative wage of unskilled workers in rich nations, probably best summarised by Krugman’s verdict that the impact of trade on wages “is big, and getting bigger” (see Krugman 2007 on this site).1

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Topics:  Development Education International trade

Tags:  development, education, wages, international trade, emerging economies

The historical roots of inequality

Graziella Bertocchi, Arcangelo Dimico 14 November 2010

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In March 2010 President Obama presented the US Congress a plan to reform No Child Left Behind (NCLB), America’s main federal education programme. NCLB was enacted in 2002 under President Bush with the full bipartisan support of Congress. Yet one of the criticisms to NCLB stresses its failure to reduce the deeply rooted racial and ethnic gaps that still afflict the US education system.

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Topics:  Education Poverty and income inequality

Tags:  education, US, slavery, racial inequality

Childcare subsidies and child wellbeing

Chris Herbst, Erdal Tekin 09 October 2010

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Childcare subsidies are increasingly used by state and local governments to facilitate employment and reduce welfare use among economically disadvantaged families in the US. Most public expenditures on child care assistance in the US are funnelled through the federal Child Care and Development Fund (created as part of the 1996 welfare reform).

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Topics:  Education Poverty and income inequality

Tags:  education, US, childcare

Producing superstars for the economic Mundial: The team in the tail

Lant Pritchett, Martina Viarengo 20 August 2010

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In the World Cup (or Mundial in Spanish), the tails matter. Each nation’s destiny depends on the players on the pitch. The question is not which nation has the highest average quality of football players among its population nor which nation has the best single player but which country can assemble a team of 11 at their various positions, who can beat all comers. This depends on central tendency, the right tail, and the absolute size.

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Topics:  Development Education Labour markets Productivity and Innovation

Tags:  development, education, Labour Markets, innovation

The effect of home computer use on children’s outcomes

Ofer Malamud, Cristian Pop-Eleches 21 July 2010

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There are large disparities in computer ownership both between and within countries. Estimates from the OECD's 2003 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) indicate that most 15 year old students in developed countries have access to a computer at home (91% in the US). In contrast, only about half of 15 year old students have access to a home computer in emerging Eastern European countries such as Latvia, Poland, and Serbia. Among 15 year olds in the bottom social economic status quartile within these countries, fewer than a quarter have access to a home computer.

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Topics:  Education Productivity and Innovation

Tags:  education, Voucher schemes, digital divide, computers

The long-term impact of life before birth

Douglas Almond, Janet Currie 24 June 2010

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The last decade has seen a blossoming of research on the long-term effects of early childhood conditions across a range of disciplines. In economics, the focus is on how human capital accumulation responds to the early childhood environment. This work has been spurred by a growing realisation that early life conditions can have persistent and profound impacts on later life. Cunha and Heckman (2008) and Cunha et al. (2010) estimate structural models in which initial endowments and investments feed through to later outcomes.

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Topics:  Health economics

Tags:  education, Early childhood, social interventions

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