Now showing 1 - 9 of 9
  • Publication
    Can education compensate for low ability? Evidence from British data (version 3.1)
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2004-07-07) ;
    This paper uses cross section data to investigate whether education and ability are substitutes or complements in the determination of earnings. Using a measure of cognitive ability based on tests taken at ages 7 and 11 we find, unlike most of the existing literature, clear evidence that the return to schooling is lower for those with higher ability indicating that education can act as a substitute for observed ability. We also estimate quantile regression functions to examine how the return to schooling varies across the conditional distribution of earnings. The results show that the return is lower for higher quantiles, suggesting that education is also a substitute for unobserved ability. This paper forms part of the Policy Evaluation Program at the Institute for the Study of Social Change (ISSC) at UCD.
      106
  • Publication
    Money, mentoring and making friends : the impact of a multidimensional access program on student performance
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2010-04-07) ; ; ;
    There is a well established socioeconomic gradient in educational attainment, despite much effort in recent decades to address this inequality. This study evaluates a university access program that provides financial, academic and social support to low socioeconomic status (SES) students using a natural experiment which exploits the time variation in the expansion of the program across schools. The program has parallels with US affirmative actions programs, although preferential treatment is based on SES rather than ethnicity. Evaluating the effectiveness of programs targeting disadvantaged students in Ireland is particularly salient given the high rate of return to education and the lack of intergenerational mobility in educational attainment. Overall, we identify positive treatment effects on first year exam performance, progression to second year and final year graduation rates, with the impact often stronger for higher ability students. We find similar patterns of results for students that entered through the regular system and the ‘affirmative action’ group i.e. the students that entered with lower high school grades. The program affects the performance of both male and female students, albeit in different ways. This study suggests that access programs can be an effective means of improving academic outcomes for socio-economically disadvantaged students.
      393
  • Publication
    Mother's education and birth weight
    (University College Dublin. Geary Institute, 2007-06-12) ;
    Low birth weight has considerable short and long-term consequences and leads to high costs to the individual and society even in a developed economy. Low birth weight is partially a consequence of choices made by the mother pre- and during pregnancy. Thus policies affecting these choices could have large returns. Using British data, maternal education is found to be positively correlated with birth weight. We identify a causal effect of education using the 1947 reform of the minimum school leaving age. Change in compulsory school leaving age has been previously used as an instrument, but has been criticised for mostly picking up time trends. Here, we demonstrate that the policy effects differ by social background and hence provide identification across cohorts but also within cohort. We find modest but heterogenous positive effects of maternal education on birth weight with an increase from the baseline weight ranging from 2% to 6%.
      125
  • Publication
    Functional literacy, educational attainment and earnings : a multi-country comparison
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2003-08) ; ;
    In this paper a rich and innovative dataset, the International Adult Literacy Survey, is used to examine the impact of functional literacy on earnings. We show that the estimated return to formal education is sensitive to the inclusion of literacy: excluding it biases the return to education in many countries by significant amounts. Literacy itself has a well-determined effect on earnings in all countries though with considerable variation in the size of the effect. The benefits of literacy do not only arise from increasing low levels of literacy: increases at already high levels generate substantial increases in earnings in some countries. In general we find little interaction between schooling and literacy though for a few countries they appear to complement each other.
      804
  • Publication
    Can education compensate for low ability? Evidence from British data (version 3.0)
    (University College Dublin; Institute for the Study of Social Change (Geary Institute), 2004-06) ;
    This paper uses cross section data to investigate whether education and ability are substitutes or complements in the determination of earnings. Using a measure of cognitive ability based on tests taken at ages 7 and 11 we find, unlike most of the existing literature, clear evidence that the return to schooling is lower for those with higher ability indicating that education can act as a substitute for observed ability. We also estimate quantile regression functions to examine how the return to schooling varies across the conditional distribution of earnings. The results show that the return is lower for higher quantiles, suggesting that education is also a substitute for unobserved ability.
      176
  • Publication
    The impact of parental income and education on the schooling of their children
    (University College Dublin. Geary Institute, 2010-07-01) ; ; ;
    This paper addresses the intergenerational transmission of education and investigates the extent to which early school leaving (at age 16) may be due to variations in parental background. An important contribution of the paper is to distinguish between the causal effects of parental income and parental education levels. Least squares estimation reveals conventional results – weak effects of income (when the child is 16), stronger effects of maternal education than paternal, and stronger effects on sons than daughters. We find that the education effects remain significant even when household income is included. However, when we use instrumental variable methods to simultaneously account for the endogeneity of parental education and paternal income, only maternal education remains significant (for daughters only) and becomes stronger. These estimates are consistent to various set of instruments. The impact of paternal income varies between specifications but become insignificant in our preferred specification. Our results provide limited evidence that policies alleviating income constraints at age 16 can alter schooling decisions but that policies increasing permanent income would lead to increased participation (especially for daughters). There is also evidence of intergenerational transmissions of education choice from mothers to daughters.
      1134
  • Publication
    The economic consequences of being left-handed : some sinister results (version 2.0)
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2004-07) ;
    This paper provides the first estimates of the effects of handedness on hourly earnings using data on a sample of 33 year olds in the United Kingdom. Augmenting a conventional earnings equation with indicators of left handedness shows there is a well determined positive effect on male earnings with non-manual workers enjoying a slightly larger premium once we allow for non random selection into occupation. This is not consistent with the view that left-handers in general are in some sense handicapped either being innately or through experiencing a world geared towards right-handers. It is consistent with the popular notion of left-handers having particular talents such as enhanced creativity. The results for females however reveal the opposite, left-handed females are paid significantly less. This paper forms part of the Policy Evaluation Program at the Institute for the Study of Social Change (ISSC) at UCD.
      203
  • Publication
    Education, earnings and skills : a multi-country comparison
    (Institute for Fiscal Studies, 2003-03) ; ;
    This paper uses the measures of basic skills (or functional literacy) in the International Adult Literacy Survey to examine the impact of education and basic skills on earnings across a large number of countries. We show that the estimated return to formal education is sensitive to the inclusion of these measures: excluding them biases the return to education upwards in many countries to a significant degree, usually 1 or 2 percentage points. In almost all countries, the test scores have a well-determined effect on earnings although there is considerable variation in the size of the effect. The highest returns to skills tend to be in English speaking countries. Comparing results across countries, the returns to education and the returns to basic skills are not correlated. The evidence suggests that there is considerable benefit in many countries for policy intervention to increase the skill levels of workers. This should not just be directed at dealing with low-skilled individuals – there are gains across the skills distribution.
      507
  • Publication
    Can education compensate for low ability? Evidence from British data (version 3.2)
    (Institute for Fiscal Studies, 2004-07) ;
    This paper uses cross section data to investigate whether the returns to education vary with the level of ability. Using a measure of cognitive ability based on tests taken at ages 7 and 11 we find, unlike most of the existing literature, clear evidence that the return to schooling is lower for those with higher ability indicating that education can act as a substitute for observed ability. We also estimate quantile regression functions to examine how the return to schooling varies across the conditional distribution of earnings. The results show that the return is lower for higher quantiles, suggesting that education is also a substitute for unobserved ability. This paper forms part of the Policy Evaluation Program at the Institute for the Study of Social Change (ISSC) at UCD.
      82