Now showing 1 - 10 of 21
  • Publication
    A multi-country study of inter-generational educational mobility
    (University College Dublin. Institute for the Study of Social Change (Geary Institute), 2003) ; ;
    This paper analyses intergenerational educational mobility using survey data for twenty countries. We find that a number of interesting patterns emerge. Estimating a measure of mobility as movement and an index of mobility as equality of opportunity we find that while these two measures are positively correlated, the correlation is far from perfect. Examining the link with educational inequality we find evidence which suggests an inverse relationship between mobility and inequality consistent with egalitarian theory. The relationship between mobility appears to be weak, high returns to education do not depress mobility, as some human capital theories would suggest. Mobility appears to be somewhat higher for men whereas equality is much the same for both sexes. There is evidence that mobility as equality of opportunity has risen consistent with modernization theory. There is no evidence that expansion of third level education has led to a fall in the penalty associated with having a low educated parent. Estimates of marginal mobility are quite different from average mobility.
  • Publication
    Wage policy, employee turnover and productivity
    (University College Dublin. Institute for the Study of Social Change (Geary Institute), 2003-05-31) ; ;
    In this paper, we are interested in the effect of pay incentives on labour turnover and productivity. Particularly we use personnel data from a panel of 400 shops from a UK retail chain. The firm uses perfectly flat hourly wage system with no reward for tenure or individual productivity. This system leads to the phenomenon of negative selection, where only employees with lower outside options remain with the firm. We show that negative selection conflicts with human capital so that the relationship between employee turnover and productivity is U-shaped. If negative selection is as important as human capital accumulation in accounting for the U-shape, then devising a wage policy that will reduce negative selection could increase labour productivity considerably.
  • Publication
    Economic Uncertainty, Parental Selection and Children's Educational Outcomes
    (University College Dublin. Geary Institute, 2015-04) ;
    After the fall of the Berlin Wall, East Germany experienced an unprecedented temporary drop in fertility driven by economic uncertainty. Using various educational measures, we show that the children born during this nativity slump perform worse from an early age onwards. Consistent with negative selection, mothers who gave birth in that period had worse observed personal characteristics. These children are also less likely to have grown up within stable family environment. Investigating underlying mechanisms reveals that parental educational input and emotional attachment were also lower for these children. Finally, sibling analysis enable us to reject time of birth effects.
  • Publication
    Monotonicity and the Roy model
    (University College Dublin. Institute for the Study of Social Change (Geary Institute), 2002-05) ;
    In this note we study the implications on a bivariate normal Roy Model of two sets of monotonicity hypotheses proposed recently by Manski and Pepper (2000). In that simple context, we show that these hypotheses imply strong restrictions on the correlations structure between the decision and the rewards.
  • Publication
    Immigrant Voters, Taxation and the Size of the Welfare State
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2018-08) ; ; ;
    This paper studies the impact of immigration on public policy setting. As a natural experiment, we exploit the sudden arrival of eight million forced migrants in West Germany after World War II. These migrants were on average poorer than the West German population, but unlike most international migrants they had full voting rights and were eligible for social welfare. Using panel data for West German cities and applying difference-in-differences and an instrumental variables approach, we show that local governments responded to this migration shock with selective and persistent tax raises as well as shifts in spending. In response to the inflow, farm and business owners were taxed more while residential property and wage bill taxes were left unchanged. Moreover, high-inflow cities significantly raised welfare spending while reducing spending on infrastructure and housing. Election data suggest that these policy changes were partly driven by the political influence of the immigrants: in high-inflow regions, the major parties were more likely to nominate immigrants as candidates, and a pro-immigrant party received high vote shares. We further document that this episode of mass immigration had lasting effects on people’s preferences for redistribution. In areas with larger inflows in the 1940s, people have substantially higher demand for redistribution more than 50 years later.
  • Publication
    Students’ academic self perception
    (University College Dublin. Geary Institute, 2007-09-24) ; ; ;
    Participation rates in higher education differ persistently between some groups in society. Using two British datasets we investigate whether this gap is rooted in students' misperception of their own and other's ability, thereby increasing the expected costs to studying. Among high school pupils, we find that pupils with a more positive view of their academic abilities are more likely to expect to continue to higher education even after controlling for observable measures of ability and students' characteristics. University students are also poor at estimating their own test-performance and over-estimate their predicted test score. However, females, white and working class students have less inflated view of themselves. Self-perception has limited impact on the expected probability of success and expected returns amongst these university students.
  • Publication
    School quality and effectiveness
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2004-05) ; ;
  • Publication
    Sheepskin or Prozac : the causal effect of education on mental health
    (University College Dublin. Geary Institute, 2007-06-08) ;
    Mental illness is associated with large costs to individuals and society. Education improves various health outcomes but little work has been done on mental illness. To obtain unbiased estimates of the effect of education on mental health, we rely on a rich longitudinal dataset that contains health information from childhood to adulthood and thus allow us to control for fixed effects in mental health. We measure two health outcomes: malaise score and depression and estimate the extensive and intensive margins of education on mental health using various estimators. For all estimators, accounting for the endogeneity of education augments its protecting effect on mental health. We find that the effect of education is greater at mid-level of qualifications, for women and for individuals at greater risk of mental illness. The effects of education are observed at all ages, additionally education also reduces the transition to depression. These results suggest substantial returns to education in term of improved mental health.
  • Publication
    Subject specific league tables and students' application decisions
    (University College Dublin. Geary Institute, 2015-03-13) ;
    Do applicants to higher education rely on expert judgement about the quality of the course when applying? Using application data across UK universities over a period of 8 years, we investigate how league tables affect prospective students’ application decisions. We use subject specific ranking rather than the commonly used institution level ranking. We find that a one standard deviation change in the subject-level ranking score of an institution is associated with on average a 4.3% increase in application numbers per faculty. This effect is particularly pronounced among faculties with the best scores, and overseas applicants. Limits to the number of applications have increased the preponderance of league tables.