"Data quality campaign"

Iniciativa nos EUA para a utilizacao de bases de dados com vista a melhorar os resultados escolares - link e livro branco. Financiada pela Fundacao Gates e outras organizacoes privadas.

Sao definidos 10 elementos essenciais para um sistema de informacao longitudinal:

1. A unique statewide student identifier.

2. Student-level enrollment, demographic and program participation information.

3. The ability to match individual students’ test records from year to year to measure academic growth.

4. Information on untested students.

5. A teacher identifier system with the ability to match teachers to students.

6. Student-level transcript information, including information on courses completed and grades earned.

7. Student-level college readiness test scores.

8. Student-level graduation and dropout data.

9. The ability to match student records between the P–12 and postsecondary systems.

10.A state data audit system assessing data quality, validity and reliability.


Efeitos da utilizacao de computadores por criancas

Resultados quasi-experimentais da Romenia sugerem efeitos negativos na matematica e nas linguas (ingles e romeno) e efeitos positivos nos conhecimentos de informatica. Link aqui e discussao no Freakonomics aqui.

Sera' diferente com os 920 milhoes de euros do Magalhaes?


"Pecados do PEC"

Luis Campos e Cunha sobre o orwelliano Plano de Estabilidade e Crescimento - link.

Interessante notar como as promessas politicas da campanha eleitoral invertem-se completamente depois das eleicoes: reducao de impostos em 2005 e investimento publico em 2009.


Rankings de "journals" da ABS

Nova edicao do ranking da Association of Business Schools, do Reino Unido, incluindo varias areas disciplinares para alem da economia: aqui.


LUSO 2010

Encontro de estudantes e investigadores portugueses no Reino Unido de 2010 em Southampton.


"Excesso de mortes nos hospitais ao fim-de-semana"

Estudo de equipa da Escola Nacional de Saude Publica sugere que menor nivel de pessoal medico ao fim-de-semana leva a aumento da mortalidade nesses dias. Noticia aqui e estudo aqui.


Pacheco Pereira sobre o programa Magalhaes

Investimento de 920 milhoes de euros com retornos desconhecidos - mas provavelmente baixos?! Link

Conferencia CAED 2010

Comparative Analysis of Enterprise Data - Imperial College, Londres, 24-26 Setembro - link.


Subsidios para criacao de emprego vs subsidios de desemprego

"Start-Up Subsidies for the Unemployed: Long-Term Evidence and Effect Heterogeneity", por Marco Caliendo e Steffen Künn, IZA DP 4790

Abstract: Turning unemployment into self-employment has become an increasingly important part of active labor market policies (ALMP) in many OECD countries. Germany is a good example where the spending on start-up subsidies for the unemployed accounted for nearly 17% of the total spending on ALMP in 2004. In contrast to other programs – like vocational training, job creation schemes, or wage subsidies – the empirical evidence on the effectiveness of such schemes is still scarce; especially regarding long-term effects and effect heterogeneity. This paper aims to close this gap. We use administrative and survey data from a large sample of participants in two distinct start-up programs and a control group of unemployed individuals. We find that over 80% of participants are integrated in the labor market and have relatively high labor income five years after start-up. Additionally, participants are much more satisfied with their current occupational situation compared to previous jobs. Based on conditional propensity score matching methods we estimate the long-term effects of the programs against non-participation. Our results show that both programs are effective with respect to income and employment outcomes in the long-run. Moreover, we consider effect heterogeneity with respect to several dimensions and show that start-up subsidies for the unemployed tend to be most effective for disadvantaged groups in the labor market.

Estes subsidios tambem existem em Portugal mas desconheco qualquer avaliacao da sua eficacia.


Premio nacional de professores

Premio deste ano entregue a Alexandre Costa, professor de Físico-Química na Escola Secundária de Loulé - link.

Uma maneira interessante de melhorar gradualmente o desempenho das escolas: diferenciando pela positiva e criando case-studies de boas praticas.



Agregador de blogs em economia, por Christian Zimmermann.


Incentivos para professores e desempenho dos alunos

Versao ligeiramente alargada do meu estudo sobre este tema esta' disponivel como Discussion Paper 112 do Centre for the Economics of Education da London School of Economics.


Heckman dixit

"Policies to Create and Destroy Human Capital in Europe" por James J. Heckman e Bas Jacobs, IZA DP 4680.

Abstract: Trends in skill bias and greater turbulence in modern labor markets put wages and employment prospects of unskilled workers under pressure. Weak incentives to utilize and maintain skills over the life-cycle become manifest with the ageing of the population. Reinvention of human capital policies is required to avoid increasing welfare state dependency among the unskilled and to reduce inefficiencies in human capital formation. Policy makers should acknowledge strong dynamic complementarities in skill formation. Investments in the human capital of children should expand relative to investment in older workers. There is no trade-off between equity and efficiency at early ages of human development but there is a substantial trade-off at later ages. Later remediation of skill deficits acquired in early years is often ineffective. Active labor market and training policies should therefore be reformulated. Skill formation is impaired when the returns to skill formation are low due to low skill use and insufficient skill maintenance later on in life. High marginal tax rates and generous benefit systems reduce labor force participation rates and hours worked and thereby lower the utilization rate of human capital. Tax-benefit systems should be reconsidered as they increasingly redistribute resources from outsiders to insiders in labor markets which is both distortionary and inequitable. Early retirement and pension schemes should be made actuarially fairer as they entail strong incentives to retire early and human capital is thus written off too quickly.


Desafios na identificacao do contributo dos professores na aprendizagem dos alunos

"Teacher Quality in Educational Production: Tracking, Decay, and Student Achievement", por Jesse Rothstein (U California, Berkeley), Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2010

Abstract: Growing concerns over the inadequate achievement of U.S. students have led to proposals to reward good teachers and penalize (or fire) bad ones. The leading method for assessing teacher quality is “value added” modeling (VAM), which decomposes students' test scores into components attributed to student heterogeneity and to teacher quality. Implicit in the VAM approach are strong assumptions about the nature of the educational production function and the assignment of students to classrooms. In this paper, I develop falsification tests for three widely used VAM specifications, based on the idea that future teachers cannot influence students' past achievement. In data from North Carolina, each of the VAMs' exclusion restrictions is dramatically violated. In particular, these models indicate large “effects” of fifth grade teachers on fourth grade test score gains. I also find that conventional measures of individual teachers' value added fade out very quickly and are at best weakly related to long-run effects. I discuss implications for the use of VAMs as personnel tools.


"Data deluge"

Tema oportuno na edicao do "Economist" desta semana.

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