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Title:Three essays on the economics of education
Author(s):Sampaio, Gustavo
Director of Research:Arends-Kuenning, Mary P.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Arends-Kuenning, Mary P.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Winter-Nelson, Alex E.; Baylis, Katherine R.; Baer, Werner W.
Department / Program:Agr & Consumer Economics
Discipline:Agricultural & Applied Econ
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):education quality
Brazil
higher education
ability
evasion
Abstract:This dissertation encompasses three chapters that study the Brazilian higher educational system and determines the barriers to acquiring higher education in the country. Below are the individual abstracts for each chapter. Chapter 1: Rural and urban schools' performance in Brazil and its impact on access to higher education Recent research on academic achievement in Brazil shows that public school students face strong barriers in gaining access to higher education compared to private school students. However, little is known about differences between public schools located in urban and rural areas, another source of opportunity inequality. I estimate the effectiveness of rural and urban schools in Brazil using data from a major university entrance exam. To account for bias in Ordinary Least Square (OLS), I use a technique recently developed by Altonji, Elder, and Taber (2005b) that estimates the ratio of the influence of omitted variables relative to observed variables that would be required to completely explain the estimates one obtains via OLS. The results indicate that students from urban areas outperform their rural counterparts and provide suggestive evidence that the poor quality of rural public schools is the source of such score differences. Chapter 2: Climbing the Educational Ladder: The Relative Performance of Rural and Urban Students in Brazilian Universities Recent research on academic achievement in Brazil shows that rural school students face strong barriers in gaining access to higher education compared to urban school students. However, little is known about differences between rural and urban students when they are granted access to the university. We estimate the relative performance of rural and urban students in Brazil using data from a major university. Furthermore, to observe how performance varies along the different GPA quantiles, we use Koenker and Bassett (1978) quantile regression approach. The results indicate that students from rural areas outperform their urban counterparts providing suggestive evidence that using policed implementations that increase rural acceptance rates would decrease regional educational inequalities and help fight the high income inequality rates observed in the Brazilian society. Chapter 3: College Dropouts and Entrance Test Scores: A Censored Quantile Regression Approach The problem of university dropouts has generated increased interest among researchers, policymakers, and educators in recent years. This paper examines the many issues involved in trying to understand and solve this complex social and educational problem. Using a dataset from students enrolled in a Brazilian major university, we estimate the effect of student entrance exam performance on dropout rates using a censored quantile regression approach proposed by Portnoy (2003). We find that students with higher entrance exam scores are more likely to dropout of college in the beginning of their college journey while being less likely to dropout after some time. Such results are likely due to the perception that a high ability student has over his probabilities of entering a more difficult or better major the following year.
Issue Date:2012-09-18
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/34204
Rights Information:Copyright 2012 Gustavo Sampaio
Date Available in IDEALS:2012-09-18
Date Deposited:2012-08


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