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Hell to touch the sky? Private tutoring and academic achievement in Korea

Although not exclusive to the Republic of Korea’s educational system, the pervasiveness of private tutoring, and its consequences, serve to distinguish it from Systems operated in other countries. However, the identification of inefficiencies linked to this phenomenon have seen the educational authorities struggling against private tutoring since the 1980s. Yet, public policies have systematically failed because of the widely held belief that private tutoring services increase students’ academic performance. This paper quantifies the impact of time spent in private tutoring on the performance of students in the three competence fields assessed in the PISA-2006 (Programme for International Student Assessment). Instrumental variables are applied in a multilevel model framework in an attempt at addressing the endogeneity of the effects of private tutoring on acadèmic performance. Our results indicate that the impact of time dedicated to private tutoring on academic performance depends on the particular competence: positive for mathematics,positive but decreasing for reading, and non-significant for science.

University patenting, licensing and technology transfer: how organizational context and available resources determine performance

The paper assesses the performance of the technology licensing offices (TLO) and technology transfer offices (TTO) which have been active in Portuguese higher education institutions. Data stemming from a survey of these entities was analyzed in successive steps through factor analysis, cluster analysis and estimation of a model using the Partial-Least Squares methodology. It is shown that the institutional nature of each of the surveyed organizations implies different behaviours and outcomes. Further it has also became clear that the type of resources and activities in the surveyed organizations determine both their “primary outcome” (patent applications and technology transfer processes) and their “final outcome” (technology licensing contracts and technology-based spin-offs). The results of this paper might be particularly relevant for other similar economies as Portugal where high-tech and knowledge-intensive industries have not been dominant.

The link between public support and private R&D effort: what is the optimal subsidy?

The effectiveness of R&D subsidies can vary substantially depending on their characteristics. Specifically, the amount and intensity of such subsidies are crucial issues in the design of public schemes supporting private R&D. Public agencies determine the intensities of R&D subsidies for firms in line with their eligibility criteria, although assessing the effects of R&D projects accurately is far from straightforward. The main aim of this paper is to examine whether there is an optimal intensity for R&D subsidies through an analysis of their impact on private R&D effort. We examine the decisions of a public agency to grant subsidies taking into account not only the characteristics of the firms but also, as few previous studies have done to date, those of the R&D projects. In determining the optimal subsidy we use both parametric and non-parametric techniques. The results show a non-linear relationship between the percentage of subsidy received and the firms’ R&D effort. These results have implications for Technology policy, particularly for the design of R&D subsidies that ensure enhanced effectiveness.

To assemble to resemble? A study of tax disparities among French municipalities

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the effect of inter-municipal cooperation on local taxation. Municipalities that join/create an inter-municipal jurisdiction choose between three tax regimes, which may induce both horizontal and vertical tax externalities. Using the differences in differences method with a quasi-exhaustive panel for French municipalities over the 1994-2010 period, we show a positive causal effect of cooperation on the level of cumulative tax rates (i.e. the sum of municipal and inter-municipal tax rates). Moreover, we show that cooperation leads to a convergence of tax rates within an inter-municipal structure, which thus reduces tax disparities among municipalities.

Smart specialisation, regional growth and applications to EU cohesion policy

This paper examines the arguments underpinning the smart specialisation concept, an idea which originally emerged from the sectoral growth literature, and one which has recently been applied with to the regional policy context. The shift from a sectoral to a regional context appears prima facie to be quite straightforward but this paper explains that translating the idea to a regional policy context is rather more complex that it at first appears and implies some changes in both interpretation and implications. The outcomes of this are that in a regional policy setting the smart specialisation logic is seen to be broadly consistent with the overall reforms of EU Cohesion Policy. However, in a regional policy setting there is no reason why ICTs should be prioritised over many forms of intangible capital, and the promotion of technological diversification via entrepreneurship may need to be related to specific sectors or activities.

Regulatory federalism and industrial policy in broadband telecommunications [WP-IEB]

We analyse the impact of regulation, industrial policy and jurisdictional allocation on broadband deployment using a theoretical model and an empirical estimation. Although central powers may be more focused and internalize interjurisdictional externalities, decentralized powers may internalize local horizontal policy spillovers and use a diversity of objectives as a commitment device in the presence of sunk investments. The latter may, for instance, alleviate the collective action problem of the joint use of rights of way and other physical infrastructures. In the empirical exercise, using data for OECD and EU countries for the period 1999-2006, we examine whether centralization promotes new telecommunications markets, in particular the broadband access market. The existint literature, in the main, claims it does, but we find no support for this claim in our data. Our results show that indicators of national industrial policy are a weakly positive determinant of broadband deployment and that different measures of centralization are either irrelevant or have a negative impact on broadband penetration.

Offshoring and company characteristics: some evidence from the analysis of Spanish firm data

This article investigates firm characteristics associated with the probability of relocating activities in a foreign country. Using manufacturing firms micro data for the 1999-2005 period, we find evidence that cost-cutting objectives are the main determinants for offshoring production. The analysis reveals that firms that are larger and have higher productivity, more research and development activity and greater human capital intensity are more likely to relocate activity abroad. Thus, the best firms self-select to offshoring activities. We note the special prominence of foreign firms among those that engage in offshoring. Our results show that self-selection of the best firms are much more significant in foreign firms.

Give me your wired and your highly skilled: measuring the impact of immigration policy on employers and shareholders

This paper links finance theory to labor economics in the context of migration and immigration policy. Using event analysis, I measure the impact of immigration policy on the firm profits, in particular the American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act (ACWIA) of 1998 nearly doubled the available number of H‐1B visas for skilled foreign workers in FY 1999. The empirical results show that top H‐1B visa user industries enjoyed significant and positive excess returns with the passage of the Act, while industries with little need for H‐1B visas experienced no significant changes. Several robustness checks support the results.

Green polities: urban environmental performance and government popularity

Ascertaining whether local election results are driven by incumbents’performance while in office or mechanically reflect constituencies’ ideological affiliation and macroeconomic conditions is crucial for evaluating the alleged accountability-enhancing property of decentralization. Based on a unique score of urban environmental performance and the results of all elections held in the major Italian cities over a decade, we investigate the role of local (fiscal and environmental) versus national issues in municipal elections. While the empirical evidence points to a strong ideological attachment and a somewhat weaker fiscal conservatism, it reveals that media reported environmental ranking has a considerable impact on the popularity of city governments.

Family reunification or point-based immigration system? the case of the U.S. and Mexico

While the immigration policy in the U.S. is mainly oriented to family reunification, in Australia, Canada and the U.K. it is a points-based immigration system which main objective is to attract high skilled immigrants. This paper compares both immigration policies through the transition for the U.S. and Mexico. I find that: (i) The point system increases the average years of the immigrants by 3.5 years. (ii) The Mexican immigrants suffer a 10% reduction in their effective hours of labor when they move to the U.S. (iii) Migration reduces inequality, more significantly if the immigration policy is the point system and increases output per capita differences between both countries. (iv) The offspring of the immigrants invest more in human capital than the U.S. natives. (v). The earnings ratio immigrants to the U.S. natives is lower under the quota system than under the point system but along the transition it reverses converging at the steady state.

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