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BAEcon Economics and Philosophy / Course details
Year of entry: 2023
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Course unit details:
Topics in Education Economics
|Unit level||Level 3|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 2|
|Available as a free choice unit?||No|
In this course we will consider questions including:
- Why is education important for individuals, families, the economy and society?
- How are skills accumulated over the life-course and especially in childhood? When and why do skill inequalities open up and what consequences do they have?
- What role do parents, schools, universities, employers and individuals themselves play in the process of skill accumulation? What are the main drivers of their behaviour?
- What are the economic arguments for and against public intervention in education at different points in the life-course?
- What are the most commonly used intervention strategies in early childhood, during the school years, in post-compulsory education, and in work? What does the evidence say about how effective there are? How reliable is this evidence?
|Unit title||Unit code||Requirement type||Description|
|Principles of Microeconomic Theory 2: Markets, Prices and Strategy||ECON10172||Pre-Requisite||Compulsory|
The course unit aims to:
- Introduce students to the key debates on the importance of education and the economic arguments for public policy interventions in education.
- Introduce students to major theories and evidence on how skills form and what drives the behaviour of key actors in this process (individuals, parents, teachers etc).
- Acquaint students with the key pieces of empirical evidence on how effective different education interventions are.
- Improve students’ skills in critical evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of empirical evidence in education economics.
By the end of the course students are expected to:
1. Be able to demonstrate a good understanding of:
- Economic arguments for why education is important.
- Key features of workhorse theoretical models of the skill production function.
- Overview of evidence on the process of skill formation, as well as determinants of and returns to different investments in different skills.
- Rationale for public intervention in education
- Commonly used education intervention strategies at different points in the life-course and evidence on their effectiveness
2. Be able to use economic reasoning and awareness of relevant evidence to:
- Engage critically with empirical academic research on topics in education economics.
- Critically evaluate education policy proposals
- Present orally and in writing coherent arguments about education policy questions.
3. Improve a range of practical skills including:
- Research, problem solving, analytical, and critical thinking skills
- Academic communication skills: writing essays, discussing
- Non-academic communication skills – communicating economic concepts to non-academic audiences orally and in writing.
Teaching and learning methods
Synchronous activities (such as Lectures or Review and Q&A sessions, and tutorials), and guided self-study. Tutorials will be used to review key points in the lectures, develop technical skills needed to understand the key models and empirical evidence covered in the course, and develop communication skills (oral and written).
40% Group work assessment (Recorded 10 minute presentation and 1,500 word policy brief aimed at policy makers on findings of academic papers on assigned question)
60% Exam (end of term, take home for 24 hours - several short answer questions including problems + 1 essay question. Total 1500 words)
Formative feedback opportunities:
- Class feedback
- Office hours
- Revision sessions
- Discussion boards
- Feedback on recorded presentations
Becker, G.S., 1993. Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis, with Special Reference to Education, third ed. University of Chicago Press, Chicago Print.
Francesconi, M. and Heckman, J.J. (2016) “Child Development and Parental Investment: Introduction” Economic Journal
Bjorklund, A. and Salvanes, K. “Education and Family Background: Mechanisms and Policies” Handbook of the Economics of Education Vol 3, Ch. 3
Glewwe, P. and Muralidharan K. (2016) “Improving Education Outcomes in Developing Countries: Evidence, Knowledge Gaps and Policy Implications” Handbook of the Economics of Education Vol 5, Ch. 10.
No single textbook provides the necessary material for this course. The course itself will be taught using a combination of textbook chapters, elementary journal articles, and working papers. A full reading list with the readings for each topic will be made available at the beginning of the course and through the a Library Reading List .
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Independent study hours|