The evaluation of the returns to investments in human capital has been at the core of the economics of education since the seminal work of Theodore Schultz published in 1961. The most significant methodological advances have come in parallel with more general developments in applied microeconometrics, such as the particular interest in issues of causality and unobserved heterogeneity. The new empirical findings document a widespread decline in rates of return to education over time. In this chapter we review some developments and present new international comparative results on the heterogeneity of returns to education. Apart from reviewing endogeneity and heterogeneity issues, we also pay attention to the main findings on return to early years education and returns to overeducation.
Geraint Johnes, Jill Johnes and Laura López-Torres
Building Resilience Through Transitions
Katharine McGowan, Frances Westley and Ola Tjörnbo
Vilma Žydžiūnaitė and Loreta Tauginienė
Grounded theory (GT) is a qualitative methodology, which derives its name from the practice of generating theory from research, which is grounded in data (Babchuk 1997). Three GT methodologies have evolved, namely B.G. Glaser’s classic, A.L. Strauss and J. Corbin’s structured and K. Charmaz’s (1983, 2005, 2006, 2014) social constructivist methodology. The thematic analysis based on GT is usually called applied thematic analysis (ATA) (Braun and Clarke 2006). As GT is designed to construct theories that are grounded in the empirical data themselves (Guest et al. 2012) this aspect is also reflected in ATA because its process also consists of reading transcripts, identifying and comparing themes, and building theoretical models (Boyatzis 1998).
The Life and Work of Arthur (A.J.) Brown
The empirical evaluation of regulatory policy reforms in network industries: some methodological issues
Evaluating Privatisation, Regulation and Liberalisation in the EU
Some regulatory reforms cannot be simply described by the change of a microeconomic signal, or macroeconomic instrument, leading to a specific marginal effect on social welfare. Rather, they should be represented by packages shifting a policy framework. The aim of this chapter is to discuss the theoretical foundations of the evaluation of policy framework reforms in network industries. Some potential interpretational pitfalls are identified and some guidance on carrying out econometric analyses is provided. Since the use of categorical variables has become widespread in the empirical evaluation of such reforms, methodological issues and conceptual errors that might be introduced when building numerical proxies of reforms are discussed. Some of these issues are key for the correct assessment of reforms and hence for formulating coherent policy recommendations.
Edited by Barry D. Solomon and Kirby E. Calvert
The Complexities of Individual and Organizational Decision-Making
Karin Brunsson and Nils Brunsson
Many, although far from all, human actions are preceded by decisions. Decisions are needed when action is not routinized or when there are no clear institutionalized rules for how to act. Decision-making can follow four types of logics – the logics of consequences, of appropriateness, of imitation and of experimentation. An extreme form of the logic of consequences is the model of rational decision-making according to which decision makers shall be able to predict and weigh their future preference and all relevant action options and their consequences. But these expectations are almost impossible to meet. In contemporary society the logic of consequences and especially its rational variant have a higher status than the other logics. Whichever logic used before the action, decision makers are expected to justify their decisions by using the logic of consequences in a relatively rational version.
Convenience in White-Collar Crime
Convenience is a concept that was theoretically mainly associated with efficiency in time savings. Today, convenience is associated with a number of other characteristics, such as reduced effort and reduced pain. Convenience is associated with terms such as fast, easy, and safe. Convenience says something about attractiveness and accessibility. A convenient individual is not necessarily bad or lazy. On the contrary, the person can be seen as smart and rational. Convenience orientation is conceptualized as the value that individuals and organizations place on actions with inherent characteristics of saving time and effort. Convenience orientation can be considered a value-like construct that influences behavior and decision-making.