Challenges from School Access, Deprivation and the Job Market

Dear distinguished colleagues, researchers and students,

You are cordially invited to the next 2020 UEH School of Economics seminar.

Topic: Getting to Grade 10 in Vietnam: Challenges from School Access, Deprivation and the Job Market

Presenter: Prof. Ian Coxhead, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Time: 14:00 – Thursday, 02 January, 2020

Venue: Room H.001, Campus H, UEH School of Economics, 1A Hoang Dieu, Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City

Language: English

Abstract: Vietnam has enjoyed more than a generation of rapid economic growth, but the gains have not been equally shared. Ethnic minorities and communities with relatively weak links to booming urban/industrial sectors have been noticeably left behind. Education policy is strongly oriented toward increased achievement and opportunity, but income effects (which increase enrollments) are unequally distributed, while rapid blue-collar creation has differential effects on incentives over the income distribution. Contrasting outcomes become especially evident in the transition from lower to upper secondary school. Among poorer and under-served populations, the rate of transition into employment rather than upper-secondary education is high and has declined only very slowly.

We report and discuss work in progress with data on individual participants in the Grade 10 entrance exam in several provinces. Data on participation in and performance on standardized tests provide good measures of school outcomes and (more than simple school attendance measures) are indicative of children’s aspirations. After merging with household and labor force survey data we can quantify and decompose variation in the test-taking rate and in test scores due to variation in demand and supply side factors. The project is intended to sharpen the focus in policy approaches to the goal of increasing upper-secondary enrollments and achievement.

About the presenter: Ian Coxhead is an economist specializing in the study of growth, trade and development, with a regional focus on East and Southeast Asia. His primary research focus is on the implications of globalization and global market shocks on employment, wages and earnings, migration and educational choices in developing economies. His secondary focus extends to a broader set of interactions, including natural resources and environment. He has published widely in peer-reviewed economics journals and was editor of the Routledge Handbook of Southeast Asian Economics (2015) and co-author of The Open Economy and the Environment: Development, Trade and Resources in Asia (2003).

Professor Coxhead received his Ph.D. in Economics from the Australian National University in 1990. In 1991 he joined the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics and served as department chair from 2012-2017. At UW-Madison he has also served as director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, the Ph.D. in Development Program, and the Wisconsin Energy Institute. In 2016 he was appointed Honorary Professor in the Arndt-Corden Department of Economics at the Australian National University.