The course covers theoretical topics such as: (a) Human capital theory; (b) The technology of skill formation: how does the acquisition of skills affect the future acquisition of skills and what are the implications for the timing of education?; (c) The determinants of school success: What are the economic preference parameters that determine choice people make in the acquisition of skills and how does this affect future outcomes?; (d) Tracking in education: How does the structure of the educational system, e.g. with early tracking or comprehensive schools and second chance options like the GED shape outcomes?; (e) Training at the workplace and informal learning; (f) Educational/vocational choice, labour market opportunities, preferences and the option value of education and (g) Educational choice and competition and empirical issue like the measurement of skills and the identification of key parameters in education.
Participants will acquire knowledge of the economics of education and learn how to investigate educational issues from an economic point of view. Economic theory will be used to study the optimal design of educational systems and the curriculum and to study the control mechanisms by which the functioning of the systems can be improved. Student will acquire knowledge about the measurement of skills, how such measures can be used for educational policy and their limitations. Furthermore, students will acquire understanding of typical challenges for empirical identification for key parameters and possibilities to tackle these empirical challenges.