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Chapter 4: Prospects for Education Policy in Europe

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Author Info

  • Lars Calmfors
  • Giancarlo Corsetti
  • Seppo Honkapohja
  • John Kay
  • Gilles Saint-Paul
  • Hans-Werner Sinn
  • Jan-Egbert Sturm
  • Xavier Vives

Abstract

Educational systems are under pressure in many countries. On the one hand, the costs of education are soaring as both enrolment rates and the length of studies trend upward, while the cost per pupil grows as fast as GDP per capita. On the other hand, there is a perception that standards and achievements are going down. Large disparities are evident between countries in terms of achievements in reading, mathematics and science, occurring even among countries that are similar in economic and demographic terms. The amount of resources devoted to primary and secondary education does not seem to have a large impact, whereas the structure of school systems seems to matter a lot. Simply devoting more resources to education or pursuing naïve targets – such as a reduction in class sizes – are not effective ways to improve school systems. Instead, policies should focus on a better organisation of schools. Increasing parental choice and fostering competition among students to get into good schools as well as among schools in order to attract good students seem to be more effective policy reforms. If designed well, such reforms do not lead to unfair or non-egalitarian practices.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by CESifo Group Munich in its journal EEAG Report on the European Economy.

Volume (Year): (2006)
Issue (Month): (03)
Pages: 89-100

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Handle: RePEc:ces:eeagre:v::y:2006:i::p:89-100

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  1. Epple, Dennis & Romano, Richard E, 1998. "Competition between Private and Public Schools, Vouchers, and Peer-Group Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 33-62, March.
  2. Schütz, Gabriela & Ursprung, Heinrich W. & Wößmann, Ludger, 2008. "Education policy and equality of opportunity," Munich Reprints in Economics 19901, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  3. Joshua Angrist & Eric Bettinger & Erik Bloom & Elizabeth King & Michael Kremer, 2002. "Vouchers for private schooling in colombia: Evidence from a randomized natural experiment," Natural Field Experiments 00203, The Field Experiments Website.
  4. Saint-Paul, Gilles & Verdier, Thierry, 1992. "Education, Democracy and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 613, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Hendrik Jürges & Kerstin Schneider & Felix Büchel, 2005. "The Effect Of Central Exit Examinations On Student Achievement: Quasi-Experimental Evidence From TIMSS Germany," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(5), pages 1134-1155, 09.
  6. Cecilia Elena Rouse, 1998. "Private School Vouchers And Student Achievement: An Evaluation Of The Milwaukee Parental Choice Program," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(2), pages 553-602, May.
  7. Caroline Minter Hoxby, 1994. "Does Competition Among Public Schools Benefit Students and Taxpayers?," NBER Working Papers 4979, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Ludger Woessmann, 2004. "The Effect Heterogeneity of Central Exams: Evidence from TIMSS, TIMSS-Repeat and PISA," CESifo Working Paper Series 1330, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Bishop, J., 1997. "The Effect of national Standards and Curriculum-Based Exams on Achievement," Papers 97-01, Cornell - Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies.
  10. Ludger Wößmann & Martin R. West, 2002. "Class-Size Effects in School Systems Around the World: Evidence from Between-Grade Variation in TIMSS," Kiel Working Papers 1099, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  11. Eric A. Hanushek, 2002. "Publicly Provided Education," NBER Working Papers 8799, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Bishop, John H, 1997. "The Effect of National Standards and Curriculum-Based Exams on Achievement," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 260-64, May.
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