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Using the Oaxaca-Blinder Decomposition Technique to Analyze Learning Outcomes Changes over Time: An Application to Indonesia’s Results in PISA Mathematics

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  • Barrera-Osorio, F.
  • García-Moreno, V.
  • Patrinos, H.,
  • Porta, E.

Abstract

The Oaxaca-Blinder technique was originally used in labor economics to decompose earnings gaps and to estimate the level of discrimination. It has been applied since in other social issues, including education, where it can be used to assess how much of a gap is due to differences in characteristics (explained variation) and how much is due to policy or system changes (unexplained variation). We apply the decomposition technique in an effort to analyze the increase in Indonesia’s score in PISA mathematics. Between 2003 and 2006, Indonesia’s score increased by 30 points, or 0.3 of a standard deviation. The test score increase is assessed in relation to family, student, school and institutional characteristics. The gap over time is decomposed into its constituent components based on the estimation of cognitive achievement production functions. The decomposition results suggest that almost the entire test score increase is explained by the returns to characteristics, mostly related to student age. However, we find that the adequate supply of teachers also plays a role in test score changes.

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Article provided by Euro-American Association of Economic Development in its journal Regional and Sectoral Economic Studies.

Volume (Year): 11 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:eaa:eerese:v:11:y2011:i:3_4

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Keywords: PISA; education; test scores; Indonesia;

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References

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  1. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
  2. McEwan, Patrick J, 2004. "The Indigenous Test Score Gap in Bolivia and Chile," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(1), pages 157-90, October.
  3. James Heckman & Pedro Carneiro, 2003. "Human Capital Policy," NBER Working Papers 9495, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Hanushek, Eric A, 1986. "The Economics of Schooling: Production and Efficiency in Public Schools," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 1141-77, September.
  5. Daniel Suryadarma & Asep Suryahadi & Sudarno Sumarto & F. Halsey Rogers, 2006. "Improving Student Performance in Public Primary Schools in Developing Countries: Evidence from Indonesia," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(4), pages 401-429.
  6. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
  7. Esther Duflo, 2001. "Schooling and Labor Market Consequences of School Construction in Indonesia: Evidence from an Unusual Policy Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 795-813, September.
  8. Hanushek, Eric A, 1995. "Interpreting Recent Research on Schooling in Developing Countries," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 10(2), pages 227-46, August.
  9. Petra E. Todd & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2003. "On The Specification and Estimation of The Production Function for Cognitive Achievement," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages F3-F33, February.
  10. Roland G. Fryer, Jr. & Steven D. Levitt, 2002. "Understanding the Black-White Test Score Gap in the First Two Years of School," NBER Working Papers 8975, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Hernandez-Zavala, Martha & Patrinos, Harry Anthony & Sakellariou, Chris & Shapiro, Joseph, 2006. "Quality of schooling and quality of schools for indigenous students in Guatemala, Mexico, and Peru," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3982, The World Bank.
  12. Janet Currie & Duncan Thomas, 1999. "Early Test Scores, Socioeconomic Status and Future Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 6943, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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