Long-Run Trends in School Productivity: Evidence From Australia
AbstractOutside the United States (U.S.), very little is known about long-run trends in school productivity. We present new evidence using two data series from Australia, where comparable tests are available back to the 1960s. For young teenagers (aged 13-14), we find a small but statistically significant fall in numeracy over the period 1964- 2003, and in both literacy and numeracy over the period 1975-1998. The decline is in the order of one-tenth to one-fifth of a standard deviation. Adjusting this decline for changes in student demographics does not affect this conclusion; if anything, the decline appears to be more acute. The available evidence also suggests that any changes in student attitudes, school violence, and television viewing are unlikely to have had a major impact on test scores. Real per-child school expenditure increased substantially over this period, implying a fall in school productivity. Although we cannot account for all the phenomena that might have affected school productivity, we identify a number of plausible explanations.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 618.
Date of creation: Aug 2009
Date of revision:
education production function; literacy; numeracy;
Other versions of this item:
- Andrew Leigh & Chris Ryan, 2011. "Long-Run Trends in School Productivity: Evidence from Australia," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 6(1), pages 105-135, January.
- H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education
- I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
- I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-10-03 (All new papers)
- NEP-EDU-2009-10-03 (Education)
- NEP-EFF-2009-10-03 (Efficiency & Productivity)
- NEP-LAB-2009-10-03 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-URE-2009-10-03 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.