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School staff autonomy and educational performance: within school type evidence

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Author Info

  • VERSCHELDE, Marijn

    ()
    (SHERPPA, Ghent University, Belgium)

  • HINDRIKS, Jean

    ()
    (Université catholique de Louvain, CORE, Belgium)

  • RAYP, Glenn

    ()
    (SHERPPA, Ghent University, Belgium)

  • SCHOORS, Koen

    ()
    (CERISE, Ghent University, Belgium)

Abstract

This paper shows the effect of school staff autonomy on educational performance. The distinctive feature with existing literature is that we employ variation in autonomy within the same country and within the same school type to reduce the omitted variables problems. To fully capture the informational advantage of local actors, we define autonomy as the operational empowerment of the school's direction and teachers. The Flemish secondary school system in Belgium is analyzed as it displays unique within school type variation in school staff autonomy. This variation originates from autonomously operating school governing bodies that can group multiple schools and are free to delegate responsibilities to the school staff. Combining detailed school level and pupil level data from the PISA 2006 study with a semiparametric hierarchical model, we find strong positive effect of school staff autonomy on educational performance. The result is shown to be robust to problems of reverse causality and simultaneity. Quantile regression shows that both low and high-performers benefit from school staff autonomy.

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File URL: http://uclouvain.be/cps/ucl/doc/core/documents/coredp2012_53web.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) in its series CORE Discussion Papers with number 2012053.

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Date of creation: 21 Dec 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2012053

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Web page: http://www.uclouvain.be/core
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Related research

Keywords: educational performance; PISA; school autonomy; educational production function; semiparametric;

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References

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  1. Eric A. Hanushek, 2003. "The Failure of Input-Based Schooling Policies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages F64-F98, February.
  2. Eric A. Hanushek & Susanne Link & Ludger Woessmann, 2011. "Does School Autonomy Make Sense Everywhere? Panel Estimates from PISA," CESifo Working Paper Series 3648, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Frey, Bruno S & Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, 1997. "The Cost of Price Incentives: An Empirical Analysis of Motivation Crowding-Out," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 746-55, September.
  4. HINDRIKS, Jean & VERSCHELDE, Marijn & RAYP, Glenn & SCHOORS, Koen, 2010. "School tracking, social segregation and educational opportunity: evidence from Belgium," CORE Discussion Papers 2010081, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  5. Fan, C. Simon & Lin, Chen & Treisman, Daniel, 2009. "Political decentralization and corruption: Evidence from around the world," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 14-34, February.
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  9. Jean Hindriks & Gareth D. Myles, 2006. "Intermediate Public Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262083442, December.
  10. Koenker, Roger W & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1978. "Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 33-50, January.
  11. Damon Clark, 2009. "The Performance and Competitive Effects of School Autonomy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(4), pages 745-783, 08.
  12. Besley, Timothy & Case, Anne, 1995. "Incumbent Behavior: Vote-Seeking, Tax-Setting, and Yardstick Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 25-45, March.
  13. Caroline Minter Hoxby, 2003. "Introduction to "The Economics of School Choice"," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of School Choice, pages 1-22 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Ludger Wöbmann & Elke Lüdemann & Gabriela Schütz & Martin R. West, 2007. "School Accountability, Autonomy, Choice, and the Level of Student Achievement: International Evidence from PISA 2003," OECD Education Working Papers 13, OECD Publishing.
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