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The Headmaster Ritual: The Importance of Management for School Outcomes

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Author Info

  • Böhlmark, Anders

    ()
    (Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI))

  • Grönqvist, Erik

    ()
    (Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation (IFAU))

  • Vlachos, Jonas

    ()
    (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))

Abstract

The role of school principals largely resembles that of corporate managers and the leadership they provide are often viewed as a crucial component for educational success. We estimate the impact of individual principals on various schooling outcomes, by constructing a principal-school panel data set that allows us to track individual principals as they move between schools. We find that individual principals have a substantive impact on school policies, working conditions and student outcomes. Particularly, students who attend a school with a one standard deviation better principal receive on average 0.12 standard deviations higher test scores. Despite having very rich background information on principals, it is difficult to determine which principal characteristics that form the basis for successful school management. We also find a somewhat mixed picture on what management style characterizes a successful principal. We further show that the scope for principal discretion – for better or for worse – is larger in small schools, in voucher schools and in areas with more school competition.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Research Institute of Industrial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 931.

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Length: 50 pages
Date of creation: 10 Oct 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0931

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Postal: Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden
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Keywords: Principals; School Management;

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  1. Propper, C & Bloom, N & Seiler, S & Van Reenen, J, . "The impact of competition on management quality: evidence from public hospitals," Working Papers 5915, Imperial College, London, Imperial College Business School.
  2. Andersson, Christian & Waldenström, Nina, 2007. "Teacher certification and student achievement in Swedish compulsory schools," Working Paper Series 2007:6, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  3. Nicholas Bloom & Christos Genakos & Raffaella Sadun & John Van Reenen, 2011. "Management Practices Across Firms and Countries," CEP Discussion Papers dp1109, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
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