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The headmaster ritual: The importance of management for school outcomes

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Author Info

  • Böhlmark, Anders

    ()
    (SOFI, Stockholm University)

  • Grönqvist, Erik

    ()
    (IFAU)

  • Vlachos, Jonas

    ()
    (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm University)

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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File URL: http://www2.ne.su.se/paper/wp12_12.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Stockholm University, Department of Economics in its series Research Papers in Economics with number 2012:12.

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Length: 50 pages
Date of creation: 08 Oct 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:sunrpe:2012_0012

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Postal: Department of Economics, Stockholm, S-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46 8 16 20 00
Fax: +46 8 16 14 25
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Web page: http://www.ne.su.se/
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Keywords: Principals; School Management;

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  1. 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.
  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. Nick Bloom & Carol Propper & Stephan Seiler & John Van Reenen, 2010. "The impact of competition on management quality: evidence from public hospitals," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28731, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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