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Pupil Achievement, School Resources and Family Background

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Author Info

  • Haegeland, Torbjørn

    ()
    (Statistics Norway)

  • Raaum, Oddbjørn

    ()
    (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research)

  • Salvanes, Kjell G.

    ()
    (Norwegian School of Economics)

Abstract

Whether increasing resource use in schools has a positive effect on pupil performance has occupied governments, parents and researchers for decades. A main challenge when trying to answer this question is to separate the effects of school resources from the effects of pupils’ family background, since resources may be allocated in a compensatory manner, and pupils may sort into schools. We address these issues using a comprehensive dataset for two cohorts of pupils graduating from lower secondary school in Norway. The dataset is rich in performance measures, resource use variables and family background variables. As performance measures we use results at age 16 across 11 subjects, and we exploit the fact that we have both information from results from national exams and from continuous assessment in class. Controlling for family background, we find a positive but modest effect of resource quantity such as teacher hours per pupil, on pupil achievement. Observable teacher qualifications, within the variation present in lower secondary school in Norway, do not appear to have significant effects on school results. Resource quality as measured by teacher characteristics does not appear to have a significant impact on pupils’ marks. We find clear evidence of compensating resource allocation and teacher sorting as well as relative setting of marks.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1459.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1459

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Keywords: exam results; school resources; family background; compensating resource allocation;

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References

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  1. Black, Sandra E. & Devereux, Paul J. & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2003. "Why the Apple Doesn't Fall Far: Understanding Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital," IZA Discussion Papers 926, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Hægeland, Torbjørn & Raaum, Oddbjørn & Salvanes, Kjell Gunnar, 2007. "Pennies from heaven - Using exogenous tax variation to identify effects of school resources on pupil achievement," Memorandum 18/2007, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  2. Marte Rønning & Edvin Leuven & Hessel Oosterbeek, 2008. "Quasi-experimental estimates of the effect of class size on achievement in Norway," Working Paper Series 9308, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
  3. Bernt Bratsberg & Knut Røed & Oddbjørn Raaum & Robin Naylor & Markus Ja�ntti & Tor Eriksson & Eva O�sterbacka, 2007. "Nonlinearities in Intergenerational Earnings Mobility: Consequences for Cross-Country Comparisons," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(519), pages C72-C92, 03.

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