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Econometric Methods for Causal Evaluation of Education Policies and Practices: A Non-Technical Guide

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Author Info

  • Schlotter, Martin

    ()
    (Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

  • Schwerdt, Guido

    ()
    (University of Konstanz)

  • Woessmann, Ludger

    ()
    (Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Abstract

Education policy-makers and practitioners want to know which policies and practices can best achieve their goals. But research that can inform evidence-based policy often requires complex methods to distinguish causation from accidental association. Avoiding econometric jargon and technical detail, this paper explains the main idea and intuition of leading empirical strategies devised to identify causal impacts and illustrates their use with real-world examples. It covers six evaluation methods: controlled experiments, lotteries of oversubscribed programs, instrumental variables, regression discontinuities, differences-in-differences, and panel-data techniques. Illustrating applications include evaluations of early-childhood interventions, voucher lotteries, funding programs for disadvantaged, and compulsory-school and tracking reforms.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4725.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Education Economics, 2011, 19 (2), 109-137
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4725

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Keywords: non-technical guide; causal effects; education; policy evaluation;

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Cited by:
  1. Leonardo Bonilla Mejía & Luis Armando Galvis, 2011. "Profesionalización docente y la calidad de la educación escolar en Colombia," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO SOBRE ECONOMÍA REGIONAL 009005, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA - ECONOMÍA REGIONAL.
  2. Nina Czernich & Oliver Falck & Tobias Kretschmer & Ludger Wößmann, 2009. "Breitbandinfrastruktur und wissensbasiertes volkswirtschaftliches Wachstum," Ifo Schnelldienst, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 62(23), pages 29-34, December.
  3. Pedraja Chaparro, Francisco & Santín González, Daniel & Simancas Rodríguez, Rosa, 2013. "The Impact of Immigrant Concentration in Schools on Grade Retention in Spain: a Difference-in-Differences Approach," MPRA Paper 46888, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Commission of Experts for Research and Innovation (EFI), Berlin (ed.), 2013. "Research, innovation and technological performance in Germany - EFI Report 2013," Research, innovation and technological performance in Germany: Report, Expertenkommission Forschung und Innovation (EFI), volume 127, number 2013e.
  5. Leonardo Bonilla Mejía & Luis Armando Galvis, 2012. "Profesionalización docente y calidad de la educación escolar en Colombia," ENSAYOS SOBRE POLÍTICA ECONÓMICA, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA - ESPE.
  6. Bredtmann, Julia & Crede, Carsten J. & Otten, Sebastian, 2013. "Methods for evaluating educational programs: Does Writing Center Participation affect student achievement?," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 115-123.
  7. Marc Piopiunik, 2011. "Microeconometric Analyses of Education Production in Germany," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 40.
  8. Cordero, José Manuel & Santín, Daniel & Sicilia, Gabriela, 2013. "Dealing with the Endogeneity Problem in Data Envelopment Analysis," MPRA Paper 47475, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Eichhorst, Werner & Rodríguez-Planas, Núria & Schmidl, Ricarda & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2012. "A Roadmap to Vocational Education and Training Systems Around the World," IZA Discussion Papers 7110, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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