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Do Fiscal and Political Decentralization Raise Students' Performance? A Cross-Country Analysis

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  • Diaz-Serrano, Luis

    ()
    (Universitat Rovira i Virgili)

  • Meix-Llop, Enric

    ()
    (Universitat Rovira i Virgili)

Abstract

The low quality of education is a persistent problem in many developed countries. Parallel to in the last decades exists a tendency towards decentralization in many developed and developing countries. Using micro data from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) referred to 22 countries, we test whether there exists an impact of fiscal and political decentralization on student performance in the areas of mathematics, reading skills and science. We observe that fiscal decentralization exerts an unequivocal positive effect on students' outcomes in all areas, while the effect of political decentralization is more ambiguous. On the one hand, the capacity of the subnational governments to rule on its region has a positive effect on students' performance in mathematics. On the other hand, the capacity to influence the country as a whole has a negative impact on mathematics achievement. As a general result, we observe that students' performance in Mathematics is more sensible to these exogenous variations than in Sciences and reading skills.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6722.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6722

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Keywords: school outcomes; PISA; fiscal decentralization; political decentralization;

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  1. Lessmann, Christian, 2009. "Fiscal decentralization and regional disparity: Evidence from cross-section and panel data," Dresden Discussion Paper Series in Economics 08/09, Dresden University of Technology, Faculty of Business and Economics, Department of Economics.
  2. Thomas Fuchs & Ludger Woessmann, 2004. "Computers and Student Learning: Bivariate and Multivariate Evidence on the Availability and Use of Computers at Home and at School," CESifo Working Paper Series 1321, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Maresa Sprietsma, 2010. "Effect of relative age in the first grade of primary school on long-term scholastic results: international comparative evidence using PISA 2003," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(1), pages 1-32.
  4. Winkler, Donald R., 1989. "Decentralization in education : an economic perspective," Policy Research Working Paper Series 143, The World Bank.
  5. Thomas Fuchs & Ludger Woessmann, 2004. "What Accounts for International Differences in Student Performance? A Re-examination using PISA Data," Econometric Society 2004 Australasian Meetings, Econometric Society 274, Econometric Society.
  6. Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
  7. Josep Lluís Carrion-i-Silvestre & Marta Espasa & Toni Mora, 2008. "Fiscal Decentralization and Economic Growth in Spain," Public Finance Review, , , vol. 36(2), pages 194-218, March.
  8. Petra E. Todd & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2003. "On The Specification and Estimation of The Production Function for Cognitive Achievement," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages F3-F33, February.
  9. Ouarda Merrouche, 2007. "The Long Term Effect of Education Spending Decentralization on Human Capital in Spain," Working Papers, Geary Institute, University College Dublin 200708, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  10. Benedict J. Clements, 1999. "The Efficiency of Education Expenditure in Portugal," IMF Working Papers 99/179, International Monetary Fund.
  11. Schakel, Arjan H., 2008. "Validation of the Regional Authority Index," MPRA Paper 8972, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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Cited by:
  1. Paula Salinas, 2014. "The effect of decentralization on educational outcomes: real autonomy matters!," Working Papers 2014/25, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  2. Díaz Serrano, Lluís & Rodríguez Pose, Andrés, 2013. "Decentralization and the Welfare State: What Do Citizens Perceive?," Working Papers 2072/222195, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.

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