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Econometric methods for causal evaluation of education policies and practices: A non-technical guide

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  • Schlotter, Martin
  • Schwerdt, Guido
  • Wößmann, Ludger

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 approach, and panel data techniques. Illustrating applications include evaluations of early childhood interventions, voucher lotteries, funding programs for disadvantaged students, and compulsory school and tracking reforms.

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Paper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Munich Reprints in Economics with number 19780.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Publication status: Published in Education Economics 2 19(2011): pp. 109-137
Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:19780

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Citations

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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. 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).
  3. 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, November.
  4. 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, July.
  5. 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.
  6. Julia Bredtmann & Carsten J. Crede & Sebastian Otten, 2011. "Methods for Evaluating Educational Programs – Does Writing Center Participation Affect Student Achievement?," Ruhr Economic Papers 0275, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.

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