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International Differences in Student Achievement: An Economic Perspective

  • Hendrik Jürges
  • Kerstin Schneider

International comparisons reveal large cross-country differentials in average student performance. Although there is considerable public debate about these differences, their sources are hardly identified. Using school, teacher and student data from the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), the present paper attempts to explain what causes between-country gaps in mathematics test score distributions. Following a three-pronged strategy of micro-level and cross-country regressions as well as bilateral country comparisons, we show how these gaps are explained by differences in school, teacher and student characteristics, or financial resources devoted to the school system. Institutional characteristics, such as competition between schools and the composition of the faculty can also help to understand international differences in student achievement. Copyright Verein für Socialpolitik and Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2004.

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Article provided by Verein für Socialpolitik in its journal German Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 5 (2004)
Issue (Month): 3 (08)
Pages: 357-380

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Handle: RePEc:bla:germec:v:5:y:2004:i:3:p:357-380
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  1. Hendrik Jürges & Kerstin Schneider & Felix Büchel, 2005. "The Effect Of Central Exit Examinations On Student Achievement: Quasi-Experimental Evidence From TIMSS Germany," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(5), pages 1134-1155, 09.
  2. Eide, Eric & Showalter, Mark H., 1998. "The effect of school quality on student performance: A quantile regression approach," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 345-350, March.
  3. John DiNardo & Nicole M. Fortin & Thomas Lemieux, 1995. "Labor Market Institutions and the Distribution of Wages, 1973-1992: A Semiparametric Approach," NBER Working Papers 5093, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Steven G. Rivkin & Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain, 2005. "Teachers, Schools, and Academic Achievement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(2), pages 417-458, 03.
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