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Do School Incentives and Accountability Measures Improve Skills in the Middle East and North Africa? The Cases of Jordan and Tunisia

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  • Shafiq M. Najeeb

    (University of Pittsburgh)

Abstract

There is general agreement that skill-enhancing school reforms in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region are necessary for economic, political and social reasons. Using student-level data from Jordan and Tunisia, this study assesses the relationship between skills and the following school incentive and accountability measures: pedagogical autonomy, school competition, freedom to hire and fire teachers, publicly posting data, and parent involvement in school affairs. Quantile regression analyses of mathematics, science, and reading skills of 15-year-old students suggest that students in schools with incentive and accountability measures do not have higher skills than students in school without the measures; this suggests that schools with incentive and accountability measures are no more efficient than other schools that have not adopted the measures. In terms of equity, the reforms are not associated with higher skills for the less skilled; a notable exception is parent involvement in Tunisia, which is associated with higher science and reading skills among low-skilled students. The main policy implication is that school incentive- and accountability-based reform should not be pursued until researchers have identified the effective design properties of each incentive and accountability measure.

Suggested Citation

  • Shafiq M. Najeeb, 2011. "Do School Incentives and Accountability Measures Improve Skills in the Middle East and North Africa? The Cases of Jordan and Tunisia," Review of Middle East Economics and Finance, De Gruyter, vol. 7(2), pages 1-28, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:rmeecf:v:7:y:2011:i:2:n:2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Josep-Oriol Escardíbul & Nehal Helmy, 2015. "Decentralisation and school autonomy impact on the quality of education: the case of two MENA countries," Working Papers 2015/33, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    2. Bouhlila, Donia Smaali, 2015. "The Heyneman–Loxley effect revisited in the Middle East and North Africa: Analysis using TIMSS 2007 database," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 85-95.
    3. Josep-Oriol Escardíbul & Nehal Helmy, 2014. "School Autonomy Impact on the Quality of Education: The case of Tunisia and Jordan," Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación volume 9,in: Adela García Aracil & Isabel Neira Gómez (ed.), Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación 9, edition 1, volume 9, chapter 26, pages 501-514 Asociación de Economía de la Educación.

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