IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/ecoedu/v62y2018icp66-81.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Smart but unhappy: Independent-school competition and the wellbeing-efficiency trade-off in education

Author

Listed:
  • Heller-Sahlgren, Gabriel

Abstract

We study whether independent-school competition involves a trade-off between pupil wellbeing and academic performance. To test this hypothesis, we analyse data covering pupils across the OECD, exploiting historical Catholic opposition to state schooling for exogenous variation in independent-school enrolment shares. We find that independent-school competition decreases pupil wellbeing but raises achievement and lowers educational costs. Our analysis and balancing tests indicate these findings are causal. In addition, we find several mechanisms behind the trade-off, including more traditional teaching and stronger parental achievement pressure.

Suggested Citation

  • Heller-Sahlgren, Gabriel, 2018. "Smart but unhappy: Independent-school competition and the wellbeing-efficiency trade-off in education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 66-81.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:62:y:2018:i:c:p:66-81
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2017.10.005
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0272775717301619
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.econedurev.2017.10.005?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Anders Böhlmark & Mikael Lindahl, 2015. "Independent Schools and Long-run Educational Outcomes: Evidence from Sweden's Large-scale Voucher Reform," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 82(327), pages 508-551, July.
    2. Eric Hanushek & Ludger Woessmann, 2012. "Do better schools lead to more growth? Cognitive skills, economic outcomes, and causation," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 267-321, December.
    3. Oliver Falck & Ludger Woessmann, 2010. "School Competition and Students' Entrepreneurial Intentions: International Evidence Using Historical Catholic Roots of Private Schooling," CESifo Working Paper Series 3086, CESifo.
    4. Joshua D. Angrist & Parag A. Pathak & Christopher R. Walters, 2013. "Explaining Charter School Effectiveness," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 1-27, October.
    5. Aucejo, Esteban & Romano, Teresa, 2014. "Assessing the effect of school days and absenceson test score performance," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 60498, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    6. Schwerdt, Guido & Wuppermann, Amelie C., 2011. "Is traditional teaching really all that bad? A within-student between-subject approach," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 365-379, April.
    7. Levy-Garboua, Louis & Loheac, Youenn & Fayolle, Bertrand, 2006. "Preference formation, school dissatisfaction and risky behavior of adolescents," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 165-183, February.
    8. Martin R. West & Ludger Woessmann, 2010. "'Every Catholic Child in a Catholic School': Historical Resistance to State Schooling, Contemporary Private Competition and Student Achievement across Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(546), pages 229-255, August.
    9. Hendrik Jürges & Kerstin Schneider, 2010. "Central exit examinations increase performance... but take the fun out of mathematics," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 23(2), pages 497-517, March.
    10. Giorgio Brunello & Margherita Fort & Nicole Schneeweis & Rudolf Winter‐Ebmer, 2016. "The Causal Effect of Education on Health: What is the Role of Health Behaviors?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(3), pages 314-336, March.
    11. Robert J. Barro & Rachel M. McCleary, 2005. "Which Countries Have State Religions?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1331-1370.
    12. Hanushek, Eric A. & Woessmann, Ludger, 2011. "The Economics of International Differences in Educational Achievement," Handbook of the Economics of Education, in: Erik Hanushek & Stephen Machin & Ludger Woessmann (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Education, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 2, pages 89-200, Elsevier.
    13. Victor Lavy, 2010. "Effects of Free Choice Among Public Schools," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(3), pages 1164-1191.
    14. Richard Layard & Andrew E. Clark & Francesca Cornaglia & Nattavudh Powdthavee & James Vernoit, 2014. "What Predicts a Successful Life? A Life‐course Model of Well‐being," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 124(580), pages 720-738, November.
    15. Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc & Andrei Shleifer, 2013. "Teaching Practices and Social Capital," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 189-210, July.
    16. Green, Colin P. & Navarro-Paniagua, María & Ximénez-de-Embún, Domingo P. & Mancebón, María-Jesús, 2014. "School choice and student wellbeing," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 139-150.
    17. Krueger, Alan B. & Schkade, David A., 2008. "The reliability of subjective well-being measures," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(8-9), pages 1833-1845, August.
    18. Alesina, Alberto & Di Tella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert, 2004. "Inequality and happiness: are Europeans and Americans different?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 2009-2042, August.
    19. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi & Jeremy Hunter, 2003. "Happiness in Everyday Life: The Uses of Experience Sampling," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 185-199, June.
    20. Hanushek, Eric A. & Schwerdt, Guido & Wiederhold, Simon & Woessmann, Ludger, 2015. "Returns to skills around the world: Evidence from PIAAC," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 103-130.
    21. Sascha O. Becker & Ludger Woessmann, 2015. "Social Cohesion, Religious Beliefs, and the Effect of Protestantism on Suicide," CESifo Working Paper Series 5288, CESifo.
    22. Richard Layard & Andrew E. Clark & Francesca Cornaglia & Nattavudh Powdthavee & James Vernoit, 2014. "What Predicts a Successful Life? A Life‐course Model of Well‐being," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 124(580), pages 720-738, November.
    23. Chakrabarti, Rajashri, 2008. "Can increasing private school participation and monetary loss in a voucher program affect public school performance? Evidence from Milwaukee," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1371-1393, June.
    24. Cohen-Zada, Danny & Elder, Todd, 2009. "Historical religious concentrations and the effects of Catholic schooling," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 65-74, July.
    25. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2002. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 402-435, June.
    26. Joshua D. Angrist & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2009. "Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist's Companion," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 8769, April.
    27. Sascha O. Becker & Ludger Woessmann, 2018. "Social Cohesion, Religious Beliefs, and the Effect of Protestantism on Suicide," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 100(3), pages 377-391, July.
    28. Cohen-Zada, D., 2009. "An alternative instrument for private school competition," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 29-37, February.
    29. Rebecca Allen & Anna Vignoles, 2016. "Can school competition improve standards? The case of faith schools in England," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 50(3), pages 959-973, May.
    30. Philip Oreopoulos & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2011. "Priceless: The Nonpecuniary Benefits of Schooling," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(1), pages 159-184, Winter.
    31. Gibbons, Stephen & Silva, Olmo, 2011. "School quality, child wellbeing and parents' satisfaction," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 312-331, April.
    32. Paul Atherton & Simon Appleton & Michael Bleaney, 2013. "International School Test Scores And Economic Growth," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(1), pages 82-90, January.
    33. Paul Frijters & David W. Johnston & Michael A. Shields, 2014. "Does Childhood Predict Adult Life Satisfaction? Evidence from British Cohort Surveys," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 124(580), pages 688-719, November.
    34. Caroline Minter Hoxby, 1994. "Do Private Schools Provide Competition for Public Schools?," NBER Working Papers 4978, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    35. Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863, Elsevier.
    36. Oliver Falck & Ludger Woessmann, 2013. "School competition and students’ entrepreneurial intentions: international evidence using historical Catholic roots of private schooling," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 459-478, February.
    37. Steven G. Rivkin & Jeffrey C. Schiman, 2015. "Instruction Time, Classroom Quality, and Academic Achievement," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0(588), pages 425-448, November.
    38. Andrew E. Clark & Orsolya Lelkes, 2009. "Let us pray: religious interactions in life satisfaction," Working Papers halshs-00566120, HAL.
    39. Kuehn, Zoe & Landeras, Pedro, 2012. "Study Time and Scholarly Achievement in PISA," MPRA Paper 49033, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    40. Andrew Eyles & Stephen Machin, 2019. "The Introduction of Academy Schools to England's Education," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 17(4), pages 1107-1146.
    41. Eric A. Hanushek & Guido Schwerdt & Simon Wiederhold & Ludger Woessmann, 2014. "Returns to Skills around the World: Evidence from PIAAC," CESifo Working Paper Series 4597, CESifo.
    42. Torberg Falch & Marte Rønning, 2011. "Homework assignment and student achievement in OECD countries," Working Paper Series 11411, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
    43. Atila Abdulkadiroğlu & Joshua D. Angrist & Peter D. Hull & Parag A. Pathak, 2016. "Charters without Lotteries: Testing Takeovers in New Orleans and Boston," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(7), pages 1878-1920, July.
    44. Hendrik Jürges & Kerstin Schneider & Martin Senkbeil & Claus H. Carstensen, 2009. "Assessment Drives Learning: The Effect of Central Exit Exams on Curricular Knowledge and Mathematical Literacy," CESifo Working Paper Series 2666, CESifo.
    45. Derek Neal, 2002. "How Vouchers Could Change the Market for Education," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(4), pages 25-44, Fall.
    46. Nicola Brandt, 2010. "Chile: Climbing on Giants' Shoulders: Better Schools for all Chilean Children," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 784, OECD Publishing.
    47. Karthik Muralidharan & Venkatesh Sundararaman, 2015. "Editor's Choice The Aggregate Effect of School Choice: Evidence from a Two-Stage Experiment in India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 130(3), pages 1011-1066.
    48. Pedro Carneiro & Claire Crawford & Alissa Goodman, 2007. "The Impact of Early Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Skills on Later Outcomes," CEE Discussion Papers 0092, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
    49. Anders Böhlmark & Helena Holmlund & Mikael Lindahl, 2016. "Parental choice, neighbourhood segregation or cream skimming? An analysis of school segregation after a generalized choice reform," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 29(4), pages 1155-1190, October.
    50. E. Huebner, 2004. "Research on Assessment of Life Satisfaction of Children and Adolescents," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 66(1), pages 3-33, April.
    51. Chubb, John E. & Moe, Terry M., 1988. "Politics, Markets, and the Organization of Schools," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 82(4), pages 1065-1087, December.
    52. Julian Le Grand, 2007. "Introduction to The Other Invisible Hand: Delivering Public Services through Choice and Competition," Introductory Chapters, in: The Other Invisible Hand: Delivering Public Services through Choice and Competition, Princeton University Press.
    53. Jürges, Hendrik & Schneider, Kerstin & Senkbeil, Martin & Carstensen, Claus H., 2012. "Assessment drives learning: The effect of central exit exams on curricular knowledge and mathematical literacy," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 56-65.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Ludger Woessmann, 2016. "The Importance of School Systems: Evidence from International Differences in Student Achievement," CESifo Working Paper Series 5951, CESifo.
    2. Ludger Woessmann, 2016. "The Importance of School Systems: Evidence from International Differences in Student Achievement," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 3-32, Summer.
    3. Gabriel Heller Sahlgren, 2014. "Handing Over the School Keys: The Impact of Privatisation on Education Quality," Economic Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(2), pages 196-210, June.
    4. Green, Colin P. & Navarro-Paniagua, María & Ximénez-de-Embún, Domingo P. & Mancebón, María-Jesús, 2014. "School choice and student wellbeing," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 139-150.
    5. Schwerdt, Guido & Woessmann, Ludger, 2017. "The information value of central school exams," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 65-79.
    6. José M. Cordero & Víctor Cristóbal & Daniel Santín, 2018. "Causal Inference On Education Policies: A Survey Of Empirical Studies Using Pisa, Timss And Pirls," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(3), pages 878-915, July.
    7. Oliver Falck & Ludger Woessmann, 2013. "School competition and students’ entrepreneurial intentions: international evidence using historical Catholic roots of private schooling," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 459-478, February.
    8. Eyles, Andrew & Machin, Stephen & McNally, Sandra, 2017. "Unexpected school reform: Academisation of primary schools in England," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 155(C), pages 108-121.
    9. Marc Piopiunik & Guido Schwerdt & Ludger Woessmann, 2012. "Central School Exit Exams and Labor-Market Outcomes," CESifo Working Paper Series 3940, CESifo.
    10. Altinok, Nadir & Aydemir, Abdurrahman, 2017. "Does one size fit all? The impact of cognitive skills on economic growth," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 176-190.
    11. Nikolova, Milena & Nikolaev, Boris N., 2021. "Family matters: The effects of parental unemployment in early childhood and adolescence on subjective well-being later in life," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 181(C), pages 312-331.
    12. Powdthavee, Nattavudh & Stutzer, Alois, 2014. "Economic Approaches to Understanding Change in Happiness," IZA Discussion Papers 8131, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    13. Pierre Lefebvre & Philip Merrigan, 2020. "Les inégalités provinciales aux tests internationaux-nationaux de littéracie : Québec, Ontario et autres provinces canadiennes 1993-2018 (Version révisée et augmentée octobre 2020)," CIRANO Working Papers 2020s-29, CIRANO.
    14. Ludger Wößmann, 2020. "Folgekosten ausbleibenden Lernens: Was wir über die Corona-bedingten Schulschließungen aus der Forschung lernen können," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 73(06), pages 38-44, June.
    15. Gibbons, Stephen & Silva, Olmo, 2011. "School quality, child wellbeing and parents' satisfaction," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 312-331, April.
    16. Eyles, Andrew & Hupkau, Claudia & Machin, Stephen, 2016. "School reforms and pupil performance," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 9-19.
    17. Piopiunik, Marc & Schwerdt, Guido & Woessmann, Ludger, 2013. "Central school exit exams and labor-market outcomes," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 93-108.
    18. Bahadır Dursun & Resul Cesur, 2016. "Transforming lives: the impact of compulsory schooling on hope and happiness," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 29(3), pages 911-956, July.
    19. Elke Lüdemann, 2011. "Schooling and the Formation of Cognitive and Non-cognitive Outcomes," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 39.
    20. Pierre Lefebvre & Philip Merrigan, 2020. "Les inégalités provinciales aux tests internationaux-nationaux de littéracie : Québec, Ontario et autres provinces canadiennes 1993-2018 [Provincial achievement gaps from literacy surveys conducted," Working Papers 20-02, Research Group on Human Capital, University of Quebec in Montreal's School of Management, revised Oct 2020.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Independent-school competition; Human capital; Wellbeing-efficiency trade-off;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • L33 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Comparison of Public and Private Enterprise and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:62:y:2018:i:c:p:66-81. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Nithya Sathishkumar (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.