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Education curriculum and student achievement: theory and evidence

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  • Vincenzo Andrietti
  • Xuejuan Su

Abstract

We propose a theory of education curricula as horizontally differentiated by their paces. The pace of a curriculum and the preparedness of a student jointly determine the match quality of the curriculum for this student, so different students derive different benefits from learning under the same curriculum. Furthermore, a change in the curricular pace has distributional effects across students, benefiting some while hurting others. We test the model prediction using a quasi-natural experiment we call the G8 reform in Germany, which introduced a faster-paced curriculum for academic-track students. We find evidence consistent with our theory: While the reform improves students' test scores on average, such benefits are more pronounced for well-prepared students. In contrast, less-prepared students do not seem to benefit from the reform.

Suggested Citation

  • Vincenzo Andrietti & Xuejuan Su, 2019. "Education curriculum and student achievement: theory and evidence," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 27(1), pages 4-19, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:edecon:v:27:y:2019:i:1:p:4-19
    DOI: 10.1080/09645292.2018.1527894
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1080/09645292.2018.1527894
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    Cited by:

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    JEL classification:

    • D04 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Policy: Formulation; Implementation; Evaluation
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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