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Do Catholic Schools Make a Difference? Evidence from Australia


  • Francis Vella


This paper examines whether the substantial benefits reported for attending Catholic schools in the United States also exist for students of Catholic schools in Australia. We find that despite its relatively low cost, attendance at Australian Catholic schools increases the probability of completing high school by 17 percentage points. The evidence also suggests that attendance at Australian Catholic schools increases the probability of obtaining higher education and is associated with a superior performance in the labor market.

Suggested Citation

  • Francis Vella, 1999. "Do Catholic Schools Make a Difference? Evidence from Australia," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(1), pages 208-224.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:34:y:1999:i:1:p:208-224

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Richard Butler & James J. Heckman, 1977. "The Government's Impact on the Labor Market Status of Black Americans: A Critical Review," NBER Working Papers 0183, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Leonard, Jonathan S, 1984. "The Impact of Affirmative Action on Employment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(4), pages 439-463, October.
    3. Orley Ashenfelter & James J. Heckman, 1974. "Measuring the Effect of an Anti-Discrimination Program," NBER Working Papers 0050, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. James J. Heckman & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1976. "Does the Contract Compliance Program Work? An Analysis of Chicago Data," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 29(4), pages 544-564, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Reilee L. Berger & John V. Winters, 2016. "Does Private Schooling Increase Adult Earnings? Cohort-Level Evidence for U.S. States," The Review of Regional Studies, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 46(3), pages 281-294, Winter.
    2. 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.
    3. Cardak, Buly A. & Vecci, Joe, 2013. "Catholic school effectiveness in Australia: A reassessment using selection on observed and unobserved variables," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 34-45.
    4. Nghiem, Son & Nguyen, Ha & Connelly, Luke, 2014. "The Efficiency of Australian Schools: Evidence from the NAPLAN Data 2009-2011," MPRA Paper 56231, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Anh T. Le & Paul W. Miller, 2003. "Choice of School in Australia: Determinants and Consequences," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 36(1), pages 55-78.
    6. Roger Klein & Francis Vella, 2009. "A semiparametric model for binary response and continuous outcomes under index heteroscedasticity," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(5), pages 735-762.
    7. Oliveira, Pedro Rodrigues de & Belluzzo, Walter & Pazello, Elaine Toldo, 2013. "The public–private test score gap in Brazil," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 120-133.
    8. Gihleb, Rania & Giuntella, Osea, 2017. "Nuns and the effects of catholic schools. Evidence from Vatican II," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 191-213.
    9. Grace Chia & Paul W. Miller, 2008. "Tertiary Performance, Field of Study and Graduate Starting Salaries," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 41(1), pages 15-31, March.
    10. Pablo González, 2002. "Lecciones de la investigación económica sobre el rol del sector privado en educación," Documentos de Trabajo 117, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
    11. Brendan Houng & Moshe Justman, 2015. "Out-Of-Sample Predictions Of Access To Higher Education And School Value-Added," Working Papers 1511, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics.
    12. Nghiem, Hong Son & Nguyen, Ha Trong & Khanam, Rasheda & Connelly, Luke B., 2015. "Does school type affect cognitive and non-cognitive development in children? Evidence from Australian primary schools," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 55-65.
    13. Rainer Winkelmann, 2009. "Copula-based bivariate binary response models," SOI - Working Papers 0913, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
    14. Chris Ryan & Louise Watson, 2004. "The Drift to Private Schools in Australia: Understanding its Features," CEPR Discussion Papers 479, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    15. Simon Fan, C., 2008. "Religious participation and children's education: A social capital approach," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 303-317, February.

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