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Value-added measures in Italian high schools: problems and findings


  • Piero Cipollone

    () (Bank of Italy and INVALSI)

  • Pasqualino Montanaro

    () (Bank of Italy)

  • Paolo Sestito

    () (Bank of Italy)


Students� competencies are influenced by a host of factors, including the individual school�s effectiveness. Measuring this contribution is extremely difficult. One way of circumventing the problem is by focusing on changes in competencies over time, i.e. value-added measures. Using the results of an INVALSI survey of high schools, this paper implements these measures for Italy, in an attempt to identify a general pattern of value-added among schools. Purging the sample of measurement errors � which require the exclusion of schools with too few students tested � and taking into account the selection bias implied by the non-compulsory nature of schools� participation in the survey, we find that the positive gap in favour of general programs (licei) when looking at the level of competencies tends to vanish (in maths and science) when focusing on value-added measures. By contrast, in the maths and science field schools located in the Southern regions are characterized not only by a lower starting level of competencies but also by a lower value-added. For maths at least, there is also a general tendency for teachers� turnover to have a negative effect on student improvements.

Suggested Citation

  • Piero Cipollone & Pasqualino Montanaro & Paolo Sestito, 2010. "Value-added measures in Italian high schools: problems and findings," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 754, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_754_10

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Matteo Bugamelli & Fabiano Schivardi & Roberta Zizza, 2010. "The Euro and Firm Restructuring," NBER Chapters,in: Europe and the Euro, pages 99-138 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Ascari, Guido & Ropele, Tiziano, 2007. "Optimal monetary policy under low trend inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(8), pages 2568-2583, November.
    3. Vincenzo Cestari & Paolo Del Giovane & Clelia Rossi-Arnaud, 2007. "Memory for prices and the euro cash changeover: An analysis for cinema prices in Italy," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 619, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
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    Cited by:

    1. Paolo Sestito & Marco Tonello, 2011. "Quality differentials in Italian Universities' freshmen: the case of Medical and Dental Surgery schools," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 90, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    2. Di Liberto, Adriana & Casula, Laura, 2016. "Teacher Assessments versus Standardized Tests: Is Acting "Girly" an Advantage?," IZA Discussion Papers 10458, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Adriana Di Liberto, 2015. "Length of stay in the host country and educational achievement of immigrant students: The Italian case," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 36(4), pages 585-618, July.
    4. Barbieri, Gianna & Rossetti, Claudio & Sestito, Paolo, 2011. "The determinants of teacher mobility: Evidence using Italian teachers’ transfer applications," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1430-1444.
    5. Tommaso Agasisti & Francesca Ieva & Anna Maria Paganoni, 2017. "Heterogeneity, school-effects and the North/South achievement gap in Italian secondary education: evidence from a three-level mixed model," Statistical Methods & Applications, Springer;Società Italiana di Statistica, vol. 26(1), pages 157-180, March.
    6. Adriana Di Liberto & Fabiano Schivardi & Giovanni Sulis, 2015. "Managerial practices and student performance," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 30(84), pages 683-728.

    More about this item


    education; value-added;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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