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A natural experiment in school accountability: the impact of school performance information on pupil progress and sorting

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  • Simon Burgess
  • Deborah Wilson
  • Jack Worth

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Abstract

We test the hypothesis that the publication of school performance tables raises school effectiveness. Our data allow us to implement a classic difference-in-difference analysis comparing outcomes in England and Wales, before and after the abolition of the tables in Wales. We find significant and robust evidence that this reform markedly reduced school effectiveness in Wales. There is significant heterogeneity across schools: schools in the top quartile of the league tables show no effect. We also test whether the reform reduced school segregation in Wales, and find no systematic significant impact on either sorting by ability or by socioeconomic status.

Suggested Citation

  • Simon Burgess & Deborah Wilson & Jack Worth, 2010. "A natural experiment in school accountability: the impact of school performance information on pupil progress and sorting," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 10/246, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  • Handle: RePEc:bri:cmpowp:10/246
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    File URL: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/cmpo/publications/papers/2010/wp246.pdf
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Publish school performance information!
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2011-02-23 21:16:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Ben Lockwood & Francesco Porcelli, 2013. "Incentive Schemes for Local Government: Theory and Evidence from Comprehensive Performance Assessment in England," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 254-286, August.
    2. Rebecca Allen & Simon Burgess & Leigh McKenna, 2010. "How should we treat under-performing schools? A regression discontinuity analysis of school inspections in England," DoQSS Working Papers 10-20, Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London.
    3. Guglielmo Barone & Guido de Blasio & Alessio D'Ignazio & Andrea Salvati, 2017. "Incentives to local public service provision: an evaluation of Italy’s Obiettivi di Servizio," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 388, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    4. Stephen Machin & Olmo Silva, 2013. "School Structure, School Autonomy and the Tail," CEP Special Papers 29, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    5. Ruth Lupton & Stephanie Thomson, 2015. "The Coalition's Record on Schools: Policy, Spending and Outcomes 2010-2015," CASE - Social Policy in a Cold Climate Working Paper 13, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
    6. repec:cep:spccrr:01 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    school accountability; school effectiveness; performance tables; segregation;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General

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