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Measuring the Quality of Educational Outputs: A Note

  • Hilary Steedman
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    This paper contrasts the approach to the measurement of stocks of education that is adopted by growth economists on the one hand and governments wishing to improve economic performance through education on the other. It it pointed out progress to date in demonstrating the link between human capital investment and economic growth for a range of countries world-wide has been disappointing. It is suggested that more precise measurement methods in compiling the datasets used by growth economists might contribute to research in this area. In the same way, the needs of governments monitoring the performance of their own country against those of others require a reformulated approach. To meet the needs of the latter group, data educational qualifications will need to be collected in a more consistent manner in the difference countries and adjustments made to take into account different types of certification. Inconsistancies in the current methods probably lead to a group of countries in which the real outputs are underrstated. A more rigorous and tightly-defined taxonomy should be developed in succession to the ISCED to from the framework for qualitative comparison. Decisions about the allocation of qualifications to a revised framework should be based on agreed measures of quality. Detailed information and qualitative data on inputs to qualifications need to be assembled, scrutined and analysed to permit the construction of such measures.

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    Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0302.

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    Date of creation: Jul 1996
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0302
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    1. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1990. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Increasing Returns and Long-Run Growth," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2232, David K. Levine.
    3. Sergio T. Rebelo, 1990. "Long Run Policy Analysis and Long Run Growth," NBER Working Papers 3325, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong-Wha, 1993. "International comparisons of educational attainment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 363-394, December.
    5. Norman Gemmell,, . "Evaluating the Impacts of Human Capital Stocks and Accumulation on Economic Growth: Some New Evidence," Discussion Papers 95/17, University of Nottingham, CREDIT.
    6. Mulligan, Casey B & Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1995. "Measuring Aggregate Human Capital," CEPR Discussion Papers 1149, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
    8. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:107:y:1992:i:2:p:407-37 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:oup:qjecon:v:106:y:1991:i:2:p:445-502 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Oulton, Nicholas & Young, Garry, 1996. "How High Is the Social Rate of Return to Investment," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 48-69, Summer.
    11. repec:oup:qjecon:v:107:y:1992:i:2:p:407-37 is not listed on IDEAS
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