The Effects Of School Competition On The Achievement Of Italian Students
In this paper we study the impact of the degree of school competition on achievement of Italian students. Specifically, competition is measured as the number of schools available to students in a given area. The aim is to evaluate whether an increase in school choice improves the quality of education. Using the third cycle of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA 2006) we investigate with simple Least Squares regression models, controlling for a range of individual and schools characteristics, if secondary school students with a wider range of schools choices perform better than those students whose choice is more limited. We find a significant positive correlation between students’ academic performance and the degree of local schools competition. Moreover, we show that students achieve much better outcomes if schools operating in more competitive environments also experience a higher pressure on academic standards coming from parents.
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