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School responsiveness to quality ranking: An empirical analysis of secondary education in the Netherlands

Author

Listed:
  • Pierre Koning

    (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)

  • Karen van der Wiel

    () (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)

Abstract

As from 1997, the national newspaper Trouw has published quality scores of secondary schools in every year, using information of the schools inspectorate on, amongst other things, the average grades at the final examinations and the throughput of pupils in lower forms. How do schools respond to the publication of the rankings? We contribute to the literature in two respects. First, the current analysis is the first to address the impact of quality scores that have been published by a newspaper (Trouw), rather than public interventions that aim to track and improve failing schools. Second, our research design exploits the substantial lags in the registration and publication of the Trouw scores and takes into account all possible outcomes of the ratings, instead of the lowest category only. Overall, we find evidence that school quality performance does respond to the Trouw quality scores. Both average grades increase and the number of diplomas go up after receiving a negative score. These responses cannot be attributed to gaming activities of the school board, as an improvement is also observed in the gaming-proof quality indicators. For schools that receive the most negative ranking, the short-term effects (one year after a change in the ranking of schools) of quality transparency on final exam grades equal 10% to 30% of a standard deviation compared to the average of this variable. The long-run effects are roughly equal to the short-term effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Pierre Koning & Karen van der Wiel, 2010. "School responsiveness to quality ranking: An empirical analysis of secondary education in the Netherlands," CPB Discussion Paper 149, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpb:discus:149
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Publish school rankings, and bad schools improve
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2010-06-24 19:01:00
    2. School Report Cards Work
      by Alex Tabarrok in Marginal Revolution on 2011-02-26 18:01:00
    3. School Report Cards Work
      by Alex Tabarrok in Cafe Hayek on 2011-02-26 18:01:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Nunes, Luis C. & Reis, Ana Balcão & Seabra, Carmo, 2015. "The publication of school rankings: A step toward increased accountability?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 15-23.
    2. De Witte, Kristof & Geys, Benny & Solondz, Catharina, 2014. "Public expenditures, educational outcomes and grade inflation: Theory and evidence from a policy intervention in the Netherlands," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 152-166.
    3. Camargo, Braz & Camelo, Rafael & Firpo, Sergio & Ponczek, Vladimir, 2014. "Information, Market Incentives, and Student Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 7941, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Borghans Lex & Golsteyn Bart H. H. & Zölitz Ulf, 2015. "Parental Preferences for Primary School Characteristics," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 15(1), pages 1-33, January.
    5. Pierre Koning & Karen van der Wiel, 2010. "Ranking the schools: How quality information affects school choice in the Netherlands," CPB Discussion Paper 150, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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