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The Impact of School Inputs on Student Performance: An Empirical Study of Private Schools in the UK


  • Graddy, Kathryn
  • Stevens, Margaret


In this article, we report the results of an empirical study of the impact of school inputs on pupils’ performance in private (independent) schools in the United Kingdom. We use a new school-level panel dataset constructed from information provided by the Independent Schools Information Service (ISIS). We show a consistent negative relationship between the pupil-teacher ratio at a school and the average examination results at that school. Our estimates indicate that the relationship persists even when we are estimating ‘added-value’ models conditional on previous exam results. The results are noteworthy in comparison with studies for the state sector, relatively few of which have found a consistent and significant effect.

Suggested Citation

  • Graddy, Kathryn & Stevens, Margaret, 2003. "The Impact of School Inputs on Student Performance: An Empirical Study of Private Schools in the UK," CEPR Discussion Papers 3776, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3776

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Francis Green & Stephen Machin & Richard Murphy & Yu Zhu, 2012. "The Changing Economic Advantage from Private Schools," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 79(316), pages 658-679, October.
    2. Anne Aidla & Maaja Vadi, 2007. "Relationships between Organizational Culture and Performance in Estonian Schools with Regard to Their Size and Location," Baltic Journal of Economics, Baltic International Centre for Economic Policy Studies, vol. 7(1), pages 3-17, July.
    3. Kimura, Marlies & Ochsen, Carsten, 2014. "Student assessment and grade retention: evidence from a natural experiment," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100546, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    4. Fischer, Justina A.V., 2007. "The Impact of Direct Democracy on Public Education: Evidence for Swiss Students in Reading, Mathematics and Natural Science," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 688, Stockholm School of Economics.
    5. Francis Green & Stephen Machin & Richard Murphy & Yu Zhu, 2008. "Competition for private and state school teachers," CEE Discussion Papers 0094, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
    6. Arnaud Chevalier & Peter Dolton & Rosalind Levacic, 2004. "School quality and effectiveness," Working Papers 200410, School of Economics, University College Dublin.

    More about this item


    exam performance; private schools; school resources; teacher-pupil ratio;

    JEL classification:

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


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