Private, Private Government-Dependent and Public Schools. An International Effectiveness Analysis
This paper aims at estimating the effect on achievement of various types of schools : private, private but government-dependent and public ones. It is based on the analysis of Reading test scores of 15-year-old students surveyed in 2002 across OECD and non-OECD countries. The estimation of the effect of private vs. public school attendance may be biased by the existence of confounding factors. An obvious start is to use standard (OLS) regression models to isolate the effect of private/public status from the other determinants of achievement like family resources or socio-economic backgroung. But regression estimates are highly dependent on the validity of the linearity assumption. Hence, the rational for using non-parametric propensity score matching. The main result is the private government-dependent schools can have a significant positive effect on 15 year-olds’ academic achievement. Regarding private independent schools, the conclusion is rather the opposite. Our results also support the view that, in most cases, expanding the size of the more effective sector would improve average achievement.
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