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The quality of the Catalan and Spanish education systems: A perspective from PISA

  • Ciccone, Antonio


    (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

  • Garcia-Fontes, Walter

    (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

For Catalonia and Spain, public perception is that the PISA reports show that their education systems are underperforming. The goal of this chapter is to quantify how much of the Catalan and Spanish PISA score can be attributed to the education levels of parents and what part must instead be explained by other factors. To do so we use standard statistical techniques to examine how the Catalan and Spanish PISA score would have compared with other countries and regions if all had the same parental education levels and immigration levels. For Spain the main results show that there is a sizable increase in PISA scores relative to the rest of Europe when parental schooling is accounted for. But Spain's performance is rather poor to start out with and only rises to somewhat above average when accounting for parental education levels. For Catalonia accounting for parental education levels leads to small improvements in the PISA score compared to other Spanish regions and to Flanders, Lombardy, and Denmark. Moreover, immigration or the concentration of immigrants at some schools accounts for little of the below average performance of Catalonia.

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Paper provided by IESE Business School in its series IESE Research Papers with number D/810.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 17 Jul 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ebg:iesewp:d-0810
Contact details of provider: Postal: IESE Business School, Av Pearson 21, 08034 Barcelona, SPAIN
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  1. Eric A. Hanushek, 1996. "Measuring Investment in Education," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 9-30, Fall.
  2. David Card & Alan Krueger, 1996. "School Resources and Student Outcomes: An Overview of the Literature and New Evidence from North and South Carolina," Working Papers 745, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  3. Thomas Fuchs & Ludger Wößmann, 2007. "What accounts for international differences in student performance? A re-examination using PISA data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 433-464, May.
  4. Betts, Julian R. & Fairlie, Robert W., 2003. "Does immigration induce 'native flight' from public schools into private schools?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(5-6), pages 987-1012, May.
  5. Eric A. Hanushek, 2005. "The Economics of School Quality," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 6(3), pages 269-286, 08.
  6. Angel de la Fuente & Rafael Domenech & Juan Francisco Jimeno, 2003. "Human capital as a factor of growth and employment at the regional level. The case of Spain," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 610.04, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
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