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European "Education Production Functions": What Makes A Difference For Student Achievement In Europe?

  • Ludger Woessmann

This paper estimates the effects of family background, resources, and institutions on student performance in 17 Western European school systems. Family background has a strong effect in Europe, remarkably similar in size to the United States. France and Flemish Belgium achieve the most equitable performance for students from different family backgrounds, and Britain and Germany the least. Equality of opportunities is unrelated to countries' mean performance. Quantile regressions show little variation in family-background effects across the ability distribution. There is little evidence of substantial class-size effects, but slight evidence of effects of material shortage and teacher experience in some countries. Stronger evidence exists for effects of within-country variations in schools' hiring autonomy, testing, and homework. Â

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Paper provided by Royal Economic Society in its series Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2004 with number 93.

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Date of creation: 17 Sep 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ecj:ac2004:93
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