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Effective Schools for Low Income Children: a Study of Chile’s Sociedad de Instrucción Primaria

  • Francisco Henríquez
  • Alejandra Mizala
  • Andrea Repetto


This paper analyzes the success of Chile’s Sociedad de Instrucción Primaria (SIP) in providing high quality primary school education to low income children. The paper shows that SIP students’ results in national standardized tests are not due to selection or observables. Interviews with principals of SIP schools and of schools that compete with them suggest that differences may be related to having student achievement as the primary goal, a clear and shared methodology, the systematic use of the information provided by teachers’ and students’ evaluations, the selection of directors and teachers through competition, and the assignment of resources to leveling children that lag behind, among other factors.

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Paper provided by Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile in its series Documentos de Trabajo with number 258.

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Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:edj:ceauch:258
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  1. Cristian Garcia Palomer & Ricardo Paredes, 2010. "Reducing the Educational Gap: Good Results in Vulnerable Groups," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(3), pages 535-555.
  2. Heckman, J J & Tobias, Justin & Vytlacil, Ed, 2001. "Four Parameters of Interest in the Evaluation of Social Programs," Staff General Research Papers 12022, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  3. Elizabeth King & Eric Bettinger & Erik Bloom & Joshua Angrist & Michael Kremer, 2002. "Vouchers for private schooling in colombia: Evidence from a randomized natural experiment," Natural Field Experiments 00203, The Field Experiments Website.
  4. Mizala, Alejandra & Romaguera, Pilar, 2001. "Factores socioeconómicos explicativos de los resultados escolares en la educación secundaria en Chile," El Trimestre Económico, Fondo de Cultura Económica, vol. 0(272), pages 515-549, Otubre-di.
  5. David Card & Alan Krueger, 1996. "School Resources and Student Outcomes: An Overview of the Literature and New Evidence from North and South Carolina," NBER Working Papers 5708, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Dennis D. Kimko & Eric A. Hanushek, 2000. "Schooling, Labor-Force Quality, and the Growth of Nations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1184-1208, December.
  7. Patrick McEwan, 2001. "The Effectiveness of Public, Catholic, and Non-Religious Private Schools in Chile's Voucher System," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(2), pages 103-128.
  8. Francisco A. Gallego, 2004. "School Choice, Incentives, and Academic Outcomes: Evidence from Chile," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 39, Econometric Society.
  9. Francisco Gallego & Andrés Hernando, 2009. "School Choice in Chile: Looking at the Demand Side," Documentos de Trabajo 356, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
  10. Robert J. Barro, 2001. "Human Capital and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 12-17, May.
  11. Claudio Sapelli & Bernardita Vial, 2005. "Private vs Public Voucher Schools in Chile: New Evidence on Efficiency and Peer Effects," Documentos de Trabajo 289, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
  12. Alejandra Mizala & Pilar Romaguera, 2000. "School Performance and Choice: The Chilean Experience," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(2), pages 392-417.
  13. Hsieh, Chang-Tai & Urquiola, Miguel, 2006. "The effects of generalized school choice on achievement and stratification: Evidence from Chile's voucher program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1477-1503, September.
  14. Claudio Sapelli & Bernardita Vial, 2002. "The Performance of Private and Public Schools in the Chilean Voucher System," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 39(118), pages 423-454.
  15. María Pérez & Miguel Socias, 2008. "Highly Successful Schools: What Do They Do Differently and at What Cost?," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 3(1), pages 109-129, January.
  16. Anand, Priyanka & Mizala, Alejandra & Repetto, Andrea, 2009. "Using school scholarships to estimate the effect of private education on the academic achievement of low-income students in Chile," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 370-381, June.
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