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The Impact of Direct Democracy on Public Education: Evidence for Swiss Students in Reading, Mathematics and Natural Science

Empirical analyses for the US suggest that stronger people’s control over the school budget is deleterious to student performance. Using Swiss data on ninth graders in mathematics, reading and natural science collected jointly with the PISA study 2000, this paper tests this hypothesis for Switzerland, exploiting inter-cantonal variation in political institutions. For both student performance in reading and mathematics, stronger popular rights appear to lower educational achievement through the school budget channel. In particular, the qualification of teachers is identified as most influential determinant of student achievement, which is shown to be linked to educational spending.

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Paper provided by Stockholm School of Economics in its series SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance with number 688.

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Length: 63 pages
Date of creation: 31 Dec 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0688
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The Economic Research Institute, Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, 113 83 Stockholm, Sweden

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