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

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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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  • Fischer, Justina A.V., 2007. "The Impact of Direct Democracy on Public Education: Evidence for Swiss Students in Reading, Mathematics and Natural Science," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 688, Stockholm School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0688
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    Cited by:

    1. Lars P. Feld & Justina A.V. Fischer & Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2010. "The Effect Of Direct Democracy On Income Redistribution: Evidence For Switzerland," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(4), pages 817-840, October.
    2. Justina Fischer & Torberg Falch, 2008. "Does a generous welfare state crowd out student effort? Panel data evidence from international student tests," TWI Research Paper Series 25, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
    3. Phuong Nguyen-Hoang, 2012. "Fiscal effects of budget referendums: evidence from New York school districts," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 150(1), pages 77-95, January.
    4. Fischer, Justina AV, 2009. "Development of Direct Democracy in Swiss Cantons between 1997 and 2003," MPRA Paper 16140, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Direct democracy; public finance; economics of education; PISA;

    JEL classification:

    • H10 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - General
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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