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Does Local School Control Raise Student Outcomes?: Evidence on the Roles of School Autonomy and Parental Participation

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  • Gunnarsson, Victoria
  • Orazem, Peter
  • Sanchez, Mario A.
  • Verdisco, Aimee

Abstract

School autonomy and parental participation have been frequently proposed as ways of making schools more productive. Less clear is how governments can foster decentralized decision-making by local schools. This paper shows that across eight Latin-American countries, most of the variation in local control over school decisions exists within and not between countries. That implies that the exercise of local authority to manage schools is largely a local choice only modestly influenced by constitutional stipulations regarding jurisdiction over school personnel, curriculum and facilities. As a consequence, estimated impacts of local school autonomy, parental participation or school supplies on student performance must account for the endogeneity of local efforts to manage schools. Empirical tests confirm that local managerial effort by the principal and the parents and the adequacy of school supplies are strongly influenced by parental human capital and the size and remoteness of the community, and that these effects are only partially moderated by central policies regarding the locus of control over the schools. Correcting for endogeneity, parental participation and adequacy school supplies have strong positive effects on 4th grade test performance, but school autonomy has no discernable impact on school outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Gunnarsson, Victoria & Orazem, Peter & Sanchez, Mario A. & Verdisco, Aimee, 2009. "Does Local School Control Raise Student Outcomes?: Evidence on the Roles of School Autonomy and Parental Participation," Staff General Research Papers Archive 13083, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:13083
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    Cited by:

    1. Elizabeth Beasley & Elise Huillery, 2017. "Willing but Unable? Short-term Experimental Evidence on Parent Empowerment and School Quality," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 31(2), pages 531-552.
    2. Hanushek, Eric A. & Link, Susanne & Woessmann, Ludger, 2013. "Does school autonomy make sense everywhere? Panel estimates from PISA," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 212-232.
    3. Elizabeth Beasley & Elise Huillery, 2015. "Willing but Unable: Short-Term Experimental Evidence on Parent Empowerment and School Quality," Working Papers hal-03460075, HAL.
    4. Anila Channa & Jean-Paul Faguet, 2016. "Decentralization of Health and Education in Developing Countries: A Quality-Adjusted Review of the Empirical Literature," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 31(2), pages 199-241.
    5. Halil Dundar & Tara Beteille & Michelle Riboud & Anil Deolalikar, 2014. "Student Learning in South Asia : Challenges, Opportunities, and Policy Priorities," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 18407.
    6. Felipe Barrera-Osorio & Dario Maldonado & Catherine Rodríguez, 2012. "Calidad de la educación básica y media en Colombia: diagnóstico y propuestas," Documentos de Trabajo 010078, Universidad del Rosario.
    7. Leer, Jane, 2016. "After the Big Bang: Estimating the effects of decentralization on educational outcomes in Indonesia through a difference-in-differences analysis," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 80-90.
    8. Barr, Abigail & Packard, Truman & Serra, Danila, 2012. "Participatory accountability and collective action : evidence from field experiments in Albanian schools," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6027, The World Bank.
    9. Tommaso Agasisti & Ekaterina Shibanova, 2020. "Autonomy, Performance And Efficiency: An Empirical Analysis Of Russian Universities 2014-2018," HSE Working papers WP BRP 224/EC/2020, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    10. Josep-Oriol Escardíbul & Nehal Helmy, 2014. "School Autonomy Impact on the Quality of Education: The case of Tunisia and Jordan," Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación volume 9, in: Adela García Aracil & Isabel Neira Gómez (ed.), Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación 9, edition 1, volume 9, chapter 26, pages 501-514, Asociación de Economía de la Educación.
    11. Josep-Oriol Escardíbul & Nehal Helmy, 2015. "Decentralisation and school autonomy impact on the quality of education: the case of two MENA countries," Working Papers 2015/33, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    12. Nicolas Contreras, 2015. "School Autonomy, Education Quality and Development: an Instrumental Variable Approach," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 15020, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    13. Frederico Gil Sander & Intan Nadia Jalil & Rabia Ali, 2013. "Malaysia Economic Monitor, December 2013 : High-Performing Education," World Bank Publications - Reports 16705, The World Bank Group.
    14. Nicolas Contreras, 2015. "School Autonomy, Education Quality and Development: an Instrumental Variable Approach," Post-Print halshs-01161888, HAL.
    15. Elizabeth Beasley & Elise Huillery, 2013. "School Resources, Behavioral Responses and School Quality: Short-Term Experimental Evidence from Niger," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/7o52iohb7k6, Sciences Po.
    16. Nicolas Contreras, 2015. "School Autonomy, Education Quality and Development: an Instrumental Variable Approach," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-01161888, HAL.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    autonomy; achievement; education; parental participaton; school inputs; test scores; Latin America;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General

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