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Cross-National Surveys of Learning Achievement: How Robust are the Findings?

Author

Listed:
  • Brown, Giorgina

    (ISTAT, Rome)

  • Micklewright, John

    () (University College London)

  • Schnepf, Sylke V.

    () (European Commission, DG Joint Research Centre)

  • Waldmann, Robert

    () (University of Rome Tor Vergata)

Abstract

International surveys of learning achievement and functional literacy are increasingly common. We consider two aspects of the robustness of their results. First, we compare results from four surveys: TIMSS, PISA, PIRLS and IALS. This contrasts with the standard approach which is to analyse a single survey with no regard as to whether it agrees or not with other sources. Second, we investigate whether results are sensitive to the choice of item response model used by survey organisers to aggregate respondents' answers. In both cases we focus on countries' average scores, the within-country differences in scores, and on the association between the two. There is mixed news to report.

Suggested Citation

  • Brown, Giorgina & Micklewright, John & Schnepf, Sylke V. & Waldmann, Robert, 2005. "Cross-National Surveys of Learning Achievement: How Robust are the Findings?," IZA Discussion Papers 1652, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1652
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kevin Denny, 2002. "New methods for comparing literacy across populations: insights from the measurement of poverty," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 165(3), pages 481-493.
    2. Ludger Woesmann, 2003. "Schooling Resources, Educational Institutions and Student Performance: the International Evidence," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 65(2), pages 117-170, May.
    3. Micklewright, John & Schnepf, Sylke V., 2004. "Educational Achievement in English-Speaking Countries: Do Different Surveys Tell the Same Story?," IZA Discussion Papers 1186, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Coulter, Fiona A E & Cowell, Frank A & Jenkins, Stephen P, 1992. "Equivalence Scale Relativities and the Extent of Inequality and Poverty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(414), pages 1067-1082, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Giorgio Brunello & Daniele Checchi, 2007. "Does school tracking affect equality of opportunity? New international evidence," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 22, pages 781-861, October.
    2. Nicole Schneeweis, 2011. "Educational institutions and the integration of migrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(4), pages 1281-1308, October.
    3. Nicole Schneeweis, 2006. "How should we organize schooling to further children with migration background?," Economics working papers 2006-20, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    4. Takii, Katsuya & Tanaka, Ryuichi, 2009. "Does the diversity of human capital increase GDP? A comparison of education systems," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(7-8), pages 998-1007, August.
    5. Nadir ALTINOK, 2015. "Une éducation pour tous de qualité: une analyse statistique sur les pays d'Afrique sub-saharienne," Economies et Sociétés (Serie 'Histoire Economique Quantitative'), Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), issue 50, pages 919-950, Juin.
    6. Maciej Jakubowski & Artur Pokropek, 2011. "Measuring progress in reading achievement between primary and secondary school across countries," Working Papers 2011-20, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    TIMSS; test scores; IALS; educational achievement; PISA; PIRLS;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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