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School Accountability: Can We Reward Schools and Avoid Pupil Selection?

  • Ooghe, Erwin

    ()

    (KU Leuven)

  • Schokkaert, Erik

    ()

    (KU Leuven)

School accountability schemes require measures of school performance, and these measures are in practice often based on pupil test scores. It is well-known that insufficiently correcting these test scores for pupil characteristics may provide incentives for inefficient pupil selection. We show that the trade-off between reward and pupil selection is not only a matter of sufficient information. A school accountability scheme that rewards school performance will create incentives for pupil selection, even under perfect information, unless the educational production function satisfies an (unrealistic) separability assumption. We propose different compromise solutions and discuss the resulting incentives in theory. The empirical relevance of our analysis – i.e., the rejection of the separability assumption and the magnitude of the incentives in the different compromise solutions – is illustrated with Flemish data.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7420.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: May 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7420
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  1. Nijman, T.E. & Verbeek, M.J.C.M., 1992. "Testing for selectivity in panel data models," Other publications TiSEM 7ec34a6c-1d84-4052-971c-d, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  2. Figlio, David N. & Rouse, Cecilia Elena, 2006. "Do accountability and voucher threats improve low-performing schools?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1-2), pages 239-255, January.
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  8. Anastasia Semykina & Jeffrey M. Woodridge, 2010. "Estimating Panel Data Models in the Presence of Endogeneity and Selection," Working Papers wp2010_10_01, Department of Economics, Florida State University.
  9. Jim Taylor & Anh Ngoc Nguyen, 2006. "An Analysis of the Value Added by Secondary Schools in England: Is the Value Added Indicator of Any Value?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 68(2), pages 203-224, 04.
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  13. Jacob, Brian A., 2005. "Accountability, incentives and behavior: the impact of high-stakes testing in the Chicago Public Schools," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 761-796, June.
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  20. Randall Reback, 2006. "Teaching to the Rating: School Accountability and the Distribution of Student Achievement," Working Papers 0602, Barnard College, Department of Economics.
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  23. Meyer, Robert H., 1997. "Value-added indicators of school performance: A primer," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 283-301, June.
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  25. Chiang, Hanley, 2009. "How accountability pressure on failing schools affects student achievement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(9-10), pages 1045-1057, October.
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  28. Ladd, Helen F. & Walsh, Randall P., 2002. "Implementing value-added measures of school effectiveness: getting the incentives right," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 1-17, February.
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