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Educational Production in East Asia: The Impact of Family Background and Schooling Policies on Student Performance

  • Woessmann, Ludger


    (Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

East Asian students regularly take top positions in international league tables of educational performance. Using internationally comparable student-level data, I estimate how family background and schooling policies affect student performance in five high-performing East Asian economies. Family background is a strong predictor of student performance in South Korea and Singapore, while Hong Kong and Thailand achieve more equalized outcomes. There is no evidence that smaller classes improve student performance in East Asia. But other schooling policies such as school autonomy over salaries and regular homework assignments are related to higher student performance in several of the considered countries.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 745.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: German Economic Review, 2005, 6 (3), 331-353
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp745
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  1. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1999. "Using Maimonides' Rule to Estimate the Effect of Class Size on Scholastic Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 533-575.
  2. Gundlach, Erich & Wößmann, Ludger, 2001. "The fading productivity of schooling in East Asia," Munich Reprints in Economics 20431, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  3. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2000. "International Data on Educational Attainment Updates and Implications," NBER Working Papers 7911, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. John H. Bishop & Ludger Wößmann, 2001. "Institutional Effects in a Simple Model of Educational Production," Kiel Working Papers 1085, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  5. repec:oup:qjecon:v:114:y:1999:i:2:p:533-575 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Susan M. Collins & Barry P. Bosworth, 1996. "Economic Growth in East Asia: Accumulation versus Assimilation," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(2), pages 135-204.
  7. Jere R. Behrman & Andrew D. Foster & Mark R. Rosenzweig & Prem Vashishtha, 1999. "Women's Schooling, Home Teaching, and Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(4), pages 682-714, August.
  8. Chang-Tai Hsieh, 2002. "What Explains the Industrial Revolution in East Asia? Evidence From the Factor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(3), pages 502-526, June.
  9. Martin R. West & Ludger Wößmann, 2003. "Which School Systems Sort Weaker Students into Smaller Classes? International Evidence," Kiel Working Papers 1145, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  10. Alan Krueger, 2000. "Economic Considerations and Class Size," Working Papers 826, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  11. Wößmann, Ludger & West, Martin R., 2006. "Class-size effects in school systems around the world: Evidence from between-grade variation in TIMSS," Munich Reprints in Economics 19673, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  12. Jere R. Behrman & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2002. "Does Increasing Women's Schooling Raise the Schooling of the Next Generation?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 323-334, March.
  13. Lee, J.-W. & Barro, R.J., 1998. "Schooling Quality in a Cross Section of Countries," Papers 659, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  14. Behrman, Jere R., 1999. "Schooling in Asia: Selected microevidence on determinants, effects, and policy implications," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 147-194.
  15. Hanushek, Eric A, 1995. "Interpreting Recent Research on Schooling in Developing Countries," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 10(2), pages 227-46, August.
  16. Hanushek, E.A.omson, W., 1996. "Assessing the Effects of School Resources on Student Performance : An Update," RCER Working Papers 424, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  17. McMahon, Walter W., 1998. "Education and Growth in East Asia," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 159-172, April.
  18. Dennis D. Kimko & Eric A. Hanushek, 2000. "Schooling, Labor-Force Quality, and the Growth of Nations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1184-1208, December.
  19. Akerhielm, Karen, 1995. "Does class size matter?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 229-241, September.
  20. Alwyn Young, 1995. "The Tyranny of Numbers: Confronting the Statistical Realities of the East Asian Growth Experience," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 641-680.
  21. Robert J. Barro, 2001. "Human Capital and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 12-17, May.
  22. Jimenez, Emmanuel & Lockheed, Marlaine & Wattanawaha, Nongnuch, 1988. "The Relative Efficiency of Private and Public Schools: The Case of Thailand," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 2(2), pages 139-64, May.
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  24. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
  25. Wooldridge, Jeffrey M., 2001. "Asymptotic Properties Of Weighted M-Estimators For Standard Stratified Samples," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(02), pages 451-470, April.
  26. repec:oup:qjecon:v:110:y:1995:i:3:p:641-80 is not listed on IDEAS
  27. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2000. "The Effects of Class Size on Student Achievement: New Evidence from Population Variation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1239-1285.
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