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How Far is the East? Educational Performance in Eastern Europe

Author

Listed:
  • Alina Botezat

    () (Department of Economics, Al. I. Cuza University of Iasi, Rumänien)

  • Ruben R. Seiberlich

    () (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany)

Abstract

When the Soviet Union collapsed a transition process started in Eastern Europe. This included a number of reforms to adapt the educational system to the new requirements of the job market. To assess the educational systems in Eastern Europe, this paper takes a look at the gap in PISA test scores between different countries. Using PISA 2006 data we disentangle the effects that explain the gap between Finland, the best performing country, and seven Eastern European countries, as well as, between Eastern European countries. The methodology applied in this paper is a semiparametric version of the threefold Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition, an approach which is not yet used in the research regarding the differences in school outcomes. Our results show that in all cases the differences in characteristics does not explain much of the gap. The return effect is the driving force of the differences in test scores. Under our identifying assumption, our results therefore indicate that the PISA test score gap can mainly be attributed to the different efficiency of school systems and are not due to better characteristics of students in a particular country. Furthermore, we provide evidence that the gap is smaller for better students indicating that, especially for poor performing students, the efficiency of Eastern European schools is behind the efficiency of Finnish schools.

Suggested Citation

  • Alina Botezat & Ruben R. Seiberlich, 2011. "How Far is the East? Educational Performance in Eastern Europe," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2011-15, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
  • Handle: RePEc:knz:dpteco:1115
    as

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    File URL: http://www.uni-konstanz.de/FuF/wiwi/workingpaperseries/WP_Botezat-Seiberlich-15-11.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ammermuller, Andreas & Heijke, Hans & Wo[ss]mann, Ludger, 2005. "Schooling quality in Eastern Europe: Educational production during transition," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 579-599, October.
    2. Gabriela Schütz & Heinrich W. Ursprung & Ludger Wößmann, 2008. "Education Policy and Equality of Opportunity," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(2), pages 279-308, May.
    3. Christian Bjørnskov & Niklas Potrafke, 2011. "Politics and privatization in Central and Eastern Europe," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 19(2), pages 201-230, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. O lucrare la mai multe conferințe?
      by Alina Botezat in Alina Botezat Blog on 2011-12-30 15:32:00

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Baranov, Igor N., 2012. "Quality of Secondary Education in Russia: Between Soviet Legacy and Challenges of Global Competitiveness," Working Papers 797, Graduate School of Management, St. Petersburg State University.
    2. Baranov, Igor N., 2012. "Quality of Secondary Education in Russia: Between Soviet Legacy and Challenges of Global Competitiveness," Working Papers 538, Graduate School of Management, St. Petersburg State University.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    PISA; test score gap; decomposition; semiparametric; propensity score matching;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General

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