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The direct and indirect effects of education policy on school and post school outcomes

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  • Steve Bradley
  • Giuseppe Migali

Abstract

Successive British governments since the early 1980s have introduced a host of educational policy reforms in an attempt to raise pupil performance at school. One of the most important educational policies in the secondary education sector was the specialist schools policy, which was introduced in 1994. Using data from the YCS for pupils who left school in either 2002 or 2004, a period of rapid expansion of the specialist schools programme, we seek to evaluate the effects of the policy. Unlike most previous work in this area we investigate the effects of the policy on test scores and truancy for pupils at school, but also assess whether the policy had direct and/or indirect effects on post-school outcomes, such as labour market status, wages and A-Level scores. We show that specialist schools did raise test scores during compusory schooling, and that the policy had a positive and statistically significant effect in raising the probability of employment. The evidence on A-level scores suggests a negative effect and, due to data limitations, no effect on wages is apparent. Although we stop short of claiming that our findings are causal, they do imply that policy makers need to take a more comprehensive view of the effects of education policies when trying to address whether they deliver value for money to the taxpayer.

Suggested Citation

  • Steve Bradley & Giuseppe Migali, 2012. "The direct and indirect effects of education policy on school and post school outcomes," Working Papers 24958831, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:lan:wpaper:24958831
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    File URL: http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/media/lancaster-university/content-assets/documents/lums/economics/working-papers/PostSchoolOutcomes.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. James J. Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Petra E. Todd, 1997. "Matching As An Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(4), pages 605-654.
    2. Lorenzo Cappellari, 2004. "The Effects Of High School Choices On Academic Performance And Early Labour Market Outcomes," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2004 92, Royal Economic Society.
    3. David Margolis & Véronique Simonnet, 2002. "Educational Track, Networks and Labor Market Outcomes," Working Papers 2002-60, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics.
    4. Bryson, Alex & Dorsett, Richard & Purdon, Susan, 2002. "The use of propensity score matching in the evaluation of active labour market policies," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 4993, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    5. Uschi Backes-Gellner & Stephan Veen, 2006. "Incentives for Schools, Educational Signals and Labour Market Outcomes," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0009, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW), revised Jun 2006.
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    1. Steve Bradley & Giuseppe Migali & Jim Taylor, 2013. "Funding, School Specialization, and Test Scores: An Evaluation of the Specialist Schools Policy Using Matching Models," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(1), pages 76-106.

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