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Institutional Determinants of School Efficiency and Equity: German States as a Microcosm for OECD Countries


  • Wößmann, Ludger


Cross-country evidence on student achievement might be hampered byomitted country characteristics such as language or legal differences.This paper uses cross-state variation in Germany, whose sixteen statesshare the same language and legal system, but pursue different educationpolicies. Education production function models are estimated usingstate-level PISA-E data, where possible pooling three subjects and threewaves to obtain up to 138 test-score observations. The same resultsfound previously across countries hold within Germany: Higher meanstudent performance is associated with central exams, private schooloperation, and socio-economic background, but not with spending, whilehigher equality of opportunity is associated with reduced tracking. Inmodels that pool German states with OECD countries and combine up to 54state and country observations, these institutional determinants do notdiffer significantly between the sample of German states and the sampleof OECD countries, indicating that the existing cross-country evidenceis not substantially biased by unobserved country-specific factors.

Suggested Citation

  • Wößmann, Ludger, 2010. "Institutional Determinants of School Efficiency and Equity: German States as a Microcosm for OECD Countries," Munich Reprints in Economics 19681, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:19681

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. repec:hrv:faseco:33077889 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Hanushek, Eric A & Rivkin, Steven G & Taylor, Lori L, 1996. "Aggregation and the Estimated Effects of School Resources," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(4), pages 611-627, November.
    3. Martin R. West & Ludger Woessmann, 2010. "'Every Catholic Child in a Catholic School': Historical Resistance to State Schooling, Contemporary Private Competition and Student Achievement across Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(546), pages 229-255, August.
    4. Lee, Jong-Wha & Barro, Robert J, 2001. "Schooling Quality in a Cross-Section of Countries," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(272), pages 465-488, November.
    5. Thomas Fuchs & Ludger Wößmann, 2007. "What accounts for international differences in student performance? A re-examination using PISA data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 433-464, May.
    6. Hendrik Jürges & Kerstin Schneider & Felix Büchel, 2005. "The Effect Of Central Exit Examinations On Student Achievement: Quasi-Experimental Evidence From TIMSS Germany," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(5), pages 1134-1155, September.
    7. Hendrik Jürges & Wolfram F. Richter & Kerstin Schneider, 2005. "Teacher Quality and Incentives: Theoretical and Empirical Effects of Standards on Teacher Quality," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 61(3), pages 298-298, November.
    8. Bauer, Philipp & Riphahn, Regina T., 2006. "Timing of school tracking as a determinant of intergenerational transmission of education," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 90-97, April.
    9. Fertig, Michael & Wright, Robert E., 2005. "School quality, educational attainment and aggregation bias," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 109-114, July.
    10. Ammermüller, Andreas, 2005. "Educational Opportunities and the Role of Institutions," ZEW Discussion Papers 05-44, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    11. Andrei Shleifer, 1998. "State versus Private Ownership," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 133-150, Fall.
    12. Ludger Wößmann, 2005. "Educational production in Europe," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 20(43), pages 445-504, July.
    13. Gundlach, Erich & Wossmann, Ludger & Gmelin, Jens, 2001. "The Decline of Schooling Productivity in OECD Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(471), pages 135-147, May.
    14. John Bishop & Ludger Wossmann, 2004. "Institutional Effects in a Simple Model of Educational Production," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(1), pages 17-38.
    15. Wößmann, Ludger, 2007. "International evidence on school competition, autonomy, and accountability: A review," Munich Reprints in Economics 19649, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    16. Gabriela Schütz & Heinrich W. Ursprung & Ludger Wößmann, 2008. "Education Policy and Equality of Opportunity," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(2), pages 279-308, May.
    17. Ludger Wößmann, 2009. "International Evidence on School Tracking: A Review," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 7(1), pages 26-34, 04.
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    Cited by:

    1. Piopiunik, Marc, 2014. "The effects of early tracking on student performance: Evidence from a school reform in Bavaria," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 12-33.
    2. Ludger Woessmann, 2016. "The Importance of School Systems: Evidence from International Differences in Student Achievement," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 3-32, Summer.
    3. repec:iza:izawol:journl:y:2018:n:419 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Piopiunik, Marc & Schwerdt, Guido & Woessmann, Ludger, 2013. "Central school exit exams and labor-market outcomes," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 93-108.
    5. Meyer, Tobias & Thomsen, Stephan L., 2012. "How Important is Secondary School Duration for Post-school Education Decisions? Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-509, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    6. Betts, Julian R., 2011. "The Economics of Tracking in Education," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    7. Alejandra Cattaneo & Chantal Oggenfuss & Stefan C. Wolter, 2016. "The More, the Better? The Impact of Instructional Time on Student Performance," CESifo Working Paper Series 5813, CESifo Group Munich.
    8. Bauer, Philipp C. & Riphahn, Regina T., 2013. "Institutional determinants of intergenerational education transmission — Comparing alternative mechanisms for natives and immigrants," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 110-122.
    9. Ludger Wößmann, 2011. "Wettbewerb durch öffentliche Finanzierung von Schulen in freier Trägerschaft als wichtiger Ansatzpunkt zur Verbesserung des Schulsystems," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 64(01), pages 09-18, January.
    10. Philipp Mandel & Bernd Süssmuth, 2011. "Total Instructional Time Exposure and Student Achievement: An Extreme Bounds Analysis Based on German State-Level Variation," CESifo Working Paper Series 3580, CESifo Group Munich.
    11. HINDRIKS, Jean & VERSCHELDE, Marijn & RAYP, Glenn & SCHOORS, Koen, 2010. "School autonomy and educational performance: within-country evidence," CORE Discussion Papers 2010082, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • L38 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Public Policy
    • L33 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Comparison of Public and Private Enterprise and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out
    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education
    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • J - Labor and Demographic Economics


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