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The “true” private school effect across countries using PISA-2012 Mathematics

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  • Chris Sakellariou

    (Division of Economics, Nanyang Technological University, 14 Nanyang Drive, Singapore 637332.)

Abstract

It is known that in most countries, students of private schools perform better in international assessments compared to students in the public school system. However, when one controls for observable socioeconomic background characteristics at the individual and school level, public school students perform equally well. Furthermore, sorting to private vs. public schools based on unobservable characteristics takes place, which biases econometric estimates. I account for selection on unobservables using an approach based on the idea that the amount of selection on the observed explanatory variables in a model provides a guide to the amount of selection on the unobservables (Altonjie et al. 2005; Oster 2013). I use PISA-2012 data for Mathematics to derive bias-corrected estimates of the “true” private-dependent and independent school effect for 40 countries. With few exceptions, public schools outperform private schools (especially independent schools). Accounting for both peer effects and selection is necessary when evaluating school effectiveness.

Suggested Citation

  • Chris Sakellariou, 2016. "The “true” private school effect across countries using PISA-2012 Mathematics," Economic Growth Centre Working Paper Series 1605, Nanyang Technological University, School of Social Sciences, Economic Growth Centre.
  • Handle: RePEc:nan:wpaper:1605
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    File URL: http://www3.ntu.edu.sg/hss2/egc/wp/2016/2016-05.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2005. "Selection on Observed and Unobserved Variables: Assessing the Effectiveness of Catholic Schools," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 151-184, February.
    2. Cardak, Buly A. & Vecci, Joe, 2013. "Catholic school effectiveness in Australia: A reassessment using selection on observed and unobserved variables," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 34-45.
    3. Bedi, Arjun S. & Garg, Ashish, 2000. "The effectiveness of private versus public schools: the case of Indonesia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 463-494, April.
    4. Rob French & Geeta Kingdon, 2010. "The relative effectiveness of private and government schools in Rural India: Evidence from ASER data," DoQSS Working Papers 10-03, Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London.
    5. Elder, Todd & Jepsen, Christopher, 2014. "Are Catholic primary schools more effective than public primary schools?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 28-38.
    6. Harry Anthony Patrinos, 2013. "Private education provision and public finance: the Netherlands," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(4), pages 392-414, September.
    7. Vandenberghe, V. & Robin, S., 2004. "Evaluating the effectiveness of private education across countries: a comparison of methods," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 487-506, August.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    School choice; private school advantage; selection;

    JEL classification:

    • C52 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • L33 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Comparison of Public and Private Enterprise and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out

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