IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Towards better Schools and more Equal Opportunities for Learning in Italy


  • Romina Boarini



Compulsory school education in Italy produces poor results in terms of 15-year olds’ performance on PISA tests, compared with other OECD countries, despite a relatively high level of expenditure. While the influence of social background is smaller than in many OECD countries, it is largely transmitted through a kind of self-segregation resulting from family choices among the different types of upper secondary school. Large differences in pupils’ performance between regions cannot be explained by the quantity of resources available; separating the influence of socio-economic conditions from school efficiency is difficult and must be treated carefully in plans for extending fiscal federalism. The Italian government is rightly concerned to get better value for money and this chapter argues that policies to improve the information available to schools and teachers on the results they are achieving, while giving them appropriate incentives, responsibility and power to respond to such information, are necessary accompaniments to expenditure-saving policies. An improved focus on good quality training, both for new recruits and experienced teachers, and recruitment procedures themselves, should also pay dividends on efficiency. Améliorer l'école et l'égalité d'accès à l'éducation en Italie Par rapport aux autres pays de l'OCDE, les résultats des tests PISA des élèves italiens de 15 ans sont médiocres, et ce, malgré des dépenses d’éducation relativement élevées. Si l’incidence du milieu social est moindre que dans de nombreux autres pays membres, elle passe essentiellement par une sorte d’autodiscrimination résultant du choix des familles entre les différents types d’établissements secondaires du deuxième cycle. L’importance des écarts de résultats scolaires entre les régions ne peut s’expliquer par le volume des ressources disponibles. Il est difficile de faire la distinction entre l’impact des conditions socioéconomiques et l’efficience des établissements, et cela doit être étudié avec soin dans le cadre des projets d’extension du fédéralisme fiscal. Le gouvernement italien souhaite, à juste titre, optimiser les dépenses publiques et le présent chapitre défend l’idée selon laquelle des mesures visant à améliorer les informations à disposition des établissements scolaires et des enseignants concernant leurs résultats – tout en leur apportant les incitations, les responsabilités et les pouvoirs nécessaires pour agir en fonction de ces résultats – doivent accompagner les mesures d’économies budgétaires. Une attention plus grande accordée à une formation de qualité pour les enseignants, qu’il s’agisse des nouvelles recrues comme des enseignants chevronnés, ainsi qu’aux procédures de recrutement elles-mêmes, devrait également favoriser l’efficience.

Suggested Citation

  • Romina Boarini, 2009. "Towards better Schools and more Equal Opportunities for Learning in Italy," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 727, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:727-en

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Antonio Di Paolo, 2012. "Parental Education And Family Characteristics: Educational Opportunities Across Cohorts In Italy And Spain," Revista de Economia Aplicada, Universidad de Zaragoza, Departamento de Estructura Economica y Economia Publica, vol. 20(1), pages 119-146, Spring.
    2. Raffaela Giordano & Pietro Tommasino, 2013. "Public-Sector Efficiency and Political Culture," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 69(3), pages 289-316, September.

    More about this item


    données PISA; education; fiscal federalism; fédéralisme fiscal; Italie; Italy; PISA data; résultats scolaires; school outcomes; éducation;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:727-en. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.