IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

School Achievement of Pupils From the Lower Strata in Public, Private Government-Dependent and Private Government-Independent Schools: A cross-national test of the Coleman-Hoffer thesis

  • Corten, Rense
  • Dronkers, J.

We consider the question whether pupils from the lower social strata perform better in private government-dependent schools than in public or private-independent schools, using the PISA 2000 data on European high schools. In the eighty’s, Coleman and Hoffer (1987) found in the USA that the performance of these pupils was better at religious schools than at comparable public schools. Dronkers and Robert (2003) found in PISA-data for 19 comparable countries that private government-dependent schools are more effective then comparable public schools, also after controlled for characteristics of pupils and parents and the social composition of the school. The main explanation appeared to be a better school climate in private government-dependent schools. Private independent schools were less effective than comparable public schools, but only after controlling for the social composition of the school. As a follow-up we now investigate, again with the PISA-data of these 19 countries, whether this positive effect of private government-dependent schools differs between pupils from different strata. We use various indicators to measure social strata: social, cultural and economic. We expect that the thesis of Coleman & Hoffer does hold for private government-dependent schools, because in these 19 countries they are mostly religious schools, which have more opportunities to form functional communities and create social capital. But for private independent schools, which due to their commercial foundation are less often functional communities, this relation is not expected to hold. However, the results show that public and private schools have mostly the same effects for the same kind of pupils and thus mostly not favor one kind of pupils above another kind of pupils. But private government-dependent schools are slightly more effective for pupils with less cultural capital. However, private independent schools are also more effective for pupils from large families or low status families.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: original version
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 21885.

in new window

Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Educational Research and Evaluation 2.12(2006): pp. 179-208
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:21885
Contact details of provider: Postal: Schackstr. 4, D-80539 Munich, Germany
Phone: +49-(0)89-2180-2219
Fax: +49-(0)89-2180-3900
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Ganzeboom, H.B.G. & de Graaf, P.M. & Treiman, D.J. & de Leeuw, J., 1992. "A standard international socio-economic index of occupational status," WORC Paper 85970031-d601-46e3-befb-1, Tilburg University, Work and Organization Research Centre.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:21885. 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: (Ekkehart Schlicht)

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.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.