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Can school competition improve standards? The case of faith schools in England

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  • Rebecca Allen

    () (Depatment of Quantitative Social Science - Institute of Education, University of London.)

  • Anna Vignoles

    () (Depatment of Quantitative Social Science - Institute of Education, University of London.)

Abstract

This paper measures the extent to which the presence of religious state-funded secondary schools in England impacts on the educational experiences of pupils who attend neighbouring schools, whether through school effort induced by competition or changes in peer groups induced by sorting. National administrative data is used to estimate pupil test score growth models between the ages of 11 and 16, with instrumental variable methods employed to avoid confounding the direct causal effect of religious schools. It finds significant evidence that religious schools are associated with higher levels of pupil sorting across schools, but no evidence that competition from faith schools raises area-wide pupil attainment.

Suggested Citation

  • Rebecca Allen & Anna Vignoles, 2009. "Can school competition improve standards? The case of faith schools in England," DoQSS Working Papers 09-04, Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London.
  • Handle: RePEc:qss:dqsswp:0904
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David Card & Martin D. Dooley & A. Abigail Payne, 2010. "School Competition and Efficiency with Publicly Funded Catholic Schools," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 150-176, October.
    2. Simon Burgess & Helen Slater, 2006. "Using Boundary Changes to Estimate the Impact of School Competition on Test Scores," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 06/158, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    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. 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.
    5. Gibbons, Stephen & Silva, Olmo, 2008. "Urban density and pupil attainment," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, pages 631-650.
    6. Steve Gibbons & Steve Gibbons & Stephen Machin & Olmo Silva, 2006. "Competition, Choice and Pupil Achievement," CEE Discussion Papers 0056, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
    7. Rosalind Levacic, 2004. "Competition and the performance of english secondary schools: further evidence," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(2), pages 177-193.
    8. Steve Bradley & Jim Taylor, 2010. "Diversity, Choice and the Quasi-market: An Empirical Analysis of Secondary Education Policy in England," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 72(1), pages 1-26, February.
    9. Bradley, Steve & Johnes, Geraint & Millington, Jim, 2001. "The effect of competition on the efficiency of secondary schools in England," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 135(3), pages 545-568, December.
    10. Rebecca Allen, 2007. "Allocating Pupils to Their Nearest Secondary School: The Consequences for Social and Ability Stratification," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 44(4), pages 751-770, April.
    11. Jepsen, Christopher, 2002. "The role of aggregation in estimating the effects of private school competition on student achievement," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, pages 477-500.
    12. Cohen-Zada, D., 2009. "An alternative instrument for private school competition," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 29-37, February.
    13. Richard Webber & Tim Butler, 2007. "Classifying Pupils by Where They Live: How Well Does This Predict Variations in Their GCSE Results?," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 44(7), pages 1229-1253, June.
    14. Damon Clark, 2009. "The Performance and Competitive Effects of School Autonomy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(4), pages 745-783, August.
    15. Caroline Minter Hoxby, 1994. "Do Private Schools Provide Competition for Public Schools?," NBER Working Papers 4978, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Thomas J. Nechyba, 2000. "Mobility, Targeting, and Private-School Vouchers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 130-146, March.
    17. Epple, Dennis & Romano, Richard E, 1998. "Competition between Private and Public Schools, Vouchers, and Peer-Group Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 33-62, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. María-Jesús Mancebón & Domingo P. Ximénez-de-Embún & Mauro Mediavilla & José-María Gómez-Sancho, 2015. "Does educational management model matter? New evidence for Spain by a quasiexperimental approach," Working Papers 2015/40, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    2. Agasisti, Tommaso, 2011. "How competition affects schools' performances: Does specification matter?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 110(3), pages 259-261, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    school choice; school competition; educational outcomes;

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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