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Measuring school value added with administrative data: the problem of missing variables

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Listed:
  • Lorraine Dearden

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies, 7 Ridgmount Street, London, WC1E 7AE; Institute of Education, University of London, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL, UK.)

  • Alfonso Miranda

    () (Department of Quantitative Social Science, Institute of Education, University of London. 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL, UK.)

  • Sophia Rabe-Hesketh

    () (Graduate School of Education and Graduate Group in Biostatistics, University of California, Berkeley, USA. Institute of Education, University of London, London, UK.)

Abstract

The UK Department for Education (DfE) calculates contextualised value added (CVA) measures of school performance using administrative data that contain only a limited set of explanatory variables. Differences on schools’ intake regarding characteristics such as mother’s education are not accounted for due to the lack of background information in the data. In this paper we use linked survey and administrative data to assess the potential biases that missing control variables cause in the calculation of CVA measures of school performance. We find that ignoring the effect of mother’s education leads DfE to erroneously over-penalise low achieving schools that have a greater proportion of mothers with low qualifications and to over-reward high achieving schools that have a greater proportion of mothers with higher qualifications. This suggests that collecting a rich set of controls in administrative records is necessary for producing reliable CVA measures of school performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Lorraine Dearden & Alfonso Miranda & Sophia Rabe-Hesketh, 2011. "Measuring school value added with administrative data: the problem of missing variables," DoQSS Working Papers 11-05, Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London.
  • Handle: RePEc:qss:dqsswp:1105
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    Cited by:

    1. Schnepf, Sylke V. & Durrant, Gabriele B. & Micklewright, John, 2014. "Which Schools and Pupils Respond to Educational Achievement Surveys? A Focus on the English PISA Sample," IZA Discussion Papers 8411, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Sofia N. Andreou & Panos Pashardes, 2012. "Consumers’ Valuation of Level and Egalitarian Education Attainment of Schools in England," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 10-2012, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
    3. Alfonso Miranda & Sophia Rabe-Hesketh & John W. McDonald, 2012. "Reducing bias due to missing values of the response variable by joint modeling with an auxiliary variable," DoQSS Working Papers 12-05, Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London.
    4. Sofia N. Andreou & Panos Pashardes, 2013. "Consumers’ Valuation of Academic and Equality-inducing Aspects of School Performance in England," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 09-2013, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    contextualised value added; missing data; informative sample selection; administrative data; UK;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • C18 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Methodolical Issues: General

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