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Teaching quality and decentralization


  • Maciej Jakubowski

    () (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw)


This paper attempts to assess outcomes of school system decentralization in Poland. National examination results are analyzed using the value-added model of teaching quality. Variation in decentralized spending is related to estimates of achievement growth. Exploring exam results for three consecutive student cohorts, we are able to control for hidden characteristics of local governments when estimating their impact on student progress. Preceding the main analysis, the paper provides detailed description of trends in local government school spending and service provision over the last 15 years. The main conclusion is that while there is some evidence that decentralization changed patterns of school expenditure, there is no evidence that expenditures have any systematic impact on teaching quality. There is also no evidence that higher spending translates to more equally distributed outcomes. It seems that the only non-negligible impact local governments could have on student achievement is through provision of preschool facilities. However, evidence presented in the paper suggests that many local governments decided to limit preschool services, especially in poor rural areas. That could importantly increase educational inequalities.

Suggested Citation

  • Maciej Jakubowski, 2009. "Teaching quality and decentralization," Working Papers 2009-05, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
  • Handle: RePEc:war:wpaper:2009-05

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    File Function: First version, 2009
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Maciej Jakubowski, 2008. "Implementing Value-Added Models of School Assessment," RSCAS Working Papers 2008/06, European University Institute.
    2. Petra E. Todd & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2003. "On The Specification and Estimation of The Production Function for Cognitive Achievement," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages 3-33, February.
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    More about this item


    education; inequality; student achievement; decentralization; value-added model; Poland; transition;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations


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