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Private, Private Government-Dependent and Public schools. An International Efficiency Analysis using Propensity Score Matching

  • Vandenberghe Vincent

    (Université Catholique de Louvain)

  • Robin Stéphane

    (Université Catholique de Louvain - Marie Curie Fellowship)

This paper aims at estimating the effect on achievement of various types of schools: private, private but government-dependent and public ones. It is based on the analysis of Math, Science and Reading test scores of 15 year-olds students surveyed in 2002 across OECD and non-OECD countries. The estimation of the effect of private vs. public school attendance may be biased by the existence of confounding factors. An obvious start is to use standard (OLS) models to isolate the effect of private/public status from the other determinants of achievement like family resources or socio-economic background. But OLS estimates are highly dependent on the validity of the linearity assumption i.e. that the effect of school type is uniform across the distribution of covariates. Hence, the rational for using non-parametric propensity score matching. The main result is that in most countries examined, the type of school has so statistically significant impact on achievement. There is a small group of countries where students attending private schools (UK, Brazil) or private government-dependent schools (French- Speaking Belgium, France and Ireland) clearly perform better than those attending public schools. But there are also cases like Switzerland and Austria where private schools appear less efficient than public schools.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Public Economics with number 0308002.

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Date of creation: 21 Aug 2003
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Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:0308002
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  1. Brueckner, Jan K. & Lee, Kangoh, 1989. "Club theory with a peer-group effect," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 399-420, August.
  2. Henderson, Vernon & Mieszkowski, Peter & Sauvageau, Yvon, 1978. "Peer group effects and educational production functions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 97-106, August.
  3. Benabou, Roland, 1996. "Equity and Efficiency in Human Capital Investment: The Local Connection," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 237-64, April.
  4. Glewwe, Paul, 1997. "Estimating the impact of peer group effects on socioeconomic outcomes: Does the distribution of peer group characteristics matter?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 39-43, February.
  5. Willms, J. Douglas & Echols, Frank & Willms, J. Douglas, 1992. "Alert and inert clients: The Scottish experience of parental choice of schools," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 339-350, December.
  6. Hanushek, Eric A, 1986. "The Economics of Schooling: Production and Efficiency in Public Schools," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 1141-77, September.
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