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The effect of school resources on test scores in England

  • Cheti Nicoletti
  • Birgitta Rabe

We analyze the effect of school expenditure on children's test scores at age 16 by means of an education production model. By using unique register data of English pupils, we exploit the availability of test scores across time, subjects and siblings to control for various sources of input omission and measurement error bias. We overcome one of the main criticisms against the value-added model by proposing a novel method to control for the endogeneity of the lagged test. We find evidence of a positive but small effect of per pupil expenditure on test scores.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of York in its series Discussion Papers with number 12/19.

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Date of creation: Jul 2012
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Handle: RePEc:yor:yorken:12/19
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics and Related Studies, University of York, York, YO10 5DD, United Kingdom
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Fax: (0)1904 323759
Web page: http://www.york.ac.uk/economics/Email:


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  1. Bound, John & Krueger, Alan B, 1991. "The Extent of Measurement Error in Longitudinal Earnings Data: Do Two Wrongs Make a Right?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(1), pages 1-24, January.
  2. Dan A. Black & Jeffrey A. Smith, 2006. "Estimating the Returns to College Quality with Multiple Proxies for Quality," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 701-728, July.
  3. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman, 2008. "Formulating, Identifying and Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
  4. Alan B. Krueger, 1999. "Experimental Estimates Of Education Production Functions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 497-532, May.
  5. Orley Ashenfelter & Alan Krueger, 1992. "Estimates of the Economic Return to Schooling from a New Sample of Twins," Working Papers 683, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  6. Zvi Griliches & Jerry A. Hausman, 1984. "Errors in Variables in Panel Data," NBER Technical Working Papers 0037, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Lorraine Dearden & Javier Ferri & Costas Meghir, 2002. "The Effect Of School Quality On Educational Attainment And Wages," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 1-20, February.
  8. Andrabi, Tahir & Das, Jishnu & Khwaja, Asim Ijaz & Zajonc, Tristan, 2009. "Do value-added estimates add value ? accounting for learning dynamics," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5066, The World Bank.
  9. Stephen Gibbons & Sandra McNally & Martina Viarengo, 2011. "Does Additional Spending Help Urban Schools? An Evaluation Using Boundary Discontinuities," SERC Discussion Papers 0090, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
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