nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2005‒02‒20
three papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. School vouchers Italian style By Giorgio BRUNELLO; Daniele CHECCHI
  2. Does Educational Tracking Affect Performance and Inequality? Differences-in-Differences Evidence across Countries By Eric A. Hanushek; Ludger Woessmann
  3. Religious School Enrollment in Pakistan: A Look at the Data By Jishnu Das; Tahir Andrabi; Asim Ijaz Khwaja; Tristan Zajonc

  1. By: Giorgio BRUNELLO; Daniele CHECCHI
    Abstract: School vouchers introduced recently in some Italian regions have lowered the cost of private schools. On one side, we provide evid ence that Italian private schools may be selected for different r easons than quality considerations. On the other side, by exploit ing individual data on voucher applicants, we present evidence th at the percentage of voucher applicants is higher the higher the average quality of private schools, which we explain with the fac t that better quality schools provide better services to students , including information and consulting on vouchers. We show that enrolment in private schools responds sluggishly to changes in tu ition induced by vouchers. Under stringent assumptions, we estima te the slopes of demand and supply of private education in the la rgest Italian region, Lombardy, during the first two years since implementation of a voucher scheme, and provide a quantitative as sessment of the long – term impact of vouchers on tuition fees an d enrolment in private schools
    Keywords: school vouchers
  2. By: Eric A. Hanushek; Ludger Woessmann
    Abstract: Even though some countries track students into differing-ability schools by age 10, others keep their entire secondary-school system comprehensive. To estimate the effects of such institutional differences in the face of country heterogeneity, we employ an international differences-in-differences approach. We identify tracking effects by comparing differences in outcome between primary and secondary school across tracked and non-tracked systems. Six international student assessments provide eight pairs of achievement contrasts for between 18 and 26 cross-country comparisons. The results suggest that early tracking increases educational inequality. While less clear, there is also a tendency for early tracking to reduce mean performance. Therefore, there does not appear to be any equity-efficiency trade-off.
    JEL: I2
    Date: 2005–02
  3. By: Jishnu Das (World Bank); Tahir Andrabi; Asim Ijaz Khwaja; Tristan Zajonc
    Abstract: Bold assertions have been made in policy reports and popular articles on the high and increasing enrollment in Pakistani religious schools, commonly known as madrassas. Given the importance placed on the subject by policymakers in Pakistan and those internationally, it is troubling that none of the reports and articles reviewed based their analysis on publicly available data or established statistical methodologies. The authors of this paper use published data sources and a census of schooling choice to show that existing estimates are inflated by an order of magnitude. Madrassas account for less than 1 percent of all enrollment in the country and there is no evidence of a dramatic increase in recent years. The educational landscape in Pakistan has changed substantially in the past decade, but this is due to an explosion of private schools, an important fact that has been left out of the debate on Pakistani education. Moreover, when the authors look at school choice, they find that no one explanation fits the data. While most existing theories of madrassa enrollment are based on household attributes (for instance, a preference for religious schooling or the household’s access to other schooling options), the data show that among households with at least one child enrolled in a madrassa, 75 percent send their second (and/or third) child to a public or private school or both. Widely promoted theories simply do not explain this substantial variation within households. This paper—a product of the Public Services Team, Development Research Group—is part of a larger effort in the group to examine issues relating to educational outcomes.
    Keywords: Education; Poverty; Social Development
    Date: 2005–02–11

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