Munich Personal RePEc Archive

A Cross-national analysis of the relations between school choice and effectiveness differences between private-independent and public schools

Dronkers, Jaap and Avram, S (2010): A Cross-national analysis of the relations between school choice and effectiveness differences between private-independent and public schools. Forthcoming in: Sociological Theory and Methods (October 2010)

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Abstract

We apply propensity score matching to the estimation of the disparity in school effectiveness between the privately owned, privately funded school sector and the public one in a sample of 25 countries in Europe, America and Asia. This technique allows us to distinguish between school choice and school effectiveness processes and thus, to account for selectivity induced variation in school effectiveness. We find two broad patterns of private independent school choice: the choice as a social class reproduction choice; and the choice of an outsider’s for a good-equipped school. As regards school effectiveness, our results show that, after controlling for selectivity and school choice processes, the initial higher reading scores of students in private-independent schools become comparable to those public schools students in a majority of countries. However, in a few countries average reading scores remain higher in the private independent sector even after introducing controls for school choice induced selectivity. The opposite pattern, namely of higher average reading scores in the public sector has also been found in four countries.

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