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Local governments’ efficiency and educational results: empirical evidence from Italian primary schools

Ferraro, Simona and Agasisti, Tommaso and Porcelli, Francesco and Soncin, Mara (2020): Local governments’ efficiency and educational results: empirical evidence from Italian primary schools.

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Abstract

In Italy, the provision of educational ancillary services (like meals and school transportation) is in charge of the municipalities. We investigate whether municipalities differ in their efficiency when providing these services and whether such heterogeneity explains some portion of the variability observed in pupils’ test scores. The paper is the first application of a nonparametric order-m model and a two-stage multilevel regression to a unique administrative dataset, made of the entire population of Italian pupils tested in reading and mathematics at grade 5 (academic years 2012/2013 and 2014/2015). Results demonstrate that local governments have different efficiency levels in providing services to schools. The test scores’ variability among pupils, however, is not explained by different efficiency levels of local government in producing ancillary services.

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