The Quality of the Catalan and Spanish Education Systems: A Perspective from PISA

36 Pages Posted: 27 Nov 2009

See all articles by Antonio Ciccone

Antonio Ciccone

Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Walter Garcia-Fontes

Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences

Date Written: July 1, 2009

Abstract

For Catalonia and Spain, public perception is that the PISA reports show that their education systems are underperforming. The goal of this chapter is to quantify how much of the Catalan and Spanish PISA score can be attributed to the education levels of parents and what part must instead be explained by other factors. To do so we use standard statistical techniques to examine how the Catalan and Spanish PISA score would have compared with other countries and regions if all had the same parental education levels and immigration levels. For Spain the main results show that there is a sizable increase in PISA scores relative to the rest of Europe when parental schooling is accounted for. But Spain's performance is rather poor to start out with and only rises to somewhat above average when accounting for parental education levels. For Catalonia accounting for parental education levels leads to small improvements in the PISA score compared to other Spanish regions and to Flanders, Lombardy, and Denmark. Moreover, immigration or the concentration of immigrants at some schools accounts for little of the below average performance of Catalonia.

Keywords: PISA, Catalonia, Spain.

Suggested Citation

Ciccone, Antonio and Garcia-Fontes, Walter, The Quality of the Catalan and Spanish Education Systems: A Perspective from PISA (July 1, 2009). IESE Business School Working Paper No. 810. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1513214 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1513214

Antonio Ciccone (Contact Author)

Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas 25-27
Barcelona, 08005
Spain
+34 93 542 1669 (Phone)
+34 93 542 1746 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Walter Garcia-Fontes

Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas 25-27
Barcelona, 08005
Spain

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