Low Test Scores in Latin America: Poor Schools, Poor Families, or Something Else?

20 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2016

See all articles by Theodore R. Breton

Theodore R. Breton

Universidad EAFIT - School of Economics and Finance - Center for Research in Economic & Finance (CIEF)

Gustavo J. Canavire-Bacarreza

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: June 19, 2016

Abstract

Latin American students consistently score low on international tests of cognitive skills. In the PISA 2012 results, students in seven Latin American countries had an average score of 395, or about 100 points lower than the average score of 497 in four Scandinavian countries. We examine why Latin American scores are lower and conclude that 50 points are explained by Latin American families’ lower average educational and socioeconomic characteristics, 25 points are explained by Latin America’s weak cultural orientation toward reading books, and the remaining 25 points are explained by the lower effectiveness of educational systems in teaching cognitive skills.

Keywords: Latin America, test scores, PISA, books, school quality

Suggested Citation

Breton, Theodore R. and Canavire Bacarreza, Gustavo Javier, Low Test Scores in Latin America: Poor Schools, Poor Families, or Something Else? (June 19, 2016). Center for Research in Economics and Finance (CIEF), Working Papers, No. 16-20 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2827152 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2827152

Theodore R. Breton (Contact Author)

Universidad EAFIT - School of Economics and Finance - Center for Research in Economic & Finance (CIEF) ( email )

Carrera 49 No. 7 South - 50
Medellin
Colombia

Gustavo Javier Canavire Bacarreza

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) ( email )

1300 New York Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20577
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
22
Abstract Views
323
PlumX Metrics