School Performance, Score Inflation and Economic Geography

62 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2017

See all articles by Erich Battistin

Erich Battistin

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS)

Lorenzo Neri

Queen Mary University of London

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Abstract

We show that grading standards for primary school exams in England have triggered an inflation of quality indicators in the national performance tables for almost two decades. The cumulative effects have resulted in significant differences in the quality signaled to parents for otherwise identical schools. These differences are as good as random, with score inflation resulting from discretion in the grading of randomly assigned external markers. We find large housing price gains from the school quality improvements artificially signaled by inflation as well as lower deprivation and more businesses catering to families in local neighborhoods. The design ensures improved external validity for the valuation of school quality with respect to boundary discontinuities and has the potential for replication outside of our specific case study.

Keywords: house prices, school quality, score inflation

JEL Classification: C26, C31, I2

Suggested Citation

Battistin, Erich and Neri, Lorenzo, School Performance, Score Inflation and Economic Geography. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11161, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3081393

Erich Battistin (Contact Author)

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) ( email )

7 Ridgmount Street
London, WC1E 7AE
United Kingdom

Lorenzo Neri

Queen Mary University of London ( email )

Mile End Road
London, London E1 4NS
United Kingdom

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