What Accounts for International Differences in Student Performance? A Re-Examination Using PISA Data

38 Pages Posted: 6 Aug 2004  

Ludger Woessmann

Ifo Institute for Economic Research; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research); University of Munich - Ifo Institute for Economic Research

Thomas Fuchs

Ifo Institute for Economic Research

Date Written: September 2004

Abstract

We use the PISA student-level achievement database to estimate international education production functions. Student characteristics, family backgrounds, home inputs, resources, teachers and institutions are all significantly related to math, science and reading achievement. Our models account for more than 85 percent of the between-country performance variation, with roughly 25 percent accruing to institutional variation. Student performance is higher with external exams and budget formulation, but also with school autonomy in textbook choice, hiring teachers and within-school budget allocations. School autonomy is more beneficial in systems with external exit exams. Students perform better in privately operated schools, but private funding is not decisive.

Keywords: education production function, PISA, international variation in student performance, institutional effects in schooling

JEL Classification: I28, J24, H52, L33

Suggested Citation

Woessmann, Ludger and Fuchs, Thomas, What Accounts for International Differences in Student Performance? A Re-Examination Using PISA Data (September 2004). IZA Discussion Paper No. 1287; CESifo Working Paper Series No. 1235. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=572802

Ludger Woessmann (Contact Author)

Ifo Institute for Economic Research ( email )

Poschingerstr. 5
Munich
Germany
++49 89 9224 1699 (Phone)
++49 89 9224 1460 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.cesifo.de/link/woessmann_l.htm

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

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

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

University of Munich - Ifo Institute for Economic Research

Schackstr. 4
Munich, 80539
Germany

Thomas Fuchs

Ifo Institute for Economic Research ( email )

Munich
Germany

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