Cross-National Surveys of Learning Achievement: How Robust are the Findings?

37 Pages Posted: 21 Jul 2005

See all articles by Giorgina Brown

Giorgina Brown

National Institute of Statistics (Istat)

John Micklewright

Institute of Education; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Sylke V. Schnepf

University of Southampton - Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute (S3RI); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Robert Waldmann

Universita di Roma Tor Vergata; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: July 2005

Abstract

International surveys of learning achievement and functional literacy are increasingly common. We consider two aspects of the robustness of their results. First, we compare results from four surveys: TIMSS, PISA, PIRLS and IALS. This contrasts with the standard approach which is to analyse a single survey with no regard as to whether it agrees or not with other sources. Second, we investigate whether results are sensitive to the choice of item response model used by survey organisers to aggregate respondents' answers. In both cases we focus on countries' average scores, the within-country differences in scores, and on the association between the two. There is mixed news to report.

Keywords: educational achievement, test scores, IALS, PISA, PIRLS, TIMSS

JEL Classification: I21, J13

Suggested Citation

Brown, Giorgina and Micklewright, John and Schnepf, Sylke V. and Waldmann, Robert, Cross-National Surveys of Learning Achievement: How Robust are the Findings? (July 2005). IZA Discussion Paper No. 1652. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=758327

Giorgina Brown

National Institute of Statistics (Istat)

Via Cesare Balbo 16
00184 Rome, 0185
Italy

John Micklewright (Contact Author)

Institute of Education ( email )

20 Bedford Way
London, WC1H 0AL
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.ioe.ac.uk/staff/QSSE/QSSE_30.html

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Sylke V. Schnepf

University of Southampton - Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute (S3RI) ( email )

Southampton SO17 1BJ
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Robert Waldmann

Universita di Roma Tor Vergata ( email )

Piazzale Aldo Moro 5
Roma, Rome 00185
Italy

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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