Theses Doctoral

Does school accountability pressure improve school quality?

Hanisch Cerda, Barbara Luisa

This dissertation evaluates the impact of accountability pressure on a context where there is school choice. The Chilean context provides a unique opportunity for this purpose since it constitutes a system with school choice since the 1980s and since 2008 there is a policy that introduces a means-tested voucher that introduces incentives to schools to improve their performance. Under this policy, schools are classified based on students’ test scores and other school factors (such as teacher evaluations, approval rates, retention rates), and are linked to punishments and rewards. I assess the impact of accountability pressure on outcomes that have consequences attached (high-stakes outcomes), and other outcomes that may reflect the quality of the school but do not have direct consequences attached (low-stakes outcomes). I use a fuzzy regression discontinuity to estimate the effect of receiving different school classifications on high-stakes test scores, low-stakes test scores, school behavioral responses, and student and teacher body composition. Estimates of the effects on 4th and 8th grade math, language and science are never significantly different from zero. There is also no evidence of parental or teacher response.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Economics and Education
Thesis Advisors
Levin, Henry M.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
July 23, 2017