Are catholic primary schools more effective than public primary schools?

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Title: Are catholic primary schools more effective than public primary schools?
Authors: Elder, Todd
Jepsen, Christopher
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Date: Mar-2014
Abstract: This paper assesses the causal effects of Catholic primary schooling on student outcomes such as test scores, grade retention, and behavior. Catholic school students have substantially better average outcomes than do public school students throughout the primary years, but we present evidence that selection bias is entirely responsible for these advantages. Estimates based on several empirical strategies, including an approach developed by Altonji et al. (2005a) to use selection on observables to assessthe bias arising from selection on unobservables, imply that Catholic schools do not appreciably boost test scores. All of the empirical strategies point to sizeable negative effects of Catholic schooling on mathematics achievement. Similarly, we find very little evidence that Catholic schooling improves behavioral and other non-cognitive outcomes once we account for selection on unobservables.
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright (published version): 2014 Elsevier
Keywords: Catholic schoolsAchievementSelection bias
DOI: 10.1016/j.jue.2013.10.001
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Economics Research Collection

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