Comparative Country Performance on International Education Assessment
The international community agrees that investing in education is vital for a country’s development. An anomaly in the literature is that while education has a demonstrable positive impact on individual earnings, it has minimum economic impact on a country’s income in aggregate. One of the reasons for this is that most studies account for increased enrollment while neglecting the impact of educational quality. As universal school access becomes a reality, there is growing interest among countries in determining the factors that influence the quality of education. This study uses data from one international educational assessment program to study the impact of family background and the interaction between public funding and public school management on reading, writing, and science test scores. I show that family background, particularly mother’s education level, has a strong influence on performance. The study also suggests that school performance can be improved when public funding is allocated to privately managed schools.