Faith Primary Schools: Better Schools or Better Pupils?
Stephen Gibbons () and
Olmo Silva ()
No 4089, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)
We provide estimates for the effect of attending a Faith school on educational achievement using a census of primary school pupils in England. We argue that there are no credible instruments for Faith school attendance in this context. Instead, we partially control for selection into religious schooling by tracking pupils over time and comparing attainments of students who exhibit different levels of commitment to religious education through their choice of secondary school and residence. Using this approach, we find only a small advantage from Faith primary schooling, worth about 1 percentile on age-11 test scores. Moreover, this is linked to autonomous admissions and governance arrangements, and not to religious character of the schools. We then go on to show that our estimates vary substantially across pupil subgroups that exhibit different levels of sorting on observable characteristics into Faith schooling, and provide bounds on what the 'Faith school effect' would be in the absence of sorting and selection. Pupils with a high degree of observable-sorting into Faith schools have an age-11 test score advantage of up to 2.7 percentiles. On the other hand, pupils showing a very low degree of sorting on observables have zero or negative gains. It appears that most of the apparent advantage of Faith school education in England can be explained by differences between the pupils who attend these schools and those who do not.
Keywords: faith school; pupil achievement; primary schools (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I20 J24 Z12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 45 pages
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu, nep-lab and nep-ure
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (4) Track citations by RSS feed
Published - published in: Journal of Labor Economics, 2011, 29 (3) , 589-635
Downloads: (external link)
Journal Article: Faith Primary Schools: Better Schools or Better Pupils? (2011)
Working Paper: Faith Primary Schools: Better Schools or Better Pupils? (2006)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4089
Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA) IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Holger Hinte ().