Faith schools, social capital and academic attainment: evidence from TIMSS-R mathematics scores in Flemish secondary schools

Pugh, Geoff and Telhaj, Shqiponje (2008) Faith schools, social capital and academic attainment: evidence from TIMSS-R mathematics scores in Flemish secondary schools. British Educational Research Journal, 34 (2). pp. 235-267. ISSN 0141-1926

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Abstract

Social capital theory, recent developments in the theory of identity and a small econometric literature all suggest positive attainment effects from faith schooling. To test this hypothesis, the authors use a unique data set on Flemish secondary school students from the 1999 repeat of the Third International Mathematics and Science Study to estimate an education production function. The results suggest modest attainment benefits in mathematics when schools are influenced by faith communities but not when they are influenced by trade unions or business groups. The authors estimate models with exogenous and endogenous switching to investigate the robustness of this result to school selection policy and parental/student self-selection. These additional results not only suggest that the positive attainment effects of faith schooling do not reflect selection bias but also provide evidence suggesting that such attainment effects reflect forms of social capital that are more readily available in faith schools than in non-faith schools. However, the limitations of social capital theory and evidence caution against radical policy conclusions.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > Economics
Depositing User: Shqiponje Telhaj
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 19:28
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2014 10:33
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/20764
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