The paper analyzes the score on a reading literacy test of 15-year-old Italian students. The data depict a fracture in the Italian school system which is generally linked to a regional gap. Such a gap is here related to more specific factors of the Italian school system. By means of quantile regressions (QR) and by repeatedly implementing a QR-based test for structural break, we can not only pin down the determinants of the gap but also rank them. The QR-based test for structural break splits the sample in different sub-samples for comparison and is computed at various quantiles. This allows to highlight that the difference in curricula is the main factor in explaining the gap in the students’ scores. Considering then the regional difference, it can be linked to structural and behavioral variables like poor library facilities, which mirrors the economic lag of the southern Italian regions, and student absenteeism, which can be related to the greater difficulties in gaining access to the labor market. In terms of policy actions, curbing absenteeism in the southern regions could help reduce the regional gap. If instead the target is to enhance excellence, funds could be directed towards academic track and/or north-centre regions.

Quantile regression analysis of the Italian school system

FURNO, Marilena
2010

Abstract

The paper analyzes the score on a reading literacy test of 15-year-old Italian students. The data depict a fracture in the Italian school system which is generally linked to a regional gap. Such a gap is here related to more specific factors of the Italian school system. By means of quantile regressions (QR) and by repeatedly implementing a QR-based test for structural break, we can not only pin down the determinants of the gap but also rank them. The QR-based test for structural break splits the sample in different sub-samples for comparison and is computed at various quantiles. This allows to highlight that the difference in curricula is the main factor in explaining the gap in the students’ scores. Considering then the regional difference, it can be linked to structural and behavioral variables like poor library facilities, which mirrors the economic lag of the southern Italian regions, and student absenteeism, which can be related to the greater difficulties in gaining access to the labor market. In terms of policy actions, curbing absenteeism in the southern regions could help reduce the regional gap. If instead the target is to enhance excellence, funds could be directed towards academic track and/or north-centre regions.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11580/9196
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