Lehrstuhl für Volkswirtschaftslehre, insb. Bildungsökonomik




Schwerpunktseminar School Systems and Student Achievement in International Perspective

Prof. Dr. Ludger Wößmann and Dr. Francesco Cinnirella

Blocked Seminar at Frauenchiemsee

20-22 June 2016

Students in some countries do enormously better on international achievement tests than students in other countries. Is this all due to differences in what students bring with them to school such as their socio-economic and cultural backgrounds? Or do school systems make a difference? This seminar will discuss recent research on school systems and student achievement in international perspective, with a particular focus on studies that attempts to go beyond correlations by addressing leading concerns of bias in cross-country analysis. Topics that will be covered include the roles of educational spending, class size, instruction time, teacher quality, external exams, school autonomy, private competition, and tracking. The seminar will analyze to what extent international differences in features of countries’ school systems, and in particular their institutional structures, are sources of international differences in student achievement. (Prerequisite: content of the lecture “Bildungsökonomik”; recommended: interest in econometrics.)

The seminar is supported by the Hanns Martin Schleyer-Stiftung and the Heinz Nixdorf Stiftung within the Universitas-Förderinitiative “Dialog Wissenschaft und Praxis.”

Overview of the Topics of the Seminar:

Social Background

  • Immigrant Children [Dustmann et al. EPol 2012]
  • Peer Effects [Ammermueller/Pischke JoLE 2009]

School Resources

  • Class-Size Effects [Altinok/Kingdon OxfBulEStat 2012]
  • Computers [Falck et al. 2015]
  • Instruction Time [Lavy EJ 2015]
  • Teacher Quality [Hanushek et al. 2014]
  • Teaching Methods [Algan/Cahuc/Shleifer AEJ:Applied 2013]


  • Central Exams [Jürges et al. JEEA 2005]
  • School Autonomy [Hanushek et al. JDE 2013]
  • Management Practices [Bloom et al. EJ 2015]
  • Private Competition [West/Woessmann EJ 2010]
  • Tracking [Piopiunik EEduR 2014]
  • Institutions and Immigrant Children [Schneeweis JPolE 2011]

Documents for Preparation:

General Notes

Writing a Seminar Paper