School Accountability and Student Achievement: Neighboring schools matter

Author Name MOROZUMI Atsuyoshi (University of Nottingham) / TANAKA Ryuichi (Faculty Fellow, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. January 2023 23-E-004
Research Project Microeconometric Analysis of Education Policy with Large Administrative Data
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Previous research on school accountability has shown that the disclosure of school-level results of a national standardized student achievement test has a heterogeneous impact on student achievement across schools. This paper, highlighting a type of standardized test that has no stakes for students (called a national assessment), sheds further light on circumstances under which the disclosure of such information has a desirable impact on student learning. Specifically, utilizing an unanticipated disclosure of the school-level results of Japan's national assessment, which occurred only in one prefecture in 2013, and treating schools in other prefectures as a control group, we show that the information disclosure has a significantly more positive impact on student achievement when the school has a larger number of schools in close proximity (i.e., neighboring schools). The results are robust to the consideration of other possible conditioning factors of the information effect such as school budget autonomy.