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

journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-07, 23:01 authored by Geoff Pugh, Shqiponja TelhajShqiponja Telhaj
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.

History

Publication status

  • Published

Journal

British Educational Research Journal

ISSN

0141-1926

Publisher

Taylor & Francis

Issue

2

Volume

34

Page range

235-267

Pages

33.0

Department affiliated with

  • Economics Publications

Full text available

  • No

Peer reviewed?

  • Yes

Legacy Posted Date

2012-02-06

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