Journal Article

The effect of school quality on educational attainment and wages

Date: 01 February 2002
Publisher: The IFS
Published in: Review of Economics and Statistics , Vol. 84, No. 1, pp. 1-20

The paper examines the effects of pupil-teacher ratios and type of school on educational attainment and wages using the British National Child Development Survey (NCDS). The NCDS is a panel survey that follows a cohort of individuals born in March 1958 and has a rich set of background variables recorded throughout the individuals' lives. The results suggest that, once we control for ability and family background, the pupil-teacher ratio has no impact on educational qualifications or on men's wages. It has an impact on women's wages at the age of 33, particularly those of low ability. We also find evidence that those who attend selective schools have better educational outcomes and, in the case of men, higher wages at the age of 33. The impact is greater for the type of individuals who are less likely to attend selective schools but for whom a comparison group does exist among those attending.