Good schools or good students? The importance of selectivity for school rankings

The ESRI organises a public seminar series, inviting researchers from both the ESRI and other institutions to present new research on a variety of public policy issues. The seminar series provides access to specialised knowledge and new research methodologies, with the objective of promoting research excellence and facilitating productive dialogue across the policy and research fields.

Join the conversation #ESRIevents

Guest speakerDr Aedín Doris, NUI Maynooth 

Seminar topic: This paper uses a rich set of student background characteristics, including early measures of cognitive and non-cognitive skills, to estimate the value added of second-level schools in Ireland. Although there are high performing schools in both raw and value-added terms, there is a considerable degree of reranking of schools when we move to value added. In many cases the best performing schools in raw terms are not the best in value-added terms. In addition we find that parents tend to choose schools on the basis of raw results rather than value added. We estimate that if parents chose the best value-added school from among the set of feasible schools, then this reallocation of students would increase academic achievement substantially.

Speaker bio: Aedín Doris has been a Lecturer in Maynooth's Economics Department since 1997, after undertaking her PhD at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. Aedín is an applied labour economist doing research mainly in the areas of earnings inequality, the economics of education and labour market public policy. Her research addresses policy-relevant questions using empirical analysis, typically of Irish data. She has research interests in the determinants of earnings and earnings inequality; gender inequality in the labour market and in education; the effects of benefit systems; and higher education funding and access. In 2017, she was joint winner (with Bruce Chapman of Australian National University) of the Miriam Hederman O'Brien prize, awarded by the Foundation for Fiscal Studies for outstanding work in the area of fiscal policy. Aedín is Managing Editor of the Economic and Social Review and is a member of the Centre for International Student Loans Research (CISLR).