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Individual effort and its dependency on the family and school environments as key factors in school performance

10th National Competition for Economic Research Grants

Analylsis of international educational indicators

Senior Researcher : Pedro Landeras Cicero

Research Centre or Institution : Fundación de Estudios de Economía Aplicada. Madrid


PISA 2006 data are analysed, considering the time spent studying as one of the main factors to explain academic performance. It is observed that there is no concrete relationship between the total time dedicated to studying (time in class, time doing homework and time in private classes) and academic performance. However, more individual study time (time doing homework or private classes) is negatively related to academic performance. On the other hand, at country level, the best students spend more time in class and doing homework. However, when considering different groups of students, this positive relationship is not maintained. For example, girls, immigrant students, and, in some countries, private-school students spend more time studying at home, but show worse performances. In order to establish a causal relationship between the time dedicated to studying and academic performance, an education production function is estimated, controlling for individual characteristics of the students and different school environments. The results show that the productivity of the additional study time varies across countries, though in general more time in class and, to a lesser extent, more time studying at home, have a positive effect on academic performance.

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