Research Items (10)
We examine Kindergarten allocation practices in an Estonian municipality, Harku. Based on our recommendations, the allocation mechanism in Harku was redesigned in 2016. The new mechanism produces a child-optimal stable matching, with priorities primarily based on siblings and distance. We evaluate seven policy designs based on 2016 admission data in order to understand efficiency and fairness trade-offs. In addition to the descriptive data analysis, we conduct a counter-factual policy comparison and sensitivity analysis using computational experiments with generated preferences. We fix the allocation mechanism to be the child-oriented Deferred-Acceptance algorithm, but we vary how the priorities are created by altering sibling and distance factors. Different lotteries are included for breaking ties. We find that different ways of considering the same priority factors can have a significant aggregate effect on the allocation. Additionally, we survey a dozen special features that can create significant challenges (both theoretical and practical) in redesigning the allocation mechanism in Estonian Kindergartens, and potentially elsewhere as well.
- Jul 2017
By 2016, European countries have more or less recovered from the 2008 recession. However, the strategies for coping with the crisis have varied, and one of the main concerns is to which extent the social investment paradigm has survived. In this article, we first map the dynamics of social investment expenditures in 2004–12 in six low- and high-spending welfare states in the Baltic Sea region – Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, Denmark and Sweden – and define countries which have managed to sustain the social investment ratio after recession. Second, by employing fuzzy-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis, we explore the configurational routes of ideational and structural factors within various macroeconomic contexts associated with the endurance of social investment. The analysis revealed that two out of the six countries – Denmark and Lithuania – managed to increase or preserve the share of investment expenditures in their total welfare budgets. Stable economic growth and low government debt turned out to be necessary conditions regardless of the generosity of the welfare state. However, while in Baltic countries a strong economy has to be in conjunction with ideational contributors (such as a government coalition of liberals and social democrats, and strict employment protection), the Nordic route includes a strong economy in conjunction with a high share of service economy.
We indicate the size of family background effects in Sweden, Finland, and Estonia – countries that differ in both the rhetoric and extensiveness of the system-level school choice policies. Family background effect is defined as the dependence of student achievement on family background characteristics, such as parental education, income, and social status. The number of books at home is used as a proxy when operationalising family background, and its effect is measured as a percentage of individual-level PISA scores. Fixed-effect regression results reveal that family background remains a powerful determinant in the educational results of 15-year-old students in all three cases, being largest in Sweden. Furthermore, we show how the family background effect is moderated by school-level choice policy, that is, how students and schools are matched. The analysis reveals that zoning policies have statistically significant negative effects on the impact of the family background effect, independent of country-level policies.
In this article, we demonstrate the size of family background eﬀ ects in various regions of Russia and Estonia, concentrating on urban and rural diﬀ erences, addressing the idea that the family background eﬀ ect is moderated by school level admission policies. Having common path-dependent educational institutions from the communist period, the countries diﬀ er in both the extensiveness of the welfare state and system level school choice policies. However, we see many commonalities in both systems, especially at the urban school level. The family background eﬀ ect is deﬁ ned as the dependence of student achievement on family background characteristics, such as parental education, income and social status. In operationalising family background, the number of books at home and parental education are used as proxies, and its eﬀect is measured as a percentage of the individual level PISA 2012 score. We contribute to the literature by studying school choice, its key characteristics and moderating eﬀects by school level admission policy in an urban environment.
This article analyses quality assurance (QA) policies of 30 countries in civic and citizenship education (CCE) by using fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA). The main aim is to find combinations of institutional and contextual factors that are systematically associated with a high achievement in citizenship education. Based on fsQCA, the assumption is that several pathways to a successful education may exist. Theoretically, two model paths were constructed – the accountability and the participatory paths with distinguished contextual conditions and institutional characteristics of QA systems. Empirical analysis revealed six configurations of contextual and institutional factors, belonging to the accountability or to the participatory paths. The strongest configuration in terms of consistency and coverage is the absence of strict regulations on teaching CCE embedded by a participatory path. The result of the accountability path is more diverse, indicating that both, a more regulative New Public Management-related and an internal assessment-oriented QA might be enabled by this context.
This article presents the empirical analysis of the effects of a school choice policy in Estonia. The article shows that relying on markets and giving autonomy to the schools over student selection will produce admission tests, even at the elementary school level. This article’s contribution is to show that a school choice policy experiment with schools free to select students will produce between-school segregation effects based on residential and background characteristics. However, the interpretation of these effects is complex because, when compared with the premarket, residential choice model, it diminishes segregation based on income and family socioeconomic status.
wwwords.eu/EERJ 220 http://dx.doi.org/10.2304/eerj.2014.13.2.220 ABSTRACT This article aims to show the segregating effect of the market-like matching of students and schools at the basic school level. The natural experiment case is Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. The current school choice mechanism applied in this case is based on entrance tests. There are increasingly over-subscribed intra-catchment area public schools, where high reputations are reinforced by publicly reported league tables. The current mechanism has resulted in parental strategies of prep-schooling and the manipulation of addresses. Logistic regression results based on survey data assure that, under competitive entrance, families' educational strategies and background characteristics determine the success of admission to schools with good reputations. Understanding this heterogeneous strategic behaviour is important for the effective design of school choice mechanisms.
534 http://dx.doi.org/10.2304/eerj.2013.12.4.534 ABSTRACT In recent years, the degree of choice in education systems has increased in most countries. Still, the variation of choice policies across countries is substantial. The authors ask under what combinations of conditions (i.e. institutional features of education systems) choice policy succeeds in balancing educational efficiency and equity. Using the fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis, they investigate the impact of seven institutional conditions in 20 European countries. Those seven conditions are identified in school choice literature as relevant in explaining variations in educational efficiency and equity. The analysis shows that there are multiple causal paths to good policy outcome. The main contribution of this article is to show that 'choice' is an INUS condition (i.e. an insufficient but necessary part of an unnecessary but sufficient combination of conditions) and that 'no tracking' is a necessary condition for educational efficiency and equity. In addition, the authors show that 'good management' and 'competition' of schools contribute to good educational outcomes only in choice-tolerant countries.
We seek out the good institutional features of the European choice policies that can enhance both equity and efficiency at the system level. For causality analysis we construct the typology of 28 European educational systems by using fuzzy-set analysis. We combine five independent variables to indicate institutional features of school choice policy: availability of choice, tracking, school variability, empowerment of parents, and financial incentive schemes supporting choice policy. Findings show that the most important complements producing efficiency are “no-choice” with “no-tracking” and “choice” together with “tracking” and “school variability.” “No-choice” with “no-tracking” can also lead to more equity.
Awards & Achievements (1)
Award · May 2012
EERA Best Paper Award