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Education Production Functions and Productivity

Many economic analyses of education follow a simple model of production and reflect a desire to understand what determines student outcomes. Economists use the structure of an education production function to organize thinking about the various influences on student achievement and to consider various policy alternatives.

A production function relates an outcome to inputs, or factors of production. In education, the inputs are typically school resources, teacher quality, and family attributes, while the outcome is a measure of student achievement, such as test scores. The results of this research can be used in the development of education policy. This entry discusses the shift in education research to studying the relationship between inputs and outcomes and details which inputs are most commonly studied. It then reviews the ...

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