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The Knowledge Capital of NationsEducation and the Economics of Growth$
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Eric A. Hanushek and Ludger Woessmann

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780262029179

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262029179.001.0001

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Policies to Improve Knowledge Capital

Policies to Improve Knowledge Capital

(p.185) 8 Policies to Improve Knowledge Capital
The Knowledge Capital of Nations

Eric A. Hanushek

Ludger Woessmann

The MIT Press

Recent history clearly shows that improvements in knowledge capital are possible and within the reach of nations. But, a wide variety of specific policies have been implemented within various countries without much evidence of success in either achievement or economic terms, generally reflecting the pursuit of policies for which there is little empirical support. This chapter, drawing on relevant research and findings from a variety of sources, distils a few key conclusions about which broad sets of policies are promising and which are not. The evidence across countries suggests simple resource policies have proved inconsistent and ineffective, not only for developed but also for developing countries. At the same time, some policies from developed countries, such as school autonomy, may not be equally effective in developing countries, and vice versa. Overall, the evidence points to the general importance of focusing incentives on educational outcomes, something that is best achieved by constructing the institutional structures of the education system with specific focus on outcomes. A number of education institutions – most notably, developing effective accountability systems, promoting choice and competition, and providing direct rewards for good performance – potentially lead to higher teacher quality and offer promise. Finally, some policies (such as pre-school programs) promise both improved equity and increased growth, while others (such as early tracking) offer the opposite.

Keywords:   Resources, School reform, Accountability, Autonomy, Incentives, Choice, Teacher quality, Direct rewards, Equity, Pre-school, Tracking

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