Functional form and the estimated effects of school resources

David N. Figlio*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


A widely-cited result in the education production function literature is that the level of measured school inputs (e.g., student-teacher ratio or starting teacher salary) is not associated with differences in student achievement, all else equal. I argue that this result may be attributable in part to the restrictive functional form assumptions used in the existing literature. I use detailed national student-level data to estimate an education production function that does not employ the restrictive assumptions of homotheticity and additivity and find statistically significant evidence that school inputs are associated with student performance. Moreover, I find evidence that traditional education production functions may understate the magnitude of the effects of school factors on student achievement. However, I find that even these larger estimated effects of measured school inputs are very small. [JEL I21].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-252
Number of pages12
JournalEconomics of Education Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1999


  • Functional form
  • School quality
  • Student test scores

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Economics and Econometrics


Dive into the research topics of 'Functional form and the estimated effects of school resources'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this