Municipality Characteristics and Math Achievement: A Multilevel Analysis of Mexican Secondary Schools

Celia Hubert, University of Texas at Austin

This study examines the mechanisms through municipality contexts matter for mean school achievement via a multilevel analysis of secondary schools in Mexico. Although school factors are highly correlated with municipality’s characteristics, the present study finds that unobservable characteristics of the municipality are playing a role in Mexican students’ achievement which goes beyond the possible impact that school factors have on achievement. The present work finds that, while school-level characteristics are important, municipality characteristics provide additional explanation of this unexplained variability even without accounting for student characteristics. The results support the hypothesis that schools in more developed municipalities have an advantage over schools in less developed areas. Knowing the extent to which municipalities influence school effectiveness could guide the targeting of policies to improve Mexican education since municipality is the smallest unit of government with the authority to implement public policies and as such municipalities influence the schools under their jurisdiction.

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Presented in Poster Session 5