Where Does Management Matter? the Effect of Management on Student Outcomes in Public and Private Schools

Patrick L. Warren (Clemson University)
Benjamin Harbolt (Clemson University)

Abstract: School management practices matter for student performance. But is the higher managerial autonomy enjoyed by public and autonomous government schools (AGS/charters) a substitute or a complement for better management practices. Using a survey by Bloom (2015) of the management practices of over 1000 secondary schools around the world, we demonstrate that the relationship between good management practices and good student performance is must stronger in private schools than it is in either traditional public or AGS schools. Specifically, a 1 standard deviation (s.d.) increase in general management practices is associated with a 0.18 s.d. increase in student performance among public schools, at 0.25 s.d. increase among charter AGS schools and with an 0.37 s.d. increase in student performance among private schools. These results are robust to controlling for other inputs and student characteristics, and are driven primarily by a differential response to operations and monitoring management. People management and targeting also matter for performance, but they seem to matter about the same across organizational forms.