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Participation in Cross-National Assessments: Evidence from a Discrete-Time Hazard Model

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Abstract:

The number of countries participating in cross-national assessments (CNAs) has grown exponentially over the last fifty-five years. When the first pilot international assessment was administered in 1958, there were only twelve country participants. Today, over 60 countries and economies are regular CNA participants. The objective of this paper is to answer the following questions: When do countries participate in cross-national assessments? Do international forces or domestic factors matter?
I constructed an original cross-sectional panel data set that covers between 1958 and 2012. I use a discrete-time hazard model to predict participation in a CNA. This method computes the probability that a country will participate in a CNA in a given year. I employ a hazard model because I want to understand when certain events occur, in other words, the risk of an event occurring (Singer & Willett, 2003; Yamaguchi, 1991).
My conceptual framework is influenced by neo-institutional world society theory (Meyer et al., 1997; Meyer & Ramirez, 2000; Ramirez & Boli, 1987), constructivism (Finnemore & Sikkink, 1998; Ruggie, 1998) and human capital theory (Schultz, 1959; Hanushek and Woesmann, 2007), but my main argument stems from the rational-actor model.
The main dependent variable is participation in any global international and regional assessments for the first time, based on a list of all CNAs that were available between 1958 and 2012. There are three groups of explanatory variables. The first set is external factors that proxy for global diffusion (theory: world society theory). To proxy for donor influence, I use membership in inter-governmental organizations. To measure aid dependency, I include a measure of official development assistance in the education sector (theory: constructivism). The second set of variables measures human capital development. I use the following indicators: gross primary and secondary enrollment, investment in research and development (R&D), and membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO). The third set of variables control for domestic factors. Gross domestic product (GDP) per capita accounts for differences in economic development, which is also an indicator for institutional capacity. Polity score (scale of -10 to 10) indicates where the country lies on the political spectrum of democracy and autocracy. National assessment is included in order to proxy for national capacity in conducting assessments in general. Evidence indicates that countries are responding to both international forces and domestic factors when they adopt CNAs. In particular, international pressure in the form of educational aid and domestic factors such as economic development and level of institutional capacity are factors associated with greater likelihood of initial participation in CNAs.
The significance of this study to the field of comparative and international education is three-fold. First, the findings from this study show that both national and global factors matter in the development of a global norm. Second, this study sheds light on the political and economic factors associated with a country’s decision to participate in CNAs, providing further insights into the politics of large-scale assessments. Third, this study has strong policy implications on both the countries that are thinking of participating in CNAs and organizations that promote CNAs because it identifies specific factors that are associated with a country’s decision to participate in a CNA.
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Name: Comparative and International Education Society Annual Conference
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http://www.cies.us


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MLA Citation:

Kijima, Rie. "Participation in Cross-National Assessments: Evidence from a Discrete-Time Hazard Model" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society Annual Conference, Sheraton Centre Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Mar 10, 2014 <Not Available>. 2014-12-10 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p717553_index.html>

APA Citation:

Kijima, R. , 2014-03-10 "Participation in Cross-National Assessments: Evidence from a Discrete-Time Hazard Model" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society Annual Conference, Sheraton Centre Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-12-10 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p717553_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: The number of countries participating in cross-national assessments (CNAs) has grown exponentially over the last fifty-five years. When the first pilot international assessment was administered in 1958, there were only twelve country participants. Today, over 60 countries and economies are regular CNA participants. The objective of this paper is to answer the following questions: When do countries participate in cross-national assessments? Do international forces or domestic factors matter?
I constructed an original cross-sectional panel data set that covers between 1958 and 2012. I use a discrete-time hazard model to predict participation in a CNA. This method computes the probability that a country will participate in a CNA in a given year. I employ a hazard model because I want to understand when certain events occur, in other words, the risk of an event occurring (Singer & Willett, 2003; Yamaguchi, 1991).
My conceptual framework is influenced by neo-institutional world society theory (Meyer et al., 1997; Meyer & Ramirez, 2000; Ramirez & Boli, 1987), constructivism (Finnemore & Sikkink, 1998; Ruggie, 1998) and human capital theory (Schultz, 1959; Hanushek and Woesmann, 2007), but my main argument stems from the rational-actor model.
The main dependent variable is participation in any global international and regional assessments for the first time, based on a list of all CNAs that were available between 1958 and 2012. There are three groups of explanatory variables. The first set is external factors that proxy for global diffusion (theory: world society theory). To proxy for donor influence, I use membership in inter-governmental organizations. To measure aid dependency, I include a measure of official development assistance in the education sector (theory: constructivism). The second set of variables measures human capital development. I use the following indicators: gross primary and secondary enrollment, investment in research and development (R&D), and membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO). The third set of variables control for domestic factors. Gross domestic product (GDP) per capita accounts for differences in economic development, which is also an indicator for institutional capacity. Polity score (scale of -10 to 10) indicates where the country lies on the political spectrum of democracy and autocracy. National assessment is included in order to proxy for national capacity in conducting assessments in general. Evidence indicates that countries are responding to both international forces and domestic factors when they adopt CNAs. In particular, international pressure in the form of educational aid and domestic factors such as economic development and level of institutional capacity are factors associated with greater likelihood of initial participation in CNAs.
The significance of this study to the field of comparative and international education is three-fold. First, the findings from this study show that both national and global factors matter in the development of a global norm. Second, this study sheds light on the political and economic factors associated with a country’s decision to participate in CNAs, providing further insights into the politics of large-scale assessments. Third, this study has strong policy implications on both the countries that are thinking of participating in CNAs and organizations that promote CNAs because it identifies specific factors that are associated with a country’s decision to participate in a CNA.


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