In this paper I survey the recent economics of education literature in order to identify which education policies can effectively improve the quality of primary schooling, as measured by pupil test-based achievements. Particular attention is devoted to the experience of England, a country which has made substantial investments over the past decade aimed at improving its primary education. Evidence suggests that broadly scoped resource-based programmes deliver less than more targeted policies. Additionally, a growing body of research shows that interventions that enhance choice and competition among education-service providers, and motivate teachers through pecuniary rewards, have some scope in raising education standards. I conclude my survey by discussing some broad concerns with modes of education provision centred on choice and competition, mainly pupil segregation along the lines of ability and family background.
primary schools resources choice and competition incentives