Explaining the Rural-Urban Student Performance Gap for Different Distribution Quantiles in Colombia


  • Documento de trabajo RIEC


  • This paper studies the determinants of student performance in the PISA 2018 tests in Colombia focusing on the rural-urban gap. Using quantile regression, a student-level education production function at different points along the achievement distribution is estimated. Applying the Oaxaca–Blinder decomposition, estimates of how much of the achievement differential between urban–rural students can be explained by different aspects including individual characteristics, family characteristics, and school characteristics are reported. Results indicate that mean differences in performance between students in rural and urban Colombian schools are significant. Observable factors, especially school characteristics, are the main drivers of the performance gap. Substantial differences are observed when different test percentiles of the performance distribution are considered. Our results suggest that one way in which education can reduce student performance gaps is by investing in improving school quality in rural areas in Colombia.

fecha de publicación

  • 2021

Líneas de investigación

  • Developing countries
  • Education policy
  • Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition
  • PISA 2018
  • Quantile regression
  • Rural-urban education gap


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