Skip to main content

CEP discussion paper

The Effects of Resources Across School Phases: A Summary of Recent Evidence


This report provides an overview and discussion of the past decade of academic evidence on the causal effects of resources in schooling on students’ outcomes. Early evidence lacked good strategies for estimating the effects of schools resources, leading many people to conclude that spending more on schools had no effect. More recent evidence using better research designs finds that resources do matter, but the range of estimates of the impacts is quite wide. The review devotes special attention to differences across the early years, primary and secondary phases. Theoretical work has indicated that interventions early in a child's life may be more productive than interventions later on. However, although there are more examples of good quality studies on primary schooling, the existing body of empirical work does not lead to a conclusive case in favour of early interventions.


Stephen Gibbons and Sandra McNally

2 July 2013     Paper Number CEPDP1226

Download PDF - The Effects of Resources Across School Phases: A Summary of Recent Evidence

This CEP discussion paper is published under the centre's Education and skills programme.