Massimo Bordignon, Piergiorgio Carapella, Gilberto Turati

Information and quality of public services: The case of the Eduscopio internet portal of the Giovanni Agnelli Foundation

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Publicy Provided Private Goods; Analysis and Education; Education and Inequality.

In Italy, Eduscopio represents an interesting innovation to evaluate high schools’ performance and to make information accessible to citizens. Despite a number of shortcomings, Eduscopio is a free internet portal that since 2014 offers information on the quality of high schools at the municipal level, measured on the performance of their graduates during the first year of university. This paper aims at studying the drivers in the use of this information by potential users. To this end, we collected information at municipal level on schools’ quality, local news coverage of Eduscopio, and characteristics of the municipalities. Our results show that accessing the website is positively correlated with the average level of education and income of municipalities, thus somewhat supporting the worries that more information might lead to further discrimination. Secondly and however, the number of users is positively linked with both the variability in the quality of schools and the number of accessible schools in the area where the user resides. Thus, information is more sought when users can select between different schools and when quality varies significantly. In line with the theoretical literature, this might indeed induce forms of competition between producers that could lead to an overall improvement in the quality of services. A third important finding is a positive association between the number of users and the local news coverage of Eduscopio.

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