The effects of school-to-school collaboration on student cognitive skills: evidence from propensity score analysis

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School-to-school collaboration has been widely applied in many countries to improve schools’ academic outcomes. This study contributes to the understanding of the cognitive benefits of school-to-school collaboration. This study analyses the China Education Panel Survey (CEPS, 2013–2014) data by using propensity score matching to reveal the causal relations. The CEPS is a national survey that seeks feedback on the educational experience of students in grade 7 and grade 9 (age 13 and 15), their teachers and parents by using a stratified, multistage, sampling technique. The findings suggest that school-to-school collaboration can significantly promote students’ cognitive skills, given a series of covariates. Moreover, the heterogeneous treatment effect across family-related and individual-related covariates has been estimated. Students with higher social-economic status and better family support benefit less from the cognitive returns of school-to-school collaboration than those who have lower social-economic status and limited family support. The findings of this study suggest that the cognitive benefits of school-to-school collaboration have no difference in relation to students’ health conditions, learning time, or their experiences in school. Finally, the study’s limitations and future research directions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalThe Asia-Pacific Education Researcher
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


  • School-to-school collaboration
  • Cognitive skills
  • Propensity score matching
  • Heterogeneous treatment effect

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