Journal of East China Normal University(Educational Sciences) ›› 2020, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (9): 137-161.doi: 10.16382/j.cnki.1000-5560.2020.09.008

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Opening the Black Box of Educational Production: The Retrospect and Prospect of Educational Production Function

Li Bo, Huang Bin   

  1. School of Public Administration, Nanjing University of Finance and Economics, Nanjing 210023, China
  • Published:2020-09-15

Abstract: Educational production activities are interrelated. Educational output is affected by many input factors, such as families and schools, among which the relationship among input factors is complex. There is always a gap between theoretical construction and practical observation in educational production and the empirical research methods and conclusions are quite controversial. The impact of educational input on educational output is a “black box” that hasn’t been solved for a long time in the research of economics of education. The study of educational production function perfectly integrates the theories and methods of economics and pedagogy. It is the core topic of education economics to discuss the relationship between the allocation of scarce educational resources and the output of human educational activities, and it is also a useful and powerful tool to crack the “black box” of educational production. This study examines the empirical research on education production function and introduces the types of education production function. It then analyzes the empirical research results of family input and school input education production function, summarizes and rethinks the basic trend and existing problems of the empirical research on education production function in the past five years. Finally, it puts forward the prospects of the future empirical research on educational production function.

Key words: educational production function, empirical research, research methods, causal inference