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School Choice, School Quality, and Postsecondary Attainment

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  • David J. Deming
  • Justine S. Hastings
  • Thomas J. Kane
  • Douglas O. Staiger

Abstract

We study the impact of a public school choice lottery in Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools on college enrollment and degree completion. We find a significant overall increase in college attainment among lottery winners who attend their first choice school. Using rich administrative data on peers, teachers, course offerings and other inputs, we show that the impacts of choice are strongly predicted by gains on several measures of school quality. Gains in attainment are concentrated among girls. Girls respond to attending a better school with higher grades and increases in college-preparatory course-taking, while boys do not.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 104 (2014)
Issue (Month): 3 (March)
Pages: 991-1013

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:104:y:2014:i:3:p:991-1013

Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.104.3.991
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References

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  1. Julie Berry Cullen & Brian A. Jacob & Steven Levitt, 2003. "The Effect of School Choice on Student Outcomes: Evidence from Randomized Lotteries," NBER Working Papers 10113, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. David Deming, 2009. "Early Childhood Intervention and Life-Cycle Skill Development: Evidence from Head Start," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(3), pages 111-34, July.
  3. James J. Heckman & Paul A. LaFontaine, 2008. "The American High School Graduation Rate: Trends And Levels," Working Papers, Geary Institute, University College Dublin 200828, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  4. Susan Dynarski, 2005. "Building the Stock of College-Educated Labor," NBER Working Papers 11604, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. David J. Deming, 2011. "Better Schools, Less Crime?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(4), pages 2063-2115.
  6. Anderson, Michael L., 2008. "Multiple Inference and Gender Differences in the Effects of Early Intervention: A Reevaluation of the Abecedarian, Perry Preschool, and Early Training Projects," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 103(484), pages 1481-1495.
  7. Dennis Epple & Richard Romano, 2000. "Neighborhood Schools, Choice, and the Distribution of Educational Benefits," NBER Working Papers 7850, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Atila Abdulkadiroğlu & Joshua D. Angrist & Susan M. Dynarski & Thomas J. Kane & Parag A. Pathak, 2011. "Accountability and Flexibility in Public Schools: Evidence from Boston's Charters And Pilots," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(2), pages 699-748.
  9. Jonathan Gruber, 2009. "The Problems of Disadvantaged Youth: An Economic Perspective," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number grub07-2, October.
  10. Julie Berry Cullen & Brian A. Jacob, 2007. "Is Gaining Access to Selective Elementary Schools Gaining Ground? Evidence From Randomized Lotteries," NBER Working Papers 13443, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Caroline M. Hoxby & Sonali Murarka, 2009. "Charter Schools in New York City: Who Enrolls and How They Affect Their Students' Achievement," NBER Working Papers 14852, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Goodman, Joshua, 2012. "The Labor of Division: Returns to Compulsory Math Coursework," Working Paper Series rwp12-032, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  13. Justine S. Hastings & Christopher A. Neilson & Seth D. Zimmerman, 2012. "The Effect of School Choice on Intrinsic Motivation and Academic Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 18324, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Jesse Rothstein, 2008. "Teacher Quality in Educational Production: Tracking, Decay, and Student Achievement," NBER Working Papers 14442, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. C. Kirabo Jackson, 2010. "Can Higher-Achieving Peers Explain the Benefits to Attending Selective Schools?: Evidence from Trinidad and Tobago," NBER Working Papers 16598, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Victor Lavy & Olmo Silva & Felix Weinhardt, 2009. "The Good, the Bad and the Average: Evidence on the Scale and Nature of Ability Peer Effects in Schools," NBER Working Papers 15600, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Sarah Turner, 2004. "Going to College and Finishing College.Explaining Different Educational Outcomes," NBER Chapters, in: College Choices: The Economics of Where to Go, When to Go, and How to Pay For It, pages 13-62 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Thomas J. Kane & Douglas O. Staiger, 2008. "Estimating Teacher Impacts on Student Achievement: An Experimental Evaluation," NBER Working Papers 14607, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Calsamiglia, Caterina & Guell, Maia, 2014. "The Illusion of School Choice: Empirical Evidence from Barcelona," Working Papers, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis 712, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. Sandra E. Black & Jane Arnold Lincove & Jenna Cullinane & Rachel Veron, 2014. "Can you Leave High School Behind?," CESifo Working Paper Series 4637, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Eric Parsons, 2014. "School Specialization and High-Performing Students," Working Papers, Department of Economics, University of Missouri 1407, Department of Economics, University of Missouri, revised 05 Sep 2014.
  4. Joshua D. Angrist & Sarah R. Cohodes & Susan M. Dynarski & Parag A. Pathak & Christopher R. Walters, 2013. "Stand and Deliver: Effects of Boston's Charter High Schools on College Preparation, Entry, and Choice," NBER Working Papers 19275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Will Dobbie & Roland G. Fryer, Jr, 2013. "The Medium-Term Impacts of High-Achieving Charter Schools on Non-Test Score Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 19581, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Julie Berry Cullen & Steven D. Levitt & Erin Robertson & Sally Sadoff, 2013. "What Can Be Done to Improve Struggling High Schools?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 27(2), pages 133-52, Spring.
  7. Susan Dynarski & Joshua M. Hyman & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2011. "Experimental Evidence on the Effect of Childhood Investments on Postsecondary Attainment and Degree Completion," NBER Working Papers 17533, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Atila Abdulkadiro─člu & Weiwei Hu & Parag A. Pathak, 2013. "Small High Schools and Student Achievement: Lottery-Based Evidence from New York City," NBER Working Papers 19576, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Friesen, Jane & Harris, Benjamin Cerf & Woodcock, Simon, 2013. "Open Enrolment and Student Achievement," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2013-46, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 22 Mar 2014.
  10. Justine S. Hastings & Christopher A. Neilson & Seth D. Zimmerman, 2012. "The Effect of School Choice on Intrinsic Motivation and Academic Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 18324, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Adrienne M. Lucas & Isaac M. Mbiti, 2014. "Effects of School Quality on Student Achievement: Discontinuity Evidence from Kenya," Working Papers, University of Delaware, Department of Economics 14-03, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.
  12. Will Dobbie & Roland G. Fryer, Jr, 2011. "Getting Beneath the Veil of Effective Schools: Evidence from New York City," NBER Working Papers 17632, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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