Jockeying for position: Strategic high school choice under Texas' top ten percent plan
AbstractBeginning in 1998, all students in the state of Texas who graduated in the top 10% of their high school classes were guaranteed admission to any in-state public higher education institution, including the flagships. While the goal of this policy is to improve college access for disadvantaged and minority students, the use of a school-specific standard to determine eligibility could have unintended consequences. Students may increase their chances of being in the top 10% by choosing a high school with lower-achieving peers. Our analysis of students' school transitions between 8th and 10th grade three years before and after the policy change reveals that this incentive influences enrollment choices in the anticipated direction. Among the subset of students with both motive and opportunity for strategic high school choice, at least 5% enroll in a different high school to improve the chances of being in the top 10%. These students tend to choose the neighborhood high school in lieu of transferring to more competitive schools and, regardless of own race, typically displace minority students from the top 10% pool. Relatively few students have both the motive and opportunity to behave strategically in the short run, so systemic effects are inherently slight. Our finding of sizable take-up in the face of costly strategizing, however, suggests that endogenous group membership may be important in the longer run and in other settings where individuals can select their peers and are then “graded on a curve.”
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.
Volume (Year): 97 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578
Incentive effects; Moral hazard; School choice; College admission;
Other versions of this item:
- Julie Berry Cullen & Mark C. Long & Randall Reback, 2011. "Jockeying for Position: Strategic High School Choice Under Texas' Top Ten Percent Plan," NBER Working Papers 16663, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
- H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
- H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects
- I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
- J60 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - General
- J78 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Public Policy (including comparable worth)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Krueger, Alan & Rothstein, Jesse M & Turner, Sarah, 2006.
"Race, Income, and College in 25 Years: Evaluating Justice O'Connor's Conjecture,"
University of California at Berkeley, Center for Studies in Higher Education
qt9bn6m1hs, Center for Studies in Higher Education, UC Berkeley.
- Alan Krueger & Jesse Rothstein & Sarah Turner, 2006. "Race, Income, and College in 25 Years: Evaluating Justice O'Connor's Conjecture," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(2), pages 282-311.
- Long, M.C.Mark C., 2004. "College applications and the effect of affirmative action," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 319-342.
- Jesse M. Rothstein, 2006. "Good Principals or Good Peers? Parental Valuation of School Characteristics, Tiebout Equilibrium, and the Incentive Effects of Competition among Jurisdictions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1333-1350, September.
- Baicker, Katherine & Clemens, Jeffrey & Singhal, Monica, 2012. "The rise of the states: U.S. fiscal decentralization in the postwar period," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(11), pages 1079-1091.
- De Fraja, Gianni & Martínez-Mora, Francisco, 2014.
"The desegregating effect of school tracking,"
Journal of Urban Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 164-177.
- De Fraja, Gianni & Martinez Mora, Francisco, 2012. "The desegregating effect of school tracking," CEPR Discussion Papers 9204, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Francisco Martínez-Mora & Gianni De Fraja, 2012. "The desegregating effect of school tracking," Discussion Papers in Economics 12/24, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.