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The Effect of Tracking Students by Ability into Different Schools: A Natural Experiment

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  • Nina Guyon
  • Eric Maurin
  • Sandra McNally

Abstract

The tracking of pupils by ability into elite and nonelite schools represents a controversial policy in many countries. There is no consensus on how large the elite track should be and little agreement on the effects of any further increase in its size. This paper presents a natural experiment where the increase in the size of the elite track was followed by a significant improvement in average educational outcomes. This experiment provides a rare opportunity to isolate the overall effect of allowing entry to the elite track for a group that was previously only at the margin of being admitted.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

Volume (Year): 47 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 684-721

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:46:y:2012:iii:1:p:684-721

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  1. Eric A. Hanushek & Ludger Wößmann, 2005. "Does Education Tracking Affect Performance and Inequality? Differences-In-Differences Evidence Across Countries," Discussion Papers, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research 04-026, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  2. Steven McIntosh, 2004. "Further analysis of the returns to academic and vocational qualifications," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library 19472, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Pekkarinen, Tuomas & Pekkala, Sari & Uusitalo, Roope, 2006. "Educational policy and intergenerational income mobility: evidence from the Finnish comprehensive school reform," Working Paper Series, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy 2006:13, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  4. Galindo-Rueda, Fernando & Vignoles, Anna, 2004. "The Heterogeneous Effect of Selection in Secondary Schools: Understanding the Changing Role of Ability," IZA Discussion Papers 1245, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Figlio, David N. & Page, Marianne E., 2002. "School Choice and the Distributional Effects of Ability Tracking: Does Separation Increase Inequality?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 497-514, May.
  6. Esther Duflo & Pascaline Dupas & Michael Kremer, 2008. "Peer Effects, Teacher Incentives, and the Impact of Tracking: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Kenya," NBER Working Papers 14475, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Costas Meghir & Mårten Palme, 2004. "Educational reform, ability and family background," IFS Working Papers, Institute for Fiscal Studies W04/10, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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Cited by:
  1. Braga, Michela & Checchi, Daniele & Meschi, Elena, 2011. "Institutional Reforms and Educational Attainment in Europe: A Long Run Perspective," IZA Discussion Papers 6190, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Clark, Damon & Del Bono, Emilia, 2014. "The long-run effects of attending an elite school: evidence from the UK," ISER Working Paper Series 2014-05, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  3. Björklund, Anders & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2010. "Education and Family Background: Mechanisms and Policies," IZA Discussion Papers 5002, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Martina ZWEIMULLER, 2013. "The Effects of School Entry Laws on Educational Attainment and Starting Wages in an Early Tracking System," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 111-112, pages 6.
  5. Michela Braga & Daniele Checchi & Elena Meschi, 2011. "GINI DP 22: Institutional Reforms and Educational Attainment in Europe," GINI Discussion Papers, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies 22, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
  6. Stephen Machin & Sandra McNally & Gill Wyness, 2013. "Education in a Devolved Scotland: A Quantitative Analysis," CEP Special Papers, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE 30, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  7. Marc Piopiunik, 2013. "The Effects of Early Tracking on Student Performance: Evidence from a School Reform in Bavaria," Ifo Working Paper Series, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich Ifo Working Paper No. 153, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
  8. Dustmann, Christian & Puhani, Patrick A. & Schönberg, Uta, 2014. "The Long-Term Effects of Early Track Choice," IZA Discussion Papers 7897, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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