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The French Zones D'Education Prioritaire: Much Ado About Nothing?

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  • Bénabou, Roland
  • Kramarz, Francis
  • Prost, Corinne

Abstract

We provide an assessment of the French ZEP (Zones d’Education Prioritaire), a programme started in 1982 that channels additional resources to schools in disadvantaged areas and encourages the development of new teaching projects. Focusing on middle-schools, we first evaluate the impact of the ZEP status on resources, their utilization (teacher bonuses versus teaching hours) and key establishments characteristics such as class sizes, school enrolments, teachers’ qualifications and experience, and student composition and mobility. We then estimate the impact of the ZEP programme on four measures of individual student achievement: obtaining at least one diploma by the end of schooling, reaching 8th grade, reaching 10th grade and success at the Baccalauréat. We take into account the endogeneity of the ZEP status by using both differences in differences and instrumental variables based on political variables. The results are the same in all cases: there is no impact on student success of the ZEP programme.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5085.

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Date of creation: May 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5085

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Keywords: class size; disadvantaged schools; education policy; education production function; School finance;

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References

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  1. Stephen Machin & Sandra McNally & Costas Meghir, 2004. "Improving Pupil Performance in English Secondary Schools: Excellence in Cities," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 396-405, 04/05.
  2. Marianne Bertrand & Francis Kramarz, 2001. "Does Entry Regulation Hinder Job Creation ? Evidence from the French Retail Industry," Working Papers 2001-12, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  3. James J. Heckman, 1999. "Policies to Foster Human Capital," NBER Working Papers 7288, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Gary-Bobo, Robert J. & Picard, Natalie & Prieto, Ana, 2006. "Birth Order and Sibship Sex Composition as Instruments in the Study of Education and Earnings," CEPR Discussion Papers 5514, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2008. "Breaking the link between poverty and low student achievement: An evaluation of Title I," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 731-756, February.
  6. Benabou, Roland, 1996. "Equity and Efficiency in Human Capital Investment: The Local Connection," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 237-64, April.
  7. Hsieh, Chang-Tai & Urquiola, Miguel, 2006. "The effects of generalized school choice on achievement and stratification: Evidence from Chile's voucher program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1477-1503, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Lavy, Victor, 2012. "Expanding School Resources and Increasing Time on Task: Effects of a Policy Experiment in Israel on Student Academic Achievement and Behaviour," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 95, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  2. Maria Sáez-Martí & Yves Zenou, 2007. "Cultural transmission and discrimination," IEW - Working Papers 348, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich, revised Apr 2012.
  3. Brunello, Giorgio & De Paola, Maria, 2013. "The Costs of Early School Leaving in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 7791, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Stephen Machin & Sandra McNally & Costas Meghir, 2010. "Resources and Standards in Urban Schools," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(4), pages 365 - 393.
  5. Monique De Haan, 2012. "The Effect of Additional Funds for Low-Ability Pupils - A Nonparametric Bounds Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 3993, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. repec:crs:wpaper:2013-10 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Brian Nolan, 2010. "Promoting the Well-Being of Immigrant Youth," Working Papers 201017, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.

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