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

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  • Guyon, Nina
  • Maurin, Eric
  • McNally, Sandra

Abstract

The tracking of pupils by ability into elite and non-elite schools represents a common, but highly controversial policy in many countries. In particular, there is no consensus on how large the elite track should be and, consequently, little agreement on the potential effects of any further increase in its size. This paper presents a natural experiment where the increase in the relative size of the elite track was followed by a very significant improvement in average educational outcomes. The experiment under consideration provides a rare opportunity to isolate the overall contextual 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

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7977.

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Date of creation: Sep 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7977

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Keywords: education; selection; tracking;

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References

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  1. Steven McIntosh, 2004. "Further analysis of the returns to academic and vocational qualifications," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19472, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Eric A. Hanushek & Ludger Wößmann, 2005. "Does Education Tracking Affect Performance and Inequality? Differences-In-Differences Evidence Across Countries," Discussion Papers 04-026, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  5. Pekkarinen, Tuomas & Pekkala, Sari & Uusitalo, Roope, 2006. "Educational policy and intergenerational income mobility: evidence from the Finnish comprehensive school reform," Working Paper Series 2006:13, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  6. Fernando Galindo-Rueda & Anna Vignoles, 2005. "The Heterogeneous Effect of Selection in Secondary Schools: Understanding the Changing Role of Ability," CEE Discussion Papers 0052, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  7. Costas Meghir & Mårten Palme, 2004. "Educational reform, ability and family background," IFS Working Papers W04/10, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Björklund, Anders & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2011. "Education and Family Background: Mechanisms and Policies," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  2. Martina Zweimüller, 2013. "The effects of school entry laws on educational attainment and starting wages in an early tracking system," Economics working papers 2013-07, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  3. Stephen Machin & Sandra McNally & Gill Wyness, 2013. "Education in a Devolved Scotland: A Quantitative Analysis," CEP Special Papers 30, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  4. Marc Piopiunik, 2013. "The Effects of Early Tracking on Student Performance: Evidence from a School Reform in Bavaria," Ifo Working Paper Series Ifo Working Paper No. 153, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
  5. Michela Braga & Daniele Checchi & Elena Meschi, 2011. "GINI DP 22: Institutional Reforms and Educational Attainment in Europe," GINI Discussion Papers 22, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
  6. 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).
  7. 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.
  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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