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

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  • Nina Guyon

    (Paris School of Economics (PSE))

  • Eric Maurin

    (Paris School of Economics (PSE))

  • Sandra McNally

    (Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics)

Abstract

The tracking of pupils by ability into elite and non-elite 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

Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2010.152.

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Date of creation: Dec 2010
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2010.152

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Keywords: Education; Tracking; Selection;

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References

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  1. 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).
  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. Eric A. Hanushek & Ludger Woessmann, 2005. "Does Educational Tracking Affect Performance and Inequality? Differences-in-Differences Evidence across Countries," NBER Working Papers 11124, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Costas Meghir & Mårten Palme, 2005. "Educational Reform, Ability, and Family Background," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 414-424, March.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. repec:ese:iserwp:2014-05 is not listed on IDEAS
  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. 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).
  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. 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.
  7. Stephen Machin & Sandra McNally & Gill Wyness, 2013. "Education in a Devolved Scotland: A Quantitative Analysis," CEP Special Papers 30, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  8. 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).

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