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Preferences and Heterogeneous Treatment Effects in a Public School Choice Lottery

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  • Justine S. Hastings
  • Thomas J. Kane
  • Douglas O. Staiger

Abstract

This paper combines a model of parental school choice with randomized school lotteries in order to understand the effects of being assigned to a first-choice school on academic outcomes. We outline a simple framework in which those who place the highest weight on academics when choosing a school benefit the most academically when admitted. Although the average student does not improve academically when winning a school lottery, this average impact conceals a range of impacts for identifiable subgroups of students. Children of parents whose choices revealed a strong preference for academic quality experienced significant gains in test scores as a result of attending their chosen school, while children whose parents weighted academic characteristics less heavily experienced academic losses. This differential effect is largest for children of parents who forfeit the most in terms of utility gains from proximity and racial match to choose a school with stronger academics. Depending on one's own race and neighborhood, a preference for academic quality can either conflict with or be reinforced by other objectives, such as a desire for proximity and same-race peers.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12145.

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Date of creation: Apr 2006
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12145

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References

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  1. Levinsohn, James & Berry, Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 2004. "Differentiated Products Demand Systems from a Combination of Micro and Macro Data: The New Car Market," Scholarly Articles 3436404, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Train,Kenneth E., 2009. "Discrete Choice Methods with Simulation," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521766555.
  3. James Heckman, 1997. "Instrumental Variables: A Study of Implicit Behavioral Assumptions Used in Making Program Evaluations," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(3), pages 441-462.
  4. Alan B. Krueger & Pei Zhu, 2003. "Another Look at the New York City School Voucher Experiment," NBER Working Papers 9418, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Hastings, Justine S. & Kane, Thomas J. & Staiger, Douglas O., 2005. "Parental Preferences and School Competition: Evidence from a Public School Choice Program," Working Papers, Yale University, Department of Economics 10, Yale University, Department of Economics.
  6. Cecilia Elena Rouse, 1998. "Private School Vouchers And Student Achievement: An Evaluation Of The Milwaukee Parental Choice Program," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 113(2), pages 553-602, May.
  7. David Revelt & Kenneth Train, 1998. "Mixed Logit With Repeated Choices: Households' Choices Of Appliance Efficiency Level," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(4), pages 647-657, November.
  8. Heckman, James J & Smith, Jeffrey, 1997. "Making the Most Out of Programme Evaluations and Social Experiments: Accounting for Heterogeneity in Programme Impacts," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(4), pages 487-535, October.
  9. Daniel P. Mayer & Paul E. Peterson & David E. Myers & Christina Clark Tuttle & William G. Howell, 2002. "School Choice in New York City After Three Years: An Evaluation of the School Choice Scholarships Program," Mathematica Policy Research Reports, Mathematica Policy Research 3180, Mathematica Policy Research.
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Cited by:
  1. Julie Berry Cullen & Brian A. Jacob, 2007. "Is Gaining Access to Selective Elementary Schools Gaining Ground? Evidence from Randomized Lotteries," NBER Chapters, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, in: The Problems of Disadvantaged Youth: An Economic Perspective, pages 43-84 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Roland G. Fryer, 2011. "Teacher Incentives and Student Achievement: Evidence from New York City Public Schools," NBER Working Papers 16850, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Hastings, Justine S. & Kane, Thomas J. & Staiger, Douglas O. & Weinstein, Jeffrey M., 2007. "The effect of randomized school admissions on voter participation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 91(5-6), pages 915-937, June.
  4. Horn, Keren Mertens & Ellen, Ingrid Gould & Schwartz, Amy Ellen, 2014. "Do Housing Choice Voucher holders live near good schools?," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 28-40.
  5. Lamarche, Carlos, 2008. "Private school vouchers and student achievement: A fixed effects quantile regression evaluation," Labour Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 575-590, August.
  6. Lamarche, Carlos, 2011. "Measuring the incentives to learn in Colombia using new quantile regression approaches," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 278-288, November.
  7. Justine S. Hastings & Jeffrey M. Weinstein, 2007. "No Child Left Behind: Estimating the Impact on Choices and Student Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 13009, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Justine S. Hastings & Christopher A. Neilson & Seth D. Zimmerman, 2012. "The Effect of School Choice on Intrinsic Motivation and Academic Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 18324, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Hastings, Justine S. & Kane, Thomas J. & Staiger, Douglas O. & Weinstein, Jeffrey M., 2006. "The Political Economy of School Choice: Randomized School Admissions and Voter Participation," Working Papers, Yale University, Department of Economics 11, Yale University, Department of Economics.
  10. Saziye P. Akyol & Kala Krishna, 2014. "Preferences, Selection, and Value Added: A Structural Approach," NBER Working Papers 20013, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Claudia Schuchart & Kerstin Schneider & Horst Weishaupt & Andrea Riedel, 2011. "Welchen Einfluss hat die Wohnumgebung auf die Grundschulwahl von Eltern? Analysen zur Bedeutung von kontextuellen und familiären Merkmalen auf das Wahlverhalten," Schumpeter Discussion Papers, Universitätsbibliothek Wuppertal, University Library sdp11009, Universitätsbibliothek Wuppertal, University Library.
  12. Justine S. Hastings & Thomas J. Kane & Douglas O. Staiger, 2006. "Gender and Performance: Evidence from School Assignment by Randomized Lottery," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 232-236, May.

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