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Going to a Better School: Effects and Behavioral Responses

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  • Cristian Pop-Eleches
  • Miguel Urquiola

Abstract

This paper: i) estimates the effect that going to a better school has on students' academic achievement, and ii) explores whether this intervention induces behavioral responses on the part of children, their parents, and the school system. For the first task, we exploit almost 2,000 regression discontinuity quasi-experiments observed in the context of Romania's high school educational system. For the second, we use data from a specialized survey of children, parents, teachers and principals that we implemented in 59 Romanian towns. The first finding is that students do benefit from access to higher achieving schools and tracks within schools. A second set of results suggests that the stratification of schools by quality in general, and the opportunity to attend a better school in particular, result in significant behavioral responses on the part of teachers, parents, and students. Although we do not expect the magnitude or even the direction of these responses to hold everywhere, their existence has a number of implications for evaluation, particularly since some of them change over time, and some would seem to be relevant only once interventions reach a certain scale.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16886.

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Date of creation: Mar 2011
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Publication status: published as “Going to a Better School: Effects and Behavioral Respons es,” joint with Miguel Urquiola , American Economic Review , 103(4), 1289 - 1324, 201 3
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16886

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Cited by:
  1. Li, Hongbin & Meng, Lingsheng & Shi, Xinzheng & Wu, Binzhen, 2012. "Does attending elite colleges pay in China?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 78-88.
  2. Claudio Ferraz & Frederico Finan & Diana Belo Moreira, 2009. "Corrupting Learning: Evidence from Missing Federal Education Funds in Brazil," Textos para discussão 562, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
  3. Atila Abdulkadiroğlu & Joshua Angrist & Parag Pathak, 2014. "The Elite Illusion: Achievement Effects at Boston and New York Exam Schools," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82(1), pages 137-196, 01.
  4. Adrienne M. Lucas & Isaac M. Mbiti, 2014. "Effects of School Quality on Student Achievement: Discontinuity Evidence from Kenya," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 234-63, July.
  5. Will Dobbie & Roland G. Fryer, Jr., 2011. "Exam High Schools and Academic Achievement: Evidence from New York City," NBER Working Papers 17286, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Christian Dustmann & Patrick A. Puhani & Uta Schönberg, 2012. "The Long-term Effects of School Quality on Labor Market Outcomes and Educational Attainment," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1208, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  7. Borcan, Oana & Lindahl, Mikael & Mitrut, Andreea, 2012. "The Impact of an Unexpected Wage Cut on Corruption: Evidence from a “Xeroxed” Exam," Working Paper Series, Center for Labor Studies 2012:14, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  8. Ferraz, Claudio & Finan, Frederico & Moreira, Diana B., 2012. "Corrupting learning," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 712-726.
  9. 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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