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School Choice, School Quality and Postsecondary Attainment

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

Abstract

We study the impact of a public school choice lottery in Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools on college enrollment and degree completion. We find a significant overall increase in college attainment among lottery winners who attend their first choice school. Using rich administrative data on peers, teachers, course offerings and other inputs, we show that the impacts of choice are strongly predicted by gains on several measures of school quality. Gains in attainment are concentrated among girls. Girls respond to attending a better school with higher grades and increases in college-preparatory course-taking, while boys do not.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17438.

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Date of creation: Sep 2011
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17438

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References

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  1. Jonathan Gruber, 2009. "The Problems of Disadvantaged Youth: An Economic Perspective," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number grub07-2, October.
  2. 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.
  3. Caroline M. Hoxby & Sonali Murarka, 2009. "Charter Schools in New York City: Who Enrolls and How They Affect Their Students' Achievement," NBER Working Papers 14852, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Goodman, Joshua, 2012. "The Labor of Division: Returns to Compulsory Math Coursework," Working Paper Series rwp12-032, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  5. Julie Berry Cullen & Brian A. Jacob & Steven Levitt, 2003. "The Effect of School Choice on Student Outcomes: Evidence from Randomized Lotteries," NBER Working Papers 10113, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. David J. Deming, 2011. "Better Schools, Less Crime?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(4), pages 2063-2115.
  7. Dynarski, Susan, 2005. "Building the Stock of College-Educated Labor," Working Paper Series rwp05-050, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  8. James J. Heckman & Paul A. LaFontaine, 2010. "The American High School Graduation Rate: Trends and Levels," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(2), pages 244-262, May.
  9. Dennis N. Epple & Richard Romano, 2003. "Neighborhood Schools, Choice, and the Distribution of Educational Benefits," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of School Choice, pages 227-286 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Victor Lavy & Olmo Silva & Felix Weinhardt, 2009. "The Good, the Bad and the Average: Evidence on the Scale and Nature of Ability Peer Effects in Schools," NBER Working Papers 15600, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Julie Berry Cullen & Brian A. Jacob, 2007. "Is Gaining Access to Selective Elementary Schools Gaining Ground? Evidence From Randomized Lotteries," NBER Working Papers 13443, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Sarah Turner, 2004. "Going to College and Finishing College.Explaining Different Educational Outcomes," NBER Chapters, in: College Choices: The Economics of Where to Go, When to Go, and How to Pay For It, pages 13-62 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. David Deming, 2009. "Early Childhood Intervention and Life-Cycle Skill Development: Evidence from Head Start," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(3), pages 111-34, July.
  14. Thomas J. Kane & Douglas O. Staiger, 2008. "Estimating Teacher Impacts on Student Achievement: An Experimental Evaluation," NBER Working Papers 14607, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Jackson, C. Kirabo, 2013. "Can higher-achieving peers explain the benefits to attending selective schools? Evidence from Trinidad and Tobago," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 63-77.
  16. Jesse Rothstein, 2010. "Teacher Quality in Educational Production: Tracking, Decay, and Student Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(1), pages 175-214, February.
  17. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Joshua Angrist & Susan Dynarski & Thomas J. Kane & Parag Pathak, 2009. "Accountability and Flexibility in Public Schools: Evidence from Boston's Charters and Pilots," NBER Working Papers 15549, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Anderson, Michael L., 2008. "Multiple Inference and Gender Differences in the Effects of Early Intervention: A Reevaluation of the Abecedarian, Perry Preschool, and Early Training Projects," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 103(484), pages 1481-1495.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Joshua D. Angrist & Sarah R. Cohodes & Susan M. Dynarski & Parag A. Pathak & Christopher R. Walters, 2013. "Stand and Deliver: Effects of Boston's Charter High Schools on College Preparation, Entry, and Choice," NBER Working Papers 19275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Black, Sandra E. & Lincove, Jane Arnold & Cullinane, Jenna & Veron, Rachel, 2014. "Can You Leave High School Behind?," IZA Discussion Papers 7899, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Adrienne M. Lucas & Isaac M. Mbiti, 2014. "Effects of School Quality on Student Achievement: Discontinuity Evidence from Kenya," Working Papers 14-03, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.
  4. Julie Berry Cullen & Steven D. Levitt & Erin Robertson & Sally Sadoff, 2013. "What Can Be Done to Improve Struggling High Schools?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 27(2), pages 133-52, Spring.
  5. Atila Abdulkadiro─člu & Weiwei Hu & Parag A. Pathak, 2013. "Small High Schools and Student Achievement: Lottery-Based Evidence from New York City," NBER Working Papers 19576, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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