IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

La suppression de la sectorisation est-elle une bonne chose ?


  • Denis Maguain


School enrolment zoning is the object of a deep debate in France with in the background the virtues of school competition. Towards its objective of social co-education, its assessment can seem quite disappointing. The map of school catchment areas is indeed a relatively ineffective instrument in the urban spaces marked by a strong spatial segregation, which it even tends to increase. Besides, its functioning is strongly unegalitarian (with by-pass strategies implemented by wealthier and/or insiders and screening devices of schools). In this context, the system ends exactly in what against what it tries to fight : a strong polarization of schools, strong disparities and poor performances in internationals comparisons. Its abolition announced for 2010 and the related stake in competition can appear as a means to unbolt the system and to increase average quality. Applied econometrics realized from foreign experiments show however that efficiency gains to be waited are at best modest. On the other hand, competition rather tends to increase inequalities. We develop a model where pupils differ with respect to their parental income and their ability, and where achievements depend on own ability and on peers’abilities. Each school chooses an admission policy to maximize a quality index. We show that abolition of school enrolment zoning will imply a stronger school segregation even more based on academic results. A computational example also demonstrates that this stronger scholastic segregation will probably come with a more pronounced social segregation. All in all, the debate can then seem relatively orthogonal to the challenges which the school has to raise. The crucial questions for the future of the school indeed concern more social mixity, redistribution of the means in the direction of the pupils in academic failure, or still the improvement of the educational spending efficiency.

Suggested Citation

  • Denis Maguain, 2009. "La suppression de la sectorisation est-elle une bonne chose ?," Revue d'économie politique, Dalloz, vol. 119(4), pages 569-612.
  • Handle: RePEc:cai:repdal:redp_194_0569

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: free

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: free

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cai:repdal:redp_194_0569. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jean-Baptiste de Vathaire). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.