IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/chieco/v40y2016icp121-134.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Do selective high schools improve student achievement? Effects of exam schools in China

Author

Listed:
  • Anderson, Kathryn
  • Gong, Xue
  • Hong, Kai
  • Zhang, Xi

Abstract

We use regression discontinuity design to examine the effect of a system of public exam high schools, which admit students solely by pre-existing achievement, on student college entrance exam scores in Beijing, China. More selective exam schools may have higher peer quality and sometimes are equipped with more experienced teachers and better facilities. We find, however, that elite exam high schools, which are the most selective, have no effects on student test scores. We find that on average the system of exam schools improves student performance on the exam, which indicates that students benefit from attending more selective non-elite schools. The results on qualifying for college admission are consistent with our findings about test scores. Differences among schools in peer achievement, student/teacher ratio and the percentage of certificated and experienced teachers partially explain our findings; self-choices of track and exam participation do not explain test scores or college admission.

Suggested Citation

  • Anderson, Kathryn & Gong, Xue & Hong, Kai & Zhang, Xi, 2016. "Do selective high schools improve student achievement? Effects of exam schools in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 121-134.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:40:y:2016:i:c:p:121-134
    DOI: 10.1016/j.chieco.2016.06.002
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1043951X16300645
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Elsner, Benjamin & Isphording, Ingo, 2015. "Big Fishes in Small Ponds: Ability Rank and Human Capital Investment," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112928, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. 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 234-263, July.
    3. David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2010. "Regression Discontinuity Designs in Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 281-355, June.
    4. Imbens, Guido W. & Lemieux, Thomas, 2008. "Regression discontinuity designs: A guide to practice," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 615-635, February.
    5. 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.
    6. Esther Duflo & Pascaline Dupas & Michael Kremer, 2011. "Peer Effects, Teacher Incentives, and the Impact of Tracking: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Kenya," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 1739-1774, August.
    7. Clark Damon, 2010. "Selective Schools and Academic Achievement," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-40, February.
    8. Sebastian Calonico & Matias D. Cattaneo & Rocio Titiunik, 2014. "Robust Nonparametric Confidence Intervals for Regression‐Discontinuity Designs," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82, pages 2295-2326, November.
    9. Julie Berry Cullen & Brian A Jacob & Steven Levitt, 2006. "The Effect of School Choice on Participants: Evidence from Randomized Lotteries," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(5), pages 1191-1230, September.
    10. Stephanie Riegg Cellini & Fernando Ferreira & Jesse Rothstein, 2010. "The Value of School Facility Investments: Evidence from a Dynamic Regression Discontinuity Design," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(1), pages 215-261.
    11. Cristian Pop-Eleches & Miguel Urquiola, 2013. "Going to a Better School: Effects and Behavioral Responses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(4), pages 1289-1324, June.
    12. Eric A. Hanushek, 1979. "Conceptual and Empirical Issues in the Estimation of Educational Production Functions," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 14(3), pages 351-388.
    13. Jens Ludwig & Douglas L. Miller, 2007. "Does Head Start Improve Children's Life Chances? Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(1), pages 159-208.
    14. Fang Lai & Elisabeth Sadoulet & Alain de Janvry, 2011. "The Contributions of School Quality and Teacher Qualifications to Student Performance: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Beijing Middle Schools," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 46(1), pages 123-153.
    15. Guido Imbens & Karthik Kalyanaraman, 2012. "Optimal Bandwidth Choice for the Regression Discontinuity Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(3), pages 933-959.
    16. Hahn, Jinyong & Todd, Petra & Van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2001. "Identification and Estimation of Treatment Effects with a Regression-Discontinuity Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(1), pages 201-209, January.
    17. Will Dobbie & Roland G. Fryer Jr., 2014. "The Impact of Attending a School with High-Achieving Peers: Evidence from the New York City Exam Schools," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 58-75, July.
    18. Damon Clark & Emilia Del Bono, 2016. "The Long-Run Effects of Attending an Elite School: Evidence from the United Kingdom," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 150-176, January.
    19. Justine S. Hastings & Jeffrey M. Weinstein, 2008. "Information, School Choice, and Academic Achievement: Evidence from Two Experiments," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1373-1414.
    20. 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, January.
    21. C. Kirabo Jackson, 2010. "Do Students Benefit from Attending Better Schools? Evidence from Rule-based Student Assignments in Trinidad and Tobago," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(549), pages 1399-1429, December.
    22. Park, Albert & Shi, Xinzheng & Hsieh, Chang-tai & An, Xuehui, 2015. "Magnet high schools and academic performance in China: A regression discontinuity design," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 825-843.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Academic performance; Selective high school; Peer effects; Regression discontinuity design;

    JEL classification:

    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:eee:chieco:v:40:y:2016:i:c:p:121-134. 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: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/chieco .

    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.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with 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.