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School markets: The impact of information approximating schools' effectiveness

  • Mizala, Alejandra
  • Urquiola, Miguel

The impact of competition on school performance is likely to depend on whether parents are informed about schools' effectiveness or value added (which may or may not be correlated with absolute measures of their quality), and on whether this information influences their school choices, thereby affecting schools' market outcomes. This paper explores this by considering Chile's SNED program, which seeks to identify effective schools, selecting them from “homogeneous groups” of comparable institutions. Its results are widely disseminated, and the information it generates is different from that conveyed by a simple test-based ranking of schools (which turns out to approximate a ranking based on socioeconomic status). We use a sharp regression discontinuity to estimate the effect that being identified as a SNED winner has on schools' enrollment, tuition levels, and socioeconomic composition. Through five applications of the program, we find no consistent evidence that winning a SNED award affects these outcomes.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 103 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 313-335

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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:103:y:2013:i:c:p:313-335
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec

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