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The French zones d'éducation prioritaire: Much ado about nothing?

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  • Bénabou, Roland
  • Kramarz, Francis
  • Prost, Corinne

Abstract

We provide an assessment of the French ZEP (Zones d'Education Prioritaire), a program started in 1982 that channels additional resources to schools in disadvantaged areas and encourages the development of new teaching projects. Focusing on middle-schools, we first evaluate the impact of the ZEP status on resources, their utilization (teacher bonuses versus teaching hours) and key establishments characteristics such as class sizes, school enrolments, teachers' qualifications and experience, and student composition and mobility. We then estimate the impact of the ZEP program on four measures of individual student achievement: obtaining at least one diploma by the end of schooling, reaching 8th grade, reaching 10th grade and success at the Baccalauréat (the national examination at the end of high school). We take into account the endogeneity of the ZEP status by using both difference in differences and instrumental variables based on political variables. The results are the same in all cases: there is no impact on student success of the ZEP program.

Suggested Citation

  • Bénabou, Roland & Kramarz, Francis & Prost, Corinne, 2009. "The French zones d'éducation prioritaire: Much ado about nothing?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 345-356, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:28:y:2009:i:3:p:345-356
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    2. Stephen Machin & Sandra McNally & Costas Meghir, 2004. "Improving Pupil Performance in English Secondary Schools: Excellence in Cities," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 396-405, 04/05.
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    6. Hsieh, Chang-Tai & Urquiola, Miguel, 2006. "The effects of generalized school choice on achievement and stratification: Evidence from Chile's voucher program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1477-1503, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sáez-Martı´, Maria & Zenou, Yves, 2012. "Cultural transmission and discrimination," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 137-146.
    2. Goux, Dominique & Gurgand, Marc & Maurin, Eric, 2017. "Reading enjoyment and reading skills: Lessons from an experiment with first grade children," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 17-25.
    3. Stephen Machin & Sandra McNally & Costas Meghir, 2010. "Resources and Standards in Urban Schools," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(4), pages 365-393.
    4. Bisin, Alberto & Patacchini, Eleonora & Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2011. "Formation and persistence of oppositional identities," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(8), pages 1046-1071.
    5. Pugatch, Todd & Schroeder, Elizabeth, 2014. "Incentives for teacher relocation: Evidence from the Gambian hardship allowance," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 120-136.
    6. Victor Lavy, 2012. "Expanding School Resources and Increasing Time on Task: Effects of a Policy Experiment in Israel on Student Academic Achievement and Behavior," NBER Working Papers 18369, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Denis Fougère, 2011. "Social and Labor Market Integration of Ethnic Minorities in France: Has the French Integration Model Broken Down?," Chapters,in: Ethnic Diversity in European Labor Markets, chapter 5 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    8. Brian Nolan, 2010. "Promoting the Well-Being of Immigrant Youth," Working Papers 201017, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    9. Monique De Haan, 2012. "The Effect of Additional Funds for Low-Ability Pupils - A Nonparametric Bounds Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 3993, CESifo Group Munich.
    10. Filatriau, Olivier & Fougère, Denis & Tô, Maxime, 2013. "Will Sooner Be Better? The Impact of Early Preschool Enrollment on Cognitive and Noncognitive Achievement of Children," CEPR Discussion Papers 9480, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Brunello, Giorgio & De Paola, Maria, 2013. "The Costs of Early School Leaving in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 7791, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Barbieri, Gianna & Rossetti, Claudio & Sestito, Paolo, 2011. "The determinants of teacher mobility: Evidence using Italian teachers’ transfer applications," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1430-1444.
    13. Smyth, Emer & McCoy, Selina & Kingston, Gillian, 2015. "Learning from the Evaluation of DEIS," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number RS39.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Resource allocation Expenditures;

    JEL classification:

    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid

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