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Allocation of students in public schools: Theory and new evidence

  • Cohen-Zada, Danny
  • Gradstein, Mark
  • Reuven, Ehud
Registered author(s):

    The allocation of educational resources to students of different socio-economic backgrounds has important policy implications since it affects individual educational outcomes as well as the future distribution of human capital. In this paper, we present a theoretical model showing that local school administrators have an incentive to allocate weaker students to smaller classes. Then, using a rich individual-level dataset on secondary public schools in Israel, we provide evidence that weaker students are, indeed, systematically placed in smaller classes, thus exhibiting a compensatory allocation scheme. Moreover, schools with enrollment levels just over cut-off points induced by a maximum class size rule are systematically weaker than schools with enrollment levels just under those cut-offs. This finding indicates that not only do local school administrators allocate students into classes in a compensatory manner, but they also manipulate the class-size rule to achieve such an allocation. Potential implications of these results are discussed.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0272775713000265
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics of Education Review.

    Volume (Year): 34 (2013)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 96-106

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:34:y:2013:i:c:p:96-106
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev

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