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Allocation of students in public schools: Theory and new evidence

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  • Cohen-Zada, Danny
  • Gradstein, Mark
  • Reuven, Ehud

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Cohen-Zada, Danny & Gradstein, Mark & Reuven, Ehud, 2013. "Allocation of students in public schools: Theory and new evidence," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 96-106.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:34:y:2013:i:c:p:96-106 DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2013.01.013
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    Cited by:

    1. Figlio, D. & Karbownik, K. & Salvanes, K.G., 2016. "Education Research and Administrative Data," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Resource allocation;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General

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