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The desegregating effect of school tracking

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  • De Fraja, Gianni
  • Martínez-Mora, Francisco

Abstract

This paper makes the following point: “detracking” schools, that is preventing them from allocating students to classes according to their ability, may lead to an increase in income residential segregation. It does so in a simple model where households care about the school peer group of their children. If ability and income are positively correlated, tracking implies that some high income households face the choice of either living in the areas where most of the other high income households live and having their child assigned to the low track, or instead living in lower income neighbourhoods where their child would be in the high track. Under mild conditions, tracking leads to an equilibrium with partial income desegregation where perfect income segregation would be the only stable outcome without tracking.

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  • De Fraja, Gianni & Martínez-Mora, Francisco, 2014. "The desegregating effect of school tracking," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 164-177.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:80:y:2014:i:c:p:164-177
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jue.2014.01.001
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:juecon:v:100:y:2017:i:c:p:54-64 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Luigi Benfratello & Giuseppe Sorrenti & Gilberto Turati, 2015. "Tracking in the Tracks in the Italian Schooling: Inequality Patterns in an Urban Context," Working papers 030, Department of Economics and Statistics (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche), University of Torino.
    3. Julian R. Betts & Youjin Hahn & Andrew C. Zau, 2015. "Can Testing Improve Student Learning? An Evaluation of the Mathematics Diagnostic Testing Project," Monash Economics Working Papers 31-15, Monash University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Tracking; School selection; Income segregation; School choice; Tiebout;

    JEL classification:

    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • H42 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Publicly Provided Private Goods

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