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The Effect of Tracking Students by Ability into Different Schools: A Natural Experiment

  • Nina Guyon
  • Eric Maurin
  • Sandra McNally

The tracking of pupils by ability into elite and nonelite schools represents a controversial policy in many countries. There is no consensus on how large the elite track should be and little agreement on the effects of any further increase in its size. This paper presents a natural experiment where the increase in the size of the elite track was followed by a significant improvement in average educational outcomes. This experiment provides a rare opportunity to isolate the overall effect of allowing entry to the elite track for a group that was previously only at the margin of being admitted.

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File URL: http://jhr.uwpress.org/cgi/reprint/47/3/684
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Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

Volume (Year): 47 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 684-721

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:46:y:2012:iii:1:p:684-721
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://jhr.uwpress.org/

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  1. David N. Figlio & Marianne E. Page, 2000. "School Choice and the Distributional Effects of Ability Tracking: Does Separation Increase Equality?," NBER Working Papers 8055, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Fernando Galindo-Rueda & Anna Vignoles, 2005. "The Heterogeneous Effect of Selection in Secondary Schools: Understanding the Changing Role of Ability," CEE Discussion Papers 0052, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  3. Eric A. Hanushek & Ludger Wößmann, 2005. "Does Education Tracking Affect Performance and Inequality? Differences-In-Differences Evidence Across Countries," Discussion Papers 04-027, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  4. Esther Duflo & Pascaline Dupas & Michael Kremer, 2011. "Peer Effects, Teacher Incentives, and the Impact of Tracking: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Kenya," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 1739-74, August.
  5. Pekkarinen, Tuomas & Uusitalo, Roope & Pekkala, Sari, 2006. "Education Policy and Intergenerational Income Mobility: Evidence from the Finnish Comprehensive School Reform," IZA Discussion Papers 2204, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Steven McIntosh, 2004. "Further Analysis of the Returns to Academic and Vocational Qualifications," CEE Discussion Papers 0035, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  7. Costas Meghir & Mårten Palme, 2005. "Educational Reform, Ability, and Family Background," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 414-424, March.
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