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The Role of Awareness, Information Gathering and Processing in School Choice


  • Ghazala Azmat
  • José García-Montalvo


This paper studies the determinants of school choice, focusing on the role of information. We consider how parents' search efforts and their capacity to process information (i.e., to correctly assess schools) affect the quality of the schools they choose for their children. Using a novel dataset, we are able to identify parents' awareness of schools in their neighborhood and measure their capacity to rank the quality of the school with respect to the official rankings. We find that parents' education and wealth are important factors in determining their level of school awareness and information gathering. Moreover, these search efforts have important consequences in terms of the quality of school choice.

Suggested Citation

  • Ghazala Azmat & José García-Montalvo, 2012. "The Role of Awareness, Information Gathering and Processing in School Choice," Working Papers 639, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:639

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Paul Teske & Mark Schneider, 2001. "What Research Can Tell Policymakers about School Choice," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(4), pages 609-631.
    2. Harold Alderman & Peter F. Orazem & Elizabeth M. Paterno, 2001. "School Quality, School Cost, and the Public/Private School Choices of Low-Income Households in Pakistan," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(2), pages 304-326.
    3. Bast, Joseph L. & Walberg, Herbert J., 2004. "Can parents choose the best schools for their children?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 431-440, August.
    4. Naseer, Muhammad Farooq & Patnam, Manasa & Raza, Reehana R., 2010. "Transforming public schools: Impact of the CRI program on child learning in Pakistan," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 669-683, August.
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    More about this item


    school choice; education in developing country; information gathering; household behavior;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior

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