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Sorting and Choice in English Secondary Schools

Author

Listed:
  • Simon Burgess
  • Brendon McConnell
  • Carol Propper
  • Deborah Wilson

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Abstract

This paper focuses on one of the outcomes arising from England’s choice based education system; the extent to which different types of pupils are sorted across schools. Pupil sorting will in turn impact on attainment outcomes, if there are peer group effects operating within schools. We consider three dimensions across which sorting may occur: ethnicity, income, and, for the first time using UK data, ability. We use a very large administrative dataset which contains linked histories of test scores for every pupil in England, as well as pupil level markers for ethnicity and low household income, and their home postcode (zip code). We first establish that choice is both feasible for and exercised by the majority of pupils in England. We then characterise and describe ability sorting and related it to feasibility of choice. We compare sorting across schools with sorting across neighbourhoods. We establish that post-residential school choice is an important component of the overall schooling decision. We show that there is a difference in the school-neighbourhood sorting relationship between areas that operate under different student-to-school assignment rules.

Suggested Citation

  • Simon Burgess & Brendon McConnell & Carol Propper & Deborah Wilson, 2004. "Sorting and Choice in English Secondary Schools," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 04/111, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  • Handle: RePEc:bri:cmpowp:04/111
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    File URL: http://www.bris.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO/workingpapers/wp111.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gibbons, Steve & Machin, Stephen, 2003. "Valuing English primary schools," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 197-219, March.
    2. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2002. "School Choice and School Productivity (or Could School Choice be a Tide that Lifts All Boats?)," NBER Working Papers 8873, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jacob L. Vigdor, 1999. "The Rise and Decline of the American Ghetto," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(3), pages 455-506, June.
    4. Deborah Wilson, 2004. "Which Ranking? The Impact of a 'Value-Added' Measure of Secondary School Performance," Public Money & Management, Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, vol. 24(1), pages 37-45, January.
    5. Simon Burgess & Ruth Lupton & Deborah Wilson, 2004. "Parallel lives? Ethnic segregation in the playground and the neighbourhood," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 04/094, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    6. Charles T. Clotfelter, 1999. "Public School Segregation in Metropolitan Areas," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 75(4), pages 487-504.
    7. Epple, Dennis & Figlio, David & Romano, Richard, 2004. "Competition between private and public schools: testing stratification and pricing predictions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1215-1245, July.
    8. Deborah Wilson & Bronwyn Croxson & Adele Atkinson, 2004. "“What Gets Measured Gets Done”: Headteachers’ Responses to the English Secondary School," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 04/107, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    9. Bradley, Steve, et al, 2000. " Testing for Quasi-Market Forces in Secondary Education," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 62(3), pages 357-390, July.
    10. Paul Peterson & William Howell & Patrick J. Wolf & David Campbell, 2003. "School Vouchers. Results from Randomized Experiments," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of School Choice, pages 107-144 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Dennis N. Epple & Richard Romano, 2003. "Neighborhood Schools, Choice, and the Distribution of Educational Benefits," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of School Choice, pages 227-286 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Simon Burgess & Deborah Wilson, 2003. "Ethnic Segregation in England's Schools," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 03/086, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    13. repec:lan:wpaper:1016 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. repec:lan:wpaper:1092 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Bradley, Steve & Taylor, Jim, 1998. "The Effect of School Size on Exam Performance in Secondary Schools," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 60(3), pages 291-324, August.
    16. Caroline Minter Hoxby, 2003. "School Choice and School Productivity. Could School Choice Be a Tide that Lifts All Boats?," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of School Choice, pages 287-342 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Simon Burgess & Brendon McConnell & Carol Propper & Deborah Wilson, 2004. "Girls Rock, Boys Roll: An Analysis of the Age 14-16 Gender Gap in English Schools," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 51(2), pages 209-229, May.
    18. Clotfelter, Charles T., 1998. "Public School Segregation in Metropolitan Areas," Working Papers 98-12, Duke University, Department of Economics.
    19. Epple, Dennis & Romano, Richard E, 1998. "Competition between Private and Public Schools, Vouchers, and Peer-Group Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 33-62, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Simon Burgess & Ruth Lupton & Deborah Wilson, 2005. "Parallel lives? Ethnic segregation in schools and neighbourhoods," CASE Papers 101, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
    2. Stephen Gibbons & Shqiponja Telhaj, 2007. "Are Schools Drifting Apart? Intake Stratification in English Secondary Schools," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 44(7), pages 1281-1305, June.
    3. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:63:y:2018:i:c:p:100-115 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Silva, Olmo, 2009. "Some Remarks on the Effectiveness of Primary Education Interventions," IZA Policy Papers 5, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Ruth Lupton & Stephanie Thomson, 2017. "The Effects of English Secondary School System Reforms (2002-2014) on Pupil Sorting and Social Segregation: A Greater Manchester Case Study," CASE - Social Policy in a Cold Climate Working Paper 24, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
    6. Stephen Gibbons & Stephen Machin & Olmo Silva, 2008. "Choice, Competition, and Pupil Achievement," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(4), pages 912-947, June.
    7. Stephen P. Jenkins & John Micklewright & Sylke V. Schnepf, 2006. "Social segregation in secondary schools: How does England compare with other countries?," Working Papers 27, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    8. Stephen Machin & Olmo Silva, 2013. "School Structure, School Autonomy and the Tail," CEP Special Papers 29, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    9. Jean-Michel Plassard & Nhu Tran Thi Thanh, 2009. "Liberté de choix des élèves et concurrence des établissements : un survey de l'analyse du pilotage des systèmes éducatifs par les quasi-marchés," Revue d'économie industrielle, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(2), pages 99-130.
    10. Stephen Gibbons & Anne Green & Paul Gregg & Stephen Machin, 2005. "Is Britain Pulling Apart? Area Disparities in Employment, Education and Crime," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 05/120, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    11. Adele Atkinson & Simon Burgess & Paul Gregg & Carol Propper & Steven Proud, 2008. "The Impact of Classroom Peer Groups on Pupil GCSE Results," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 08/187, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    12. repec:fip:fedhep:00026 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Claudia Schuchart & Kerstin Schneider & Horst Weishaupt & Andrea Riedel, 2011. "Welchen Einfluss hat die Wohnumgebung auf die Grundschulwahl von Eltern? Analysen zur Bedeutung von kontextuellen und familiären Merkmalen auf das Wahlverhalten," Schumpeter Discussion Papers sdp11009, Universitätsbibliothek Wuppertal, University Library.
    14. Burgess, Simon & Wilson, Deborah & Lupton, Ruth, 2005. "Parallel lives? Ethnic segregation in schools and neighbourhoods," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 6255, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    15. Micklewright, John & Schnepf, Sylke V. & Silva, Pedro N., 2012. "Peer effects and measurement error: The impact of sampling variation in school survey data (evidence from PISA)," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 1136-1142.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    choice; segregation; schools;

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education

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