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Alphabetical Order Effects in School Admissions

  • Stepan Jurajda
  • Daniel Munich

If school admission committees use alphabetically sorted lists of applicants in their evaluations, one's position in the alphabet according to last name initial may be important in determining access to selective schools. In Jurajda and Münich (2010) we provided evidence consistent with this hypothesis based on graduation exams taken in grade 13 in the Czech Republic: 'Z' students in selective schools had higher exam scores than 'A'.students. In this paper, we use the TIMSS&PIRLS test scores of 4th graders and the PISA test scores of 8th and 9th graders in the Czech Republic to provide evidence on how the alphabetical sorting outcome we uncovered earlier arises during early tracking into selective schools. Using the PISA data, we also provide similar evidence for Denmark.

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Paper provided by The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague in its series CERGE-EI Working Papers with number wp509.

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Date of creation: Feb 2014
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Handle: RePEc:cer:papers:wp509
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  1. GINSBURGH, Victor & VAN OURS, Jan C., . "Expert opinion and compensation: evidence from a musical competition," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1617, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "Are Emily and Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 991-1013, September.
  3. Eric A. Hanushek & Guido Schwerdt & Simon Wiederhold & Ludger Woessmann, 2013. "Returns to Skills around the World: Evidence from PIAAC," NBER Working Papers 19762, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Jurajda, Stepan & Münich, Daniel, 2006. "Admission to Selective Schools, Alphabetically," CEPR Discussion Papers 5427, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Biavaschi, Costanza & Giulietti, Corrado & Siddique, Zahra, 2013. "The Economic Payoff of Name Americanization," IZA Discussion Papers 7725, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Roland G. Fryer & Steven D. Levitt, 2004. "The Causes and Consequences of Distinctively Black Names," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(3), pages 767-805, August.
  7. Filer, Randall K. & Münich, Daniel, 2013. "Responses of private and public schools to voucher funding," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 269-285.
  8. M. Dolores Collado & Ignacio Ortuño Ortín & Andrés Romeu, 2008. "Surnames and social status in Spain," Investigaciones Economicas, Fundación SEPI, vol. 32(3), pages 259-287, September.
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