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Alphabetical Order Effects in School Admissions

Author

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  • Stepan Jurajda
  • Daniel Munich

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Stepan Jurajda & Daniel Munich, 2014. "Alphabetical Order Effects in School Admissions," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp509, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
  • Handle: RePEc:cer:papers:wp509
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    File URL: http://www.cerge-ei.cz/pdf/wp/Wp509.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Hanushek, Eric A. & Schwerdt, Guido & Wiederhold, Simon & Woessmann, Ludger, 2015. "Returns to skills around the world: Evidence from PIAAC," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 103-130.
    3. Jurajda, Stepán & Münich, Daniel, 2010. "Admission to selective schools, alphabetically," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 1100-1109, December.
    4. Roland G. Fryer & Steven D. Levitt, 2004. "The Causes and Consequences of Distinctively Black Names," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(3), pages 767-805.
    5. Victor A. Ginsburgh & Jan C. van Ours, 2003. "Expert Opinion and Compensation: Evidence from a Musical Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 289-296, March.
    6. 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.
    7. Costanza Biavaschi & Corrado Giulietti & Zahra Siddique, 2013. "The Economic Payoff of Name Americanization," Economics & Management Discussion Papers em-dp2013-08, Henley Business School, Reading University.
    8. 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.
    9. Costanza Biavaschi & Corrado Giulietti & Zahra Siddique, 2017. "The Economic Payoff of Name Americanization," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(4), pages 1089-1116.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    admissions; alphabetical order; order effects; early tracking;

    JEL classification:

    • H49 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Other
    • J78 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Public Policy (including comparable worth)
    • I29 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Other

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