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The Effects of School Competition on Academic Achievement and Grading Standards


  • Oliver Himmler


Nationwide school choice and fixed per-student governmental funding provide incentives for Dutch schools to perform well. Roughly one third of Dutch pre-university schools are of catholic denomination. Acknowledging this widely available outside option to public and other schools, this paper considers the effect of catholic competition on non-catholic school performance in pre-university education. Employing data from central exit exams, a positive link between competition intensity and academic achievement is found. In addition to raising achievement, higher levels of competition are not associated with a deterioration of grading standards. Finally, (inverse) quantile regression estimates show no evidence of schools at the bottom of the achievement distribution being hurt by competition.

Suggested Citation

  • Oliver Himmler, 2009. "The Effects of School Competition on Academic Achievement and Grading Standards," CESifo Working Paper Series 2676, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2676

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Edmark, Karin & Frölich, Markus & Wondratschek, Verena, 2014. "Sweden's school choice reform and equality of opportunity," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 129-142.
    2. Verena Wondratschek & Karin Edmark & Markus Frolich, 2013. "The Short- and Long-term Effects of School Choice on Student Outcomes - Evidence from a School Choice Reform in Sweden," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 111-112, pages 71-101.
    3. Michael Funke & Marc Gronwald, 2009. "A Convex Hull Approach to Counterfactual Analysis of Trade Openness and Growth," CESifo Working Paper Series 2692, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item


    education; competition; Netherlands; IVQR;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education


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