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Ranking the schools: How quality information affects school choice in the Netherlands

Author

Listed:
  • Pierre Koning

    (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)

  • Karen van der Wiel

    () (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)

Abstract

Both school level and individual student level data indicate that information on highschool quality published by a national newspaper affects school choice in the Netherlands. The positive effects are particularly large for the academic school track. First, we study the causal effect of quality scores on the influx of new highschool students using a longitudinal school dataset. We find that negative (positive) school quality scores decrease (increase) the number of students choosing a school after the year of publication. An academic school track receiving the most positive score sees its inflow of students rise by 15 to 20 students. Second, we study individual school choice behavior to address the relative importance of the quality scores, as well as potential differences in the quality response between socio-economic groups. Although the probability of attending a school is affected by its quality score, it is mainly driven by the traveling distance. Students are willing to travel only about 200 meters more to attend a well-performing rather than an average school. In contrast to equity concerns that are often raised, we cannot find differences in information responses between socio-economic groups.

Suggested Citation

  • Pierre Koning & Karen van der Wiel, 2010. "Ranking the schools: How quality information affects school choice in the Netherlands," CPB Discussion Paper 150, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpb:discus:150
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    File URL: http://www.cpb.nl/sites/default/files/publicaties/download/ranking-schools.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Justine S. Hastings & Thomas J. Kane & Douglas O. Staiger, 2005. "Parental Preferences and School Competition: Evidence from a Public School Choice Program," NBER Working Papers 11805, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Pierre Koning & Karen Wiel, 2012. "School Responsiveness to Quality Rankings: An Empirical Analysis of Secondary Education in the Netherlands," De Economist, Springer, vol. 160(4), pages 339-355, December.
    3. David N. Figlio & Maurice E. Lucas, 2004. "What's in a Grade? School Report Cards and the Housing Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 591-604, June.
    4. Justine S. Hastings & Richard Van Weelden & Jeffrey Weinstein, 2007. "Preferences, Information, and Parental Choice Behavior in Public School Choice," NBER Working Papers 12995, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Justine S. Hastings & Jeffrey M. Weinstein, 2008. "Information, School Choice, and Academic Achievement: Evidence from Two Experiments," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1373-1414.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pierre Koning & Karen Wiel, 2012. "School Responsiveness to Quality Rankings: An Empirical Analysis of Secondary Education in the Netherlands," De Economist, Springer, vol. 160(4), pages 339-355, December.
    2. Allen, Rebecca & Burgess, Simon, 2013. "Evaluating the provision of school performance information for school choice," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 175-190.
    3. Paolo Sestito & Marco Tonello, 2011. "Quality differentials in Italian Universities' freshmen: the case of Medical and Dental Surgery schools," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 90, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    4. Firpo, Sergio & Ponczek, Vladimir & Possebom, VĂ­tor Augusto, 2014. "Private Education Market, Information on Test Scores and Tuition Practices," IZA Discussion Papers 8476, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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