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Admission to Selective Schools, Alphabetically

  • Jurajda, Stepan
  • Münich, Daniel

One's position in an alphabetically sorted list may be important in determining access to rationed goods or oversubscribed public services. Motivated by anecdotal evidence, we investigate the importance of the position in the alphabet of the last name initial of Czech students for their admission chances into oversubscribed schools. Empirical evidence based on the population of students applying to universities in 1999 suggests that, among marginal applicants, moving from the top to the bottom of the alphabet decreases admission chances by over 2%. The implication of such admission procedures for student ability sorting across differently oversubscribed schools is then confirmed by evidence based on a national survey of secondary students' test scores.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5427.

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Date of creation: Jan 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5427
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  1. Jacobs, Bas & van der Ploeg, Frederick, 2005. "Guide to Reform of Higher Education: A European Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 5327, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Victor Ginsburgh & Jan van Ours, 2003. "Expert opinion and compensation: evidence from a musical competition," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/1681, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  3. Saku Aura, 2004. "What's in a Name?," Working Papers 0407, Department of Economics, University of Missouri, revised 16 Dec 2004.
  4. Güell, Maia & Mora, José V Rodríguez & Telmer, Chris, 2007. "Intergenerational Mobility and the Informative Content of Surnames," CEPR Discussion Papers 6316, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Stepan Jurajda & Daniel Munich, 2005. "Admission to Selective Schools, Alphabetically," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp282, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.
  6. Handa, Sudhanshu & Gordon, Peter-John, 1999. "University admissions policy in a developing country: evidence from the University of the West Indies," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 279-289, April.
  7. Claudia Goldin & Maria Shim, 2004. "Making a Name: Women's Surnames at Marriage and Beyond," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(2), pages 143-160, Spring.
  8. Liran Einav & Leeat Yariv, 2006. "What's in a Surname? The Effects of Surname Initials on Academic Success," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 175-187, Winter.
  9. 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.
  10. Roland G. Fryer & Steven D. Levitt, 2003. "The Causes and Consequences of Distinctively Black Names," NBER Working Papers 9938, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Randall K. Filer & Daniel Münich, 2001. "Responses of Private and Public Schools to Voucher Funding:The Czech and Hungarian Experience," HEW 0012002, EconWPA.
  12. Öckert, Björn, 2010. "What's the value of an acceptance letter? Using admissions data to estimate the return to college," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 504-516, August.
  13. André Sapir & Philippe Aghion & Mathias Dewatripont & Andreu Mas-Colell, 2008. "Higher aspirations: An agenda for reforming European universities," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/174284, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  14. 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.
  15. Filer, Randall K. & Jurajda, Stepan & Planovsky, Jan, 1999. "Education and wages in the Czech and Slovak Republics during transition," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 581-593, November.
  16. Štìpán Jurajda, 2005. "Czech Relative Wages and Returns to Schooling: Does the Short Supply of College Education Bite? (in English)," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 55(1-2), pages 83-95, January.
  17. C. Mirjam Van Praag & Bernard M.S. Van Praag, 2008. "The Benefits of Being Economics Professor A (rather than Z)," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 75(300), pages 782-796, November.
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