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The Effect of Tracking Students by Ability into Different Schools: A Natural Experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Nina Guyon

    (Paris School of Economics (PSE))

  • Eric Maurin

    (Paris School of Economics (PSE))

  • Sandra McNally

    (Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics)

Abstract

The tracking of pupils by ability into elite and non-elite schools represents a controversial policy in many countries. There is no consensus on how large the elite track should be and little agreement on the effects of any further increase in its size. This paper presents a natural experiment where the increase in the size of the elite track was followed by a significant improvement in average educational outcomes. This experiment provides a rare opportunity to isolate the overall effect of allowing entry to the elite track for a group that was previously only at the margin of being admitted.

Suggested Citation

  • Nina Guyon & Eric Maurin & Sandra McNally, 2010. "The Effect of Tracking Students by Ability into Different Schools: A Natural Experiment," Working Papers 2010.152, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2010.152
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    File URL: https://www.feem.it/m/publications_pages/NDL2010-152.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    4. Figlio, David N. & Page, Marianne E., 2002. "School Choice and the Distributional Effects of Ability Tracking: Does Separation Increase Inequality?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 497-514, May.
    5. Esther Duflo & Pascaline Dupas & Michael Kremer, 2011. "Peer Effects, Teacher Incentives, and the Impact of Tracking: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Kenya," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 1739-1774, August.
    6. Adele Atkinson & Paul Gregg & Brendon McConnell, 2006. "The Result of 11 Plus Selection: An Investigation into Opportunities and Outcomes for Pupils in Selective LEAs," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 06/150, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
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    9. Galindo-Rueda, Fernando & Vignoles, Anna, 2004. "The Heterogeneous Effect of Selection in Secondary Schools: Understanding the Changing Role of Ability," IZA Discussion Papers 1245, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
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    Cited by:

    1. Björklund, Anders & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2011. "Education and Family Background: Mechanisms and Policies," Handbook of the Economics of Education, in: Erik Hanushek & Stephen Machin & Ludger Woessmann (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Education, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 3, pages 201-247, Elsevier.
    2. Christian Dustmann & Patrick A. Puhani & Uta Schönberg, 2017. "The Long‐term Effects of Early Track Choice," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(603), pages 1348-1380, August.
    3. Simon Burgess & Matt Dickson & Lindsey Macmillan, 2020. "Do selective schooling systems increase inequality?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 1-24.
    4. Michela Braga & Daniele Checchi & Elena Meschi, 2011. "GINI DP 22: Institutional Reforms and Educational Attainment in Europe," GINI Discussion Papers 22, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
    5. Carlana, Michela & La Ferrara, Eliana & Pinotti, Paolo, 2017. "Goals and Gaps: Educational Careers of Immigrant Children," CEPR Discussion Papers 12538, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Martina Zweimuller, 2013. "The Effects of School Entry Laws on Educational Attainment and Starting Wages in an Early Tracking System," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 111-112, pages 141-169.
    7. Pastore, C.; & Jones, A.M.;, 2019. "Human capital consequences of missing out on a grammar school education," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 19/08, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    8. Clark, Damon & Del Bono, Emilia, 2014. "The Long-Run Effects of Attending an Elite School: Evidence from the UK," IZA Discussion Papers 8617, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Stephen Machin & Sandra McNally & Gill Wyness, 2013. "Education in a Devolved Scotland: A Quantitative Analysis," CEP Special Papers 30, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    10. De Groote, Olivier, 2019. "A dynamic model of effort choice in high school," TSE Working Papers 19-1002, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), revised Jun 2020.
    11. Maria Cotofan & Ron Diris & Trudie Schils, 2019. "The Heterogeneous Effects of Early Track Assignment on Cognitive and Non-cognitive Skills," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 19-038/V, Tinbergen Institute.
    12. Piopiunik, Marc, 2014. "The effects of early tracking on student performance: Evidence from a school reform in Bavaria," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 12-33.
    13. Olivier Monso & Denis Fougere & Pauline Givord & Claudine Pirus, 2019. "Les camarades influencent-ils la réussite et le parcours des élèves ? Une revue de littérature sur les effets de pairs dans l’enseignement primaire et secondaire," Sciences Po publications 86, Sciences Po.
    14. Braakmann, Nils & McDonald, Stephen, 2018. "Student exposure to socio-economic diversity and students’ university outcomes – Evidence from English administrative data," MPRA Paper 90351, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Hart, Robert A. & Moro, Mirko, 2017. "Date of Birth and Selective Schooling," IZA Discussion Papers 10949, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    16. Borooah, Vani K. & Knox, Colin, 2015. "Segregation, inequality, and educational performance in Northern Ireland: Problems and solutions," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 196-206.
    17. Braga, Michela & Checchi, Daniele & Meschi, Elena, 2011. "Institutional Reforms and Educational Attainment in Europe: A Long Run Perspective," IZA Discussion Papers 6190, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    18. Schiltz, Fritz & Mazrekaj, Deni & Horn, Daniel & De Witte, Kristof, 2019. "Does it matter when your smartest peers leave your class? Evidence from Hungary," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 79-91.
    19. Maciej Jakubowski & Harry Anthony Patrinos & Emilio Ernesto Porta & Jerzy Wiśniewski, 2016. "The effects of delaying tracking in secondary school: evidence from the 1999 education reform in Poland," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(6), pages 557-572, November.
    20. Lisa Bagnoli & Antonio Estache, 2019. "Mentoring labor market integration of migrants: Policy insights from a survey of mentoring theory and practice," Working Papers ECARES 2019-15, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    21. Miroslava Federičová & Daniel Münich, 2017. "The impact of high-stakes school admission exams on study achievements: quasi-experimental evidence from Slovakia," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 30(4), pages 1069-1092, October.
    22. Tommaso Agasisti & Pablo Zoido, 2015. "The Efficiency of Secondary Schools in an International Perspective: Preliminary Results from PISA 2012," OECD Education Working Papers 117, OECD Publishing.
    23. Borghans, By Lex & Diris, Ron & Smits, Wendy & de Vries, Jannes, 2020. "Should we sort it out later? The effect of tracking age on long-run outcomes," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 75(C).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Education; Tracking; Selection;

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education

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