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School segregation, school choice and educational policies in 100 Hungarian towns

  • Gabor Kertesi


    (Institute of Economics, Center for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences)

  • Gabor Kezdi


    (Central European University and Institute of Economics, Center for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences)

The distribution of Roma and non-Roma students across schools has become considerably more unequal in Hungary since the 1980's. This paper analyzes the effect of school choice and local educational policies on that inequality, known as school segregation, in 100 Hungarian towns. We combine administrative data with data from a survey that we collected from municipality administrations with respect to local educational policies and the ethnic composition of neighborhoods. Our results indicate that in Hungarian towns, free school choice diminishes the role of residential distribution because many students commute to schools of their choice. Towns where such commuting is more pronounced are characterized by stronger inter-school inequalities. We also find that local educational policies have, on average, somewhat segregationist tendencies, though there is substantial heterogeneity across towns. The more segregationist the local policies are, the higher the segregation in the town, thus suggesting that local policies have room to influence school segregation in this system. However, the impact of local educational policies is weaker than the role of school choice.

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Paper provided by Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences in its series Budapest Working Papers on the Labour Market with number 1312.

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Length: 135 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:has:bworkp:1312
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  1. Gábor Kertesi & Gábor Kézdi, 2011. "Roma employment in Hungary after the post‐communist transition," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 19(3), pages 563-610, 07.
  2. Gabor Kertesi & Gabor Kezdi, 2011. "The Roma/Non-Roma Test Score Gap in Hungary," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 519-25, May.
  3. Manski, Charles F., 1992. "Educational choice (vouchers) and social mobility," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 351-369, December.
  4. Epple, Dennis & Romano, Richard E, 1998. "Competition between Private and Public Schools, Vouchers, and Peer-Group Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 33-62, March.
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