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Good schools or good students? Evidence on school effects from universal random assignment of students to high schools

Listed author(s):
  • Paulo Bastos
  • Julian Cristia

    ()

    (Research Department, Inter-American Development Bank, United States)

  • Beomsoo Kim

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Korea University, Seoul, Republic of Korea)

How much do schools differ in their effectiveness? Answering this question has been complicated by the selection of heterogeneous students into schools, which has made it difficult to distinguish between the influence of school inputs, student selection and peer effects. We exploit universal random assignment of students to high schools in certain areas of South Korea to provide clean estimates of the influence of school inputs. We find statistically significant differences across schools in the effects they have on scores in college entrance exams. However, school effects explain only 0.5% of the variation in learning outcomes in areas where students are randomized to schools. These results suggest that school inputs play a limited role in explaining variation in learning outcomes.

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File URL: http://econ.korea.ac.kr/~ri/WorkingPapers/w1607.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute of Economic Research, Korea University in its series Discussion Paper Series with number 1607.

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Date of creation: 2016
Handle: RePEc:iek:wpaper:1607
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  1. Jackson, C. Kirabo, 2013. "Can higher-achieving peers explain the benefits to attending selective schools? Evidence from Trinidad and Tobago," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 63-77.
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