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Using admission lotteries to estimate heterogeneous effects of elite schools


  • Hessel Oosterbeek

    (University of Amsterdam)

  • Nienke Ruijs

    (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

  • Inge de Wolf

    (Maastricht University)


This paper studies the effects of enrollment in an elite school on students’ achievement. We use that elite schools in Amsterdam are often oversubscribed and admission is based on lotteries. Our results show that elite schools have negative effects on achievement of students who just qualify for the highest academic track and positive effects on achievement of students from the top of the baseline ability distribution. These results reconcile contrasting findings from previous studies that use regression discontinuity designs. We also find that value-added estimates of the effects of elite schools are severely biased.

Suggested Citation

  • Hessel Oosterbeek & Nienke Ruijs & Inge de Wolf, 2020. "Using admission lotteries to estimate heterogeneous effects of elite schools," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 20-018/V, Tinbergen Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:20200018

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    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • C26 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Instrumental Variables (IV) Estimation

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