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Flourish or Fail? The Risky Reward of Elite High School Admission in Mexico City

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Listed:
  • Andrew Dustan

    (Vanderbilt University)

  • Alain De janvry

    (University of California at Berkeley)

  • Elisabeth Sadoulet

    (University of California at Berkeley)

Abstract

Winning admission to an elite school both promises modest rewards and imposes substantial risks on many students. Using variation in school assignment generated by the allocation mechanism, we ï¬ nd that admission to a system of elite public high schools in Mexico City raises end-of-high school test scores by an average of 0.17 standard deviations for the marginal admittee. On the other hand, for these students admission increases the probability of high school dropout by 9.5 percentage points. Students with weaker middle school grades and whose commute is lengthened by admission experience a larger rise in dropout probability, suggesting that the additional dropout risk is a result of both higher academic rigor and greater opportunity costs of attendance.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Dustan & Alain De janvry & Elisabeth Sadoulet, 2015. "Flourish or Fail? The Risky Reward of Elite High School Admission in Mexico City," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 15-00002, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:van:wpaper:vuecon-15-00002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Estrada, Ricardo & Gignoux, Jérémie, 2017. "Benefits to elite schools and the expected returns to education: Evidence from Mexico City," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 168-194.
    2. Avitabile,Ciro & Bobba,Matteo & Pariguana,Marco, 2015. "High school track choice and financial constraints : evidence from urban Mexico," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7427, The World Bank.
    3. Avitabile, Ciro & de Hoyos, Rafael, 2018. "The heterogeneous effect of information on student performance: Evidence from a randomized control trial in Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 318-348.
    4. Ciro Avitabiley & Matteo Bobba and Marco Pariguanax, 2017. "High School Track Choice and Liquidity Constraints: Evidence from Urban Mexico," Working Paper 0195be34-77f6-4879-a68d-e, Agence française de développement.
    5. Cabrera-Hernández, Francisco & Padilla-Romo, María & Peluffo, Cecilia, 2023. "Full-time schools and educational trajectories: Evidence from high-stakes exams," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 96(C).
    6. Dustan, Andrew & Ngo, Diana K.L., 2018. "Commuting to educational opportunity? School choice effects of mass transit expansion in Mexico City," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 116-133.
    7. Dustan, Andrew, 2020. "Can large, untargeted conditional cash transfers increase urban high school graduation rates? Evidence from Mexico City's Prepa Sí," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    8. Huang, Bin & Li, Bo & Walker, Ian & Zhu, Yu, 2022. "Does It Pay to Attend More Selective High Schools? Regression Discontinuity Evidence from China," IZA Discussion Papers 15756, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Avitabile, Ciro & Bobba, Matteo & Pariguana, Marco, 2017. "High School Track Choice and Liquidity Constraints: Evidence from Urban Mexico," IZA Discussion Papers 10506, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Eunsik Chang & María Padilla-Romo, 2019. "The Effects of Local Violent Crime on High-Stakes Tests," Working Papers 2019-03, University of Tennessee, Department of Economics.
    11. De Hoyos Navarro,Rafael E. & Estrada,Ricardo & Vargas Mancera,Maria Jose, 2021. "Do Large-Scale Student Assessments Really Capture Cognitive Skills ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 9537, The World Bank.
    12. Rafael De Hoyos & Orazio Attanasio & Costas Meghir, 2019. "Targeting High School Scholarships to the Poor: The Impact of a Program in Mexico," NBER Working Papers 26023, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Yan Chen & Peter Cramton & John A. List & Axel Ockenfels, 2021. "Market Design, Human Behavior, and Management," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 67(9), pages 5317-5348, September.
    14. Dustan, Andrew, 2018. "Family networks and school choice," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 372-391.
    15. Yan Chen & YingHua He, 2022. "Information acquisition and provision in school choice: a theoretical investigation," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 74(1), pages 293-327, July.
    16. de Hoyos, Rafael & Estrada, Ricardo & Vargas, María José, 2021. "What do test scores really capture? Evidence from a large-scale student assessment in Mexico," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 146(C).
    17. Cáceres-Delpiano, Julio & Giolito, Eugenio, 2018. "Minimum Age Requirements and the Impact of School Choice," IZA Discussion Papers 11420, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    18. Andreea Mirica & Adina Neamtu & Irina-Elena Stoica, 2023. "Pupils Left Behind? An Analysis on the Data from National Evaluation Exams in Romania 2023," Ovidius University Annals, Economic Sciences Series, Ovidius University of Constantza, Faculty of Economic Sciences, vol. 0(2), pages 300-306, December.
    19. Ahmet Alkan & Sinan Sarpça & Sinan Sarpca, 2023. "Effects of High-Achieving Peers: Findings from a National High School Assignment System," CESifo Working Paper Series 10794, CESifo.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Elite schools; Academic achievement; School dropout;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education

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