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American Economic Review: Vol. 103 No. 4 (June 2013)

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Going to a Better School: Effects and Behavioral Responses

Article Citation

Pop-Eleches, Cristian, and Miguel Urquiola. 2013. "Going to a Better School: Effects and Behavioral Responses." American Economic Review, 103(4): 1289-1324.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.4.1289

Abstract

This paper applies a regression discontinuity design to the Romanian secondary school system, generating two findings. First, students who have access to higher achievement schools perform better in a (high stakes) graduation test. Second, the stratification of schools by quality in general, and the opportunity to attend a better school in particular, result in significant behavioral responses: (i) teachers sort in a manner consistent with a preference for higher achieving students; (ii) children who make it into more selective schools realize they are relatively weaker and feel marginalized; (iii) parents reduce effort when their children attend a better school.

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Online Appendix (605.78 KB) | Download Data Set (183.42 MB)

Authors

Pop-Eleches, Cristian (Columbia U)
Urquiola, Miguel (Columbia U)

JEL Classifications

I21: Analysis of Education
I28: Education: Government Policy
J13: Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth


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