We investigate whether elite Chicago public high schools differentially benefit high-achieving students from more and less affluent neighborhoods. Chicago's place-based affirmative action policy allocates seats based on achievement and neighborhood socioeconomic status (SES). Using regression discontinuity design (RDD), we find that these schools do not raise test scores overall, but students are generally more positive about their high school experiences. For students from low-SES neighborhoods, we estimate negative effects on grades and the probability of attending a selective college. We present suggestive evidence that these findings for students from low-SES neighborhoods are driven by the negative effect of relative achievement ranking.
Barrow, Lisa, Lauren Sartain, and Marisa de la Torre.
"Increasing Access to Selective High Schools through Place-Based Affirmative Action: Unintended Consequences."
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics,
State and Local Government: Health; Education; Welfare; Public Pensions
Analysis of Education
Education and Inequality
Education: Government Policy
Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics: Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population; Neighborhood Characteristics