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The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy

Editor-in-Chief: Jürges, Hendrik / Ludwig, Sandra

Ed. by Auriol , Emmanuelle / Brunner, Johann / Fleck, Robert / Mendola, Mariapia / Requate, Till / Schirle, Tammy / de Vries, Frans / Zulehner, Christine

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Volume 10, Issue 1 (Feb 2010)


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Selective Schools and Academic Achievement

Damon Clark
  • 1University of Florida, National Bureau of Economic Research, and Institute for the Study of Labor,
  • Other articles by this author:
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Published Online: 2010-02-12 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2202/1935-1682.1917


In this paper I consider the impact of attending a selective high school in the UK. Students are assigned to these schools on the basis of a test taken in primary school and, using data on these assignment test scores for a particular district, I exploit this rule to estimate the causal effects of selective schools on test scores, high school course taking and university enrollment. Despite the huge peer advantage enjoyed by selective school students, I show that four years of selective school attendance generates at best small effects on test scores. Selective schools do however have positive effects on course-taking and, more suggestively, university enrollment, evidence suggesting they may have important longer run impacts.

Keywords: selective schools; test scores; instrumental variables

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Published Online: 2010-02-12

Citation Information: The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, ISSN (Online) 1935-1682, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2202/1935-1682.1917.

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©2011 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/Boston. Copyright Clearance Center

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