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The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy

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

Ed. by Auriol, Emmanuelle / Barigozzi, Francesca / Brunner, Johann / Fleck, Robert / Mastrobuoni, Giovanni / Mendola, Mariapia / Requate, Till / de Vries, Frans / Wenzel, Tobias / Zulehner, Christine

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Volume 15, Issue 1


Volume 6 (2006)

Volume 4 (2004)

Volume 2 (2002)

Volume 1 (2001)

Parental Preferences for Primary School Characteristics

Lex Borghans
  • Department of Economics and Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market, Maastricht University, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands
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  • Other articles by this author:
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/ Bart H. H. Golsteyn
  • Department of Economics, Maastricht University, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands
  • SOFI, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
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/ Ulf Zölitz
Published Online: 2014-08-14 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bejeap-2014-0032


Free school choice has often been argued to be a tide that lifts school quality through increased competition. This paper analyzes the underlying assumption that school quality is an important choice criterion for parents. Using a large and representative data set of over 15,000 Dutch primary school starters, we estimate models of school demand that incorporate heterogeneity in school preferences. Our results show that traditional measures for school quality matter, but other characteristics, such as school denomination and educational philosophy, are more important predictors of choice. Preferences for these school characteristics are strongly heterogeneous across parents.

Keywords: school choice; school quality; school competition

JEL Classification: I2; I24; J24


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About the article

Published Online: 2014-08-14

Published in Print: 2015-01-01

Citation Information: The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, Volume 15, Issue 1, Pages 85–117, ISSN (Online) 1935-1682, ISSN (Print) 2194-6108, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bejeap-2014-0032.

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