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Regression Discontinuity in Serial Dictatorship: Achievement Effects at Chicago's Exam Schools

Atila Abdulkadroǧlu, Joshua Angrist (), Yusuke Narita, Parag A. Pathak and Roman A. Zarate

American Economic Review, 2017, vol. 107, issue 5, 240-45

Abstract: Many school and college admission systems use centralized mechanisms to allocate seats based on applicant preferences and school priorities. When tie-breaking uses non-randomly assigned criteria like distance or a test score, applicants with the same preferences and priorities are not directly comparable. The non-lottery setting does generate a kind of local random assignment that opens the door to regression discontinuity designs. This paper introduces a hybrid RD/propensity score empirical strategy that exploits quasi-experiments embedded in serial dictatorship, a mechanism widely used for college and selective K-12 school admissions. We use our approach to estimate achievement effects of Chicago's exam schools.

JEL-codes: C78 D44 D82 I21 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.p20171111
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