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Sorting, school performance and quality: Evidence from China

Yang Song

Journal of Comparative Economics, 2019, vol. 47, issue 1, 238-261

Abstract: School choice reforms give talented students the option to sort out of low-performing schools but often leave disadvantaged students behind. This study shows how a Chinese city was successful in helping its low-performing schools to catch up by encouraging talented students to sort into these schools. The city identified eleven low-performing middle schools and guaranteed elite high school admission to their top ten-percent graduates. This study documents that the policy improved school performance by 0.19-0.26 standard deviations. Using data on lottery middle school assignment, I further test for potential mechanisms, including strategic sorting and improvement in school value-added.

Keywords: Education inequality; School choice; Incentives; Sorting; Peer effects; Top ten-percent quota policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I21 I24 I25 I28 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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