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(Non)Randomization: A Theory of Quasi-Experimental Evaluation of School Quality

Yusuke Narita ()
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Yusuke Narita: Cowles Foundation, Yale University, http://economics.yale.edu/people/yusuke-narita

No 2056R, Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers from Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University

Abstract: Many centralized school admissions systems use lotteries to ration limited seats at oversubscribed schools. The resulting random assignment is used by empirical researchers to identify the effect of entering a school on outcomes like test scores. I first find that the two most popular empirical research designs may not successfully extract a random assignment of applicants to schools. When do the research designs overcome this problem? I show the following main results for a class of data-generating mechanisms containing those used in practice: One research design extracts a random assignment under a mechanism if and practically only if the mechanism is strategy-proof for schools. In contrast, the other research design does not necessarily extract a random assignment under any mechanism.

Keywords: Matching Market Design; Natural Experiment; Program Evaluation; Random Assignment; Quasi-Experimental Research Design; School Eectiveness (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-des, nep-edu, nep-exp and nep-ure
Date: 2016-12, Revised 2017-08
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