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School choice and segregation: evidence from an admission reform

Abstract of Working paper 2005:7

This paper studies the effects of school choice on segregation. We analyze the
effect of a reform in Stockholm that changed the admission system of public
upper secondary schools. Before the year 2000, students had priority to the
school situated closest to where they lived, but from the fall of 2000 and
onwards, admission is based on grades only. We show that the distribution of
students over schools changed dramatically as a response to extending school
choice. As expected, the new admission policy increased segregation by ability.
However, segregation by family background, as well as, segregation between
immigrants and natives also increased significantly.
Keywords: School choice, Segregation.
JEL classification: I21, I28, J24

This paper studies the effects of school choice on segregation. We analyze the effect of a reform in Stockholm that changed the admission system of public upper secondary schools. Before the year 2000, students had priority to the school situated closest to where they lived, but from the fall of 2000 and onwards, admission is based on grades only. We show that the distribution of students over schools changed dramatically as a response to extending school choice. As expected, the new admission policy increased segregation by ability. However, segregation by family background, as well as, segregation between immigrants and natives also increased significantly.

Keywords: School choice, Segregation.
JEL classification: I21, I28, J24


Published by:

Ifau

Changed:

9/21/2010