Journal Article

Effects of Free Choice Among Public Schools

Victor Lavy

in The Review of Economic Studies

Published on behalf of Review of Economic Studies Ltd

Volume 77, issue 3, pages 1164-1191
Published in print July 2010 | ISSN: 0034-6527
Published online July 2010 | e-ISSN: 1467-937X | DOI:
Effects of Free Choice Among Public Schools

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In this paper, I investigate the impact of a programme in Tel-Aviv, Israel, that terminated an existing inter-district busing integration programme and allowed students free choice among public schools. The identification is based on difference-in-differences and regression discontinuity designs that yield various alternative comparison groups drawn from untreated tangent neighbourhoods and adjacent cities. Across identification methods and comparison groups, the results consistently suggest that choice significantly reduces the drop-out rate and increases the cognitive achievements of high-school students. It also improves behavioural outcomes such as teacher-student relationships and students' social acclimation and satisfaction at school, and reduces the level of violence and classroom disruption.

Journal Article.  11468 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economics

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