Not Just Test Scores: Parents' Demand Response to School Quality Information

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IZA Seminar

Place: Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 9, 53113 Bonn

Date: 08.01.2013, 12:15 - 13:30


Presentation by 

Iftikhar Hussain (London School of Economics)


There is scant evidence on the effectiveness of providing school quality information, other than test scores, on parentsí behavior. This paper investigates the demand-side effects of a novel measure of quality, school inspection ratings. Exploiting variation in the timing of inspections, I demonstrate that a schoolís market share, measured by total enrollment, responds to the top and bottom ratings; there is no enrollment effect to the middle range of ratings. Using data on parentsí ranked preferences over local schools, the paper also estimates a discrete choice model. The findings suggest that there is a strong response to all ratings, not just those at the extreme. Poorer families appear to be especially sensitive to how the information in the reports is presented.

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