The Incentive Effects of the Top 10% Plan
Kalena E. Cortes
Texas A&M University - George Bush School of Government and Public Service; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
July 17, 2011
This paper investigates the incentive effects of the Texas Top 10% Plan on high school students’ academic achievement. The Top 10% Plan substantially improved the probability of admissions to state flagship public universities for students from low-performing Texas high schools. We find that under the Top 10% policy, low-performing high schools – 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quintiles in the school achievement distribution – experience a larger increase in academic achievement, as measured by 10th-grade TAAS pass rates, relative to schools in the top quintile. Furthermore, this pattern holds for students of all races. Sensitivity analyses show that our findings are not a result of pre-existing trends, school accountability requirements, or strategic choice of high schools.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 35
Keywords: Incentives, College Admissions, Texas Top 10% Plan, Student Academic Achievement
JEL Classification: H31, I21, I28, J15, J24working papers series
Date posted: March 23, 2011 ; Last revised: September 8, 2011
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