Selective Schools and Academic Achievement

51 Pages Posted: 3 Dec 2007

See all articles by Damon Clark

Damon Clark

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: November 2007


In this paper I consider the impact of attending a selective high school in the UK. Students are assigned to these schools on the basis of a test taken in primary school and, using data on these assignment test scores for a particular district, I exploit this rule to estimate the causal effects of selective schools on test scores, high school course taking and university enrollment. Despite the huge peer advantage enjoyed by selective school students, I show that four years of selective school attendance generates at best small effects on test scores. Selective schools do however have positive effects on course-taking and university enrollment, evidence suggesting they may have important longer run impacts.

Keywords: selective schools, education, instrumental variables

JEL Classification: C21, I21

Suggested Citation

Clark, Damon, Selective Schools and Academic Achievement (November 2007). IZA Discussion Paper No. 3182. Available at SSRN:

Damon Clark (Contact Author)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072

Register to save articles to
your library


Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics