School Choice, School Quality and Postsecondary Attainment

39 Pages Posted: 21 Sep 2011 Last revised: 26 Aug 2022

See all articles by David Deming

David Deming

Academic Dean, Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

justine.s.hastings@gmail.com Hastings

Brown University

David James Deming

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Justine S. Hastings

Brown University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Thomas J. Kane

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Public Policy & Social Research; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Douglas Staiger

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: September 2011

Abstract

We study the impact of a public school choice lottery in Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools on college enrollment and degree completion. We find a significant overall increase in college attainment among lottery winners who attend their first choice school. Using rich administrative data on peers, teachers, course offerings and other inputs, we show that the impacts of choice are strongly predicted by gains on several measures of school quality. Gains in attainment are concentrated among girls. Girls respond to attending a better school with higher grades and increases in college-preparatory course-taking, while boys do not.

Suggested Citation

Deming, David and Hastings, justine.s.hastings@gmail.com and Deming, David James and Hastings, Justine and Kane, Thomas J. and Staiger, Douglas, School Choice, School Quality and Postsecondary Attainment (September 2011). NBER Working Paper No. w17438, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1931210

David Deming (Contact Author)

Academic Dean, Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

David James Deming

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

Justine Hastings

Brown University ( email )

Box 1860
Providence, RI 02912
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Thomas J. Kane

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Public Policy & Social Research ( email )

Box 951656
Los Angeles, CA 90095
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Douglas Staiger

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics ( email )

Hanover, NH 03755
United States
603-643-2979 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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