The Impacts of Building Elite High Schools for Students from Disadvantaged Areas

Posted: 14 Jul 2013

See all articles by Prashant Kumar Loyalka

Prashant Kumar Loyalka

Stanford University - Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies

Jianguo Wei

Peking University

Yingquan Song

Peking University

Weiping Zhong

Peking University

James Chu

Stanford University, Department of Sociology, Students; Stanford University - Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies

Date Written: July 13, 2013

Abstract

Although thousands of studies in developing countries have evaluated whether specific interventions improve the educational outcomes of disadvantaged students, few have focused on comprehensive reforms. The goal of this study is to examine how a comprehensive package of demand and supply side educational interventions — namely the building of free, elite high schools targeted towards students from poor areas — impacts the educational outcomes of disadvantaged students. Specifically, we utilize a unique administrative dataset that includes information on all students in one Northwest province in China over ten years, in combination with short interrupted times series (SITS) with comparison group designs, to estimate the causal effects of this intervention on the college admissions outcomes of students from poor areas. Our results show that the intervention improves the likelihood that a "typical" (or average) student from a poor area can gain admission to non-elite colleges, but not to elite colleges. Furthermore, by exploring the mechanisms through which the intervention improves the (non-elite) college admissions outcomes of the typical student, we argue that expanding the capacity of existing high schools may be a more cost-effective option than building new elite high schools.

Keywords: elite, high school, poor, rural, interrupted time series, China

JEL Classification: I22, 015

Suggested Citation

Loyalka, Prashant and Wei, Jianguo and Song, Yingquan and Zhong, Weiping and Chu, James, The Impacts of Building Elite High Schools for Students from Disadvantaged Areas (July 13, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2293332

Prashant Loyalka (Contact Author)

Stanford University - Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Jianguo Wei

Peking University ( email )

No. 38 Xueyuan Road
Haidian District
Beijing, Beijing 100871
China

Yingquan Song

Peking University ( email )

No. 38 Xueyuan Road
Haidian District
Beijing, Beijing 100871
China

Weiping Zhong

Peking University ( email )

No. 38 Xueyuan Road
Haidian District
Beijing, Beijing 100871
China

James Chu

Stanford University, Department of Sociology, Students ( email )

Stanford
United States

Stanford University - Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

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