Do Selective High Schools Improve Student Achievement? Effects of Exam Schools in China

36 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2015 Last revised: 21 Jan 2017

See all articles by Kathryn H. Anderson

Kathryn H. Anderson

Vanderbilt University; CASE; University of Central Asia

Xue Gong

Beijing Academy of Educational Sciences

Kai Hong

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD); New York University (NYU) - Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service

Xi Zhang

Beijing Academy of Educational Sciences

Date Written: June 6, 2016

Abstract

We use regression discontinuity design to examine the effect of a system of public exam high schools, which admit students solely by pre-existing achievement, on student college entrance exam scores in Beijing, China. More selective exam schools may have higher peer quality and sometimes are equipped with more experienced teachers and better facilities. We find, however, that elite exam high schools, which are the most selective, have no effects on student test scores. We find that on average the system of exam schools improves student performance on the exam, which indicates that students benefit from attending more selective non-elite schools. The results on qualifying for college admission are consistent with our findings about test scores. Differences among schools in peer achievement, student/teacher ratio and the percentage of certificated and experienced teachers partially explain our findings; self-choices of track and exam participation do not explain test scores or college admission.

Keywords: Academic Performance, Selective High School, Peer Effects, Regression Discontinuity Design

JEL Classification: H52, I20

Suggested Citation

Anderson, Kathryn H. and Gong, Xue and Hong, Kai and Zhang, Xi, Do Selective High Schools Improve Student Achievement? Effects of Exam Schools in China (June 6, 2016). China Economic Review, Vol. 40, 2016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2681218 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2681218

Kathryn H. Anderson

Vanderbilt University ( email )

Box 351819, Station B
Vanderbilt University
Nashville, TN 37235-1819
United States
615-322-3425 (Phone)
615-343-8495 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.vanderbilt.edu/econ/faculty/anderson.html

CASE ( email )

Al. Jana Pawła II 61/212
Warsaw, 01-031
Poland
+48 22 622 66 27 (Phone)
+48 22 828 60 69 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.case.com.pl/

University of Central Asia ( email )

108 Toktogul Street
Bishkek, 720001
Kyrgyzstan
+996(312)910822 (Phone)
+996(312_910835 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ucentralasia.org

Xue Gong

Beijing Academy of Educational Sciences ( email )

Kai Hong (Contact Author)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD) ( email )

1600 Clifton Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30333
United States

New York University (NYU) - Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service ( email )

The Puck Building
295 Lafayette Street, Second Floor
New York, NY 10012
United States

Xi Zhang

Beijing Academy of Educational Sciences ( email )

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
70
Abstract Views
679
rank
394,766
PlumX Metrics