(Non)Randomization: A Theory of Quasi-Experimental Evaluation of School Quality

61 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2016

See all articles by Yusuke Narita

Yusuke Narita

Yale University - Department of Economics; Yale University - Cowles Foundation

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 27, 2016


In centralized school admissions systems, rationing at oversubscribed schools often uses lotteries in addition to preferences. This partly random assignment is used by empirical researchers to identify the effect of entering a school on outcomes like test scores. This paper formally studies if the two most popular empirical research designs successfully extract a random assignment. For a class of data-generating mechanisms containing those used in practice, I show: One research design extracts a random assignment under a mechanism if and almost only if the mechanism is strategy-proof for schools. In contrast, the other research design does not necessarily extract a random assignment under any mechanism.

Keywords: Matching Market Design, Natural Experiment, Program Evaluation, Random Assignment, Quasi-Experimental Research Design, School Eectiveness

Suggested Citation

Narita, Yusuke, (Non)Randomization: A Theory of Quasi-Experimental Evaluation of School Quality (November 27, 2016). Cowles Foundation Discussion Paper No. 2056, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2878995 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2878995

Yusuke Narita (Contact Author)

Yale University - Department of Economics ( email )

28 Hillhouse Ave
New Haven, CT 06520-8268
United States

Yale University - Cowles Foundation ( email )

Box 208281
New Haven, CT 06520-8281
United States

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