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

67 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2017

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: August 19, 2017


Many centralized school admissions systems use lotteries to ration limited seats at oversubscribed schools. The resulting random assignment is used by empirical researchers to identify the effect of entering a school on outcomes like test scores. I first find that the two most popular empirical research designs may not successfully extract a random assignment of applicants to schools. When do the research designs overcome this problem? I show the following main results for a class of data-generating mechanisms containing those used in practice: One research design extracts a random assignment under a mechanism if and practically 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 Effectiveness

Suggested Citation

Narita, Yusuke, (Non)Randomization: A Theory of Quasi-Experimental Evaluation of School Quality (August 19, 2017). Cowles Foundation Discussion Paper No. 2056R, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3023376 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3023376

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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