School Choice During a Period of Radical School Reform: Evidence from the Academy Programme

61 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2017

See all articles by Marco Bertoni

Marco Bertoni

University of Padua

Stephen Gibbons

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Geography and Environment

Olmo Silva

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Geography and Environment; London School of Economics (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Abstract

Education policy worldwide has sought to incentivize school improvement and facilitate pupil-school matching by introducing reforms that promote autonomy and choice. Understanding the way in which families choose schools during these periods of reform is crucial for evaluating the impact of such policies. We study the effects of a recent shock to the English school system – the academy programme – which gave existing state schools greater autonomy, but provided limited information on possible expected benefits.We use administrative data on school applications for three cohorts of students to estimate whether academy conversion changes schools' popularity. We find that families – particularly non-poor, White British ones – rank converted schools higher on average. We investigate the likely mechanisms that could give rise to our findings. The patterns we document suggest that families combine academy conversion with home-school distance and prior information on quality and popularity as a heuristic to inform school choice.

Keywords: school reform, choice and autonomy, preference formation

JEL Classification: I21, H75

Suggested Citation

Bertoni, Marco and Gibbons, Stephen and Silva, Olmo, School Choice During a Period of Radical School Reform: Evidence from the Academy Programme. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11162. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3081395

Marco Bertoni (Contact Author)

University of Padua ( email )

Stephen Gibbons

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Geography and Environment ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
[44] (0)20 7955 6245 (Phone)
[44] (0)20 7955 7773 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.lse.ac.uk/people/s.gibbons@lse.ac.uk/

Olmo Silva

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Geography and Environment ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

London School of Economics (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 7 / 9
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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