Why are Schools Segregated? Evidence from the Secondary-School Match in Amsterdam

53 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2019

See all articles by Hessel Oosterbeek

Hessel Oosterbeek

University of Amsterdam - Research Institute in Economics & Econometrics (RESAM); Tinbergen Institute Amsterdam (TIA); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Sándor Sóvágó

VU University Amsterdam

Bas Klaauw

VU University Amsterdam

Date Written: January 2019

Abstract

We use rich data from the secondary-school match in Amsterdam to nonparametrically decompose school segregation by ethnicity and by household income into five additive sources: i) ability tracking, ii) noise, iii) residential segregation, iv) preference heterogeneity, and v) capacity constraints. Important features of the Amsterdam school district are its diverse population, that students can freely choose any school at their ability level, that school density is high and that private schools are absent. We find that school segregation is mainly driven by ability tracking and students from different groups having different preferences. Residential segregation, capacity constraints and noise play only a minor role. Of the four policies that we analyze, affirmative action in the form of minority quotas reduces segregation the most. This comes, however, at the cost of reducing student welfare.

Keywords: Ability Tracking, Policy Simulations, School Match, Segregation

JEL Classification: I21, I24, I28

Suggested Citation

Oosterbeek, Hessel and Sóvágó, Sándor and Klaauw, Bas, Why are Schools Segregated? Evidence from the Secondary-School Match in Amsterdam (January 2019). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP13462, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3319783

Hessel Oosterbeek (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam - Research Institute in Economics & Econometrics (RESAM) ( email )

Roetersstraat 11
Amsterdam
Netherlands
+31 20 525 4242 (Phone)
+31 20 525 5283 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.fee.uva.nl/scholar/oosterbeek/

Tinbergen Institute Amsterdam (TIA)

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062 PA
Netherlands

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Sándor Sóvágó

VU University Amsterdam ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, ND North Holland 1081 HV
Netherlands

Bas Klaauw

VU University Amsterdam ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, ND North Holland 1081 HV
Netherlands

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