School choice and the distributional effects of ability tracking: Does separation increase inequality?

David N. Figlio*, Marianne E. Page

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations

Abstract

Tracking programs have been criticized on the grounds that they harm disadvantaged children. The bulk of empirical research supports this view, but existing studies compare outcomes across students placed in different tracks. Track placement is likely to be endogenous with respect to student outcomes. We use a new strategy for overcoming the endogeneity of track placement and find no evidence that tracking hurts low-ability children. Previous studies have also been based on the assumption that students' enrollment decisions are unrelated to whether or not the school tracks. When we account for the possibility that tracking programs affect school choice, we find evidence that they may help low-ability children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)497-514
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Urban Economics
Volume51
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Urban Studies

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