Information, School Choice, and Academic Achievement: Evidence from Two Experiments

43 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 2007 Last revised: 24 Mar 2021

See all articles by Justine S. Hastings

Justine S. Hastings

Brown University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Jeffrey Weinstein

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

Date Written: November 2007

Abstract

We analyze two experiments that provided direct information on school test scores to lower-income families in a public school choice plan. We find that receiving information significantly increases the fraction of parents choosing higher-performing schools. Parents with high-scoring alternatives nearby were more likely to choose non-guaranteed schools with higher test scores. Using random variation from each experiment, we find evidence that attending a higher-scoring school increases student test scores. The results imply that school choice will most effectively increase academic achievement for disadvantaged students when parents have easy access to test score information and have good options to choose from.

Suggested Citation

Hastings, Justine and Weinstein, Jeffrey, Information, School Choice, and Academic Achievement: Evidence from Two Experiments (November 2007). NBER Working Paper No. w13623, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1033749

Justine Hastings (Contact Author)

Brown University ( email )

Box 1860
Providence, RI 02912
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Jeffrey Weinstein

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation ( email )

550 17th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20429
United States

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