Information, School Choice, and Academic Achievement: Evidence from Two Experiments
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.
Published: Justine S. Hastings & Jeffrey M. Weinstein, 2008. "Information, School Choice, and Academic Achievement: Evidence from Two Experiments," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1373-1414, November.
This paper was revised on February 29, 2008