Going to a better school: Effects and behavioral responses

Cristian Pop-Eleches, Miguel Urquiola

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This paper applies a regression discontinuity design to the Romanian secondary school system, generating two findings. First, students who have access to higher achievement schools perform better in a (high stakes) graduation test. Second, the stratification of schools by quality in general, and the opportunity to attend a better school in particular, result in significant behavioral responses: (i) teachers sort in a manner consistent with a preference for higher achieving students; (ii) children who make it into more selective schools realize they are relatively weaker and feel marginalized; (iii) parents reduce effort when their children attend a better school.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1289-1324
Number of pages36
JournalAmerican Economic Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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