Do Parents Value School Effectiveness?

This descriptive paper by Atila Abdulkadiroglu, Parag A. Pathak, Jonathan Schellenberg, and Christopher R. Walters examines parents’ preferences for schools with different characteristics, specifically peer performance, school effectiveness, and how well a school fits a particular student. They find parents prefer schools with higher performing peers and schools that are more effective, but do not have any preference for schools that are well-suited to their particular child. In addition, parents do not prefer more effective schools once peer performance is accounted for. The authors hypothesize this could be because parents value the non-academic benefits of higher performing peers as well, or because parents use peer performance as a signal of school effectiveness.

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