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ERIC Number: ED574363
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Apr
Pages: 52
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 43
ISSN: ISSN-2042-2695
What's in a Name? Expectations, Heuristics and Choice during a Period of Radical School Reform. CEP Discussion Paper No. 1477
Bertoni, Marco; Gibbons, Stephen; Silva, Olmo
Centre for Economic Performance
Education policy worldwide has sought to incentivize school improvement and facilitate pupil-school matching by introducing reforms that promote autonomy and choice. Understanding the way in which families form preferences during these periods of reform is crucial for evaluating the impact of such policies. We study the effects on choice of a recent shock to the English school system--the academy programme--which gave existing state schools greater autonomy, but provided limited information on possible expected benefits. We use administrative data on school applications for three cohorts of students to estimate whether academy conversion changes schools' popularity. We find that families--particularly non-poor, White British ones--rank converted schools higher on average. Expected changes in composition, effectiveness and other school policies cannot explain this updating of preferences. Instead, the patterns suggest that families combine the signal of conversion with prior information on quality, popularity and proximity as a heuristic for assessing a school's expected future performance. The following are appended: (1) Robustness checks; and (2) Estimating Academies' Effectiveness using Legacy Enrolled Pupils. [This paper was produced as part of the Centre for Economic Performance's Education and Skills Programme.]
Centre for Economic Performance. London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton Street, London, WC2A 2AE, UK. Tel: +44-20-7955-7673; Fax: +44-20-7404-0612; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council (England)
Authoring Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (England), Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)