School choice in Amsterdam: Which schools are chosen when school choice is free?

Published in: Education Finance and Policy (Forthcoming). (with Nienke Ruijs )

Advocates of increased school choice and competition assume that school choices are led by quality considerations. To test this assumption, this paper examines the determinants of secondary school choice in the city of Amsterdam. In this city there are many schools to choose from and school choice is virtually unrestricted (no catchment areas, low or no tuition fees, short distances). Using discrete choice models we find that published indicators of school quality are not consistent predictors of school choice. Instead, students appear to prefer schools that are close to their home and schools where many of their former classmates in primary school go to.

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