How do school ‘report cards’ affect school choice decisions?


We estimate the effect of information about school achievement that is disseminated to the public through websites and school ‘report cards’ on school choice decisions. We find that students are more likely to leave their school when public information reveals poor school-level performance. Some parents’ school choice decisions respond to information soon after it becomes available. Others, including non-English-speaking parents, alter their school choice decisions only in response to information that has been disseminated widely and discussed in the media. Parents in low-income neighbourhoods are most likely to alter their school choice decisions in response to new information.

Canadian Journal of Economics, 45 (2)
Justin Smith
Justin Smith
Associate Professor

My research interests include the economics of education and charitable giving.