School choice in Amsterdam: Which schools are chosen when school choice is free?
Education Finance and Policy
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
... sistent 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. * This version: October 2014. We gratefully acknowledge Herman Ozinga and Kees Waijenberg from the Amsterdam municipal office for supplying the data. We thank Adam Booij, Monique de Haan, Inge de Wolf, Pierre Koning, Geert Ridder, Jesse Rothstein, Adriaan Soetevent and Karen van der Wiel as well as seminar participants at various places for useful comments and suggestions. The authors are affiliated with the University of Amsterdam and TIER. E-mails: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com. 1 We will often phrase as if students are the decision-makers. We acknowledge that in reality their parents have an important say in this.