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Tracking can be more equitable than mixing

Working Paper 2010-162

Abstract

Parents and policy makers often wonder whether, and how, the choice between a tracked or a mixed educational system affects the efficiency and equity of national educational outcomes. This paper analyzes this question taking into account their impact on educational results at later stages and two main results are found. First, it shows that tracking can be the efficient system in societies where the opportunity cost of college attendance is high or the pre-school achievement distribution is very dispersed. Second, this paper shows that tracking is the most equitable system for students with intermediate levels of human capital required to attend college.

Authors: Marisa Hidalgo-Hidalgo.

Keywords: Peer Effects, Tracking, Mixing, College attendance gap
JEL: D63, I28, J24.