Soderstrom, Martin, & Uusitalo, Roope
School Choice and Segregation: Evidence from an Admission Reform
Ministry of Finance
Evaluates the effects of school choice on segregation using data from an admission reform in the Stockholm upper secondary schools.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
The Scandinavian Journal of Economics
Vol. 112, No. 1, pp. 55-76
- Between 1999 and 2000, the segregation indices increased 12-15 percentage points more in Stockholm than in the comparison group, and segregation across schools increased 11-14 percentage points more than segregation across the residential areas.
- Results indicate that segregation between natives and immigrants increased sharply after the reform in the Stockholm schools.
- After the reform, the segregation across schools in Stockholm sharply increased while residential segregation remained stable.
- Segregation along immigrant status increased slightly more in the public schools than in all schools.
Journal Article Historical Analysis
Choice, Dissimilarity Index, Immigrants, Parents, Reform, Segregation
Method of Analysis:
Students in Stockholm and 25 municipalities
Unit of Analysis:
- Data used are from Statistics Sweden
- Sample includes all students who graduated in the spring of 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001, from comprehensive schools situated in Stockholm County, which consists of the City of Stockholm and 25 surrounding municipalities.
- The first two cohorts applied to the upper secondary school prior to the admission reform and the latter two cohorts after the reform.
- 2000 reform abolished all residence-based admission criteria, and admission became based on previous grades only. The intention was to undo the effects of residential segregation, and to present the option of attending the most prestigious schools in downtown Stockholm to all students, irrespective of where they lived.
- To isolate the effect of the admission reform from other trends in segregation, authors compared the changes in segregation in the City of Stockholm to the changes in the surrounding municipalities (comparison group) where the admission system was unchanged during the period.
- Segregation measured using Duncan's dissimilarity index and a simple segregation index consisting of the fraction of the total variance that is due to variation across schools.
- DV: School-level segregation
- IV: School reform, parents' education, immigrant status,