Economics Seminar Series

Damon Clark, University of California, Irvine.

Damon Clark, University of California, Irvine

Damon Clark, University of California, Irvine

(Joint paper with Paco Martorell (UC Davis) and Matt Wiswall (U Madison-Wisconsin)

How Do Parents Choose Schools? Evidence from Choices and a Survey of Choosers

We examine how parents choose schools using data from an urban school district in the Western United States. This district operates a public school choice system with a centralized school assignment process. Parents rank the schools in the district and an algorithm assigns students to schools based on these rankings, school capacity constraints and district priorities. In Fall 2021 we surveyed parents as they ranked schools. Our survey asked parents for their beliefs about the characteristics of various schools and their beliefs about their children’s outcomes were they to attend them. We match these survey data to administrative data on parents’ actual rankings and use these matched data to analyze how parents’ school rankings are related to their beliefs about their child’s outcomes at different schools. We also consider how parents form these beliefs, focusing specifically on the role played by school demographics.

DATE: Friday, April 21, 2023

TIME: 3:30-5:00 p.m.

LOCATION: Fronczak 444