Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy

No 2005:7: School choice and segregation: evidence from an admission reform

Martin Söderström () and Roope Uusitalo ()
Additional contact information
Martin Söderström: Uppsala University, Postal: Department of Economics, P O Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Roope Uusitalo: Labour Institute for Economic Research, Postal: Pitkänsillanranta 3 A (6th floor), FIN-00530 Helsinki, Finland ,

Abstract: This paper studies the effects of school choice on segregation. We analyze the effect of a reform in Stockholm that changed the admission system of public upper secondary schools. Before the year 2000, students had priority to the school situated closest to where they lived, but from the fall of 2000 and onwards, admission is based on grades only. We show that the distribution of students over schools changed dramatically as a response to extending school choice. As expected, the new admission policy increased segregation by ability. However, segregation by family background, as well as, segregation between immigrants and natives also increased significantly.

Keywords: School choice; segregation

JEL-codes: I21; I28; J24

25 pages, January 28, 2005

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