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The effect of free primary school choice on ethnic groups
Evidence from a policy reform
In: European Journal of Political Economy,
3a. Beiträge in begutachteten Zeitschriften; Aufsatz (keine besondere Kategorie)
In 2008, school catchment areas were abolished in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), the most populous German federal state. Critics have argued that free school choice will lead to increased segregation and educational disparities. The data used is from Wuppertal, a major city in NRW. Since the Turkish population is the largest minority in Germany, but also one of the least integrated, the focus of this paper is on the effect of the new school law on the school choice of Turkish (Muslim) versus non-Turkish (non-Muslim) families. Free school choice has led, in fact, to increased choice on the part of both advantaged and (to a lesser extent) disadvantaged families. Motives behind choice include proximity and the academic quality of the school. The effect of this increased choice on segregation is inconclusive.