De Economist

, Volume 160, Issue 4, pp 339-355

First online:

School Responsiveness to Quality Rankings: An Empirical Analysis of Secondary Education in the Netherlands

  • Pierre KoningAffiliated withVU University Amsterdam and IZA Email author 
  • , Karen van der WielAffiliated withCPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis and IZA

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This paper assesses the response of Dutch secondary schools to the publication of relative quality ratings in a national newspaper (Trouw). Our research design exploits the discontinuities in the ranking formula that was used to generate five consecutive levels for the overall quality of schools.We find previous Trouw quality scores to have an offsetting effect on school quality performance, i.e. both average grades and the number of diplomas go up after receiving a negative score. These effects are confined to the lower support of the performance distribution.


School quality School accountability Regression discontinuity designs

JEL Classification

H75 I20 D83