More harm than good? Sorting effects in a compensatory education program, Davezies, L., and Garrouste, M., Journal of Human Resources, 2020, Vol. 55, Num. 1, pp. 240-277
By analyzing a French program that targeted low-achieving and socially disadvantaged junior high schools we provide evidence that school-based compensatory education policies create sorting effects. We use geocoded original data and a regression discontinuity framework to show that the program decreases the individual probability of attending a treated school and symmetrically increases the probability of attending a private school. The effects are driven by pupils from high socioeconomic backgrounds, resulting in an increase in social segregation across schools.

In French only

« The Effect of Opening a High School on Track Choices at the End of Middle School », Garrouste, M. and Zaiem, M., Revue française d’économie, 2018/1 (Vol. XXXIII), proceedings of the 2017 CNRS winter school on public policy evaluation (ETEPP)
This study analyzes the effect of opening a new high school on pupils’ allocation to different tracks at the end of lower secondary education. We use high school openings to highlight the constraint local school supply exerts on individual schooling decisions. The working sample covers all pupils enrolled in 9th grade between the school year 2007-2008 and the school year 2010-2011 in France. The estimation strategy (a generalized difference in differences) takes advantage of the variation in time and space of the openings of high schools to estimate the causal effect of an increase in school supply on the allocation of pupils to tracks at the end of 9th grade. We show that opening a new high school increases the probability to continue in high school for pupils from the nearest middle school. This increase is driven by the vocational track, and by low achieving students.
« Does the réseaux ambition réussite program improve pupils' academic achievement? A regression discontinuity analysis », Caille, J.-P., Davezies, L., and Garrouste, M., Revue économique, 2016/3 (Vol. 67), pp. 639-666
“Réseaux ambition réussite” (RAR), or “ambition success networks,” are a compensatory education policy that took place in France between 2006 and 2011. To be eligible, a collège (equivalent to junior high school) had to enroll at least 67% of pupils from a disadvantaged background, and at least 10% of pupils having repeated twice or more when entering junior high school. About 3% of junior high school pupils were enrolled in a rar. Evaluating the impact of such a policy is complicated by two types of bias. First, the selection of schools into the program makes that the pupils enrolled in a rar school would have lower academic achievement than the other pupils on average, even in the absence of the program. Second, the school is not the good level of analysis, since pupils may select themselves into the program. To analyze the causal effect of the program on individual academic achievement at the end of junior high school, we use a regression discontinuity method and an original exhaustive data set. Overall, we do not find any significant effect of enrollment in a RAR on individual educational outcomes at the end of junior high school. The absence of average effect may be due to differentiated effects according to pupils’ characteristics.
« Être sans diplôme aujourd’hui en France : quelles caractéristiques, quel parcours et quel destin ? », Bouhia, R., Garrouste, M., Lebrère, A., Ricroch, L., and de Saint Pol, T., Économie et Statistique, n° 443, 2011, pp. 29-50