More harm than good? Sorting effects in a compensatory education program, Davezies, L., and Garrouste, M., Journal of Human Resources (forthcoming)
We provide evidence that school-based compensatory education policies create sorting effects, by analyzing a French program, which targeted low-achieving and socially disadvantaged junior high schools. We use geocoded original data, and a regression discontinuity framework to show that the program decreases the individual probability to attend a treated school, and symmetrically increases the probability to attend a private school. The effects are driven by pupils from high socio-economic backgrounds, resulting in an increase in social segregation across schools.

In French only

« 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