Work in progress

Place-Based Policies: Opportunity for Deprived Schools or Zone-and-Shame Effect?, with Miren Lafourcade (Univ. Paris Saclay, PSE), CEPR Discussion Paper No. 17750 - Latest version - Vox-EU column - PSE Infographic
Even though place-based policies involve large transfers toward low-income neighborhoods, they may also produce territorial stigmatization by spotlighting the targeted areas. This paper appeals to the quasi-experimental discontinuity in a French reform that redrew the zoning map of subsidized neighborhoods on the basis of a sharp poverty cut-off to assess the “net" effect of place-based policies on school outcomes. Using a difference-in-differences approach, we find strong evidence of stigma effects from policy designation on public middle schools located in neighborhoods below the policy cut-off, which saw a significant decrease in their post-reform pupil enrollment compared to their counterfactual analogues in unlabeled areas lying just above the poverty threshold. This "zone-and-shame" effect is immediate, it persists up to five years after the reform, and it is triggered by the reactions of parents from all socioeconomic backgrounds, who avoided public schools in policy areas and shifted to those in other areas or, only for wealthy parents, to private schools. There is also evidence of a short-lived decrease in pupils’ test-scores associated with this spatial resorting. We uncover, on the contrary, only weak evidence of stigma reversion after an area loses its designation, suggesting hysteresis in bad reputations conveyed by policy labeling.
Neighborhood Peer Effects and Track Choices, with Camille Hémet (Univ. Paris 1, PSE)
Urban policies and compensatory education: effects on educational achievement, with Fanny Alivon (Univ. La Réunion, CEMOI), and Rachel Guillain (Univ. Bourgogne, LEDi)


School supply constraints in track choices: A French study using high school openings, Garrouste, M., Zaiem M., Economics of Education Review, 2020, Vol. 78, Num. 102041
We study the effect of opening a new high school on individual schooling decisions at the end of lower secondary education. The working sample covers all ninth graders between 2007–2008 and 2012–2013 in France. The two-way fixed-effect estimation strategy uses variation in time and space to estimate the causal effect of an increase in school supply. Opening a new high school significantly increases the probability of pupils from neighboring middle schools continuing in higher secondary education. The effect is exclusively due to new high schools proposing a vocational track. Furthermore, the effect is mainly driven by low-achieving students.
Good teaching and good grades. Can you buy pedagogy?, Garrouste, M., Le Saout R., Annals of Economics and Statistics, 2020, Num. 139
This paper analyzes the relationship between students grades and their evaluations of teaching. We exploit an original data set from almost 100 courses during 7 academic years in a French higher education institution. We use teacher fixed effects to rule out any simultaneity or endogeneity bias. We find that students take their exam grade into account when they evaluate teaching. A better grade is associated with a better evaluation of a teacher's pedagogy, although the size of the effect is relatively small. A one-point increase in by-course mean grade corresponds to a less than one percentage point decrease in the proportion of students giving bad evaluations. These results suggest that it is possible to manipulate evaluations through grade or exam leniency.
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.
« 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.
« Le choix de la formation en apprentissage : une question de ressources régionales ? », Garrouste, M., Kramarz, F. and Zizzo, C., Formation emploi, 2018, Num. 142, pp. 15–33
Apprenticeship is unequally distributed over the French territory, with strong regional disparities. The objective of this paper is to study the relationship between regional expenditures on professional training, and access to apprenticeship in each region. To do that, we constructed an original panel data set on regional expenditures in metropolitan France. We also use individual-level data (Céreq Génération 2010) to study the individual decision to complete an apprenticeship, once regional characteristics are taken into account.
« 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

Unpublished working papers

« Le temps comme ressource : Étude de l’emploi du temps des Français en situation de pauvreté », Bouhia, R., Garrouste, M., Leduc, A., Ricroch, L., and de Saint Pol, T., CREST Working Papers, INSEE, no 2009-20, 2009
In this paper, we study the schedule of poor people in France. The analysis uses data from time-use survey conducted by the French Institute for Statistics (INSEE) in 1999. It gives information on activities practiced by the individuals every ten minutes during one day.Using the Ordinary Least Squares method we show that poverty has different effects on time spent doing activities according to sex and age. We emphasize the existence of selection effect in addition to time effect using a Generalized Probit model, which gives moreover the advantage of taking censured data into account. We then focus on days organization of the poor. We use Optimal Matching Analysis to account for the sequential nature of the data set. This method provides ten types of schedule for the poor. We conclude that poor people use their time in order to offset their monetary disadvantage but that they face external constraints in the way they can organize their days.

Policy briefs and media coverage

Place-based policies: Opportunities for deprived schools versus `zone and shame' effects,Vox-EU Column, June 2023
Do place-based policies provide real opportunities for the residents of low-income neighborhoods?, PSE Infographic, June 2023
Politiques éducatives compensatoires : ce qui fonctionne, ce qui ne fonctionne pas et pourquoi , Conférence organisée par l’association Les Amis de Thorstein Veblen et l’APSES Lyon, January 2023
« Comment sortir l’école du constat d’échec », La Croix, December 2022
« Mieux former les jeunes enfants », Les Journées de l'économie, 2022
« Éducation prioritaire », Rapport de synthèse « Comment l'école amplifie les inégalités sociales et migratoires ? », Garrouste, M., et Prost, C., Conseil national d'évaluation du système scolaire (Cnesco), 2015
« Le choix de la formation en apprentissage : une question de ressources régionales ? », Garrouste, M., Kramarz, F. et Zizzo, C., in « Rendement éducatif, parcours et inégalités dans l'insertion des jeunes. », Céreq Echanges n°5, 2017
« Jeunes sans qualification, cibles des "contrats d'avenir" », Choix de la rédaction, France Culture, Août 2012