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The desegregating effect of school tracking




This paper makes the following point: “detracking” schools, that is preventing them from allocating students to classes according to their ability, may lead to an increase in income residential segregation. It does so in a simple model where households care about the school peer group of their children. If ability and income are positively correlated, tracking implies that some high income households face the choice of either living in the areas where most of the other high income households live and having their child assigned to the low track, or instead living in lower income neighbourhoods where their child would be in the high track. Under mild conditions, tracking leads to an equilibrium with partial income desegregation where perfect income segregation would be the only stable outcome without tracking.


Fraja, G. D., & Martínez-Mora, F. (2014). The desegregating effect of school tracking. Journal of Urban Economics, 80, 164-177.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 23, 2013
Online Publication Date Jan 23, 2014
Publication Date Mar 30, 2014
Deposit Date Sep 7, 2015
Publicly Available Date Sep 7, 2015
Journal Journal of Urban Economics
Print ISSN 0094-1190
Electronic ISSN 0094-1190
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 80
Pages 164-177
Keywords Tracking, School Selection, Income Segregation, School Choice, Tiebout
Public URL
Publisher URL


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