Do parents hold bad schools accountable with their feet? Evidence from a quality revealing intervention in Indonesia


School choice is expected to improve school quality if parents choose schools for their children based on school performance. The idea is that schools need to satisfy parent demands in order to attract enough students to avoid school closure. I test whether parents’ school preferences respond to changes in exam scores, an important signal of school performance for parents, using unique preference data from centralized school admission systems in several districts. I exploit a computer-based testing intervention that made exam scores better reflect actual school quality and that resulted in large changes in the scores. I also test whether school closure is a credible threat. This requires better-performing schools to have enough capacity for students that no longer want to go to the low-performing schools.

The data used in this project were taken from the Telkom SIAP PPDB Online Portal. To limit the risk of privacy breach and personal data accessibility of the students, the data were pseudonymized and encrypted. Access to the data on network storage was restricted and raw data were deleted after use.

Emilie Berkhout
Emilie Berkhout
PhD Candidate

Specialized in impact evaluations in low- and middle-income countries.