High School Choice, Value of College, and the Design of College Admission Policies
Carolina Concha-Arriagada

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship

Award Year



Georgetown University

Primary Discipline

Human Development
This paper empirically studies how students? preferences over tertiary education shape high school choice and how students? decisions affect school sorting and income segregation. I use the inclusion of a high-school-based requirement in the centralized college system in Chile to estimate the value of going to college in preferences over high schools. I perform two exercises to estimate the causal effect and counterfactual analysis correctly. First, I use an event study design to estimate whether students change their schools and analyze how the changes affect their chances of going to college. Second, I estimate a high school choice model, where students have preferences for school characteristics such as price, distance, quality, and college attendance. Finally, I leverage the inclusion of the relative ranking as an exogenous shock to estimate the parameters of the school choice model. Findings from this study help to inform how college admission policies affect income and ability sorting in high school and to evaluate unintended consequences of education policies in the pre-college period.
About Carolina Concha-Arriagada
Carolina Concha-Arriagada is a Ph.D. candidate in Economics at Georgetown University. Her research focuses on the economics of education and labor economics. She is interested in human capital investments, with a particular emphasis on the relationship between access to opportunities, inequality, and mobility in the context of low- and middle-income countries. Her work combines economic theory, administrative data, and quasi-experimental research designs to analyze educational policies and their effects on families? pre-college decisions. In her dissertation, Carolina explores the consequences of a large-scale educational policy in the Chilean centralized college admission system and its effects on income segregation and sorting at the high school level. In other works, she studies the value of elite public schools, high achieving peers, and the intersection between education and political economy. Carolina has taught a wide range of courses in economics at Georgetown, ILADES ? Alberto Hurtado, and Universidad de Santiago de Chile. Before beginning her graduate studies, Carolina earned a B.A. in Economics from Universidad de Santiago de Chile and an M.A. in Economics from ILADES in Universidad Alberto Hurtado.

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