Can cities be held responsible for early school leaving? Evidence from the Netherlands

Kristof De Witte*, Chris Van Klaveren, Anton J. H. Smets

*Corresponding author for this work

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This paper examines if ‘naming and shaming’ is an effective tool to increase accountability in school dropout for cities with disadvantaged student populations. It argues that a comparison with other cities might be unfair if regional and population characteristics differ. It discusses the example of two dutch new towns. The new town policy deliberately attracted low- and medium-income households in the past, such that today the population of those cities differs from other cities. We use a matching analysis to account for observed differences in population and regional characteristics. The results point out that ‘naming and shaming’ may be a dangerous policy to increase accountability: early school leaving differences are driven, to a large extent, by observed differences in population and regional characteristics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-239
JournalPolicy Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2015


  • naming and shaming
  • housing policy
  • matching analysis
  • selective migration
  • early school leaving

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