Parental preferences for primary school characteristics

L. Borghans, B.H.H. Golsteyn, U.N. Zölitz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Web of Science)


Free school choice has often been argued to be a tide that lifts school quality through increased competition. This paper analyzes the underlying assumption that school quality is an important choice criterion for parents. Using a large and representative data set of over 15,000 Dutch primary school starters, we estimate models of school demand that incorporate heterogeneity in school preferences. Our results show that traditional measures for school quality matter, but other characteristics, such as school denomination and educational philosophy, are more important predictors of choice. Preferences for these school characteristics are strongly heterogeneous across parents.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-117
JournalB E Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • school choice
  • school quality
  • school competition

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