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Applied Micro Seminar by Sam Hwang

May 19, 2022 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm EDT

Prof. Sam Hwang will give a seminar at the KAEA-VSS-Applied Micro on Thursday, May 19 at 8 pm ET (9 am KST the next day). Please find the detailed information about the seminar below. Only abstract is available
Speaker: Prof. Sam Hwang (UBC)
Title: The effect of ability-tracking on student outcome: evidence from South Korea
When: Thursday, May 19 at 8 pm ET (9 am KST the next day)
What are the effects of an education reform that delays or bans ability tracking across schools? Mixing students of heterogeneous abilities and backgrounds may affect students differentially via various channels, such as peer effects or teachers’ efforts. Previous studies, mostly of European countries, found that low-SES/low ability students tend to benefit from such reforms. In this project, we study an education reform in South Korea, in which the ability tracking was delayed, then banned at the secondary level with the ban of entrance exams at the lower secondary level (1969) and the upper secondary level (1974). To identify the causal impact of the reform, we exploit the school entry law in South Korea that requires those born after March 1st of each year to delay school entry by one year relative to those born in February. Exploiting this feature in a fuzzy regression discontinuity design, we find that the upper secondary reform negatively affected the high-SES students in the sense that their class ranking fell due to the reform. Interestingly, the upper secondary reform had a negative effect on high-SES students’ class ranking when they were in the lower secondary level, suggesting that the ban on upper secondary level entrance exams may have disincentivized high-SES students’ efforts in the lower secondary level. On the other hand, we did not find evidence that the reform affected high-SES students’ labor market outcomes negatively.
Zoom link:


May 19, 2022
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm EDT


Jay Pil Choi

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