Rajeev Darolia, Cory Koedel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


We use statewide administrative data from Missouri to examine the explanatory power of high schools over student sorting to colleges and majors at 4-year public universities. We develop a “preparation and persistence index” (PPI) for each university-by-major cell in the Missouri system that captures dimensions of selectivity and rigor and allows for a detailed investigation of sorting. Our analysis shows that students' high schools predict the quality of the initial university, as measured by PPI, conditional on their own academic preparation, and that students from lower–socioeconomic status high schools systematically enroll at lower-PPI universities. However, high schools offer little explanatory power over major placements within universities. (JEL I2, J1).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)692-710
Number of pages19
JournalContemporary Economic Policy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
∗We thank the Missouri Department of Higher Education for providing access to data and gratefully acknowledge research support from the National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research (CALDER) funded through grant no. R305C120008 to American Institutes for Research from the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. We thank session participants at Purdue University and the APPAM, CALDER, and AEFP conferences for valuable feedback, in particular Mark Long and Carrie Conaway. The usual disclaimers apply. Darolia: Associate Professor, Martin School of Public Policy and Administration, University of Kentucky, 417 Patter-son Office Tower, Lexington, KY 40506. Phone 859-323-7522, E-mail rajeev.darolia@uky.edu Koedel: Associate Professor, Department of Economics, University of Missouri, 318 Professional Building, Columbia, MO 65211. Phone 573-882-3871, E-mail koedelc@missouri.edu Contemporary Economic Policy (ISSN 1465-7287) Vol. 36, No. 4, October 2018, 692–710 Online Early publication May 14, 2018

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Western Economic Association International

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting (all)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Public Administration


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