Free School Choice and the Educational Achievement Gap

Liesbeth van Welie*, Joop Hartog, Ilja Cornelisz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In the Netherlands, school choice is free and all schools are equally funded by the government. We measured distance from home to school as a proxy for the selectivity of choice and used characteristics of the nearest school to explain the choice of a school other than the nearest school. Almost 89% of all pupils in the 4 largest cities do not select the nearest school. Native Dutch pupils tend to prefer a school with lower percentages of nonwestern migrant students and a higher mean school SES and exam score. Immigrant students tend to choose a school with higher percentages of nonwestern migrant students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)260-291
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of School Choice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013


  • school choice
  • sorting along lines of ethnicity
  • stratification
  • The Netherlands


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