Choice of School in Australia: Determinants and Consequences

Anh Le, Paul Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines the determinants of school choice (government, Catholic or other independent schools) as well as the success in completing year 12 for cohorts of students born in 1961 and 1970. The results show that those attending Catholic and other independent schools have favourable socio-economic backgrounds. Ability has a significant and positive effect on the probability of completing year 12. There is no evidence of unobserved selection effects on the probability of completing year 12 for the 1961 cohort. For the 1970 cohort, there is negative selection into other independent schools and positive selection into Catholic schools. Decomposition results further reveal that selection on the basis of observed characteristics accounts for only a small part of the observed differences in year 12 completion rates across the three school systems. In comparison, selection on the basis of unobserved factors is an important part of the difference in year 12 completion rates. The school effects for both cohorts are much larger than those reported in previous studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-78
JournalThe Australian Economic Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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