The Effect of Shifting toward a Performance-Based Admission Policy on Educational Inequality: A Regression Discontinuity Analysis of the Educational Reform in Taiwan

Yu-han Jao, Northwestern University

Alon and Tienda’s (2007) study on American college admission suggests that a shift from performance-based measures to test-based measures benefitted those with resources while disadvantaged the minorities. Kariya and Rosenbaum’s (2003) study on Japanese educational reform gives the opposite answer. Taiwan adopted a performance-based, multidimensional admission policy for high school admission in 2001, replacing the national entrance exam. Using a regression discontinuity design and logistic regressions on academic outcomes of two academic cohorts, I found that 2001 policy reform expanded educational inequalities by household income and by parental education. Preliminary results suggested that it may be the difference in student involvement in academic and extracurricular activities between the well- and poor-achieving students that explains the increasing inequality.

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Presented in Poster Session 5: Economy, Labor Force, Education and Inequality