Admission to an elite school imposes substantial risks on many students while offering modest academic benefits relative to admission in their most preferred nonelite school. Using variation in school assignment generated by the allocation mechanism, we find that admission to a system of elite public high schools in Mexico City increases the probability of high school dropout by 9.4 percentage points. Students with weaker middle school grades and whose commutes are lengthened by elite admission experience a larger rise in dropout probability. On the other hand, elite admission raises end-of-high-school math test scores for the marginal admittee, even when accounting for potential bias due to admission-induced dropout.
Dustan, A., de Janvry, A., and Sadoulet, E. (2017) "Flourish or Fail? The Risky Reward of Elite High School Admission in Mexico City", The Journal of Human Resources, Summer 2017 vol. 52 (3)