Skip to content

Journal Article

The long-run effects of attending an elite school: evidence from the United Kingdom


Publication date

Jan 2016


This paper estimates the impact of elite school attendance on long-run outcomes including completed education, income, and fertility. Our data consist of individuals born in the 1950s and educated in a UK district that assigned students to either elite or non-elite secondary schools. Using instrumental variables methods that exploit the school assignment formula, we find that elite school attendance had large impacts on completed education. Surprisingly, there are no significant effects on most labor market outcomes except for an increase in female income. By contrast, we document a large and significant negative impact on female fertility.

Published in

American Economic Journal: Applied Economics

Volume and page numbers

8 , 150 -176





Education and Life Course Analysis


Albert Sloman Library Periodicals *restricted to University of Essex registered users* -


Is referenced by: Kitchen, C. and Hobbs, A. (2016) ‘Academic evidence on selective secondary education’. London: Great Britain. Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology.

Related publications

  1. Grammar girls earn more and have fewer children

  2. Girls who go to grammar school learn longer and earn a fifth more

  3. The long-run effects of attending an elite school: evidence from the UK

    Damon Clark and Emilia Del Bono

    1. Education
    2. Life Course Analysis


Research home

Research home


Latest findings, new research

Publications search

Search all research by subject and author


Researchers discuss their findings and what they mean for society


Background and context, methods and data, aims and outputs


Conferences, seminars and workshops

Survey methodology

Specialist research, practice and study

Taking the long view

ISER's annual report


Key research themes and areas of interest