Dennis Epple
Francisco Martinez-Mora
Richard Romano

We provide a model to analyze charter school educational practices. Students differ in cognitive ability, motivation, and household income. Student achievement depends on ability, match of their school's curriculum to their ability, and effort. Charter schools choose curriculum to maximize achievement gains, optimally setting curriculum to attract lower ability students. Achievement gains are modest, consistent with empirical evidence. We also investigate "no excuses" charter schools. These charters enforce an effort minimum that attracts highly motivated students. We find, consistent with the evidence, that these charters are highly effective in increasing achievement, with the largest gains accruing to lower ability students.

Publication Type
Working Paper
File Description
First version, September 29, 2022
JEL Codes
H75: State and Local Government: Health; Education; Welfare; Public Pensions
J24: Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
D19: Household Behavior and Family Economics: Other
cognitive ability
non-cognitive skills
household finance