There have been extensive discussions regarding the Danish school admissions system, in particular on the distribution in terms of socioeconomic backgrounds.

Some argue that the free school choice leads to segregation and should be abandoned. At the same time, a well-designed admissions system may catch desirable welfare-improving exchange of school seats.

There is an extensive literature on the topic in general (recent work e.g. [1], [2], [3]), and there likely are some details specific to the Danish system that haven’t been observed elsewhere (compare e.g. [4]).

This gives rise to many research questions:

  • What are pros and cons of free school choice?

  • Are there features special to the Danish education system that lead to novel school choice mechanisms?

  • What lessons learnt elsewhere are useful to reform the Danish admission system?


Postdoc Jens Gudmundsson

Section for Production, Markets and Policy (IFRO)

Rolighedsvej 23, 1958 Frederiksberg C, Denmark

+45 35326197 //


[1] Sönmez and Yenmez ”Affirmative Action in India via Vertical, Horizontal, and Overlapping Reservations” (Econometrica 2022)

[2] Avery and Pathak ”The Distributional Consequences of Public School Choice” (AER 2021)

[3] Abdulkadiroglu, Pathak, and Walters ”Free to Choose: Can School Choice Reduce Student Achievement?” (AEJ:AE 2018)

[4] Nielsen and Andersen “Ethnic school segregation in Copenhagen: A step in the right direction?” (Urban Studies 2019)

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