The authors present results of a study which was conducted by the Institute for development of education (Higher school of economics) in 2009-2011 years. The study was concerned with the problem of inequality in education and its aim was to find out the causes of formation of a segment of schools with persistently low educational outcomes, to develop methods and tools to diagnose their problems and deficits and to design programs which could help such schools to turn to efficient mode. The study was based on statistical analysis of data on human and material resources, children achievements and contextual characteristics of 1500 schools in three Russian regions. It also included an in-depth study of a sample of 20 schools. The focus of this study was school educational strategies. Authors used a model of «effective schools» for analysis of school education policy and strategies. The study was carried out in collaboration with the Institute of Education, University of London.
Institutions affect investment decisions, including investments in human capital. Hence institutions are relevant for the allocation of talent. Good market-supporting institutions attract talent to productive value-creating activities, whereas poor ones raise the appeal of rent-seeking. We propose a theoretical model that predicts that more talented individuals are particularly sensitive in their career choices to the quality of institutions, and test these predictions on a sample of around 95 countries of the world. We find a strong positive association between the quality of institutions and graduation of college and university students in science, and an even stronger negative correlation with graduation in law. Our findings are robust to various specifications of empirical models, including smaller samples of former colonies and transition countries. The quality of human capital makes the distinction between educational choices under strong and weak institutions particularly sharp. We show that the allocation of talent is an important link between institutions and growth.