In an attempt to stop the rampant suburbanization, which countries experienced after World War II, a 'new town' policy was enrolled. As a major objective, and related to its origins, new towns were effective in attracting low and medium income households. Nowadays, cities and municipalities experience an increased accountability in which incentives are provided by 'naming and shaming'. This paper focuses on an issue where both historical and local policy come together: early school leaving. Using an iterative matching analysis, it suggests how to account for differences in population and regional characteristics.
In other words, how to compare and interpret early school leaving in new towns in a more `fair' way. The results point out that (statistically) mitigating historical differences is necessary, even though this does not necessarily means that 'naming' is replaced by 'shaming'.