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School Vouchers and Student Achievement: Recent Evidence and Remaining Questions

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  • Cecilia Elena Rouse
  • Lisa Barrow

    ()
    (Department of Economics and Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University; Education Research Section, Firestone Library, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey 08544
    Economic Research, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60604)

Abstract

In this article, we review the empirical evidence on the impact of education vouchers on student achievement and briefly discuss the evidence from other forms of school choice. The best research to date finds relatively small achievement gains for students offered education vouchers, most of which are not statistically different from zero. Furthermore, what little evidence exists regarding the potential for public schools to respond to increased competitive pressure generated by vouchers suggests that one should remain wary that large improvements would result from a more comprehensive voucher system. The evidence from other forms of school choice is also consistent with this conclusion. Many questions remain unanswered, however, including whether vouchers have longer-run impacts on outcomes such as graduation rates, college enrollment, or even future wages, and whether vouchers might nevertheless provide a costneutral alternative to our current system of public education provision at the elementary and secondary school level.

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File URL: http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.economics.050708.143354
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Annual Reviews in its journal Annual Review of Economics.

Volume (Year): 1 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (05)
Pages: 17-42

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Handle: RePEc:anr:reveco:v:1:y:2009:p:17-42

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Related research

Keywords: school competition; school efficiency; school choice; academic achievement;

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Cited by:
  1. Amy Ellen Schwartz & Ioan Voicu & Keren Mertens Horn, 2014. "Do Choice Schools Break the Link Between Public Schools and Property Values? Evidence from House Prices in New York City," Working Papers 2014_03, University of Massachusetts Boston, Economics Department.
  2. Pallas, Aaron M., 2010. "Meeting the basic educational needs of children and youth," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(9), pages 1199-1210, September.
  3. Oliver Falck & Ludger Woessmann, 2010. "School Competition and Students' Entrepreneurial Intentions: International Evidence Using Historical Catholic Roots of Private Schooling," CESifo Working Paper Series 3086, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Michela Tincani, 2014. "School Vouchers and the Joint Sorting of Students and Teachers," Working Papers 2014-012, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
  5. Felipe Barrera-Osorio & Darío Maldonado & Catherine Rodríguez, 2012. "Calidad de la Educación Básica y Media en Colombia: Diagnóstico y Propuestas," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 010321, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  6. MacLeod, W. Bentley & Urquiola, Miguel, 2012. "Competition and Educational Productivity: Incentives Writ Large," IZA Discussion Papers 7063, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Cordero, José Manuel & Prior, Diego & Simancas Rodríguez, Rosa, 2013. "A comparison of public and private schools in Spain using robust nonparametric frontier methods," MPRA Paper 51375, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. repec:mab:wpaper:23 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Elbert Dijkgraaf & Raymond H.J.M. Gradus & Matthijs de Jong, 2009. "Competition and Educational Quality: Evidence from The Netherlands," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 09-100/3, Tinbergen Institute.

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