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Why do education vouchers fail at the ballot box?

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  • Bearse, Peter
  • Cardak, Buly A.
  • Glomm, Gerhard
  • Ravikumar, B.

Abstract

We compare a uniform voucher regime against the status quo mix of public and private education, focusing on the distribution of welfare gains and losses across households by income. We argue that the topping-up option available under uniform vouchers is not sufficiently valuable for the poorer households, so the voucher regime is defeated at the polls. Our result is robust to partial voter turnout and efficiency differences between public and private schools, but depends critically on the opting-out feature in the current system.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 32 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 26-37

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Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:32:y:2013:i:c:p:26-37

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505544

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Keywords: Education vouchers; Majority voting; Calibration; Welfare gains; Partial voter turnout;

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References

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  1. Wolfram Merzyn & Heinrich Ursprung, 2003. "Voter Support for Privatizing Education: Evidence on Self-Interest and Ideology," CESifo Working Paper Series 999, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Rainald Borck & Katharina Wrohlich, 2008. "Preferences for Childcare Policies: Theory and Evidence," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 140, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
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  4. Edwin G. West & Zhiqi Chen, 2000. "Selective versus Universal Vouchers: Modelling Median Voter Preferences in Education," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1520-1534, December.
  5. Dennis Epple & Richard Romano, 2002. "Educational Vouchers and Cream Skimming," NBER Working Papers 9354, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  7. Thomas J. Nechyba, 2000. "Mobility, Targeting, and Private-School Vouchers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 130-146, March.
  8. Carnoy, Martin, 1997. "Is Privatization through Education Vouchers Really the Answer? A Comment," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, World Bank Group, vol. 12(1), pages 105-16, February.
  9. Hoyt, William H. & Lee, Kangoh, 1998. "Educational vouchers, welfare effects, and voting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 211-228, June.
  10. Cohen-Zada, Danny & Justman, Moshe, 2005. "The religious factor in private education," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 391-418, May.
  11. Bearse, Peter & Glomm, Gerhard & Ravikumar, B., 2000. "On the political economy of means-tested education vouchers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 44(4-6), pages 904-915, May.
  12. Cohen-Zada, Danny & Justman, Moshe, 2003. "The political economy of school choice: linking theory and evidence," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 277-308, September.
  13. Daniel Cooper, 2009. "Impending U.S. spending bust?: the role of housing wealth as borrowing collateral," Public Policy Discussion Paper, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston 09-9, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  14. Nechyba, Thomas J, 1999. " School Finance Induced Migration and Stratification Patterns: The Impact of Private School Vouchers," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 1(1), pages 5-50.
  15. Rangazas, Peter, 1995. " Vouchers and Voting: An Initial Estimate Based on the Median Voter Model," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 82(3-4), pages 261-79, March.
  16. Gerhard Glomm & B. Ravikumar, 1998. "Opting out of publicly provided services: A majority voting result," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 187-199.
  17. Peter Bearse & Buly A. Cardak & Gerhard Glomm & B. Ravikumar, 2011. "Why do education vouchers fail at the ballot box?," Working Papers, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis 2011-032, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  18. Epple, Dennis & Romano, Richard E, 1996. "Public Provision of Private Goods," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(1), pages 57-84, February.
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  20. Brunner, Eric & Sonstelie, Jon, 2003. "Homeowners, property values, and the political economy of the school voucher," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 239-257, September.
  21. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
  22. Maria Marta Ferreyra, 2007. "Estimating the Effects of Private School Vouchers in Multidistrict Economies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 789-817, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Bearse, Peter & Cardak, Buly/A & Glomm, Gerhard & Ravikumar, B, 2009. "Why do education vouchers fail at the ballot box?," MPRA Paper 34131, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Sep 2011.
  2. Neil Buckley & Katherine Cuff & Jeremiah Hurley & Stuart Mestelman & Stephanie Thomas & David Cameron, 2014. "Should I Stay or Should I Go? Public Provision of a Private Good with an Exit Option," Department of Economics Working Papers 2014-01, McMaster University.

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