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Why do education vouchers fail at the ballot box?

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

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 house- holds 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 depends critically on the opting-out feature in the current system.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 2011-032.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2011-032

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Keywords: Education ; Households;

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References

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  1. Edwin G. West & Zhiqi Chen, 2000. "Selective versus Universal Vouchers: Modelling Median Voter Preferences in Education," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1520-1534, December.
  2. Epple, Dennis & Romano, Richard E., 1996. "Ends against the middle: Determining public service provision when there are private alternatives," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 297-325, November.
  3. 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).
  4. Raquel Fernandez & Richard Rogerson, 2003. "Equity and Resources: An Analysis of Education Finance Systems," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(4), pages 858-897, August.
  5. Peter Bearse & Buly A. Cardak & Gerhard Glomm & B. Ravikumar, 2011. "Why do education vouchers fail at the ballot box?," Working Papers 2011-032, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  6. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
  7. Dennis Epple & Richard Romano, 2008. "Educational Vouchers And Cream Skimming," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(4), pages 1395-1435, November.
  8. Bearse, P. & Glomm, G. & Ravikumar, B., 1999. "On the Political Economy of Means-Tested Education Vouchers," Papers 9904, Michigan State - Econometrics and Economic Theory.
  9. Cohen-Zada, Danny & Justman, Moshe, 2005. "The religious factor in private education," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 391-418, May.
  10. Daniel Cooper, 2009. "Impending U.S. spending bust?: the role of housing wealth as borrowing collateral," Public Policy Discussion Paper 09-9, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  11. Wolfram Merzyn & Heinrich Ursprung, 2003. "Voter support for privatizing education : evidence on self-interest and ideology," Working Papers of the Research Group Heterogenous Labor 03-05, Research Group Heterogeneous Labor, University of Konstanz/ZEW Mannheim.
  12. Maria Marta Ferreyra, 2007. "Estimating the Effects of Private School Vouchers in Multidistrict Economies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 789-817, June.
  13. James, Estelle, 1987. "The public/private division of responsibility for education: An international comparison," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 1-14, February.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Rangazas, Peter, 1995. " Vouchers and Voting: An Initial Estimate Based on the Median Voter Model," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 82(3-4), pages 261-79, March.
  17. 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.
  18. Thomas J. Nechyba, 2000. "Mobility, Targeting, and Private-School Vouchers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 130-146, March.
  19. Hoyt, William H. & Lee, Kangoh, 1998. "Educational vouchers, welfare effects, and voting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 211-228, June.
  20. Gerhard Glomm & B. Ravikumar, 1998. "Opting out of publicly provided services: A majority voting result," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 187-199.
  21. Epple, Dennis & Romano, Richard E, 1996. "Public Provision of Private Goods," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(1), pages 57-84, February.
  22. Carnoy, Martin, 1997. "Is Privatization through Education Vouchers Really the Answer? A Comment," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 12(1), pages 105-16, February.
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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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