Does School Privatization Improve Educational Achievement? Evidence from Sweden's Voucher Reform
AbstractThis paper evaluates general achievement effects of choice and competition between private and public schools at the nine-year school level by assessing a radical voucher reform that was implemented in Sweden in 1992. Starting from a situation where the public schools essentially were monopolists on all local school markets, the degree of privatization has developed very differently across municipalities over time as a result of this reform. We estimate the impact of an increase in private enrolment on short, medium and long-term educational outcomes of all pupils using within-municipality variation over time, and control for differential pre-reform and concurrent municipality trends. We find that an increase in the private school share moderately improves short-term educational outcomes such as 9th-grade GPA and the fraction of students who choose an academic high school track. However, we do not find any impact on medium or long-term educational outcomes such as high school GPA, university attainment or years of schooling. We conclude that the first-order short-term effect is too small to yield lasting positive effects.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3691.
Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2008
Date of revision:
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance
- I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
- H40 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-09-29 (All new papers)
- NEP-EDU-2008-09-29 (Education)
- NEP-EEC-2008-09-29 (European Economics)
- NEP-HRM-2008-09-29 (Human Capital & Human Resource Management)
- NEP-LAB-2008-09-29 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-URE-2008-09-29 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
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