Independent Schools and Long-Run Educational Outcomes: Evidence from Sweden's Large Scale Voucher Reform
AbstractThis paper evaluates average educational performance effects of an expanding independent-school sector at the compulsory level by assessing a radical voucher reform that was implemented in Sweden in 1992. Starting from a situation where all public schools were essentially local monopolists, the degree of independent schools has developed very differently across municipalities over time as a result of this reform. We regress the change in educational performance outcomes on the increase in the share of independent-school students between Swedish municipalities. We find that an increase in the share of independent-school students improves average performance at the end of compulsory school as well as long-run educational outcomes. We show that these effects are very robust with respect to a number of potential issues, such as grade inflation and pre-reform trends. However, for most outcomes, we do not detect positive and statistically significant effects until approximately a decade after the reform. This is notable, but not surprising given that it took time for independent schools to become more than a marginal phenomenon in Sweden. We do not find positive effects on school expenditures. Hence, the educational performance effects are interpretable as positive effects on school productivity. We further find that the average effects primarily are due to external effects (e.g., school competition), and not that independent-school students gain significantly more than public-school students.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6683.
Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2012
Date of revision:
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Other versions of this item:
- Böhlmark, Anders & Lindahl, Mikael, 2012. "Independent Schools and Long-Run Educational Outcomes - Evidence from Sweden’s Large Scale Voucher Reform," Working Paper Series, Center for Labor Studies 2012:15, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
- Anders Böhlmark & Mikael Lindahl, 2012. "Independent Schools and Long-Run Educational Outcomes - Evidence from Sweden's Large Scale Voucher Reform," CESifo Working Paper Series 3866, CESifo Group Munich.
- Böhlmark, Anders & Lindahl, Mikael, 2012. "Independent schools and long-run educational outcomes – evidence from Sweden´s large scale voucher reform," Working Paper Series 2012:19, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-07-14 (All new papers)
- NEP-EDU-2012-07-14 (Education)
- NEP-EUR-2012-07-14 (Microeconomic European Issues)
- NEP-LAB-2012-07-14 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-URE-2012-07-14 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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- Rajashri Chakrabarti, 2007. "Can increasing private school participation and monetary loss in a voucher program affect public school performance? Evidence from Milwaukee," Staff Reports 300, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
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