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Voter support for privatizing education : evidence on self-interest and ideology

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  • Wolfram Merzyn

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Bonn)

  • Heinrich Ursprung

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz)

Abstract

Economic theory advances various arguments in favor of and against privatizing education. In this paper we investigate the extent to which these arguments influence voters’ opinions. We analyze two popular referenda in which some 400,000 voters in two Swiss cantons expressed their opinions on the issue of education vouchers and direct subsidies to private schools. We find that successful attempts to move towards a more privatized education system rest mainly on pure income effects, some other socio-economic determinants, ideological convictions, and possibly the perceived quality of the public schools. Peer-group and tax-burden effects, which play a prominent role in the theoretical literature, do not appear to significantly influence voting behavior.

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File URL: http://www.ub.uni-konstanz.de/kops/volltexte/2003/1037/pdf/03-05.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Research Group Heterogeneous Labor, University of Konstanz/ZEW Mannheim in its series Working Papers of the Research Group Heterogenous Labor with number 03-05.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: 30 Jun 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:knz:hetero:0305

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Postal: D-78457 Konstanz
Phone: +49 7531 88 2314
Fax: +49-7531-88-2145
Web page: http://www.uni-konstanz.de/forschergruppewiwi
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Keywords: political economy ; voter behavior ; privatization ; education policy ; vouchers;

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References

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  18. Jimenez, Emmanuel & Lockheed, Marlaine E & Paqueo, Vicente, 1991. "The Relative Efficiency of Private and Public Schools in Developing Countries," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 6(2), pages 205-18, July.
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  23. 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.
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