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School Choice and School Productivity (or Could School Choice be a Tide that Lifts All Boats?)

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  • Caroline M. Hoxby

Abstract

A school that is more productive is one that produces higher achievement in its pupils for each dollar it spends. In this paper, I comprehensively review how school choice might affect productivity. I begin by describing the importance of school productivity, then explain the economic logic that suggests that choice will affect productivity, and finish by presenting much of the available evidence on school choice and school productivity. The most intriguing evidence comes from three important, recent choice reforms: vouchers in Milwaukee, charter schools in Michigan, and charter schools in Arizona. I show that public school students' achievement rose significantly and rapidly in response to competition, under each of the three reforms. Public school spending was unaffected, so the productivity of public schools rose, dramatically in the case in Milwaukee.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8873.

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Date of creation: Apr 2002
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8873

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  1. Caroline Minter Hoxby, 1994. "Does Competition Among Public Schools Benefit Students and Taxpayers?," NBER Working Papers 4979, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Michel, Allen & Shaked, Israel, 1987. "Trucking Deregulation and Motor-Carrier Performance: The Shareholders' Perspective," The Financial Review, Eastern Finance Association, Eastern Finance Association, vol. 22(2), pages 295-311, May.
  3. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Would School Choice Change the Teaching Profession?," NBER Working Papers 7866, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Hoxby, Caroline M., 1999. "The productivity of schools and other local public goods producers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 1-30, October.
  5. Downes, Thomas A. & Schoeman, David, 1998. "School Finance Reform and Private School Enrollment: Evidence from California," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 418-443, May.
  6. Rose, Nancy L, 1987. "Labor Rent Sharing and Regulation: Evidence from the Trucking Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(6), pages 1146-78, December.
  7. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
  8. David M. Cutler & Louise Sheiner, 1997. "Managed Care and the Growth of Medical Expenditures," NBER Working Papers 6140, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Caroline Minter Hoxby, 1994. "Do Private Schools Provide Competition for Public Schools?," NBER Working Papers 4978, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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