Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Vouchers, Public School Response and the Role of Incentives: Evidence from Florida

Contents:

Author Info

  • Rajashri Chakrabarti

    (Harvard University)

Abstract

In this paper, I analyze the behavior of public schools facing vouchers. The literature on the effect of voucher programs on public schools typically focuses on student and mean school scores. This paper tries to go inside the black box to investigate some of the ways in which schools facing the threat of vouchers in Florida behaved. Florida schools getting an 'F' grade are exposed to the threat of vouchers, while vouchers are implemented if they get another 'F' grade in the next three years. Exploiting the institutional details of the 1999 program, I analyze the incentives built into the system and investigate whether the threatened public schools behaved strategically to respond to incentives. There is strong evidence that they did respond to incentives. Using highly disaggregated school level data, a difference- in-differences estimation strategy as well as a regression discontinuity analysis, I find that the threatened schools tended to focus more on students below the minimum criteria cutoffs rather than equally on all, but interestingly, this improvement did not come at the expense of higher performing students. Second, consistent with incentives, they focused mostly on writing rather than reading and math. Finally, consistent with substantial costs associated with such reclassification during that period, there is not much evidence of relative reclassification of low performing students in to special education categories exempt from the calculation of grades. These results are robust to controlling for differential pre-program trends, changes in demographic compositions, mean reversion and sorting. These findings have important policy implications and subsequent grading rule changes in Florida suggest that these policy changes have been a response to public school behavior.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/pe/papers/0512/0512002.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Public Economics with number 0512002.

as in new window
Length: 56 pages
Date of creation: 02 Dec 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:0512002

Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 56
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://128.118.178.162

Related research

Keywords: Vouchers; Incentives; Strategic Behavior; Regression Discontinuity; Mean Reversion;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
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.:
as in new window
  1. Nechyba, Thomas J., 2002. "Introducing School Choice into Multi-District Public School Systems," Working Papers 02-13, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  2. Chakrabarti Rajashri, 2013. "Impact of Voucher Design on Public School Performance: Evidence from Florida and Milwaukee Voucher Programs," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 13(1), pages 349-394, July.
  3. David N. Figlio & Maurice E. Lucas, 2004. "What's in a Grade? School Report Cards and the Housing Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 591-604, June.
  4. McMillan, Robert, 2004. "Competition, incentives, and public school productivity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1871-1892, August.
  5. West, Martin R. & Peterson, Paul E., 2005. "The Efficacy of Choice Threats within School Accountability Systems: Results from Legislatively Induced Experiments," Working Paper Series rwp05-033, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  6. Brian A. Jacob & Steven D. Levitt, 2003. "Rotten Apples: An Investigation Of The Prevalence And Predictors Of Teacher Cheating," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(3), pages 843-877, August.
  7. Chakrabarti, Rajashri, 2008. "Can increasing private school participation and monetary loss in a voucher program affect public school performance? Evidence from Milwaukee," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1371-1393, June.
  8. Kenneth Chay & Patrick J. McEwan & Miguel Urquiola, 2003. "The Central Role of Noise in Evaluating Interventions that Use Test Scores to Rank Schools," Discussion Papers 0304-10, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  9. Randall Reback & Julie Berry Cullen, 2006. "Tinkering toward accolades: School gaming under a performance accountability system," Working Papers 0601, Barnard College, Department of Economics.
  10. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
  11. David N. Figlio, 2005. "Testing, Crime and Punishment," NBER Working Papers 11194, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2002. "School Choice and School Productivity (or Could School Choice be a Tide that Lifts All Boats?)," NBER Working Papers 8873, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Martin R. West & Paul E. Peterson, 2006. "The Efficacy of Choice Threats Within School Accountability Systems: Results from Legislatively Induced Experiments," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(510), pages C46-C62, 03.
  14. Figlio, David N. & Rouse, Cecilia Elena, 2006. "Do accountability and voucher threats improve low-performing schools?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1-2), pages 239-255, January.
  15. Julie Berry Cullen, 1999. "The Impact of Fiscal Incentives on Student Disability Rates," NBER Working Papers 7173, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Caroline Minter Hoxby, 2003. "School Choice and School Productivity. Could School Choice Be a Tide that Lifts All Boats?," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of School Choice, pages 287-342 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. David N. Figlio & Joshua Winicki, 2002. "Food for Thought: The Effects of School Accountability Plans on School Nutrition," NBER Working Papers 9319, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. David N. Figlio & Lawrence S. Getzler, 2002. "Accountability , Ability and Disability: Gaming the System," NBER Working Papers 9307, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Jacob, Brian A., 2005. "Accountability, incentives and behavior: the impact of high-stakes testing in the Chicago Public Schools," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 761-796, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Jonah Rockoff & Lesley J. Turner, 2010. "Short-Run Impacts of Accountability on School Quality," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 119-47, November.
  2. Filer, Randall K. & M√ľnich, Daniel, 2013. "Responses of private and public schools to voucher funding," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 269-285.
  3. Rajashri Chakrabarti, 2010. "Program design, incentives, and response: evidence from educational interventions," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Oct, pages 1-22.
  4. Steven G. Craig & Scott Imberman & Adam Perdue, 2009. "Does It Pay To Get An A? School Resource Allocations In Response To Accountability Ratings," Working Papers 2009-04, Department of Economics, University of Houston.
  5. Rajashri Chakrabarti & Noah Schwartz, 2013. "Unintended consequences of school accountability policies: evidence from Florida and implications for New York," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue May, pages 19-44.
  6. Cecilia E. Rouse & Jane Hannaway & Dan Goldhaber & David Figlio, 2007. "Feeling the Florida Heat? How Low-Performing Schools Respond to Voucher and Accountability Pressure," Working Papers 1033, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  7. Randall Reback & Jonah Rockoff & Heather L. Schwartz, 2011. "Under Pressure: Job Security, Resource Allocation, and Productivity in Schools Under NCLB," NBER Working Papers 16745, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Rajashri Chakrabarti, 2011. "Vouchers, responses, and the test-taking population: regression discontinuity evidence from Florida," Staff Reports 486, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  9. Nathan L. Gray, 2012. "School Choice and Achievement: The Ohio Charter School Experience," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 32(3), pages 558-579, Fall.
  10. Marianne P. Bitler & Thurston Domina & Emily K. Penner & Hilary W. Hoynes, 2013. "Distributional Effects of a School Voucher Program: Evidence from New York City," NBER Working Papers 19271, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Rebecca Allen & Simon Burgess & Leigh McKenna, 2010. "How should we treat under-performing schools? A regression discontinuity analysis of school inspections in England," DoQSS Working Papers 10-20, Department of Quantitative Social Science - Institute of Education, University of London.
  12. Rebecca Allen & Simon Burgess, . "How should we treat under-performing schools? A regression discontinuity analysis of school inspections in England Abstract: School inspections are an important part of the accountability framework fo," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 12/287, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  13. Chiang, Hanley, 2009. "How accountability pressure on failing schools affects student achievement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(9-10), pages 1045-1057, October.
  14. Chakrabarti, Rajashri, 2014. "Incentives and responses under No Child Left Behind: Credible threats and the role of competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 124-146.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:0512002. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (EconWPA).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.