Do Vouchers Lead to Sorting under Random Private School Selection? Evidence from the Milwaukee Voucher Program
AbstractThis paper analyzes the impact of voucher design on student sorting, and more specifically investigates whether there are feasible ways of designing vouchers that can reduce or eliminate student sorting. It studies these questions in the context of the first five years of the Milwaukee voucher program. Much of the existing literature investigates the question of sorting where private schools can screen students. However, the publicly funded U.S. voucher programs require private schools to accept all students unless oversubscribed and to pick students randomly if oversubscribed. This paper focuses on two crucial features of the Milwaukee voucher program - random private school selection and the absence of topping up of vouchers. In the context of a theoretical model, it argues that random private school selection alone cannot prevent student sorting. However, random private school selection coupled with the absence of topping up can preclude sorting by income, although there is still sorting by ability. Sorting by ability is not caused here by private school selection, but rather by parental self selection. Using a logit model and student level data from the Milwaukee voucher program for 1990-94, it then establishes that random selection has indeed taken place so that it provides an appropriate setting to test the corresponding theoretical predictions in the data. Next, using several alternative logit specifications, it demonstrates that these predictions are validated empirically. These findings have important policy implications.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by EconWPA in its series Public Economics with number 0512004.
Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: 02 Dec 2005
Date of revision:
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 35
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Vouchers; Sorting; Cream Skimming; Private Schools;
Other versions of this item:
- Rajashri Chakrabarti, 2009. "Do vouchers lead to sorting under random private-school selection? Evidence from the Milwaukee voucher program," Staff Reports 379, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
- H0 - Public Economics - - General
- I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
- I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2005-12-14 (All new papers)
- NEP-EDU-2005-12-14 (Education)
- NEP-HRM-2005-12-14 (Human Capital & Human Resource Management)
- NEP-PBE-2005-12-14 (Public Economics)
- NEP-URE-2005-12-14 (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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221, Econometric Society.
- 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. 14(1), pages 349-394, July.
- Rajashri Chakrabarti, 2008. "Impact of voucher design on public school performance: evidence from Florida and Milwaukee voucher programs," Staff Reports 315, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
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