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Market-based reforms of public schooling: some unpleasant dynamics

  • Adnett, Nick
  • Bougheas, Spiros
  • Davies, Peter

Reforms in m any countries have attempted to increase the degree of competition in schooling markets. The partial implementation of market solutions has not always produced the uniform, system-wide rise in educational standards anticipated by economists advocating reform. In this paper we analyse schooling market outcomes utilizig a simple model of the type of local market created in England and Wales. Regulatory authorities and researchers have noted that within local English and Welsh schooling markets, reform has been associated with an increase in the diversity of school performance, with pre-existing school hierarchies being reinforced, ra ther than challenged. We show that both promotion of an indicator of school performance based upon unadjusted pupil attainment and the presence of peer group effects can generate these market outcomes.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics of Education Review.

Volume (Year): 21 (2002)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Pages: 323-330

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:21:y:2002:i:4:p:323-330
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev

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  1. Laura M. Argys & Daniel I. Rees & Dominic J. Brewer, 1996. "Detracking America's schools: Equity at zero cost?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(4), pages 623-645.
  2. Evans, William N & Oates, Wallace E & Schwab, Robert M, 1992. "Measuring Peer Group Effects: A Study of Teenage Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 966-91, October.
  3. Summers, Anita A & Wolfe, Barbara L, 1977. "Do Schools Make a Difference?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(4), pages 639-52, September.
  4. Vickers, John, 1995. "Concepts of Competition," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(1), pages 1-23, January.
  5. Epple, Dennis & Romano, Richard E, 1998. "Competition between Private and Public Schools, Vouchers, and Peer-Group Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 33-62, March.
  6. Feinstein, Leon & Symons, James, 1999. "Attainment in Secondary School," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(2), pages 300-321, April.
  7. Donald Robertson & James Symons, 2003. "Do Peer Groups Matter? Peer Group versus Schooling Effects on Academic Attainment," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 70(277), pages 31-53, February.
  8. Richard Arnott & John Rowse, 1982. "Peer Group Effects and Educational Attainment," Working Papers 497, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  9. Anne West & Hazel Pennell, 1997. "Educational Reform and School Choice in England and Wales," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(3), pages 285-305.
  10. Zanzig, Blair R., 1997. "Measuring the impact of competition in local government education markets on the cognitive achievement of students," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 431-441, October.
  11. Marlow, Michael L., 1999. "Spending, school structure, and public education quality. Evidence from California," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 89-106, February.
  12. Somanathan, Rohini, 1998. "School heterogeneity, human capital accumulation, and standards," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 369-397, March.
  13. Caroline Minter Hoxby, 1996. "Are Efficiency and Equity in School Finance Substitutes or Complements?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 51-72, Fall.
  14. Douglas. Lamdin & Micheal Mintrom, 1997. "School Choice in Theroy and Practise: Taking Stock and Looking Ahead," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(3), pages 211-244.
  15. de Bartolome, Charles A M, 1990. "Equilibrium and Inefficiency in a Community Model with Peer Group Effects," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(1), pages 110-33, February.
  16. Levin, Henry M., 1991. "The economics of educational choice," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 137-158, June.
  17. Costrell, Robert M, 1994. "A Simple Model of Educational Standards," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 956-71, September.
  18. Brueckner, Jan K. & Lee, Kangoh, 1989. "Club theory with a peer-group effect," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 399-420, August.
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