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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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  • Adnett, Nick & Bougheas, Spiros & Davies, Peter, 2002. "Market-based reforms of public schooling: some unpleasant dynamics," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 323-330, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:21:y:2002:i:4:p:323-330

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    References listed on IDEAS

    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.
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    9. 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.
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    14. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Foreman-Peck, James & Foreman-Peck, Lorraine, 2006. "Should schools be smaller? The size-performance relationship for Welsh schools," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 157-171, April.
    2. Kertesi, Gábor & Kézdi, Gábor, 2005. "Általános iskolai szegregáció, II. rész. Az általános iskolai szegregálódás folyamata Magyarországon és az iskolai teljesítménykülönbségek
      [Primary-school segregation II. The process of primary-sch
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(5), pages 462-479.
    3. Walsh, Patrick, 2009. "Effects of school choice on the margin: The cream is already skimmed," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 227-236, April.
    4. BenDavid-Hadar, Iris, 2016. "School finance policy and social justice," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 166-174.
    5. Takashi Oshio & Shinpei Sano & Yuko Ueno & Kouichiro Mino, 2010. "Evaluations by parents of education reforms: evidence from a parent survey in Japan," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(2), pages 229-246.
    6. Wise, Ramsey, 2015. "Does market-oriented education systems improve performance or increase inequality: A configurational comparative method for understanding (un)intended educational outcomes," TranState Working Papers 189, University of Bremen, Collaborative Research Center 597: Transformations of the State.
    7. Barry Reilly & Ray Bachan, 2005. "A comparison of A-level performance in economics and business studies: How much more difficult is economics?," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(1), pages 85-108.
    8. Harrison, Julie & Rouse, Paul, 2014. "Competition and public high school performance," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 10-19.
    9. BenDavid-Hadar, Iris & Ziderman, Adrian, 2010. "A New Model for Equitable and Efficient Resource Allocation to Schools: The Israeli Case," IZA Discussion Papers 4822, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Nick Adnett & Peter Davies, 2005. "Competition between or within schools? Re-assessing school choice," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(1), pages 109-121.

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    JEL classification:

    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy


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