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Who uses a means-tested scholarship, and what do they choose?


  • Figlio, David
  • Hart, Cassandra M.D.
  • Metzger, Molly


This paper provides detailed evidence regarding the nature of selection into a school voucher system. We use micro-data on scholarship applications matched with state student-level records on test scores, schools attended, and demographic background characteristics to describe the attributes of students who choose to participate in Florida's Corporate Tax Credit Scholarship Program, a means-tested scholarship program that is the largest of its type in the United States. We find evidence that those who choose to participate in the program tend to be lower-performing students from poorly performing schools, and that students of different backgrounds tend to choose different types of private schools. Students participating in the program tend to select schools that have more white students and fewer minority students, regardless of student race.

Suggested Citation

  • Figlio, David & Hart, Cassandra M.D. & Metzger, Molly, 2010. "Who uses a means-tested scholarship, and what do they choose?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 301-317, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:29:y:2010:i:2:p:301-317

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. William G. Howell, 2004. "Dynamic selection effects in means-tested, urban school voucher programs," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(2), pages 225-250.
    2. Sandstrom, F. Mikael & Bergstrom, Fredrik, 2005. "School vouchers in practice: competition will not hurt you," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2-3), pages 351-380, February.
    3. Andrea Tokman Ramos, 2002. "Is Private Education Better? Evidence from Chile," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 147, Central Bank of Chile.
    4. Joshua Angrist & Eric Bettinger & Michael Kremer, 2006. "Long-Term Educational Consequences of Secondary School Vouchers: Evidence from Administrative Records in Colombia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 847-862, June.
    5. Henry M. Levin, 1998. "Educational vouchers: Effectiveness, choice, and costs," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(3), pages 373-392.
    6. David E. Campbell & Martin R. West & Paul E. Peterson, 2005. "Participation in a national, means-tested school voucher program," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(3), pages 523-541.
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    Cited by:

    1. Figlio, D. & Karbownik, K. & Salvanes, K.G., 2016. "Education Research and Administrative Data," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    2. Chakrabarti, Rajashri, 2013. "Do vouchers lead to sorting under random private school selection? Evidence from the Milwaukee voucher program," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 191-218.


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