IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Religion, religiosity and private school choice: Implications for estimating the effectiveness of private schools

  • Cohen-Zada, Danny
  • Sander, William
Registered author(s):

    In this paper, we quantify the religious factor in private education in the United States by estimating a random utility model of school-choice in which households choose among public, private-nonsectarian, Catholic and Protestant schools. The model is estimated using a multinomial logit regression of attendance at different types of private schools using individual data from the General Social Survey. We find that both religion and religiosity have important effects on the demand for private schools. We also provide evidence that previous studies that do not take into account religiosity probably over-estimate the positive influence of private schools on measures of educational attainment. Evidence on the magnitude of this bias is presented.

    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:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Urban Economics.

    Volume (Year): 64 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 1 (July)
    Pages: 85-100

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:64:y:2008:i:1:p:85-100
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    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. Linda J. Waite & Evelyn L. Lehrer, 2003. "The Benefits from Marriage and Religion in the United States: A Comparative Analysis," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 29(2), pages 255-275.
    2. Epple, Dennis & Romano, Richard E., 1996. "Ends against the middle: Determining public service provision when there are private alternatives," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 297-325, November.
    3. 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.
    4. Figlio, David N. & Stone, Joe A., 2001. "Can Public Policy Affect Private School Cream Skimming?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 240-266, March.
    5. Jonathan Gruber, 2005. "Religious Market Structure, Religious Participation, and Outcomes: Is Religion Good for You?," NBER Working Papers 11377, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Chiswick, Barry R, 1986. "Labor Supply and Investment in Child Quality: A Study of Jewish and Non-Jewish Women," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(4), pages 700-703, November.
    7. Christopher Jepsen, 2003. "The Effectiveness of Catholic Primary Schooling," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(4).
    8. Mark Gradstein & Moshe Justman, 2002. "Education, Social Cohesion, and Economic Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1192-1204, September.
    9. Cohen-Zada, Danny, 2006. "Preserving religious identity through education: Economic analysis and evidence from the US," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 372-398, November.
    10. Lehrer, Evelyn L., 2004. "Religion as a Determinant of Economic and Demographic Behavior in the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 1390, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Cohen-Zada, Danny & Justman, Moshe, 2005. "The religious factor in private education," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 391-418, May.
    12. Edward P. Lazear, 1999. "Culture and Language," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S95-S126, December.
    13. Barry R. Chiswick, 1988. "Differences in Education and Earnings Across Racial and Ethnic Groups: Tastes, Discrimination, and Investments in Child Quality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(3), pages 571-597.
    14. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
    15. Richard B. Freeman, 1986. "Who Escapes? The Relation of Churchgoing and Other Background Factors to the Socioeconomic Performance of Black Male Youths from Inner-City Tracts," NBER Chapters, in: The Black Youth Employment Crisis, pages 353-376 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Gerhard Glomm & B. Ravikumar, 1998. "Opting out of publicly provided services: A majority voting result," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 187-199.
    17. Thomas Dee, 2005. "The Effects of Catholic Schooling on Civic Participation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 12(5), pages 605-625, September.
    18. Evelyn Lehrer, 2004. "Religiosity as a Determinant of Educational Attainment: The Case of Conservative Protestant Women in the United States," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 203-219, 06.
    19. Rangazas, Peter, 1995. " Vouchers and Voting: An Initial Estimate Based on the Median Voter Model," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 82(3-4), pages 261-79, March.
    20. Hausman, Jerry & McFadden, Daniel, 1984. "Specification Tests for the Multinomial Logit Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(5), pages 1219-40, September.
    21. William Sander, 2005. "Catholics and Catholic Schooling," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(3), pages 257-268.
    22. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2005. "Selection on Observed and Unobserved Variables: Assessing the Effectiveness of Catholic Schools," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 151-184, February.
    23. William Sander, 1996. "Catholic Grade Schools and Academic Achievement," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(3), pages 540-548.
    24. Gruber Jonathan H, 2005. "Religious Market Structure, Religious Participation, and Outcomes: Is Religion Good for You?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-32, September.
    25. Caroline Minter Hoxby, 1994. "Do Private Schools Provide Competition for Public Schools?," NBER Working Papers 4978, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    26. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2005. "An Evaluation of Instrumental Variable Strategies for Estimating the Effects of Catholic Schooling," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(4), pages 791-821.
    27. Sander, William & Krautmann, Anthony C, 1995. "Catholic Schools, Dropout Rates and Educational Attainment," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 33(2), pages 217-33, April.
    28. William N. Evans & Robert M. Schwab, 1995. "Finishing High School and Starting College: Do Catholic Schools Make a Difference?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(4), pages 941-974.
    29. Cohen-Zada, Danny & Justman, Moshe, 2003. "The political economy of school choice: linking theory and evidence," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 277-308, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:64:y:2008:i:1:p:85-100. 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: (Zhang, Lei)

    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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.