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The Effect of Private School Competition on Public School Performance in Georgia


  • Christopher R. Geller

    (Deakin University)

  • David L. Sjoquist
  • Mary Beth Walker

    (Georgia State University)


This article presents estimates of the effect of private school competition on public school performance. Using data on school districts in Georgia, the authors estimate models relating tenth- and third-grade test scores for either reading or mathematics to the level of private school competition. Test scores are not measurably or significantly higher in areas with greater private school competition, a result robust through multiple estimations using three measures of private school competition and a variety of control variables. The authors address the possible endogeneity between test scores and private school competition using instrumental variables estimators, with percentage of the population that is Catholic, county population in 1980, lagged competition, and various other measures as alternative instruments.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher R. Geller & David L. Sjoquist & Mary Beth Walker, 2006. "The Effect of Private School Competition on Public School Performance in Georgia," Public Finance Review, , vol. 34(1), pages 4-32, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:pubfin:v:34:y:2006:i:1:p:4-32

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    Cited by:

    1. Thapa, Amrit, 2013. "Does private school competition improve public school performance? The case of Nepal," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 358-366.
    2. Danny Cohen Zada, 2007. "An Alternative Instrument for Private School Competition," Working Papers 0705, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics.
    3. David Card & Martin D. Dooley & A. Abigail Payne, 2010. "School Competition and Efficiency with Publicly Funded Catholic Schools," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 150-176, October.
    4. Cohen-Zada, D., 2009. "An alternative instrument for private school competition," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 29-37, February.
    5. Misra, Kaustav & Grimes, Paul W. & Rogers, Kevin E., 2012. "Does competition improve public school efficiency? A spatial analysis," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 1177-1190.
    6. Booker, Kevin & Gilpatric, Scott M. & Gronberg, Timothy & Jansen, Dennis, 2008. "The effect of charter schools on traditional public school students in Texas: Are children who stay behind left behind?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 123-145, July.
    7. Richard J. Cebula & Joshua C. Hall & Maria Y. Tackett, 2017. "Non-public competition and public school performance: evidence from West Virginia," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(12), pages 1185-1193, March.
    8. Oliver Himmler, 2009. "The Effects of School Competition on Academic Achievement and Grading Standards," CESifo Working Paper Series 2676, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Jepsen, Christopher, 2002. "The role of aggregation in estimating the effects of private school competition on student achievement," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 477-500, November.
    10. Garcia-Diaz, Rocio & del Castillo, Ernesto & Cabral, René, 2016. "School competition and efficiency in elementary schools in Mexico," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 23-34.
    11. Filer, Randall K. & Münich, Daniel, 2013. "Responses of private and public schools to voucher funding," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 269-285.
    12. Herrera Gómez, Marcos, 2006. "Efecto de la Competencia de la Educación Privada sobre la Calidad de la Educación Pública
      [Effect of Private Education Competition on the Quality of Public Education]
      ," MPRA Paper 30772, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Will Dobbie & Roland G. Fryer, Jr, 2011. "Getting Beneath the Veil of Effective Schools: Evidence from New York City," NBER Working Papers 17632, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.


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