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Non-public competition and public school performance: evidence from West Virginia

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  • Richard J. Cebula
  • Joshua C. Hall
  • Maria Y. Tackett

Abstract

In this study, we investigate whether non-public school enrolment affects the performance of public school districts. If homeschooling and private schools act as competition, public school districts test scores should be positively associated with non-public enrolment. Using data on West Virginia county school districts, and controlling for endogeneity with an instrumental variables approach, we find that a one standard deviation increase in relative non-public enrolment in a county is associated with statistically significant improvements in public school district test scores. Our findings thus confirm that non-public enrolment and the competition it provides act to improve, rather than impede, public school performance.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:49:y:2017:i:12:p:1185-1193
    DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2016.1213364
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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