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Cost of an Educational Voucher System

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  • Henry Levin
  • Cyrus Driver

Abstract

In this study, we suggest a framework for estimating the cost associated with a shift from the traditional method of financing and administering public schools in the US to an educational voucher system. The framework includes the accurate specification of the particular voucher plan, the system to be replaced, the setting where the plan will be applied, assumptions about the behaviour of schools and families under the plan, and the method for estimating costs. We then apply those parts of the framework that can be identified generically to compute illustrative 'ballpark' estimates in five cost areas: accommondating additional students, record keeping, student transportation, information to parents and dispute adjudication. Our estimates suggest that the public cost of a voucher plan in a representative US context could raise public educational costs by 25% or more. The costs of an overall governmental system of finance and structures that would support a voucher plan should no longer be ignored, as voucher plans are introduced and debated in the public policy arena.

Suggested Citation

  • Henry Levin & Cyrus Driver, 1997. "Cost of an Educational Voucher System," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(3), pages 265-283.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:edecon:v:5:y:1997:i:3:p:265-283
    DOI: 10.1080/09645299700000023
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Levin, Henry M. & Schwartz, Heather L., 2007. "Educational vouchers for universal pre-schools," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 3-16, February.
    2. Horowitz, John & Keil, Stanley & Spector, Lee, 2009. "Do Charter Schools Affect Property Values?," The Review of Regional Studies, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 39(3), pages 297-316.
    3. repec:eco:journ1:2017-03-76 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Gradstein, Mark & Justman, Moshe, 2005. "The melting pot and school choice," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 871-896, June.
    5. Cohen-Zada, Danny & Justman, Moshe, 2005. "The religious factor in private education," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 391-418, May.
    6. 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.
    7. Levin, Henry M., 2012. "Some economic guidelines for design of a charter school district," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 331-343.

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