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Manipulable Variables of Policy Importance: The Case of Education

  • Melvin Borland
  • Roy Howsen

Within the past several years, there has emerged a growing body of empirical evidence that suggests greater market competition among schools has resulted in higher student academic achievement. Such a conclusion, however, may be viewed by some to be uncertain given the potential bias and inconsistency in the estimated coefficient on market competition that would result from a failure to recognize the endogeneity of market competition in the estimation of student achievement. This study corrects for the potential bias and inconsistency in the estimated coefficient on market competition by constructing a system of equations within which student achievement and market competition are explicitly endogenous.The results, first, suggest that researchers should indeed recognize the simultaneous relationship between student achievement and the degree of market competition in educational studies of student achievement and, second, confirm previous suggestions that policy-makers who seek to improve student academic achievement should construct policies that encourage market competition among schools.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Education Economics.

Volume (Year): 8 (2000)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 241-248

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Handle: RePEc:taf:edecon:v:8:y:2000:i:3:p:241-248
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  1. Neal, Derek, 1997. "The Effects of Catholic Secondary Schooling on Educational Achievement," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 98-123, January.
  2. Borland, Melvin V. & Howsen, Roy M., 1993. "On the determination of the critical level of market concentration in education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 165-169, June.
  3. Blair, John P. & Staley, Sam, 1995. "Quality competition and public schools: Further evidence," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 193-198, June.
  4. Dee, Thomas S., 1998. "Competition and the quality of public schools," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 419-427, October.
  5. Borland, Melvin V. & Howsen, Roy M, 1992. "Student academic achievement and the degree of market concentration in education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 31-39, March.
  6. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2000. "Does Competition among Public Schools Benefit Students and Taxpayers?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1209-1238, December.
  7. Hanushek, Eric A, 1986. "The Economics of Schooling: Production and Efficiency in Public Schools," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 1141-77, September.
  8. Couch, Jim F & Shughart, William F, II & Williams, Al L, 1993. " Private School Enrollment and Public School Performance," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 76(4), pages 301-12, August.
  9. Hanushek, E.A.omson, W., 1996. "Assessing the Effects of School Resources on Student Performance : An Update," RCER Working Papers 424, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
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