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School choice in Chile: Is it class or the classroom?

  • Mark Schneider

    (Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York)

  • Gregory Elacqua

    (Universidad Adolfo Iba�ez in Santiago, Chile)

  • Jack Buckley

    (Columbia University)

Skeptics of school choice are concerned that parents, especially low-income ones, will not choose schools based on sound academic reasoning. Many fear that, given choice, parents will sort themselves into different schools along class lines. How-ever, most surveys find that parents of all socioeconomic groups cite academic aspects as important when choosing a school. Moreover, almost no parents refer to the social composition of the student body. Many advocates of choice hold up these results as proof that choice will produce desirable outcomes. However, these results may not be reliable because they may simply be verbal responses to survey items rather than indicators of actual behavior. In this research, we report on the search behavior of parents in the Metropolitan Region of Santiago, Chile, examining how they construct their school choice sets and comparing this to what they say they are seeking in choosing schools. The data indicate that parental decisions are influenced by demographics. Based on this evidence, we argue that unfettered choice may reduce the pressure on schools to improve their performance and could potentially increase stratification. © 2006 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/pam.20192
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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.

Volume (Year): 25 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 577-601

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Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:25:y:2006:i:3:p:577-601
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  1. Jacob M. Markman & Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin, 2003. "Does peer ability affect student achievement?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(5), pages 527-544.
  2. Gregory R. Weiher & Kent L. Tedin, 2002. "Does choice lead to racially distinctive schools? Charter schools and household preferences," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(1), pages 79-92.
  3. Micahael Tomz & Jason Wittenberg & Gary King, . "Clarify: Software for Interpreting and Presenting Statistical Results," Journal of Statistical Software, American Statistical Association, vol. 8(i01).
  4. Dennis Epple & David Figlio & Richard Romano, 2000. "Competition Between Private and Public Schools: Testing Stratification and Pricing Predictions," NBER Working Papers 7956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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