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Using Boundary Changes to Estimate the Impact of School Competition on Test Scores

  • Simon Burgess
  • Helen Slater

    ()

We study the impact of school choice on test score outcome. It has generally proved difficult to isolate exogenous differences in the degree of competition faced by schools. We run a difference-in-difference analysis, exploiting a local government reorganisation to provide identification. This reorganisation changed the boundaries of education markets. We analyse one cohort of children passing through secondary school before the change, and one afterwards, both for the treated (re-organised) area and for similar control areas. Our point estimates suggest that the fall in competition experienced reduced test scores, but the estimates are not statistically significant.

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File URL: http://www.bris.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO/workingpapers/wp158.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK in its series The Centre for Market and Public Organisation with number 06/158.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bri:cmpowp:06/158
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Web page: http://www.bris.ac.uk/cmpo/
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  1. Patrick Bayer & Robert McMillan, 2005. "Choice and Competition in Local Education Markets," NBER Working Papers 11802, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. Caroline Minter Hoxby, 2003. "School Choice and School Productivity. Could School Choice Be a Tide that Lifts All Boats?," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of School Choice, pages 287-342 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. S Bradley & R Crouchly & J Millington & J Taylor, . "Testing for Quasi-Market Forces in Secondary Education," Working Papers cr03/98, Department of Economics, University of Lancaster.
  5. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2002. "School Choice and School Productivity (or Could School Choice be a Tide that Lifts All Boats?)," NBER Working Papers 8873, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2005. "Competition Among Public Schools: A Reply to Rothstein (2004)," NBER Working Papers 11216, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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