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Explaining Ethnic, Racial, and Immigrant Differences in Private School Attendance


  • Betts, Julian
  • Fairlie, Robert


Using 1990 Census microdata, we explore ethnic, racial and immigrant differences in private school attendance. We find high rates of private school attendance among white natives, white immigrants, and Asian natives. In contrast, we find low private school rates among black and Hispanic natives and immigrants, Asian immigrants, and other natives. Variations in income per capita and especially parental education account for over 70% of the gap in private school attendance rates between white natives and all other groups. We discuss ramifications for racial, language, and socioeconomic segregation in America's schools, and possible effects of school vouchers on segregation.

Suggested Citation

  • Betts, Julian & Fairlie, Robert, 2000. "Explaining Ethnic, Racial, and Immigrant Differences in Private School Attendance," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt9n44g161, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucsdec:qt9n44g161

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Gerdes, Christer, 2010. "Does Immigration Induce ‘Native Flight’ from Public Schools? Evidence from a large scale voucher program," SULCIS Working Papers 2010:1, Stockholm University, Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS.
    2. Leonid V. Azarnert, 2014. "Integrated public education, fertility and human capital," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(2), pages 166-180, April.
    3. Murray, Thomas J., 2016. "Public or private? The influence of immigration on native schooling choices in the United States," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 268-283.
    4. Constant, Amelie F. & Gataullina, Liliya & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2009. "Ethnosizing immigrants," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 274-287, March.
    5. Robert Fairlie, 2002. "Private schools and “Latino flight” from black schoolchildren," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 39(4), pages 655-674, November.
    6. Dylan Conger, 2015. "Foreign-born Peers and Academic Performance," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 52(2), pages 569-592, April.
    7. Tharmmapornphilas, Rubkwan, 2013. "Impact of household factors on youth's school decisions in Thailand," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 258-272.
    8. Danny Cohen-Zada & William Sander, 2006. "Private School Choice: The Effects Of Religion And Religiosity," Working Papers 0601, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics.
    9. Christer Gerdes, 2013. "Does immigration induce “native flight” from public schools?," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 50(2), pages 645-666, April.
    10. Neymotin, Florence, 2009. "Immigration and its effect on the college-going outcomes of natives," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 538-550, October.
    11. Horrace, William C. & Oaxaca, Ronald L., 2006. "Results on the bias and inconsistency of ordinary least squares for the linear probability model," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 90(3), pages 321-327, March.


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