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A Hierarchical Model for Studying Equity and Achievement in the Chilean School Choice System

  • Alejandra Mizala
  • Pilar Romaguera
  • Carolina Ostoic


The aim of this paper is to analyze, using a hierarchical linear model, the degree to which a system of choice, as the one implemented in Chile since the beginning of the 80’s, can promote student achievement and equity in the social distribution of achievement. Using data from a standardized achievement test including 226,860 4tth degree students and 4,949 schools, we investigate the association between students’ socioeconomic status and achievement, within and between schools. We also investigate up to what extent different categories of schools enjoy advantages in educating low-income students. These are important issues because unlike the limited vouchers programs in the US, Chile has had a nationwide school choice program for more than 20 years.

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Paper provided by Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile in its series Documentos de Trabajo with number 185.

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Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:edj:ceauch:185
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  1. Hanushek, Eric A, 1995. "Interpreting Recent Research on Schooling in Developing Countries," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 10(2), pages 227-46, August.
  2. Helen F. Ladd, 2002. "School Vouchers: A Critical View," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(4), pages 3-24, Fall.
  3. Cristían Aedo, 1997. "Organización Industrial de la Prestación de Servicios Sociales," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 7561, Inter-American Development Bank.
  4. 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).
  5. Mizala, Alejandra & Romaguera, Pilar, 2001. "Factores socioeconómicos explicativos de los resultados escolares en la educación secundaria en Chile," El Trimestre Económico, Fondo de Cultura Económica, vol. 0(272), pages 515-549, Otubre-di.
  6. Julie Berry Cullen & Brian Jacob & Steven Levitt, 2000. "The Impact of School Choice on Student Outcomes: An Analysis of the Chicago Public Schools," NBER Working Papers 7888, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. West, Edwin G, 1997. "Education Vouchers in Principle and Practice: A Survey," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 12(1), pages 83-103, February.
  8. repec:rus:hseeco:113206 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Alejandra Mizala & Pilar Romaguera, 2000. "School Performance and Choice: The Chilean Experience," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(2), pages 392-417.
  10. 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.
  11. Hanushek, Eric A., 2006. "School Resources," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  12. Gauri, Varun & Vawda, Ayesha, 2003. "Vouchers for basic education in developing countries : a principal-agent perspective," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3005, The World Bank.
  13. Claudio Sapelli & Bernardita Vial, 2002. "The Performance of Private and Public Schools in the Chilean Voucher System," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 39(118), pages 423-454.
  14. Helen F Ladd & Edward B Fiske, 2001. "The uneven playing field of school choice: Evidence from new zealand," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(1), pages 43-64.
  15. Patrick McEwan, 2001. "The Effectiveness of Public, Catholic, and Non-Religious Private Schools in Chile's Voucher System," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(2), pages 103-128.
  16. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Miguel Urquiola, 2003. "When Schools Compete, How Do They Compete? An Assessment of Chile's Nationwide School Voucher Program," NBER Working Papers 10008, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Andrea Tokman Ramos, 2002. "Is Private Education Better? Evidence from Chile," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 147, Central Bank of Chile.
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