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Do charter schools crowd out private school enrollment? Evidence from Michigan

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Charter schools have been one of the most important dimensions of recent school reform measures in the United States. Currently, there are more than 4,500 charter schools spread across forty U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Though there have been numerous studies on the effects of charter schools, these have mostly been confined to analyzing the effects on student achievement, student demographic composition, parental satisfaction, and the competitive effects on regular public schools. This study departs from the existing literature by investigating the effect of charter schools on enrollment in private schools. To investigate this issue empirically, we focus on the state of Michigan, where there was a significant spread of charter schools in the 1990s. Using data on private school enrollment from decennial censuses and biennial National Center for Education Statistics private school surveys, and using a fixed-effects as well as instrumental-variables strategy that exploits exogenous variation from Michigan charter law, we investigate the effect of charter school penetration on private school enrollment. We find some evidence of a decline in enrollment in private schools - but the effect is only modest in size. This finding is reasonably robust, and survives several robustness checks.

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  • Rajashri Chakrabarti & Joydeep Roy, 2010. "Do charter schools crowd out private school enrollment? Evidence from Michigan," Staff Reports 472, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:472
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    Cited by:

    1. Michael Dinerstein & Troy D. Smith, 2021. "Quantifying the Supply Response of Private Schools to Public Policies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 111(10), pages 3376-3417, October.
    2. Maria Apostolova‐Mihaylova & Aaron Yelowitz, 2018. "Health Insurance, Fertility, And The Wantedness Of Pregnancies: Evidence From Massachusetts," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(1), pages 59-72, January.
    3. Chakrabarti, Rajashri & Roy, Joydeep, 2015. "Housing markets and residential segregation: Impacts of the Michigan school finance reform on inter- and intra-district sorting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 110-132.
    4. Margaret Brehm & Scott A. Imberman & Michael Naretta, 2017. "Capitalization of Charter Schools into Residential Property Values," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 12(1), pages 1-27, Winter.
    5. Ferreyra, Maria Marta & Kosenok, Grigory, 2018. "Charter school entry and school choice: The case of Washington, D.C," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 160-182.
    6. Michael S. Kofoed & Christopher Fawson, 2021. "A neighborly welcome? Charter school entrance and public school competition on the capital margin," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 188(1), pages 75-94, July.
    7. Chen, Feng & Harris, Douglas N., 2023. "The market-level effects of charter schools on student outcomes: A national analysis of school districts," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 228(C).
    8. Cohn, Ricardo Meilman, 2020. "Effects of public-school choice on private schools: Evidence from open enrollment reform," CLEF Working Paper Series 23, Canadian Labour Economics Forum (CLEF), University of Waterloo.
    9. Rajashri Chakrabarti & Max Livingston & Joydeep Roy, 2014. "Did Cuts in State Aid During the Great Recession Lead to Changes in Local Property Taxes?," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 9(4), pages 383-416, October.
    10. Robert Bifulco & Randall Reback, 2014. "Fiscal Impacts of Charter Schools: Lessons from New York," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 9(1), pages 86-107, January.
    11. Cook, Jason B., 2018. "The effect of charter competition on unionized district revenues and resource allocation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 158(C), pages 48-62.
    12. Dennis Epple & Richard Romano & Ron Zimmer, 2015. "Charter Schools: A Survey of Research on Their Characteristics and Effectiveness," NBER Working Papers 21256, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    Education - Economic aspects; Public schools; Private schools;
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