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The Impact of Upper-Secondary Voucher School Attendance on Student Achievement: Swedish Evidence using External and Internal Evaluations

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  • Tyrefors, Björn

    (Department of Economics)

  • Vlachos, Jonas

    (Department of Economics, Stockholm University)

Abstract

Sweden has a school voucher system with universal coverage and full acceptance of corporate providers. Using a value added approach, we find that students at upper-secondary voucher schools on average score 0.06 standard deviations lower on externally graded standardized tests in first year core courses. The negative impact is larger among lower achieving students (but not among immigrant students), the same students who are most prone to attend voucher schools. For high achieving students, the voucher school impact is around zero. Comparing internal and external evaluations of the same standardized tests, we find that voucher schools are 0.14 standard deviations more generous than municipal schools in their internal test grading. The greater leniency in test grading is relatively uniform across different groups, but more pronounced among students at academic than vocational programs. The findings are consistent with voucher schools responding more to differences in educational preferences than municipal schools.

Suggested Citation

  • Tyrefors, Björn & Vlachos, Jonas, 2016. "The Impact of Upper-Secondary Voucher School Attendance on Student Achievement: Swedish Evidence using External and Internal Evaluations," Working Paper Series 1127, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:1127
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    3. Vlachos, Jonas, 2018. "Trust based evaluation in a market oriented school system," Research Papers in Economics 2018:1, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
    4. Edmark, Karin & Hussain, Iftikhar & Haelermans, Carla, 2020. "The Impact of Voucher Schools: Evidence From Swedish Upper Secondary Schools," Working Paper Series 3/2020, Stockholm University, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
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    7. Edmark, Karin & Persson, Lovisa, 2021. "The impact of attending an independent upper secondary school: Evidence from Sweden using school ranking data," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 84(C).
    8. Yue-Yi Hwa & Clare Leaver, 2021. "Management in education systems," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 37(2), pages 367-391.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Voucher schools; Student achievement; Grading standards;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H40 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - General
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid

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