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Diploma No Problem: Can Private Schools Be of Lower Quality than Public Schools?

Author

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  • Brunello, Giorgio

    () (University of Padova)

  • Rocco, Lorenzo

    () (University of Padova)

Abstract

Motivated by anecdotal as well as econometric evidence from Italy, we ask whether private schools can provide lower quality than public schools. Using a stylized model of the education market with sequential entry of a public and a private school, we show that, depending on the underlying parameters of the model, a market structure with the private school offering at a positive price lower quality than the public school can be an equilibrium. The calibrated parameters for Italy suggest the existence of such an equilibrium in the Italian market for education.

Suggested Citation

  • Brunello, Giorgio & Rocco, Lorenzo, 2004. "Diploma No Problem: Can Private Schools Be of Lower Quality than Public Schools?," IZA Discussion Papers 1336, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1336
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Brunello, Giorgio & Checchi, Daniele, 2005. "School quality and family background in Italy," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 563-577, October.
    2. D. N. Figlio & J. A. Stone, "undated". "School Choice and Student Performance: Are Private Schools Really Better?," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1141-97, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    3. Epple, Dennis & Figlio, David & Romano, Richard, 2004. "Competition between private and public schools: testing stratification and pricing predictions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1215-1245, July.
    4. Gianni de Fraja, 2002. "The Design of Optimal Education Policies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(2), pages 437-466.
    5. Daniele Checchi & Giuseppe Bertola, 2001. "Sorting and private education in Italy," Departmental Working Papers 2001-21, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    6. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1992. "Does School Quality Matter? Returns to Education and the Characteristics of Public Schools in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 1-40, February.
    7. Feinstein, Leon & Symons, James, 1999. "Attainment in Secondary School," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(2), pages 300-321, April.
    8. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1991. "Public Provision of Private Goods and the Redistribution of Income," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 979-984, September.
    9. Costrell, Robert M, 1994. "A Simple Model of Educational Standards," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 956-971, September.
    10. Vandenberghe, V. & Robin, S., 2004. "Evaluating the effectiveness of private education across countries: a comparison of methods," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 487-506, August.
    11. Epple, Dennis & Romano, Richard E, 1998. "Competition between Private and Public Schools, Vouchers, and Peer-Group Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 33-62, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Giorgio Brunello & Daniele Checchi, 2004. "School Vouchers Italian Style," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 63(3-4), pages 357-399, December.
    2. Gianni De Fraja, 2004. "Education and Redistribution," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 94(3), pages 3-44, May-June.
    3. Carmen Aina, 2011. "The Determinants of Success and Failure of Italian University Students. Evidence from administrative data," Rivista Internazionale di Scienze Sociali, Vita e Pensiero, Pubblicazioni dell'Universita' Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, vol. 119(2), pages 85-108.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    private schools; education; Italy;

    JEL classification:

    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education
    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects

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