IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp3691.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Does School Privatization Improve Educational Achievement? Evidence from Sweden's Voucher Reform

Author

Listed:
  • Böhlmark, Anders

    () (SOFI, Stockholm University)

  • Lindahl, Mikael

    () (University of Gothenburg)

Abstract

This paper evaluates general achievement effects of choice and competition between private and public schools at the nine-year school level by assessing a radical voucher reform that was implemented in Sweden in 1992. Starting from a situation where the public schools essentially were monopolists on all local school markets, the degree of privatization has developed very differently across municipalities over time as a result of this reform. We estimate the impact of an increase in private enrolment on short, medium and long-term educational outcomes of all pupils using within-municipality variation over time, and control for differential pre-reform and concurrent municipality trends. We find that an increase in the private school share moderately improves short-term educational outcomes such as 9th-grade GPA and the fraction of students who choose an academic high school track. However, we do not find any impact on medium or long-term educational outcomes such as high school GPA, university attainment or years of schooling. We conclude that the first-order short-term effect is too small to yield lasting positive effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Böhlmark, Anders & Lindahl, Mikael, 2008. "Does School Privatization Improve Educational Achievement? Evidence from Sweden's Voucher Reform," IZA Discussion Papers 3691, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3691
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp3691.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jacob M. Markman & Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin, 2003. "Does peer ability affect student achievement?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(5), pages 527-544.
    2. Böhlmark, Anders & Lindahl, Mikael, 2007. "The Impact of School Choice on Pupil Achievement, Segregation and Costs: Swedish Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 2786, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Victor Lavy, 2010. "Effects of Free Choice Among Public Schools," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(3), pages 1164-1191.
    4. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2000. "Does Competition among Public Schools Benefit Students and Taxpayers?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1209-1238, December.
    5. Ahlin, Åsa, 2003. "Does School Competition Matter? Effects of a Large-Scale School Choice Reform on Student Performance," Working Paper Series 2003:2, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    6. Stephen Gibbons & Stephen Machin & Olmo Silva, 2008. "Choice, Competition, and Pupil Achievement," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(4), pages 912-947, June.
    7. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Sandstrom, F. Mikael & Bergstrom, Fredrik, 2005. "School vouchers in practice: competition will not hurt you," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2-3), pages 351-380, February.
    9. Hsieh, Chang-Tai & Urquiola, Miguel, 2006. "The effects of generalized school choice on achievement and stratification: Evidence from Chile's voucher program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1477-1503, September.
    10. Wikstrom, Christina & Wikstrom, Magnus, 2005. "Grade inflation and school competition: an empirical analysis based on the Swedish upper secondary schools," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 309-322, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Elinder, Mikael & Jordahl, Henrik, 2013. "Political preferences and public sector outsourcing," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 43-57.
    2. Gabriel Heller Sahlgren, 2014. "Handing Over the School Keys: The Impact of Privatisation on Education Quality," Economic Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(2), pages 196-210, June.
    3. de Haan, Monique & Leuven, Edwin & Oosterbeek, Hessel, 2011. "Scale Economies Can Offset the Benefits of Competition: Evidence from a School Consolidation Reform in a Universal Voucher System," IZA Discussion Papers 5528, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. McNally, Sandra, 2010. "Evaluating education policies: the evidence from economic research," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 57973, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    5. David Figlio & Cassandra M. D. Hart, 2014. "Competitive Effects of Means-Tested School Vouchers," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 133-156, January.
    6. W. Bentley MacLeod & Miguel Urquiola, 2009. "Anti-Lemons: School Reputation and Educational Quality," NBER Working Papers 15112, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Marcel Boyer & Anne Catherine Faye, 2011. "Assessment of International Economic Policy Models and Measures: Lessons for Canada," CIRANO Working Papers 2011s-19, CIRANO.
    8. Karbownik, Krzysztof, 2014. "Job mobility among high-skilled and low-skilled teachers," Working Paper Series 2014:14, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    9. Rómulo A. Chumacero & Juan Gallegos Mardones & Ricardo D. Paredes, 2016. "Competition Pressures and Academic Performance in Chile," Estudios de Economia, University of Chile, Department of Economics, vol. 43(2 Year 20), pages 217-232, December.
    10. Burgess, Simon, 2016. "Human Capital and Education: The State of the Art in the Economics of Education," IZA Discussion Papers 9885, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    private schooling; choice; competition; educational achievement;

    JEL classification:

    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • H40 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3691. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak). General contact details of provider: http://www.iza.org .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.