Does Competition Among Public Schools Benefit Students and Taxpayers? A Comment on Hoxby (2000)
In an influential paper, Hoxby (2000) studies the relationship between the degree of so-called "Tiebout choice" among local school districts within a metropolitan area and average test scores. She argues that choice is endogenous to school quality, and instruments with the number of larger and smaller streams. She finds a large positive effect of choice on test scores, which she interprets as evidence that school choice induces greater school productivity. This paper revisits Hoxby's analysis. I document several important errors in Hoxby's data and code. I also demonstrate that the estimated choice effect is extremely sensitive to the way that "larger streams" are coded. When Hoxby's hand count of larger streams is replaced with any of several alternative, easily replicable measures, there is no significant difference between IV and OLS, each of which indicates a choice effect near zero. There is thus little evidence that schools respond to Tiebout competition by raising productivity. A data appendix for this paper is available online
|Date of creation:||Mar 2005|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as "Does Competition Among Public Schools Benefit Students and Taxpayers? A Comment on Hoxby (2000)." American Economic Review 97(5), December 2007, pp. 2026-2037.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
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- 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.
- Caroline Minter Hoxby, 1994. "Does Competition Among Public Schools Benefit Students and Taxpayers?," NBER Working Papers 4979, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
- Davidson, Russell & MacKinnon, James G., 1993. "Estimation and Inference in Econometrics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195060119, December.
- Caroline Hoxby & M. Daniele Paserman, 1998. "Overidentification Tests with Grouped Data," NBER Technical Working Papers 0223, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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