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The Demand for Effective Charter Schools

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  • Christopher R. Walters

Abstract

This paper studies the demand for charter schools in Boston, Massachusetts, with an emphasis on comparative advantage in school choice. I model charter school application and attendance decisions in a generalized Roy selection framework that links students’ preferences to the achievement gains generated by charter attendance. I estimate the model using instruments based on randomized admission lotteries and distance to charter schools. The estimates show that students do not sort into charter schools on the basis of comparative advantage in academic achievement. Charter schools generate larger test score gains for disadvantaged, low-achieving students, but demand for charters is stronger among richer students and high achievers. Similarly, achievement benefits are larger for students with weaker unobserved preferences for charter schools. As a result, counterfactual simulations indicate that charter expansion is likely to be most effective when accompanied by efforts to target students who are currently unlikely to apply.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher R. Walters, 2014. "The Demand for Effective Charter Schools," NBER Working Papers 20640, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20640
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Atila Abdulkadiroğlu & Joshua D. Angrist & Peter D. Hull & Parag A. Pathak, 2016. "Charters without Lotteries: Testing Takeovers in New Orleans and Boston," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(7), pages 1878-1920, July.
    2. Singleton, John, 2017. "Incentives and the Supply of Effective Charter Schools," MPRA Paper 83532, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. 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.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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