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School Choice and School Productivity (or Could School Choice be a Tide that Lifts All Boats?)

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  • Caroline M. Hoxby

Abstract

A school that is more productive is one that produces higher achievement in its pupils for each dollar it spends. In this paper, I comprehensively review how school choice might affect productivity. I begin by describing the importance of school productivity, then explain the economic logic that suggests that choice will affect productivity, and finish by presenting much of the available evidence on school choice and school productivity. The most intriguing evidence comes from three important, recent choice reforms: vouchers in Milwaukee, charter schools in Michigan, and charter schools in Arizona. I show that public school students' achievement rose significantly and rapidly in response to competition, under each of the three reforms. Public school spending was unaffected, so the productivity of public schools rose, dramatically in the case in Milwaukee.

Suggested Citation

  • Caroline M. Hoxby, 2002. "School Choice and School Productivity (or Could School Choice be a Tide that Lifts All Boats?)," NBER Working Papers 8873, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8873
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hoxby, Caroline M., 1999. "The productivity of schools and other local public goods producers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 1-30, October.
    2. 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.
    3. Michel, Allen & Shaked, Israel, 1987. "Trucking Deregulation and Motor-Carrier Performance: The Shareholders' Perspective," The Financial Review, Eastern Finance Association, vol. 22(2), pages 295-311, May.
    4. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2002. "Would School Choice Change the Teaching Profession?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(4), pages 846-891.
    5. Caroline Minter Hoxby, 1994. "Do Private Schools Provide Competition for Public Schools?," NBER Working Papers 4978, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
    7. David M. Cutler & Louise Sheiner, 1998. "Managed Care and the Growth of Medical Expenditures," NBER Chapters,in: Frontiers in Health Policy Research, Volume 1, pages 77-116 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Rose, Nancy L, 1987. "Labor Rent Sharing and Regulation: Evidence from the Trucking Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(6), pages 1146-1178, December.
    9. Downes, Thomas A. & Schoeman, David, 1998. "School Finance Reform and Private School Enrollment: Evidence from California," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 418-443, May.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • H0 - Public Economics - - General

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