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Educational Vouchers and Cream Skimming

  • Dennis Epple
  • Richard Romano

Epple and Romano (1998) show equilibrium provision of education by public and private schools has the latter skim off the wealthiest and most-able students, and flat-rate vouchers lead to further cream skimming. Here we study voucher design that would inject private-school competition and increase technical efficiencies without cream skimming. Conditioning vouchers on student ability without restriction on participating schools' policies fails to effect significantly cream skimming. However, by adding conditions like tuition constraints such as vouchers can reap the benefits of school competition without increased stratification. This can be accomplished while allowing voluntary participation in the voucher system and without tax increases.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w9354.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9354.

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Date of creation: Nov 2002
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Publication status: published as Dennis Epple & Richard Romano, 2008. "Educational Vouchers And Cream Skimming," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(4), pages 1395-1435, November.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9354
Note: CH PE ED
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  1. Dennis Epple & Elizabeth Newlon & Richard Romano, 2000. "Ability Tracking, School Competition, and the Distribution of Educational Benefits," NBER Working Papers 7854, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Z. Chen & Edwin G. West, 1998. "Selective Versus Universal Vouchers: Modelling Median Voter Preferences in Education," Carleton Economic Papers 98-02, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised Dec 2000.
  3. Evans, William N & Oates, Wallace E & Schwab, Robert M, 1992. "Measuring Peer Group Effects: A Study of Teenage Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 966-91, October.
  4. Roland BĂ©nabou, 1996. "Equity and Efficiency in Human Capital Investment: The Local Connection," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(2), pages 237-264.
  5. Sandra E. Black, 1999. "Do Better Schools Matter? Parental Valuation of Elementary Education," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 577-599.
  6. Eden, B., 1992. "How to Subsidize Education and Achieve Voluntary Integration: An Analysis of Voucher Systems," Working Papers 92-22, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
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