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Another Look at the New York City School Voucher Experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Krueger, Alan B.

    (Princeton University and NBER)

  • Zhu, Pei

    (Princeton University)

Abstract

This paper reexamines data from the New York City school choice program, the largest and best implemented private school scholarship experiment yet conducted. In the experiment, low-income public school students in grades K-4 were eligible to participate in a series of lotteries for a private school scholarship in May 1997. Data were collected from students and their parents at baseline, and in the Spring of each of the next three years. Students with missing baseline test scores, which encompasses all those who were initially in Kindergarten and 11 percent of those initially in grades 1-4, were excluded from previous analyses of achievement, even though these students were tested in the follow-up years. In principle, random assignment would be expected to lead treatment status to be uncorrelated with all baseline characteristics. Including students with missing baseline test scores increases the sample size by 44 percent. For African American students, the only group to show a significant, positive effect of vouchers on achievement in past studies, the difference in average follow-up test scores between the treatment group (those offered a voucher) and control group (those not offered a voucher) becomes statistically insignificant at the .05 level and much smaller if the full sample is used. In addition, the effect of vouchers is found to be sensitive to the particular way race/ethnicity was defined. Previously, race was assigned according to the racial/ethnic category of the child's mother, and parents who marked "other" and wrote in Black/Hispanic were typically coded as non-Black and non-Hispanic. If children with a Black father are added to the sample of children with a Black mother, the effect of vouchers is small and statistically insignificant at conventional levels.

Suggested Citation

  • Krueger, Alan B. & Zhu, Pei, 2003. "Another Look at the New York City School Voucher Experiment," Working Papers 1, Princeton University, School of Public and International Affairs, Education Research Section..
  • Handle: RePEc:pri:edures:1
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Cited by:

    1. Hastings, Justine S. & Kane, Thomas J. & Staiger, Douglas O., 2005. "Parental Preferences and School Competition: Evidence from a Public School Choice Program," Working Papers 10, Yale University, Department of Economics.
    2. Bettinger, Eric & Slonim, Robert, 2006. "Using experimental economics to measure the effects of a natural educational experiment on altruism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1625-1648, September.
    3. Dalton Conley & Rebecca Glauber, 2005. "Parental Educational Investment and Children's Academic Risk: Estimates of the Impact of Sibship Size and Birth Order from Exogenous Variations in Fertility," NBER Working Papers 11302, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Priyanka Anand & Alejandra Mizala & Andrea Repetto, 2006. "Using School Scholarships to Estimate the Effect of Government Subsidized Private Education on Academic Achievement in Chile," Documentos de Trabajo 220, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
    5. Julie Berry Cullen & Brian A. Jacob, 2007. "Is Gaining Access to Selective Elementary Schools Gaining Ground? Evidence from Randomized Lotteries," NBER Chapters, in: The Problems of Disadvantaged Youth: An Economic Perspective, pages 43-84, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Welsch, David M. & Zimmer, David M., 2012. "Do student migrations affect school performance? Evidence from Wisconsin's inter-district public school program," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 195-207.
    7. Joshua Angrist & Eric Bettinger & Michael Kremer, 2004. "Long-Term Consequences of Secondary School Vouchers: Evidence from Administrative Records in Colombia," NBER Working Papers 10713, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Justine S. Hastings & Thomas J. Kane & Douglas O. Staiger, 2006. "Gender and Performance: Evidence from School Assignment by Randomized Lottery," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 232-236, May.
    9. Jesse Rothstein, 2004. "Good Principals or Good Peers? Parental Valuation of School Characteristics, Tiebout Equilibrium, and the Effects of Inter-district Competition," NBER Working Papers 10666, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Lisa Sanbonmatsu & Jeffrey R. Kling & Greg J. Duncan & Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, 2006. "Neighborhoods and Academic Achievement: Results from the Moving to Opportunity Experiment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(4).
    11. Jean-Michel Plassard & Nhu Tran Thi Thanh, 2009. "Liberté de choix des élèves et concurrence des établissements : un survey de l'analyse du pilotage des systèmes éducatifs par les quasi-marchés," Revue d'économie industrielle, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(2), pages 99-130.
    12. Uwaifo Oyelere, Ruth, 2015. ""A Flop or a Success?" An Evaluation of the Welfare Impacts of the 6-3-3-4 Education System in Nigeria," IZA Discussion Papers 9131, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    13. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Miguel Urquiola, 2002. "When Schools Compete, How Do They Compete? An Assessment of Chile's Nationwide School Voucher Program," Working Papers 123, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
    14. Figlio, David N. & Rouse, Cecilia Elena, 2006. "Do accountability and voucher threats improve low-performing schools?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1-2), pages 239-255, January.
    15. Kaoru Nabeshima, 2003. "Raising the quality of secondary education in East Asia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3140, The World Bank.
    16. Justine S. Hastings & Thomas J. Kane & Douglas O. Staiger, 2006. "Preferences and Heterogeneous Treatment Effects in a Public School Choice Lottery," NBER Working Papers 12145, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Victor Lavy, 2006. "From Forced Busing to Free Choice in Public Schools: Quasi-Experimental Evidence of Individual and General Effects," NBER Working Papers 11969, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Roland G. Fryer, Jr, 2010. "Racial Inequality in the 21st Century: The Declining Significance of Discrimination," NBER Working Papers 16256, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Richard Buddin & Ron Zimmer, 2004. "The political dynamics of school choice: Negotiating contested rerrain," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(4), pages 929-932.
    20. Joshua Angrist & Eric Bettinger & Michael Kremer, 2006. "Long-Term Educational Consequences of Secondary School Vouchers: Evidence from Administrative Records in Colombia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 847-862, June.
    21. Julie Berry Cullen & Brian A. Jacob & Steven Levitt, 2003. "The Effect of School Choice on Student Outcomes: Evidence from Randomized Lotteries," NBER Working Papers 10113, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Lai, Fang & Sadoulet, Elisabeth & de Janvry, Alain, 2009. "The adverse effects of parents' school selection errors on academic achievement: Evidence from the Beijing open enrollment program," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 485-496, August.

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