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Searching for schools in a low quality market: Evidence from Chile

  • Gregory Elacqua

    ()

    (Facultad de Economía y Empresa, Universidad Diego Portales)

  • Matías Martínez

    ()

    (Facultad de Economía y Empresa, Universidad Santo Tomás)

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    In this paper, we use survey and school level data in the Metropolitan Region (R.M.) of Chile to examine how legal and incentive changes to improve the national voucher program affected parent behavior and school responses. Using face-to-face interviews conducted with random samples of first grade parents in the R.M. in 2003 (prior to the policy shifts) and 2009 (after changes were implemented), we asked parents to tell us about the number and types of information they use to choose schools, and the distances they travel to send their children to school. We also analyze the changes in the availability of different types of private voucher schools and the quality of these schools across schooling markets with different socioeconomic environments in the R.M. We find that, while changes in some of the key aspects of the voucher program had an important effect on parent’s school search behavior, school supply response has been much slower. Parents are gathering more information, traveling greater distances, and willing to pay higher fees for better performing schools. However, while the number of private voucher schools has expanded across the R.M., there are very few quality options available to parents, especially in disadvantaged neighborhoods.

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    File URL: http://www.udp.cl/descargas/facultades_carreras/economia/pdf/documentos_investigacion/wp16_Elacqua_Martinez.pdf
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    Paper provided by Facultad de Economía y Empresa, Universidad Diego Portales in its series Working Papers with number 16.

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    Date of creation: Mar 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:ptl:wpaper:16
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.udp.cl
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    1. Lisa Barrow & Cecilia Elena Rouse, 2008. "School vouchers and student achievement: recent evidence, remaining questions," Working Paper Series WP-08-08, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    2. Thomas Bauer & Mathias Sinning, 2006. "An Extension of the Blinder-Oaxaca Decomposition to Non-Linear Models," RWI Discussion Papers 0049, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung.
    3. Tamás Bartus, 2005. "Estimation of marginal effects using margeff," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 5(3), pages 309-329, September.
    4. Derek Neal, 2002. "How Vouchers Could Change the Market for Education," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(4), pages 25-44, Fall.
    5. Henry M. Levin, 1998. "Educational vouchers: Effectiveness, choice, and costs," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(3), pages 373-392.
    6. Gregory R. Weiher & Kent L. Tedin, 2002. "Does choice lead to racially distinctive schools? Charter schools and household preferences," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(1), pages 79-92.
    7. Brown, Byron W., 1992. "Why governments run schools," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 287-300, December.
    8. Thomas A. Downes & Shane M. Greenstein, 1996. "Understanding the Supply Decisions of Nonprofits: Modelling the Location of Private Schools," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(2), pages 365-390, Summer.
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