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Universal Vouchers and Racial Segregation

  • Eric Brunner

    (Quinnipiac University)

  • Jennifer Imazeki

    (San Diego State University)

  • Stephen L. Ross

    (University of Connecticut)

Opponents of school vouchers often argue that school vouchers will lead to .white flight. from public schools that are disproportionately non-white, creating more racially segregated schools. In this paper, we present new evidence on whether universal vouchers will lead to a systematic departure of whites from predominantly minority schools increasing racial segregation in those schools. Specifically, we use data on vote outcomes from a state-wide universal voucher initiative to estimate the likelihood that white households with children currently in public schools will use vouchers to switch out of more-integrated schools. Our results indicate that white households with children attending schools with large concentrations of non-white schoolchildren are significantly more likely to support school vouchers, an effect that is absent for non-white households with children and households without children. Finally, follow-up analyses suggest that this result is driven less by race, per se, but more by other student characteristics that are correlated with race.

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Paper provided by University of Connecticut, Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 2006-01.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2006
Date of revision: Aug 2008
Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2006-01
Contact details of provider: Postal: University of Connecticut 365 Fairfield Way, Unit 1063 Storrs, CT 06269-1063
Phone: (860) 486-4889
Fax: (860) 486-4463
Web page: http://www.econ.uconn.edu/

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  1. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin, 2002. "New Evidence about Brown v. Board of Education: The Complex Effects of School Racial Composition on Achievement," NBER Working Papers 8741, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Reback, Randall, 2005. "House prices and the provision of local public services: capitalization under school choice programs," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 275-301, March.
  3. Dustmann, Christian & Preston, Ian, 2001. "Attitudes to Ethic Minorities, Ethnic Context and Location Decisions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(470), pages 353-73, April.
  4. Sandra E. Black, 1999. "Do Better Schools Matter? Parental Valuation Of Elementary Education," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 577-599, May.
  5. Helen F Ladd & Edward B Fiske, 2001. "The uneven playing field of school choice: Evidence from new zealand," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(1), pages 43-64.
  6. John Conlon & Mwangi Kimenyi, 1991. "Attitudes towards race and poverty in the demand for private education: The case of Mississippi," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 5-22, December.
  7. Stephen Calabrese & Dennis Epple & Thomas Romer & Holger Sieg, 2005. "Local Public Good Provision: Voting, Peer Effects, and Mobility," NBER Working Papers 11720, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Dennis Epple & Thomas Romer & Holger Sieg, 2001. "Interjurisdictional Sorting and Majority Rule: An Empirical Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(6), pages 1437-1465, November.
  9. Lankford R. H. & Lee E. S. & Wyckoff J. H., 1995. "An Analysis of Elementary and Secondary School Choice," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 236-251, September.
  10. Jesse M. Rothstein, 2006. "Good Principals or Good Peers? Parental Valuation of School Characteristics, Tiebout Equilibrium, and the Incentive Effects of Competition among Jurisdictions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1333-1350, September.
  11. David Card & Jesse Rothstein, 2005. "Racial Segregation and the Black-White Test Score Gap," Working Papers 93, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  12. Figlio, David N. & Stone, Joe A., 2001. "Can Public Policy Affect Private School Cream Skimming?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 240-266, March.
  13. Hanushek, Eric A, 1986. "The Economics of Schooling: Production and Efficiency in Public Schools," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 1141-77, September.
  14. David Brasington & Don Haurin, . "Capitalization of Parent, School, and Peer Group Components of School Quality into House Price," Departmental Working Papers 2005-04, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
  15. Thomas J. Nechyba, 2003. "Introducing School Choice into Multidistrict Public School Systems," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of School Choice, pages 145-194 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Miguel Urquiola, 2005. "Does School Choice Lead to Sorting? Evidence from Tiebout Variation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1310-1326, September.
  17. Christian A. L. Hilber & Christopher J. Mayer, 2004. "Why Do Households Without Children Support Local Public Schools?," NBER Working Papers 10804, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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