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Competition in Public School Districts: Charter School Entry, Student Sorting, and School Input Determination

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Abstract

I develop a model of competition between charter schools and traditional public schools and estimate the model using administrative data from North Carolina. The model allows peers to affect the production of student achievement. I use the model to quantify how existing charter schools have affected test scores for both charter and public school students and to simulate how lifting binding caps on charters would affect charter school entry and student test scores. The structural model renders a comprehensive and internally consistent picture of treatment effects, and highlights heterogeneity that studies based on subsets of schools or students may not be able to recover. In particular, I find that i) contextual peer effects are large at public schools but do not significantly affect test scores for students at charters, ii) the mean effect of charter schools on attendant students (direct effect) is 11% of a standard deviation, iii) there is substantial heterogeneity in the mean direct effect by market, including many markets where the mean direct effect is negative, iv) the mean spillover effect on public school students is positive, but marginal, v) lifting caps on charter schools would more than double entry and cause much smaller increases in mean test scores for attendant students.

Suggested Citation

  • Nirav Mehta, 2012. "Competition in Public School Districts: Charter School Entry, Student Sorting, and School Input Determination," University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP) Working Papers 20123, University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP).
  • Handle: RePEc:uwo:hcuwoc:20123
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    File URL: http://economics.uwo.ca/chcp/workingpapers_docs/wp2012/Mehta03.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Cullen, Julie Berry & Jacob, Brian A. & Levitt, Steven D., 2005. "The impact of school choice on student outcomes: an analysis of the Chicago Public Schools," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 729-760, June.
    2. Chakrabarti, Rajashri, 2008. "Can increasing private school participation and monetary loss in a voucher program affect public school performance? Evidence from Milwaukee," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1371-1393, June.
    3. Christopher R. Taber, 2001. "The Rising College Premium in the Eighties: Return to College or Return to Unobserved Ability?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(3), pages 665-691.
    4. Sundaram,Rangarajan K., 1996. "A First Course in Optimization Theory," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521497701, May.
    5. Imberman, Scott A., 2011. "The effect of charter schools on achievement and behavior of public school students," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 850-863, August.
    6. Sundaram,Rangarajan K., 1996. "A First Course in Optimization Theory," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521497190, May.
    7. Austin Nichols, 2003. "VINCENTY: Stata module to calculate distances on the Earth's surface," Statistical Software Components S456815, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 16 Feb 2007.
    8. Robert Picard, 2010. "GEONEAR: Stata module to find nearest neighbors using geodetic distances," Statistical Software Components S457146, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 22 Feb 2012.
    9. Epple, Dennis & Romano, Richard E, 1998. "Competition between Private and Public Schools, Vouchers, and Peer-Group Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 33-62, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Caterina Calsamiglia & Chao Fu & Maia Güell, 2014. "Structural Estimation of a Model of School Choices: the Boston Mechanism vs. Its Alternatives," Working Papers 2014-21, FEDEA.
    2. Singleton, John, 2017. "Incentives and the Supply of Effective Charter Schools," MPRA Paper 83532, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Dennis Epple & Richard Romano & Ron Zimmer, 2015. "Charter Schools: A Survey of Research on Their Characteristics and Effectiveness," NBER Working Papers 21256, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Christopher R. Walters, 2014. "The Demand for Effective Charter Schools," NBER Working Papers 20640, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Ferreyra,Maria Marta & Kosenok,Grigory, 2015. "Charter school entry and school choice: the case of Washington, D.C," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7383, The World Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    School Choice; Charter Schools; Education; Structural Estimation; General Equilibrium; Treatment Effects;

    JEL classification:

    • D58 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Computable and Other Applied General Equilibrium Models
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
    • L30 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - General

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