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Responses of Private and Public Schools to Voucher Funding:The Czech and Hungarian Experience

Listed author(s):
  • Randall K. Filer

    (Hunter College and the Graduate Center CUNY; CERGE-EI)

  • Daniel Münich


A state monopoly in schooling followed the collapse of communism in Central Europe. The centrally planned system was abandoned. Systems comparable with educational voucher scheme, also known as school choice system, were introduced in the Czech Republic and Hungary in the early 1990s. The newly established system of school financing allocates public funds according to the number of students enrolled in a school. Accredited non-state schools, private and religious, are also eligible for public subsidies. The scope and the form of these reforms represent a unique opportunity to test conflicting hypotheses of proponents and opponents of the voucher scheme. In this empirical analysis, we test fundamental theoretical predictions of the voucher model. Specifically, we test: i) whether non-state schools are established at locations where the supply of educational opportunities provided by state schools is low or of low quality, ii) whether state and non-state schools in such a system respond to changes in demand for education, and iii) whether state schools respond to competition from non-state schools. We use detailed school level data on the whole population of schools and data on regional conditions. In our econometric model we estimate education value added, instead of relying on absolute quality of school graduates. We find that non-state school emerge at locations with excess demand and lower quality state schools. We also find that greater competition from non-state schools creates incentives for state schools with the result that state schools slightly improve the quality of educational inputs used and significantly improve their output, quality of graduates. As concerns the technical schools, we find that non-state schools react to regional labor market conditions in terms of technical branch premium and unemployment rate. We do not find such reactions to market signals by state schools. We introduce this analysis with a review of non-state schools' development in the Czech Republic and Hungary during the 1990s.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series HEW with number 0012002.

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Length: 65 pages
Date of creation: 12 Feb 2001
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwphe:0012002
Note: Type of Document - Acrobat PDF; pages: 65 ; figures: included
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References listed on IDEAS
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  1. Daniel Münich & Jan Svejnar & Katherine Terrell, 2005. "Returns to Human Capital Under The Communist Wage Grid and During the Transition to a Market Economy," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(1), pages 100-123, February.
  2. John Micklewright, 1999. "Education, inequality and transition," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 7(2), pages 343-376, July.
  3. Jan Hanousek & Randall K. Filer, 2000. "Output Changes and Inflationary Bias in Transition," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp167, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
  4. Svejnar, Jan, 1999. "Labor markets in the transitional Central and East European economies," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 42, pages 2809-2857 Elsevier.
  5. Filer, Randall K. & Jurajda, Stepan & Planovsky, Jan, 1999. "Education and wages in the Czech and Slovak Republics during transition," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 581-593, November.
  6. Laporte, B. & Ringold, D., 1997. "Trends in Education Access and Fanincing During the Transition in Central and Eastern Europe," Papers 361, World Bank - Technical Papers.
  7. Robert S. Chase, 1998. "Markets for Communist Human Capital: Returns to Education and Experience in the Czech Republic and Slovakia," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 51(3), pages 401-423, April.
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