School Choice in Chile: Looking at the Demand Side

Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile Documento de Trabajo No. 356, 2010

46 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2010

See all articles by Francisco A. Gallego

Francisco A. Gallego

Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile

Andres Hernando

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: September 1, 2009

Abstract

How do parents choose among schools when they are allowed to do so? In this paper, we analyze detailed information of 70,000 fourth-graders attending about 1,200 publicly subsidized schools in the context of the Chilean voucher system. We model the school choice of a household as a discrete choice of a single school, based on the random utility model developed by McFadden (1974) and the specification of Berry, Levinsohn, and Pakes (1995), which includes choice specific unobservable characteristics and deals with potential endogeneity. Our results imply that households value some attributes of schools, with the two most important dimensions being test scores and distance to school. Interestingly, at the same time, our results suggest there is a lot of heterogeneity in preferences because the valuation of most school attributes depend on household characteristics. In particular, we find that while proximity to school is an inferior attribute, test scores is a normal attribute. We present evidence that our results are mainly driven by self-selection and not by school-side selection. As a final check, we compute the average enrollment elasticity with respect to all school attributes and find that higher elasticities are correlated with higher supply of the attribute, especially in the case of test scores-enrollment elasticities for private schools.

Keywords: School choice, Chile, Vouchers, Structural Estimates, Parental Preferences.

JEL Classification: I20, I21, I22, I28

Suggested Citation

Gallego, Francisco A. and Hernando, Andres, School Choice in Chile: Looking at the Demand Side (September 1, 2009). Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile Documento de Trabajo No. 356, 2010 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1725911 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1725911

Francisco A. Gallego (Contact Author)

Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile ( email )

Casilla 76
Correo 17
Santiago
Chile

HOME PAGE: http://www.economia.puc.cl/fgallego

Andres Hernando

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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