School Choice and Development: Evidence from the Edgewood Experiment

16 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2013

See all articles by John D. Merrifield

John D. Merrifield

University of Texas at San Antonio

Nathan L. Gray

Young Harris College

Date Written: January 15, 2013

Abstract

On April 22, 1998, the Children’s Educational Opportunity Foundation announced the availability of CEO Horizon Scholarships to residents of the Edgewood Independent School District (EISD) in San Antonio, Texas. The CEO Foundation did not limit eligibility to students with proof of superior academic talent, so the scholarships were really privately funded tuition vouchers. As such, we shall refer to them as the Edgewood Voucher Program. The EVP was a working model of Milton Friedman’s (1955, 1962) original idea for a universal voucher program, except that it was set to last only 10 years. This article analyzes the EVP’s immediate economic development effects, including the impact on the property tax base, housing growth and values, and business formation. We begin with an overview of the EVP, review the existing literature, describe the benchmark for our impact estimates, and then discuss the estimates and their significance for universal tuition vouchers.

Keywords: national education policy, school choice, private school voucher programs, public school system, united states education policy

JEL Classification: I20, I21, I28

Suggested Citation

Merrifield, John D. and Gray, Nathan L., School Choice and Development: Evidence from the Edgewood Experiment (January 15, 2013). Cato Journal, Vol. 33, No. 1, pp. 127-142, 2013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2239971

John D. Merrifield (Contact Author)

University of Texas at San Antonio ( email )

One UTSA Circle
San Antonio, TX 78249
United States

Nathan L. Gray

Young Harris College ( email )

1 College St
Young Harris, GA 30582
United States

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