Long-Term Trends in Private School Enrollments by Family Income

81 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2017

See all articles by Richard J. Murnane

Richard J. Murnane

Harvard University - Harvard Graduate School of Education; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Sean Reardon

Stanford University

Date Written: July 2017

Abstract

We use data from multiple national surveys to describe trends in private elementary school enrollment by family income from 1968-2013. We note several important trends. First, the private school enrollment rate of middle-income families declined substantially over the last five decades, while that of high-income families remained quite stable. Second, there are notable differences in private school enrollment trends by race/ethnicity, urbanicity, and region of the country. Although racial/ethnic differences in private school enrollment are largely explained by income differences, the urban/suburban and regional differences in private school enrollment patterns are large even among families with similar incomes. In particular, the 90-50 income percentile difference in private school enrollment rates in 2013 is more than three times as large in cities as in the suburbs, and these gaps are larger in the South and West than in the Northeast and Midwest. Factors contributing to these patterns may include trends in income inequality, private school costs and availability, and the perceived relative quality of local schooling options.

Suggested Citation

Murnane, Richard J. and Reardon, Sean, Long-Term Trends in Private School Enrollments by Family Income (July 2017). NBER Working Paper No. w23571, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3003669

Richard J. Murnane (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Graduate School of Education ( email )

6 Appian Way
Gutman Library 409
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-4820 (Phone)
617-496-3095 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-4820 (Phone)
617-496-3095 (Fax)

Sean Reardon

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
20
Abstract Views
166
PlumX Metrics