Does Regulation Induce Homogenization? An Analysis of Three Voucher Programs in the United States
26 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2017 Last revised: 27 Sep 2017
Date Written: September 5, 2017
We employ school and year fixed-effects regression to determine the effect of voucher programs on the supply of private schools. In particular, we examine individual private schools in Washington, D.C., Indiana, and Louisiana as they transition into voucher program environments. We leverage the Private School Universe Survey to examine how schools self-identify before and after switching into voucher environments. We find that upon switching into school voucher programs, private schools in more heavily regulated programs are more likely to identify as less specialized than they were prior to entering the program, and that those schools in more lightly regulated environments continue to highlight their specialized approach to education. These findings are examined within an institutional theory framework to understand the potential homogenizing effect of regulations on the diversity of the private school market.
Keywords: private school; school choice; schooling supply; school vouchers; organizational theory; institutional theory; isomorphism; homogenization
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