Heterogeneous Impacts Across Schools in the First Four Years of the Louisiana Scholarship Program

81 Pages Posted: 23 Apr 2019

See all articles by Matthew Lee

Matthew Lee

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform

Jonathan Mills

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform

Patrick Wolf

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform

Date Written: April 23, 2019

Abstract

The Louisiana Scholarship Program (LSP) is a school voucher initiative that offers publicly- funded scholarships to students from economically-disadvantaged families to attend a participating private school of their choice. While school choice theory suggests that market- based reforms such as the LSP should improve student outcomes, experimental evaluations of the program instead find significant negative effects of the program on math and reading scores after its first year. Those effects diminish to insignificant differences by the end of the third year before becoming negative again in the fourth year. Our study builds on previous work with an exploratory analysis of the variation in treatment effects across 13 school characteristics in the first four years of the program. In general, we do not observe effect heterogeneity across school characteristics, though we find evidence suggesting students who preferred larger schools, schools with higher tuition, and schools with longer school days experienced more favorable impacts from participating in the LSP relative to their peers who did not prefer such schools.

Keywords: school vouchers, school choice, student achievement, heterogeneous effects, mediators of education effects

Suggested Citation

Lee, Matthew H. and Mills, Jonathan and Wolf, Patrick, Heterogeneous Impacts Across Schools in the First Four Years of the Louisiana Scholarship Program (April 23, 2019). EDRE Working Paper No. 2019-11. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3376234 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3376234

Matthew H. Lee (Contact Author)

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform ( email )

201 Graduate Education Building
Fayetteville, AR 72701
United States

Jonathan Mills

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform ( email )

201 Graduate Education Building
Fayetteville, AR 72701
United States

Patrick Wolf

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform ( email )

201 Graduate Education Building
Fayetteville, AR 72701
United States

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