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When Schools Compete, How Do They Compete? An Assessment of Chile's Nationwide School Voucher Program

45 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2003  

Chang-Tai Hsieh

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Miguel S. Urquiola

Columbia University - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences - Department of Economics

Date Written: October 2003

Abstract

In 1981, Chile introduced nationwide school choice by providing vouchers to any student wishing to attend private school. As a result, more than 1,000 private schools entered the market, and the private enrollment rate increased by 20 percentage points, with greater impacts in larger, more urban, and wealthier communities. We use this differential impact to measure the effects of unrestricted choice on educational outcomes. Using panel data for about 150 municipalities, we find no evidence that choice improved average educational outcomes as measured by test scores, repetition rates, and years of schooling. However, we find evidence that the voucher program led to increased sorting, as the best' public school students left for the private sector.

Suggested Citation

Hsieh, Chang-Tai and Urquiola, Miguel S., When Schools Compete, How Do They Compete? An Assessment of Chile's Nationwide School Voucher Program (October 2003). NBER Working Paper No. w10008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=453802

Chang-Tai Hsieh (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics ( email )

549 Evans Hall #3880
Berkeley, CA 94720-3880
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Miguel S. Urquiola

Columbia University - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences - Department of Economics ( email )

420 W. 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States

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