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Teacher Quality in Public and Private Schools under a Voucher System: The Case of Chile

Jere Behrman, Michela M. Tincani, Petra E. Todd and Kenneth I. Wolpin

Journal of Labor Economics, 2016, vol. 34, issue 2, 319 - 362

Abstract: Chile is unusual in having long-term experience with nationwide school vouchers. A key criticism of school voucher systems is that they make it easier for private schools to attract better teachers to the detriment of public schools. This paper uses longitudinal data from Chile to estimate a discrete choice dynamic programming (DCDP) model of teacher and nonteacher labor supply decisions and to explore how wage policies affect the composition of the teacher labor force in public and private schools. In the model, individuals first decide whether to get a teaching degree and then choose annually from among five work/home sector alternatives. Empirical results show that private voucher schools attract better teachers than public schools. However, the existence of the private voucher sector also draws higher-productivity individuals into the teaching profession.

Date: 2016
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