Does School Privatization Improve Educational Achievement? Evidence from Sweden's Voucher Reform
Anders Böhlmark and
Mikael Lindahl ()
No 3691, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)
This paper evaluates general achievement effects of choice and competition between private and public schools at the nine-year school level by assessing a radical voucher reform that was implemented in Sweden in 1992. Starting from a situation where the public schools essentially were monopolists on all local school markets, the degree of privatization has developed very differently across municipalities over time as a result of this reform. We estimate the impact of an increase in private enrolment on short, medium and long-term educational outcomes of all pupils using within-municipality variation over time, and control for differential pre-reform and concurrent municipality trends. We find that an increase in the private school share moderately improves short-term educational outcomes such as 9th-grade GPA and the fraction of students who choose an academic high school track. However, we do not find any impact on medium or long-term educational outcomes such as high school GPA, university attainment or years of schooling. We conclude that the first-order short-term effect is too small to yield lasting positive effects.
Keywords: private schooling; choice; competition; educational achievement (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I22 I28 H40 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu, nep-eec, nep-hrm, nep-lab and nep-ure
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