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RECONCILING THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIOLOGICAL ANALYSES OF UK SCHOOLING QUASI-MARKETS

Nick Adnett () and Peter Davies ()

Working Papers from Staffordshire University, Business School

Abstract: The market choice critique was an important part of the arguments which led to UK schooling reforms, yet economic analysis has been neglected in assessments of those reforms. We provide an economic critique of the operation of schooling quasi-markets and use this to re-interpret the findings of the mainly sociologically-based empirical research. We find that our economic analysis is complementary to that of sociology, providing additional explanations for the failure of greater inter-school competition to increase the diversity of provision and challenge traditional school hierarchies.

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