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Keywords:School choice 

Journal Article
Vouchers and the Cleveland Scholarship Program: little progress so far
Voucher programs are intended to raise the academic achievement of students, but, unfortunately, so far the evidence suggests that Cleveland?s voucher students perform no better than their counterparts in public schools.
AUTHORS: Belfield, Clive R.
DATE: 2006

Journal Article
Choice, charters, and public school competition
In the last century, public schools changed in ways that dramatically reduced the control that parents have over their local schools. Regaining that control is one key to improving the quality of our schools, and giving students a choice of schools is one way of increasing the influence that parents have over the way schools are run. Several types of school choice have arisen in recent years, including magnet and charter schools. But when these are reviewed in terms of outcomes and incentives, charter schools are found to have a much better chance of providing the competitive pressure necessary to improve the quality of public schools.
AUTHORS: Hanushek, Eric A.
DATE: 2006

Conference Paper
The toughest battleground: schools
Over four decades ago, Milton Friedman published Capitalism and Freedom (Friedman 1962). This insightful little book traveled across a broad range of important topics collected around the theme of how government can best operate within a free society. The message was expanded two decades later in Free to Choose (Friedman and Friedman 1980). At the time, the battle of the ideas introduced by these books was being waged by nations, nations that were willing to contemplate war over how societies should be organized. As we look back on how the world has changed since then, I wonder if anybody guessed that changing the schools would be the most difficult subject taken on. It is useful to look at what progress has been made, what evidence exists on the topic, and what the future might hold in the area of education. The simple question is: Why are the schools tougher to crack than the walls of the Communist bloc?
AUTHORS: Hanushek, Eric A.
DATE: 2003

Journal Article
Spotlight: Educational opportunity: Does low-income housing tax credit hurt nearby schools?
The largest federal program designed to increase the rental housing supply for poor working families helps them find living space in decent neighborhoods with good schools. It also encounters frequent neighborhood opposition.
AUTHORS: Di, Wenhua; Murdoch, James C.
DATE: 2011

Working Paper
School desegregation, school choice and changes in residential location patterns by race
This paper examines the residential location and school choice responses to desegregation of large public school districts. Unique data and variation in the timing of desegregation orders facilitate the analysis. The 16 percent decline in white public enrollment due to desegregation primarily led to migration to suburban districts in the South and increased private enrollment in other regions. Desegregation caused black public enrollment to increase by 20 percent outside the South largely due to population changes. The spatial distributions of responses by race to desegregation orders closely match those predicted by a model of residential location and private school choice.
AUTHORS: Lutz, Byron F.; Baum-Snow, Nathaniel
DATE: 2008

Conference Paper
Choice, charters, and public-school competition
AUTHORS: Hanushek, Eric A.
DATE: 2005

Journal Article
Measuring the effect of school choice on economic outcomes
In measuring the returns to education, economists usually focus on the number of years of schooling. But many people would say that the quality of schooling matters, too, even at the high school level. Does the type of high school attended make a difference in future income?
AUTHORS: Vermann, E. Katarina; Owyang, Michael T.
DATE: 2012

Working Paper
Out-of-school suspensions and parental involvement in children’s education
Do parents alter their investment in their child?s human capital in response to changes in school inputs? If they do, then ignoring this effect will bias the estimates of school and parental inputs in educational production functions. This paper tries to answer this question by studying out-of-school suspensions and their effect on parental involvement in children?s education. The use of out-of- school suspensions is the novelty of this paper. Out-of-school suspensions are chosen by the teacher or the principal of the school and not by parents, but they are a consequence of student misbehavior. To account for the nature of these out-of-school suspensions, they are instrumented with measures of ?principal?s preference toward discipline.? The estimates show that, without controlling for selection, the level of parental involvement is negatively correlated with the number of out-of-school suspensions. Once selection is accounted for, the effect disappears?that is, out-of-school suspensions do not affect parental involvement in children?s education.
AUTHORS: Canon, Maria E.
DATE: 2011

Working Paper
The Illusion of School Choice: Empirical Evidence from Barcelona
School choice aims to improve (1) the matching between children and schools and (2) students? educa-tional outcomes. Yet, the concern is that disadvantaged families are less able to exercise choice, which raises (3) equity concerns. The Boston mechanism (BM) is a procedure that is widely used around the world to resolve overdemands for particular schools by defining a set of priority points based on neigh-borhood and socioeconomic characteristics. The mechanism design literature has shown that under the BM, parents may not have incentives to provide their true preferences, thereby establishing a trade-off between preferences and perceived safety. However, the set of possible Nash equilibria arising from the BM is large and has varying properties, and what will actually happen is an empirical question. We exploit an unexpected change in the definition of neighborhood in Barcelona, which provides an exogenous change in the set of schools perceived as safe and allows us to separate housing and schooling decisions to assess the importance of this trade-off in the data. We find that safety carries a large weight in family choice. The huge majority of parents opt for schools for which they have the highest priority?the neighborhood schools?excluding other preferred schools. Similar to the previous literature, we also find that some parents seem naive, but using school registry data, we find that a significant fraction of them have the outside option of private schools, which allows them to take higher risks to access the best public schools. At the other extreme, some of the naive are not matched to any of the schools they applied for. Our results suggest that when allowing school choice under the BM with priorities: (1) the gains in terms of matching seem limited, because the equilibrium allocation is not very different from a neighborhood-based assignment, (2) estimating the effect of choice on outcomes by implementing such a mechanism may lead to a lower bound on the potential effects of having choice, and (3) important inequalities emerge beyond parents? naivete found in the literature.
AUTHORS: Calsamiglia, Caterina; Guell, Maia
DATE: 2014-05-08

Working Paper
Capitalization of the quality of local public schools: what do home buyers value?
The expansion of state-mandated tests in the 1990s and the testing requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act have supplied researchers with an abundance of data on test scores that can be used as measures of school quality. This paper uses the state-mandated test scores for 5th grade and 11th grade in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, to examine three issues about the capitalization of school quality into house prices: (1) At what level do prospective home buyers evaluate the quality of local public education?at the district level or the level of the neighborhood school? (2) After accounting for student achievement as reflected in test scores, are other aspects of the local public school system, such as class size or expenditures, capitalized into the value of a house? (3) Are the positive results we get for the capitalization of school quality into house prices due simply to the correlation between high test scores and other desirable neighborhood characteristics? The results of our investigation suggest that to home buyers some test-score averages are significantly better indicators of the quality of the local public school system than others. In particular, home buyers seem to evaluate the quality of public education at the district level rather than at the level of the local school. Class size at the high-school level has some independent effect on house prices, but not class size at the elementary school level. And once we account for student achievement, expenditures per pupil have no further effect on house prices. Finally, restricting our sample to similar neighborhoods along school district boundaries confirms our earlier results for high school test scores but not for elementary school scores.
AUTHORS: Crone, Theodore M.
DATE: 2006

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