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Title:Does school privatization improve educational achievement? Evidence from Sweden's voucher reform PDF Logo
Authors:Böhlmark, Anders
Lindahl, Mikael
Issue Date:2008
Series/Report no.:IZA discussion papers 3691
Abstract: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.
Subjects:Private schooling
choice
competition
educational achievement
JEL:I22
Persistent Identifier of the first edition:urn:nbn:de:101:1-2008100922
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:IZA Discussion Papers, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit (IZA)

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