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School Choice

Empirical Research Literature on the Effects of School Choice

Empirical Research Literature on the Effects of School Choice

updated: March 13 2017

Reviews of School Choice Research

*Studies included in these reviews are empirical by research design and observing the outcomes of publicly or privately funded school choice programs in K–12 education, and research reviews are systematically conducted and establish clear inclusion criteria.

 

Anna J. Egalite and Patrick J. Wolf (2016), “A Review of the Empirical Research on Private School Choice,” Peabody Journal of Education, 91 (4), pp. 441-454, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0161956X.2016.1207436

Greg Forster (2016), A Win-Win Solution: The Empirical Evidence on School Choice (4th ed.), Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice.

Danish Shakeel, Kaitlin P. Anderson, and Patrick J. Wolf (2016), The Participant Effects of Private School Vouchers across the Globe: A Meta-Analytic and Systematic Review, (EDRE Working Paper 2016-07).

Patrick J. Wolf and Anna J. Egalite (2016), Pursuing Innovation: How Can Educational Choice Transform K-12 Education in the U.S.?.

Anna J. Egalite (2013), “Measuring Competitive Effects from School Voucher Programs: A Systematic Review,” Journal of School Choice, 7(4), pp. 443-464, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15582159.2013.837759

Patrick J. Wolf (2008). School Voucher Programs: What the Research Says About Parental School Choice. Brigham Young University Law Review, 2(9), 415-446.

 

Academic Outcomes of Participants

*When considering studies on the effects of school choice programs on the academic outcomes of participating students, we only cite studies that use a random assignment methodology—considered the gold standard in the social sciences. You can learn more about the design and use of randomized control trials in this helpful blog post.

 

Jonathan N. Mills and Patrick J. Wolf (2016). The Effects of the Louisiana Scholarship Program on Student Achievement After Two Years (Louisiana Scholarship Program Evaluation No. 1). Retrieved from School Choice Demonstration Project http://www.uaedreform.org/downloads/2016/02/report-1-the-effects-of-the-louisiana-scholarship-program-on-student-achievement-after-two-years.pdf

Atila Abdulkadiroglu, Parag A. Pathak, and Christopher R. Walters (2015). School Vouchers and Student Achievement: First-Year Evidence from the Louisiana Scholarship Program (NBER Working Paper 21839). National Bureau of Economic Research.

Marianne Bitler, Thurston Domina, Emily Penner, and Hilary Hoynes (2015). Distributional Effects of a School Voucher Program: Evidence from New York City.  Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 8(3). 419–450. http://dx.doi.org/10.3386/w19271

Matthew Chingos and Paul Peterson (2015). Experimentally Estimated Impacts of School Vouchers on College Enrollment and Degree Attainment. Journal of Public Economics, 122, 1–12. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpubeco.2014.11.013

Patrick J. Wolf, Brian Kisida, Babette Gutmann, Michael Puma, Nada Eissa, and Lou Rizo (2013). School Vouchers and Student Outcomes: Experimental Evidence from Washington, D.C. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 32(2). 246–270. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pam.21691

Hui Jin, John Barnard, and Donald Rubin (2010). A Modified General Location Model for Noncompliance with Missing Data: Revisiting the New York City School Choice Scholarship Program using Principal Stratification.  Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, 35(2), 154–173.

Joshua Cowen (2008). School Choice as a Latent Variable: Estimating the “Complier Average Causal Effect” of Vouchers in Charlotte. Policy Studies Journal, 36(2). 301–315. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1541-0072.2008.00268.x

William Howell and Paul Peterson, (2006). The Education Gap: Vouchers and Urban Schools, second edition, Brookings Institution.

Alan Krueger and Pei Zhu (2004). Another Look at the New York City School Voucher Experiment. American Behavioral Scientist, 47(5). 658–698 http://dx.doi.org/10.3386/w9418 (see also Paul Peterson and William Howell (2004). Voucher Research Controversy. Education Next, 4(2). 73–78. Retrieved from http://educationnext.org/files/ednext20042_73.pdf

John Barnard, Constantine Frangakis, Jennifer Hill, and Donald Rubin (2003). Principal Stratification Approach to Broken Randomized Experiments: A Case Study of School Choice Vouchers in New York City.  Journal of the American Statistical Association, 98, 310–326. http://dx.doi.org/10.1198/016214503000071

Jay P. Greene (2001). Vouchers in Charlotte. Education Matters, 1(2), 55–60. Retrieved from http://educationnext.org/files/ednext20012_46b.pdf

Jay P. Greene, Paul Peterson, and Jiangtao Du (1999). Effectiveness of School Choice: The Milwaukee Experiment. Education and Urban Society, 31(2). 190–213. Retrieved from http://www.uark.edu/ua/der/People/Greene/Effectiveness-of-school-choice.pdf

Cecilia Rouse (1998). Private School Vouchers and Student Achievement.  Quarterly Journal of Economics, 113(2). 553–602. http://dx.doi.org/10.3386/w5964

 

Academic Outcomes of Public Schools

Anna J. Egalite (2016). The Competitive Effects of the Louisiana Scholarship Program on Public School Performance (Louisiana Scholarship Program Evaluation Report No. 4). Retrieved from Education Research Alliance for New Orleans http://educationresearchalliancenola.org/files/publications/Report-4-LSP-Competitive-Effects.pdf

Anna J. Egalite (2014). Competitive Impacts of Means-Tested Vouchers on Public School Performance: Evidence from Louisiana and Indiana (Program on Education Policy and Governance Report No. 1405). Harvard University.

David Figlio and Cassandra Hart (2014). Competitive Effects of Means-Tested School Vouchers.  American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 6(1). 133–56. http://dx.doi.org/10.3386/w16056

Rajashri Chakrabarti (2013). Vouchers, Public School Response and the Role of Incentives: Evidence from Florida. Economic Inquiry, 51(1). 500–526. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1465-7295.2012.00455.x

David Figlio and Cassandra Hart (2011) Does Competition Improve Public Schools? New Evidence from the Florida Tax-Credit Scholarship Program.  Education Next, 11(1). 74–80. Retrieved from http://educationnext.org/files/ednext_20111_Figlio.pdf

Marcus Winters and Jay P. Greene (2011). Public School Response to Special Education Vouchers: The Impact of Florida’s McKay Scholarship Program on Disability Diagnosis and Student Achievement in Public Schools. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 33(2). 138–158. http://dx.doi.org/10.3102/0162373711404220

Matthew Carr (2010). The Impact of Ohio’s EdChoice on Traditional Public School Performance. Cato Journal, 31(2). 257–284. Retrieved from https://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/serials/files/cato-journal/2011/5/cj31n2-5.pdf

Nicholas Mader (2010). School Choice, Competition and Academic Quality: Essays on the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (Doctoral dissertation).

Jay P. Greene and Ryan Marsh (2009). The Effect of Milwaukee’s Parental Choice Program on Student Achievement in Milwaukee Public Schools (School Choice Demonstration Project Report 11).

John Merrifield and Nathan Gray (2009). An Evaluation of the CEO Horizon, 1998-2008, Edgewood Tuition Voucher Program.  Journal of School Choice, 3(4). 414–415. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15582150903430764

Rajashri Chakrabarti (2008). Can Increasing Private School Participation and Monetary Loss in a Voucher Program Affect Public School Performance? Evidence from Milwaukee. Journal of Public Economics, 92(5-6). 1371–1393. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpubeco.2007.06.009

Rajashri Chakrabarti (2008). Impact of Voucher Design on Public School Performance: Evidence from Florida and Milwaukee Voucher Programs (Staff Report No. 315). Retrieved from Federal Reserve Bank of New York.  https://www.newyorkfed.org/medialibrary/media/research/staff_reports/sr315.pdf

Greg Forster (2008). Lost Opportunity: An Empirical Analysis of How Vouchers Affected Florida Public Schools. Retrieved from Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice http://www.edchoice.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Lost-Opportunity-How-Vouchers-Affected-Florida-Public-Schools.pdf

Greg Forster (2008). Promising Start: An Empirical Analysis of How EdChoice Vouchers Affect Ohio Public Schools. Retrieved from Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice http://www.edchoice.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Promising-Start-How-EdChoice-Vouchers-Affect-Ohio-Public-Schools.pdf

John Diamond (2007). Should Texas Adopt a School Choice Program? An Evaluation of the Horizon Scholarship Program in San Antonio (RR 03-2007). Texas Public Policy Foundation http://www.bakerinstitute.org/files/369/

Cecilia Rouse, Jane Hannaway, Dan Goldhaber, and David Figlio (2007). Feeling the Florida Heat? How Low-Performing Schools Respond to Voucher and Accountability Pressure. Retrieved from National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research.

David Figlio and Cecilia Rouse (2006). Do Accountability and Voucher Threats Improve Low-Performing Schools? Journal of Public Economics, 90(1). 239–255. http://dx.doi.org/10.3386/w11597

Jay P. Greene and Marcus Winters (2006). An Evaluation of the Effects of D.C.’s Voucher Program on Public School Achievement and Racial Integration after One Year (Manhattan Institute Education Working Paper No. 10). Retrieved from Manhattan Institute https://www.manhattan-institute.org/pdf/ewp_10.pdf

Martin West and Paul Peterson (2006). The Efficacy of Choice Threats within School Accountability Systems: Results from Legislatively Induced Experiments. Economic Journal, 116(510). C46–C62. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0297.2006.01075.x

Rajashri Chakrabarti (2004). Closing the Gap. Education Next, 4(3). 66–71.

Jay P. Greene and Marcus Winters (2004) Competition Passes the Test. Education Next, 4(3). 66–71.

Jay P. Greene and Greg Forster (2002). Rising to the Challenge: The Effect of School Choice on Public Schools in Milwaukee and San Antonio (Manhattan Institute Civic Bulletin No. 27). Retrieved from Manhattan Institute https://www.manhattan-institute.org/pdf/cb_27.pdf

Caroline M. Hoxby (2002). How School Choice Affects the Achievement of Public School Students. In Paul Hill (Ed.), Choice with Equity. pp. 141-78.

Christopher Hammons (2002). The Effects of Town Tuitioning in Vermont and Maine, Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice.

Jay P. Greene (2001). An Evaluation of the Florida A-Plus Accountability and School Choice Program. Retrieved from Manhattan Institute https://www.manhattan-institute.org/pdf/cr_aplus.pdf

Caroline M. Hoxby (2001). Rising Tide. Education Next, 1(4). 69–74.

 

Racial Segregation/Integration

Anna J. Egalite, Jonathan N. Mills and Patrick J. Wolf (2016). The Impact of Targeted School Vouchers on Racial Stratification in Louisiana Schools.  Education and Urban Society, 49(3). 271–296. http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2738785

Anna J. Egalite, Jonathan N. Mills and Patrick J. Wolf (2016). The Impact of the Louisiana Scholarship Program on Racial Segregation in Louisiana Schools. (Louisiana Scholarship Program Evaluation Report No. 3). Retrieved from Education Research Alliance for New Orleans http://educationresearchalliancenola.org/files/publications/Report-3-LSP-and-Racial-Segregation.pdf

Anna J. Egalite and Jonathan N. Mills (2014). The Louisiana Scholarship Program. Education Next, 14(1). 66–69. Retrieved from http://educationnext.org/files/ednext_XIV_1_egalite.pdf

Jay P. Greene, Jonathan N. Mills, and Stuart Buck (2010). The Milwaukee Parental Choice Program’s Effect on School Integration (School Choice Demonstration Project Report No. 20). Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED531968.pdf

Greg Forster (2006). Segregation Levels in Cleveland Public Schools and the Cleveland Voucher Program. Retrieved from Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice and Buckeye Institute http://www.edchoice.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Segregation-Levels-in-Milwaukee-Public-Schools-and-the-Milwaukee-Voucher-Program.pdf

Greg Forster (2006). Segregation Levels in Milwaukee Public Schools and the Milwaukee Voucher Program. Retrieved from Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice. http://www.edchoice.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Segregation-Levels-in-Milwaukee-Public-Schools-and-the-Milwaukee-Voucher-Program.pdf

Jay P. Greene and Marcus Winters (2006). An Evaluation of the Effects of D.C.’s Voucher Program on Public School Achievement and Racial Integration after One Year (Manhattan Institute Education Working Paper No. 10). Retrieved from Manhattan Institute https://www.manhattan-institute.org/pdf/ewp_10.pdf

Benjamin Scafidi (2005). The Integration Anomaly: Comparing the Effects of K-12 Education Delivery Models on Segregation in Schools. Retrieved from Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice http://www.edchoice.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/2015-10-The-Integration-Anomaly-WEB.pdf

Howard Fuller and Deborah Greiveldinger (2002). The Impact of School Choice on Racial Integration in Milwaukee Private Schools (American Education Reform Council Manuscript).

Howard Fuller and George Mitchell (2000). The Impact of School Choice on Integration in Milwaukee Private Schools (Current Education Issues No. 2000-02). Retrieved from Institute for the Transformation of Learning http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED443939.pdf

Howard Fuller and George Mitchell (1999). The Impact of School Choice on Racial and Ethnic Enrollment in Milwaukee Private Schools. (Current Educations Issues No. 99). Retrieved from Institute for the Transformation of Learning http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED441903.pdf

Jay P. Greene (Nov. 1999) The Racial, Economic and Religious Context of Parental Choice in Cleveland. Paper presented at the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management meeting, Washington, D.C. Retrieved from https://www.hks.harvard.edu/pepg/PDF/Papers/parclev.pdf

 

Fiscal Impact on Taxpayers and Public Schools

Corey A. DeAngelis and Julie R. Trivitt (2016). Squeezing the Public School Districts: The Fiscal Effects of Eliminating the Louisiana Scholarship Program.  Retrieved from University of Arkansas Department of Education Reform http://www.uaedreform.org/downloads/2016/08/squeezing-the-public-school-districts-the-fiscal-effects-of-eliminating-the-louisiana-scholarship-program.pdf

Martin Lueken (2016). The Tax-Credit Scholarship Audit: Do Publicly Funded Private School Choice Programs Save Money? Retrieved from EdChoice https://www.edchoice.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Tax-Credit-Scholarship-Audit-by-Martin-F.-Lueken.pdf

Julie R. Trivitt, Ph.D and Corey A. DeAngelis (2016). The Fiscal Effect of Eliminating the Louisiana Scholarship Program on State Education Expenditures (The University of Arkansas Department of Education Reform Working Paper No. 2016-06).

Jeff Spalding (2014). The School Voucher Audit: Do Publicly Funded Private School Choice Programs Save Money? Retrieved from Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice http://www.edchoice.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/The-School-Voucher-Audit-Do-Publicly-Funded-Private-School-Choice-Programs-Save-Money.pdf

Patrick J. Wolf and Michael McShane (2013). Is the Juice Worth the Squeeze? A Benefit/Cost Analysis of the District of Columbia Opportunity Scholarship Program. Education Finance and Policy, 8(1). 74–99. http://dx.doi.org/10.1162/EDFP_a_00083

Florida Legislative Office of Economic and Demographic Research. (2012). Revenue Estimating Conference. Retrieved from http://www.edr.state.fl.us/Content/conferences/revenueimpact/archives/2012/pdf/page540-546.pdf

Robert Costrell (2010). The Fiscal Impact of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program: 2010-2011 Update and Policy Options (School Choice Demonstration Project Report No. 22). Retrieved from http://www.uaedreform.org/downloads/2011/03/report-22-the-fiscal-impact-of-the-milwaukee-parental-choice-program-2010-2011-update-and-policy-options.pdf

John Merrifield and Nathan Gray (2009). An Evaluation of the CEO Horizon, 1998-2008, Edgewood Tuition Voucher Program. Journal of School Choice, 3(4). 414–415. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15582150903430764

(2008). The Corporate Tax Credit Scholarship Program Saves State Dollars. (Florida Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability Report No. 08-68). Retrieved from http://www.oppaga.state.fl.us/reports/pdf/0868rpt.pdf

Susan Aud (2007). Education by the Numbers: The Fiscal Effect of School Choice Programs, 1990-2006. Retreived from Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice http://www.edchoice.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Education-by-the-Numbers-Fiscal-Effect-of-School-Choice-Programs.pdf

Susan Aud and Leon Michos (2006). Spreading Freedom and Saving Money: The Fiscal Impact of the D.C. Voucher Program. Cato Institute and Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice. Retrieved from https://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/dcvouchersrm3-cvr.pdf

 

Civic Values and Practices

Will Flanders and Corey A. DeAngelis (2017). More Graduates, Less Criminals? The Economic Impacts of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (University of Arkansas Department of Education Reform Working Paper No. 2017-05).

Deven Carlson, Matthew M. Chingos, and David E. Campbell (2016). The Effect of Private School Vouchers on Political Participation.  Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 10(1). 1–25. Retrieved from https://www.hks.harvard.edu/pepg/PDF/Papers/PEPG16_01.pdf

Corey DeAngelis and Patrick J. Wolf (2016). The School Choice Voucher: A ‘Get Out of Jail’ Card? (University of Arkansas Department of Education Reform Working Paper No. 2016-03). Retrieved from http://www.uaedreform.org/downloads/2016/03/the-school-choice-voucher-a-get-out-of-jail-card.pdf

Jonathan N. Mills, Albert Cheng, Collin E. Hitt, Patrick J. Wolf, and Jay P. Greene (2016). Measures of Student Non-Cognitive Skills and Political Tolerance After Two Years of the Louisiana Scholarship Program (Louisiana Scholarship Program Evaluation Report No. 2). Retrieved from Education Research Alliance for New Orleans http://educationresearchalliancenola.org/files/publications/Report-2-LSP-Non-Cog-and-Political-Tolerance.pdf

David Fleming (2014). Learning from Schools: School Choice, Political Learning and Policy Feedback.  Policy Studies Journal, 42(1). 55–78. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/psj.12042

David Fleming, William Mitchell and Michal McNally (2014). Can Markets Make Citizens? School Vouchers, Political Tolerance, and Civic Engagement. Journal of School Choice, 8(2). 213–236. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15582159.2014.905397

David Campbell (2013). The Civic Side of School Reform: Private Schools, School Vouchers and Civic Education. Unpublished manuscript, provided by the author via email on Jan. 24, 2013.

David Fleming (Sept. 2011). Choice, Voice and Exit: School Vouchers in Milwaukee. Paper delivered at the national conference of the American Political Science Association, Seattle, WA.

Eric Bettinger and Robert Slonim (2006). Using Experimental Economics to Measure the Effects of a Natural Educational Experiment on Altruism. Journal of Public Economics, 90(89). 1625–48. http://dx.doi.org/10.3386/w11725

William Howell and Paul Peterson, (2006). The Education Gap: Vouchers and Urban Schools, second edition, Brookings Institution.

David Campbell (2002). The Civic Side of School Reform: How do School Vouchers Affect Civic Education? [Center for the Study of Democratic Politics Working Paper]. Permission provided by the author via email on Mar. 9, 2017.

 

Paul E. Peterson and David E. Campbell (2001), An Evaluation of the Children’s Scholarship Fund (Program on Education Policy and Governance Report No. 01-03)., Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED453308.pdf

Patrick J. Wolf, Paul Peterson, and Martin West (2001). Results of a School Voucher Experiment: The Case of Washington, D.C. after Two Years (PEPG No. 1–5). Retrieved from Harvard Kennedy School https://www.hks.harvard.edu/pepg/PDF/Papers/PEPG01-05%20Exec%20Sum.pdf

 

Parental Satisfaction

Andrew D. Catt and Evan Rhinesmith (2016). Why Parents Choose: A Survey of Private School and School Choice Parents in Indiana. Retrieved from EdChoice https://www.edchoice.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Why-Parents-Choose-A-Survey-of-Private-School-and-School-Choice-Parents-in-Indiana-by-Andrew-D.-Catt-and-Evan-Rhinesmith.pdf

Brian Kisida and Patrick J. Wolf (2015). Customer Satisfaction and Educational Outcomes: Experimental Impacts of the Market-Based Delivery of Public Education. International Public Management, 18(2), 265-285. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10967494.2014.996629

U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance. (2010). Evaluation of the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program (NCCE Publication No. 2010). Retried from https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/pubs/20104018/pdf/20104018.pdf

Jay P. Greene and Greg Forster (2003). Vouchers for Special Education Students: An Evaluation of Florida’s McKay Scholarship Program (Center for Civic Innovation Civic Report No. 38). Retrieved from https://www.manhattan-institute.org/pdf/cr_38.pdf

Paul E. Peterson and David E. Campbell (2001). An Evaluation of the Children’s Scholarship Fund (Program on Education Policy and Governance No. 01-03). Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED453308.pdf

John F. Witte (2001). The Market Approach to Education: An Analysis of America’s First Voucher Program. Retrieved from https://muse.jhu.edu/book/29736

Kim K. Metcalf, William J. Boone, Patricia A. Muller, Frances K. Stage, and Polly A. Tait (1999). Evaluation of the Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Grant Program, 1996-1999 Indiana Center for Evaluation. The Indiana Center for Evaluation.

Jay P. Greene, William G. Howell, and Paul E. Peterson (1998). Lessons from the Cleveland Scholarship Program. In Paul E. Peterson and Bryan C. Hassel (Eds.), Learning from School Choice (pp. 357–392). Retrieved from http://www.uark.edu/ua/der/People/Greene/Cleveland_Lessons_Book.pdf

Paul E. Peterson (1998). School Choice: A Report Card. The Virginia Journal of Social Policy and the Law, 6(1), 47-80.

D.J. Weinschrott and S.B. Kilgore (1998). Evidence from the Indianapolis Voucher Program.  In Paul E. Peterson and Bryan C. Hassel (Eds.), Learning from School Choice.

 

*A study is a unique set of one or more data analyses, published together, of a single school choice program. “Unique” means using data and analytic specifications not identical to those in previously reported studies. “Published” means reported to the public in any type of publication, paper, article or report. By this definition, all data analyses on a single school choice program that are reported in a single publication are taken together as one “study,” but analyses studying multiple programs are taken as multiple studies even if they are published together.

 

  • Three studies appear within the Howell & Peterson (2002) publication.
  • Egalite (2014), Chakrabarti (2008), Greene and Forster (2002), and Hammons (2002) are publications that contain what we define as two unique studies.

 

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