Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Uppsala University, Department of Economics

No 2003:2: Does School Competition Matter? Effects of a Large-Scale School Choice Reform on Student Performance

Åsa Ahlin
Additional contact information
Åsa Ahlin: Department of Economics, Postal: Uppsala University, P.O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden

Abstract: The effect of a general school choice reform on student performance is studied in a Swedish institutional setting. A rich set of individual level data allows estimation of a value added specification, mitigating problems with omission of relevant variables. Increased school competition is shown to have statistically significant positive effects on student performance in mathematics, but no significant effects in English and Swedish. Interacting school competition with student characteristics, the results indicate that immigrant students and those in need of special education tend to gain more from increased school competition than others, while adverse effects on students from low education families are found in terms of English and Swedish performance. However, quantile regressions indicate homogeneous effects on low and high performing students.

Keywords: Private school competition; school choice; student performance

JEL-codes: H42; H52; I28; L19

36 pages, January 7, 2003

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