Distributional Effects of a School Voucher Program: Evidence from New York City

49 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2013 Last revised: 27 Feb 2021

See all articles by Marianne P. Bitler

Marianne P. Bitler

University of California, Davis - Departments of Economics and Agricultural Resource Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Thurston Domina

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill

Emily Penner

University of California, Irvine - Department of Economics

Hilary Williamson Hoynes

University of California, Berkeley; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: August 2013

Abstract

We use quantile treatment effects estimation to examine the consequences of a school voucher experiment across the distribution of student achievement. In 1997, the School Choice Scholarship Foundation granted $1,400 private school vouchers to a randomly-selected group of low-income New York City elementary school students. Prior research indicates that this program had no average effect on student achievement. If vouchers boost achievement at one part of the distribution and hurt achievement at another, zero or small mean effects may obscure theoretically important but offsetting program effects. Drawing upon prior research related to Catholic schools and school choice, we derive three hypotheses regarding the program's distributional consequences. Our analyses suggest that the program had no significant effect at any point in the skill distribution.

Suggested Citation

Bitler, Marianne P. and Domina, Thurston and Penner, Emily and Hoynes, Hilary Williamson, Distributional Effects of a School Voucher Program: Evidence from New York City (August 2013). NBER Working Paper No. w19271, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2304697

Marianne P. Bitler (Contact Author)

University of California, Davis - Departments of Economics and Agricultural Resource Economics ( email )

United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Thurston Domina

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill ( email )

102 Ridge Road
Chapel Hill, NC NC 27514
United States

Emily Penner

University of California, Irvine - Department of Economics ( email )

No Address Available

Hilary Williamson Hoynes

University of California, Berkeley ( email )

310 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
21
Abstract Views
481
PlumX Metrics