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ERIC Number: ED556786
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Mar
Pages: 50
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 23
Vouchers, Public School Response and the Role of Incentives: Evidence from Florida. Working Paper #09-04
Chakrabarti, Rajashri
Institute for Education and Social Policy
In this paper, I analyze the behavior of public schools facing vouchers. The literature on the effect of voucher programs on public schools typically focuses on student and mean school scores. This paper tries to go inside the black box to investigate some of the ways in which schools facing the threat of vouchers in Florida behaved. Under the 1999 Florida program, schools getting an "F" grade for the first time were exposed to the threat of vouchers, but did not face vouchers unless and until they got a second "F" within the next three years. Exploiting the institutional details of this program, I analyze the incentives built into the system and investigate the behavior of the threatened public schools facing these incentives. There is strong evidence that they did respond to incentives. Using highly disaggregated school level data, a difference-in-differences estimation strategy as well as a regression discontinuity analysis, I find that the threatened schools tended to focus more on students below the minimum criteria cutoffs rather than equally on all, but interestingly, this improvement did not come at the expense of higher performing students. Second, consistent with incentives, they focused mostly on writing rather than reading and math. These results are robust to controlling for differential pre-program trends, changes in demographic compositions, mean reversion and sorting. These findings have important policy implications.
Institute for Education and Social Policy. New York University, Joseph and Violet Pless Hall, 82 Washington Square East, New York, NY 10003. Tel: 212-998-5880; Fax: 212-995-4564; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: New York University, Institute for Education and Social Policy (IESP)
Identifiers - Location: Florida