Research Cassandra M.D. Hart

Research on Effects of Competition on Public Schools

November 2013

Cassandra Hart, assistant professor of education, and David Figlio (Northwestern University) wrote “Competitive Effects of Means-Tested School Vouchers” in the most recent edition of the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.

In the article, Hart and Figlio use the introduction of a means-tested voucher program in Florida to examine whether increased competitive pressure on public schools affects students’ test scores. They find greater score improvements in the wake of the program introduction for students attending schools that faced more competitive private school markets prior to the policy announcement, especially those that faced the greatest financial incentives to retain students. These effects suggest modest benefits for public school students from increased competition.

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