*Names in bold indicate Presenter
For our analysis we develop and estimate an equilibrium model of household school choice, charter school entry and school competition in a large urban school district. Since charter funding is connected with enrollment, we model how prospective entrants predict enrollment and peer characteristics of their student body as a function of their geographic location, grades served and thematic focus. The prospective entrant enters or not depending on the expected success of its entry and subsequent financial viability. We model the entrant as being uncertain about its own quality at the entry stage, and model charter authorizer as the agency who regulates the charter industry.
We estimate the model using a unique and detailed data set from Washington D.C. from 2003 to 2007. The main data set consists of information for all public, private and charter schools in Washington, D.C. including enrollment by grade, school demographics, thematic focus and proficiency rates in standardized tests. We estimate the model in three stages corresponding to demand, supply and proficiency rates.
Currently we have estimated the demand and achievement sides of the model. Our estimates reveal large heterogeneity in preferences over school types on the part of households as well in school quality. In addition, they reveal substantial achievement differences depending on school type and level, and large variation in school value added. Such heterogeneity in household preferences and access to desirable schools creates rich opportunities for charter entry. According to our current counterfactuals, if charter schools were no longer allowed to operate most of their students would switch to public or low-tuition Catholic schools. Most of those switching into public schools would experience achievement losses. In future counterfactuals we will explore the effect of policy changes that would likely affect charter entry, such as greater availability of building sites and changes in charter school funding.
- DCCharters-101513.pdf (1439.8KB)