Panel Paper: Does Regulation Induce Homogenization? a School Fixed-Effects Analysis of Three Voucher Programs in the United States

Friday, July 14, 2017 : 2:35 PM
Harmony (Crowne Plaza Brussels - Le Palace)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Corey A. DeAngelis, University of Arkansas and Lindsey Burke, George Mason University; The Heritage Foundation
We use school and year fixed-effects regression to determine the effect of voucher programs on the supply of private schools.  In particular, we examine individual private schools in Washington, D.C., Indiana, and Louisiana as they transition into voucher program environments.  We leverage the Private School Universe Survey to examine how schools self-identify when switching into the voucher environment.

We find that upon switching into school voucher programs, private schools in heavily regulated programs are more likely to identify as less specialized than they were prior to entering the program, and that those schools in more lightly regulated environments continue to highlight their specialized approach to education. Additionally, we find that schools in highly regulated voucher environments are more likely to identify as a regular education school.  These findings are examined within an institutional theory framework to understand the potential homogenizing effect of regulations on the diversity of the private school market.