Department of Economics
University of Illinois at Chicago
601 South Morgan UH725 M/C144
Chicago, IL 60607
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|February 2017||Illusory Gains from Chile's Targeted School Voucher Experiment|
with Benjamin Feigenberg, Steven Rivkin: w23178
In 2008, Chile implemented a targeted voucher program that increased voucher values for disadvantaged students at participating schools by approximately 50%. Although disadvantaged students made substantial fourth grade test score gains that other studies have attributed to the program, our analysis raises serious doubts that the program had a substantial effect on cognitive skills. First, there was only a minor reduction in class size and little evidence of increases in any inputs. An audit showed that many schools were not using additional revenues for permitted expenditures, and estimates that exploit a discontinuity in the revenues allocated to schools show no evidence of positive effects of allocated funds on achievement growth. In addition, there is limited evidence of competitive or...