Private Schools and Residential Choices: Accessibility, Mobility, and Welfare

Eric A. Hanushek
Sinan Sarpça
Kuzey Yilmaz
Published Date
B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy (Contributions)
11(1) article 44
pp. 1-32
Private schools free households from a strict link between residential location decisions and the tax-school quality bundles they consume. In order to study the impact of private schools on educational outcomes, we develop a general equilibrium model that simultaneously incorporates locational choice built on access and locational choice built on tax-school quality attributes of jurisdictions. We conclude that private school choice enhances the welfare of all households—both those attending private schools and those attending public schools—while also working to reduce the amount of housing and school segregation in equilibrium. Investigation of alternative school policies indicates that greater choice, including using targeted school vouchers, can improve welfare and achievement. Finally, we demonstrate how the fiscal burden arising from some households paying less taxes than they consume in public services varies significantly with the structure of school choice options.