I just ran across this abstract in the Journal of Public Economics. I reproduce it here for what it is worth. I mean that literally, as it is not me pushing a barrow. I don’t have a considered view and have done very little reading on this. Anyway, here’s the abstract.
In 1981, Chile introduced nationwide school choice by providing vouchers to any student wishing to attend private school. As a result, more than 1000 private schools entered the market, and the private enrollment rate increased by 20 percentage points, with greater impacts in larger, more urban, and wealthier communities. We use this differential impact to measure the effects of unrestricted choice on educational outcomes. Using panel data for about 150 municipalities, we find no evidence that choice improved average educational outcomes as measured by test scores, repetition rates, and years of schooling. However, we find evidence that the voucher program led to increased sorting, as the bbestQ public school students left for the private sector.
Chang-Tai Hsieh, Miguel Urquiola 2006, “The effects of generalized school choice on achievement and stratification: Evidence from Chile’s voucher program”, Journal of Public Economics 90 (2006) 1477 1503