Why do education vouchers fail at the ballot box?

Peter Bearse, Buly A. Cardak, Gerhard Glomm, B. Ravikumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


We compare a uniform voucher regime against the status quo mix of public and private education, focusing on the distribution of welfare gains and losses across households by income. We argue that the topping-up option available under uniform vouchers is not sufficiently valuable for the poorer households, so the voucher regime is defeated at the polls. Our result is robust to partial voter turnout and efficiency differences between public and private schools, but depends critically on the opting-out feature in the current system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-37
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Political Economy
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013


  • Calibration
  • Education vouchers
  • Majority voting
  • Partial voter turnout
  • Welfare gains

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Political Science and International Relations


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