Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Chambers College of Business and Economics



Committee Chair

Russell S. Sobel.


This dissertation is a collection of papers that focus on the effects of school choice in the education market. The first chapter introduces the concept of school choice and discusses the arguments both for and against its implementation into public education. In addition, this chapter outlines the research agenda for this dissertation. Chapter 2 empirically measures the spillover benefits created by K-12 public education and finds that they are not Pareto-relevant at the margin. Given the results, this chapter also examines the role of school choice in the market for K-12 public education. Chapter 3 provides a brief history of school choice in the United States and discusses how it has developed and changed the education market over the past two decades. Chapter 4 empirically analyzes and compares for-profit and nonprofit charter schools and the effects each has on student achievement levels. The results show that the structure of for-profit charter schools create incentives that contribute to higher student achievement levels when compared to their nonprofit counterparts. Chapter 5 analyzes how the implementation of a voucher program affects both urban and rural public school performance in the Cleveland, Ohio region. Results indicate that competition for students has a positive impact on both urban and rural student achievement with greater effects being found in the urban areas as expected. Chapter 6 summarizes the major findings of the research chapters, presents the policy implications of the research, and proposes areas of future research.