Journal Article

Central Mandates and Local Incentives: The Colombia Education Voucher Program

Elizabeth M. King, Peter F. Orazem and Darin Wohlgemuth

in The World Bank Economic Review

Published on behalf of World Bank

Volume 13, issue 3, pages 467-491
Published in print September 1999 | ISSN: 0258-6770
Published online September 1999 | e-ISSN: 1564-698X | DOI:
Central Mandates and Local Incentives: The Colombia Education Voucher Program

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In decentralized education systems programs that promote central mandates may have to be devolved to local governments, communities, and providers. When participation by local governments and providers is voluntary rather than compulsory, the determinants of program placement are important in predicting potential benefits to individuals. This article analyzes incentives for municipalities and private schools to participate in Colombia's voucher program. It finds that the demand for secondary education relative to the capacity of public schools and the availability of spaces in private schools in the municipality were key predictors of municipal participation, whereas the number of underserved students had a nonlinear effect on participation. Schools whose educational quality was moderate and charged moderate tuition fees were the most likely to participate; the program was less attractive to schools whose quality and fees were high and to schools whose quality and fees were low.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Development Planning and Policy

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