Public Choice in Education: Markets and the Demand for Quality Education Academic Article uri icon


  • School choice is an increasingly popular education reform. Proponents of choice argue that market forces can improve education through the mechanism of competition-the schools that best satisfy the demands of parents and students will attract clientele and prosper and those that do not will close. A key assumption of choice theorists is that the engine driv ing an education marketplace will be a demand for a higher quality educa tion. This demand for quality assumption rests heavily on comparisons between public and private schools. This paper empirically tests the demand for quality education assumption and finds it wanting. Supplying a demand for religious services and racial segregation are found to be the more likely outcomes of an education marketplace.

author list (cited authors)

  • Smith, K. B., & Meier, K. J.

citation count

  • 30

publication date

  • September 1995