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.
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NOTICE: this is the author's version of a work that was accepted for publication in the European Journal of Political Economy. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as copy-editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. A definitive version of this work was published by Elsevier in the European Journal of Political Economy, 32: 26-37, 2013, this version can be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2013.06.005 (Please note: access via this link may only be available with a subscription).