A lottery to lose: An enlightened scheme to benefit poor children seems to do the opposite”

The Economist; February 4, 2016

In the­ory it works per­fectly. Rather than oblige par­ents to send their chil­dren to the near­est state-run or –funded school, give them a voucher to be spent at a pri­vate school of their choice. “The adop­tion of such arrange­ments”, argued Milton Friedman in 1955, “would make for more effec­tive com­pe­ti­tion among var­i­ous types of schools and for a more effi­cient util­i­sa­tion of their resources.” As part of its recov­ery from Hurricane Katrina, which destroyed many schools in New Orleans, Louisiana under­took one of America’s largest school-choice schemes. According to a new paper by Atila Abdulkadiroglu of Duke University, Parag Pathak of MIT and Christopher Walters of Berkeley, it has not gone well.