Year of Publication



Martin School of Public Policy and Administration

Date Available


Executive Summary

This study relied on data gathered on school identifiers and characteristics, student and teacher characteristics, and index scores of Kentucky public elementary schools, collected from 2001-2008 at the school level. An extensive literature review was completed in order to examine the effects of competition on public schools, both positive and negative.

This paper focused on the impact of public school competition on academic index scores in Kentucky school districts. Competition was measured in two ways: by the number of schools available per student in the district as well as the total district enrollment controlling for the total number of schools in a district. The data were analyzed using both a fixed-effects regression model and a between-effects regression model. The findings indicate that from year to year, increases in district enrollment have a positive effect on school index scores, but on average over the eight years, district enrollment actually has a negative impact. Overall, the findings suggest that public school competition does not appear to have a significant impact on school performance in Kentucky. Further analysis of competition among schools is recommended in order to provide policy makers with a better understanding of how competition, from both public and private institutions, can improve the quality of schooling in Kentucky.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.