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school vouchers, school choice, student achievement, heterogeneous effects, mediators of education effects


The Louisiana Scholarship Program (LSP) is a school voucher initiative that offers publicly- funded scholarships to students from economically-disadvantaged families to attend a participating private school of their choice. While school choice theory suggests that market- based reforms such as the LSP should improve student outcomes, experimental evaluations of the program instead find significant negative effects of the program on math and reading scores after its first year. Those effects diminish to insignificant differences by the end of the third year before becoming negative again in the fourth year. Our study builds on previous work with an exploratory analysis of the variation in treatment effects across 13 school characteristics in the first four years of the program. In general, we do not observe effect heterogeneity across school characteristics, though we find evidence suggesting students who preferred larger schools, schools with higher tuition, and schools with longer school days experienced more favorable impacts from participating in the LSP relative to their peers who did not prefer such schools.