The melting pot and school choice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


In the United States, parents are offered free public education in the mainstream culture but must pay the full cost of tuition if they educate their children privately. This creates strong economic incentives for remaining within the public system, which promotes the assimilation of minorities. A Pareto improvement can be achieved by subsidizing private education in exchange for modifying its social content so as to reduce polarization. Popular opposition to voucher programs that facilitate school choice without regulating cultural content may partly reflect voters' concerns that such programs threaten to erode the common ground created by public education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)871-896
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Public Economics
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2005


  • Cultural assimilation
  • Multiculturalism
  • Public education
  • School choice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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