Objective. The voucher scheme introduced in Chile in 1981 allows for-profit private subsidized schools to choose their students. The objective of this article is to present evidence of this practice and examine its relationship with academic performance using information from the 2005 SIMCE test, in which parents were asked about the admission requirements for their children's schools. We present evidence indicating that student selection is a widespread practice among private subsidized schools.
Methods. Using OLS and after controlling for a series of selection criteria and the segmentation effects that they produce, the evidence indicates that there are no differences in results between public and private subsidized education.
Results. Our results show that a student attending a school that uses selection criteria obtains 7–9 percent higher results in standardized mathematics tests than a student from a school that does not use selection.
Conclusion. The main conclusion of this study is that the basic belief behind the voucher system in Chile that competition will lead to better quality of all schools is not being met.