IREF - Institute for Research in Economic and Fiscal issues
Fiscal competition and economic freedom
The Swedish education market is one of the freest of the world. As such, it is one of the most interesting to study. Authored by Jacob Arfwedson, the IREF report “Vouchers and Free Schools: the Swedish Experience” provides striking insights into the dynamics of a budding free market in schooling.
Three words may summarize the project: vouchers, parental choice, entrepreneurship.
Swedish style vouchers are the financial principle of free and independent education: the money follows the pupil. Thus parental choice is strengthened and free school start-ups are further encouraged. That is why entrepreneurship has entered education and created a real market. The growth in new high schools in recent years is entirely due to the private sector undertakings, and there are almost as many free as public high schools .
The Swedish example is worth studying since it could give a new momentum to public education institutions in France and elsewhere.