Corey A. DeAngelis and Patrick J. Wolf
Do students who experience school choice grow up to be more engaged members of civil society? Looking at voting behavior is one way to answer this question. We employ probit regression analysis to compare the adult voting activity of students who participated in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, a private school voucher program, to their matched public school counterparts. Using a sophisticated matching algorithm, we create a traditional public school student comparison group using data from the state-mandated evaluation of the program. We find that by the time the students were 19–26 years old, no evidence indicates that private school voucher students were more or less likely to vote in 2012 or 2016 than public school students. Our results are robust to all models and are consistent for all subgroups. These findings suggest that the private benefits attained by students using voucher programs do not come with any social costs associated with diminished voting behavior.