More Graduates, Fewer Criminals? The Economic Impacts of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (v2)


Will Flanders, Ph.D.*

Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty

Corey A. DeAngelis, Ph.D.

Cato Institute

ORCID: 0000-0003-4431-9489

December 11, 2018

*Corresponding author is Will Flanders, The content of the report is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the views of the Cato Institute or the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty.


Although an abundance of research indicates that private schooling can benefit individual children through higher test scores, the effects on society are less clear. We monetize and forecast the social impacts of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP) in the United States. We use existing literature on the impacts of the MPCP on criminal activity and graduation rates. Between 2016 and 2035, students who use a voucher in the MPCP are likely to generate additional economic benefits of $473 million associated with higher graduation rates, and $26 million associated with fewer felonies and misdemeanors, relative to their traditional public school peers.

Keywords: school choice; school vouchers; economic impact; civic education

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