Education markets and schools’ mechanisms of exclusion: The case of Chile

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Education market advocates frequently argue that socioeconomically disadvantaged students could be the main beneficiaries of privatization and market policies. However, the international evidence has shown how privatization and pro-market policies have a negative impact in terms of equity, which particularly affect socioeconomically disadvantaged populations, increase school segregation and stratification, and foster educational inequalities. The main objective of this paper is to analyze how the responses developed by educational providers in marketized environments especially impact poor populations and can act asmechanisms ofexclusion. In this context, Chile is an optimal case study due to the extreme version of privatization and market policies it adopted four decades ago. Based on the case study of two municipalities in Chile, which represent two local education markets, the presentedevidence combines in-depth interviews with school principals and families. The paper analyses how schools’ responses in the context of a competitive environment produce, among other effects, processes of exclusion affectingstudents fromlow socioeconomic backgrounds, foster school segregation and increase educational inequalities. Finally, the paper elaborates on the limits of education markets and privatization policies,as well as market regulation reforms, in providing better educational opportunities to socioeconomically disadvantagedstudents.
Translated title of the contributionMercados educativos y dispositivos de exclusión de las escuelas:: El caso de Chile
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages37
JournalEducation policy analysis archives
Issue number130
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2019


  • Chile
  • Educational equity
  • Privatization


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