Vouchers and the Provision of Public Services

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C. Eugene Steuerle, Van Doorn Ooms, George E. Peterson, Robert D. Reischauer
Brookings Institution Press, 2010 M12 1 - 550 pages

For decades, the use of vouchers has been widely debated. But often lost in the heat of debate is the fact that vouchers are just another tool in the government's tool chest, a restricted subsidy that falls somewhere between the extremes of cash and direct government provision of services. The instrument itself is not new—the 1944 GI Bill of Rights was a voucher, and vouchers for food, college aid, and housing have been in place for decades. Until now, however, the study of vouchers has been restricted to a few controversial applications. This volume, which grew out of a conference sponsored by the Brookings Institution, the Urban Institute, and the Committee for Economic Development, fills the gap, offering a framework for comparative analysis of specific policy issues related to vouchers. Its 16 essays address the economics, politics, and legal issues of voucher use and explore how vouchers are currently employed in the United States and abroad for education, child care, job training, housing, and health care. C. Eugene Steuerle is a senior fellow at the Urban Institute and has worked under four different U.S. presidents on a variety of reform issues in such areas as social security, budget, tax, and health policy. Robert D. Reischauer, a senior fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution, was director of the Congressional Budget Office from 1989 to 1995. George Peterson is a senior fellow at the Urban Institute; from 1976 to 1985 he directed the Institute's Public Finance Research Center. Van Doorn Ooms, senior vice president and director of research at the Committee for Economic Development, was formerly executive director for policy and chief economist of the Committee on the Budget, U.S. House of Representatives, 1989-1990, and was the Budget Committee's chief economist from 1981 to 1988.

 

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Contents

Common Issues for Voucher Programs
The Economics of Vouchers
36
The Politics of Vouchers
88
II
113
Lessons from the Food Stamp Program
115
Housing Vouchers The US Experience
135
Housing Vouchers A Contribution from Abroad
172
ChildCare Vouchers and Cash Payments
191
Vouchers and American Higher Education
332
Legal and Constitutional Issues of Vouchers
364
Grades K12 The Legal Problems with Public Funding of Religious Schools
390
Medicare Vouchers
403
Subsidizing Health Care for the under SixtyFive Population
434
Structured Choice versus Fragmented Choice Bundling of Vouchers
467
A Survey of Voucher Use Variations and Common Elements
499
Contributors
537

Vouchers for Federal Targeted Training Programs
220
Vouchers for Elementary and Secondary Education
247
Privatizing Education Lessons from Canada Europe and Asia
288
Index
539
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About the author (2010)

C. Eugene Steuerle is a senior fellow at the Urban Institute. Van Doorn Ooms is senior vice president and director of research for the Committee for Economic Development. George Peterson is a scholar at the Urban Institute. Robert D. Reischauer was a former director of the Congressional Budget Office.

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