The Urban Review

, Volume 50, Issue 5, pp 773–794 | Cite as

Privatizing Benefit and Socializing Cost: Market Education as Rent Seeking

  • E. Frank FitchEmail author
  • Kathleen M. Hulgin


The current movement toward increasing privatization in general and market education in particular has been extensively examined in terms of its neoliberal roots and incompatibility with the aims of public, democratic education. This analysis presents a different critique, one that draws upon current economic theory and research to challenge the most fundamental assumptions and claims of market education. Contrary to presumed virtues of profit, competition and choice, we argue that the forces of rent seeking in the market model of education do not operate according to these principles and are exacerbating structures of inequality and segregation. We outline an alternative conceptual framework for understanding this model.


Rent seeking Market education Behavioral economics Framing Segregation 


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Social SciencesUniversity of Cincinnati, Clermont CollegeBataviaUSA

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