September 15, 2003
Independent pricing

A posh cartel?

Independent schools today strongly denied that they had engaged in price-fixing to increase fees at the country's most prestigious institutions.

Stephen Pollard says it's just envious statists trying to hobble the private sector, and Natalie Solent, as a nod to the new Pollard website, picks out this quote:

You read that right: Sweden. The most egalitarian people on Earth understand what British opponents of school choice do not: choice benefits, above all, the poor. Swedish councils are obliged to give a voucher representing 75 per cent of the average cost per student in municipal schools to any parent who wants one.

I've long suspected that Sweden is a more capitalist place than it likes to let on. There's a lot more to that place than Volvo, SAAB and Social Services.

As for the price fixing accusation, I guess Pollard is right: whether the independents collude or not, the market is still in charge. There are alternatives to these independent schools. But if the independents are putting their prices up, what does that say about the quality of their state rivals?

The independents don't have an educational monopoly. The statist critics of the independents, on the other hand, do want a monopoly. For the state.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 11:55 AM
Category: The private sector