Is it Possible to Decommodify Education? Evidence and Lessons from the Chilean Education Market Reform

Chile has initiated an ambitious policy process to reform its education market and mitigate its negative effects on social and educational inequalities. By investigating the policy processes that led to the adoption of this reform and the factors that shaped its implementation, the research proposed will elucidate the extent to which it is possible to reverse the commodification of education in national contexts with a long tradition on market policies. Firstly, focus will be on the political economy of the reform by looking at the actors and drivers that have triggered and configured the adoption process, and the challenges that it has encountered. Secondly, we will analyse the effects of the reform on educational actors’ practices, particularly the effects on market logics and dynamics among educational providers and households. Project findings will be highly relevant to international and national debates on the role of the state and markets in education.

PI and Co-Is

PI - Adrian Zancajo, University of Glasgow, School of Education

Start and End Date

1 January 2019 - 31 December 2021

Funder and funding amount

British Academy (British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship)


Related Publications

  • Zancajo, A. (2019). Drivers and Resistances to Regulation of Education Markets: The Political Economy of the Chilean Reform. Working Paper 239, National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education, Teachers College, Columbia University,
  • Zancajo, A. (2019). Schools in the Marketplace: Analysis of School Supply Responses in the Chilean Education Market. Educational Policy.
  • Zancajo, A. (2019). Education markets and schools’ mechanisms of exclusion: The case of Chile. education policy analysis archives, 27, 130.

Project news

Blog entry for the Network for International Policies and Cooperation in Education and Training (NORRAG). The blog entry analyses the international perspectives and debates on education markets regulation: ‘Is it Possible to Balance Education Markets and Equity? On the Limits of Regulation and Policy Designs’, available: