Is it possible to decommodify education? Evidence and lessons from the Chilean education market reform
Chile adopted 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 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, the research will analyze 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 - 30 June 2022
Funder and funding amount
British Academy (British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship)
Total funding (including costed extension): £398,303
- Zancajo, A., Fontdevila, C., Verger, A., & Bonal, X. (2021-forthcoming). Regulating Public-Private Partnerships, governing non-state schools: An equity perspective. Background paper prepared for the 2021 Global Education Monitoring Report. (under embargo until the 2021 GEMR is published).
- Bonal, X., Zancajo, A. and Scandurra, R. (2020) Student mobility and school segregation in an (un)controlled choice system: a counterfactual approach. British Educational Research Journal, (doi: 10.1002/berj.3694)
- Zancajo, A. (2020) Schools in the marketplace: analysis of school supply responses in the Chilean education market. Educational Policy, 34(1), pp. 43-64. (doi: 10.1177/0895904819881781)
- Zancajo, A. (2019) Education markets and schools’ mechanisms of exclusion: the case of Chile. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 27(130), (doi: 10.14507/epaa.27.4318)
- 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,
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: