School choice is intended to leverage competition between schools to produce better educational opportunities for disadvantaged students. Yet we know very little about how competition impacts entire populations of schools of different types in distributing educational options across segregated social landscapes. We draw on theories from the literatures on institutional environment, organizational behavior, and positioning strategies to investigate how different types of schools (public, private, and charters) respond to market competition within Metropolitan Detroit's highly competitive and segregated environment. Mapping illustrates patterns of school types that have opened, relocated, and closed relative to socioeconomic and demographic neighborhood contexts. Our analysis explores the location incentive of high vacancy rate as proxy for affordable spaces suitable for new schools. Findings suggest that competitive incentives have similar effects on different types of organizations.
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