Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

The Courts and Public School Finance: Judge-Made Centralization and Economic Research

Contents:

Author Info

  • Fischel, William A.

Abstract

This paper explores for economists how the school-finance litigation movement, which began with Serrano v. Priest in 1971, ought to be characterized in economic models. Its primary message is that this has become a national movement, not one confined to individual states. Economists should be wary of characterizing these cases as discrete events in which a state that loses to reform-minded plaintiffs is distinctly different from a state that succeeds in defending its system. I describe numerous instances in which states have attempted to head off defeat in the courts by conceding to reform-demands by the plaintiffs. School finance litigation does make a difference, however. Win or lose, states have been induced to reformulate their state-aid formulas. I show that the most common of these reforms, which focus on differences in tax-base per pupil, have altered the local tax price for education. This alteration causes the "property rich" districts to pay more for education. However, the correlation between "property rich" and "income rich" is essentially zero, largely because low-income communities are more willing to tolerate the nonresidential uses that lower their tax price. The result is that school-finance reform in most states is likely to reduce the efficiency of local public education because of tax-price distortion but not improve the lot of low-income students and taxpayers in any systematic way.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B7P5H-4M4SRV5-F/1/890c879ffd6351178e1073d0f79d0308
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Bibliographic Info

as in new window

This chapter was published in:

  • Erik Hanushek & F. Welch (ed.), 2006. "Handbook of the Economics of Education," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 2, number 2, June.
    This item is provided by Elsevier in its series Handbook of the Economics of Education with number 2-21.

    Handle: RePEc:eee:educhp:2-21

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page: http://www.elsevierdirect.com/product.jsp?isbn=9780444513991

    Related research

    Keywords: state constitutions; education finance; tax price; school district; median voter;

    Find related papers by JEL classification:

    References

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. Eric A. Hanushek & Kuzey Yilmaz, 2010. "Household Location and Schools in Metropolitan Areas with Heterogeneous Suburbs; Tiebout, Alonso, and Government Policy," NBER Working Papers 15915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Hanushek, Eric & Yilmaz, Kuzey, 2007. "The complementarity of Tiebout and Alonso," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 243-261, June.
    3. Mihály Fazekas, 2012. "School Funding Formulas: Review of Main Characteristics and Impacts," OECD Education Working Papers 74, OECD Publishing.
    4. Joshua Hall, 2007. "Local School Finance and Productive Efficiency: Evidence from Ohio," Atlantic Economic Journal, International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 35(3), pages 289-301, September.

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:educhp:2-21. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.