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Economies of Scale, School Violence, and the Optimal Size of Schools

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In this paper we argue that policy in relation to education has relied too extensively on the more easily measured costs of production to support a common conclusion of economies of scale in school and/or district size. We argue that there are external costs that increase with size but that can be measured less easily that could offset this case. This would imply that the tendency within the education profession to advocate ever larger school sizes is premature at best. To make our case, we model the choice of school size to emphasize that costs, such as school violence, that are born by both students and their parents but not (necessarily) by education administrators may result in school sizes that are too big from the perspective of school users. In the second and third parts of the paper we introduce evidence to suggest that school violence is one of these external costs.

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File URL: http://www1.carleton.ca/economics/research/working-papers/carleton-economic-papers-cep-2001-2010/
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Carleton University, Department of Economics in its series Carleton Economic Papers with number 02-01.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: 15 Jan 2002
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published: Carleton Economic Papers
Handle: RePEc:car:carecp:02-01

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Keywords: econoimcs of eduction; school size; school violence; schooling externalities;

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Cited by:
  1. Gabriela Schütz, 2009. "Educational institutions and equality of opportunity," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 34.
  2. Ambrose Leung & J. Stephen Ferris, 2002. "School Size and Youth Violence," Carleton Economic Papers 02-10, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised Feb 2008.
  3. Anderson, D. Mark & Hansen, Benjamin & Walker, Mary Beth, 2013. "The minimum dropout age and student victimization," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 66-74.
  4. Saïd Hanchane & Tarek Mostafa, 2007. "School Choice : income, Peer effect and the formation of Inequalities," Working Papers halshs-00009533, HAL.
  5. Tarek Mostafa & Saïd Hanchane, 2007. "Educational Quality, Communities, and Public School Choice: a Theoretical Analysis," Working Papers halshs-00177630, HAL.

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