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Does Additional Spending Help Urban Schools? An Evaluation Using Boundary Discontinuities

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  • Stephen Gibbons
  • Sandra McNally
  • Martina Viarengo

Abstract

Improvement of educational attainment in schools in urban, disadvantaged areas is an important priority for policy - particularly in countries like England which have a long tail at the bottom of the educational distribution and where there is much concern about low social mobility. An anomaly in the spatial dimension of school funding policy in England allows us to examine the effect of increasing school expenditure for schools in urban areas. This anomaly arises because an 'area cost adjustment' is made in how central government allocates funds to Local Authorities (school districts) whereas, in reality, teachers are drawn from the same labour market and are paid according to national pay scales. This is one of the features that give rise to neighbouring schools on either side of a Local Authority boundary being allocated very different resources, even if they have very similar characteristics. We find that these funding disparities give rise to sizeable differences in pupil attainment in national tests at the end of primary school. This finding lends adds to the evidence that school resources have an important role to play in improving educational attainment and has direct policy implications for the current 'pupil premium' policy in England.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE in its series SERC Discussion Papers with number 0090.

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Date of creation: Aug 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cep:sercdp:0090

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Web page: http://www.spatialeconomics.ac.uk/SERC/publications/default.asp

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Keywords: Urban schools; education; resources;

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References

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  1. Stephen Machin & Sandra McNally & Costas Meghir, 2007. "Resources and standards in urban schools," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3650, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Gilles Duranton & Laurent Gobillon & Henry G. Overman, 2010. "Assessing the Effects of Local Taxation using Microgeographic Data," Working Papers 2010-47, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  3. Jo Blanden, 2009. "How Much Can We Learn from International Comparisons of Intergenerational Mobility?," CEE Discussion Papers 0111, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  4. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin, 1998. "Teachers, Schools, and Academic Achievement," NBER Working Papers 6691, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Helena Holmlund & Sandra McNally & Martina Viarengo, 2009. "Does Money Matter for Schools?," CEE Discussion Papers 0105, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  6. Patrick Bayer & Fernando Ferreira & Robert McMillan, 2007. "A Unified Framework for Measuring Preferences for Schools and Neighborhoods," NBER Working Papers 13236, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Jonathan Guryan, 2001. "Does Money Matter? Regression-Discontinuity Estimates from Education Finance Reform in Massachusetts," NBER Working Papers 8269, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Sandra E. Black, 1999. "Do Better Schools Matter? Parental Valuation Of Elementary Education," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 577-599, May.
  9. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1999. "Using Maimonides' Rule To Estimate The Effect Of Class Size On Scholastic Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 533-575, May.
  10. Cushing, Brian J., 1984. "Capitalization of interjurisdictional fiscal differentials: An alternative approach," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 317-326, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Monique De Haan, 2012. "The Effect of Additional Funds for Low-Ability Pupils - A Nonparametric Bounds Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 3993, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Cheti Nicoletti & Birgitta Rabe, 2012. "The effect of school resources on test scores in England," Discussion Papers 12/19, Department of Economics, University of York.
  3. repec:ese:iserwp:2012-13 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Jha, Nikhil, 2013. "Educational Achievement and the Allocation of School Resources," IZA Discussion Papers 7551, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. repec:cep:spccrr:01 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Ruth Lupton & John Hills & Kitty Stewart & Polly Vizard, 2013. "Labour’s social policy record: policy, spending and outcomes 1997-2010," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 51070, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  7. Ruth Lupton & Polina Obolenskaya, 2013. "Labour's Record on Education: Policy, Spending and Outcomes 1997-2010," CASE - Social Policy in a Cold Climate Working Paper 03, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
  8. Steve Gibbons & Henry G. Overman, 2010. "Mostly Pointless Spatial Econometrics?," SERC Discussion Papers 0061, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
  9. Stephen Gibbons & Sandra McNally, 2013. "The Effects of Resources Across School Phases: A Summary of Recent Evidence," CEP Discussion Papers dp1226, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  10. Stephen Machin & Sandra McNally, 2011. "The Evaluation of English Education Policies," CEE Discussion Papers 0131, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  11. Stephen Machin & Sandra McNally & Gill Wyness, 2013. "Education in a Devolved Scotland: A Quantitative Analysis," CEP Special Papers 30, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.

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